Tag Archives: Matt Garza

2014 MLB Top Free Agents and Predictions

By: Jon

1) Robinson Cano

Cano is looking to be paid for his success
Cano is looking to be paid for his success

The top free agent this offseason is one of the best baseball players in the league, which should allow him to net one of the largest deals in MLB history. Earlier this offseason, Cano and his free agent, Jay-Z, made a request for a $310 million contract over ten years, which would make him the highest paid player in the history of baseball. However, the Yankees countered with a 7 year $160 million deal, which would make him one of the highest paid players in the league and the highest paid second baseman of all time. The 31 year old has been one of the most consistent and valuable players over the last few seasons. In the last four years, Cano has averaged 160 games per season, 195 hits, 28 home runs, .310 average, 105 RBI, and .530 slugging percentage. Cano has finished inside the top six in MVP voting the last four seasons, won five silver sluggers, earned two gold gloves, and has went to 5 All-Star Games. Although people are afraid about giving major deals to free agents past the age of 30 because of past history, Fielder, Rodriguez, Pujols, and Teixeira, Cano will be given a huge money deal by some team. During the first 3-4 years of the deal, Cano will probably play like a player that will earn $25 million per season. However, teams should be wary of giving him more than 7 years because eventually he will be unable to continue his production. Cano has been a great hitter because of his strong quick wrists, but eventually Father Time will slow his speed and diminish his results. Cano needs another team, besides the Yankees, to bid for his services, if he is going to garner a $200 million deal, like Fielder and Votto. However, it is unlikely that another team will be able to pay his contract. Teams, such as the Tigers, Mets, Mariners and Nationals, will attempt to increase the Yankees offer, but the teams do not have the resources or need to give $25+ million to one player. Before the Kinsler deal, the Tigers had a need at second base, but they will need to save money for Cabrera and Scherzer. The Nationals may be the dark horse, but it is unlikely that they will sign another 100 million dollar deal after the Jayson Werth experiment. The Mets and Mariners have already dictated that they do not want to spend a lot of money on one play, but rather buy a few players to fill their holes.

Prediction: Cano signs with Yankees for 7 years and $180 million

2) Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury has the speed and talent to be a 100 million dollar player
Jacoby Ellsbury has the speed and talent to be a 100 million dollar player

The speedy outfielder has probably played his last game for the Boston Red Sox. Ellsbury wants a big money deal and the Red Sox want to give their young stars a chance to play at the ned level. Although talented, Ellsbury will not be able to net a deal over $120 million because their are too many questions about his health. During Ellsbury 7 year career, the center fielder has played in 145 games only three times. Also many teams are wondering if his speed will deteriorate as he ages and loses his legs. However, Ellsbury has top flight agent, Scott Boras, who will sell him as a player similar to Carl Crawford, who was given a $142 million deal from the Red Sox. Ellsbury will be demand this offseason because he is one of the best lead off hitters in a league, which has a few quality lead off hitters. Also, Ellsbury has shown that he can hit for power. During his best season in 2011, Ellsbury hit 32 home runs and drove in 105 RBI. However, Ellsbury has not hit more than 10 home runs in any other season so the 2011 campaign seems like a fluke. However, Ellsbury’s stolen base numbers have been consistent during his healthy seasons. In the four seasons where he played in more than 13o games, Ellsbury has averaged 55 steals, .295 average, 8 triples, 100 runs, and .350 on base percentage. Along with his ability to hit and run, his speed enables him to become one of the best outfielders in the league. Ellsbury has the ability to cover a lot of ground, which he has shown in one of the biggest center fields in baseball. This offseason, Ellsbury will be pursued by the Mariners, Mets, Cubs, Astros, and Yankees. However, Ellsbury would best fit in Seattle. Ellsbury is originally from Seattle and has noted that he would love to play for his home town team. Also, the Mariners desperately need outfield help and some offensive fire power on the team.

