Trade deadline winners and losers

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So, I’m mostly trade deadlined out after about 90 tweets and writing up all of the finalized deals over at Rotoworld, but I think I have enough left for a winners and losers blog.
I’m focusing strictly on Friday’s action. Looking at the big picture, I’d say the Pirates and Dodgers would also figure into the winners column.
– Red Sox – The price for Victor Martinez was pretty steep, but it was better to give up Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone’s potential than Clay Buchholz. Martinez provides outstanding protection for Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell. Also, the Red Sox picked up Casey Kotchman to become the new Doug Mientkiewicz now and likely a key piece in 2010. Now Terry Francona will have to try to figure out how to keep everyone happy.
– Tigers – Detroit has little minor league depth, but the team still managed to acquire Jarrod Washburn without giving up a major piece. I’m skeptical that Luke French will last as a starter, and while Mauricio Robles has a great arm, he also has a lot of hurdles to clear on his path to the majors. Washburn should remain rather effective in Comerica Park, and the Tigers will get a sandwich pick if he leaves as a free agent.
– Marlins – They should have gotten a reliever, too, but they could pick one up next month. Nick Johnson should be a run-scoring machine in front of Hanley Ramirez, and his addition will put Emilio Bonifacio on the bench against righties. Bonifacio has actually been OK against lefties this year, so he can start in left field against them.
– Twins – Minnesota sat back and watched Oakland’s price tag drop with no other suitors for Orlando Cabrera. Sure, Freddy Sanchez might have been a bigger upgrade, but Cabrera came far cheaper.
– Padres – They shed the entire $55 million obligation to Jake Peavy and still got the same kind of package from the White Sox they accepted when they tried to trade a healthy Peavy in May. I’m not sure it makes them winners, but they solved their money problems and they’ll still have Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell next year.
– Edwin Encarnacion – Dusty Baker didn’t appear to be giving up on him, but most everyone else in Cincinnati had. The change of scenery should do him some good, but he needs to take advantage or the bust label could stick.
– Adam LaRoche – Serving as a part-timer for the Red Sox for the next two months might have hurt him as he heads into free agency at season’s end. Now he’ll get to be a regular for a contender. His fantasy owners also qualify as winners.
– Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda – Two left-handers sure to enjoy pitching in Petco Park. Richard will join the rotation now, and both should be there next year.
– Reds – Scott Rolen is having an All-Star campaign, but I’m not convinced it’s not his last gasp. The Reds will be on the hook for his entire $11.5 million salary next year, and they gave up three nice chips to get him. As long as their odds are for this year, it was the wrong strategy.
– Royals – GM Dayton Moore overpriced Mark Teahen, David DeJesus and Willie Bloomquist. Incredibly, he wants to keep the same pieces in place for 2010.
– Brewers – Claudio Vargas is not the answer. The Brewers needed a starting pitcher, and it looks like they were hurt by their lack of second-tier prospects. They weren’t going to move Mat Gamel and Alcides Escobar and they didn’t have much else to barter with.
– Braves – I wouldn’t want to count on Adam LaRoche being an upgrade over Kotchman, and Kotchman could have been kept in 2010 to serve as the bridge to Freddie Freeman. LaRoche is a free agent, and right now, he’s not a great bet to qualify as a Type B and draw draft-pick compensation.
– Diamondbacks – They could be one of August’s most active teams with Jon Garland and Chris Snyder sure to clear waivers and Doug Davis and Jon Rauch also possibilities. However, they’ve yet to help their chances for 2010 with the Felipe Lopez and Tony Pena trades.

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson

As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.

Cardinals finished runner-up to Red Sox in David Price sweepstakes

David Price
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

These kind of after-the-ink-has-dried reports have to be taken with a grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they’re fantastic conversation-starters …

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Cardinals “finished runner-up” to the Red Sox in the bidding for free agent left-hander David Price, who signed with Boston on Monday for a record seven years and $217 million.

There were reports early on that the Red Sox were going to have to overpay on Price because he wanted to either stay in Toronto or make the move to the more pitcher-friendly National League. And maybe they did go significantly above and beyond the next-best offer to land him.

But the report from Nightengale serves as an indication that the Cardinals are ready and willing to spend big money ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does that chunk of change now get directed toward Jason Heyward? Or might the Cardinals pounce one of the falling dominos in this still-loaded starting pitching market? What about both?

St. Louis lost Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery last month and both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha carry some injury concerns into 2016. There’s money to spend there with a new billion-dollar local television deal about ready to kick in.

Pirates expressing interest in Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has become the king of the reclamation project. And it sounds like he’s about to take on another big one …

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have expressed interest in free agent Justin Masterson. The expectation is that it will be a one-year deal with the goal of rebuilding the right-hander’s value in an environment where many other struggling veteran pitchers have executed significant career turnarounds.

Masterson earned his first (and only) All-Star nod in 2013 when he registered a 3.45 ERA, 195 strikeouts, and three shutouts in 32 appearances with the Indians. But he had a 5.88 ERA in 128 2/3 innings between Cleveland and St. Louis in 2014 and he continued struggling to the tune of a 5.61 ERA with the Red Sox in 2015.

It’s not clear whether the Bucs would try him as a starter or reliever.

Zack Greinke deal “could come soon,” Dodgers and Giants lead the bidding

Zack Greinke
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Jordan Zimmermann signed with the Tigers on Sunday for five years, $110 million. David Price signed with the Red Sox on Tuesday for seven years, $217 million.

Two big dominos have fallen in this loaded free agent market for starting pitchers, and another big one is about to go …

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says a deal for Zack Greinke “could come soon” and it’s currently “Dodgers vs. Giants” at the top of the bidding ladder.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick confirms that both the Dodgers and Giants are looking for an answer from Greinke, adding that the 32-year-old right-hander seeks a five- or six-year deal with a greater average annual value (AAV) than what Price just secured from Boston. That number would be $31 million, so we’re talking something close to $32 million through 2020-2021.

Greinke opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million contract with Los Angeles in October after posting a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP across 222 2/3 regular-season innings in 2015. He finished second to the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta in the National League Cy Young Award balloting.