White Sox pull off a stunner at the deadline
Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
I went into Friday's non-waiver deadline expecting an ace to be dealt. And there was one, just not the one I thought.
Right at the 4:00 EDT deadline, Chicago pulled off a stunner, as it acquired former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy, who turned down a deal to the Pale Hose earlier in the year, from the San Diego Padres.
I was ready to label the White Sox as losers on the day with Detroit's pickup of Jarrod Washburn and Minnesota's trade for Orlando Cabrera, but with the Peavy deal, Chicago could be the biggest winners of the whole deadline, provided of course, he recovers from an ankle injury that currently has him on the DL.
Though, there is a very good chance that he does not pitch at all this season, but heading into next year there are not many teams that are going to have a better top-three than Peavy, Mark Buehrle and John Danks.
If he does come back, though, the race between the White Sox and the Tigers will be fun to watch. Sorry Minnesota.
As far as the ace I thought would be dealt, well I have to take my hat off to Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi.
When all this Roy Halladay nonsense started, he said he would have to be bowled over to make a deal. I guess he wasn't lying because in the end, despite a few decent offers, Halladay remains the Blue Jays ace.
Apparently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made a last ditch effort to land him, but Ricciardi continued to stick to his guns.
From everything I have read and heard Texas had the best offer for the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner, but could not come up with the money to pay him. Boston, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were also in on him, but no one really stepped up to the plate in terms of prospects.
So, at the end of the day Ricciardi still has the AL's best pitcher on his team and that is not a bad thing.
When Philadelphia acquired Cliff Lee, I thought Ricciardi may have overplayed his hand a bit. The Phillies were the perfect match for Halladay, but in the end Ricciardi stuck to his guns.
I don't buy the notion that he won't be able to bring in the same type of deal this offseason should he decide to make him available. First he will still be the best pitcher available and two more teams will be in on him. That is the one thing that hurt Ricciardi in this whole thing, there really was never a bidding war.
This winter, though, will be a different story. Why does a Jose Reyes-Roy Halladay swap keep popping into my head? Imagine having to deal with Halladay and Johan Santana?
Who knows? Maybe Toronto decides to keep him. Shaun Marcum will be back next season and rookie Ricky Romero looks like the real deal. Like I said, you can be in a lot worse situations than having to throw Halladay out there every fifth day.
Of course, though, they play in the AL East which is always loaded to bear and there is no better way to rebuild than to deal off a star for prospects.
So, while we may be done talking about this for now, expect it all to start up again sometime in the middle of November. See you at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis.
Anyway let's take a look at which teams helped their cause the most for a playoff run, while also checking in on some of the teams that may have hurt their chances with a quiet deadline day:
The Tigers still may have had the move of the day as it relates to this season as they landed left-hander Jarrod Washburn for Luke French and a minor league lefty. Forget for a second that the Tigers now have three pitchers in the top-10 in ERA (Jackson, 2.59, Washburn, 2.64 and Verlander, 3.16), they now have another lefty to handle Minnesota's Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, as well as Chicago's Jim Thome. Washburn will also give them innings, something that will help a bullpen that just learned that Joel Zumaya will be lost for the rest of the season. Now Detroit just needs Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen to start hitting.
Instead of being able to close the deal with Megan Fox, the Phillies were able to take Jessica Alba home. Seriously, if I told people in Philadelphia on July 1 that they would get Cliff Lee at the trade deadline for what amounts to a song and a dance, they would be elated. The only downside to this deal is that people will always think what if with regards to Halladay, who really could have been a possibility. Plus, I like the throw-in of Ben Francisco, who is a huge right-handed bat off the bench. Truth be told, though, I would have added Kyle Drabek in a deal for Halladay.
Theo Epstein nabbing Cleveland catcher/first baseman/designated hitter Victor Martinez without having to give up righty Clay Buchholz cannot be looked at as anything other than a steal. It actually crossed my mind at one point that he may be able to land Halladay as well. Martinez, though, protects the Red Sox should Mike Lowell struggle. Kevin Youkilis will shift right over to third and let V-Mart play first. He could also spell Jason Varitek behind the plate, while letting David Ortiz rest as well. Simply brilliant move by Epstein. Now if he can just get John Smoltz straightened out.
The Giants went into this deadline looking for some offense. Mission accomplished with the acquisitions of Ryan Garko from Cleveland and Freddy Sanchez from Pittsburgh. Sure they didn't land Martinez or Matt Holliday, but they also did not mortgage the future with what they got. Although, I think they might have given up too much in Tim Alderson for Sanchez. Either way, if this team is going to make the playoffs it is going to be because of the top of their rotation. Garko and Sanchez, though, make this team better.
I am sure some people are going to make the case that the Pirates have gotten a ton in return for Nate McLouth, Ian Snell, Adam LaRoche, Nyjer Morgan, John Grabow, Tom Gorzelanny, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, in addition to what they received a year ago for Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte and whoever else I am forgetting. Whatever. The Pirates are a disgrace. They are on the verge of setting a major league record with their 17th consecutive losing season and even if some of the prospects they recouped in these deals pan out, I am sure they will just be dealt elsewhere as part of their next rebuilding process. It is a shame too, because they play in perhaps the best ballpark in America.
It is tough to be a fan of the Indians today knowing that in consecutive years you have traded the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner, not to mention the best bat available at this year's deadline. They may have received a decent player in Matt LaPorta in the CC Sabathia deal last year, but how can you trade not only Cliff Lee, but Victor Martinez this season and not bring back either J.A Happ or Kyle Drabek from the Phils or even Clay Buchholz from the Red Sox? I am a big Mark Shapiro guy, but I think he should have gotten more in these two deals.
You don't have to be a genius to figure out that the New York Yankees needed to add a starting pitcher. All you had to do was look at Friday's starting pitcher - Sergio Mitre - to know they are in some trouble there, especially with Joba Chamberlain's innings-limit about to be reached. I guess they can substitute Chamberlain for Phil Hughes, but Hughes has been incredible in his setup role. I am guessing the Yanks will have to extend Chamberlain's innings and add someone before September in a waiver deal. Jerry Hairston Jr.?
There is a time to be cheap and there is a time not to be cheap. The Rangers had the prospects to make a deal for Halladay, but had to pull out in the end because of financial concerns. With that lineup, Halladay may have been the difference for the Rangers in the AL West.
What are they holding onto these prospects for? The bullpen has been a sore spot all season and Heath Bell or George Sherrill could have been had. Their rotation has been plagued by injuries as well and yet they could not get anyone. But, they are in first place and the Rangers did nothing to make themselves better on Friday either.
HOW WAIVER WIRE DEALS WORK
Today was technically the trade deadline, but deals can still be made through the waiver wire over the next month or so.
Here is how that works:
Any player can be put on waivers by his team, and the player does not need to be informed. Other teams then have the chance to make a claim on the player during a 47 hour window.
If the player is claimed, the team that placed him on waivers has the option of pulling him back. If the team pulls him back they can't trade him for 30 days.
If his team decides not to pull him back:
Option 1: His team can work out a trade with the team that claimed him. Any player involved in the trade who is on a 40-man roster must go through waivers first.
Option 2: His team can just dump him and his salary on the team that claimed him, getting no player in return.
Option 3: No one claims him, and his team is free to trade him to any team.
If more than one team places a claim on a player, the winning claim is awarded based on worst record or the league the claiming team is in.