Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Importance of the July 31st Trade Deadline

Major League Baseball’s own version of the Final Four is set with the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs battling in the National League to see who will face off with the American League winner between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals. All four teams and their fans have waited a long, long time for a shot at winning a World Series, although Kansas City lost the World Series in Game 7 in 2014, and one of those teams will break their drought in 2015. All four of these teams were built from within the right way with a strong farm system and a good GM filling in the gaps with veteran talent either on the free agent market or the trade market. When all four of these GM’s saw an opportunity and a window in 2015 all four of them pounced on it as they went for it in 2015, something that may define Brian Cashman’s 2015 season and tenure as the Yankees GM.

We as Yankees fans are familiar with what the Toronto Blue Jays did this summer adding David Price, Troy Tulowitzki, Mark Lowe, LaTroy Hawkins, Josh Donaldson (last winter) and Ben Revere and they did while sparing no expense. The Blue Jays gave up their top prospect Daniel Norris and any other prospect opposing teams wanted in a trade because that’s the type of GM Alex Anthopoulos is. He’s not afraid to make the big deal and he won’t take no for an answer and we all see where it got him and the Toronto Blue Jays team he leads.

Their opponent in the Kansas City Royals traded away three big pitching prospects including Brandon Finnegan for the Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto and while the team did not get immediate dividends they received a gem of a start from him in Game 5 of the ALDS. Kansas City also acquired a versatile second baseman and outfielder in Ben Zobrist before the trading deadline came and went in a deal with the Oakland Athletics. Where would Kansas City be without these two key pieces this season? Not likely in the ALCS, I can say that much.

The Chicago Cubs team is made up of about 90% homegrown talent or young talent, which may be an exaggeration but not by much, but the team did make a few key moves before the trading deadline to solidify the team’s rankings in the National League. While the moves the team made were relatively minor, trades for outfielder Austin Jackson to fill out the bench and a separate acquisition of Fernando Rodney for the later innings in the bullpen, the team may not be where they are today and past the St. Louis Cardinals into the NLCS. That’s before you even mention the trade for Clayton Richard from the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Trevor Cahill giveaway sale from this season.

Finally the New York Mets went all in as well before the July 31st trading deadline acquiring Yoenis Cespedes, after failing to acquire Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers and after making Flores cry at second base, Tyler Clippard from the Oakland Athletics, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe from the Atlanta Braves to solidify the team’s bench and infield.

If it were not for these moves I truly don’t believe that any of these four teams are where they are today, fighting for a World Series Championship. This just goes to show you that even the best teams or the teams that seem the most stacked on paper need a little bit of fine tuning by the time July, August and September come around. The teams that make the moves necessary to get them over the hump don’t always prosper, and the teams that sit on their hands don’t always fail, but I’d say if you looked back at the Championship Series from Major League Baseball in the last 10-15 seasons or so I would think the odds would forever be in the favor of the team pulling the trigger and not the team sitting by idling watching the others get better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)