Braves acquired first baseman Mark Teixeira and left-hander Ron Mahay from Texas for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and four non-roster players -- shortstop Elvis Andrus, right-hander Neftali Feliz and lefties Matt Harrison and Beau Jones: The Braves did not make the playoffs, though this deal wasn't to blame. And the Rangers may ultimately be very pleased with this one, though they've missed Teixeira's production at first base.
Teixeira was outstanding in 2007, batting .317 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs after the Braves got him last year, though the first baseman has a slightly lower power output this season, with fewer RBIs and homers over more at-bats. Mahay did a fine job for the Braves last season as well, posting a 2.25 ERA in 30 appearances, before signing with Kansas City during the offseason. This means the Braves will have nothing to show for the talent they gave up if they don't re-sign Teixeira to an extension after his one-year, $12.5 million deal ends after the season.
Saltalamacchia is sharing catching duties for Texas with Gerald Laird. Harrison has thrown an average of 6 1/3 innings over his first three three starts with the Triple-A Redhawks, while Andrus has hit well and shown speed on the base paths during Double-A Frisco stint. Jones has pitched well for Class A Bakersfield. All are projected to reach the Major Leagues.
Rangers traded outfielder Kenny Lofton to the Indians for non-roster catcher Max Ramirez: For the moment, score this one a win for both sides. The Indians got what they wanted out of Lofton, who batted .283 with a .344 on-base percentage in 52 games to help the Tribe take the American League Central Division title. Lofton also hit .375 in Cleveland's ALDS victory over the Yankees.
And yet Ramirez may be much better than anyone expected. As July approaches, Ramirez was in the running for the Texas League Triple Crown for Double-A Frisco.
Braves acquired right-hander Octavio Dotel from Kansas City for right-hander Kyle Davies: Davies hadn't shown much in Atlanta, but the 24-year-old has been terrific in the Royals rotation since his recall on May 31. And Dotel worked only 7 2/3 innings for the Braves last year before moving on to the White Sox this season. Score this one in the win column for Royals GM Dayton Moore at the expense of his former employers.
Red Sox acquired right-hander Eric Gagne from the Rangers for left-hander Kason Gabbard and non-roster outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre: The Red Sox got Gagne to help set up closer Jonathan Papelbon, and while he made 20 appearances, Gagne did not pitch well -- though he did have a scoreless appearance against Colorado in the World Series.
The cost to rent Gagne for a couple of months wasn't cheap, and ultimately may prove to be very expensive. The 26-year-old Gabbard is in the Texas rotation and Murphy is starting in right field, having reached double digit homers, and among team leaders in RBIs, though well behind Josh Hamilton. Beltre is playing in the Midwest League.
Mets acquired second baseman Luis Castillo from the Twins for non-roster catcher Drew Butera and non-roster outfielder Dustin Martin: The Mets faded in September, but don't blame Castillo, who batted .316 with a .404 on-base percentage and 10 RBIs during the final month of the 2007 season, and .296 for the season.
The Twins weren't going to re-sign Castillo anyway, so getting a couple of prospects who could help in two or three years was the right move. Butera, 24, and Martin, 24, are both at Double-A, and Martin in particularly has been impressive.
Padres traded right-hander Scott Linebrink to the Brewers for left-handers Joe Thatcher and Steve Garrison and right-hander Will Inman: This one didn't work out so well for Milwaukee, and could be big for San Diego.
The Brewers brought in Linebrink to help hold off the Cubs. The right-hander went 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 27 games, but the Cubs won the division anyway. Linebrink then moved on to the White Sox during the offseason, while the three pitchers Milwaukee gave up to get him are pitching well.
Over his 15 starts, including two complete games, Inman is 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 78 innings at Double-A San Antonio. Garrison has gone 4-3 with a 3.27 ERA over his first 13 games for San Antonio. Thatcher, 26, went 0-4 for the Padres before getting sent down to Triple-A Portland, where he has gone 2-0 with a save and a 1.54 ERA over his first 10 games. All should be pitching in the bigs within two years.
Athletics traded outfielder Milton Bradley and cash considerations to the Padres for right-hander Andrew Brown: The Padres hoped Bradley's bat would get them over the hump and into the playoffs. They fell a game short, but Bradley did his part, hitting .313 with 11 homers and 30 RBIs in 42 games. Then he moved on to the Rangers.
So, no Bradley for San Diego this year, and the pitcher they gave up has an ERA under 2.00 for the surprising A's. It's been that kind of year for the Friars.
Yankees traded right-hander Scott Proctor to the Dodgers for infielder Wilson Betemit: The Yankees needed another infielder at the time, though in hindsight, Proctor, who went 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 31 games for the Dodgers last year and has appeared in more than 30 games this season for Los Angeles, is a lot to pay for a part-time journeyman like Betemit.
Pirates acquired right-hander Matt Morris from the Giants in exchange for outfielder Rajai Davis and a player to be named (pitcher Stephen MacFarland): This odd deal is already off the books for both teams. Call it a wash. Morris went 3-4 with a 6.10 ERA to finish the season after the Pirates got him last July, then announced his retirement after starting the 2008 season with an 0-4 record. The Giants waived Davis in April and he was picked up by Oakland. MacFarland, last seen in Class A, isn't viewed as a future Major Leaguer.
Phillies acquired right-hander Kyle Lohse from Cincinnati for left-hander Matt Maloney: This deal worked out well for both teams. The Reds weren't going anywhere and weren't about to re-sign Lohse. The righty went 3-0 in 11 starts for the Phillies as they caught the Mets for the NL East crown. Lohse then turned down Philadelphia's offer for 2008 and signed with the Cardinals. Maloney, 6-4 with a 4.93 ERA over his first 15 starts for Triple-A Louisville, has Major League tools and could be in Cincinnati soon.
Rays traded third baseman Ty Wigginton to the Astros for right-hander Dan Wheeler: Both teams are happy with this deal. Wigginton is starting for Houston and Wheeler has been a valuable member of Tampa Bay's bullpen.
Padres acquired outfielder Scott Hairston from Arizona for right-hander Leo Rosales: The Padres got the better of this one so far. Not only did Hairston go on a tear after they got him -- .287, 8 HR, 20 RBIs in 31 games -- he's been the starter in center field this season. Rosales, 27, has put up a strong strikeout-to-walk ratio out of the bullpen for Triple-A Tucson, and made his Major League debut on June 15.
Phillies acquired second baseman Tadahito Iguchi from the White Sox for non-roster right-hander Michael Dubee: Neither side got burned, but they aren't dancing in the streets either.
Iguchi was expendable as far as the White Sox were concerned, since they didn't plan to re-sign him after the season. He hit .304 in 45 games for the Phillies to help their stretch drive. He signed a free-agent contract with San Diego during the offseason. Dubee is a marginal prospect.
Padres acquired catcher Michael Barrett and cash from the Cubs for catcher Rob Bowen and outfielder Kyler Burke: Neither side can brag about this one. Injuries cut into Barrett's playing time, but he hasn't been all that great when healthy either. Bowen has moved on to Oakland and Burke is a fringe prospect currently in Class A.