Every year I love the MLB trade deadline. It’s where teams either decide to go for it this year, or wait til next year. In the past I’ve relied on traditional media (ESPN, Sportsline.com etc.) to get my trade deadline info.
This year I’ve been following it on Twitter. It’s been a whole different experience. There are definitely more rumors floating around but the guys I’ve been following have be right on every trade they’ve mentioned. If you’re interested in following some of the guys I’ve been following here’s a list:
The Cubs are not in a good spot right now. Their offense has been terrible. Ryan Theriot has the best batting average on the team with .282. Supposed leadoff man Alfonso Soriano is hitting .095 in the last 7 days. I think that no matter if the Cubs turn it around a bit or not, I think the Cubs have some pieces that they can sell as we approach the trade deadline.
The biggest of the sell candidates is Alfonso Soriano. He started hot this season, but for the last month or so he’s been non-existent at the plate and in the field. It seems like he’s totally disinterested in playing baseball. The whole team has struggled at the dish, but leading off every game with one out is a pretty big handicap. He can’t hit the low slider from the right handed pitchers. And now everyone is throwing him that. He can’t lay off. I think before he proves he’s totally finished, the Cubs should ship him off to some team who thinks he’s the answer to their left field needs. Someone who needs a bat in their outfield to help them make the push to the post-season. Right now I think that the Los Angeles Angels might be the best fit for him. He could give them some pop and maybe even bring a little bit of speed to their line-up. I think it’ll have to be a bigger market team to absorb some of his salary.
I actually don’t care too much where he goes. And I think it would be fine if the Cubs paid most, if not all of the rest of his salary this year and some percentage of it for the duration of the contract. I think that Jake Fox or Micah Hoffpauir could fill-in in the field and give a little more consistency at the plate. I’d like to see the Cubs get a handful of prospects for him.
Welcome to a new feature here on Vigilante Sports. It’s called Making the Trade. I’ll be going over potential trades, trades sent in from readers and trades that are proposed to me in my various fantasy leagues. If you have a trade that you’d like advice on, email email@example.com and I’ll give you my opinion.
I’m in an ESPN Standard 5×5 Head-to-Head Roto league. I got this proposal from a fellow owner after I had proposed a similar trade that he didn’t go for. I needed to change up my pitching staff (I waited until the 10th round of the draft to start drafting pitchers – and my stats were starting to show it). My pitching stats have been terrible, so I decided that I needed to make a change to my pitching roster philosophy. I decided I needed to start going after Saves, WHIP and ERA and to do so, I needed to stock up on closers. My current staff of closers was a little thin. I recently picked up Scott Downs who is filling in for injured BJ Ryan. I have George Sherrill and Francisco Rodriguez was my star pitcher. I knew I was going to have to give up value to get value.
When the other owner proposed the trade, I was really hesitant to give up Frankie (as he now prefers, over KRod) and Chipper Jones. Chipper has been a long time favorite and has been a consistent fantasy player pretty much his whole career. But Chipper is 37 years old and has been in and out of the lineup already this season. I worry about his ability to stay healthy. Not to mention I have some depth at 3B. I have Garret Atkins, Mike Lowell and Melvin Mora when he comes off the DL. Carrying 4 3B is too many, even though we do have a corner infielder slot in the starting lineup. For me, Scott Downs is a throw in. It is possible that he keeps the closer role after BJ Ryan comes off the DL, but the Blue Jays are paying Ryan an awful lot. I think he’ll get every opportunity to close games when he gets healthy.
In my mind, this trade came down to giving up Frankie and two guys that are not long term contributors on my team for 3 quality closers. The age and injury question is definitely there for Mariano Rivera (I think he’s been closing games since Billy Martin managed the Yankees). Troy Percival does not have the healthiest track record either, but he’s on a quality team that will have it’s share of save chances. For me, the jewel of this trade is Heath Bell. Granted, the Padres are not going to win very many games. But when they do, they’ll probably be close. That means a lot of save opportunities for Bell. And he’ll be closing half of his games in Petco which is a very pitcher-friendly ballpark. Bell has already been really solid for the Padres already this year (7 saves, 0 earned runs and a 0.65 WHIP).
As I said in my Twitter, I am VERY excited that the Bears got Jay Cutler from the Broncos.
The first question I have to ask is, “What did the Bears give up?” First, Kyle Orton. I really like Kyle Orton and I think he has a long future in the NFL. But, I’m not sure he’ll ever be a Pro Bowl quarterback. Second, their first round pick (18th) and one of their third round picks (either 84th or 99th) this year and their first round pick next year. That’s a lot of picks, plus their starting quarterback. So I’m on the fence.
Then I ask, “What did the Bears get?” A 25 year old Pro Bowl quarterback. Sounds really good to me. That’s really all I need to hear.
So then my thoughts turn to the supporting cast. What do the Bears have in place to help Cutler return to the Pro Bowl with a Bears helmet on? They have shored up their offensive line lately. Hopefully Chris Williams will turn out to be a good tackle and they can keep building around him. Last season saw the emergence of rookie running back Matt Forte. That will help Cutler because he lacks a bona fide top tier receiver. Hopefully the Bears will address this in the draft. They do have tight end Greg Olsen who was a dependable target last year for Orton.
I love this move. This helps convince me that the Bears brass is wanting to win a Super Bowl. They’re definitely a lot closer today than they were yesterday.