Surprisingly, this year's deadline did not disappoint as opposed to years past. Superstars were moved, HR Kings switched teams, and as usual prospects were thrown all over. Here's my rundown/recap of this year's trading events:
- Ken Griffey Jr. is still a great player, as far as I'm concerned, and brings a lot to the table on name recognition and HR power alone. It was long past time for the Reds to move him, he and the city have grown part and it's time he played for a contender again. The only problem I see is that Griffey isn't a superb CF anymore and the Sox already have two DH's and two full time corner OF's. Good for the Griff, he's always been a good guy and good story, I'm happy to see him back in a pennant race.
- I like the Red Sox moving Manny Ramirez for Jason Bay. They gave up Craig Hansen, who never fulfilled potential for them, and Brandon Moss, who I like, but is an acceptable loss with the money and piece of mind they save. Bay is a great player in his own right, who should finally get the recognition he deserves playing for Boston in a pennant race. The Sox will miss Manny's offense, but Bay will be a great replacement.
- This is also a good deal for the Dodgers. They weren't ready to win before Manny, but he gives them a great power hitter to make their line-up complete. Andy LaRoche is another underachiever, definitely worth giving up for Manny. Manny's lax personality and lifestyle should be great in LA. Also, if they can't resign him, the draft picks they are now guarenteed to get will help a seemingly overrated farm system.
- I'm not sure Arthur Rhodes is the answer for anyone. I'll never understand why teams shuffle around subpar old relievers when they could get the same production from a young prospects they have down on the farm.
- Gaby Hernandez seems like a decent prospect, a nice pick-up for the Mariners.
- I have trouble picturing Ivan Rodriguez in Yankee pinstripes, but he's a smart buy, especially for Kyle Farnsworth who's hardly reliable and definitely worth moving. They've got the young arms to easily replace him.
- From the Tigers side, I like Brandon Inge as a nice replacement, but is Farnsworth really worth it?
- Casey Kotchman will be a tremendous pick-up for the Braves if he improves as everyone projects he will.
- The Phillies didn't make any moves, but they're a strange team with strong chemistry. If they all put it together at the same time they won't have trouble making it to the playoffs.
Who wins? Who loses? Well it is too soon to know, but we'll have a good idea as this season moves toward the finish.