Friday, July 31, 2009

Who said the trade deadline wouldn't be busy?

By my count, at least 22 teams were involved in trades in the last couple weeks. The biggest--at least on paper--would be Victor Martinez to the Red Sox, Jarrod Washburn to the Tigers, and Matt Holliday to the Cardinals.

The Red Sox are of course right in the thick of things, and their offense has slumped since the All-Star break (16 runs in the first seven games after the break). Martinez (.284, 15, 67) will take at-bats from Jason Varitek (.239, 13, 44) and shore up an offense that already benefits from the fourth best pitching staff in the AL.

The Tigers lead the AL Central by just two games, and Jarrod Washburn (8-6, 2.64) gives them a solid lefty in the middle of their rotation. If they're able to push their way into the playoffs, they set up well with Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Washburn in a short series.

And it's already been said here, but Holliday provides protection for Pujols and stretches their lineup as they try to score more runs for Carpenter, Wainwright, Piniero et al.

In the trade no one saw coming, the White Sox responded to the Washburn acquisition by getting--really, this time--Jake Peavy. The Sox traded Friday's scheduled starter Clayton Richard, top prospect Aaron Poreda, and two other prospects. Only problem is, Peavy is injured and out for at least another month. With Richard gone in the deal, the Sox are going to be hard up for a fifth starter for the next month. The good news for the Sox is that Peavy is also locked in for a few more years, though his salary (upwards of $17 mil) is not in the range that Kenny Williams is accustomed to paying his starting pitchers.

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