Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Lessons of the MLB Trade Deadline

In no particular order:

  • Be very careful who you put on your limited no-trade clause list. Jonathon Lucroy got to veto his trade to Cleveland, so the Brewers turned around and dealt him to Texas. I'm guessing the cool banks of the Cuyahoga are going to start to look pretty good around the fourth or fifth time Lucroy has to strap on catchers' gear in the August Texas heat. 
  • Just because the pundits say you have to sell doesn't mean you have to sell. There's no law that says that bad teams automatically have to give up their players to good teams, after all. Which is why Jeremy Hellickson is still a Phillie; he's worth more to the team on a qualifying offer (either another year of eating innings and protecting the young guys, or a draft pick if he signs elsewhere) than the assorted piles of stinky sweat sox other teams were offering for him would be. 
  • That being said, considering what relievers were going for this year, it's hard to believe that the packages offered for an actual starting pitcher with a pulse weren't positively ridiculous.
  • Reading the medicals are important. Ask the Marlins. They needed 2 pitchers, they traded for 2, and then they discovered that one of the two, Colin Rea, had an elbow that looked like a Jack Kirby sketch of Apokalips. The managed to send him back, but by the time all the finagling was done, the trade deadline had passed and the Marlins here left with a pitcher-shaped hole they thought they'd filled. Whoops.
  • There is nothing in baseball more simultaneously necessary and pedantic than the explanation of how the non-waiver trade deadline works vs how the waiver trade deadline works, and the implications of same for the playoffs.
  • Nice to see that the Mets didn't have another trade for an All-Star outfielder fall apart at the last minute (see also: 2015 and Gomez, Carlos). They landed maybe the biggest bat of this trade deadline. Of course, they still have a glut of right fielders and no real center fielders until Juan Lagares comes off the DL, but hey, positional flexibility is for losers, right? Well, losers and the 2015 Padres.
  • The Yankees are capable of kindness. After all, they sent Carlos Beltran to Texas, where he can relax and DH (and block uberprospect Joey Gallo once again) instead of being forced into the field for what looked less like defense and more and more like either performance art or a mime simultaneously trying to recreate the voyages of Magellan and a demolition derby. 
  • The only proper response to the massive prospect haul Oakland got for Rich Hill is hysterical laughter. Those of us who had him on our fantasy baseball teams roughly a decade ago, when he played for the Cubs, understand why. 
  • On any given day, anything can happen in baseball. For example: Cleveland becoming buyers and the Yankees becoming sellers, within the space of a single transaction. Somewhere, Cleveland-born George Steinbrenner is doing rapid subterranean 360s.

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