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Season of the Pitcher/Trade Deadline Team Needs

2010 has been a unique year in baseball. It may be considered the most dominating pitching year in the history of the sport. Consider this, there has been a total of 16 perfect games in over 100 years and in a short 20 day span this year, two more and nearly a third were added. It started with Dallas Braden’s 109 pitch, 4 strikeout game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9th. Twenty days later in Philadelphia, Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay’s 115 pitch, 9 strikeout game came against the Marlins. The nearly third perfect game, came 5 days later in Detroit and will have people talking for years to come.

Starting Pitcher Armando Gallarraga of the Detroit Tigers only needs one more out for the third perfect game of the year. Tiger’s first baseman Miguel Cabrera gets a ground ball and flips to Gallarraga covering at first. With the ball secured in his glove and standing on first base before the runner reaches the base, umpire Jim Joyce calls the runner safe. It was a very painful moment. The runner was clearly out. I was baffled at the moment he was called safe. Everyone was frustrated with Jim Joyce, other than maybe the pitcher Gallaraga. Here is how he reacted to Joyce during the post game interview.

“He really felt bad. He probably felt more bad than me. And nobody’s perfect and we’ll all human. I really give that guy a lot of credit to tell me, ‘I need to talk to you. ” You don’t see an umpire after the game come out and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you I’m sorry, I made a mistake. That don’t happen.”

Following this incident, Jim Leyland, Tiger’s manager had Armando Gallaraga give Joyce the lineup card the following days game (pictured). Gallaraga saved that MLB a lot of trouble that might have endured if fans and players began questioning the integrity of umpires and not understanding why baseball is the only sport that doesn’t use instant replay. This blown call will be the highlight of the 2010 season but not only for what went wrong, but how Gallaraga responded to umpire Joyce’s call in a positive light.

Other top pitching performances, Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza’s no hitter against the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondback’s Edwin Jackson’s no hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies Ubaldo Jimenez’s unbelievable .78 ERA through 11 starts, Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg’s dominance to begin his career, and Florida Marlins Josh Johnson’s 8 consecutive starts with giving up 1 or less runs.

