With less than 24 hours before the MLB trading deadline teams are working the phones, and rumors are swirling about numerous veterans. Top of that list is a rumor that the Boston Red Sox will be dealing OF Manny Ramirez to the Florida Marlins. To put that into a bit of perspective the total payroll of the Marlins is just over $22 million, and Ramirez alone makes $20 million. Also possibly heading elsewhere before the tomorrow afternoon deadline include Greg Maddux, Jason Bay, Jarrod Washburn and Raul Ibanez.
The past couple days have not been without activity though with two large trades involving top teams in the American League. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Angels acquired 1B Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves for 1B Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek. The Braves wanted to unload Teixeira after being unable to finalized a deal to keep the Scott Boras client from becoming a free agent at seasons’ end. The Angels don’t usually make deals around the deadline, but this season they needed to strengthen a lineup that is 19th in runs scored and 15thin batting average. Teixeira was batting .283 with 20 HRs and 78 RBIs, and should be the answer to the Angels offensive woes. It is unclear at this time if the Angels will attempt to re-sign Teixeira at the end of the season, or if this is just a rental for the postseason. Either way this trade only helps the club that already owns the best record in the league.
Earlier this afternoon the Detroit Tigers sent C Ivan Rodriguez to the New York Yankees for reliever Kyle Farnsworth in a trade that is a minor head scratcher. Both teams received players in positions that they needed major help, but did the Tigers not get face value for a future Hall Of Famer? With the season ending surgery to Jorge Posada the Yankees needed to get a catcher for a playoff run, and the bullpen has been an issue for the Tigers all season long. Should the Tigers have asked for more than a relief pitcher? Maybe throw in a minor leaguer? The Tigers knew the Yankees needed a catcher, but maybe they were willing to trade away Rodriguez to get something in return. Most Tiger fans knew this was going to be his last season in Detroit, and many were surprised he returned for this season. Farnsworth is a proven reliever and can close if the Tigers need him to.
So does this trade help both clubs? On paper yes, but in the clubhouse and on the bench for the Tigers no. Rodriguez was the first piece of the new look Tigers when he was signed in 2004, and he made it clear then that he thought the team was close to playoff contention. The trade of Rodriguez is a blow to the Tigers team, and is the first sign that the management is starting to show the white flag on this season. Rodriguez was not only the starting catcher for the Tigers he was their team leader, and his departure is not only a blow to the fans but also to his teammates.
Tomorrow should see a flurry of activity from clubs in and out of the playoff races. The deadline is 4pm EST tomorrow. Head back to Ground Rule Double early tomorrow evening for a complete rundown of deals made around the league.