The Red Sox did not make a major splash at the non-waiver trade deadline yesterday instead making two smaller moves to alter the bullpen and to free Lars Anderson from his Pawtucket prison.
That leaves the local club on the outs when it comes to the lists that everyone enjoys to make every July 31, the annual trade deadline winners and the losers. Here is our version:
This is the definition of going for it all. LA acquired Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and two quality relievers in Brandon League and Randy Choate. While the Dodgers did not land starter Ryan Dempster, they will not suffer immensely for it. This is a team with reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who leads a rotation that has the second-lowest ERA in the National League and will soon get Ted Lilly back. It may now have enough offensive weapons to avoid having to win games 2-1.
There was no mistaking that Theo Epstein was going to clean house. While he still has Alfonso Soriano and Matt Garza, he did a nice job of dumping what he could to continue a massive rebuilding process in Chicago. The Cubbies did well to build up Paul Maholm and sell him at his peak, acquiring a quality prospect from Atlanta, one of a handful of moves made by Epstein.
Dempster got all the publicity (a 2.25 ERA will do that to a man), but Maholm was the hotter of the two Cubs pitchers who were dealt. In Maholm the Braves have an affordable arm who is pitching as well as anyone in baseball right now and who brings with him a nice team option for 2013. Atlanta also got veteran Reed Johnson in the deal, a nice piece for a team that lacked outfield depth.
General manager Dan Duquette deserves plenty of credit for some offseason moves that have proved very valuable. However, he was unable to pull the trigger on anything significant in July, falling short of a middling move for Phillies starter Joe Blanton. That would not have made the O's all that much better, but it couldn't hurt for a team that is in the midst of a rare playoff push.
They failed to get that leadoff man/outfielder that would've taken the team to another level. Denard Span, linked heavily to Cincinnati, was a perfect fit for a lineup that has a pitiful .247 OBP from leadoff hitters this year.
Even Ryan Sweeney was rumored to be a Reds target. That was wiped off the table with one wayward punch.
Marlins - A new stadium. A new manager. A boatload of high-priced talent. And a possible last-place finish. That's what you get in Miami, which saw Marlins management conduct another fire sale in the past week or so. Josh Johnson remains in Miami, but it doesn't mean a thing. They blew it up and have to start all over in South Beach.