The Wednesday before baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline, started like all the other days prior to it, with no warning of the storm that was about to come.
It started with the Dodgers and Marlins reportedly making a deal that would net LA Mat Latos, Michael Morse and the Marlins competitive balance pick and would send three minor leaguers to Miami. At first blush, it seemed like an alright deal for the Dodgers, especially if they were still going to be in on Cole Hamels or the now available David Price.
Of course, that was if the deal was going to happen. All of a sudden reports of the deal being dead were out there because the Dodgers were unable to flip Morse to a third team.
Then the NEXT big deal broke, as the New York Mets finally appeared to have the big bat they had been coveting all along, even though it would cost them one of the Big Five (the five young gun starters they have). The Milwaukee Brewers would send Carlos Gomez home, remember he was a Met prospect dealt to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal), in exchange for Zack Wheeler , who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and will not be ready until mid-2016 and shortstop Wilmer Flores.
With all the moves the Mets had made in recent days, getting Kelley Johnson, Juan Uribe and Tyler Clippard in separate deals and now landing Gomez, it appeared that Gotham’s other team was ready to make a post-season run. I will tell you why I said appeared shortly.
As soon as that deal hit the wires, it was made known that the Dodgers and Marlins had revived their talks and were close to a deal, only this time it was involving a third team in the Atlanta Braves. The only problem was, none of the names from Atlanta were being released, only that a “young pitcher” would be headed to Los Angeles.
With that news in hand, the Phillies quickly made up their mind and finally sent Cole Hamels away, but instead of LA who were the odds on favorites to land him, instead the Texas Rangers became the team to grab him. It seems odd that the Rangers would be in the deal for Hamels as chances are they will be home for the playoffs, but because Hamels is still under contract for 3 years plus an option, they can team him up with the currently injured Yu Darvish and become a formidable staff in a hurry starting next season.
It did come at quite a cost for the Rangers as they had to part with Matt Harrison, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro and Nick Williams. While Harrison is an established Major League pitcher, the real prize in this package is Alfaro.
He is a solid defensive catcher with a good bat, especially against lefties where he was hitting over .400 in Double A. He is only 21 years old, and has a chance for some real growth and could be a star in the making, and at least a fixture behind the dish in Philadelphia for years.
Within 30 minutes of the end of the never-ending Cole Hamels saga, the Dodgers, Marlins and Braves appeared to finally finish their three-team deal. While LA was not able to snag an ace like Hamels in the deal, they did land two very good to solid starters, two relievers, an outfield bat and a good minor league infielder.
While the deal is not totally signed off on, it appears from all angles to be done. It will break down like this … The Marlins will get 3 minor leaguers from the Dodgers, none of them in their Top 100 prospects, the Braves will get Cuban defector Hector Olivera, who is signed for six years, along with injured reliever Paco Rodriguez, a minor leaguer who is not set to amount to much and the Marlins compensation draft picks. The Dodgers will get Mat Latos, Michael Morse, Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, lefty reliever Luis Avilan and minor league infielder Jose Peraza, who was ranked as the Braves number 24th best prospect.
When this deal goes through, it will give the Dodgers one of the better rotations in all of baseball, some additional help in the bullpen and what I can only call a totally redundant bat in the outfield. Does this mean LA is done? I am not sure, David Price could still be on their radar, but either way the team as it sits will be much better suited for a post-season run than before the flurry of deals.
Just when it seemed like the day of deals was done, the shocker hit. The deal between the Mets and Brewers was off. Carlos Gomez and his bat were NOT headed back to New York. Apparently, one of the players’ physicals was not clean enough. I know, you are all thinking it was Wheeler, well you would be wrong. Gomez has a hip issue that seemed to concern the Mets brass, so that deal will not happen.
Well, at least there is always tomorrow.