The Mark Teixeira deal is by far the most important that has actually happened so far, and even if you know who gets you know what to you know where, it'll be the deal that has the most impact on the potential World Series winner.
I straight up hate the Angels. I don't know why. I really respect Mike Scioscia as I feel he's one of the few managers who deserves any substantial credit for his team's success, and I like their starting pitching a lot, and Vladimir Guerrero is cool because he used to be sort of like a comic book character that had weird super powers.
But Vlad Guerrero (.285/.347/.480) is aging rapidly. He needs to DH full-time, honestly -- he's posted a .781 OPS as a right fielder (267 AB) versus a .939 mark as the DH (108 AB) this season. Small sample size, yes, but any fool can see Guerrero is not the physical marvel he used to be. He's big, awkward, and not aging well.
So the Angels, as good as they are, just didn't seem like a real threat to me. Yeah, they can pitch, but who was going to hit for them when the chips were down? Garret Anderson (.735 OPS)? Gary Matthews (.649)? Casey Kotchman (.774 before the trade)?
Teixeira's big bat gives them a genuine masher in the middle of the lineup, a guy that can bust one open. With Teixeira (.283/.390/.512) in the lineup, the Angels probably have to be considered the legit front-runner in the American League. If you can trade a player like Casey Kotchman for a player like Mark Teixeira, you do it every day and twice on Sunday, no matter what. If you don't re-sign Teixeira, then that stinks, but this is a chance to win the World Series. If he leaves at the end of the season, you can find a Kotchman-level guy fairly easily. Not saying they're dime a dozen, but they're not that rare.
Pudge Rodriguez is a New York Yankee.
I'm going to guess he'll have to change his number.
It's a deal that makes plenty of sense for New York, as accepting someone as bad offensively as Jose Molina in a starting role is just not going to jibe with aspirations of making a playoff run.
Pudge isn't the best player anymore, but he's far better than Molina, who hasn't even cracked a .600 OPS this season. Rodriguez has raised his OBP back up to his career average after that dreadful .294 number he posted in 2007.
Plus, let's face it, all they gave up was Kyle Farnsworth, who will return not-so-triumphantly to the team he once left behind.
The Yankees are very much in the race. Boston is playing like crap, the wild card race is wide open, and through all the ups and downs they have managed to stay in the thick of the AL East. Upgrading Molina with Pudge is a pretty healthy step. Even good Pudge nowadays is no healthy Jorge Posada, but that's not even the question.
Look out, everyone, the stupid Yankees are on the move.
I'm a bit surprised that the Tigers are so willing to make a move like this, though. Their season has been a monumental disappointment, no doubt, but they're only five and a half out in the Central. Brandon Inge will take over as the everyday catcher, and it seems strange after all the spring talk of moving Inge that they've actually gone ahead and made room for him while he hits .227. Well, maybe they were kind of forced into it.
As for Farnsworth, you can count me out of any bullpen that features him and Todd Jones. If those two don't get into a fistfight (which Farnsworth would win handily) I'll be really disappointed.
Will they? Won't they? Will he make them? Won't he?
Will the fans boo? Will they cheer? When nothing happens, will they somehow find it in their gracious hearts to accept and respect this man who must be absolutely f-ing tired of hearing his name bandied about in trade talks every single g-d m-f-ing year?!
There is an old saying about doing something or getting off the pot. The proposed deal makes some amount of sense, I suppose, with Jason Bay headed to Boston and Manny to Florida and Hermida to Pittsburgh and prospects all around, hooray, beer, but I just can't bring myself to actually care about this, because there are so many factors in play.
First of all, they won't trade him. He'll be gone after this season. They will not trade him. They never have before. Secondly, even if they wanted to, we're talking about a Jeff Loria-controlled franchise ADDING a big name instead of letting one go in hopes for the ever-changing future. That's not going to happen. Third, the Pirates are stupid.
Nothing's happening. Avert your gaze, onlooking citizens, and go about your business. Care about the major things that are happening and don't buy into this Boston soap opera bull puckey.
OK, so like I was saying in that quick blurb below this post, I don't get this deal for the White Sox.
Like Rosenthal said, Griffey can't really play center anymore, both OF corners and DH are covered, he's old and not that good (serviceable OBP, some power left, no legs and doesn't hit for average), and this would, I suppose, signify the start of the Paul Konerko: Sunflower Seed Chewer era. Not that Konerko doesn't deserve to be taken out back and Old Yeller'd for his play, but man, what about grinders and grit and blue collar lunch bucketry? Will the White Sox sell out their image??? Maaan??
Griffey is atrociously bad in the field, and we're talking corner outfield duty. Sticking him in center would be suicide. It's not like Swisher's some Gold Glover, but he's a better glove than Griffey, and it's not even close. Dye and Quentin have the other two OF spots locked up, Thome still hits enough, and Konerko is really bad.
It's a shame -- and kind of dumb -- that Griffey never learned first base. He should have five years ago, probably.
To be honest, this seems like another dumb Kenny Williams move designed to grab attention. Should the deal go through, Ozzie Guillen will probably jump for joy until he realizes it's not 1995 anymore.
Just based purely on offense, let's look at it this way: Griffey has a 9.5 VORP this year. Swisher is at 7.3, and then you have Thome (28.3), Quentin (35.4) and Dye (36.2). And THEN you have Konerko, at negative-6.6. So if you kick Konerko to the curb for Griffey, then you do win offensively. And there's always defensive subs late in the ballgame.
What I'd worry about as a Sox fan is nostalgia and hope winning and some sort of Swish/Konerko platoon installed while Griffey bumbles around in center field waiting to hurt himself before things return to where they were.
...and The Rest!
The Astros are assuring Miguel Tejada they won't trade him, which assures me that the Astros have no idea what they're doing. The Red Sox had expressed interest according to the Houston Chronicle, in the event that they traded Manny Ramirez. The Astros also traded for LaTroy Hawkins.
Tim Hudson is going to join John Smoltz on the ATL's season-over DL squadron. Their injured rotation is a lot better than the one they have to use. Mike Hampton's back, though. Oh, wait, nope. I think I just heard him get hurt again.
Rocco Baldelli will be returning to the first-place Rays, which is a nice feel good story, but if he doesn't hit you kind of have to, um, get rid of him, don't you? I'm not hating because I like Rocco and am really glad to see he'll be back on the field, but that team's too good to mess up.
The Marlins might send Mike Jacobs to San Francisco for Bengie Molina.
The deadline isn't until 4pm today, so we'll see what shakes out. The O's have no plans to do anything until August, apparently, and I guess that's OK by me.