I will analyze trades and rumored trades going down today, updating as news breaks. Latest news will be on top.
Red Sox acquire Eric Gagne from the Rangers for Kason Gabbard and minor leaguers David Murphy and Engel Beltre
I’m a big Kason Gabbard fan, so I think that the Rangers come out the winners in this one, especially given their desperate need for major-league-ready starting pitching. The Sox did avoid giving up any of their A-list prospects and moving Gabbard is helpful in the short term to clear room in the rotation for Schilling’s impending return, but they had to renegotiate Gagne’s contract to get him to waive his no trade clause, bumping up the price tag by several million, and they have consistently under-estimated Gabbard’s potential. If Gabbard ends up being a decent major league starter, the Sox may well regret giving him up for just two months and ~20 innings of Gagne.
Astros dump Morgan Ensberg on the Padres for a player to be named
The Padres continue their endless quest for a third baseman, which has been going on for more than two years now. No word yet on which minor leaguer the Astros are getting but it was probably nobody special since the Astros had designated Ensberg for assignment and had to trade him.
Padres get Rob Mackowiak from the White Sox for a player to be named
The Padres continue their search for answers in the outfield. Mackowiak is an even better option that yesterday’s acquisition, Scott Hairston, for the 4th outfielder role, so Hairston is probably headed to the minors. The White Sox are clearly sellers this year, so anything they can get for their impending free agents is a plus.
Braves get Octavio Dotel from the Royals Kyle Davies
This deal has been agreed to by both sides, but the Braves have to wait until the Teixera deal is finalized because Davies could potentially become the alternate player if the Rangers reject Matt Harrison for health reasons. This deal makes sense for both teams – the Braves have soured on Davies but the Royals would get a live arm to upgrade their ever-beleaguered rotation. There is speculation that Moore could have gotten a bit more for Dotel than Davies, but that his familiarity with Davies from his days in the Braves organization and his gut-feeling that Davies can be a star swung things in favor of the Braves.
Dodgers deal Wilson Betemit to the Yankees for Scott Proctor
At first glance this seems like a good deal for the Dodgers. Betemit had lost his starting job and had nowhere to play, and the Dodgers bullpen has been devastated by injuries and having to move Chad Billingsley, Mark Hendrickson, and Brett Tomko into the rotation to replace injured starters. However, Betemit’s low batting average of .231 conceals the fact that he has an extremely respectable OPS of .834, and by all rights should be starting at 3B over Nomar Garciaparra, who has a pathetic OPS of .690. Betemit’s OBP is .359; Nomar’s is .330. Betemit’s SLG is .474; Nomar’s is .360. Betemit has 10 home runs in 156 at-bats; Nomar has 4 home runs in 358 at bats. Meanwhile Scott Proctor has been one of the most abused pitchers in baseball since the beginning of 2006, and his peripherals are way down across the board since last year. So basically, this is a great deal for the Yankees. Betemit is a huge upgrade over Miguel Cairo as a utility infielder, and offers insurance at 3B should A-Rod opt out of his contract. Given a full year as a starter, Betemit should be able to hit 30 homers with a decent OBP.
Red Sox ship Joel Piniero to the Cardinals for a player to be named
This deal makes sense for both teams. The let’s-convert-piniero-to-a-bullpen-ace plan had been a complete bust for the Red Sox this season, so much so that they had busted Piniero down to the minors July 25. But for the Cardinals, Piniero immediately becomes something like their third best starting pitcher, so giving up a player-to-be-named seems like a pretty cheap price for a team with no starting pitching to speak of to gamble on Dave Duncan’s ability to help a player that is only 28 years old and has already started 148 big league games.