What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Thanks to the Discovery Channel, Shark Week has become a phenomenon. Also, thanks to the Discovery Channel for moving Shark Week back to the end of July so we didn’t have to go through a lot of gymnastics to keep doing our annual salute to giant predatory fish and how they compare to the shark-tank that is the baseball trading deadline.
The bottom line is trading in baseball is a shark-eat-shark world; some sharks do the eating, and some sharks get eaten. It is along those lines that I draw comparisons to the moves made by baseball teams at the trading deadline.
Why such a comparison? Because no matter what, one thing is certain. Where there is trading, there is bleeding, and nothing draws the sharks like blood in the water.
Chicago White Sox:
Got: RP Tyler Clippard, RP Ian Clarkin, CF Blake Rutherford and CF Tito Polo (from New York Yankees), 2B Bryant Flete, RHP Dylan Cease, LF Eloy Jimenez and 1B Matt Rose (from Chicago Cubs), RP Jean Machi and RP Mark Lowe (from Seattle Mariners), CF Ryan Cordell (from Milwaukee Brewers), 1B Casey Gillaspie (from Tampa Bay Rays), RP AJ Puckett and RP Andre Davis (from Kansas City Royals)
Like the whale shark, the White Sox floated along, gobbling up every little creature in the sea; nobody realizing the staggering tonnage it actually consumed. We all know the White Sox are in the dreaded “rebuilding phase,” but now they’ve got a farm system with some talent and a bench with more than a little experience. The future on the south side of Chicago just got a hell of a lot closer with these deals.
Great White Shark:
New York Yankees:
Got: 3B Todd Frazier, RP David Robertson and RP Tommy Kahnle (from the Chicago White Sox), 1B Garrett Cooper (from Milwaukee Brewers), SP Sonny Gray (from Oakland A’s), SP Jaime Garcia (from Minnesota Twins)
This was the teeth-sawing-through-the-seal style carnage we expect from Shark Week. By sinking their teeth into a big corner infield bat, a legit top-of-the-rotation arm, a solid 2-to-3 starter, and a better-than-average veteran bullpen guy, the Yanks are making sure you know they intend to hang around in the wide-open AL East despite their recent injury problems.
However, the surprise in this deal could be Tommy Kahnle. The Bronx Bombers lost him the Rule V drat in 2013 to the Rockies. Since then Kahnle has shown the stuff to be a dominant fireballer out of the pen, the snag being control issues have plagued him. But this year, so far that hasn’t been the case. If he can continue to keep chucking Ks, the Yanks might just be on to something special.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Got: SP Tony Cingrani (from Cincinnati Reds), SP Yu Darvish (from Texas Rangers), SP Tony Watson (from Pittsburgh Pirates), Cash considerations (from Tampa Bay Rays)
Everybody is hot on the Darvish deal, but that overshadows the fact that by sucking up all this pitching, the Dodgers might be a bit more concerned about the health of Clayton Kershaw than the might care to admit. Not to mention, did anybody notice Darvish is 6-9 with an ERA north of 4.00.
Got: RP Ryan Madson and RP Sean Doolittle (from Oakland Athletics), INF Howie Kendrick and cash considerations (from Philadelphia Phillies), RP Brandon Kintzler (from Minnesota Twins)
The knock on the Nats from day one this season has been the bullpen. This move adds some experienced depth to that unit. Don’t be surprised to see the Nationals start grabbing anything they can get their teeth into through waivers due to the injuries to Stephen Strasburg, Joe Ross, and the fact they still need a “closer.”
Bull sharks are underappreciated for the fact they actually account for the most attacks on humans. There’s not much in the way of “sex appeal” in these deals, but they went right to the heart of the Nats’ needs.
