The MLB trade deadline has just come and gone, leaving winners and losers in their wake. As I look at the AL West, I see the moves made (as well as the moves that should’ve been made, but weren’t), and realized that the Houston Astros were the winners of the trade deadline in the AL West.
What? The Houston Astros?
This is the part where you as the reader goes, “He’s kidding right?”
Nope. I kid you not. Here’s why.
Let’s start by looking at the division leader, the Oakland A’s. The A’s are more set than any other team in the AL West and seem headed towards a playoff spot, which is exactly why they should’ve made a move for another bat to help their lineup. Out of all the teams that would make the playoffs if they started today (Red Sox, Rays, Tigers, Indians, A’s), the A’s have the lowest runs scored of any of them. In the postseason, you can’t win every game 3-2. The A’s didn’t make a move for a bat or a pitcher. Standing pat while the Red Sox and Tigers get stronger is not the way to make it to the World Series.
The Texas Rangers whiffed badly at the trade deadline too. For a team sorely in need of offense and possibly on their way to losing Nelson Cruz to the Biogenesisnado, the Rangers could’ve used an infusion of hitting. The only problem was the teams with the bats (a perfect segue into the next team I’m going to rant about, the Seattle Mariners) never seemed willing to move them. So the Rangers offense will continue to sputter all the way to finishing 6-8 games behind the A’s.
Now, let’s get to the Mariners…
I need a moment before I go HAM…
Channeling my best Herm Edwards…
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, hello?!? Hello?!? You play to win the game.
The Mariners had the most vital asset that nearly every team was looking for, power hitting. Between Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales, and Michael Morse, you could’ve easily got back some decent prospects and shed expiring contracts. Instead, Jackie Z decided to ask for a king’s ransom for all three guys, which sealed the fate of being unable to move any of them. He does realize he’s the GM of a team seven games under .500, right? I don’t think he does. Plus, there’s no guarantee any of the three resign with Seattle. If that happens and they all leave in the offseason, I’m locking up the FireJackieZ.com domain.
The only team I’m willing to cut a little bit of slack to is the Angels. It’s hard to move pieces when they’re all paid the GDP of a small country. The one issue I do have a gripe about is the Angels insistent clamoring about pitching, just to end up pulling the trigger on a pitcher that averages over 5 walks per 9 innings (Cory Rasmus), and trading a positional player for another positional player. But why should I expect common sense from Jerry Dipoto? He’s part of the MLB Legion of Doom (Dipoto, Jerry Meals, and Angel Hernandez).
Nonsensical Trades? UGGGHHHHH WHAT A RUSH!!
Which brings us to my winners, the Astros. We know they suck. They know they suck. At least they’re trying to fix it though. There’s no point in keeping pieces that aren’t going to be part of your final core when you start trying to contend, so they sold high on Bud Norris and Jose Veras, getting decent prospects for them. To me, when compared to the rest of the division, they win.
You can win in two ways, by either taking a step forward, or by how the Astros won, everyone else taking a step back.