Just in case you've missed it, there's been quite a bit of activity on the trade market recently. Here's what has gone down in the last two or three days.
My analysis: This is only a marginal improvement for San Francisco. Garko is a better hitter than Travis Ishikawa, for sure, but Ishikawa is a great fielder. As I referenced here, SF should've been trying to improve their already good run prevention, and this is not the way to go about it. Barnes is a good pitching prospect, and this deal is a clear win for the Indians.
My analysis: This is probably the most meaningless trade you'll see this year. Both players had been struggling, and needed a change of scenery. Anderson, to me, is the better asset here due to age.
Other analysis: FanGraphs
My analysis: Snell and Wilson were both clearly done in Pittsburgh. They both, still, have the potential to be productive players in what would be an extremely unlikely Seattle playoff run in 2009, or a much more likely 2010 run. Jack Wilson is a tremendous defensive shortstop and plays at slightly better than league average, and Snell has shown the ability to be an above average pitcher. Jeff Clement's value, in my opinion, was mostly tied in his ability to catch. With his knees shot, he'll be moving to first base, where he will have to be able to play at least average or better defense for his bat to play there. Cedeno is a throw in. The 3 class A pitchers, however, are a very good pickup for a Pirates system that is getting better by the day. Check the other analyses for more on the pitchers.
Seattle Mariners trade Wladimir Balentien to Cincinnati Reds for Robert Manuel
My analysis: Balentien was a touted prospect who looked very good in the minors, but has been stymied by big league pitching. At 25, Balentien's career is by no means over, but he needs a resurgence with Cincinnati. Manuel doesn't throw hard but appears to have exceptional control. He projects as a bullpen piece.
Cleveland Indians trade Cliff Lee, Ben Francisco to Philadelphia Phillies for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Donald
My analysis: An exceptional deal for Philadelphia. Lee is incredibly cheap for both this year and next year (5.75M and 9M respectively). The Phillies hold on to Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ, and get the next best thing to Roy Halladay. This is not just a deal for this year, this is also a deal for next year, and being able to replace the anemic 5th spot in the Phillies rotation is huge. The prospects the Indians receive are certainly good, especially Knapp and Carrasco, but I feel they could've done better for Lee.
My analysis: Meaningless move. Adds rotation depth, but Sergio Mitre has been performing admirably in his fill-in role.
Other analysis: Fangraphs
Pittsburgh Pirates trade Freddy Sanchez to San Francisco Giants for Tim Alderson
My analysis: The ultimate win-now move. Too much to give up for a player like Freddy Sanchez, for sure. The Giants middle infielders have been struggling, and Freddy Sanchez is a good all-around player who will boost an anemic offense. Still, Alderson is a top-50 pitcher, and while some will disagree with that, his numbers seem to suggest that he has the potential to be a middle or even upper rotation guy, which is simply to much to give up for a rental like Sanchez.
My analysis: Josh Anderson, much like Brian Anderson, is a speedy outfielder who had recently been DFA by his team. Royals make a cheap pickup of a player who is still young enough to become a potentially productive player. Detroit just wasn't the right place for him.
Other analysis: Bless You Boys