With apologies to author Erich Remarque it was all quiet on the MLB Trade Deadline Front Wednesday afternoon. Instead of a flurry of activity, it was mostly smaller moves. The afternoon’s (nominally) biggest swap involved Ian Kennedy moving from Arizona to San Diego. Names long-rumored to be on the move like Michael Young and Alex Rios remained in the same places where they began the day.
Kennedy went to the Padres with pitchers Joe Thatcher and Matt Stites along with a compensation B draft pick going back to the Diamondbacks. In San Diego Kennedy (5.23 ERA) is reunited with Josh Byrnes, Arizona’s former General Manager.
Other deals included:
- The Royals acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Astros for minor league outfielder Kyle Smith.
- Baltimore added starting pitcher Bud Norris (3.93) from Houston to bolster its weak rotation for outfielder L.J. Hoes and 19-year-old pitcher Josh Hader.
- The Dodgers landed catcher Drew Butera from the Twins for a player to be named later.
That was it. The afternoon ended up being about as compelling as the NFL’s trade deadline. (Hearing most baseball reporters are going to have a massive case of blue balls after working their Blackberrys like crazy the last 48 hours.)
Intra-divisional swaps, like the Kennedy deal, were a minor theme this deadline. Tuesday the Angels sent Alberto Callaspo to the Athletics and later the Tigers sent prospect Avisail Garcia to the White Sox as part of the Jake Peavy deal. As expected the Astros were the busiest team with Jeff Luhnow continuing to stockpile pieces in Houston.
Even still, this was a much slower deadline than previous seasons. Call it a result of the two-team Wild Card era, where fewer clubs feel they’re out of the race with 50+ games remaining on the schedule. In the American League only six teams were five games or more out in the Wild Card at the start of play Wednesday. Look at the Royals. All month they were rumored to be sellers and now find themselves five games back in the Wild Card hunt thanks to a seven-game winning streak and went ahead and added Maxwell.
Over in the National League there were more potential sellers with nine teams more than five out in the Wild Card. This is mainly due to the fact the Pirates, Cardinals and Red — all in the NL Central — have three of the best four records in the league. However the team with the most tradeable assets, the Phillies, stood pat. The Cardinals also didn’t do anything on the catcher front after putting Yadier Molina on the disabled list earlier in the day.
Keep in mind the growing trend of clubs locking up their own homegrown players before they hit the free agent market, limiting teams trying to get something for guys in the last year of their contracts.
Although it was a quiet deadline, expect some more moves before September. The biggest swap last season, the Dodgers/Red Sox mega-deal, happened in late August.
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