A couple big names will don new uniforms following the trade deadline, and none were bigger winners than the Red and White Sox that Victor Martinez and Jake Peavy will be slipping on. While the Indians season fell apart quickly leading to trades of 2 of their best, the White Sox have fought nicely to keep themselves in the playoff mix, and now they have positioned themselves to potentially steal their division in September.
By acquiring Jake Peavy for 4 prospects, Ken Williams has now put together one of the best rotations in the league, with Mark Buerlhe, recent author of a perfect game, all of the sudden becoming a pretty damn good 2nd starter. Throwing Peavy and Buerlhe gives the White Sox a chance to win any one single game, and should they find their way in to the playoffs, they will be extemely dangerous. And let’s not forget Gavin Floyd and John Danks are no slouches either. Peavy is on the disabled list with ankle issues, but should return at the end of the month, when the White Sox will then throw a quality starter out every day for the rest of the season. The White Sox won the World Series a few years ago with a similar kind of depth to their rotation, which pitched deep in to nearly every game and gave way to a strong and rested bullpen. Ken Williams wasn’t just thinking about this year, he’s thinking about the next 3 or 4, and as they’re veteran hitters tail off, he has again put together the kind of rotation that can shoulder the load. Whether they make the playoffs or not, this move makes them alot better now, as well as next year and beyond. Smart move by Ken Williams, who in typically aggressive fashion goes out and gets the type of front line starter you need to win in this league.
The Red Sox trade for Victor Martinez makes them big winners at the deadline as well. While the Red Sox had some very good hitters in their lineup, it’s just not as imposing as it was in their World Series years, with Ramirez and Ortiz striking fear in the heart of the apposing pitcher. This move gives them that extra stick in the middle of the order that they sorely needed to stretch out the lineup. As Jordan pointed out, he will give them some flexibility between Catcher, where a near the end Jason Varitek currently resides, 1B and DH, and lightens the burden that falls on Pedroia and Youkilis considerably. Manny is gone, the bloom is off Big Papi’s rose, and Jason Bay has been no where to be found of late. So the Sox did what they had to do and went back to Cleveland for another slugger years after the Ramirez trade. Boston’s farm system was deep with prospects to dangle and Martinez should slot into the 3 or 4 hole for several years to come. The Red Sox can only hope that his time with the team will bring as much success as Manny’s. A year ago, they finally removed him from the middle of the order, potentially costing themselves a trip to the Series. This time around, they did what was necessary to fill at least a large portion of the gap he left, and perhaps with a little less drama as well.
The Phillies were big winners as well, they didn’t come up with the big fish Roy Halladay, but we knew they would get a pitcher, and I think that last year’s Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will suffice. I just don’t want to give them credit for anything. I don’t even want to talk about them.
Be back in the coming days to touch on some of the other deadline moves that could loom large, and maybe even our first dive into some NFL football. I know I’m not the only one that’s counting the days…
Until next time