Trading Frenzy Ahead of Deadline – Recap

Wow, with the MLB non-waiver wire trade deadline fast approaching (July 31) a few big time trades went down today that will definitely affect the upcoming playoff races. 

Let’s do a quick recap:

-It appears the Chicago Cubs have started there rebuild as Canadian hurler Ryan Dempster has been moved to the Atlanta Braves.  The trade still needs to be finalized and it appears Ryan Dempster may or may not veto the deal, as per MLB trade rumours:

1:51pm: Randall Delgado will be in the trade if it’s completed,’s Keith Law reports (on Twitter). The sides will also find a way to balance the money.

Delgado, 22, has started 17 games for the Braves this year, posting a 4.42 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings. The right-hander entered the season as the 46th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. His average fastball checks in at 92 mph, according to FanGraphs. Delgado has a ceiling as a number three starter in the Major Leagues, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus writes (on Twitter).

1:22pm: The Braves and Cubs have agreed to a trade that will send Ryan Dempster to Atlanta, Mark Bowman of reports (on Twitter). The right-hander can veto any trade, but he is not likely to demand an extension in order to approve the deal, according to Jon Heyman. Randall Delgado could be going to Chicago in the deal, Bowman adds.

Dempster, 35, has an NL-best 2.11 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 98 innings for the Cubs this year. He earns $14MM in 2012 — more than $5.5MM between now and the end of the season — but the Cubs are said to be willing to absorb salary to facilitate a deal

-The Chicago Cubs are also reportedly discussing a possible Matt Garza trade, with Zach Lee of the Los Angeles Dodgers being a name throw around.  It is going to take a heck of a lot more than Lee, who isn’t having the best season and although he is thee Dodgers number one prospect he probably wouldn’t crack the Blue Jays top five.

-The Detroit Tigers made a huge splash today (sorry Chief00 – liked your ideas though) acquiring starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and middle infielder Omar Infante.  This trade fills two major holes for the Tigers but the cost was pretty steep as there top prospect (one could argue Nick Castellanos of course) Jacob Turner will be heading to Florida along with Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn.

The Tigers will also swap “competitive balance lottery” picks with the Fish.  (How does a 120+ million dollar payroll team qualify?)

Infante, who played for the Tigers from 2002-07, should provide Detroit with an offensive boost at second base. Tigers second basemen — mainly Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn — have combined for an MLB-worst .201/.286/.276 batting line. Infante, who’s in the first year of a two-year, $8MM contract, has a .287/.312/.442 batting line in 347 plate appearances this year.

Meanwhile, Sanchez will provide Detroit with an established starter to go along with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Doug FisterDrew Smyly, now on the disabled list, provides the team with an additional option. Sanchez, 28, has a 3.94 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 121 innings for Miami this year. He’s earning $8MM this year and is on track to hit free agency after the season. The Tigers won’t be able to obtain compensatory draft picks for Sanchez, since he was acquired midseason.

Turner, the ninth overall selection in 2009, entered the season as the 22nd-best prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. He started for the Tigers yesterday, helping Detroit beat the White Sox 6-4. The 21-year-old has spent most of the season in the minor leagues, where he has a 2.77 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 84 1/3 innings so far in 2012.

Flynn, 22, has a 3.95 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 107 innings as a starter at Class A and Double-A this year. The 6’8″ left-hander was a seventh round selection in 2011. Brantly, 23, is a catcher who has spent the 2012 season in the upper minors. He has a .287/.332/.387 batting line in 334 plate appearances so far this year.

-The New York Yankees added a big time (but fading) name when they announced that Ichiro Suzuki had been acquired from the Seattle Mariners for minor league pitchers DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar.

As per MLB Trade rumours:

The 38-year-old Ichiro has never known life outside of Seattle in the Major Leagues, but will jump from a last place team to a first place team as a result of the transaction. The two-time batting champion’s production has tapered off considerably in recent years, and he’s hitting just .261/.288/.353 this season. A move from the spacious Safeco Field to Yankee Stadium could very well help boost his offensive production, however.

Ichiro, who is a free agent following the 2012 season, is owed roughly $6.7MM of his $17MM salary. The Yankees will be responsible for $2.25MM of that salary, meaning the Mariners are including somewhere around $4.5MM to facilitate the deal. Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from acquiring compensatory draft picks for players who didn’t spend the entirety of the season on their roster. In other words, Ichiro is strictly a rental.

The Yankees’ interest likely picked up when Brett Gardner suffered another setback in his rehab. Because Ichiro has 10-and-5 rights, he had the chance to veto this trade, but apparently elected to approve the move. Mitchell is on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, but Farquhar is not, which means the Mariners will not have to make a corresponding move.

