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August 1, 2014 at 1:56 am ET
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NL Trade Deadline Grades

_ZoidbergThis one will be shorter than my previous post about the AL. I promise. There wasn’t quite as much trade activity in the NL.

Here we go, by division:

AL East
Atlanta: Acquired LHP James Russell and UT Emilio Bonifacio for minor league C Victor Caratini.

The Braves were apparently telling everybody that they couldn’t take on salary. No matter, this was a team that should have been looking to make a margin play like this anyway. Grade: B

Florida: Acquired RHP Jared Cosart, UT Enrique Hernandez, and minor league OF Austin Waites for minor leaguers 3B Colin Moran, OF Jake Marisnik, and RHP Francis Martes.

This one was a little baffling. I though Moran and Marisnik, or at least Moran, were pretty untouchable. And Cosart just doesn’t strike me as anything special, even considering his age (24) and favorable contract (not arb-eligible until after next year). Maybe I’m missing something here. I guess the Marlins get some credit for trying to make a dark-horse run at a wild card spot? Grade: C-

New York: Nothing

Probably good of the Mets not to make a move. Their most likely trade chips – Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy – weren’t going to bring back the kind of talent that would make it worth getting rid of them. No harm, no foul. Grade: C+

Philadelphia: Nothing

The Phillies, on the other hand, are a team that stood pat when they absolutely had to start unloading. Philadelphia had, by far, the worst trade deadline. Grade: Z

Washington: Acquired SS/2B Asdrubal Cabrera for UT Zach Walters.

Good move. Second base was the only hole on what I think is the most complete team in the National League. And they didn’t have to give up all that much to fill it. Grade: B+

NL Central
Chicago: Acquired minor leaguers SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney, RHP Dan Straily, and C Victor Caratini for RHP Jeff Samardzija, RHP Jason Hammel, LHP James Russell, and UT Emilio Bonifacio.

It’s actually a pretty exciting time to be a Cubs fan. How often do you get to say that? Sure, they stink this year. But the future is as bright for the Cubs as it is for any team in baseball, and these moves further strengthened that standing. They got max value for everyone they sent out. Grade: A

Cincinnati: Nothing
What do you do when you’re sitting at .500 in a tight four-team race with bunch of key players injured? Nothing, apparently. This was a team that, like the Braves, could have stood to do something around the margins. Grade: D

Milwaukee: Acquired OF Gerardo Parra for a couple of fringy minor leaguers.

The Brewers didn’t really have to do all that much, and they didn’t. Parra helps, but Milwaukee could have used an upgrade over Lyle Overbay in their first base platoon. Kind of meh for the Brewers. Grade: C-

Pittsburgh: Nothing

A minute ago, I said the Phillies had the worst trade deadline. Well, Pittsburgh is probably a close second. The Central is up for grabs. The Pirates are a good team with an extremely deep farm system. How much longer are you going to wait on all of those prospects, especially since the current roster has a lot of long-term pieces already in place? Make a move, Neal Huntington. Get Jon Lester. Get David Price. This was the time. This is your window. Grade: F

St. Louis: Acquired RHPs John Lackey and Justin Masterson for OF/1B Allen Craig, RHP Joe Kelly, and minor leaguer OF James Ramsay.

The Cardinals stepped up and got what they needed without blowing up their core of young players and prospects. No big names, though. Lackey and Masterson should solidify their rotation. While I like Craig in Boston, it seemed like he wasn’t going to get it figured out in St. Louis. Kelly is just OK. Plus, now they can start playing their wealth of young outfield talent. Not the greatest deadline, but a success nonetheless. Grade: B-

NL West
Arizona: Acquired C Pete O’Brien and a couple of other minor leaguers for Martin Prado and Gerardo Parra.

Kind of like the Phillies, Arizona needed to have a fire sale. Unlike the Phillies, the D’backs actually made a couple of moves in that direction. Everyone not named Paul Goldshmidt should have been on the block, though. Just unloading Prado and Parra doesn’t seem like enough to me. Why is Aaron Hill still around? Grade: C-

Colorado: Nothing

Another team that needed to dump some guys and didn’t. Sure, Tulo’s hurt and CarGo is having a bad year. Wait until the offseason if you’re going to move either/or. But what about Drew Stubbs, Brian Anderson, Jorge De La Rosa, and Latroy Hawkins? Those guys might have had a little value. Grade: F

Los Angeles: Nothing

The major roster problems on this team – too many outfielders, a jumbled infield – were probably going to have to wait until the offseason no matter what. A trade for a reliever, though, would have been helpful. Still, they opted to hold on to their three elite prospects, and considering the age and payroll of the major league roster, that was probably a good idea. Grade: C

San Diego: Acquired lots of minor leaguers for 3B Chase Headley, RHP Huston Street, and OF Chris Denorfia.

The Padres fire sale should have probably included Seth Smith, instead of signing him to an extension. Otherwise, I understand them holding onto Kennedy and Benoit (assuming nobody made them a really, really strong offer for either of those guys). Nothing all that exciting either way here. As usual, the Padres lived up to their hometown’s nickname – Blan Diego. Grade: C+

San Francisco: Acquired RHP Jake Peavy for minor league RHPs Edwin Escobar and Heath Embree.

Solid move. Fills a need. Gave up some talent, but not too much. Par for the course for Brian Sabean. And since the Giants farm system isn’t exactly stacked, this might have been just about the only move they could make. Although, finding somebody, anybody, to play second base might have been nice. Grade: C+

That’s all, folks. Thanks for sticking with me through this little exercise.

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