As the Brewers aim to put themselves over the top with another deadline deal for pitching, take a look at some of history's most successful mid-season swaps.
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The Brewers are hoping for big things from Francisco Rodriguez, but a reliever isn't likely to crack this list of best-ever buyer's acquisitions, which originally ran as a "You Could Look it Up" column on October 3, 2008.
Sandy Alderson made the right move in writing off Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo as roster ballast, but even he can't prevent the return of Bobby Bonilla's long-dead salary.
The start of a new season is an exciting time for fans, players and front offices alike, a chance to shake off the cold weather, move on from 2010 and start fresh. No team welcomed Opening Day more than the Mets, who endured a tumultuous offseason featuring everything from a new general manager to questions about ownership’s involvement with the Bernard Madoff financial fraud case.
A few of this year's deadline deals rank among the most successful moves in major league history.
When looking over the entire history of deadline-day trades, one is inevitably reminded that the vast majority of all trades, deadline and otherwise, amount to nothing, with nonentities being swapped for nonentities. This is true even of the big names that are typically dealt from also-rans to contenders around the non-waiver trading deadline of July 31 (and, before that, June 15). For buyers, very few trades have the kind of impact envisioned at the time of their consummation: a marked improvement at the position the acquiring team is upgrading and a boost into the postseason.
One candidate is different from every other candidate, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the infielders on the ballot have no hope of induction. Jay uses his signature JAWS system to investigate who's worthy of Cooperstown.
This is the fourth year I've used the very self-consciously named Jaffe WARP
Score system (JAWS) to examine the Hall of Fame ballot. The goal of JAWS is
to identify candidates on the Hall ballot who are as good or better than the
average Hall of Famer at their position, a bar set so as to avoid further
diluting the quality of the institution's membership. Clay Davenport's Wins
Above Replacement Player (WARP) totals are the coin of the realm for this
endeavor because they normalize all performance records in major-league
history to the same scoring environment, adjusting for park effects, quality
of competition and length of schedule. Pitchers, hitters and fielders are
thus rated above or below one consistent replacement level, making cross-era
comparisons a breeze.
JAWS does not include non-statistical considerations--awards, championships,
postseason performance, rap sheet, urine test results--but that's not to say
they should be left by the wayside. They're just not the focus here. While
I'll discuss the 800-pound elephant in the room in the context of various
candidacies, I don't claim to have a solution as to how voters or fans
should handle the dawn of this new era. That's an emotional issue, and JAWS
isn't designed to handle emotions.
Four years ago, the Cardinals had their hands around the Braves' collective
neck and let the series slip away. Don't think that Tony LaRussa has
forgotten. Darryl Kile wasn't with St. Louis in 1996, but he has his
own motivation for revenge: he gave up just two hits and drove in a run
against Greg Maddux in the opener of the 1997 NL Division Series,
but his Astros lost the game, 2-1; the Braves went on to sweep the series.
With home-field advantage and a rested rotation ready for the Tomahawk
Twentyfive, the Cardinals have everything they could want to exorcise the
demons of 1996 and let them move on plague the Braves instead.