Prediction: Ellsbury signs with Mariners for 6 years $105 million

3) Shin Soo Choo

Choo's ability to reach base should make him a rich man this season
Choo’s ability to reach base should make him a rich man this season

Choo is another leadoff hitter that will be paid handsomely this offseason because of his ability to hit at the top of the order. After playing in Cleveland for seven seasons, Choo was traded to the Reds and had one of the best seasons of his career. Since Choo has become a regular starter midway through the 2008 season, he has been extremely durable and consistent, besides for one season. Choo has displayed the ability to bat for average as well as power from the top of the order, which is unique in today’s game. Over the past few seasons, Choo has averaged 20 home runs, .295 average, 20 steals, 75 RBI, and 95 runs. However, Choo’s biggest asset is his ability to reach base. Over the past few seasons, Choo has averaged an on base percentage of .400, which is extraordinarily high for a player, who does not strike out frequently. Choo is a versatile player that can play any position in the outfield. Choo does not have great speed, but is a smart defender and has a great arm in the outfield. Choo’s arm enables him to gun down base runners and play center and right field. During the offseason, Boras will display Choo as a player similar to Jayson Werth. Choo and Werth are similar players, but as the Nationals have realized, Werth is not worth a $126 million deal. Luckily for Choo, he expects to have a lot of interest from different teams, such as the Rangers, Yankees, Mariners, Tigers, Mets, and White Sox. Choo will probably end up with the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have recently traded for Prince Fielder and want to win in the American League. Also, the Rangers must replace the production of Nelson Cruz, who is leaving this offseason in free agency. Choo will fit nicely into the number one hole for the Rangers because they just traded their lead off hitter, Ian Kinsler, to the Tigers for Prince Fielder. Choo’s ability to reach base will give Fielder and Beltre more opportunities to collect RBI. Although other teams will make a run at Choo, Texas is willing to spend a lot of money for his services and will probably out bid the other competitors

Prediction: Choo signs with Rangers for 6 year $100 million

4) Masahiro Tanaka

The Japanese phenom hopes to have the success like Yu Darvish
The Japanese phenom hopes to have the success like Yu Darvish

The Japanese superstar and ace has received a lot of hype this offseason because of his past success. Over the past few seasons, Tanaka has risen in the ranks in Japan because of his recent success and progression. Last season, Tanaka had one of the best seasons in Japanese history. Last season, Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts. Many believe that Tanaka is one of the best Japanese pitchers in history and feel that his stuff will translate to success in Major League Baseball. Tanaka’s stock has risen because of the success to Yu Darvish. Although Tanaka does not have the stuff and talent like Darvish, Tanaka should be a possible number one or a very good number two in a pitching staff. Tanaka has success because he has a good fastball, slider, and splitter. The closest MLB resemblance to Tanaka is Hiroki Kuroda. Besides for their Japanese decent, they both love to throw fastballs, sliders, and splitters. The Japanese pitchers have experienced success recently because they are one of the few pitchers that throw splitters and sliders. Tanaka is similar to Kuroda because they both throw in the low to mid 90s with their fastballs and occasionally throw into the high 90s. This offseason, Major League teams must pay a posting fee before talking with Tanaka. Many believe that the posting fee for Tanaka could reach $75 million, but it will probably be closer to $65 million. Since the posting fee does not affect a team’s luxury tax situation, teams, such as the Yankees and Dodgers, will be more encouraged to pay for Tanaka’s posting privileges. After paying the posting fee, teams must pay Tanaka’s contract, which will be around $50-60 million. Since the fee will cost around $120-130 million, Tanaka’s services will be limited to the big market clubs. Since most of Tanaka’s money will not count against the luxury tax, the Yankees will sign Tanaka. The Yankees are desperate for top end young pitching and Tanaka will fill these needs for the Yankees. After the Haren signing, the Dodgers have six starting pitchers and will be reluctant to sign another expensive starting pitcher.

Prediction: Tanaka signs with the Yankees for 4 years $60 million with a posting price of $70 million

5) Matt Garza

Garza hopes to be paid like a number 2 starter, although his injury history
Garza hopes to be paid like a number 2 starter, although his injury history

