Category Archives: Trades

Jay Bruce survives the deadline

I woke up to tweets like this:

And around dinner, kind of like back when rapture was supposed to happen; the deadline passed and we caught this:

What a day of roller coaster emotions. I thought this was going down, then I thought it wasn’t. Then it looked like it was. I think we’ll come to find out the Reds came very close and their owner blocked a trade of Bruce.

He was after all, the guy who gave us this:

I’m very thankful for whatever amount of time I have left to watch Bruce as a Red. His last couple months; let’s call it six weeks or so, have been six of the better weeks of his Reds career.

Trade Deadline-Eve


So many deals have happened that; the days are starting to run together. Here’s the notes of what’s taken place since we last logged trades:

  • Brandon Moss from Cleveland to St. Louis for the Cardinals number three overall prospect, Rob Kaminsky. [Lets Go Tribe]
  • Cole Hamels is sent to the Rangers for five minor leaguers. [Grantland]
  • Mat Latos, Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Jose Peraza, Luis Avilan and Mike Morse are headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 13-player, three-team deal. The Miami Marlins got three minor league arms, and the Atlanta Braves got a few side pieces in Hector Oliveras, Zach Bird, and Paco Rodriguez. [Dodgers Now]
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates traded some cash for Joe Blanton of the Royals.
  • Carlos Gomez was sent to the Mets for Wilmer Flores and Zach Wheeler. Except, no.
  • Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers were traded to the Houston Astros with Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana being the marquee pieces headed to Milwaukee. {CBS Sports]
  • The Blue Jays went all-in in trading for David Price from the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers get three nice prospects in the deal. {MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Joakim Soria was sent to the Pirates from the Tigers for JaCoby Jones.
  • The Chicago White Sox are buying! And they paid cash to the Pirates for infielder Justin Sellers.
  • The Phillies traded Jake Diekman and Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers for handful of prospects and Matt Harrison. []
  • The Yankees dealt for Dustin Ackley. [Seattle Times]
  • The Reds traded Mike Leake to the San Francisco Giants for a AAA slugger and another piece. {Diamond Hoggers]

To me, this has been the wildest trade deadline period in baseball history. I don’t remember one with more big deals before July 31st and this many huge names discussed. And there’s some huge stuff still in the works for tomorrow to be sure.

Aroldis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Ben Revere, Craig Kimbrel, Gerardo Parra, Carlos Gonzalez, Tyson Ross, Jake Marisnick, Yovani Gallardo, Zach Wheeler, Carlos Carrasco and others have been rumored.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy.

Mike Leake traded to the San Francisco Giants


Another Jenga piece of the Reds roster tower is pulled out of the toppling fray late tonight – Mike Leake has been traded to the San Francisco Giants for some minor leaguers.

I never really liked Mike Leake. Heard some things about him snubbing an underprivileged kid down at the park when he didn’t need to, then he stole the tee-shirts, then he blocked us on twitter for ribbing him in good nature about it. And he lost game four of the 2012 NLDS at home with a flat performance. We never really forgave him for any of that.

That said, he’s a solid big league pitcher. He profiles to be even better in San Francisco than he was in Cincinnati, where he went 62-47 with a 3.87 ERA, 701 strikeouts to 260 walks since being the 8th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 draft. His best year was 2013 when he went 14-7 and 3.37 ERA.

He’s really a durable guy who will use that big ballpark and have success. He doesn’t miss starts, and can go the distance any time in a ballgame when he’s on.

Seeing the roster dismantled this time around is really hard. Even to see Mike Leake go, even a guy we aren’t fond of. It’s a changing of the guard. This is brutal.

Lots of Members of the MLB Fraternity changing Places


In the past 24 hours, we’ve all seen the equivalent of what you would see on a true deadline day:

  • Troy Tulowitzki (I am a great speller and can never get it on the first try no matter how many damn times I attempt it) was shocked in being traded to the Blue Jays for Jose Reyes and Miguel Castro along with minor leaguers.
  • Ben Zobrist was sent from the A’s to the Kansas City Royals for minor league arms. Many are saying that this makes the Royals the team to beat in the American League. Now I love Ben Zobrist as much as the next guy; but come on now. That said, Zobrist’s average has gone from the low .200s to .268 in a short amount of time.
  • The Angels acquired David DeJesus, David Murphy, and Shane Victorino in the wake of the news that Mike Trout could be headed to the disabled list.
  • The Washington Nationals traded for Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies for the 10th rated prospect in their system, pitcher Nick Pivetta. It’s a good move until you get to this part of the news: Papelbon will take the closer role from Drew Storen. Totally bone-headed on the Nationals part as an organization. Storen has had his troubles in the past, but has arguably been the best closer in the National league this season. He’s 29 for 31 in opportunities, has a 1.73 ERA to follow up his 1.12 ERA last season and has struck out 44 batters in 36.1 innings. Papelbon has 17 saves, hasn’t blown one, and has 40 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. I think you stay with Storen until there’s an issue or you use both of them. Remember you heard it here first, there’s going to be a blown save that costs the Nationals dearly at some point by Papelbon. It’s Storen’s pen, he has the confidence of his teammates right now, and he simply has the better stuff.
  • The Mets added Tyler Clippard from the Athletics; and following that trade he said the Nats were ‘beatable’.

