A Whole Lotta Tradin’ Goin’ On!

With the MLB trade deadline fast approaching, there have been a lot of rumors about possible movement of players by different teams, including our boys, the Giants.  The deadline for no-waiver trades is July 31st (the waiver trade deadline is August 31st).  Here is a list of trades that took place in the last week:

July 20th

–          The Kansas City Royals traded our old friend, starting left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, to the Colorado Rockies for starting right-handed pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.  I don’t really get this one, except for maybe the rightie vs. leftie thing?  Both pitchers have horrendous ERAs this season (Sanchez at 8.01 and Guthrie at 6.49).  The Royals probably only held on to Jonathan for so long since they traded him for Melky Cabrera, and we all know the outcome of that one!  Him being in Colorado means that we’ll be seeing more of him this season as the Rockies are in our division.  That is, unless he is put on waivers again.  Poor Jonathan!  I know he’s had troubles, but I still like the guy.  I still have great memories of my boys clinching the division in 2010 when Jonathan pitched and even hit a triple.  I hope you are liking Colorado.  Enjoy it while you can.  You’re a free agent next season, and who knows what the future has in store for you.

July 21st

–          The Chicago White Sox boosted their bullpen by acquiring right-handed pitcher Brett Myers and cash considerations from the Houston Astros for right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich and left-handed pitcher Blair Walters and a player to be named.  Both Heidenreich and Walters are minor league players.  Since Houston has been having a lackluster season, the goal is to get rid of their more expensive players and build for the future.  Many teams that have a poor season do this before the trade deadline.

July 23rd

–          The Seattle Mariners traded their star outfielder, Ichiro Suzuki, and cash considerations to the New York Yankees for two minor league right-handed pitchers, D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar.  Same goal for the Mariners – build for the future.  Suzuki is probably happy because he will be on a team with definite post-season potential, but I’m sure those Mariners fans are in mourning.

–          The Detroit Tigers acquired right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez, second baseman Omar Infante, and a competitive balance lottery draft choice between the 1st and 2nd round of the 2013 amateur draft from the Miami Marlins for three minor leaguers (right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner, left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn, catcher Rob Brantly) and a competitive balance lottery draft choice between the 2nd and 3rd round of the 2013 amateur draft.  The Marlins are the sellers in this case, picking up some great pitching and catching prospects to try and build a better team for the future.  Detroit picks up a pitcher with an ERA under 4 who’d also pitched a no hitter when he was 22 and a much needed, strong second baseman with a .284 batting average.  These guys will definitely help the Tigers make their run to the World Series.  Buyers and sellers – win-win.  Also in this trade case, notice how draft picks were traded as well.  This is also a common practice.

July 24th

–          The Tampa Bay Rays acquired infielder Ryan Roberts from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league second baseman Tyler Bortnick.  It’s not really clear who the buyer and seller are in this one as both teams are making runs for a wild card spot in their respective leagues.

–          The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez and cash from the Houston Astros for three mid-level prospects:  left-handed pitchers Rudy Owens and Colton Cain, and outfielder Robbie Grossman.   The Astros fire-sale continues.  The Pirates end up with a strong pitching starter with an ERA of 3.79, and the Astros boost their farm system while giving up on this season.

–          The Cleveland Indians traded minor league right-handed pitcher Jose De La Torre to the Boston Red Sox for infielder/outfielder Brent Lillibridge.  This is an interesting one.  Lillibridge is a good utility player, meaning he can play several positions well.  However, his batting average this season is a meager .165.  This is also the second trade for poor Lillibridge this season – he was traded from the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox a couple of months ago.  Must be tough to keep those sox colors straight!  I would think all that moving would be pretty distracting.  The Red Sox end up with a really strong pitching prospect in return.  Neither team is really a buyer or seller on this one – they just both ended up with someone they could use.

July 25th

–          Last but definitely not least, we come to the trade that will most directly impact the Giants.  The Miami Marlins traded third baseman (and former NL batting champion) Hanley Ramirez and right-handed relief pitcher Randy Choate to the Los Angeles Dodgers (it’s even hard for me to type that) for right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and minor league right-handed pitcher Scott McGough.  The fire sale of the Marlins continues, definitely the sellers in this one.  Ramirez is expected to be a strong addition to the Dodgers offense, though he has only been hitting .246 so far this season, and he’ll definitely be a boost to their left-side infield.  Choate is a good left-handed reliever.  And with the influx of money the boys in blue have received from their new owners, Magic Johnson et. al., don’t expect this to be the last move that they make.