The free agent right hander is in line for a big pay day this offseason. Most people believe that Garza is the best American pitcher in free agency because of his past success a few seasons ago. When healthy, Garza has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. Although Garza is not a number one or two on a championship team, he can be a reliable number three. Since his first full season in 2008, Garza has not pitched over a 4.00 ERA and was an innings eater during his healthy seasons. During the middle of his career with the Rays and first year with the Cubs, Garza average 200 innings, 175 strikeout, and 3.70 ERA. However, the past two seasons have been a nightmare for Garza because of his injury history. If Garza did not have an injury history, he probably could command a contract, like the AJ Burnett and Anibal Sanchez deal. However, teams will be wary, which will take years and money off of his contract. Also, American League teams may worry because of trouble he experienced with the Rangers during the latter part of last season, 4.37 ERA. This offseason, Garza will attempt to earn a deal similar to Anibal Sanchez, but it is unlikely that he will obtain success. Although Garza will not have the same contract, he should attract a lot of suitors this offseason, especially if Tanaka cannot come to America. Teams, such as the Royals, Astros, Phillies, Blue Jays, Twins, Nationals, and Yankees, will be competing for his services. However, the Blue Jays are probably most likely to land the right hander. Garza was originally a Twin before he was traded to the Rays and has shown a desire to return to the AL East. Also, the Blue Jays have stated that they would like to sign a big name free agent pitcher because their pitching was atrocious last season. Although the AL East is a difficult division to pitch in, Garza has achieved success with the Rays and has the confidence to succeed once again. Garza will probably sign a contract for around 75-80 million dollars over 5-6 seasons. Also, Garza is not connect to a draft pick so the team that signs him will not have to lose a pick

Prediction: Garza signs with the Blue Jays for 5 years $75 million

6) Ervin Santana

Santana wants to turn his big year into a hefty contract
Santana wants to turn his big year into a hefty contract

The 30 year old right hander is coming off the best season of his career and will be paid handsomely because of his success. Although Santana did not post a winning season, he recorded an outstanding 3.24 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 211 innings, and 161 strikeouts. Santana is similar to Garza because they both have the ability to pitch 200+ effective innings, but are occasionally injured or ineffective. Like Garza, Santana projects to be a number three on a playoff team or a number two on an average team. Over his career, Santana’s biggest asset has been his ability to log innings. In four of his last six seasons, Santana has pitched over 210 innings with an ERA under 4.oo and a WHIP under 1.33, which are quality numbers. However, in the other two seasons Santana was absolutely awful, allowing an ERA of over 5.00 and pitching under 180 innings. If Santana can translate his success from this season to his new club, his club will be receiving a steal. Like Garza, Santana will be attempting to receive a $100 million deal, but it is unlikely that he will obtain that figure. The teams, Yankees, Marlins, Phillies, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Astros, and Nationals that are going after Garza will be looking at Santana as well because of the strikingly close similarities. However, the Nationals will probably be the winners of the Santana sweepstakes. After winning the NL East two seasons ago, the Nationals had a horrible season because they could not hit or pitch well enough to win games. However, they have the finances and desire to make the playoffs again this season. The addition of Santana will relieve some of the pressure on Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, who moderately underperformed last year. Santana should be able to net a deal close to Garza and Sanchez.

Prediction: Santana signs the Nationals for 5 years and $82.5 million

7) Hiroki Kuroda

Kuroda looks like he will return with the Yanks this season
Kuroda looks like he will return with the Yanks this season

The veteran right handed pitcher has been the best pitcher for the Yankees over the past two seasons. The 38 year old Japanese pitcher has been more than the Yankees could have expected, when he signed with them two seasons ago. Over the past two seasons, Kuroda has averaged a 3.32 ERA, 210 innings, 1.16 WHIP, and 160 strikeouts. Although Kuroda has been consistent and very good, he did not pitch well toward the end of last season. Unfortunately, Kuroda may have a dead arm, which could affect his performance this season. Although it is uncertain if Kuroda will re-sign with the Yankees or retire from MLB, it has been reported that Kuroda is leaning toward returning for another season in pinstripes. If the Yankees are able to monitor his innings closer, Kuroda should have the arm strength to pitch consistently and effectively for the entire season. Kuroda is a ground ball pitcher with a good fastball and slider combination. Even during his troubles, Kuroda was able to pitch in the low to mid 90s with his fastball. The Yankees will attempt to sign Kuroda by offering a large one year contract, similar to the last two seasons. Kuroda will be asking for about $18-20 million, but it is unlikely that the Yankees will oblige because of the struggles he experienced toward the end of the season. However, Kuroda may have some leverage because the Yankees are desperate for starting pitching. Currently the Yankees have only two starting pitchers, but CC and Ivan Nova both have questions that must be answered, if the Yankees are going to return to the playoffs. Eventually Kuroda will probably re-sign with the Yankees for a one year deal around $15-18 million. Besides the Yankees, it is unlikely that Kuroda will pitch for another MLB team because he has expressed discontent in moving. If their is a dark horse for Kuroda, it will be the Angels because he has pitched in California and they have the money to spend on starting pitching, which they desperately desire.

