(All trade information is from baseball-reference.com unless otherwise noted.)
THE BIG GUNS (THE TRADES FOR STARTING PITCHING)
Johnny Cueto (lifetime 3.21 ERA/1.165 WHIP/7.5 K/9 traded from the 45-54 Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Royals for LHP Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, Cody Reed
David Price (< a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/priceda01.shtml”>3.13 ERA/1.139 WHIP/8.5 K/9 was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Detroit Tigers (50-52) for pitchers Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt.
Cole Hamels (3.30 ERA/1.145 WHIP/8.6 K/9) traded (along with Jake Diekman) from the 38-64 Phillies to the Texas Rangers for LHP Matt Harrison and 5 prospects (Jorge Alfaro (C), OF Nick Williams, RHPs Alec Asher, Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff).
Cole Hamels has long been rumored to be on the trading block especially after teammate Cliff Lee was diagnosed with a season (career) ending injury earlier this year. The Phillies are not concerned at this point with the team they are putting on the field at the big league level. They are concerned with the team they will put on the field in 2017. Texas, on the other hand, has been hammered by injuries to their team in the last two seasons. Even if Texas isn’t building for this year, Cole Hamels will certainly have an important role to play as the Rangers injured players return next year.
Mike Leake (ERA 3.87/WHIP 1.275/6.1 K/9) traded to the San Francisco Giants from the Cincinatti Reds in exchange for prospects Kuery Mella and Adam Duvall. Leake will take Tim Hudson’s place in the Giants starting rotation.
THE SHOCKING TRADE
The Blue Jays send SS Jose Reyes (.291/.340/.432), RHPs Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco to the Colorado Rockies for SS Troy Tulowitzki..299/.372/.514) and P LaTroy Hawkins. Tulowitzki has been one of this era’s great shortstops. Tulowitzki was drafted by the Rockies in 2005 and has spent his entire professional career in the organization. He has struggled with injuries recently. He made his debut during August of the 2006 season which means he was very close to becoming a 10/5 player.
THE ‘3 TEAM, 13 PLAYER SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE TRADE’
This trade actually leaked on twitter yesterday and then got held up (allegedly) because of medicals. There was a veritable storm of bad puns which I, of course, had no part in.
The Dodgers get pitchers Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson, Bronson Arroyo, OF Michael Morse (since traded to the Pirates for Jose Tabata), utility man Jose Peraza, and cash.
The Braves get Cuban IF prospect Hector Olivera, pitchers Paco Rodriguez & Zack Bird, and the Marlins competitive balance draft pick.
The Marlins get RHPs Jeff Brigham, Kevin Guzman, and Victor Araujo.
In order for the Dodgers to acquire so many pitchers, they have taken on all of Olivera’s signing bonus plus Morse salary. This is in addition to covering Dee Gordon and Daren Harren’s salaries when they were traded to the Marlins earlier this season.
THE SKIES OPENED UP AND ANGELS SANG TRADE
Nationals get pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (2.32 ERA/1.018 WHIP/10.3 K/9 and the Phillies get AA pitching prospect Nick Piveta. Piveta is a that Keith Law likes.
POSITION PLAYERS BEING MOVED
The Royals acquire INF Ben Zobrist (lifetime .264/.354/.430) for pitchers Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea ranked by Keith Law as the Royals #3 prospect.
The Mariners trade 2B Dustin Ackley (.243/.306/.366) to the Yankees for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez.
Blue Jays acquire OF Ben Revere from Phillies
NY Mets acquire OF Yoenis Cespedes from Detroit Tigers for minor league pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa
PITCHERS BEING MOVED
Mets get Tyler Clippard (2.87 ERA/1.091 WHIP/9.9 K/9) while A’s acquire pitching prospect Casey Meisner
Joe Blanton has been traded from the Royals to the Pirates for cash consideration. Blanton’s career numbers are meaningless in this context as he is currently a reliever.
Pirates get relief pitcher Joakim Soria (2.61 ERA/1.056 WHIP/9.6 K/9) in exchange for Tigers acquiring SS JaCoby Jones.
Toronto acquires Mark Lowe from Mariners in exchange for unknown minor leaguers.
Pirates acquire J.A. Happ from Mariners for Adrian Sampson.
Minnesota Twins acquire P Kevin Jepsen from the Rays for pitchers Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.
THE “ANGELS WILL TAKE ALL THE PLAYERS THANK YOU VERY MUCH” TRADES
Angels: acquire David DeJesus (a href=” http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/dejesda01.shtml”>.276/.351/.414 from the Rays for prospect pitcher Eduar Lopez; get OF Shane Victorino (a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/v/victosh01.shtml”>.276/.340/.428 from Boston Red Sox for INF Josh Rutledge .259/.308/403; acquire David Murphy.274/.335/.433 for prospect Eric Stamets from Cleveland Indians.
WHAT IT ALL MEANS
The Angels are clearly making a move not just to win their division but a post-season push this year. They are clearly making a play for the Astros. The Astros have responded with their trade for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. The Royals already have the best record in the American League and it should get better with the acquisition of P Johnny Cueto. The Royals don’t seem satisfied with their taste of the post-season. After losing to the Giants in the World Series last year, they want a championship this year.
The AL East just got WILD. The Yankees are 7 games up on both Baltimore and Toronto but Toronto is making a major push for a Wild Card spot which they are only two games out of before the acquisition of both Tulowitzki and Price. The Blue Jays have made a lot of right moves and had a lot of things bounce bad for them. They seem to be going all in this year for a return to the playoffs.
The Brewers are hosting a fire sale, flipping as many players as they can for prospects. It is clear that the Brewers are no longer hoping to contend for anything except maybe the top draft pick.
The Phillies have flipped the last three players they have with any real trade value (Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon). Jim Salisbury notes that the Phillies are using their willingness to take on or keep salaries as leverage to get prospects. Time will tell if the Cole Hamels trade brings back the return that the front office (and Phillies fans) were looking for from it. The Phillies, despite criticism from the national baseball media, made the right decision in holding on to Hamels as long as they did. The front office got a return they were satisfied with and the fans got to watch Hamels throw a complete game no hitter during his last outing for the Phillies. The Phillies had a great run from 2007-2011. I don’t regret a moment of it. I’m excited to see what 2017 brings. As far as 2015, it isn’t an even numbered year so it is anyone’s game. Let’s play ball!!