Mitchell, 25, has appeared in four games for the Yankees this season, pitching to a 3.86 ERA in 4 2/3 innings. In 85 2/3 career Triple-A innings, he has a 3.81 ERA with a 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. The Yankees selected him out of Clemson University in the 10th round of the 2008 draft.

The 25-year-old Farquhar was taken just 11 picks earlier in the same draft, by the Blue Jays. He spent time in the Jays and Athletics organizations this season, and was claimed off waivers by the Yankees on June 26 after the A’s designated him for assignment. Farquhar owns a 4.65 ERA in 69 2/3 Triple-A innings, where he’s posted a 7.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.

I like Anibal Sanchez but Alex Anthopoulos values team control and Sanchez is slated for free agency, it would’ve been tough to move a top arm in our system considering.  While I like Ryan Dempster, he is having an extremely lucky season overall and is due for heavy regression down the stretch.  If the cost was Randall Delgado, that is a big win for the Cubs in my opinion and an equivalent for the Blue Jays would have been a healthy Drew Hutchison, a bit steep.

Ichiro is pretty much bench fodder at this point, barely keeping a .300 OBP at times this season.

It was a huge day for transactions, what are your thoughts?


4 Responses to “Trading Frenzy Ahead of Deadline – Recap”

  1. 1 Keith July 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    While the Sanchez move is disappointing the real target should be JJ. He would walk in and be our ace with Morrow, Romero holding down the 2&3 spots. You then take the 2 best of Happ/ Alvarez/ Villanueva/ Laffey.
    Going out and getting a front of the rotation starter also let’s you have Alvarez go down and work on that 3rd pitch that he desperately needs.

    • 2 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) July 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      I would absolutely take Josh Johnson, in a heart beat. This might even be a great time to buy a bit low as his overall stats (ERA/WHIP) aren’t great however his peripherals are still around his career levels. That would be a monster addition, depending on price of course.

  2. 3 chief00 July 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I like two of these moves. DET is considerably stronger than they were previously, and I believe considerably stronger than the CWS. They addressed their most glaring shortcomings (pitching depth, with a #2 starter behind Verlander) and 2B (Infante). With the Indians fading and this particular move, DET may run ‘n’ hide with the AL Central. Turner+ is pricey, but Sanchez and Infante aren’t that old. One John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander deal is enough for the Tigers, I guess.

    On a related note, MIA as sellers is hilarious.

    I like Ichiro to the NYY. Rental or not, he’s valuable to them. His offense will spike in Yankee Stadium/the AL East. he can bid sayonara to Safeco. They can expect an uptick in his production, a la Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, and even DeWayne Wise (whose slash lines as a NYY were considerably better than his career numbers), since he’s a much better player than all of the above. In the absence of Brett Gardner, Ichiro’s an admirable veteran acquisition.

    The Braves are more than Ryan Dempster away from making any real noise. As you point out, Dempster’s peripherals suggest he’s in for a wake-up call. ATL also has other holes (with Beachy and Simmons out), most notably the rotation (Jurrjens is a nightmare that Braves fans just can’t seem to shake). Will Dempster turn into a rerun of Derek Lowe? Probably. Unfortunately for the Braves, I think he’ll be 2011 Derek Lowe, not 2009/2010 Derek Lowe. Randall Delgado’s a pretty steep price for that version of Derek Lowe.

    Regarding Matt Garza, I’ll be glad if he goes to the NL West. I’ve never been much of a fan of his (certainly not at his recent ‘value’), but he could thrive in Chavez Ravine. If he doesn’t, I’m okay with that too, on two fronts. First, I began cheering for the SFG when they were a 79- then 66-win mess. His flop would be their gain. Second, it would validate what I already think about Garza. 🙂

    As a Jays fan, the only move I regret is the Anibal Sanchez move. Mitigating that disappointment is the news that the rest of the MIA rotation is for sale. I’d take Josh Johnson in a heartbeat, especially with the noisy suggestions being made by his peripherals. The other moves filled holes admirably and, since I dislike the Braves, I’m glad they acquired Dempster.

    • 4 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) July 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      You know you might be right on Ichiro he should see an up-tick in offensive numbers playing in that joke of a park (for lefties). He has looked pretty aged however the past two seasons and is he any better than Swish or A.Jones? Maybe remotely better than Jones versus righties.

      I would love to have added Anibal Sanchez, great pitcher, good groundball rate and solid K/BB.

      I still like Matt Garza, I guess I can’t shake his relative success in the AL East and his breakout K-rate from last season for the Cubbies.

      Dempster, meh, luck driven stats, his ZIPS projections aren’t going to be pretty down the stretch and the team that gets him (likely Braves if he accepts) is not acquiring the sub 2.00 ERA guy, they are getting a 4.00-4.50 ERA guy the rest of the way. Surprised they would deal Delgado.

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