Prediction: Kuroda signs with the Yankees for 1 year $17 million

8) AJ Burnett

Burnett hopes his worse days are behind him
Burnett hopes his worse days are behind him

After three disastrous years with the Yankees, Burnett was traded to the Pirates and has experienced great success over the last two seasons. The 15 year veteran has been able to resurrect his career in Pittsburgh, which will enable him to score a good deal. Over the past two seasons, Burnett has been the ace of the staff, recorded averaged a 3.40 ERA, 195 innings, 200 strikeouts, and 1.22 WHIP. Even though he was unable to pitch in the media intense environment of New York, the small media market of Pittsburgh was great for Burnett’s mental health and confidence. Although the Pirates would love to re-sign Burnett this offseason, he has expressed interest in retiring. However, it seems unlikely that the Pirates will be unable to convince Burnett to return because of the money they can offer him. Also, the Bucs have a good chance at having another good season. The Pirates need Burnett because of the leadership and innings that he can provide for a young pitching staff. The Bucs will be putting young players into their rotation and the young players will have innings limits. Burnett seems very content with Pittsburgh, but a few dark horse teams that may attempt to sign Burnett are the Astros, Royals, or Brewers. However, Burnett will ultimately re-sign with the Bucs and lead their young, talented staff. If Burnett wants to sign a long term deal, he could probably get a 3 year 40 million dollar deal, but he probably wants to take it one or two seasons at a time until he retires.

Prediction: Burnett signs with Pirates for 2 years and $30 million

9) Carlos Beltran

The greatest postseason hitter of all time hopes to reach his second WS
The greatest postseason hitter of all time hopes to reach his second WS

The veteran free agent is likely to join his sixth team of his career. Over his career, Beltran has been one of the best players of his generation and has  chance of making the Hall of Fame. Although Beltran has never won a World Series championship, he is arguably the best postseason hitter of all time because he has hit for power and a high average. Although he is known for his postseason success, Beltran is still playing at an All-Star level in the outfielder. Over the past two seasons with the Cardinals, Beltran has averaged .285 average, 81 Runs, 28 Home Runs, 90 RBI, and .493 slugging percentage. Even though Beltran is 36, he still has the ability to play quality defense in right field. Although Beltran can still play the outfield, it would behoove him and his future team, if he goes to the American League and plays some DH. The DH could save Beltran’s legs and enable him to continue hitting for a few more seasons at a high level. Although it is unlikely, Beltran has been asking teams for a four year deal, which would allow him to play until he is forty years old. However, recent reporters have reported that teams are only willing to offer Beltran a two year deal. Currently, teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Royals, Rangers, Orioles, Pirates, and Cardinals, are bidding for his services. However, it is most likely that the Yankees will be signing Beltran this offseason. The Yankees have made Beltran their number one priority, since they are waiting on Cano and Tanaka. The Yankees need another outfielder/DH and Beltran would definitely fit the mold. Also, Beltran has the ability to hit in the postseason, which would make him an instant favorite among Yankee fans. Beltran has stated that he would like o play with the Yankees.

Prediction: Beltran signs with Yankees for 2 years and $33 million

10) Mike Napoli

Napoli wants to keep his beard in Bean town
Napoli wants to keep his beard in Bean town

