Surveying The Landscape After The 2013 Trade Deadline

Now that dust has settled on the 2013 trade deadline, let’s take stock of the altered landscape and view the in-season maneuvering as a complete narrative rather than a few stray transactions. Even in a comparatively subdued year—review all the deals at Trade Central—each of the three days leading up to the deadline featured three trades.

Reflected here are all the player-for-player trades involving big leaguers or prospects consummated between Opening Day and the July 31 deadline. For each team, players are classified as either imports or exports. A series of two slashes (//) marks the dividing line between major league player and prospect listings. Teams listed in order of standing as of the morning of Aug. 1.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Red Sox
• Import • RHS Jake Peavy, LHR Matt Thornton // RHR Brayan Villarreal (AAA)
• Export • SS Jose Iglesias // LF Brandon Jacobs (AA), RHS Francellis Montas (Lo A), SS Cleuluis Rondon (SS), RHR J.B. Wendelken (Lo A)

Rays (0.5 GB — Wild Card 1)
• Import • RHR Jesse Crain, LF David DeJesus
• Export • LHP Sean Bierman (Hi A), 3B Ben Kline (SS), LHS Matt Spann (Lo A)

Orioles (5.5 GB)
• Import • RHS Scott Feldman, RHS Bud Norris, RHR Francisco Rodriguez // C Steve Clevenger (AAA), international bonus slot four ($213,000)
• Export • LF L.J. Hoes, RHR Pedro Strop // RHS Jake Arrieta (AAA), 3B Nick Delmonico (Hi A), LHS Josh Hader (Lo A), supplemental 2014 first-round draft pick, international bonus slots three and four ($388,100)

Yankees (8 GB)
• Import • LF Alfonso Soriano
• Export • RHS Corey Black (Hi A)

Blue Jays (14 GB)
• Import • None
• Export • None

The Orioles added a pair of league-average starters in Scott Feldman and Bud Norris to guard against the potential absence of Jason Hammel or the deterioration of Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman, who both raced past their previous highs for innings in July. Baltimore relievers rank 26th in baseball with 7.5 SO/9, so Francisco Rodriguez gives them somebody who can miss bats. The Red Sox opted for the big-ticket item, Jake Peavy, whom they acquired at a very reasonable cost in terms of prospects and whom they have under contract for next season at $14.5 million.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

Tigers
• Import • SS Jose Iglesias, RHR Jose Veras
• Export • CF Avisail Garcia (AAA), RHS David Paulino (R), LF Danry Vasquez (Lo A), RHR Brayan Villarreal (AAA)

Indians (2.5 GB — Wild Card 2)
• Import • LHR Marc Rzepczynski
• Export • SS Juan Herrera (SS)

Royals (7 GB)
• Import • CF Justin Maxwell
• Export • RHS Kyle Smith (Hi A)

Twins (15 GB)
• Import • None
• Export • None

White Sox (20.5 GB)
• Import • CF Avisail Garcia (AAA), SS Leury Garcia (AAA), LF Brandon Jacobs (AA), RHS Francellis Montas (Lo A), SS Cleuluis Rondon (SS), RHR J.B. Wendelken (Lo A)
• Export • RHR Jesse Crain, RHS Jake Peavy, LHR Matt Thornton, RF Alex Rios // LHP Sean Bierman (Hi A), 3B Ben Kline (SS)

The Tigers have superstars in place, so they typically like to add around the edges, as they did this year with reliever Jose Veras and shortstop Jose Iglesias. Last year they added Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante, while in 2011 they picked up Doug Fister, Delmon Young and Wilson Betemit in-season. Holding one of the best starting pitchers available, the White Sox waited until July 30 as they attempted to get the best prospect possible for Jake Peavy. They accomplished that goal with the acquisition of outfielder Avisail Garcia—who hit .374/.410/.537 with 13 extra-base hits in 33 games for Triple-A Toledo—in a three-team deal with the Red Sox and Tigers.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

Athletics
• Import • 3B Alberto Callaspo, C Kurt Suzuki
• Export • RHP Dakota Bacus (Lo A), 2B Grant Green (AAA)

Rangers (4 GB)
• Import • RHS Matt Garza, RF Alex Rios
• Export • RHS Justin Grimm // RHS C.J. Edwards (Lo A), SS Leury Garcia (AAA), 3B Mike Olt (AAA), RHS Neil Ramirez (AA)

Mariners (12.5 GB)
• Import • None
• Export • None

Angels (14 GB)
• Import • 2B Grant Green (AAA), RHR Cory Rasmus (AAA)
• Export • 3B Alberto Callaspo, LHR Scott Downs

Astros (26 GB)
• Import • LF L.J. Hoes // LHS Josh Hader (Lo A), RHS David Paulino (R), RHS Kyle Smith (Hi A), 2B Ronald Torreyes (AA), LF Danry Vasquez (Lo A), supplemental 2014 first-round draft pick
• Export • CF Justin Maxwell, RHS Bud Norris, RHR Jose Veras // international bonus slots two, three and four ($997,700)

Once again, the Rangers were one of July’s biggest buyers (Matt Garza) and the Astros one of the month’s biggest sellers (Bud Norris, Jose Veras, Justin Maxwell). The Angels cashed in Alberto Callaspo and Scott Downs for big league-ready pieces with modest ceilings (Grant Green, Cory Rasmus).

