Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Making the trade

The 2008 trade deadline has come and gone, but it proved to be one of the most active and interesting in recent memory. Here are the break downs for all of the major mid-season moves.

New York Yankees
The Yanks were extremely active at the trade deadline picking up Pudge Rodriguez from Detroit along with Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady from Pittsburgh. While an in-season trade for a starting catcher is a bit of a rarity, landing Rodriguez was a necessity for the Yanks. With Jorge Posada down for the year the alternative option was platooning Jose Molina and Chad Moeller at catcher for the remainder of the season. Both have proven to be effective behind the plate, but largely useless when they stand next to it with that stick in their hands.

The addition of Marte and Nady also filled some noticeable holes in the Yankees lineup, giving them a lefty reliever which they had lacked and a left field bat to alleviate the injuries to Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. Marte has given up some big hits since coming to the Bronx though, apparently confusing the translation of Bombers, but his fellow former Pirate has been huge. Xavier Nady has racked up 11 RBI and 4 home runs since putting on the pinstripes, and has proven himself quite the preferable alternative to sending Brett Gardner up to the plate with a wet newspaper. Yankees radio announcer John Sterling, who has given us such stimulating sayings as “Jeterian swing” and the always politically correct “A-Bomb from A-Rod!”, has apparently holed himself up creating clever quips for the new left fielder, only emerging unshaven and unwashed to announce Xavier’s heroics with unbridled dickitry . X marks the jackass!

Boston Red Sox
The Sox made the noisiest move of the trade deadline, finally electing to cut the cord from longtime headache Manny Ramirez (cutting the cord is not a metaphor by the way; they literally had to have him on a leash on road trips). In a 3 way deal with the Dodgers and Pirates the Red Sox were able to dump Manny and obtain All Star outfielder Jason Bay.

While it is widely accepted that Jason Bay is no Manny Ramirez, he is a solid producer and could potentially be a much better fit for the Sox chemistry-wise. The organization’s relationship with Ramirez had evidently become so strained they were willing to give up two promising young players and even pay the remainder of his 2008 salary just to get him out of town. Rumor has it they were even offering to throw Kevin Youkilis’ goatee and Dustin Pedroia’s unyielding grittiness into the deal if necessary.

LA Dodgers
LA cashed in on Boston’s dismay with Manny Ramirez, throwing their hat in the ring at the last minute to pick up the slugger. Early in the year the Dodgers weren’t thinking they’d need to make a mid-season addition of a big bat because they had signed Andruw Jones, but that hasn’t exactly panned out as they’d hoped. Dodgers front office officials now say they will not be signing anyone in the future without first thoroughly checking into whether they had become fat and useless the season before.

Manny however, has been on a tear since joining the boys in blue, seemingly relieved from the pressure of doing everything in his power to get the hell out of Boston. Now, out on the west coast, it should be interesting to see how he assimilates himself to Los Angeles. I’m guessing by the end of the year he has a reality show in which he wears a Viking hat and cape and hands out do-rags to possible mates at elimination ceremonies. So keep your eyes out for Finding Mrs. ManRam on VH1.

LA Angels of Anaheim of California of the United States of America of North America
Baseball’s best team made a huge move in signing the premier name available, former Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira. The addition gives the Angel’s a 2-time gold glover at the corner and adds a big bat that potentially makes them the favorite to win it all.

Teixeira fits in perfectly in the offensive scheme, finally giving Vlad Guerrero the protection necessary to keep him from swinging at every horse crap pitch within a 2 meter radius of the plate. Plus, between innings Teixeira can bench press Chone Figgins to bolster his strength and conditioning.

Chicago White Sox
When acquiring a consistently injured player hitting .265 is meant to boost your offense it is a sign of a much bigger problem, but that’s exactly what the White Sox had to do. Thanks to the uber-ineptness of Nick Swisher (.230) and Paul Konerko (.212), Chicago decided to pick up veteran outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. from the Cincinnati Reds.

Griffey seemed refreshed by the idea of joining a team that is actually in contention though (he hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1997) and has been a welcome jolt to the offense hitting safely in 3 of his 7 at bats for the Sox. The big knock is obviously his age and the fact that Chicago will need him to play center field on a fairly consistent basis. But look at it this way, even if Griffey pulls both hamstrings and breaks one of his arms, he still may be more effective than Swisher and Konerko.

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