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August 1, 2014 at 12:03 am ET
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AL Trade Deadline Grades

_GradesThe trade deadline, which I covered in detail as it was approaching, has just passed. It’s time to take a look back at how all 30 MLB teams fared.

Let’s start with the AL, going by division:

AL East
Baltimore: Acquired LHP Andrew Miller from the Red Sox for Double-A LHP Eduardo Rodriguez.

Miller was the best reliever still being actively shopped, so it’s a big get for the Orioles. However, I think they could have used a bigger move than this, especially considering what the Yankees did. Even a few months ago, Rodriguez was supposed to be untouchable. So they definitely gave up some value. Grade: B-

Boston: Acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes, OF/1B Allen Craig, RHP Joe Kelly, UT Kelly Johnson, minor league pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez, Edwin Escobar, and Heath Embree, a PTBNL, and a draft pick for RHP Jake Peavy, LHP Jon Lester, RHP John Lackey, RHP Andrew Miller, OF Johnny Gomes, 2B/SS Steven Drew, and LHP Feliz Doubront.

Coming in to today, it looked like the Red Sox would be the most active seller, and that definitely turned out to be the case. You have to like what they accomplished. Not only did they pick up enough outfield depth to potentially solve their problems there, they also got a ton of young pitching. I don’t think anyone knows who will fill out the Boston rotation next year, but they will certainly have a lot of options. When you’re going to sell, you should sell everything that isn’t tied down, and the Red Sox definitely took that to heart Grade: A

New York: Acquired 3B Chase Headley, UT Martin Prado, 2B/SS Stephen Drew, and RHP Brandon McCarthy for UT Kelly Johnson and a bunch of middle-of-the-road prospects.

Instead of going through all of the prospects the Yankees gave up, I’ll just say that none of them appear to be all that exciting. Pete O’Brien, the Double-A catcher they traded for Prado could become something. And Yangervis Solarte, who they sent to the Padres as part of the Headley deal, is a serviceable utility player. Mainly what the Yankees did was take on money, which is what the Yankees always do. But when you don’t really add any impact talent, especially on the mound, and you take on money, you usually don’t have to give up too much in terms of young talent.

Will these deals make the Yankees better? Probably. Will they be enough to take them from mediocre to the playoffs? I doubt it. Not with their lack of pitching depth. But they are also in better position for next year, presumably. Grade: B

_AdamaTampa Bay: Acquired LHP Drew Smyly, 2B Nick Franklin, and minor league SS Will Adames for LHP David Price.

Um, wow. I thought the Rays should hang onto Price and make a run. That is, until I found out what my beloved Tigers were giving up to get him. To me, the price tag wasn’t enough to warrant moving Price. Even considering the fact that the minor leaguer they picked up was once the captain of the Battlestar Galactica.

The Rays had a chance to come back and take the division or grab a wild card spot. I think they should have kept Price. I guess they just weren’t going to be able to afford him. At least they got a good, young, controllable pitcher to replace him with, and an intriguing major league-ready prospect in Franklin? Still a pretty disappointing return for one of the best pitchers in the game. Grade: D

Toronto: Acquired 3B Danny Valencia from the Royals for RHP Liam Hendricks and C Erik Kratz.

Rumor had it that Toronto didn’t have the financial flexibility to make a move. Poor planning on their part, as every other team in the division did something major over the past week. For a team with so many holes that still has a shot at the playoffs, this was a disappointing turn of events. Grade: D-

AL Central
Chicago: There were a lot of White Sox floated as possible trade candidates – John Danks, Gordon Beckham, Dayan Viciedo – but in the end, it seems everyone else realized that those guys suck. I like the White Sox long-term, but they probably should have done everything they could to unload those unnecessary pieces and give some younger guys a shot. Grade: D

Cleveland: Acquired Zach Walters and James Ramsay for Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Both guys the Indians sent out are free agents after this year and weren’t doing a whole lot anyway. In return they picked up a couple of guys who, at the very least, should be quality bench pieces. The only criticism I would make here is that the Indians are still in the wild card picture, and they could have maybe made a complimentary move to add another bat, thus not almost completely giving up on the season. Not bad to get something for Masterson and Cabrera while you can, though. Grade: C+

Detroit: Acquired LHP David Price and RHP Joakim Soria for OF Austin Jackson, LHP Drew Smyly, and some minor leaguers.

Who’s afraid of the Oakland A’s? Not the Tigers, that’s for sure. I’ll need to cover this in a separate post. Grade: A

Kansas City: Acquired RHP Liam Hendricks and C Erik Kratz for 3B Danny Valencia.

The Royals were mentioned as a destination for pretty much every player whose name came up in trade rumors. Alas, all they did was get a backup catcher and a seventh starter. Once the Royals miss the playoffs this year it’ll be time to move on from the Dayton Moore regime. Grade: F

Minnesota: Acquired LHP Tommy Milone for OF Sam Fuld and signed C Kurt Suzuki to a two-year extension.

Solid moves. Milone, a viable fourth or fifth starter, provides great value for Fuld, a guy who the Twins picked up off of waivers a couple months ago. And why not extend Suzuki? My only qualm is not trading Willingham, but he might be an August waiver-wire type of player. Grade: B

AL West
Houston: Acquired prospects 3B Colin Moran, OF Jake Marisnik, RHP Francis Martes, and a draft pick for RHP Jared Cosart, UT Enrique Hernandez, and OF prospect Austin Waites.

I honestly don’t know enough about the prospects the Astros gave up to have a 100% read on this deal. But getting two highly regarded minor leaguers in Moran and Marisnik for a middle-of-the-rotation starter – albeit with several years of control left – sounds like a win to me. Not bad for an organization that has had its share of bad publicity lately. Grade: B+

Los Angeles: Acquired RHP Houston Street, RHP Jason Grilli, and LHP Joe Thatcher for RHP Ernesto Frieri and some minor leaguers.

OK, these moves happened a couple of weeks ago. Still, not a bad haul, even if the Angels had to give up a few of their best prospects for Street. Next to the A’s, however, these moves look like a game of tiddlywinks. Grade: B-

Oakland: Acquired LHP Jon Lester, RHP Jeff Samardzija, RHP Jason Hammel, OF Johnny Gomes, and OF Sam Fuld for OF Yoenis Cespedes, LHP Tommy Milone, and minor leaguers SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney, and RHP Dan Straily.

What’s to say about this series of moves that hasn’t been said already? Billy Beane saw that he had the best team in baseball, but that it was still flawed. He went out and did everything he could to fix those flaws, including trading uber-prospect Russell and the team’s current cleanup hitter. Still, cheers to you Billy. The only demerit comes because of the immense amount of talent being shipped out of Oakland’s system. Grade: A-

Seattle: Acquired OF Austin Jackson and OF Chris Denorfia for 2B Nick Franklin, OF Abraham Almonte, and a minor league pitcher.

Eh. Maybe this is what you do when your only real shot at the playoffs is through a wild card game – you make marginal improvements. The Mariners badly needed some right-handed hitting outfielders. So, you know, good for them. Grade: C+

Texas: Acquired prospects for RHP Joakim Soria.

This is an organization that thinks it got incredibly unlucky and will bounce back to contend next year, so they hardly did anything. I don’t know if I agree with that assessment (other than the unlucky part). Unless they’re going to pick up Alex Rios’ $14 million option for next year, they should have at least moved him. Grade: C-

And that’ll do her for the AL. Check back in for the NL version.

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