Lets make a deal

HBT’s Trade Deadline Tracker

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The 2012 non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone. Here’s your summary of who went where and for whom:

7/31/12: The Indians Acquire 1B Lars Anderson from the Red Sox for RHP Steven Wright. Quick Take: Anderson is a once-promising slugger who has seemingly run out of gas on his third time through Triple-A. Wright is a knuckleball experiment which could be fun at least.

7/31/12: The Yankees Acquire 3B/1B Casey McGehee from the Pirates for RHP Chad Qualls. Quick Take: Yawn. The Yankees get rid of a reliever they don’t need and the Pirates get rid of a corner guy they don’t need. If McGehee can turn the clock back to 2009-10 again, hey, the Yankees third base hole is filled until A-Rod comes back. But don’t count on it.

7/31/12: The Rangers acquire RHP Ryan Dempster from the Cubs for 3B Christian Villanueva and RHP Kyle Hendricks. Quick Take: The Rangers desperately needed a starter, and they swooped in and took Dempster from the clutches of the Dodgers.

7/31/12: The Reds acquire RHP Jonathan Broxton from the Royals. Quick Take: The Reds already have the best bullpen in the NL and add a guy with 23 saves who throws hard to be a role-playing setup man. The rich get richer.

7/31/12: The Marlins trade 1B Gaby Sanchez to the Pirates for OF Gorkys Hernandez. Quick Take: Sanchez was an All-Star last year but has cratered and has been in the minors for a month. A change of scenery could unlock his old self.

7/31/12: The Diamondbacks trade LHP Craig Breslow to the Red Sox for OF Scott Podsednik and RHP Matt Albers. Quick Take: The Sox add a nice lefty specialist and unload a worse pitcher and a guy with no future on the team. Not bad.

7/31/12: The Marlins trade RHP Edward Mujica to the Cardinals for 3B Zack Cox. Quick Take: Cox has the chance to be something special — he’s young and powerful — but the Cards need bullpen help now, and Mujica should provide it.

7/31/12: The Phillies trade OF Hunter Pence to the Giants for OF Nate Schierholtz, C Tommy Joseph and RHP Seth Rosin. Quick Take: Pence upgrades the Giants offense. His departure lowers the Phillies payroll. And Joseph is a potential catcher of the future.

7/31/12: The Phillies trade OF Shane Victorino to the Dodgers for RHP Josh Lindblom and RHP Ethan Martin. Quick Take: He’ll play left for a Dodgers team that has worked hard to upgrade at the deadline. For the Phillies: the end of something of an era, I guess. Victorino is now nearly 3,000 miles closer to Hawaii.

7/30/12: The Pirates acquired OF Travis Snider from the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Brad Lincoln: Quick Take: A guy who was once the Jays’ top hitting prospect but has never been able to do it in the bigs could use the change of scenery.

7/30/12: The Blue Jays Acquired RHP Steve Delabar from the Seattle Mariners for OF Eric Thames. Quick Take: Eric Thames: not likely to power the M’s to the playoffs this year. Sorry, folks!

7/30/12: The Dodgers acquired RHP Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners for OF Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom. Quick Take: Bullpen help for the Dodgers when their division rival Giants could use the same? Delicious.

7/30/12: The Braves Acquired LHP Paul Maholm, OF Reed Johnson and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs for RHP Arodys Vizcaino and RHP Jaye Chapman. Quick Take: The Braves bolster their rotation and add a useful bat in Johnson. The Cubs get something of a lottery ticket in Vizcaino with all of its attendant risks and potential rewards.

7/30/12: The Cubs trade C Geovany Soto to the Rangers for RHP Jacob Brigham. Quick Take: Lots of catching congestion in Texas. Figure it means the end of the  Yorvit Torrealba era. Gentlemen, please doff your caps in respect.

7/29/12: The Brewers traded C George Kottaras to Oakland for RHP Fautino De Los Santos. Quick Take: Kottaras woulda been a great Moneyball-era pickup for the A’s. Old habits die hard.

7/29/12: The Diamondbacks traded OF Marc Krauss and OF Bobby Borchering to Houston for 3B Chris Johnson. Quick Take: A nice bat for the Dbacks.

7/28/12: The White Sox acquired LHP Francisco Liriano from the Minnesota Twins for INF Eduardo Escobar and LHP Pedro Hernandez. Quick Take: Liriano is an enigma at this point, capable of a shutdown outing of, more commonly, a facepalm outing. But the Sox need rotation depth to get out of the “Peavy and Sale and pray for hail” pattern they were developing in the first half.