MLB Trade Deadline, July 31st- Team Needs

American League East
  • New York YankeesAcquired Astro’s Lance Berkman, Indian’s Reliever Kerry Wood & Outfielder Austin Kearns . The Yankees are looking to add back-ups in case of injury. Ty Wiggington of the Baltimore Orioles is a name I keep hearing for security around the infield. Possibly bullpen help will come due to the fact that Joba Chamberlain has been awful this year as a set up guy. I would expect the Yankees to make a deal or two before the deadline to sure up there chances to play in the World Series.
  • Tampa Bay Rays– Tampa Bay is only 2 games behind the Yankees and there has been a lot of talk about the Rays geting Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth. I doubt they are willing to part with the prospects it would cost to get Werth. Other options for the Rays are Adam Dunn, but similarly he would demand a high price in return. The Ray’s have the pieces to make it into October and possibly into the Series.
  • Boston Red Sox– Red Sox are 7 games out of first and although they will not make a huge deal like they did last year with Victor Martinez, the Red Sox will find a way to improve their club no matter. Dustin Pedroia returns in a few weeks but I still expect a trade that gets a reliever and maybe infielder. Sox are going to have a hard time toppling either Tampa Bay or New York and making it into the playoffs.
  • Toronto Blue Jays– Toronto at the deadline is going to be looking to sell most of their players already 12 games out. They have many good players that would bring back hefty amounts of prospects. Jose Bautista, a 3rd/outfielder is leading the AL in home runs and most likely will get. Other trade-able players include reliever Scott Downs, first baseman Lyle Overbay and catcher John Buck.
  • Baltimore OriolesTraded Miguel Tejada to San Diego. With the worst record in baseball and 32 games out of first place, there is no way that they will trade for a player. Most likely they will ship Wiggington, Miguel Tejada, or Felix Pie to contending teams for prospects.
American League Central
  • Chicago White SoxAcquired Diamondbacks Pitcher Edwin Jackson. Chicago is in first place in the division and looking to stay by adding a big player. With the loss of Jake Peavy to a season ending injury, a starting pitcher may also be needed. I would expect the Sox GM, Ken Williams, a frequent trader at the deadline to make a move for a guy like Fielder. Chicago some how needs to hold of Minnesota through the second half and a big trade would help.
  • Minnesota Twins- Acquired Washington’s Pitcher Matt Capps. The Twins are one team that you never know what to expect during the trade deadline. Only 1 game behind the Sox and usually not willing to part with top prospects, it will be difficult for them not to make a trade to get to the top of the division. Names like Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly, Nationals Matt Capps, Astro’s Roy Oswalt are possibilities and would be helpful down the stretch. I wouldn’t expect the Twins to make a major move unless the White sox land Fielder or Dunn.
  • Detroit Tigers Acquired Cleveland Indians Shortstop Johnny Peralta. I have already covered what I think the Tigers should do, Nothing. 4 games out of first, they need to give their young players (Larish, Rhymes, Oliver, Ramirez, Schlereth, Perry) a chance of major playing time to see what they will offer to the future. A trade would be unnecessary unless it’s a getting rid of guys like Johnny Damon or Gerald Laird, who we might have to pay a team to take off our shoulders. Injuries really cost the Tiger’s from making any moves this deadline and force them to start playing for next year.
  • Kansas City RoyalsTraded Kyle Farnsworth & Rick Ankiel to Braves. Kansas City will be sellers at the deadline. 13.5 games out of first, reliever Kyle Farnsworth, starter Gil Meche, and outfielder Jose Guillen will more than likely get moved. Royals have some pieces for the future (Grienke, Gordon, Moustakas, Homer) that will make them contenders in the division in the upcoming years.
  • Cleveland IndiansTraded Jake Westbrook to Cardinals & Peralta to Tiger’s. The Indians are tied for last place in the Central and have two starting pitchers that could be very helpful down the stretch to a contending club, Fausto Carmona, and Jake Westbrook. Either of these two guys could possibly get traded to the Mets. Cleveland is another team similar to Kansas City, that has young players in the minor leagues that have bright futures.
American League West
  • Texas RangersAcquired Cliff Lee & Jorge Cantu. Rangers have already made a move in landing lefty pitcher Cliff Lee, who likely will be a rental . Texas has to add some more power to the lineup so expect a trade for Jorge Cantu or Derek Lee to secure a spot in the playoffs.
  • Oakland Athletics- The A’s are 8.5 games out of first place and I doubt they will be making any major pushes to get better. Usually sellers at the deadline, they have pitcher Ben Sheets or reliever Craig Breslow that could help teams immensely.
  • LA AngelsAcquired Diamondbacks Pitcher Dan Haren. LA is always a dangerous team in October no matter. This year already 8.5 games behind Texas, LA knew they needed some help. Acquiring Dan Haren, a #1 starter will help. Still they need some lineup help. Prince Fielder is an option as is Adam Dunn or Derek Lee. Angels want a chance at the World Series so I would expect a big trade to add some pop to the lineup.
  • Seattle Mariners– Already giving up Cliff Lee for prospects and being 20.5 games out of first the Mariners are throwing in the towel this year. They can still make some trades like Jose Lopez, Milton Bradley, Chone Figuns, and Brandon League to contending teams. Seattle has been a major disappointment this year.

