I love this time of year, as trade rumors fly with reckless abandon. But every year there’s a hell of a lot more talk than action. Last year was one of the worst in recent memory. Here are the highlights of July 2005:
The Mariners sent Bret Boone to the Twins on the 11th.
Two days later, the Nationals got Preston Wilson for Zach Day and change.
That same day the A’s made a couple of small deals, acquiring Jay Payton and sending off Eric Byrnes in separate trades.
The Yanks picked up Al Leiter on the 16th from Florida.
On the 18th, a year ago yesterday, the Cubs sent Jason Dubois to Cleveland for Jody Gerut.
The Royals sent Tony Graffanino to the Red Sox the next day. The Phils picked up Tim Worrell on the 21st.
On the 23rd the Padres made their big deal to get Joe Randa for Travis Chick. The Reds went on to swap Chick for Eddie Guardado about a year later.
Things were quiet until the 28th, when the Yanks snagged Shawn Chacon. Exciting.
On the 30th the Padres and Rangers swapped the salaries of Phil Nevin and Chan Ho Park. Eric Byrnes went to Baltimore, and the Red Sox snagged Jose Cruz Jr.
Deadline day: The Mariners ditched Ron Villone for a decent prospect in Yorman Bazardo. Bill Bavasi also shipped off Randy Winn, among a few others. The Cubs turned Gerut into Matt Lawton, whose horse steroids wouldn’t help him down the stretch. The Braves pulled off a deal for Kyle Farnsworth, easily the best reliever to change hands.
That pretty much sums it up. Winn and Farnsworth were the biggest names last July. Rumored players who didn’t get dealt: Roger Clemens, Austin Kearns, Danys Baez, A.J. Burnett, Mike Sweeney, Aubrey Huff, Alfonso Soriano, Bronson Arroyo, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, Billy Wagner, Jeff Weaver, and Manny Ramirez. It seemed almost certain that Burnett would be traded last summer.
Cherish what we have here this year. The Kearns deal was huge, and it looks like Soriano will be moved as well. Throw in some Phillies and various starters and 2006 has far more promise than last year.