As Monday’s 4p.m. deadline for mid-season trades in Major League Baseball came to a close, some big-time rumors became reality, while others never lived up to the hype.
In the aftermath, the biggest deals of the week saw Greg Maddux bound for tinsel town, Bobby Abreu headed for the Big Apple, and Carlos Lee out to Texas, while Mr. Soriano stayed in Washington.
Veteran of 20 years and four-time Cy Young Award winner, Greg Maddux, was traded during the rumor-fueled deadline to the Los Angeles Dodgers who were the most active traders in the mid-season.
Wriggling free of the Chicago Cubs, with whom he began his epic career in 1986, Maddux said he had mixed feelings about his departure.
“I am very surprised, to be honest with you. I’m excited to go to L.A., but at the same time, sad about leaving Chicago. I need to get right with my team and try to pitch well for them,” said Maddux as he was leaving the Cubs.
With a 4.69 ERA, a 9-11 record this year, and 327-200 record overall, Maddux was traded for infielder Cesar Izturis in the hope that he would bring some star power to a troubled Dodgers’ pitching staff.
Izturis, a Gold Glove winner in 2004, and All-Star last year, said he was enthusiastic about the trade.
“I want to play every day. I can’t wait to get there,” Izturis said.
Hitting .252 with 12 RBIs and 1 home run in 32 games, Chicago is hoping that Izturis can add some clutch hitting and fielding to the Cub’s inconsistent offense.
Other trades in the Dodgers’ organization include the acquisition of Julio Lugo from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays who is hitting .308 with 12 home runs, 27 RBIs and 18 stolen bases, and Wilson Betemit from the Atlanta Braves, who in his first game with Dodgers, hit 3-4 with two doubles against the Washington Nationals.
The Dodgers also made a bid for coveted Washington outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who has 123 hits, 32 home runs, and 66 RBI’s but were unable to acquire the All-Star slugger.
Instead, the Nationals chose to keep Soriano, squashing the hype and crushing the hope of fans of the four different teams, including the Angels, that he would be traded.
Another major acquisition that occurred over the weekend was the trade of former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bobby Abreu over to the New York Yankees.
Abreu, who has had a bit of an off year, is hitting .277 with 8 home runs and 65 RBI’s. Abreu joins an All-Star ball club in New York hoping that he will add the extra bit of pop in the outfield to top the Red Sox in the American League East.
Abreu signed with the Yankees for $21 million dollars, while Philladelphia acquired four minor league prospects.
The last big trade of the weekend saw Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Carlos Lee traded to the Texas Rangers for outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix. Lee, a two-time All-Star, is hitting .292 with 28 home runs and 82 RBI’s.
Lee looks to enhance a lineup which features All-Stars Michael Young, Hank Blalock and first baseman Mark Teixeira.
Trade talks also fell through for A’s starter Barry Zito, who was rumored to be going to the Mets. The A’s were reluctant to trade their ace with such a slim lead in the AL West.
Former A’s shortstop Miguel Tejada was mentioned in trade talks with the Texas Rangers. Tejada would have played third base had the trade gone through. Tejada had stated his refusal to play third if the trade went through.
The Nationals take the risk of Soriano signing elsewhere after this season as a free agent. The A’s also run the same risk with Zito, who should receive fairly lucrative contract offers from various teams in search of starting pitching.