Philadelphia, PA – With the addition of the extra wild card teams and so many clubs still involved in the playoff chase, it was kind of hard to gauge just how active teams would be at Major League Baseball's trade deadline.
Well if the early part of this week is any indication, you may want to ready yourself for a ton of action leading into Tuesday's deadline.
I'm not even sure where to begin, so we'll just go through each of the big moves from the start of the week and take it from there.
YANKEES ACQURIE ICHIRO: The week started off with a blockbuster and a move that nobody saw coming, as the New York Yankees added the outfielder they've been looking for, picking up 10-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki from Seattle for a pair of minor leaguers. Now Suzuki is nowhere near the hitter he once was and will hit eighth for the Yankees, but he does fill a need with Brett Gardner done for the season. And who knows? Maybe playing in a pennant race energizes Suzuki and he catches a little fire. Either way it cost the Yankees basically nothing to get him.
MARLINS SEND SANCHEZ, INFANTE TO TIGERS: Well everyone was wondering if the Miami Marlins were going to go into firesale sale mode and I guess we have our answer. The Marlins shipped right-hander Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante to Detroit for highly regarded pitching prospect Jacob Turner. Forget the Marlins side of the deal, this is a tremendous move for the Tigers, who find themselves tied with the Chicago White Sox atop the AL Central standings. Last year the Tigers' season changed with the under-the-radar pickup of Doug Fister. Sanchez could have a similar impact and is just now starting to round into form. Over his last three starts, he's pitched to a 2.70 ERA. Infante fills a huge need at second base for the Tigers, who had used Ryan Raburn (.172 average), Ramon Santiago (.216) and Danny Worth (.215) there. Infante is hitting .287 and has stolen 10 bases.
HANLEY RAMIREZ TO DODGERS: The Marlins apparently let teams know on Tuesday that basically everyone on their roster with the exception of shortstop Jose Reyes and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton would be available in a trade. The Los Angeles Dodgers jumped at the chance to get Hanley Ramirez, acquiring the three-time All-Star for left-handed starter Nathan Eovaldi and minor-league pitcher Scott McGough. Ramirez had reportedly been unhappy with the Marlins' acquisition of Reyes this winter and has struggled this season at third base. He will likely shift back over to short for the Dodgers with Dee Gordon on the DL with an ulnar collateral ligament tear of his right thumb. Now the question is can he regain the form that made him one of the game's great young stars just a few years ago.
PIRATES ADD WANDY: If you are a baseball fan this is the move you had to love. The Pittsburgh Pirates are going all in to reach their first postseason since 1992 and on Tuesday they acquired lefty Wandy Rodriguez in exchange for three players. The best part of this deal is that the Pirates, an organization loaded at the minor league level, did not have to part with any of their blue chip prospects and still have pieces to go out and get another bat to pair with the great Andrew McCutchen. Arizona's Justin Upton is apparently off the block, but maybe they make a play to bring back Jason Bay from the Mets and resurrect his career. Another move by the way that would likely cost them nothing.
PHILS SIGN HAMELS: There had never been a team to have two $20 million starters in their rotation until the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies. Well, now reportedly they have three, because they have announced a 6-year extension for lefty Cole Hamels for a whopping $144 million. This was a move the Phils had to make. You can't sell out your ballpark every night then cry poverty to your fans. I always thought Hamels would test the market, but when that money is being offered, how can you turn it down? Now the question is, will the Phils move Cliff Lee? Well speaking of that ...
RANGERS SHOPPING FOR STARTER: The Texas Rangers had already been in the market for another starting pitcher. Their efforts though were really amped up this week when it was learned that Colby Lewis' elbow injury would cause him to miss the remainder of the season. The talk right now is that the Rangers are eyeing Miami's Josh Johnson. But maybe they now make a call to Philadelphia about Cliff Lee. By all accounts Lee enjoyed his time in Texas and would likely OK a deal back to the Rangers. Zack Greinke is also a possibility for Texas.
So, by the looks of things it appears we are going to be a little more active than we first thought.
By the way, of all the crazy things that happened on Tuesday, perhaps the most amazing is the fact that the Oakland Athletics are now in second place in the AL West and owners of the last wild card spot in the league.