Written by Jonathan Leshanski
Published: 01 August 2007
There weren’t a lot of really poor deals done at this year’s non-waiver trading deadline - most deals benefitted both teams involved. Not a lot of big names were moved and middle relief seemed to be the biggest commodity moving. A few teams emerged stronger but there were only a couple of big winners.
So without further ado, lets take a look at what happened over the last few days.
Red Sox acquire RP Eric Gagne for LHP Kason Gabbard, OF David Murphy and OF Engel Beltre to Texas.
Red Sox trade away SP Joel Pineiro for a minor leaguer and cash.
With the acquisition of Gagne the Red Sox seem set in the late innings with a 1-2-3 punch of Gagne, Hideki Okajima, and Jonathan Papelbon - a big three which should slow down just about any lineup. Its a great move for the team and elevates it a step further above the competition and could be the death knell for Yankees hopes at overtaking the Sox.
The Pineiro trade means nothing to this team which was clearing payroll and dead wood.
BUT: The Sox did give up a fair bit of young talent in this trade (see the Lowdown under the Rangers to see how they fared).
Yankees acquire IF Wilson Betemit from the Dodgers for RHP Scott Proctor
This was a improve the bench and a bit of an insurance move by the Yankees who picked up a guy with a little big of pop (.231-10-26) but has failed to deliver on all the promise he showed back in the Altanta farm system some years back. Still he could end up the Yankees everyday third baseman if A-Rod does opt out of his contract at the end of this year. Betemit still has a lot of upside too.
BUT: The Yankees gave up a pretty fair reliever in Proctor and considering that Yankees pitching isn’t that deep it does raise some questions - and tells you that the Yankees are concerned about the A-Rod situation.
Short term - Loser. But if A-Rod leaves the team after the season than this was a very good move long term.
Acquire RP Dan Wheeler from Astros for Ty Wigginton
Trade Jogre Cantu to the Reds for minor leaguers
Wheeler was picked up because of turnover value and probably not a lot more. The Rays aren’t going to compete because they have him.
BUT: they didn’t trade him before the non-waiver deadline and he’s arbitration eligible at the end of the season - so a waiver trade or a post season trade seems likely.
Winner - In terms of value obtained but only if they can swap him out..
The Twins deal Luis Castillo to the Mets for prospects.
Castillo was going to be a free agent at the end of the season and the Twins decided to get some value for him. The prospects a catcher by the name of Drew Butera and OF Dustin Martin are both in the low minors.
BUT: This probably cuts into any playoff hopes the team had.
Acquired LHP Kason Gabbard and Minor League Players OF David Murphy and OF Engel Beltre from the Red Sox for Eric Gagne
Acquired C Jarod Saltemboca and MInor leaguers SS Elvis Andrus, RHP Neftali Feliz, LHP Matt Harrison, LHP Beau Jones from Atlanta for 1B Mark Texeira and LHP Ron Mahay
This was a firesale with eyes towards the future. Tex was going to be a free agent at the end of the season and the Rangers felt they couldn’t afford to keep him. Gagne brought in high returns.
The breakdown for this deal is all about the future so lets take a player by player look at just who the Rangers got.
LHP Kason Gabbard, OF David Murphy and OF Engel Beltre
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS Elvis Andrus, RHP Neftali Feliz, LHP Matt Harrison, LHP Beau Jones.
Of the lot only Saltalamacchia and Gabbard are Major League ready.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a talented hitter who this season has made the jump from AA to the Majors. With just 141 AB under his belt he’s hitting 284 with 4 home runs which isn’t bad for someone who’s only had a taste of the big leagues. Widely regarded as the best prospect that Altanta had he was the keystone player in the deal for the Rangers.
Kason Gabbard is a 25 year old lefty who’s had sucess at every level he’s pitched after a bit of rough going to start out with. He’s curently 4-0 this season (with the Red Sox) with a 3.73 ERA. His strikeout to walk ratio has been 6:1 but that’s much better than his career numbers suggest. He’s not a power pitcher and doesn’t strike out a ton of batters.
OF David Murphy has exactly 2 Major League at bats, but looks to realistically be a .280 hitter with a lot of upside. He was a first round pick by the Red Sox in 2003 and was ranked as their 4th best prospect by Baseball America earlier this season. If he fills out and develops some power he could be a solid player, but thats a big if at this point for the 25 year old.
SS Elvis Andrus has a reputation as being a heck of a glove man and before the season was rated as the 65th best overall prospect by Baseball America. That says a lot since he is just playing in single A at this point. Thus far he hasn’t shown much affinity to hit for average or power but at age 19 there is plenty of time for him to develop.
Neftali Feliz is a 19 year old righthander pitcher with tremendous upside and considered by some to be the best pitching prospect that the Braves had. He’s still pitching in rookie level ball which is a good indicator that the value placed on him is as a power pitcher who mostly relies on a fastball.
Beau Jones, another young lefty, 21, out of the Braves system, Beau still has a lot of growing up to do. Although he’s been rated among the best of the Braves prospects he’s been hit pretty hard at high A. Only time will tell what he really has to offer.
OF Engel Beltre is a 17 year old prospect who’s playing in his first season of rookie ball and not much is really known about him.
Matt Harrison is a lefty who is currently on the DL due to tendonistis has been described as a potential Tom Glavine relying on brains, control and finess to get by. He hasn’t pitched above AA yet but his ERA has been consistantly in the three something range. The Rangers might decide to see how he fares at AAA to gauge just how long he’ll take to be Major League ready.
BUT: The Rangers will still have to develop most of this talent as very little is ready to play at the highest level.
A Big Winner for a farm system which was essentially barren.