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Which teams won with midseason trades?

By: Mark Foudos

No team wins a World Series at the trade deadline but the moves they make before it can help lead to one, or they can help the team in a big way improve in the future. It all depends on a team’s situation, whether they are in contention and buying or they are out of contention and selling but some teams do better than others and below is a list of the big winners of the July trades.

WINNERS

Los Angeles Dodgers

Even though he is on the down side of his career Shane Victorino definitely upgrades the Dodgers outfield and bolsters their lineup, adding speed and flashes of power. With Matt Kemp, Andrew Either, and now Victorino, who will shift from center to left field as he replaces Dee Gordon, the Dodgers have one of the best outfields in the league. But Victorino is not only replacing Gordon in the field, he will also likely replace his spot in the lineup as the team’s lead-off man. Another thing that Victorino should help improve is the Dodgers’ defense. Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday, were splitting time in left field since Gordon went down, but Victorino is significantly faster than both and will have more success chasing down fly balls. The other big move the Dodgers made was for relief pitcher Brandon League. Kenley Jansen has had some trouble closing out games in Los Angeles so they decided to make a move to improve the late bullpen and while League has had some problems closing on his own and was even removed from his closer role in Seattle, Don Mattingly has the ability to go with the hot pitcher at the time. Jansen should probably continue being the closer, though, while League remains one of the league’s top setup men. Oh yea, the Dodgers also added Hanley Ramirez. Sure, Ramirez is no longer the MVP candidate that he once was but his athleticism and decent power will be an upgrade over Luis Cruz as he moves back to short top.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are hopeless for a postseason appearance so they traded Brandon League to build for the future. Seattle received two prospects from the Dodgers for him: Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom. Landry will fill in for the recently traded Ichiro while Bawcom is an arm, which no team can ever have enough of. In another trade made before the deadline the Mariners acquired Eric Thames from the Blue Jays for Sam Delbar. Thames will help the Mariners outfield in the future and could develop into a star. He proved he had talent with Toronto but there just as not any room for him to get playing time.

Los Angeles Angels

Zack Greinke was the big prize during the trading period so it does not matter who they game up for him or if they resign him in the offseason, they win. With Greinke the rotation is absolutely dominant as he joins Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren. The Angels should have no problem winning or being in real contention for a victory in four out of every five games. His addition will also help the bullpen. After Weaver, Wilson and Haren the other two spots in the rotation were being split up between Jerome Williams, Ervin Santana and Garrett Richards and two of those guys should move to the bullpen full-time. Greinke was 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA with Milwaukee and in one start with the Angels since being moved he went seven innings and allowed only two runs on two hits with eight strikeouts.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Simply put, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a very good trade. Wandy Rodriguez becomes a big part of their staff. He may not be the team’s ace but the veteran left-hander did very well despite being on a bad team and having a poor record. In Houston Rodriguez was just 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA. It was hard for him to find run support in Houston but Pittsburgh will provide him with some and that should take pressure off of him to try to over-pitch, which should also bring down his ERA.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers were another team to benefit from the Miami Marlins fire-sale. A few days before the trade deadline they acquired pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante. The Tigers needed a second baseman with Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn just not cutting it. Infante should improve that, coming from Miami after hitting .287 with eight home runs, 33 runs and 10 stolen bases. Sanchez was far from perfect in his first start since coming over from Miami, giving up five runs off eight hits in six innings against Toronto. However, he can be a very reliable option on the mound.

Chicago Cubs

Out of contention for the postseason the Cubs became winners but finding a way to trade Ryan Dempster. A few weeks ago Dempster rejected a trade to Atlanta so he could go to the Dodgers but they were not offering enough for the Cubs to make a trade. Then, at the very end the Texas Rangers swoops in and made a deal. The Cubs got two minor league players for him, Christian Villaneuva and Kyle Hendricks. There is always a risk in trading for minor leaguers, especially ones only in single A, but when a team is rebuilding like the Cubs are those are the types of guys they want. In another trade they received pitcher Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman for veterans Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson. The Cubs made their future look better and by trading Johnson they open up room for Brett Jackson to get his opportunity. This could make the Cubs dangerous in a few years so while prospects don’t always work out they are winners right now.

Texas Rangers

Getting Ryan Dempster from the Cubs gives them the ace that they desperately needed as they try to finally get their World Series Championship. To this point the pitching staff in Texas has not been doing so well and to make things worse they lost Colby Lewis and Naftali Feliz for the year. Derek Holland has been struggling this season and Yu Darvish has been good but is still learning the game so Matt Harrison was the only truly reliable pitcher before the addition of Dempster.

TO EARLY TO TELL

Philadelphia Phillies

It seems crazy that the Phillies wound up as a seller at the trade deadline but they manages to ship off some older, more expensive player to get some younger, cheaper guys so they could keep their amazing pitching staff. Tommy Joseph, Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin were all added through trades. Lindblom is the only one of those three who has had a taste of the majors, going 202 with a 3.02 ERA in 47.2 innings. Joseph and Martin are tough to judge, though, because they are just prospects; they could be future All-Stars or never make the majors, only time will tell.

Milwaukee Brewers

They Brewers had to either trade Zack Greinke or risk losing him in free agency after he rejected their 5-year, $100 million extension, and they did, shipping in off to the Angels for two pitching prospects and Jean Segura. Segura had some experience playing short stop for the Angels but with Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick in town there just wasn’t any room for him to get significant playing time. With Alex Gonzalez out for the year and Cesar Izturis at the very end of his career the Brewers need a shortstop but Ariel Pena and John Hellweg will have to be judged in the future. Also, because Greinke only rejected the Brewers deal because he wanted to test the free agency market, if they can get him back this will be a major win.

Miami Marlins

After going all-out in the offseason to get a championship roster together the Marlins had to sell guys off because they are underachieving so horribly. While they traded some big names they netted catcher Rob Brantley and pitchers Brian Flynn and Jacob Turner. Turner has had a few unsuccessful starts in the majors but he has been listed as the top pitcher in the minor leagues so before a judgment can be made it must be seen if he can be successful in the majors or if he is just a classic four-A pitcher. Brantley played in the future games in July but he an Flynn are complete unknowns in the majors at this point.

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