As a fan of the Rays I must say that as one hell of a trade deadline despite the ending result being inactivity. We did see a few future hall of famers change teams today though, so let's cover the day's three big moves.
CIN trades OF Ken Griffey Jr. to CHW for P Nick Masset and INF Danny Richar
Since the Tampa and Seattle rumors dissipated not much had been said in regards to Griffey switching teams. Naturally Ken Williams decided he needed to add the object of his affection for quite a while and finally did so this morning. It's unknown how Griffey will fit in with a team that features Carlos Quentin, Nick Swisher, Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, and Paul Konerko yet all fears were compounded when Williams, a former center fielder himself, said something about center not being a difficult defensive position.
Griffey's power is seemingly going but he's maintained a .355 on-base percentage that fuels his .787 OPS. A .820 home OPS speaks well as Griffey will move into even more of a hitter's park, the concern shouldn't be whether Griffey can hit or not, but instead how Griffey will adjust to moving back to center field. Speed would seemingly be the issue, after all Griffey probably won't have too many problems reading the ball. If we compare the right field Junior to the 2008 average center fielder using THT's data and adding out of zone plays along with plays in zone then dividing by balls in play chances we discover that Griffey is 17 runs below average, and that's being generous and using his right field numbers! Griffey back in center is going to be a disaster.
The Reds coup is 25 year old Richar, currently playing in Charlotte and hitting for a .748 OPS, and 26 year old Masset who's thrown 44 and two-thirds innings for the big league club and roughly the same for Charlotte. It's a pretty a nice return as Richar could fill in at shortstop for the six-hole depleted Redlegs and Masset will almost certainly find his way into a few games for the Reds this season either as a starter or reliever. Of course the two first round picks would've been nice, but there's little guarantee Griffey wouldn't have accepted an arbitration offer.
SEA trades P Arthur Rhodes to FLA for P Gaby Hernandez
Mariners interim general manager Lee Pelekoudas was in a pretty tough spot and only moved one of his pieces in part due to reportedly high asking prices. One of the rumored prices: Dexter Fowler and Casey Weathers for Jarrod Washburn. Pelekoudas' trade strategy seemed to including taking the newest addition of Baseball America in his library, flipping to the team's pages, and asking for the first few names listed.
Unfortunately for Pelekoudas it didn't work outside of this, otherwise he could've possibly cemented himself as a legitimate candidate to be in command at next deadline, but on the bright side he did wind up with Hernandez, who BA ranked as the fifth best prospect in the Marlins system and their best prospect named Gaby. I don't know a ton about Hernandez other than he's 22 and was in AAA. Placing his mediocre stats aside the Mariners dealt a 38 year old left-handed specialist with a 40(!) line drive percentage for a 22 year old live arm, I really don't see a negative thing that can be said. Unfortunately the Mariners couldn't find a way to shed Washburn, but at least they'll get two compensatory picks when (if?) Raul Ibanez leaves Seattle this winter.
BOS trades P Craig Hansen and OF Brandon Moss to PIT, OF Manny Ramirez to LAD. PIT trades OF Jason Bay to BOS. LAD trade P Bryan Morris and 3B Andy LaRoche to PIT.
Finally we reach the deal that I'm sure will receive its own piece (or two) but let's discuss it anyways.
For Boston they're receiving about a half win upgrade almost exclusively on defense. Bay is no slump at the plate either, he ranks 10th in EqA, but the majority of the change will occur out by the monster. Bay will also make around 12 million less than Ramirez could've next season which is something that simply should not be discounted because of Boston's payroll size. A 12 million salary decrease for essentially the same amount of talent that's a few years younger is a pretty sweet swap. Yes, losing Moss and Hansen hurts, but only marginally, neither seemed to have a long-term spot reserved for them.
Pittsburgh had reportedly agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays 30 minutes before the deadline, sending Bay to the Rays for Jeff Niemann and Reid Brignac. That deal apparently fell apart when the Pirates demanded that Niemann be swapped out for Jeremy Hellickson, one of the Rays few untouchables. Rays' GM Andrew Friedman held out, and Neal Huntington jumped on a king's bounty. Moss will slide into Bay's slot, Hansen gets thrown into the iffy bullpen, LaRoche can start at third, and Morris wasn't drafted twice in the top three rounds within two years for nothing. Pirates fans may come away disappointed that Xavier Nady, Jason Bay, and Damaso Marte are gone, but Huntington's two moves have brought back eight players, five of them pitchers, and most of them close to contributing at the big league level.
Finally we reach the Dodgers who basically deal Morris and LaRoche for two months of Ramirez, including his 11 million dollar trade kicker. This leaves the Dodgers with Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier fighting for three outfield spots. Ned Colletti has amazingly acquired Pierre, Jones, and Ramirez, consider these numbers: including this season of Ramirez' deal that's a total of 8 years and 100 million dollars, roughly 37 million this season. They have a combined WARP of 5.6 this season, that's an average of about seven million dollars per win above replacement player. Want more dollar madness? Kemp and Ethier make about 800k total and have a combined WARP of 6.1.
I guess money doesn't buy happiness after all.