July 31st marked the MLB trade deadline. A lot of teams made trades to help them make a push at a World Series title. A lot of teams didn't make any moves. Then there were the teams that made minor moves. With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, and with winners already discussed here, let's take a look at some of the teams that are deadline losers.
New York Yankees: The Yankees were a surprise at the deadline, but not because they went and acquired a top tier player. The Yankees were a surprise because they did not add any starting pitching. The Yankees rotation has been ravaged by injuries (CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, etc...) and appeared to be in the market for starters. There were quite a few rumors that the Yankees were close to acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Cubs, but clearly a deal never materialized. The AL East has turned out to be extremely competitive this season, so the Yankees appear to be pushing their luck and putting all their eggs in a basket that everyone can quickly come back and continue to contribute. Looks like the Yankees dropped the ball on this one.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies make the list even though they made a couple of trades. They traded OF Hunter Pence to the Giants and OF Shane Victorino to the Dodgers. Yes, the Phillies were able to shed salary, but weren't able to move the expiring contract of Joe Blanton or the monster contract of Cliff Lee. But even though they were able to move Pence before his salary escalated through arbitration and free agency, they definitely received less than what they traded to Houston for Pence last season. Oh, and the Phillies have almost $400 million (total value of contracts) tied up to Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Ryan Howard for a few more years. If the Phillies wanted to sell and start rebuilding, they needed to make a few more moves at the deadline.
Oakland Athletics: To everyone's surprise, the A's are in the middle of the AL West and Wild Card races. While the A's are competing at a high level, a lot of the offensive players are having career years. With career years comes the question as to whether the players can maintain their current paces. With Oakland full of young players, it remains to be seen whether they can keep it up. But the left side of the Oakland infield has been somewhat of a question mark all season. Oakland was linked to 3B Chase Headley, SS Yunel Escobar, and SS Stephen Drew. If the A's had acquired just one of these guys, the offense would've received a big boost. If Oakland decided to hold on to their prospects in place of helping out the team this year, it was a big mistake. The A's definitely missed out at the deadline.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals have shown few signs of slowing down after last season's World Series title. The losses of SP Chris Carpenter and 1B Albert Pujols haven't hurt the Cardinals much. They have received very solid contributions from guys like OF Carlos Beltran and SP Lance Lynn to help offset the losses. With the team firing of high cylinders, there was only weak area that the team needed to address at the deadline: the bullpen. Yes, the Cards made a move to get RHP Edward Mujica, but he definitely isn't the type of pitcher that will help stabilize their bullpen. It looks like the Cardinals dropped the ball on this one. If they really wanted to upgrade the pen, they would've looked for a stronger presence type of player. An impact arm would've been preferable to a middle reliever like Mujica. A good fit would've been Jonathan Broxton who went to rival Cincinnati.
Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles are a huge surprise in the AL East. Baltimore is somehow in second place and has a chance at making a run at the playoffs. That's where the good times stop for the Orioles in this article. They have a minus 60 run differential, meaning their opponents have scored 60 more runs than they have (yikes!). If the Orioles want to continue making a run towards the playoffs, they needed to add some overall talent. Starting Pitching, bullpen arms, and even a bat would've benefited Baltimore greatly. So what did they do at the deadline? They acquired 41-year-old DH Jim Thome. Thome is only helpful to the Orioles if they had been able to acquire at least one other bat. But failing to do so makes them dependent on a guy at the end of his career that has injury problems (Thome is currently on the DL). With the Orioles' failure to capitalize on a great first half that saw their team overachieve greatly, they find themselves on this list. In addition to becoming a "Deadline Loser," the Orioles should soon find themselves out of contention and wishing they had made at least one other move.
(Dis)Honorable Mention: Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Have a different loser that you think should've made the list? Send me your responses on Twitter to @bigfrostydomj or leave a comment here.
Stats obtained from sports.yahoo.com67199