There are still some marquee names out there being talked about going somewhere: Cole Hamels, David Price, Mike Leake, Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, Francisco Rodriguez. Of course you’ll have that random deal made between two middling teams that is really just shuffling deck furniture on the Titanic. Those trades are the best trades.

So Long, Johnny Cueto


And so ends an era. Johnny Cueto was traded to the Kansas City Royals today for three pitchers; the most notable being Brandon Finnegan.

It’s funny – we had this blog going when Cueto began his Reds career. They were coming out of the darkness, over a decade of futility. You knew you were on the ride up. Today, it’s like the organization admitting that this current core and guys on the 25-man roster will never win a title or play in a World Series. I mean, it was official before today of course. But this makes the probability meter of that ever happening absolute zero.

Right down to the very end; right down to his very last start as a Red, Johnny Cueto was awesome. We kind of eulogized him after his gem in Washington a few outings ago. The bottom line is he’s the best homegrown pitcher the Reds have put in a uniform since Mario Soto. Who knows when we’ll have another true ace like Cueto or how it will go when it happens. I may be a very old man.

It’s really hard saying goodbye to the players you love, the players you’ve grown so attached to. The players you’ve spent so many evenings in your living room living and dying with through the eb and flow of a baseball game and season.

While the Reds prepare to mire in obscurity, Cueto will write a new chapter and start more games in the postseason and probably reach incredible heights yet in his career. The book on this chapter has sadly closed. I’ll really miss Johnny Cueto.

Trades are beginning to go down


Last night, the Cubs dealt Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for highly touted minor-league prospect Addison Russell. The Cubs are entirely loaded, flush with top prospects and youth heading into the future.

One Cubs fan over at World Series Dreaming breaks it down this morning for us more eloquently than we could. It’s a great post. Read it.

The reactions that have been flying around FaceBook and Twitter have been quite amusing, and have flown across the entire spectrum from “Theo is an idiot” to “greatest trade ever made”. With this deal standing alone, I am not sure I can give either one of those comments any more merit than simply mentioning that they were made. This trade does not make Theo Epstein an idiot, and this is so far from the greatest trade ever made that I cannot imagine how this was said with a straight face.

For the ‘right now’ this trade immediately shifts the balance of power in the American League West heavily to the Athletics. So what do the Angels do to combat this?

They trade for a little pinch-runner and lefty bullpen help. On Campana (BBREF page here), one of our friends coached him one summer in college and wondered ‘how the Hell did this guy make it to the big leagues’ when it came up in conversation.

If you follow @Ken_Rosenthal, you can see that the trade market is really heating up all around baseball with the Blue Jays sizing up Martin Prado and the Cardinals are in the market for a bat.

You have to love this time of year when everyone is on the lookout for a hired gun and spare pieces are changing teams quicker than you can keep track of.

Morse Deal: What No One is Talking About

Yes, the Mariners added some much needed power in Michael Morse.  Did they pay too much in John Jaso?  Maybe.  Jaso had a 3.4 oWAR this year.  Morse had 3.8 in his “breakout” year.  When you can trade three more years of control at a premium position for one of a pending FA at a position pretty much every player with power can play, you have do to it, right?

Whatever,  the real news here is the major hole that Jaso will leave the Mariners in the facial hair department.  His beard blows that weak stuff on Morse’s face out of the water.  See for yourself.

It’s a good thing Jaso is moving to Oakland.  The Bay Area seems to be where weirdly bushy facial hair goes to prosper.








Good luck to Jaso and Morse.  I think both cities will be happy to welcome them to the city.

Mike Morse headed to Seattle in three-team trade

We had a feeling that this would be the last Take on Me ever heard at Nationals Park.

Today was another day that the Nationals were in the thick of things, highlighting a three-team trade that sent Micheal Morse to Seattle and A.J. Cole to Washington. The trade also involved the Oakland Athletics picking up catcher John Jaso.

The Nationals will receive right-handed pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen along with a player to be named later from the A’s, according to baseball insider Danny Knobler.

As part of the deal, the A’s will receive catcher John Jaso from the Mariners. The A’s also announced that catcher George Kottaras has been designated for assignment.

Cole was rated the A’s third best prospect and performed well at class-A before struggling in high-A ball. This trade was a return home of sorts, as the Nationals originally drafted Cole in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Morse originally broke into the big leagues with the Mariners in 2005 and was in Seattle until 2009.

