As we come back from the All-Star break, the trade deadline looms not so far away. A few contending teams have already tried to improve via trades. Here's what went down right before the All-Star break:
Cincinnati Dragons and Pawtucket Patriots
-Cincinnati gets: 3B Rich Little
-Pawtucket gets: 2B Mike Tatum, P Tony Gao, P Juan Almonte(AA)
- Skinny: Cincinnati gets a huge power bat in Little, who was leading the NL in homeruns when he was traded (he sits 3rd now with 40). His OBP is decent for a slugger, and he does not strike out a whole lot, so he's a good fit for the lineup. Pawtucket gets little(no pun intended) for their slugger- Tatum is a utility infielder/pinch runner type who probably won't hit enough to win a regular starting job, Gao is a decent 4 or 5 starter, although he is struggling mightily since the deal, and I don't see Almonte making it in the majors.
-Cleveland Skidmarks and Pawtucket Patriots
-Cleveland gets: P Pete Rubel and P Vic Lee
-Pawtucket gets: LF Bret King, SS/3B Bosco Borders(AAA), P Albert Nation(AAA)
-Skinny: Wow. Cleveland found themselves in the thick of the race, so they made a deal to acquire pitching. Rubel is a decent pitcher, but I'm not sure he's a difference maker, a guy who can give you quality start after quality start and lead his team to the playoffs. Cleveland won't really feel the pain of this move until next year, when Rubel's salary goes over 17 million. Vic Lee helps to bolster the bullpen- he should be solid if not spectacular. For Pawtucket, simply unloading Rubel would accomplish a great deal. They also get King, a LF with a rare combination of power, speed, and a great eye at the plate. He should start at the ML level for years to come. Borders's future won't be at SS in the majors- he's not good enough defensively. He's got decent speed but litttle pop- all in all, he's good enough to have a role on an ML roster. Nation is an end-of-the-rotation type of guy whose best attribute may be his ability to go deep in games; his ability to get guys out is about average.