National League East

  • Atlanta Braves- Acquired Royals Outfielder Rick Ankiel & Reliever Kyle Farnsworth. Atlanta Braves are atop of their division and sitting pretty with Jayson Heyward recently returning from injury as a boost to their lineup. The Braves could still use some more power to the outfield. Options include Washington’s Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn, Marlin’s Cody Ross. With or without a trade, I would expect the Braves to take this division race and be a potent team in October.
  • Philadelphia Phillies-Acquired Astro’s Starting Pitcher Roy Oswalt. Phillies are right in the middle of the race for the playoffs only standing at 3.5 back. They have Roy Holladay and Cole Hamels, but still looking to acquire a starter. Philadelphia wants to get Astro’s starting pitcher Roy Oswalt and I would expect that to happen soon. Jayson Werth for Oswalt would be a fair and good deal or possibly J.A. Happ.
  • NY Mets- New York is another team that is right in the thick of things only 6.5 games back. They have a very good lineup led by Jose Reyes and David Wright, but they are missing a few pitching pieces to be in contention. They can go after starters Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, Fasusto Carmona, Jake Westbrook or they can sit back and just hope that their pitching performs better in the 2nd half, which I doubt will happen.
  • Florida MarlinsTraded Jorge Cantu to Rangers.The Marlins do not have the firepower in the division to recover from a 7.5 games. They have Hanley Ramirez who might be the shortstop in baseball but not much else in the lineup. Starter Josh Johnson could easily win the Cy Young this year but he and Ramirez cannot get them to the playoffs alone. They will be sellers this deadline and will most likely send Jorge Cantu, Cody Ross, and others to better teams.
  • Washington Nationals- Washington has become a fan favorites this year with Stephen Strasburg, 2009’s first overall pick. 14.5 games out of first place will make them sell off some of their pieces. Adam Dunn could possibly get dealt if the price is lowered by the Nationals. Josh Willingham is another possibility as well as Christian Guzman. The Nationals, have a good young nucleus and should be in contention for the division years to come with Strasburg and this years first overall pick Bryce Harper.
National League Central
  • Cincinnati Reds- Cincinnati is leading the division for the first time in a very long time. The Reds have gotten solid production from All Star first baseman Joey Votto and starting pitchers Edison Valquez, Johnny Cueto, and Bronson Arroyo. Still Cincinnati could use some more fire power to the offense and some bull pen help to secure an October berth.
  • St. Louis CardinalsAcquired Indians Pitcher Jake Westbrook. The Cardinals are only a half game out of first place. Needing some extra help to the lineup that includes, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Colby Rasmus would greatly help. Expect St. Louis in the second half to cut into the 1 game lead the Reds have with strong starting pitchers Adam Wainright and Chris Carpenter. St. Louis is a dangerous team if they can make it to the playoffs.
  • Milwaukee Brewers- Brew Crew have put themselves in a tough position this year already 9 games out of first place. Its hard being buying pieces that far out of first. They will turn the other way and end up trading one of their core players. Prince Fielder and Corey Hart are options, but will not come cheaply.
  • Chicago CubsTraded Ryan Theriot and Ted Lilly to Dodgers. Cubbies are another team that is too far out of the running to make a trade. Most likely they will dump some of their players like Ted lilly, Ryan Theriot, Derek Lee, Giovani Soto, Aramas Ramirez.
  • Houston AstrosTraded Roy Oswalt to Phillies- Astros will find a way to get something in return for Oswalt while they can. He still is a top of the line starting pitcher. Lance Berkman is another name I heard might get traded. Possibly to the Whitesox if they are unable to attain Dunn or the Yankees who want to add a solid DH.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates– The Pirates wont be making any big splashes this deadline. Already having a solid nuclues of players that are still very young and being 20 games out of first place they are playing for the future
National League West
  • San Diego Padres- Acquired Orioles Shortstop Miguel Tejada & Cardinals Outfielder Ryan Ludwick. – For the San Diego Padres to be in first place with the amount of talent on the team they have got to be doing a lot of little things right. There pitching has been very solid so far with the surprise of Clayton Richards. The lineup could use some more pieces. Adrian Gonzalez is the big name but if the Padres are able to stay in first and hold of the Dodgers and Giants I would be very surprised if they didn’t get another slugger.
  • San Francisco Giants- San Fran is 3.5 game out of first place and looking for that missing piece. They have a very solid pitching stuff with ace Tim Lincecum. Acquiring a bat would be a huge for the Giants who struggle in games they cant score.
  • LA Dodgers- Acquired Cubs Pitcher Ted Lilly & Shortstop Ryan Theriot. Dodgers are notorious for making a move at the deadline. They have many possibilities of players to go after with Manny Ramirez down with an injury. Names being mentioned for the Dodgers are Brewers Corey Hart, Cubs Ted Lilly and Derek Lee. The Dodgers have a good chance at making the trip to October but they still need some help.
  • Colorado Rockies– Even with the remarkable first half for Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies still find themselves 9 games out of first place. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returns from a broken arm which will help the lineup a whole lot. I wouldn’t expect any bold trades for Colorado as they continue to play solid ball with the team the have.
  • Arizona Diamonbacks- Traded Dan Haren to Angles & Edwin Jackson to White Sox’s. Diamonbacks are the one team that every contending team wants a player from. Haren is the #1 guy, but Edwin Jackson is a close 2nd in trade value. The D-backs are 24 games out of first place and trying to get things in return for the likes of Stephon Drew, Haren, and Jackson while there value is still high.

AL East- New York Yankees NL East- Atlanta Braves
AL Central- Chicago White Sox NL Central- St. Louis Cardinals
AL West- Texas Rangers NL West- San Diego Padres
AL Wild Card- Tampa Bay Rays NL Wild Card- Philadelphia Phillies

AL Championship- Yankees over Rays NL Championship- Braves over Cardinals
World Series- Yankees over Braves

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