The power hitting first baseman was a great addition for the Red Sox, last season. If the Red Sox did not find Napoli’s medical problems, he would have signed a 3 year $39 million deal, during the past offseason. Instead, Napoli signed a one year five million dollar deal, which was an absolute bargain for the Sox. Although Napoli has posted quality numbers, he has missed a lot of games during every season of his career. Napoli has played over 115 games only twice in his career, but has recorded over 20 home runs for the past six seasons. Although Napoli is a good power hitter, he does not hit for average. Besides for his 2011 season where he hit .320, Napoli has never hit over .273 in a season. Last season, Napoli posted his second best season of his career, which should enable him to net a multiyear deal this offseason. Napoli hit .259, 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 79 runs, and .360 on base percentage. Although Napoli does not play great defenses, he is a clutch player and racked up numerous big hits while leading the Red Sox to the World Series title. However, last season, Napoli had his best defensive campaign of his career at first base. This offseason, Napoli will be wanting a deal similar to the deal he received last season, before failing the physical. Besides the Red Sox, the Orioles, Royals, Rangers, Mariners, and Twins have expressed interest in Napoli because of the offense he can provide to a team. However, it is likely that Napoli will remain with the Red Sox because he fits their needs. Since the Red Sox will be losing Jacoby Ellsbury, they need to find and retain offense, in order to repeat next season. Napoli’s right handed bat is perfect for Fenway Park, so they should be able to repeat his numbers from last season. Others will try to pry Napoli, but he loved his season with the Red Sox and his beard will perfectly with the other players.

Prediction: Napoli signs with the Red Sox for 3 years and $45 million

Info from MLBtraderumor, mlbbaseballreference, and espn.

Analyzing the trades that occurred before the MLB Trade Deadline

By: Jon

Although the trade deadline did not experience any major trades, a few minor trades may significantly impact the MLB playoff push. As usual, there were a lot of rumors that did not transform into actual trades. A lot of players were not available because a lot of teams feel that they are in the Wild Card Race. Since the TV contracts have added a lot of money to the game, smaller market teams can pay their players instead of trading them to large market teams like the Yankees or Dodgers.

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

Acquired: Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger

Grade: C+

The Orioles desperately needed pitching and they believed that Scott Feldman would solve some of their pitching problems. However, Feldman has not been good during his time with the Orioles. Scott Feldman has struggled over his last 9 starts, five with the Orioles. The Orioles did not need Scott Feldman because they already have average pitchers. Although Feldman was pitching like an ace during the beginning of the season, he was struggling even before he came to the Orioles, which should have warned the Orioles front office.

Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman

Chicago Cubs

Acquired: Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and money

Grade: B+

The Cubs did a nice job trading away Scott Feldman at his highest value. Scott Feldman has risen o.6 points in just 5 starts before he was traded to the Orioles. The Cubs were able to reel in a nice catch. Jake Arrieta is a young, talented player who needed a change of scenery to succeed in the majors. In his first start with the Cubs, Arrieta pitched six strong innings while only giving up one run. Arrieta is under control for a few years, which is great for a team that wants to rebuild and keep their payroll low. The Cubs acquired Pedro Strop and some international money which will help them rebuild and succeed in the future.

Jake Arrieta
Jake Arrieta

 

 

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

Acquired: Ricky Nolasco

Grade: A

If this was a different team, the Dodgers would have been forced to deal a lot more prospects and the grade would have been lower. Although the Dodgers had a lot of pitching at the beginning of the season, their pitching staff was decimated by injuries. The Dodgers needed a pitcher if they wanted to make the playoffs and the World Series. During his four starts, Nolasco has a 3.13 ERA, which is good enough for a fourth starter. The Dodgers only had to eat about $6 million for his services, which is nothing for the Dodgers.

Ricky Nolasco
Ricky Nolasco

Miami Marlins

Acquired: Josh Wall, Steven Ames, and Angel Sanchez

Grade: C-

The only thing that the Marlins received from this trade was some payroll relief. The Marlins received three players, but none of them are considered as top or mid level prospects. If the Marlins waited until the break, they could have received a greater return, like Bud Norris. If Jeff Loria was not extremely cheap, they could have gained a top prospect or a few mid level prospects.

Josh Wall
Josh Wall

 

 

 

Texas Rangers

Acquired: Matt Garza

Grade: A-

The Rangers needed to add another star player if they were going to make the playoffs and make a run to the World Series.  Matt Garza is a top of the rotation pitcher, who can alter the playoff race. Although Garza is usually hurt, Garza has been great since coming off of the DL.  Garza is 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.88 ERA with the Rangers. The Rangers were able to obtain Garza without giving up a player, who was in their future. If the Rangers can re-sign Matt Garza this offseason the grade will be bumped to a A+.