7/25/12: The Marlins traded 3B Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate to the Dodgers for RHP Nathan Eovaldi and RHP Scott McGough. Quick Take: If the Dodgers got pre-2011 Hanley Ramirez it’s a game-changer in the west. If not, well, at least it should be fun to see how Don Mattingly handles discipline.

7/27/12: The Angels acquire RHP Zack Greinke from the Brewers for SS Jean Segura, RHP Ariel Pena and RHP Johnny Hellweg. Quick Take: The Angels get an ace, but he may only be a rental and they paid a high price in return: Segura, Pena and Hellweg were their second, fourth and ninth best prospects coming in to the season.

7/24/12: The Pirates acquired LHP Wandy Rodriguez and cash from the Astros for LHP Rudy Owens, LHP Colton Cain and OF Robbie Grossman. Quick Take: The Pirates are goin’ for it and a solid starter that Rodriguez is the kind of pickup the fans needed to see.

7/24/12: The Indians traded RHP Jose De La Torre to Boston for INF/OF Brent Lillibridge. Quick Take: In the future, Brent Lillibridge will be a utility player for every team for fifteen minutes.

7/23/12: The Mariners traded OF Ichiro Suzuki and cash considerations to the Yankees for RHP D.J. Mitchell and RHP Danny Farquhar. Quick Take: Take the famous name off this deal and the Yankees got something they needed — a defensive-oriented outfielder with some speed and the ability to put the ball in play — in exchange for organization depth and not much more. The key: getting Raul Ibanez out of left field every day. Mission accomplished.

7/23/12: The Tigers acquired RHP Anibal Sanchez, 2B Omar Infante and a competitive balance lottery draft choice between the first and second round of the 2013 amateur draft from the Miami Marlins for RHP Jacob Turner, LHP Brian Flynn, C Rob Brantly and a competitive ballance lottery draft choice between the second and third round of the 2013 amateur draft. Quick Take: Dave Dombrowski addresses the Tigers two biggest need — a starter and a second baseman — in one fell swoop. Jacob Turner could be missed, but not in the 2012 pennant race, and that’s where the Tigers are now.

7/21/12: The White Sox acquired RHP Brett Myers and cash considerations from Houston for RHP Matt Heidenreich and LHP Blair Walters and a player to be named. Quick Take: I guess weirder things have happened that a guy like Brett Myers being the closer for a World Series winning team, but I just can’t think of it right now.

7/20/12: The Astros acquired RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named for RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP J.A. Happ and RHP David Carpenter from Toronto. Quick Take: Sound and fury, signifying nothing. Easily the most talent-light giant trade in baseball history.

7/20/12: The Mets traded INF Omar Quintanilla to the Orioles for cash. Quick Take: Take the money, leave the canolis.

7/20/12: The Rockies traded RHP Jeremy Guthrie to the Royals for LHP Jonathan Sanchez. Quick Take: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Another man isn’t going to go too crazy talking up his treasure, though. At least not in this case.

7/14/12: The Reds traded INF Paul Janish to Atlanta for RHP Todd Redmond. Quick Take: The Braves trading for a white veteran middle infielder is about the most predictable thing ever.

7/4/12: The Astros acquired INF Matt Dominguez and LHP Rob Rasmussen from Miami for 1B Carlos Lee. Quick Take: Remember when the Marlins thought they were buyers? Yeah, that seemed like eons ago.

7/1/12: The Yankees acquired RHP Chad Qualls from Philadelphia for a player to be named. Quick Take: I still don’t quite get this one. Qualls is just keeping Joba Chamberlain’s seat warm.

6/30/12: The Phillies traded 1B Jim Thome to Baltimore for RHP Kyle Simon and C Gabriel Lino. Quick Take: Jim Thome will play until he’s 60 and will mash taters for every team in baseball at least once.

The Rays are considering reliever Tyler Clippard

New York Mets pitcher Tyler Clippard throws during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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On Thursday, we learned that the Diamondbacks were still considering free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. You can add the Rays to the list as well, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Rays traded lefty reliever Jake McGee to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Corey Dickerson in late January, so Clippard would be able to slot right in behind closer Brad Boxberger. Clippard, 30, compiled a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks over 71 innings in a season split between the Athletics and Mets. The strikeout rate was at its lowest since the right-hander become a full-time reliever in 2009, and his walk rate was at its highest since 2010, which may be a factor in his still being a free agent in February.

