Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trade Deadline Reactions

The Major League Baseball trade deadline of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31 was eventful around the league, but in the Bay Area the trade deadline was less than memorable for the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants.

While the Oakland Athletics made a move on Tuesday night, July 30 with their Southern California and American League West rival the Anaheim Angels the San Francisco Giants stayed put with their team, in what is turning out to be a very dismal season for the reigning World Series Champions.

The Giants who have several big name players with large sums of money on the table such as Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence and Barry Zito it was almost hard to believe that General Manager Brian Sabean could not make a deal, or did not want to make a deal to bolster his team for another pennant run, or trade for the future. But as the trade deadline past the Giants stayed put.

To me Sabean’s actions were similar to those of Manager Bruce Bochy. He is going to stay with his big guns, and little ones, and try to ride out the storm, one that has been disastrous of late. If the Giants don’t make the postseason this year I wouldn’t be shocked if Lincecum or Zito does not return next year, and the Giants are compensated with draft picks.

On the other side of the Bay the Oakland Athletics made a trade for veteran infielder Alberto Callaspo.

In getting Callaspo the Athletics had to trade minor league second baseman Grant Green, who had been called up earlier this month was 0-16 in his major league bats with no walks, one sac-fly RBI and six strikeouts. However, in AAA for Sacramento, the Athletics highest minor league affiliate, Green was doing well at the plate hitting .325 in 378 at-bats with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs. But that did not translate to the majors in his short stint.

Trading Green and getting Callaspo is a clear sign that the Athletics and General Manager Billy Beane are intent on pushing for the now, instead of the future.

“We needed some infield help, particularly someone who could help swing from the right side,” said A’s General Manager Billy Beane.

Callaspo, in his eight seasons in major league baseball with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals and Anaheim Angels is a career .273 hitter with 42 home runs.

So far in 2013, with the Angels, Callaspo is hitting .252 with five home runs and 34 walks in 86 games.

What Callaspo will add to the Athletics is depth in the infield that was previously held by Adam Rosales, who was designated for assignment Wednesday morning.

Callaspo will also add a right-handed bat, as a switch hitter he will fill in to platoon with Eric Sogard at second base against lefties, who the left handed hitting Sogard hasn’t had much chance to face this year with Manager Bob Melvin electing for the situational match ups all season long.

While the Athletics were in the conversation to grab a premier arm like Chicago White Sox Jake Peavy, who went to the Boston Red Sox in a three-team trade or Houston Astros Bud Norris, who went to the Baltimore Orioles, the Athletics should be fine with their current pitching staff of Bartolo Colon, A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and Dan Straily who have guided the Athletics to a 63-44 record and a five game lead over the Texas Rangers for first place in the American League West as of July 31.

Pair the current starting rotation with the preseason projected ace of the staff Brett Anderson resuming baseball duties in the last month and Sonny Gray getting some major league experience over the last month, the Athletics are actually deep in terms of starting pitching and could actually put one of those arms into the bullpen which could do wonders when rosters expand in September.

With the trade deadline behind us, teams like the A’s and Giants can still look to make moves to bring players in or trade players away, but the players in those deals must be waived by their teams, so the frequency of moves after July 31, and before the August 31 waiver deadline is fewer.

While there are still chances for quality players to move teams much like the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez last year from the Boston Red Sox on August 25 in what turned out to be a block-buster trade but the odds are against teams to land that must have arm or big bat that might lift them into the postseason.