Got: RP David Phelps (from Miami Marlins), SP Marco Gonzales (from St. Louis Cardinals), SP/RP Erasmo Ramirez (from Tampa Bay Rays), Cash (from Chicago White Sox)
Look at that fucking thing. If you had that on your hook, you’d pre-shit your pants the first time you saw it breach the surface. Then when you got it into the boat, you would finish the job. It’s easy to overlook the Mariners given the fact they are racing for a Wild-Card berth, but this team has potential to take a real bite out of somebody’s October dreams.
Tampa Bay Rays:
Got: RP Sergio Romo (from Los Angeles Dodgers), RP Dan Jennings (from Chicago White Sox), 1B Lucas Duda (from New York Mets), RP Steve Cishek (from Seattle Mariners), RP Tobias Myers (from Baltimore Orioles)
The hammerhead scans the sea floor feeding on crabs and other creatures found on the bottom. That may not seem like much, but hammerheads can reach 15 feet in length and can be seriously fearsome. The Rays are in this race to stay.
Blacktip Reef Shark:
Got: RF J.D. Martinez (from Detroit Tigers), SP David Hernandez (from Los Angeles Angels), INF Adam Rosales (from Oakland Athletics)
Reef sharks don’t get a lot of time during Shark Week, but they serve a necessary purpose. In other words, these trades doesn’t mean much, becasue it seems like a lock the D-Backs have a Wild Card spot locked up. But it gives us something to write about.
OF/2B Willie Calhoun, RHP A.J. Alexy, INF Brendon Davis (from Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Taylor Scott (from Milwaukee Brewers), Player to be Named Later (from Colorado Rockies)
The rebuild is on in Texas. Don’t be surprised if the Ranges float future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Beltre on the waiver wire.
Bathtub Toy Shark:
Got: RP Angel German INF Oneil Cruz (from Los Angeles Dodgers), RP Joaquin Benoit and cash considerations (from Philadelphia Phillies)
The Pirates obviously own “Moneyball” on Blu-Ray, because they got rid of guys the guy they might have to pay (without being obvious about it), in order to get prospects they’ll get rid of at clearance prices three years from now.
Japanese Paper Lantern Shark:
Boston Red Sox:
Got: 3B Eduardo Nunez (from San Francisco Giants), RP Addison Reed (from New York Mets)
The only way to be more insignificant than a bathtub toy shark is to be one that completely disintegrates the minute it touches water. The Red Sox are now that team that really doesn’t get how this whole process works.
The Chum Bucket:
Got: C Anthony Recker, SP Jaime Garcia, and cash considerations (from Atlanta Braves), cash considerations (from Toronto Blue Jays), LHP Tyler Watson, international pool money (from Washington Nationals), RP Dietrich Enns, RP Zack Littell (from New York Yankees)
The Minnesota Twins have introduced the concept of “house-flipping to the trade deadline with the Jaime Garcia deals. They picked him up on the cheap from the Braves, then days later turned him over two prospects. But, they are the Twins, so the guys they got will prove to be shitty.
Got: RP Justin Wilson, C Alex Avila (from Detroit Tigers), SP Jose Quintana (from Chicago White Sox)
As mentioned when this category was introduced last year, “Sharknado” is a “wild-card” category. The strength of those movies is in the cameo appearances; you never really know who is going to show up. When it comes to baseball, teams end up here because we really have no idea how their deals are going to work.
That’s why in a lot of respects, this is where we have to talk about the Chicago Cubs AGAIN. First of all, when you look simply at the balance of what they got versus what they paid for it, it seems exceptionally out of whack…and it is. Just like last year, the Cubs overpaid for what they got, but unlike last year, they got a much better deal. At first, that may seem like a contradiction, but the Cubs have made it clear they know the window to win again is now and probably closing.
That’s why the only name in this deal with appreciable long-term value is Jose Quintana, who comes cheap in terms of being under club control at a bargain price for a few years. But with these deals, the Cubs have essentially drained what was once a rich farm system. The trick is this: if the Cubs win a second World Series in the next two years, Cubs fans won’t give two frog’s watertight asses about how much talent is left in Iowa.
That’s why we call it the “Sharknado,” sports fans.