Have a good weekend?
You'll get no complaints from me! I got a little cushy overtime at a Little League tournament broadcast on Saturday, and got to see Francisco Liriano pitch a gem on Sunday.
Hard to top a weekend like that! (Not that I won't try...)
In news of a slightly less personal - yet infinitely more relevant - nature, the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline came and went on Saturday, and the three (though it may soon be only two) contenders in the AL Central were all involved in deals leading up to it.
Seems like a good excuse to recap things, no?
Thought you might agree.
And I'll get to that...
Right after the quote.
”Charm is the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves.”
- Henri-Frederic Amiel (1821 - 1881), Swiss philosopher, poet and critic.
Ah, the pleasant philosophy of the Swiss!
Actually, what really connected with me regarding this quote was the memory of a recent Delmon Young interview. The guy's hitting the snot out of the ball, but man, come on Delmon! Can you show just an ounce of pleasant personality once in a while? I know you have it in you!
AL Central Trade Deadline Recap
There are three teams still in contention for the AL Central crown: the White Sox, the Twins and the Tigers. Though some will suggest that at 7 games out and having lost 8 of their last 10, the Tigers shouldn't be counted in that category, I'm still going to put them in there. I've seen too many “dead” baseball teams get up off the mat and go on late-season runs (i.e. the Twins) and make the playoffs to count them out just yet.
So with three clubs vying for one playoff spot - let's be honest, the Wild Card is coming out of the East this year - you'd think those teams might have done some serious wheeling and dealing as the trade deadline approached, right?
Not so much, actually. Each team made one move, and in all three cases, there's reason to scratch your head a bit.
So let's break them down club-by-club, shall we? And why not go in order by the current standings?
To whit, I give you...
Chicago White Sox:
7/30: Acquired RHP Edwin Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg.
There was plenty of speculation around this move. As you can see form that MLB.com article, many people thought the White Sox acquired Jackson in order to entice the Washington Nationals to send them IF/DH Adam Dunn.
Washington said, “no go”, and the White Sox kept Jackson to put into their starting rotation. This was far from a total loss for the White Sox, with Jake Peavy's injury creating a hole in the rotation.
Jackson is a solid addition to an otherwise unspectacular rotation in Chicago... depending on which Edwin they get. The last time he pitched in the American League was in 2009 when he was a member of the Tigers staff. Remember how that went?
First Half: 7-4, 2.52 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Second Half: 6-5, 5.07 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
So which Edwin is it going to be?
But Dan, didn't he pitch a no-hitter this season?!
Yes, he did, but it was one of the all-time-weird no-hitters. In that game, he walked eight, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Sure, he deserves full credit for hurling a no-no. But that doesn't mean I'm terrified of him as a Twins fan.
Speaking of whom...
7/29: Acquired RHP Matt Capps from the Washington Nationals for C Wilson Ramos and LHP Joe Testa.
I've seen a lot of analysts praising the Nationals for getting far the better of this deal. I can't say they're wrong. The truth is, we just don't know what kind of career Ramos is going to have.
There are a lot of Twins pundits who believe that Ramos was worth far more than what the Twins got for him. That's certainly possible. However, it seems to me that if the Mariners preferred the deal they got from Texas for Cliff Lee - which includes a centerpiece player Seattle's since sent down to AAA - then perhaps folks have over-estimated Ramos' value a bit?
It's tough to say.
If the Twins go on to win the World Series and Matt Capps saves the championship-clinching game, while Wilson Ramos goes on to become a super-duper-star, can Twins fans really be upset they didn't get more for their catcher?
I don't know.
What I do know is that Capps is better-suited for the closer role than Jon Rauch was. And the vastly improved depth of the Twins bullpen has been in evidence already.
So far, so good.
7/28: Acquired IF Jhonny Peralta from the Cleveland Indians for LHP Giovanni Soto and cash.
Well, they needed to do something!
In the last 12 days, the Tigers have placed 3B Brandon Inge, 2B/DH Carlos Guillen, and OF Magglio Ordonez on the 15-day disabled list.
That's a lot to lose out of your line-up!
Peralta will help plug some of those holes, but it may not be enough. So far this season, he's hitting .252 with 47 RBI and an OPS of .728. None of those numbers leap off the page. But Jhonny (yes, that's the correct spelling) has some pop and plays pretty good defense, so he'll certainly help a struggling club.
When you lose all of that offense, though, this move ends up looking like a feeble attempt at staying relevant in a competitive division.
In the final analysis, it's tough to tell who really did the best. (Though it's pretty easy to conclude that Detroit was third amongst the three clubs.) Obviously we'll have to see how this plays out over the rest of the season.
Both the Twins (8 wins in a row) and the White Sox (won 7 of their last 10) are on hot streaks right now. We'll see if their acquisitions keep them rolling, or if one or both stumble somewhere along the way!
That's going to wrap things up for today. I'll be back on Wednesday with... something.
I have an idea in mind, but I'm not going to jinx it by teasing it!
Until then, thanks for reading!