Which MLB Deadline Trade Will Have The Biggest Impact?
The MLB trade deadline has come and gone with a flurry of deals that again make some teams stronger while other teams (hello Astros) basically tossed their season in the Dumpster. But which, if any, of these teams that made a deadline deal will see the greatest return?
Is it Ubaldo Jimenez in Cleveland?
Sorry Indians fans, that answer is no. Although Jimenez is a young fireballer coming off of a monster season where he went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA, the Indians acquisition is having a mediocre year which seems to be somewhat an extension of how he finished last season. After going 15-1, Jimenez finished his 2010 campaign going 4-7. This season he is 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA. Yes, he has potential. However, the Indians have been decimated by injuries and their carriage is about to turn into a pumpkin in the 2nd half of the season with Detroit and Chicago making a run. Jimenez would have to be brilliant to make that much of an impact.
Is it Carlos Beltran in San Francisco?
Nope. But Beltran is a bat that the Giants were in dire need of. On one good leg, Beltran is hitting .281 with 15 homers and 67 RBIs. For a relatively anemic San Francisco offense, this is an adrenaline shot. He slides right into the 3-hole and helps Pablo Sandoval get more RBI opportunities. But you’ve got to wonder if/when that leg is going to give out. They sit on top of the NL West but have only scored 3 more runs than their opponents. Can Beltran really help that much? I doubt it.
Is it Michael Bourn in Atlanta?
Almost. Bourn is a base stealing machine and the glove in center field that Atlanta desperately needed. They currently sit 6 games out of first place and have the pitching to turn the lights out on any team in the NL. Putting Bourn at the top of your lineup instantly helps Prado, Freeman, Uggla and Heyward. If he gets on base, might as well call it scoring position. The pitching is already solid, but his glove will surely save a few runs here and there. The problem? Well, there isn’t one really. They are going to be a better team for sure. Just not sure if they can make it to the World Series because the team ahead of them just got a whole lot better.
It’s Hunter Pence.
Is he as good defensively as Bourn? No. But his bat fits right in with a Philly offense that is already potent. On a craptastic Astros team, Pence batted .306 with 11 homers and 63 RBIs. Those numbers will surely improve when you surround Pence with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies are already in first place and it appears that Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley are really getting hot towards the end of July. Adding Pence is a monster benefit. Houston stunk and Pence put together some great numbers (granted, Bourn was right there with him in Houston), but now the NL has been put on notices. Philly is coming to win. Great pitching, a lethal lineup and the best record in baseball just got even better with the addition of Pence. See you in October!