Minnesota promoted Jason Bartlett from Rochester in time for tonight’s game with Oakland, a Johan Santana/Joe Blanton matchup currently tied at 1 ; Justin Morneau has hit his 15th HR of the season.
If you were underwhelmed by the amount of activity generated just prior to yesterday’s trade deadline, you’ll have to get in line behind the Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheenan.
The inability of some of the worst teams in baseball to get into a market that favored sellers and and improve their organizations for 2006 in beyond is probably the biggest story other than the lack of moves. The Devil Rays and Chuck LaMar, in particular, should absolutely be ashamed of their performance. Keeping Aubrey Huff and Danys Baez and Julio Lugo does nothing for their outlook in the short or long terms, and they squandered an opportunity. Chuck LaMar will likely say they couldn’t get enough–and as thoroughly as these things get covered, it is impossible to know exactly what names are being discussed in each negotiation–but at some point, you have to get something. Those three players’ entire value to the team was in what they could bring to the 2007-09 editions of the Devil Rays, the ones with B.J. Upton and Delmon Young leading the way. August isn’t going to save them; all three players are positive contributors with reasonable contracts who have virtually no chance to clear waivers.
It’s time for the Rays as an organization to acknowledge LaMar’s complete failure at his job over nearly a decade and move in a different direction.
The Reds again failed to do anything notable, no surprise for an organization that has had four outfielders for three spots for three years now and has refused to address the problem. They couldn’t clear that logjam, or make minor deals for some of their veteran relievers. The Pirates dealt Lawton, but couldn’t move Jose Mesa or Mark Redman. The Royals didn’t find a taker for Mike Sweeney. Just six real sellers, more than a dozen motivated buyers, and yet LaMar, Dan O’Brien, Dave Littlefield, and Allard Baird combined for one deal in the last seven days before the deadline. The job security of these men, none of whom has assembled a .500 team or made dynamic moves in that direction, is mind-boggling.