Why would the Phillies be looking at buying this trade deadline? R.J. runs down the possibilities.
Over the past week, the Phillies have taken series from the Pirates and Braves and at worst split a four-game set against the Nationals, thus improving their positioning in the playoff race by moving them to within 5 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot. Positive results tend to boost confidence, and that's exactly what's happened in Philadelphia. While our Playoff Odds Report says the Phillies have a 6 percent chance of making the postseason, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is flirting with the idea of adding a piece or two at the trade deadline.
Amaro's stated plans have, predictably, gone over poorly. Too many authors have penned too many pieces about why the Phillies should sell over the past 12 months for any other reaction. The arguments go like this: the Phillies are a mediocre, veteran-laden team with too many big-money, long-term commitments and too few worthwhile prospects; they aren't good enough to compete for a title, but not poor enough to bottom out and force a clearance sale. Amaro seemed to acknowledge this last July, when he traded Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, and even Hunter Pence, who had team control remaining. The stripping down stopped there, however, and in the time since the Phillies haven't done much to change their talent level.
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Do buying teams that trade early tend to get fleeced?
Last week, with the Giants struggling, Brian Sabean was asked about potential trades. The GM acknowledged that he has the payroll room to add players, but cautioned that he wouldn’t expect anything soon, since this time of year isn’t conducive to trading:
The trade deadline is five weeks away, and that means it's time to begin analyzing the sellers and their products. Over the next month we'll take a look at each of the likely sellers and which players will pop up in trade talks and rumors. The Cubs, reportedly open for business, are up first.
Jeff Luhnow's first task was to clear the mess Ed Wade made, and he's already given the Astros a fresh start.
Since taking over as the general manager in Houston last December, Jeff Luhnow has turned over a good chunk of the 40-man roster he inherited, a collection of players who contributed to the Astros’ first 100-loss (106-loss, to be precise) season in franchise history in 2011.
In a deadline swap of unwanted starters, the Royals have come out ahead.
On July 20th, the Rockies traded Jeremy Guthrie to the Royals for Jonathan Sanchez. It wasn't so much a change-of-scenery trade as it was synchronized self-preservation, as if both teams' rosters reflexively rejected a toxic substance and instinctively sent it somewhere, anywhere else. The two starters' stats, before the trade:
What's actually involved when a prospect gets traded in-season?
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
We tend to think of trades only in regard to how they affect on-field performance, but every swap comes with a whole host of off-the-field logistical issues. Kevin described the process in the piece republished below, which originally ran as a "Future Shock" column on August 6, 2009.
Dealing Felix Hernandez at this year's non-waiver trade deadline could have significantly brightened the Mariners' future.
A true no. 1 starter is the rarest commodity in baseball, and the Seattle Mariners have had one in Felix Hernandez for the better part of a decade. Unfortunately, much of Hernandez’s value has been wasted on uncompetitive clubs: only twice since he reached the big leagues in 2005 have the Mariners finished above .500.
The subject of dealing their homegrown superstar is a sensitive one for Mariners fans, but an objective look at the facts suggests that the future of the organization would be much brighter if general manager Jack Zduriencik had moved Hernandez to a contender for a package of young impact bats that are close to big-league ready prior to this summer's non-waiver trade deadline.