The trade deadline has passed with some teams making moves to drastically improve while others were unable to do a thing. I wonder though, is a deadline deal even necessary to win it all?
Taking a look back at the last five World Series Champions, these are the biggest July moves they made.
2013 Boston Red Sox: Jake Peavy
When Peavy came over to the Red Sox it secured the team one more veteran starter in a rotation struggling to stay consistent and healthy. We forget Jon Lester was not a superstar in 2013 and in spite of his great numbers John Lackey had a 10-13 record.
Peavy was mostly used as a third or fourth starter for the Red Sox after putting on the team’s stirrups. In the playoffs he wasn’t incredibly valuable, going 0-1 and never reaching the sixth inning in any of his three starts. His loss against the Detroit Tigers was dreadful as he gave up 7 runs in 3 innings. Overall he didn’t contribute very much to the eventual winners. In hindsight though, someone else could have done much worse.
2012 San Francisco Giants: Hunter Pence
In back to back seasons Pence was traded from a bad team to one expected to go deep into the playoffs. When he joined the Giants Pence suddenly didn’t look so good. In 59 games with the Giants in 2012 he hit .219 and hit 7 home runs. He did manage to secure 45 RBIs which is a bit of a surprise from his overall numbers.
As for the playoffs, Pence struggled until reaching the World Series. His NLDS batting average was .200 and his NLCS was .179, but did include his lone career postseason home run. After all of the struggles though, he managed to hit .286 in the four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers. Pence must have wanted the parade to get started quicker than most predicted it would.
The Cardinals waited until late in July to trade a disgruntled Colby Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays along with a few other players for Edwin Jackson and Octavio Dotel. As low profile of a deal as this was both Jackson and Dotel played great for the Cardinals.
The well-traveled Jackson was 5-2 with a 3.58 ERA pitching for the Cardinals in 13 games. Dotel managed to get into 29 games in relief and held a 3.28 ERA. The trend continues though as Jackson pitched horribly in the postseason other than his first start in the NLDS. The equally as well-traveled Dotel was used pretty frequently on the team’s charge to a championship and unlike those mentioned before him on this list didn’t let the pressure get to him.
2010 San Francisco Giants: Trading Away Bengie Molina
To the surprise of everyone who demands their team make a move at the deadline to get better, the Giants didn’t make any big move at or around the deadline in 2010. The biggest thing they did was trade catcher Bengie Molina to the Texas Rangers to allow Buster Posey to become the everyday catcher.
The team did acquire relievers Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez on July 31st. Not by any means players anyone expects you to know they actually had a huge impact. Ramirez had a 0.67 ERA in the regular season and Lopez, only by comparison, had a much worse 1.42. However once the playoffs came around Ramirez’s ERA invented a new highest number. Lopez though continued his successful run and may have been the most underrated part of the team.
2009 New York Yankees: Someone Big, Right?
The Yankees always seem to be the team sweeping up the best available players from those unfortunate organizations bound for an early winter. In 2009 this wasn’t the case. The team did get Eric Hinske, Chad Gaudin, and Jerry Hairston Jr. during the season; you know, true Yankees legends.
Of the three only Gaudin did put up worthy numbers. Hinske and Hairston Jr. were only meant to be bench players anyway and served the role just fine. For instance Hinske hit 7 home runs in 84 at-bats with only a .226 batting average. If any team had made a big trade at the deadline to help them win a World Series in the last five years I would have thought it was the Yankees.
The conclusion I get from this is that most championship teams are made long before July. Sorry to break it to you Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics fans. The Toronto Blue Jays may actually know what they are doing by not making any moves.
Photo Credit: By Mr.schultz (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons