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MLB Trade Deadline Breakdown 2014 + The August Aftermath

jonah hill

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a flurry of action that baseball really needed.  Half way through the day, I was amazed their was actually day games.

Oakland and Detroit pushed all of their chips in, and you have to think they are pretty much done with transactions, although one of them doing an August deal could prompt the other to do the same.

I am holding back reservations for judging the Pirates, Blue Jays and Royals….however they all must be the “MLB clubhouse leaders” in August acquisitions to challenge for playoff slots.

Although KC better have a better idea than having Raul Ibanez take regular AB at 1B..That is horrible..

It wasn’t like the club didn’t know Eric Hosmer was injured badly.

I am also about throwing Ruben Amaro‘s career about 10 second from a toe-tag (and those ten seconds are August), for standing pat on his 47 – 60 aging core.

Like I have said so many times on twitter and social media outlets.  Someone teach this man some basic economics.

Take a lesson from Boston, and trade-off assets, to receive younger ones in the process, then you can turn around and spend every red cent in Free Agency in the offseason..

As good as the Rays have done to have their name back into the mix of teams vying for the playoffs, they are still 6 games out of the playoffs, and have several teams ahead of them.   Freidman must be good at math like we are, because when that many that many teams are a top of you in the standings, and those clubs play each other nightly, it is guaranteed win night.

As good as the Rays have done to have their name back into the mix of teams vying for the playoffs, they are still 6 games out of the playoffs, and have several teams ahead of them. Freidman must be good at math like we are, because when that many that many teams are a top of you in the standings, and those clubs play each other nightly, it is guaranteed win night.  Tampa went as far as they could go with David Price, and the lineup has not instilled any confidence in the brass to sustain this run. I bet them at 130/1 odds to win the World Series – and could have won much more cabbage if the team won, but as a knowledgeable gambler, it would have been a massive longshot even with Price.

Also for those “so-called experts” railing on the Rays for acquiring Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin and Willy Adames  for David Price….

Yes, this is not a vast return for what the team needs for a CY Young Winner, however the return was not going to be great either in the 2014 winter.

I believe that Andrew Freidman knows what he would receive for Price for a while.

The truth is the club couldn’t have him making $16 – 18 MIL for 2015.  The bill is too much, and teams could hold out on the Rays – waiting them out.

The Rays, while going 29 – 12 in their last 41 Games Played, were backed by outstanding Pitching in those wins, as the offense is still struggling.

The odds were still not in their favor to lock down a playoff spot despite their renaissance.

As teams like the Orioles and Blue Jays have surged out of the gate in the 2nd half, and are on pace for over 90 wins (or close to it),  and the Angels at the 1st Wild Card position, will battle out with Oakland for 1st – with the loser likely nailing down 91 – 94 wins,Tampa would have to play .700 baseball down the stretch to make it to October.

I think the magic win total for the 2nd Wild Card will be 90 wins.  As good as the Rays have been, it is hard to fathom them going 37 – 17 in the next 54 games.

With the AL East also featuring three teams presently ahead of them, the odds are not good.

The Indians were tied with TB, the Royals and Mariners are ahead of them.  Heck, even the White Sox were just one/half game behind.

Maybe if the club’s offense had been firing on at least some cylinders, with Wil Myers being healthy, Evan Longoria mashing like previous years, and the complimentary players picking them up, you can see the club going for it.

The hole was dug too deep at 24 – 42.  It is not being 6 GB the Wild Card leaders, it is the teams ahead of them playing each other – to guarantee at least one winner.

In the divisions of the AL Central and AL West – get to beat up on the Rangers, Astros, Twins, Indians and White Sox who are all under .500 – and could be had with a hot club.

Boston may be the weak sister in the AL East, yet they have an offense that can obliterate you with acquiring Yoenis Cespedes to hit behind David Ortiz.

Joe Maddon will not throw the towel in on the club.  All of the pitchers need to pick up the slack for the departing LHP, and the lineup must start to produce.

It is not like Smyly is a patsy either, he has been part of 2 pennant races already in his young career, and has just turned 25.

Smyly has 4 years of Arbitration.  Another good aspect of the trade is Detroit was going to make the postseason with this deal or not, by trading Price away, he will not burn them in their bid to make the playoffs – should the squad be able to pursue a spot.

Tampa has a prospect Infielder for now in Franklin, and could cut ties with Ben Zobrist via trade, or say bye-bye to SS Yunel Escobar, thus freeing up some cash to spend next year.

Both Freidman and Billy Beane have amazed us how they have kept their teams relevant by their miniscule payroll.

I am willing to give the Rays GM 1 pass here, as he has been the architect for 4 playoff berths in the last 6 years.

Starting Pitchers were just not available to come back in a trade that met the factors set forth by the organization.


St. Louis was smart about the moves they made.  Adding veteran pitchers is the way to go for them, and John Lackey has a nice playoff resume.

Justin Masterson is a quality option as a #3 or #4 starter.  The franchise also needed to clear the deck for Oscar Taveras once and for all.

Joe Kelly would have been well down the depth chart by next year anyway.

Teams like the Cardinals see the value in clearing payroll with expiring contracts.

In the case of Lackey at the league minimum next year (as per the previous deal with Boston for significant injury time causing the stipulation, it is his agent’s fault for not giving an extra stipend for being dealt in that salaried year of 2015).

Boston is a clear cut winner for trading Jon Lester, who would be wasting away in Beantown for the next 2 months, and chances are they just improved their chances to re-sign the 2 time World Series Winner this winter.

Adding Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes to the fold for 2015,  gives the club a salary break with forking over not much more than $16 MIL total.

The 2015 team still has David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli in the lineup for next campaign, that coupled with the emergence of Brock Holt and your team looks okay on paper.

Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley JR and Xander Bogaerts should be given every opportunity to prove their worth too.

With the club solely having to focus on nailing down some Starting Pitchers, the club has a lot of money to commit to the plight.


What the hell is Arizona doing?  Trading away Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado, with keeping Aaron Hill and Mark Trumbo is very foolish.

There is not enough time or words to describe how bad the D’Backs have fared in trades and transactions.


Miami has improved their pitching for this year – and the foreseeable future, and Houston has helped their positional players prospects with the Jarred Cosart, Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick deal.


The Twins had a great organizational day with extending Kurt Suzuki, and acquiring SP Tommy Milone for journeyman Sam Fuld.


I seriously think the Yankees have entered the black hole of financial stability.

If they has held firm on their payroll being under the $189 MIL threshold for the penalty to be reset, they could have been key players in the 2014 winter.

Now, by adding Martin Prado’s $11 MIL to each year (more like $16.5 MIL with the 50% penalty as a Luxury Tax Threshold abuser).  Dumb… so dumb…

By way of this deal, the roster is sitting near the Threshold already for 2015, and they have serious Starting Pitching trouble for 2015.

Read Chuck Booth’s article a while back, and you will see how this team should not have gone for any ill-advised playoff spot.

The ‘Bronx Bombers’ wasted the Alex Rodriguez $23 MIL suspended salary this year, and he is on the books from 2015 – 2017, whether you cut him or not.

New York runs the risk of the other owners wising up to the Luxury Tax Threshold in the pending 2016 CBA, and may not take advantage of the weak power it currently constitutes.

The LA Dodgers meanwhile, are using the light penalties to the full capacity.


If it weren’t for the Pirates having done the deal last year for Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau, I would be ragging them out as well.


Speaking of quiet teams on deadline day, the Angels took the pass.

Los Angeles has been proactive in re-building their entire Bullpen all year though. and the offense may be the best 1 – 9 roster in the AL today.


Oakland and Detroit may have landed world class pitchers, however they depleted from their offensive repertoire’s.

Dave Dombrowski should be commended for making the extra move every year the Tigers have been contending.

With three straight ALCS Appearances, and 2 World Series losses in the last 7 years, this squad is always sniffing at a title.

By acquiring Price, it has just opened the window for another season in 2015.

The Tigers have Max Scherzer, Price, Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello as a potent 1 – 5 mix of starters, and the former Rays pitcher is a perfect replacement for Scherzer after this year for at least 2015..

Losing Austin Jackson is no big deal because of how well J.D. Martinez has hit, and Rajai Davis is by no means ‘a cupcake’ either.

2014 represents the “Motown Boys” greatest chance to lock down the elusive World Series, but at least next year’s squad has the security of Price in the rotation.

Detroit has to find a way to re-sign DH Victor Martinez, and ask Torii Hunter back for less cash, or arrange a suitable replacement, but other than that, the majority of the core is coming back.

I am not convinced the Tigers are done dealing for their Relief Core either.


Seattle’s GM Jack Zduriencik acquired an everyday CF – for a guy they don’t even have at the Major League level right now and probably won’t regret trading away in Nick Franklin.

Austin Jackson can hit leadoff, and you can move James Jones to LF, while it adds to the lineup’s depth.

I don’t expect Chris Denorfia to be a ‘world beater’ either, but he doesn’t have to do much to outplay the rest of the M’s guys in his same position.

Doing the Kendrys Morales deal was the other main point.  Even if 2014 doesn’t bring a playoff berth, the club has a huge amount of Starting Pitching going into 2015.


Baltimore just needs to Chris Davis to be a facsimile of his 2012 and 2013 self in the last 1/3rd of game action, and it would be like making a blockbuster trade.

The O’s are deep enough in the regular season to cover the Division for the win.  I still think they should keep their ears open for a waiver deal if an ace pops up.

Although they Yanks making their payroll blunder should take them out for 2015 and 2016 anyway.

Baltimore still has a good chance to compete in 2015 as well.


Washington picking up Asdrubal Cabrera should help the team stay afloat.  His near .700 OPS will not light the world on fire,  but it is an upgrade for Danny Espinosa.


The Braves added versatility with Emilio Bonifacio, and adding to their best strength of late innings variety, by picking up James Russell from the Cubs.


Milwaukee should still be in the market for a 1B slugger in the next 30 days.  Maybe one will be made available.  Parra a nice depth move.


Cincinnati may be another team perusing the waiver wire deals.  First, they will need to see Jay Bruce get hot.

Really the Reds haven’t depended on injured Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips all year anyway.

Cincy has been decimated with health all year.  Maybe their 5 starters can see them get on a roll like they did near the ALL – Star Break.

It is my belief the NL Central could be had with about 90 wins, so it just takes one 20 – 7 run or so.


The Yankees can't stop themselves from spending!!  A self-imposed cap of under $189 MIL was shot when injuries began to mount.  The club should have packed it in for the year, with nothing but a hope and a prayer. Now because they couldn't fall under the Salary Tax Threshold, it will take a miracle to reach underneath this mark before the 2016 CBA.  Welcome to financial hell Yanks, and your team is old - and have no Starting Pitcher's above the #5 slot to begin 2015, and your payroll is already nearing $200 MIL.

The Yankees can’t stop themselves from spending!! A self-imposed cap of under $189 MIL was shot when injuries began to mount. The club should have packed it in for the year, with nothing but a hope and a prayer. Now because they couldn’t fall under the Salary Tax Threshold, it will take a miracle to reach underneath this mark before the 2016 CBA. Welcome to financial hell Yanks, and your team is old – and have no Starting Pitcher’s above the #5 slot to begin 2015, and your payroll is already nearing $200 MIL.

 *** 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***

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Posted on August 1, 2014, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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