Two days before the Trade Deadline, teams "scramble" to try and find players that will come in and be effective in thier new roles. Today, two trades went down so far. Both were to get bullpen help, and both may be effective when September and October roll around.
Tigers trade OF Danry Vasquez to the Astros for RHP Jose Veras.
Braves trade RHP Cory Rasmus to the Angels for LHP Scott Downs.
Both trades will solidify bullpens that have needed another arm to get much-needed outs. Downs has inherited 254 runners over his career, and only 79 came around to score. That's an astounding inherited score percentage of only 31%. He also owns a 1.84 ERA this season. Veras also owns an even lower career inherited score percentage than Downs, as he's only allowed 19% (25 of 130) to score. His ERA this season is 2.93.
Both these pitchers will make immediate impacts, as they are now thrown into pennant races. The Braves and Tigers improved their bullpens by a lot with the acquisitions of Downs and Veras, as they can close the door in tough situations. I think both teams attacked a need by making a superb deal.
A few hours after the Athletics were named the "frontrunner" to land ace Jake Peavy, another team became a favorite to acquire the pitcher. The Rangers are now in the running to trade for the White Sox pitcher. Yes, they just acquired Matt Garza. And now, they could land Peavy according to Daryl Van Schouwen (via Twitter). He stated that "source says Oakland, then Texas are top possibilities [to land Peavy]."
Texas has plenty of pitching prospects, some of which I noted in my Hunter Pence report yesterday, such as Luke Jackson and Connor Sadzeck. This is an area of need in Chicago. Earlier today, however, I believed that the Red Sox would acquire Peavy. I do not still stand by that opinion. With Texas and Oakland both having deep farm systems, and the Red Sox interested in Ervin Santana, I just don't see Peavy going to Boston.
Now, at this point, Texas may be in the race either to "drive the price up on Peavy" or really be interested in acquiring the righty from the White Sox.
At this point, I do not want to speculate where Peavy will end up. There is no way of knowing who's truly in the race, or bluffing the other teams out. It's just the game of poker that the teams have to play during the trade deadline season. So, who's going all in?
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was signed late Friday night, by the team that gave him the highest bid. He has a fastball that sits at 91-94 MPH, and can reach 96, on occasion. He also mixes speeds with pitches like the cutter, splitter, and changeup. The 26 year old has impressed scouts and evaluators across major league baseball, say that he only needs "a few minor league starts" before he can join the rotation in the big leagues.
The Phillies beat out the Red Sox in the bidding war. They signed Gonzalez to a six year, 59 million dollar deal, 48 of which is guaranteed. They also added a vesting option for a seventh year for 11 million.
Gonzalez could be that "Trade Deadline fish" that you get just before the deadline. Two pluses, however. To get Gonzalez, you didn't have to get rid of your top prospects. Also, you could sign him to a long term deal, because most players traded at the deadline have one or two years left on their current contracts.
This was a huge signing for the Phillies, because they didn't want to lose Jesse Biddle and Maikel Franco, their two largest prospects. They also wanted to prove that they want to stay in contention in 2013 and beyond. Imagine a rotation with Lee, Gonzalez, Hamels, Halladay, and Kendrick. This is so much like the Phillies' "four aces" from 2011.
The Phillies, not known to go all out on international prospects, took a risk here. Obviously, every team take somewhat of a risk when signing these prospects, but with the production of Jose Fernandez, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman, the Phillies wanted to get into the mix on these guys.
I think Gonzalez career will be fun to see, and how competative he will pitch will come from his first start in the minors. Phillies fans can just hope that this is a change of strategy and that Ruben Amaro Jr. is trying a new strategy to keep the Phillies above the competition.
Padres relief pitcher Luke Gregerson is drawing interest from multiple teams, as we are four days away from the Trade Deadline. The Red Sox, Phillies, and Tigers are a few of the many teams to call the Padres about the reliever. Gregerson is a free agent in 2015 under his current contract with the San Diego Padres.
Gregerson is drawing more interested than closer Huston Street, because not only are his numbers better, but he's owed less than fifty percent of what Street is owed. Gregerson is 4-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 46 appearances. With a 1.03 WHIP, Gregerson also is one of the best setup men in the game.
The Padres are looking for "controllable young pitching" in return for Gregerson, as they currently rank 26th in team ERA (4.24). Gregerson is a very good relief pitcher, and could be a nice consolation prize for teams who missed out on Francisco Rodriguez when he was dealt to the Orioles.
I believe that the Tigers will make the biggest push for Gregerson, considering how much they've valued relievers in this trade market. Gregerson would be able to solidify a bullpen that has plenty of issues this season, and could help them make a run into October. Detroit already has had their eye on Gregerson, as they reportedly offered starting pitcher Rick Porcello for the reliever.
In a time where New York is struggling with injuries at practically every position, they still have a good enough team to "buy" at the trade deadline. Alfonso Soriano is their newest outfield piece, as he was dealt from the Cubs. Now getting a homecoming in New York, Soriano waived his no-trade clause officially this morning, as the deal was approved by the MLB. Soriano began his career for the Yankees in 1999.