July 31, 2012

Big deals at the deadline; help or hurt?: Here is a team-by-team sampling of the in-season trades that had an effect on that year's pennant race. This year's deadline was about 15 minutes ago. Who did well, who did poorly, and who did nothing? I disagree with at least one of the author's selections, but I'll add that as a comment later.

posted by Howard_T to baseball at 04:14 PM - 18 comments


August 1987: Traded John Smoltz to Braves for Doyle Alexander.

Alexander went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA down the stretch for Detroit, helping the Tigers edge Toronto for the AL East title in a thrilling finish. But Smoltz, a Michigan native, became a star in Atlanta.

I disagree with this one. Flags fly forever, and Alexander was definitely the tipping point for the Tigers over the Jays. *sob*

posted by grum@work at 04:23 PM on July 31, 2012

Yeah, that one always gets lumped in with the Jeff Bagwell trade, but they seem very different to me. Probably because I'm a Red Sox fan.

posted by yerfatma at 05:07 PM on July 31, 2012

Well, flags fly forever, but in that case it was an AL East division title. I think when people say "flags fly forever," they are usually talking about World Series flags. Tigers did not even get the AL pennant that year. Of course, that is hindsight analysis. Alexander pitched the Tigers into the playoffs (and thus gave them the opportunity at a flag), and I think it is a bit of a dice roll after that.

posted by holden at 05:32 PM on July 31, 2012

On a personality and clubhouse chemistry basis, Smoltz for Alexander is off the fairness chart and into highway robbery territory.

posted by beaverboard at 05:43 PM on July 31, 2012

I think when people say "flags fly forever," they are usually talking about World Series flags.

True, but the playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot, so just getting into them (and Alexander definitely helped that) is the true goal of the deadline deal.

posted by grum@work at 06:20 PM on July 31, 2012

Yep. Agreed.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:28 PM on July 31, 2012

True, but the playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot, so just getting into them (and Alexander definitely helped that) is the true goal of the deadline deal.

If that's the standard, Detroit still got the raw end of that deal. Look at how many division titles and playoff appearances they achieved in the '90s with Smoltz leading their starting pitching corps. The Tigers had pretty much disappeared as contenders for a long time after that season.

posted by NerfballPro at 06:28 AM on August 01, 2012

The Bagwell deal for Anderson might have been one of the worst in Red Sox history (running a distant second to the sale of a left-handed pitcher named Babe something-or-other), but I think the most important deal was moving Garciaparra in 2004. What was little noted at the time was the trade for Dave Roberts. The history tells the rest of the story, as Roberts' steal rated in the top 5 thefts in New England history (others being the Brinks robbery, the Plymouth mail truck robbery, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery). The 2004 season completely changed the culture of the Red Sox, and I'm not sure the change was for the better.

posted by Howard_T at 02:35 PM on August 01, 2012

Howard, I'm a believer in the "lose a star, gain a title" theory.

Sometimes it's bittersweet - the Tennessee Vols making their run to glory right after Peyton Manning's departure

Sometimes it's devilishly satisfying - Tiki scrams (but won't shut up), Giants win title.

I definitely agree that dealing Nomar paved the way to the promised land in 2004.

However, I think the team culture might have changed when they lost guys like Damon and Millar. As a casual observer, that's when things felt different to me.

posted by beaverboard at 02:47 PM on August 01, 2012

What was little noted at the time was the trade for Dave Roberts.

Completely disagree!

posted by yerfatma at 03:49 PM on August 01, 2012

yerfatman: That's gold, man. Do you have something similar about the uselessness of David Tyree on the NY Giants roster for the 2008 Super Bowl?

posted by grum@work at 04:36 PM on August 01, 2012

Nope, but there's one about how the Big Three will never amount to anything. They're on my profile page under "Great Predictions I Have Made".

posted by yerfatma at 04:43 PM on August 01, 2012

yerfatma: I'd like a "true" beside my prediction for SFG being the worst hitting team in MLB in 2008 if Bonds doesn't join them. Based on OPS+, they were.

posted by grum@work at 05:03 PM on August 01, 2012

I want my Lester grade changed to a D- on account of this year. That would be an A+ prediction if both parts of its were qualified with "in 2012."

posted by holden at 05:14 PM on August 01, 2012

Incidentally, came across this comment (read the small text) in looking back at my Jon Lester prediction. La plus ca change, deja vu, etc.

posted by holden at 05:17 PM on August 01, 2012

Done and done. Happy to accept new nominees as they appear. It was mainly my outlet for dealing with one user's addiction to SWAG.

posted by yerfatma at 06:15 PM on August 01, 2012

Completely disagree!

2004 was a bit before my life as a SpoFite, so I didn't realize the amount of notice the Roberts deal had on the site. Fatty, if you are in the business of predicting lottery results, remind me to see what you have picked, then take the opposite. In 2004 I was doing a lot of travel, and it was often difficult to keep abreast of Boston sports. I celebrated the '04 World Series win while sitting in a motel in Clarksville, TN, and exchanging e-mails with my boss. Anyway, the tone in the Boston press seemed to be one of "Oh, yeah, Dave Roberts can be a useful player to fill a role, but he's not that big a deal". I guess you guys are smarter than the average beat writer and columnist (but then I knew that).

posted by Howard_T at 09:43 PM on August 01, 2012

I'd also like to get credit for this one.

I just threw in Carolina because they are below the salary floor: http://www.capgeek.com/charts_floor.php

They have to add another $3.3million to their payroll to meet the league minimum required, so Kaberle being signed by them for that amount would do the trick. I don't know who (if anyone) is pursuing Kaberle.

posted by grum@work at 09:42 PM on July 04

Carolina signs Kaberle. Boston trades for Carolina's Joe Corvo.

/cue spooky music

posted by yerfatma at 05:10 PM on July 05

posted by grum@work at 12:16 AM on August 02, 2012

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.