BY BRANDON J. SMITH, Couchsideshow.com writer
Now that the trade deadline has passed, let’s see where the main movers and shakers currently stand. Most of the deals involved prospects, and since I’m no guru on that area, we’ll focus on the priced prizes that were recently moved, and give quick scores on the trades. There was no blockbuster 10/10 deal to be found (Cliff Lee or Josh Johnson) but there were lots of non-superstar level trades made that saw contenders addressing needs without giving away major prospects in return.
• Texas Rangers acquire RHP Ryan Dempster – the 36 year old is having a bit of a career year, which doesn’t make me think it’s likely to last at such a high level. Here are Ryan Dempster’s ERAs the past four seasons:
Dempster has kept the home runs down (9 in 104 IP) and a respectable 3:07 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but he isn’t a top of the rotation guy that his streak of excellence might lead some to believe. That being said, the Rangers snatched a valuable commodity to give them rotation depth in the midst of Roy Oswalt struggling, and Colby Lewis lost for the season due to injury. I’ll give this transaction 7 out of 10 trade vetoes (inside joke for Braves fans).
• Atlanta Braves acquire LHP Paul Maholm and OF Reed Johnson – Don’t fret, Braves fans. You lost out on Dempster because he flat out chose not to accept a trade, but getting Paul Maholm (3.74 ERA) isn’t that low of a deduction. He’s another average pitcher having a slightly above average season to give your team rotation depth in the wake of yet another significant injury with this one being Tommy Hanson. Having a player like Reed Johnson allows manager Fredi Gonzalez to get him some at bats against lefties, and being a perfectly acceptable 4th outfielder going down the stretch. (more…)