The Trading Deadline Blues

Ah the trading deadline, what a fun time during the season that is. Every baseball fan believes themselves to be a General Manager as they assess their favorite team and suggest scenarios that will bring the missing piece to the ball club that will catapult the team into the play-offs. Starting just before all-star break those inside and outside of baseball try to determine which teams will be selling off talent and which teams will be looking to acquire someone. For the shrewd General Managers it is possible to help their teams either this year or for years to come. The Arizona Diamondbacks always seem to be involved in one way or another in some kind of trade deadline deal. In 1998 they unloaded pitcher Willie Blair and catcher Jorge Fabregas in exchange for Bernard Gilkey (I said involved I didn’t necessarily mean their trades were successful). The question was, what deals would go down in 2007?

With the advent of the wild card and the parity that seems to exist in baseball today it is getting harder and harder to determine which teams should be buyers and which teams should be selling off current talent for prospects. That fact has definitely impacted the trading deadline and the number of deals that are made. So many teams are near contention that no one wants to throw in the towel and signal to fans that they are not pushing for the post season. It also seems as though everyone is looking for the same thing. Starting pitching continues to be the Holy Grail for teams who want to go deep into the play-offs. So those teams who have pitchers find themselves in a seller’s market where they are demanding exorbitant prices to part with pitching. This year there were very few teams willing to meet these prices hence there were not many deals that went through. For the first time in franchise history the Diamondbacks held steady and did not pull off any deals. There were lots of conversations with other teams but no agreements could be made. The only trade of note for the Diamondbacks occurred last week when they sent outfielder Scott Hairston to the San Diego Padres in exchange for injured minor league relief pitcher Leo Rosales. The Diamondbacks attempted to enter the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes but could not beat Atlanta’s offer losing the all-star third baseman to the Braves. So like it or not the team that got the Diamondbacks to this position is going to be the one that will have to deliver them to the end of the season and hopefully the play-offs.

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