Matt Garza
Matt Garza

Chicago Cubs

Acquired: Justin Grimm, Mike Olt, CJ Edwards, and a future player

Grade: A

Although the Cubs traded their best pitcher and a top of the rotation pitcher, they were able to acquire more young talent which will help them in the future. Mike Olt is a top prospect and will have a role with the Cubs, unlike the Rangers. Olt is a really good hitter and will provide a solid middle of the order bat to Cubs in the future. CJ Edwards looks like a future top of the rotation pitcher for the Cubs, although he is only in A ball. This year, Edwards has a 1.83 ERA, 8 wins, and 122 strikeouts in 93 innings. Grimm can be a solid bullpen arm and the future player may be a good player in the future. The Cubs added to their already stacked farm system.

Mike Olt
Mike Olt

 

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

Acquired: Francisco Rodriguez

Grade: B+

Although Rodriguez was successful with the Brewers, they were not playing with a lot of pressure because they are one of the worst teams in baseball. However, the Orioles were able to obtain Rodriguez for a player who’s future was blocked by Manny Machado. Francisco Rodriguez was relegated to the eighth inning role, which has proven to be disastrous. Francisco Rodriguez has not been successful with the Orioles, 6 ERA.

Francisco Rodriguez
Francisco Rodriguez

Milwaukee Brewers

Acquired: Nick Delmonico

Grade: A-

The Brewers’ farm system is extremely thin so any added talent will significantly help. According to Baseball America, Delmonico was the fourth best player in the Orioles organization. The Brewers will need a future replacement for Aramis Ramirez and Nick Delmonico could be the answer to that problem. The Brewers had no use for a top closer because they rarely have a lead. The Brewers were able to net a great return especially compared to the return that the Angels received for their relief pitching. The Brewers need to look toward the  future.

Nick Delmonico Courtesy of BR
Nick Delmonico
Courtesy of BR

 

 

 

Detroit Tigers

Acquired: Jose Veras

Grade: A-

Jose Veras has had a solid season for the Houston Astros this season, which allowed them to sell him at a high price. The Tigers have had a need for relief pitching for a long time. Since Veras is not a true closer, he will be able to adapt to the setup man position. Veras has an ERA under 3.00 while maintaining a WHIP under 1. This was a great pick up for the Tigers because their bullpen is their achilles. The Tigers have a chance of winning the World Series and their bullpen should not get in the way of their desires.

Jose Veras
Jose Veras

Houston Astros

Acquired: Danry Vasquez and a future player

Grade: A-

The Astros had no need for Jose Veras because they are rarely win and have save opportunities. Houston was able to find a team that was desperate and made a great deal. Danry Vasquez was rated as the 6th best player in the Tigers farm system. Vasquez is extremely raw because he is only 19 years old, but has a lot of talent. The Astros need to rebuild their farm system if they want to make the playoffs in the future. Danry is a solid player, who will help rebuild the Astros farm system.

Danry Vasquez Courtesy of BR
Danry Vasquez
Courtesy of BR

 

 

 

Atlanta Braves

Acquired: Scott Downs

Grade: A

The Braves needed a left handed reliever if they were going to reach their goals of reaching the playoffs and winning a few series. The Braves already lost two left handed relievers this season so they were desperate. However, they did not pay like they were desperate. As seen over the years, relief pitching is vital if a team wants to win a World Series because the game shortens and relief pitchers are vital.

Scott Downs
Scott Downs

Anaheim Angels

Acquired: Cory Rasmus

Grade: F

While other teams were acquiring future talent, the Angels did not get much of anything for a quality reliever. The Angels basically gave away a Scott Downs for nothing, when they could have acquired a prospect that will help them in the future. The Angels farm system is depleted and the Angels do not even have  a good team at the major league level. The Angels should be angry with the traded they completed with the Braves.

Cory Rasmus
Cory Rasmus

 

 

 

Boston Red Sox

Acquired: Jake Peavy and Brayan Villareal

Grade: A

The Red Sox needed to acquire a pitcher if they are going to reach the playoffs. The Red Sox batting lineup is deep and potent. However, the Red Sox’s pitching has been bad as of late and they needed help. The Red Sox do not know when Clay Buchholz will return from injury or if he will stay healthy for the rest of the season. Jake Peavy is a true gamer who will find a way to go 7 strong innings while limiting the opposing offense. Even though he is not a Cy Young pitcher, he will improve the Red Sox chance of making the playoffs, especially with the resurgence of the Rays and the skill of the Orioles. Brayan will be a quality relief pitcher for the Red Sox. Any marginal improvement will help the Red Sox playoff push.

