2011 MLB Trade Deadline Grades

The July 31st trade deadline has come and gone and now it's the "dog days of summer." Though the trade deadline is over, I wanted to analyze and rate some of the trades that occurred before the July 31 deadline. I decided to analyze and rate four different trades by providing a letter grade for all the teams involved. I took into account how the trade will affect the team presently and down the road.

Carlos Beltran to San Francisco for Zach Wheeler

Grades: Giants C+ Mets: A

I feel this is a trade that completely makes sense for both teams involved but one team in the end did come up with an edge in this trade The Giants knew if they wanted to repeat as champions of baseball, they needed to bring in an "impact bat." The Giants were successful with this as they brought in the best bat on the market, Carlos Beltran. There are a few reasons why gave the Giants a C+ grade for this trade. One was because they gave up there best pitching prospect in Zach Wheeler. The Giants currently don't have any pitching prospects left in the minors, and

you never have enough pitching. In this trade the Giants traded their only pitching prospect, and had the Giants traded an average minor league bat and Jonathan Sanchez, I would give the Giants an A for this trade. Now, according to MLB.com, Zach Wheeler is the best overall prospect in the Mets organization. The Mets did the best they could do in this trade and I feel Sandy Alderson should be commended greatly. Lastly, I feel that the Giants had something special last year and though they have a great team this year, I don't think they have a team that can compete with the Phillies or Red Sox.

Carlos Beltran
Will Carlos Beltran be the missing piece the Giants need to repeat as Champions? Thanks to blogs.bettor.com for this picture.

Hunter Pence to Philadelphia for Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid and a player to be Named Later.

Phillies: A+ Astros B+

I like this trade for the Astros, but I love this trade for the Phillies. The Phillies needed a right-handed impact bat into their lineup, and since Jayson Werth left last offseason it was a startling need in their lineup. The Giants did a great job last year at exploiting the weakness of the Phillies with not having a right handed bat in there lineup. The Giants could keep throwing left handed pitching at the Phillies and

frustrate the likes of Utley, Howard, Ibanez and Brown. Now with Hunter Pence in the middle of the Phillies lineup, it allows for the big left-handed bats to see more right handed pitching. Hunter is under the Phillies control for two more years, and an upgrade from the 126 million dollar man (also known as Jayson Werth). As for the Astros, they received two of the top prospects in the Phillies organization, and were able to cut payroll. So why did I not give the Astros an A, because they didn't receive any elite prospects from the Braves organization. (The Braves have 3 pitching prospects that would rank above the prospects they received from Philadelphia). In the end, I feel it was a good trade for both teams, but the Phillies will be considered the "winner" of this trade in the end.

Hunter Pence
This trade will allow the leftie dominate Phillies to excel come October. Thanks to phillysportslive.com for this picture.

Mike Adams and Koji Uehar Texas; Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland to San Diego, Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter to Baltimore

Texas: A San Diego: B+ Baltimore: C+

Once again, I feel that all of the teams did well in this trade, but that the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres did the best. For the Rangers, they received two elite relievers who are under there control for at least one more year (Adams until 2012 and Uehar until 2015). This was one of the weak points of the Rangers team last year and will be a great upgrade at the back end of there bullpen. The trade will be a great short-term fix for Texas come October. As for the Padres, they needed to continue to stockpile their minor league system with young talent. Unlike last year, the Padres aren't in a position to compete for a division title this year and most likely won't be in position to compete in the near future.

The Adrian Gonzalez trade gave them necessary pieces to compete in the future (Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo) but not in the next two years. The Padres traded a 33-year-old reliever (in the national league and pitching in one of the best pitcher parks) for two quality starters in the future (MLB.com rank Erlin and Wieland as the 3rd and 9th best prospects in the Padres system). Though I like what the Padres did in this trade, I feel they made a mistake by not trading Heath Bell and receiving even more elite prospects in that deal (maybe trading with the Reds for Yonder Alonso, Devin Mesoraco, or Yasmani Grandal. As for the Orioles, the package of players they received in the Koji Uehar trade would have been considered elite 3 years ago but today are considered average.

With the emergence of Mitch Moreland, the Rangers decided to give up on the Chris Davis project. As for Tommy Hunter, he was once a 1st round pick and considered an elite prospect, but is now at the backend of the Rangers prospects list as they have a wealth of talent in their minor league system. The O's received two players who are major league ready, but I feel when its all is said and done will be considered "average" MLB players.

Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland for Joe Gardner, Alex White, Matt McBride and reportedly Drew Pomeranz

Rockies: A Indians: C

Ubaldo Jimenez
Will we see Ubaldo of the first half of the 2010 season who dominated MLB hitters and started the All-Star game or the pitcher who has been average since then? Thanks to zimbio.com for this picture.

If Drew Pomeranz is included in this trade, I feel this can help restock the Rockies farm system for many years to come and allow them to compete with the rest of the great pitching in the National League. Though the Rockies enjoyed having Ubaldo Jimenez in their rotation, they knew they needed to sell at Ubaldo's peak because after Ubaldo Jimenez, the rest of the Rockies rotation is none existent. As for the tribe, they felt they needed a number one or two pitchers to include in their rotation. The Indians already have a great young nucleus which includes: Carlos Santana, Matt LaPorta, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Brantley, and their MVP candidate Asdrubal Cabrera.

I don't have a doubt that in a year or two the Indians and Royals will be competing for the AL Central Division crown. Though this trade will help their rotation, I'm not sure if Ubaldo is the answer in being a front of the line rotation starter in the American League. In the National League, Ubaldo Jimenez was considered an ace or at worse a number two pitcher, but in the American League I feel he is fortunate enough being a number two, but should be considered a number 3 pitcher in a team's rotation. This trades helps the Indians in the short term, but all of the prospects given up in the trade will hurt them in three years from now.

Here's a link to our prior story about the 2011 MLB Trade Deadline.

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