Trade Deadline Wrap – Up: Part I – The Winners
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent): Follow @nross56
July 31, 2013 has come and gone. The non-waiver trade deadline is always one of the more interesting times of the baseball year.
Fans become obsessed with the idea of improving their team’s opportunity to win a World Series, whether it be for the upcoming October or in an attempt to rebuild for future seasons.
The question on everyone’s mind now that the deadline is over: how did your team do at the deadline? Did it get better? Did the organization “win” the transaction and will it translate now or later into more wins on the field?
This will end up invariably being a two-part article because of the depth we need to take to look at these moves. Let’s get right into it with the Winners:
1. Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox are a unique team in that they are concerned both with the current championship window for 2013, but also, a larger window they hope to keep open over the next 3 to 5 years.
In an effort to stabilize their rotation over the next 1 and 1/2 seasons, the Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy from the White Sox. Peavy has pitched very well this season.
His 8.55 K/9 and 1.91 BB/9 are both indicators of an elite level starting pitcher. Peavy is not the same ace that he was during his prime of 2004 through 2007, but his current numbers speak to an adequate No. 1 starter or a very strong No. 2 starter.
JAKE PEAVY: THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE RED SOX
Peavy fits Boston very well for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, for the remainder of this season the Red Sox require an extra steady arm in the rotation as Clay Buchholz‘s shoulder has been slow in its recovery.
Buchholz is still only throwing from flat ground and has not begun to work off a mound yet. Even when mound work begins, it will take anywhere from 2-5 weeks for him to complete his rehab and get back to Fenway.
That is a difficult time line for a team competing for a division crown. Peavy provides stability during this time period and a safety net in case of a setback.
Additionally, Peavy is cost controlled next year making $14.5 million approximately.
While this is hardly a low cost contract, Peavy is not breaking the Red Sox “bank” with type of contract and provides that stability just discussed heading into 2014 as well.
Jon Lester‘s contract expires at the end of the season, and the Red Sox will have a team option at $13 million dollars.
Should they determine that Lester is not in the long term plans of the team, Peavy will provide depth to cover the gap between Lester leaving and whatever the organization decides the next move in the rotation will be.
No matter the case, Peavy provides well above average starting pitching on a regular basis, which is a huge benefit for the Red Sox.
In order to acquire Peavy, the Red Sox traded only one real piece of consequence, Shortstop Jose Iglesias.
Iglesias makes his living with a good glove at a premium position, but his bat has played above anyone’s expectations in 2013.
There are reasons to believe that the offensive success currently being experienced by Iglesias is not real growth but more of a luck based result in a smaller sample.
First, it must be mentioned that Iglesias’ entire offensive value this season is predicated on his batting average.
With a .078 ISO, Iglesias is generating no power to speak of. His 4.6% BB rate is fairly atrocious.
So Iglesias is not walking and he is not hitting for power, but he is hitting .330 on the season so that must have some value right?
Well with a BABIP of .376, it is more than fair to assume that a large portion of that .330 batting average is luck based.
To put it bluntly, Iglesias is getting lucky on balls finding space, and eventually over the larger sample, that BABIP will regress to the mean taking Iglesias’ only real offensive skill with it.
The Red Sox acquired Peavy by selling high on a player whose minor league numbers and 2013 peripherals do not support his offensive production. They got the pitcher they needed without giving up their real future shortstop,
Xander Bogaerts or damaging their system in any long term manner.
If you are a fan of this organization, you should be in love with this deal. The team got better now without sacrificing the future. A brilliant play.
2. Chicago Cubs – You have to give credit to Theo Epstein and his team in Chicago. They do not deviate from their goals. They understand the process and maximum the value of assets as well as just about any franchise in the game.
They are taking a mess of an organization, which could not determine if it was trying to win now or later (this always leads to not winning ever as you are caught between rebuilding and pseudo-contending) and building a strong foundation for future success.
in the month or so proceeding the trade deadline. In doing so, they acquired young cost controlled options, cut salary and set themselves up with strong young talent.
The real deal that made the Cubs a winner at this year’s deadline was the Garza deal.
I won’t spend too much time on this as I know otherwise on the site have already broken the deal down, but you cannot talk about this trade deadline without talking about the return the Cubs got for 60 or so games of Matt Garza.