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves
• Import • LHR Scott Downs
• Export • RHR Cory Rasmus (AAA)

Nationals (11 GB)
• Import • RF Scott Hairston // RHP Dakota Bacus (Lo A), LHS Matt Spann (Lo A)
• Export • LF David DeJesus, C Kurt Suzuki // RHS Ivan Pineyro (Hi A)

Phillies (12.5 GB)
• Import • None
• Export • None

Mets (13.5 GB)
• Import • None
• Export • None

Marlins (21 GB)
• Import • RHR Steve Ames (AAA), RHS Angel Sanchez (Hi A), RHR Josh Wall (AAA)
• Export • RHS Ricky Nolasco, international bonus slot four ($197,000)

After dealing a dozen big leaguers in the year 2012, the Marlins made only one trade this July, shipping Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers for a light return that provides more salary relief than future impact potential. The Braves (Scott Downs) and Nationals (Scott Hairston) made marginal upgrades to strengthen themselves in the departments of, respectively, lefthanded relief and righthanded power.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

Pirates
• Import • None
• Export • None

Cardinals (2.5 GB — Wild Card 1)
• Import • SS Juan Herrera (SS)
• Export • LHR Marc Rzepczynski

Reds (6 GB — Wild Card 2)
• Import • RHR Parker Frazier (AA)
• Export • RHS Armando Galarraga (AAA)

Cubs (16 GB)
• Import • RHS Justin Grimm, RHR Pedro Strop // RHS Jake Arrieta (AAA), RHS Corey Black (Hi A), RHS C.J. Edwards (Lo A), 3B Mike Olt (AAA), RHS Ivan Pineyro (Hi A), RHS Neil Ramirez (AA), international bonus slots two, three, three and four ($1,172,800)
• Export • RHS Matt Garza, RF Scott Hairston, LF Alfonso Soriano // 2B Ronald Torreyes (AA)

Brewers (19.5 GB)
• Import • 3B Nick Delmonico (Hi A)
• Export • RHR Francisco Rodriguez

The top three teams in baseball’s most competitive division elected to sit out the July deadline, though the Brewers (Nick Delmonico) and Cubs (Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, Jake Arrieta, nearly $1.2 million in international pool money) made strong plays for the future.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

Dodgers
• Import • RHS Ricky Nolasco, international bonus slot four ($197,000)
• Export • RHR Steve Ames (AAA), RHS Angel Sanchez (Hi A), RHR Josh Wall (AAA)

Diamondbacks (2.5 GB)
• Import • LHR Joe Thatcher // RHR Matt Stites (AA), supplemental 2014 second-round draft pick
• Export • RHS Ian Kennedy

Rockies (7.5 GB)
• Import • RHS Armando Galarraga (AAA)
• Export • RHR Parker Frazier (AA)

Padres (8.5 GB)
• Import • RHS Ian Kennedy
• Export • LHR Joe Thatcher // RHR Matt Stites (AA), supplemental  2014 second-round draft pick

Giants (10 GB)
• Import • None
• Export • None

The Dodgers (Ricky Nolasco) and, surprisingly, the Padres (Ian Kennedy) turned out to be the lone NL clubs to trade for big league starting pitchers. The defending World Series-champion Giants elected not to sell off veterans despite finishing July in last place in the division. All other last-place clubs, save for the Blue Jays in the AL East, traded away at least one veteran, and the Astros (three), Cubs (four) and White Sox (three) moved multiple players.

A Penny Saved

Jim Callis ranked the top 10 prospects traded in the aftermath of the July 31 deadline, but for those teams selling off veterans, the prospects acquired are only part of the allure. Trading tenured players and replacing them with young players making the major league minimum can result in substantial payroll savings for 2013 and, in some cases, beyond.

By making trades this year, the White Sox shed more than $10.5 million in 2013 salary commitments, plus another $27 million next year owed to Jake Peavy and Alex Rios. Their crosstown rivals, the Cubs, finished runners-up in the savings sweepstakes, moving nearly $10 million for this season and $7.5 million for 2014 that would have gone to Scott Hairston and Alfonso Soriano. All salary figures come courtesy of the wonderful Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

The following chart accounts for the payroll savings achieved by the eight clubs that traded away big league talent in July. These numbers are rough estimates and make two giant assumptions: 1) that teams are trading away exactly one-third of each player’s 2013 salary (to cover months five and six, August and September, of the season), and 2) that teams are replacing traded veterans with players making the minimum ($490,000), or in this case, one-third of the minimum ($163,333) to cover the final two months of the season.

 

PAYROLL SAVINGS ACHIEVED THROUGH TRADES
Team Savings ’13 Players Traded (Years Left)
Savings ’14
Cubs $10,736,666** DeJesus, Feldman, Garza, Hairston (1), Soriano (1) $9MM
White Sox $10,679,999 Crain, Peavy (1), Thornton, Rios (1) $27MM
Marlins $3,670,000 Nolasco
Angels $2,706,667 Callaspo (1), Downs $4.875MM
Astros $1,340,834 Maxwell (3), Norris (2), Veras $3.492MM+
D-backs $971,667* Kennedy (2) $4.265MM+
Brewers $503,333 Rodriguez
Cardinals $203,333 Rzepczynski (3) $1.1MM+
+ Estimate does not account for projected arbitration raises for player(s)
* Savings offset by adding Joe Thatcher’s $1.35MM salary in trade
** DeJesus trade savings assessed at 25 percent due to Aug. 19 transaction date