Report: Juan Uribe is too expensive for the Giants

New York Mets' Juan Uribe follows the flight of his solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chris Rusin in the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that, while the Giants are interested in free agent Juan Uribe, the utilityman’s asking price is too high for the club. Despite having a capable starter at every position, the Giants are a bit thin on depth and Uribe would be a nice fit given his versatility.

Uribe, 36, spent last season with the Dodgers, Braves, and Mets. He hit a combined .253/.320/.417 with 14 home runs and 43 RBI over 397 plate appearances. In his only postseason plate appearance for the Mets, he hit an RBI single in Game 3 of the World Series against the Royals.

Uribe has mostly played third base in recent seasons, but also has plenty of experience at second base and shortstop.

A study showed “grit” isn’t always a great attribute

Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper slides into third with a three RBI triple during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Friday, April 25, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass
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This popped up in my Twitter feed and I felt it had some applicability to baseball. This past October, Olga Khazan of The Atlantic highlighted a study in which researchers from the University of Southern California and Northeastern University performed three separate but related experiments to determine how “gritty” their subjects were.

One experiment had them solve anagrams. The second, a computer game. Finally, the third test had them solve math problems. Those who were deemed “grittier” attempted to solve fewer anagrams, which means they were sticking too long with difficult words rather than skipping and moving onto easier ones. The “grittier” crowd worked harder when losing at the computer game, but worked only as hard as the less-gritty when winning. With the math problems, the subjects when stuck were given a choice to take $1 and quit or keep going for a potential reward of $2 but $0 if they failed. The study showed that the “grittier” people weren’t any more productive but were more willing to risk the $1 for the doubled prize.

“Grit” is also a common colloquialism in baseball circles, used to refer to players who always run out a routine ground ball or pop-up. Other common characteristics include a willingness to dive for fly balls, slide into players to break up double plays, and to stick up for their teammates when there’s a disagreement between members of two teams. Often, those deemed “gritty” are in many other ways subpar players, but their perceived “grit” gives them value.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is a rare superstar player who has earned the “grit” descriptor. There are many examples showing why he has earned it, but the most famous incident occurred on May 13, 2013 at Dodger Stadium. Harper turned his back to the field to chase an A.J. Ellis fly ball but went face-first into the wall, suffering abrasions on his face and a jammed left shoulder. This was during a game the Nationals were comfortably winning 6-0 in the sixth inning. At the time, the Nationals were 95 percent favorites to win the game, according to FanGraphs. Is the risk of suffering an injury — which could keep Harper out only a game or two, or cause him to miss the rest of the season — worth potentially turning a double or triple into an out?

Famously, Philadelphia fans and talking heads got on outfielder Bobby Abreu’s case in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s because he appeared gun-shy when approaching the outfield fence on fly balls. He was under a lot of pressure to sacrifice his body for the supposed good of the team, and developed a reputation as “soft”. As a more recent example, former Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins caught flack from fans when he didn’t run out a routine pop-up against the Mets on August 30, 2012. Then-manager Charlie Manuel benched the veteran. At the time, the Phillies were 62-69 and 17.5 games back of first place in the NL East and 8.5 games behind the second Wild Card. Freak injuries can happen, as Rollins’ teammate Ryan Howard showed when making the final out of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals. Is that non-zero injury risk worth the tiny chance that the infielder drops the pop-up and Rollins gets a single (or, in rarer cases, a double) in a game that is essentially meaningless?

The aforementioned study shows that maybe Abreu and Rollins had it right after all. Statistically, a freak injury that occurs on a “hustle” play is bound to happen. Maybe that’s what it will take to stop expecting athletes to put their bodies on the line for no realistic gain.

Zach Britton settles with the Orioles for $6.75 million

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Zach Britton delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Boston. The Orioles won 6-4. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne
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The Orioles and closer Zach Britton avoided an arbitration hearing, agreeing to a $6.75 million salary for the 2016 season, Jon Heyman reports. The club has now handled all of its remaining arbitration cases and won’t have to go to a hearing with any players.

Britton, in his second of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $7.9 million while the Orioles countered at $5.6 million. $6.75 million is exactly the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

The 28-year-old lefty saved 36 games in 40 chances last season for the O’s while putting up a 1.92 ERA with a 79/14 K/BB ratio over 65 2/3 innings.