July 28, 2012

MLB Trade Deadline Shake-Ups

By - Jaquan Murphy

As the trade deadline nears, late July is when the teams furthest from the playoff picture can have a significant impact on the final outcomes.

That impact has already been felt around the league.

The Seattle Mariners were the first bottom dwelling team to deal a star. Prior to their series against the New York Yankees, they told star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to report to the visitor's dugout -- as he was traded to the Yanks for two prospects.

Photo by: Lindsey Wasson
In an unexpected move, the Mariners helped put the Yankees even more ahead of the rest of the AL East by giving them an everyday outfielder to replace an injured Brett Gardner who will miss the rest of the season with elbow problems.

Ichiro's presence will also allow more recovery time for the banged up Nick Swisher, and more rest for the aging Andrew Jones and Raul Ibanez.

Surprisingly, the Miami Marlins are another team who may have impacted the playoff picture without being in it. Many expected the Marlins to be a contender to win the NL East, or at the very least -- be in the wild-card chase. But as the deadline approaches, the Marlins sit well out of the race. They joined the club of sellers and traded the once face of the franchise, third baseman Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects.

In a tight race for both the NL West and NL Wild-Card, this move looks to put the Dodgers in a good position by adding another bat and filling a hole in the infield.

Miami also left their imprint on the AL races by trading Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Tigers. Sanchez equips Detroit with another dangerous arm to an already dangerous rotation, while Infante gives the Tigers some defensive stability.

To no one's surprise, the Houston Astros are another one of the early teams to impact the race. To everyone's surprise, the Pittsburgh Pirates are right in the thick of things. The Astros traded Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates which added another arm to complement an already solid rotation headed by A.J. Burnett and James McDonald.

With time still remaining until the deadline, there are a handful of teams with front line names that can impact the playoff picture in major ways as well.

Possibly the biggest chip in the market is Brewers starter Zach Greinke. The front-runners for him appear to be the Rangers, Angels, White Sox, and Braves -- with all four teams either leading or within striking distance of their division. Greinke's one red flag is whether he will be able to be re-signed by the team that lands him.

Other big names seriously being thrown around are Francisco Liriano of the Twins, and Philadelphia's Shane Victorino and James Shields. The teams more likely to pursue one of these players are teams who are gunning for their division so they can have them for an extended push, as opposed to a wild-card team where there is no guarantee that they will even impact the one wild-card game.

In addition to those guys, there are some teams such as the Cubs, Astros, and Marlins, who are basically open to conversations about almost any player on their roster.

When late July hits, no one is safe. Several big moves have been made already and quite a few more will be made before the July 31st trade deadline.

With an added wild-card spot and the ultimate goal of hoisting a trophy at the end of the Fall Classic, many teams are in whatever it takes mode to field the best possible team in hopes of winning a ring.


  1. Ichiro going to the Yankees really pisses me off. Watch, they'll probably sign Greinke too.

  2. Simply put, it's the time of year when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. lol