July 20, 2012 by Matt Musico
There is still about a week and a half until the MLB non-waiver trade deadline passes on July 31st, but there were some deals made today with big name players. No, Ryan Dempster is still with the Chicago Cubs (for now), but the two deals that were made today, one between the Rockies and Royals, and another between the Blue Jays and Astros, just don’t make sense to me.
Colorado decided to part ways with their off-season acquisition, Jeremy Guthrie (3-9, 6.35 ERA) and traded him to Kansas City for recently demoted southpaw Jonathan Sanchez (1-6, 7.76 ERA). This trade is between two teams that were projected to compete for a playoff spot within their respective divisions, but have disappointed. So, why trade these two under-performing pitchers?
This reminds me of the trade between the Cubs and Marlins that included Chris Volstad and Carlos Zambrano. It’s just not working out where they are, so both teams are hoping that the new pitcher they have will be able to turn things around with some new scenery. Also, Sanchez and Guthrie are returning to leagues that they are familiar with, which could aid them in turning their fortune around.
However, the 10-player trade between the Astros and Blue Jays doesn’t make sense to me for Toronto. The Blue Jays received J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, and David Carpenter, but not only did they give up two MLB players in Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco, they also gave up four promising minor leaguers, the most prominent one being Joe Musgrove. This swap of players helps the Jays’ issue of filling their battered starting rotation, but they mortgaged a lot of their future for this trade, and at 45-47 while occupying the AL East basement, they’re acting like buyers this month. They are only 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, but these players weren’t worth that much.
The Astros not only got two Major Leaguers that can help them out right now, but they received a good, young core of players that can help them within the next few years as they begin their rebuilding process with new ownership in place. This trade could help Toronto down the road, but this move will not make them any better when put up against teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, or even the Orioles. Happ doesn’t instill any fear into me, and I doubt it does to anyone in the AL East either.
An interesting move, and I could be wrong years down the road when we see how everything shakes out with this transaction, but for now, it looks like the Astros are big winners here.