With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline just two weeks away, the Chicago Cubs were the first contender to make a major deal by shipping prospects Dylan Cease, Bryant Flete, Eloy Jimenez, and Matt Rose across town to the White Sox for starting pitcher Jose Quintana.
The defending World Series champion’s message to their players, fans, and baseball was clear; we intend on returning to the Fall Classic this year.
Conversely, the White Sox are in a rebuild similar to the one the Cubs undertook several years ago. The organization is incrementally trading major leaguer talent with the intent of recouping the highest value possible.
In a few months, we’ll know whether adding Quintana helped propel the Cubs’ to postseason glory. But, it’ll be years before we realize the long-term effects of the trade on both Chicago ball clubs.
That’s why I enjoy writing an annual review of previous deadline deals. It’s a chance to see how transactions panned out for both buyers and sellers. As always, I go back four seasons so trades have a chance to run their respective courses.
First up, a deal involving a rebuilding Cubs team.
Matt Garza for Carl Edwards, Justin Grimm, Mike Olt, and Neil Ramirez
After making consecutive World Series appearances in 2010-11 and losing the AL wild card game the year prior, the Texas Rangers wanted to extend their window of postseason appearances.
Texas acquired starting pitcher Matt Garza as a rental for their playoff push and the right-hander produced numbers similar to his Chicago stat line. In the end though, the Rangers lost a play-in game to the Tampa Bay Rays and Garza signed a long-term deal with the Milwaukee Brewers after the season.
Reliever Neil Ramirez split his time between the Cubs and Class-AAA Iowa before the Brewers selected the right-hander off waivers last year. He’s currently on the 25-man roster of the New York Mets.
Jose Veras for Danry Vasquez and David Paulino
The Detroit Tigers were in a heated division race with the Cleveland Indians and wanted to add a back-end reliever to their bullpen. At the deadline, general manager David Dombrowski picked up Jose Veras from the Houston Astros.
Veras would serve as Detroit’s eighth inning setup man and helped the club reach the ALCS, which they lost to the Boston Red Sox. Once the season was over, the 6-foot-6 hurler became a free agent and signed with the Cubs. He last appeared in the majors in 2014 as a member of the Astros.
From the club’s perspective, off-the-field issues involving both players acquired by Houston have affected the success of the deal.
The Astros released outfielder Danry Vasquez last summer after a domestic violence arrest stemming from an incident at his team’s stadium. Since then, he’s played professionally in Venezuela.
David Paulino began the year as the number-44 in baseball, according to MLB.com. When Houston’s rotation suffered a spate of injuries of injuries earlier this season, the club turned to the right-hander for help.
Unfortunately, Paulino compounded the team’s rotation woes by receiving an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use. The 23-year will miss the remainder of the season and is ineligible for the postseason.
Bud Norris for Josh Hader, L.J. Hoes and a competitive balance pick
At the deadline, the Baltimore Orioles were 10 games over .500, tied for the second wild card spot, and just 5.5 games behind first place Boston. Club management leaned forward by bolstering their rotation with a pair of deals.
The first was a swap netting the starter Bud Norris from the Astros. The right-hander performed admirably for the Orioles through 2014, but was subsequently released in August 2015. These days, the 32-year-old is closing out games for the Los Angeles Angels.
Two years after joining the Astros organization, Josh Hader was once again part of a deadline deal. This time, Houston was buying. The club packaged Hader and other prospects in a trade for starting pitcher Mike Fiers and outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Hader began the season with Class-AAA Colorado Springs as Milwaukee’s third best prospect and number-31 overall in baseball. A starter in the minors, the southpaw is currently serving as a reliever with the Brew Crew this season.
Through 2015, L.J. Hoes played 109 games with the Astros before the Orioles purchased the outfielder. The reunion lasted one with Hoes playing with Class-AAA Norfolk. This season, he’s playing independent league ball in southern Maryland.
Still, the Astros could look to deal Fisher later this month to fill needs on their major league roster.
Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop
At the time of the other Baltimore deal, I suspect fans didn’t care the Orioles were shipping away Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop for a chance to win in 2013. I bet those same fans see it differently now.
Scott Feldman didn’t perform as well during 15 starts with the Orioles as he did with Chicago. The right-handed pitcher became a free agent after the season and signed with the Astros.
While Steve Clevenger bounced between Class-AAA Norfolk and the Orioles for two seasons, his eventual departure from Baltimore did reap value. The club shipped the backstop to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for slugger Mark Trumbo.
Strop struggled with his control during two full seasons with Baltimore, but the right-hander has flourished in the Cubs’ bullpen since his 2013 arrival.
Once considered a highly touted prospect, Arrieta disappointed through 63 starts with Baltimore. Much to the chagrin of Orioles faithful, the fifth round pick won the 2015 NL Cy Young award. Arietta would have a strong follow-on season in 2016, but he’s scuffled at times this year.
Three-team deal involving Tigers, Red Sox, and White Sox
The Tigers and Red Sox had World Series aspirations in July 2013, while the White Sox were in a rebuild mode. Together, the three clubs found common ground for a seven-player deal. The following table illustrates the trade’s logistics.
|Red Sox||Jose Iglesias||Jake Peavy
|Frankie Montas||Brayan Villarreal|
|Tigers||Avisail Garcia||Jose Iglesias|
|White Sox||Jake Peavy||Avisail Garcia|
Source: Baseball Reference
Jake Peavy helped the Red Sox win the AL East, but wasn’t particularly effective in the postseason. In the end, it didn’t matter. Boston beat the Tigers in the ALCS and subsequently defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
A year later, the Sawx switched roles and were sellers, shipping Peavy to the San Francisco Giants for Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree. Boston waived Escobar last season, while Hembree is still a member of their bullpen.
After appearing in just one game for the Red Sox in 2013, the club designated pitcher Brayan Villarreal for assignment a year later. He hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since.
Jose Iglesias wound up being the runner-up for 2013 AL Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, the Tigers’ shortstop missed the following season due to stress fractures in both shins. The 27-year-old bounced back earning a 2015 all-star selection, but his offensive numbers have dropped off considerably since then.
Pitcher Frankie Montas was a September 2015 call-up for the White Sox before the club shipped the hard-throwing right-hander to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way deal that netted the Chicago third baseman Todd Frazier.
Last July, the Dodgers flipped Montas along with two other prospects to acquire Rich Hill and Josh Reddick from the Oakland Athletics. Thus far, the 24-year-old has appeared as a reliever with Oakland, although he’s currently starting games for Class-AAA Nashville.
Infielder Cleuluis Rondon bounced up and down in the White Sox minor league system before his release last month. The 23-year-old is now playing in the Miami Marlins organization.
In 2015, the White Sox swapped J.B. Wendelken in a deal with the Athletics for infielder Brett Lawrie. The team released Lawrie last March, while Wendelken is recovering from offseason Tommy John surgery.
Outfielder Avisail Garcia was a replacement-level player for the Pale Hose beginning in 2015, but earned an all-star selection this season an under team control through 2019.
Could Garcia be on the move prior to the deadline once again?