Jake Peavy
Jake Peavy

Chicago White Sox

Acquired: Avisail Garcia, Cleuluis Rondon, Francellis Montas, and JB Wendelken

Grade: A-

The White Sox needed to trade Jake Peavy because they are heading into full rebuilding mode. Unless they can drastically improve their team in the next year through free agency or trades, the White Sox look like they will become the Astros. The White Sox got decent value for Jake Peavy. Avisail Garcia looks like he can become a solid outfield for the White Sox over the next decade. During his time at Triple-A, Garcia hit .382 with five homers and 7 doubles. Red Sox gave three players to the White Sox including two decent prospects. Cleuluis Rondon is a young 19 year old hitter who has a chance to become a decent MLB player. Wendelken is a decent pitcher as well.

Avisail Garcia
Avisail Garcia

Detroit Tigers

Acquired: Jose Iglesias

Grade: B+

The Tigers are desperate for a shortstop because of the looming Biogenesis suspensions. The Tigers’ shortstop Jhonny Peralta is currently on the list of players that will probably be suspended for the rest of the season. Since the Tigers are meant to win now, they could not go into the playoffs without a real shortstop. Although Jose is not a good hitter like Peralta, Iglesias is a great defensive shortstop. The Tigers are able to have an offense liability because they have the greatest offensive player in the game and a lot of other solid players. However, the Tigers were forced to give up a talented outfielder. The Tigers can blame this trade on Jhonny Peralta because he forced them to make this trade.

Jose Iglesias
Jose Iglesias

 

 

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

Acquired: Joe Thatcher, Matt Stites, and Comp B

Grade: B+

Ian Kennedy was a lost cause with the Diamondbacks. After his breakout year, Kennedy has been awful over the last year and a half for the Diamondbacks. However, the Diamondbacks do not have a lot of need for Kennedy because they have a lot of starting pitchers at the major and minor league levels. The Diamondbacks are in the playoff push and need help in their bullpen. The Diamondbacks have blown a few saves. The addition of Joe Thatcher will significantly improve their bullpen and chance of becoming a playoff team. Matt Stites is also a minor league relief pitcher who has had a great year. The Diamondbacks made a great deal because they improved their weakness while only giving up an extra asset.

Joe Thatcher
Joe Thatcher

San Diego Padres

Acquired: Ian Kennedy

Grade: C+

The Padres could have received a good prospect for Joe Thatcher. However, they traded the talented relief pitcher for Ian Kennedy. Although Ian Kennedy has some talent, he has failed too often to be relied upon by the Padres. Ian Kennedy relies totally on location because he does not have good stuff. Although Petco Park is a pitcher’s dream, Kennedy is not a good pitcher. The Padres should not expect much from Kennedy because he is extremely inconsistent.

Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy

 

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

Acquired: Bud Norris

Grade: B

The Orioles need a number one or two starter, but Bud Norris did not help the Orioles in that way. Although Bud Norris is a nice pitcher, he is at best a number four starter for a contender in the AL East. Bud Norris barely has an ERA under four and the Orioles gave up a two solid prospects for him. However, the Orioles are a win now team and desperate for a pitcher. Since Jason Hammel went on the DL, the Orioles needed a pitcher who could fill in for him and be better than him. The Orioles are in a tight playoff race and need as many wins as possible. Bud is under contract for a few years. The Orioles should have made a trade for Jake Peavey since they probably could have traded for him.

Bud Norris
Bud Norris

Houston Astros

Acquired: LJ Hoes and Josh Hader

Grade: A

The Astros are need of talent and this trade gives them two talented players. LJ Hoes is a major league ready talent and could be the starting outfielder for a few years. Although Hoes is not a great talent, he can be a quality third or fourth for the Astros in the future. Although Hoes can immediately play at the major league level, Josh Hader is a better prospect. Josh Hader is a 19 year old left handed pitcher with a lot of talent. Hader has dominated the lower levels of the minor league. Hader has pitched 113 innings and struck out 127 batters while compiling a 2.45 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The Astros goal is to obtain more high ceiling talent and this trade helps them in pursuit of their goal.

LJ Hoes
LJ Hoes

 

 

 

 

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