Also of note, though it’s not a trade, is the fact that the Philadelphia Phillies signed Cole Hamels to a 6-year contract extension that will extend through 2018.  This one also affects the Giants, as it was rumored that the Dodgers and their millions might go after the All-Star pitching sensation who would have been a free agent after this season.  HA HA, Dodgers!!  Your money can’t buy everything!

So we haven’t had any movement from the Giants yet as far as trades, but you know those gears are turning in Sabean’s brain, and we should hear something major in the next four days.  I think this is especially likely due to the Dodgers’ move.  The most likely moves might be for a closer, a strong outfield bat, or a first-baseman.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.  Trades always make me sad because I love all my boys so much!

I have one new spit count for you, and the results were cause for some giggles on my part.  Here you go:

July 21st

Giants:

–          Lincecum 7

–          Sandoval 6

–          Bochy 5

–          Theriot 4

–          Cabrera 4

–          Posey 3

–          Groeschner 1

–          Pagan 1

–          Cain 1

Phillies:

–          Howard 5 (spits into his glove – blech!)

–          Rollins 1

–          Lee 1

Misc.:

–          Umpire 7

Game Spit Master General = Lincecum with 7

That’s a total of 46 spits during a 3 hour and 15 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 4.2 minutes.

OK.  So on the surface, besides the fact that this was an overall low spitting game, nothing really stands out from this spit count, right?  Except for the fact that the Game Spit Master General DIDN’T EVEN PLAY IN THIS GAME!!!  All Timmy’s spits were captured by the camera from the dugout!  Come on, guys!  Why are you spitting when you’re not even playing????  Knock that off!

This game was so interesting in so many ways.  First off, since we’re talking spits here, Cole Hamels does not spit, and he’s a fantastic pitcher.  Please follow his lead, pitchers everywhere!  Both starting pitchers got a home run in this game.  How often does that happen??  It was Hamel’s first major league home run EVER.  Both teams had three homeruns total.  Each pitcher allowed 5 runs.  It’s interesting because Cain and Hamels are compared a lot, and it was suggested that when Hamels got his recent contract extension, they would be using Cain’s contract as the benchmark.

I increased my baseball knowledge from the game the day before this one.  At one point, Melky swung at a pitch, missed it, and the ball brushed his leg.  I assumed this meant he would be taking a walk to first base because he was hit.  But instead, it was called a strike.  I looked it up in the official MLB rules, and here’s the rule I found that applies here:  “A batter is out when he attempts to hit a third strike and the ball touches him.”  So yes, you are out, Melky.  I am always learning.

Speaking of Melky, I forgot to mention last time that he recently had a new addition to his family!  He took a red-eye to Florida after the game on the 14th to be with his girlfriend for the birth of his third child.  I was at the game on the 15th and everyone was wondering why he wasn’t in the lineup (especially my cousin’s 4-year-old daughter, Sophia, who also attended the game – Melky is her favorite player).  Congrats on your new baby, Melky!

Still enjoying seeing my boy, Eli, behind the plate.  He hasn’t been hitting great lately, but he caught Timmy the other day, and that’s no easy feat.  Special thanks go to my friend, Leslie, who went to the game on Tuesday night and got a pic of Eli and sent it to me.  That was so sweet!  Thanks for thinking of me!  So glad my boy’s back, even if it’s for a little while.  I’m also wondering if, when they increase the active roster from 25 – 40 guys (this happens officially on September 1st), he’ll be back.  Can’t hurt to have an extra catcher in case of injuries, right???  We shall see.

On Wednesday night, I was watching the Giants game when Ryan Theriot came up to bat.  I noticed that he seemed a lot shorter than usual.  I found some pictures of him on the internet and realized that my suspicions were right:  he used to wear his pants long, but as of that game he has started wearing them high, with the high black socks like Barry Zito and Brandon Belt (and the way Cody Ross used to).  This makes him look so much shorter than he already is (it says he’s 5’11” in his stats, but I think he exaggerates this!).  I wonder why he changed.  If you are reading this, Ryan, please drop me a note and let me know!

Has anyone out there taken me up on my offer to play Beat the Streak at MLB.com??  My highest hitting streak so far is 10.  Of the four of us who are competing for dinner, I am in 3rd place, with my cousin Manny in the lead at 14.  It seems like it would be easy to get a streak going, but it can be so frustrating!  Give it a try and let me know how you do.  Remember – if you can beat me by the end of the season, I’ll buy you a Coke!  And if you can get your streak to 57, you can win a whopping $5.6 million!!  What have you got to lose??

I have to admit that I won’t be watching my boys play the Dodgers tonight as I plan on watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  I will be switching back and forth, though, to keep tabs on them.  Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could sweep them???  We’re already three games ahead in our division, and a six game lead would rock!  I think we can do it.  Come on, guys!  Keep those bats going!  BEAT LA!!  GO GIANTS!

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