Sometimes the MLB Trade Deadline is terribly anticlimactic. There's buzz-buzz-buzz all week, a lot of conjecture from all corners of the Twittersphere, and then...nothing. But that didn't happen this year.
The A's turned themselves into the American League favorites by acquiring Jon Lester and achieving the status of Best Rotation in the American League. Naturally, the Tigers didn't like it and so they traded for David Price - because who could one-up Billy Bean but Dave Dombrowski? And Yeonis Cespedes changing teams? Nobody saw that one coming.
Houston and Miami swapped some pretty good prospects. The Yankees swapped spare parts for other spare parts in the vain hope of fooling some of their fans into thinking they did something. Washington acquired a Cabrera from the AL Central, but the one from Cleveland - not the one from Detroit. The Cardinals landed John Lackey but sent Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to the Red Sox.
Does anyone else feel like the Red Sox won today? Just a little bit? Granted, they had bigger and better pieces to ship off at the deadline, but damn. That's some fine work.
For the Twins, however, not much happened. Terry Ryan managed to pull a rabbit out of his hat by swapping Sam Fuld, a guy they got for nothing, back to his original team for a cost-controlled left-handed pitcher who slots into the rotation for 2015. That's a really good deal for a guy like Tommy Milone. Will Milone make the Twins a playoff team? No, but he's a much better option for a fifth pitcher than we've seen in Minnesota for some time.
There were random bites on Josh Willingham, but nothing happened there, and the only other player who had interest around the league was Kurt Suzuki. It turns out, in spite of hearing conflicting reports throughout the day regarding progress in extension talks, that the Twins felt pretty good about it and so nothing much materialized on the trade market.
The Twins became confident they could work out an extension with Suzuki yesterday so never really got too deep in trade talks for him.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 31, 2014
The Suzuki trade will polarize the fan base a little bit, but ultimately here are my takeaways.
- The upcoming free agent market for catchers is weak. At best, the Twins were taking a gamble at another catcher who would be just as likely - or unlikely - to be as good in 2015 as Suzuki has been in 2014.
- It's impossible to predict a trade market four months in advance, especially for catchers. Without gnashing our teeth on Wilson Ramos, it's normally exceptionally difficult and extortionate to trade for a good or even decent catcher. There are no guarantees. Other teams don't have to trade with you just because you want something.
- There is no catching help in the Twins organization that will be ready to contribute at the Major League level in 2015, outside of existing options: Suzuki, Josmil Pinto, Chris Herrmann, Eric Fryer. Pinto clearly isn't ready to catch everyday; Herrmann and Fryer are filler at best. It's not a bastion of optimism.
Antony said that the Twins plan to pair Josmil Pinto with Suzuki moving forward, but that Pinto still has to work on his defense.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 31, 2014