Trade Deadline winners and losers? First, there are the Orioles.
This isn’t complicated. The Orioles needed to improve their pitching staff. They wanted to do this without trading any of the core pieces of their Minor League system. They believe they’re good enough to win a championship this season, but they’re building something larger, something they hope will last.
GM Dan Duquette did the impossible, or close to it. He acquired three contributors—Scott Feldman, Bud Norris and Francisco Rodriguez—without decimating his farm system. The Orioles were already good. Their lineup is as good as any. They’ve got a great manager in Buck Showalter. They’ve got a winning vibe in their clubhouse thanks to Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, etc.
Now they’re better. They may not be as good as the Red Sox and Rays in the American League East, but they’re plenty good enough to get back to the AL Wild Card game for a second straight year. In evaluating who won and who lost this month, this is the place to start.
GM Dave Dombrowski worked his magic again, adding a solid bullpen arm in Jose Veras and a terrific defensive shortstop in Jose Iglesias. The Tigers didn’t need much. They’re in a close division race and likely to lose shortstop Jhonny Peralta to suspension. But Dombrowski has again done a terrific job putting them in position to win a championship.
3. Red Sox
Jake Peavy gives the Red Sox another experienced, proven, productive starter for a rotation that may not have Clay Buchholz the rest of the season. They, too, are in a good place.
Like the Tigers, the Braves may have been good enough to win without doing a single thing. But GM Frank Wren did a nice job adding left-handed reliever Scott Downs and giving manager Fredi Gonzalez another late-inning option in front of Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel.
GM Kevin Towers finished his month-long search for a reliever by getting lefty Joe Thatcher from the Padres in a deal that included Ian Kennedy going to San Diego.