Any discussion of the deal as to start with two facts:
1) Matt Garza is a good pitcher, who was not in the Cubs long term plans and 2) he is a worse pitcher right now than Jake Peavy and he was pitching in an easier league.
Whenever we discuss the trade deadline, you have to understand the marketplace.
Garza was a huge trade chip that may have helped the Cubs build a base for the future as they acquired CJ Edwards, Mike Olt and Justin Grimm for Garza.
The Cubs got more for Garza than the White Sox got for Peavy. Let me repeat that, the Cubs got a better return in my opinion for the worse of the two assets.
Garza has a lower K/9 (7.70), a higher BB/9 (2.43) and his FIP and xFIP indicate that his ERA is probably about a run lower than it should be right now.
Peavy’s FIP and xFIP indicate that there may be room for a downward adjustment to his ERA although it may be only a slight one.
Also, Garza is only controllable for 60 or so games before he hits free agency. Peavy has another year of team control.
Now that we know the Cubs maximized the market, let’s talk about what they got.
C.J. Edwards is my favorite piece of this deal. Edwards is a 6’2 starting pitcher, whose claim to fame so far in his professional career has been a spectacular K rate.
Edwards has shown the ability to strike out batters at each stop in the low minors, and he could reasonably be in Double-A next season at the age of 22. If he can continue the trend of a 11+ K/9, he will be an infinitely valuable asset.
Along with Edwards came a more well known prospect, Mike Olt. Olt’s story is a familiar one. Good plate patience, potentially great power and a metric ton of strike outs.
If you want a comparable for Olt, see In Re: Mark Reynolds. This type of player can be very valuable for a franchise during his first 4 to 6 seasons when the organization is not overpaying for his power.
Olt’s bat has the potential to turn out a few 30+ home run seasons, and given the Cubs desperate need for middle of the line-up pop, he was an excellent addition by the organization. Cheap power out of the five/six hole is a fine acquisition.
The other significant part of the deal was the Cubs acquiring Justin Grimm from the Rangers.
Grimm is a fine fifth starter in the majors right now. He survived in Texas, and while I’m sure many will point to his 6.37 ERA and state that he wasn’t ready for the bigs.
Both his FIP and his xFIP indicate that his ERA was hugely inflated by 1.50-2.00 runs.
Grimm should break camp with the Cubs next season in the back end of their rotation and will provide valuable, cheap innings.
In addition to the huge haul from the Rangers, the Cubs also acquired Corey Black from the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano. Black is another big strike out arm although his walk totals are a bit treacherous and he projects as a back end bullpen arm more than a starter.
The winners in this trade deadline won for different reasons. The Red Sox won by acquiring veteran pitching without giving up any real long term assets.
The Cubs won by dumping veteran “stars” for long term assets.
Winning at the deadline isn’t necessarily about now. It all depends on where you are when you come into the deadline and the assets you acquire.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Trade and Yankees Correspondent’ Nicholas Rossoletti for preparing today’s featured article. Nicholas is a young professional living in downtown Miami. He is a lifelong baseball fan and an avid Yankee supporter.
Having grown up during the last two decades, he counts Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera as his favorite ball players of all time. He believes in sabermetrics and that new stats have already changed the way the baseball industry sees players.
He was for Trout over Cabrera, he thinks RBIs tell you a lot more about a team than a player and that defense and pitching, ultimately, win championships. Rational thought and introspective analysis over the narrative is how we come to understand the game we love.
The narrative is just a way to keep those who don’t really love the game watching. Feel free to follow Nicholas on twitter and talk the game of baseball Follow @NRoss56
“There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.” ~ Al Gallagher, 1971
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Posted on August 7, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @nross56, @Nross56 on twitter, @nross56 twitter, alfonso soriano, boston, boston red sox, Carlos Marmol, chicago, chicago cubs, chicago white sox, cj edwards, clay buchholz, Corey Black, cubs, jake peavy, jon lester, Jose Iglesias, Justin Grimm, mark reynolds, matt garza, mike olt, nicholas rossoletti, red sox, scott feldman, theo epstein, trade, trade deadline, white sox, xander bogaerts. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Trade Deadline Wrap – Up: Part I – The Winners.