Trade Deadline Equals Lame Deadline

So in case you haven’t heard, tomorrow is Major League Baseball’s annual trade deadline. As far as I’m concerned, this is the most annoying time of the baseball year. During yesterday’s Sunday Night Baseball game, we had to be interrupted at least once an hour to have Peter Gammons tell us that he thinks the Braves will trade for Mark Teixeira . . . or it might be the Angels . . . or maybe some team we’ve never even seen before. Who knows?

It’s no secret that the trade deadline is getting less and less interesting, I wrote about a similar phenomenon last year. I think it’s time that the sports news agencies caught up with the times. Tomorrow night, the local Red Sox station is airing a “Trade Deadline Special.” Doesn’t that seem a bit unnecessary? There are less than ten players on the trading block that I would call “interesting.” What’s especially depressing is that the players making the most headlines are only on the block because they are having especially down years, (see Jermaine Dye and Mark Teixeira).

This year, the sellers appear to consist of the Texas Rangers, the Chicago White Sox, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays; and possibly including the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland A’s. Tampa has already made all of the moves we would expect them to make. Texas is expected to send Teixeira to the Braves soon, and is reportedly asking too much for Gagne or Sosa for any other teams to bite. It’s still not clear whether or not Oakland and Cincy are willing to deal Dunn, Griffey, Piazza, or Johnson.

When I stop and think logically about some of the rumors flying around during the trade deadline, some of them make no sense at all. For instance, allegedly my Angels were offering Casey Kotchman and Joe Saunders for Teixeira. Now, a Kotchman for Teixeira trade would make some sense, straight up. Both players have had seasons hampered by injuries, but the short term upside to Teixeira is greater, while the Rangers wouldn’t lose Kotchman to free agency as soon as they would with Teixeira. Let’s compare their current season numbers:

AB R HR RBI Avg. OPS.
291 39 9 48 .302 .861 Kotchman
286 48 13 49 .297 .921 Teixeira

Obviously Teixeira would be an upgrade, but would it be worth kicking in Joe Saunders? This guy is a rookie starting pitcher, who the Angels have already shown they are going to need down the stretch, with Santana pitching terribly and Colon on the DL. If it’s true that Texas turned down this offer, it must be only because they love the package the Braves are sending over.

Let’s look at another one. Allegedly, the Boston Red Sox are closing in on a deal for Jermaine Dye, in exchange for Wily Mo Pena and a pitcher. The hold up here is that Dye will only waive his no-trade clause for a guarantee concerning playing time. Since Wily Mo is not currently a starter, we’re left to assume that Dye’s playing time would come at the expense of Coco Crisp and J.D. Drew; since the Sox probably aren’t going to be benching David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, or Mike Lowell. Let’s compare these numbers:

AB R HR RBI Avg. OPS.
332 47 19 52 .235 .762 Dye
307 56 6 40 .248 .728 Drew
359 57 5 42 .279 .738 Crisp

Obviously Dye provides a power-boost, but do you really want to guarantee a guy with a .235 average a starting spot? Also, keep in mind that the Red Sox owe J.D. Drew A LOT of money over the next five years; while Crisp appears to be having the most consistent year out of the three.

I’d like to write these rumors off because they sound so idiotic; however, just yesterday the Astros traded Dan Wheeler to the D-Rays for Ty Wigginton. Why either of these two teams would make such a deal is beyond anyone else in the baseball world. I guess some trades don’t necessarily have to make sense.

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