|Deals raise a lot of questions|
Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on July 31, 2009
The Trade Deadline has come and gone, but there are a few interesting points to digest in many trades made leading up to the deadline.
What's the playing situation going to be with Victor Martinez?
The Red Sox said they had a big move in the works and that they did, acquiring Victor Martinez from the Indians. Martinez provides them with an option behind the plate as Jason Varitek continues to put another year on his body.
Or does he?
Martinez's status this season isn't a certain one. He'll likely split time behind the plate with Varitek and at first base with Kevin Youkilis, who would play third in place of Mike Lowell. This move definitely gives them a lot of depth for the later months.
The difficulty will be keeping everyone happy and in game shape. Maybe this is a sign that the Red Sox aren't too pleased with the way Lowell's hip looks.
Going forward, things are still hazy. The Red Sox don't figure to bring back Lowell and Varitek as the starting catcher. It would seem Martinez would take over every day there and that is where his bat plays best. However, there are some questions about Martinez's ability to stay behind the plate long-term.
The Red Sox would be wise putting Martinez at first base fulltime from here on out and move Youkilis, a former third baseman and quality glove man, to the hot corner. That just leaves a hole at catcher for the Red Sox next season and beyond.
How good will Jarrod Washburn be?
The Tigers nabbed Washburn to be their No. 3 behind Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. But just what are they getting?
Washburn's 2.64 ERA is about a run-and-a-half lower than his career mark, and he's coming off a couple of bad seasons in Seattle. You have to wonder whether he is truly this good or whether he's in line for a regression down the stretch.
He is an extreme flyball pitcher, so moving to Comerica Park shouldn't hurt. It and SafeCo Field play nicely to flyball pitchers. But with the Mariners he has three center fielders playing in the outfield to track down those fly balls. In Detroit, he won't be so lucky. We'll see what happens.
What does the future hold for the Pirates?
The Pirates conducted a true fire sale, moving many of the legitimate Major League players they had. For their efforts, they nabbed several quality players, including pitcher Tim Alderson from the Giants in return for Freddy Sanchez.
Baseball America rated Alderson as the 26th-overall prospect this season. Sanchez is nothing special. It's hard to see this as anything other than a positive.
The Pirates dumped salary that hopefully will go toward signing and developing young players. Of course, we don't know if that's the case. But we can hope.
What impact on J.P. Ricciardi does the Lee deal have?
The Phillies were able to skirt by Ricciardi in their attempts to find an ace. They brought in Cliff Lee, who wasn't as good as Halladay but who is a very capable pitcher nonetheless.
Most importantly, the Phillies didn't have to part with any top-notch talent, like Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor. That leaves plenty of egg on the face of Ricciardi, who wanted a boatload in return for his ace.
What does this mean for Ricciardi's job status? The Blue Jays haven't moved past the top two teams in the American League East with Ricciardi at the helm. In fact, they've been stuck in neutral, staying over .500 but not doing too terribly much other than that.
Halladay could've brought a tremendous amount in return, but Ricciardi bumbled the negotiating process. This may sound like a fireable offense, but he should have taken a lesser deal just to get something done.
That's what the Twins did with Johan Santana, and no one is clamoring for the head of their general manager. The Blue Jays could have used an influx of players, perhaps Drabek and Donald, who would've formed a solid duo for the Blue Jays in future seasons.
Now, Halladay figures to be traded in the offseason when teams are less willing to give up talent for him because he would only impact one postseason race, not two.