We always liked Morse. Later on it was for the A-ha batter walk-up song. Any guy who digs 80’s music that much and flaunts it is okay in our book. But our mind always shifts back to a night in Cincinnati in 2010 when we saw him take batting practice before the game. He was just a reserve then. We noticed how big he was. We noticed how he seemed to lace balls and there was a different sound off the bat compared to other guys. We thought the guy could play if given the chance as a full-time regular. The rest is history, and when it happened we always had a soft spot for Morse.

Hanley Ramirez’s Dodger Debut

Last night was Hanley Ramirez’s first big league game in a uniform other than the Marlins. The Dodgers lost 3-2 in extra innings in his debut. I spent the evening playing cards with my good friend (and Dodgers fan) Dave Franco from Next Level Ballplayer. He had great cards.

Ultimately, I think this proves to be a huge move for the Dodgers who appear serious once again about spending the big dollars to win. He hasn’t been great this season, but he’s still Hanley Ramirez. If he decides he wants to do this, he’s a really dangerous bat to add to the heart of the order. I look for the Dodgers to make one more move to acquire an arm and be one of the teams who sneak into the playoffs on a dangerous run.

And people will probably look back on this Ramirez trade and say the Dodgers came out on top. I think people around baseball were surprised at how little it took to acquire the former batting champion.

Ichiro to the Bronx

Only in American baseball can a guy walk across the other side of the field and into the dugout that belonged to opponents moments earlier and call it home.

It was a strange scene that the baseball world didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for. I never pictured Ichiro Suzuki in anything other than a Mariners uniform. And if it was going to happen it would be okay; we would all have a long off-season to place in him in a Giants uniform or whatever team he ends up with as a free agent.

Except it happened quickly. We got the text that Ichiro had been dealt to the Yankees for just the price of two nameless minor league pitchers. After twelve years and 2,533 hits as a Mariner the ’51’ was gone and he was wearing a strange number and hitting towards the bottom of the Seattle New York lineup. And I really did mis-type that last sentence, my brain wasn’t adjusted.

He got a standing ovation. He singled, of course; stole second and the Yankees rolled on to a ho-hum victory.

The baseball world is a crazy place of existence. Ichiro in the Pacific Northwest was about as perfect a marriage as there could have been. This transaction is evidence that nothing is sacred in the baseball world, and the Yankees can still have whatever they want for the price of just a few nameless minor leaguers despite having a ‘depleted’ farm system for the past decade. Will someone just tell them ‘no’ sometime?

Reds Acquire Mat Latos from Padres for Yonder Alonso & Edinson Volquez

The Reds traded Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, and former 1st round picks Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger for Mat Latos this afternoon.

Can you tell we’re less than thrilled?

There are two ways to look at this trade. One is that basically in return for Josh Hamilton, we have now just Latos to show for it. We also threw in Yonder Alonso and two promising first round prospects just to sweeten the deal for the Padres.

The other way to look at it is the Reds traded a surplus to fill a need–and acquired the only proven Major Leaguer in the deal. I choose not to look at it that way because I felt Alonso shows more at the plate than Jay Bruce or Drew Stubbs or any other young Reds player. Now what will they do when Joey Votto skips town?

While I like Latos’ stuff, his numbers aren’t that impressive when you factor in that he’s been pitching in a pitcher-friendly ballpark his entire career. He’ll only be 24, but I would expect his numbers to and productivity to decline in Great American Ball Park.

UPDATE: FanGraphs likes the trade. I will still resume crybabying.

Thank God for Addition by Subtraction

Today, I sent a text to my friend telling him that the Reds had traded Willy Taveras and Adam Rosales to the Oakland A’s. I didn’t tell him who we got in return. That wasn’t important.
His response?
“That’s awesome.”
And he’s right. It really didn’t matter who we got in return, even though Aaron Miles is a pretty good guy to have coming off of the bench. He was born to play in the NL Central.
But Rosales isn’t a guy who is ever going to do a lot at the Major League Level. Really nice kid. Just not a big leaguer.
And Willy Taveras?
Taveras would have been the whipping boy all year long. It’s clear that the Reds told Oakland if they wanted to complete the deal, they had to take Taveras off their hands. And Oakland complied. And then hours later they designated him for assignment. That’s how highly Oakland thought of Willy ‘automatic leadoff out’ Taveras.
The Reds just keep making good moves. Maybe a new era really is upon us.

Dodgers acquire Jim Thome. The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired one of the most prolific power hitters in baseball history last night, re-uniting him with Manny Ramirez to give them two active players with over 500 home runs. We have to say we like the move quite a bit, although unless you’re going to sit James Loney, where will Thome play? Possibly more of a move to acquire a veteran winner then to add much statistically. [Chicago Tribune Hardball]

Dukes optioned to AAA to make room for Nyjer Morgan. “The Washington Nationals sent Elijah Dukes to AAA Syracuse Wednesday morning, saying Dukes was not a “finished product” and needed to play every day rather than sit on the bench in the majors. The move came in response to the team’s acquisition of middle reliever Sean Burnett and center fielder Nyjer Morgan in Tuesday’s trade that sent Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan to the Pittsburgh Pirates.” [WaPo]