Trade Deadline Links: Price Trade, Red Sox, Phillies

It’s been a quiet night for transactions and rumors, so let’s take a look at some audio looking back at the deadline:

  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski joined’s Buster Olney on his podcast (audio link) to discuss the David Price trade. Dombrowski’s account is essential listening, but here are some highlights: Though Dombrowski was thinking initially about adding to the pen, internal recommendations led him to reach out to his Rays counterpart, Andrew Friedman, before the All-Star game. The sides chatted, but did not discuss a deal intensively until the evening before the deadline. Tampa had previously raised the name of young shortstop Willy Adames, was interested in some of the Mariners players, and liked Drew Smyly, but the precise package was only put together with the deadline closing in. In Dombrowski’s mind, the deal went from a “slight chance” overnight to happening quickly early in the afternoon. (Interestingly, the Detroit Free-Press tweeted that Dombrowski was notably absent from his usual seat just before the game; as it turns out, Dombrowski tells Olney that the key phone conversations were in fact taking place at that time.)
  • Dombrowski had high praise for Friedman, who he described as direct and thorough. As for the idea that the haul was light for Price, Dombrowski explained that he had faced similar reactions after the Doug Fister deal, and feels that often such reactions come from a lack of information. In particular, he expressed that other clubs may not have a full read on Adames, who he calls a potential future All-Star.
  • In his podcast today (audio link), Jonah Keri of Grantland spoke with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports about the trade deadline and what it means the rest of the way. Rosenthal wonders whether the Red Sox have created a sort of new model for sellers by pursuing big league pieces instead of unproven youngsters. Of course, Boston also created a much-discussed “model” for free-agent spending before the club’s 2013 World Series run, when it added a series of mid-tier veterans who seemed to gel together in Fenway. Keri also chats with Dan Okrent, discussing his excellent (and highly-recommended) book, Nine Innings, which delivers an incredible portrait of the workings of a ballclub from the front office to the field.
  • Former MLB GM Jim Duquette shared his own thoughts on the deadline — in particular, regarding the Phillies — on The Jayson Stark Show of 97.5 The Fanatic (audio link). Duquette said he thought the club “missed an opportunity” by standing pat. He also said it was surprising to hear GM Ruben Amaro Jr. say that his peers were not sufficiently aggressive in pursuing Philadelphia’s players, with Stark adding that other general managers have indicated to him that they were less than pleased with the commentary.

64 Responses to Trade Deadline Links: Price Trade, Red Sox, Phillies Leave a Reply

  1. Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

    Good job Ruben, if you haven’t already burned the bridge with other teams with your outrageous demands, you’re surely on pace to do it when you start telling the media that you expect the world to take your side and comprehend your madness.

    Good look in your future endeavors, I’m sure I’ll be seeing you at my local Walmart as the greeter in 5 months.

    • timpa 12 months ago

      If I walked into a Walmart and saw RAJ greeting people I’d do the Grandpa Simpson turn and exit.

    • Jeff Miller 12 months ago

      Gotta wonder if those comments will force David Montgomery and ownership to make a change after the season. He gave Ruben the proverbial stamp of approval a month or so ago, but this team isn’t moving in a positive direction and Ruben is clearly to blame. Montgomery might just be the money guy and public face of a very private ownership group, but the product Ruben has put on the field is causing the team to lose money at the gate, which Monty has said is a huge concern going forward.

      Would be great if both are out after 2014 and the bring in a whole new front office. New player development and scouting departments, new minor league instructors and significantly improve their advanced metrics department, if you can really call 5 people an advanced metrics department.

    • JacksTigers 12 months ago

      Those marked down prices very well could drive him insane.

  2. Karkat 12 months ago

    Not to open my own team up to more criticism, but is it fair to say the Sox truly “created a model” when that model’s success was immediately followed by a last-place nosedive?

    • Dynasty22 12 months ago

      Remains to be seen. A model is something that needs to be followed. Something like Moneyball. I don’t recall any team going on a spree for mid-tier free agents this previous offseason so we don’t know how front offices feel about it. I suppose the future will tell. But, this whole “Red Sox created a model” thing is too premature.

      • There’s also the problem that this “model” can’t really be followed. The Sox were able to sign so many mid tier free agents because they had flexibility, but they’re also a highly attractive FA destination. I doubt any other last place team would be able to sign all those guys to identical deals.

        • Uncontrite 12 months ago

          At the time the Sox had a horrible baseball reputation.. With the Chicken and beer fiasco, losing 90+ games and Bobby V at the helm, we had to overpay Victorino in years, Dempster in cash, and originally Napoli in cash until they got a loophole on him

          • Dynasty22 12 months ago

            Victorino and Dempster rejected slightly bigger contracts from the Indians and Royals respectively to sign with the Red Sox. I’m not sure how you find Napoli an overpay in cash. It was the same annual value but instead of 3 years, it was 1. Not to mention, though Napoli had a couple of subpar years in batting average before he signed, he always displayed power and on base skills. That is worth 13 million dollars. Those aren’t moves aren’t overpays. All the Red Sox did was get those guys at market value and it payed dividends in 2013.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

      I agree — that’s actually kind of why I threw it in there. Everybody was talking about this “Red Sox model” last year and in the offseason. I think they pretty much just targeted a few guys and things broke right. Hats off for winning, and for being adaptable when it didn’t work out in year two. If anything, that is the model — stay flexible, understand value as fully as possible.

      Likewise, is Beane dealing for Jim Johnson and then Samardzija, Hammel, and Lester some form of Moneyball? Or something else? Or is it just him evaluating the market and his team’s situation and understanding the high present value of a win for the A’s circumstances?

      • Karkat 12 months ago

        Ahh, okay, now I’m reading it with the appropriate amount of snark xD

        I’m trying my best to withhold ultimate, fiery, Sox-fan judgment until next season anyhow.

        I do think the A’s are right to strike while the iron is hot. Detroit is their only real hurdle to overcome at this point, imo.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          Game 7, ALCS. Lester. Price. Just how we might have envisioned it before the season started … kind of.

    • jb226 12 months ago

      I’d say they didn’t create a model is because their circumstances were kind of unique. Between Ross, Gomes, Victorino, Uehara, Dempster and Drew, they added six guys to their 25 man roster including 3 to their starting 9. (Seven and four if you want to count re-signing Ortiz.) It’s tough to find a team that both needs changes at that many positions and has the flexibility to make them. If they had added only one or two of those kind of player we wouldn’t even be considering whether there is some overarching lesson to learn.

      That lesser form actually happens quite a bit, especially on mid-market teams who can’t afford the huge splash. The impressive thing about Boston’s 2013 offseason was the scale, not the strategy itself.

      • Tim Johnson 12 months ago

        I never thought that Boston was creating a model since this seemed to be the exact same thing that the Phillies did in 1993. Bring together a bunch of guys and get career years out of them and then completely fall apart the next year. Both teams were seen as a cast of characters and the only difference was the fact that Boston was able to actually win the World Series. It really doesn’t allow for any sustained success, so I don’t see other teams wanting to replicate it on a regular basis.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 12 months ago

      I’ve read a lot of your posts over the last week and I think we have some major disagreements about the Sox trades at the deadlines. I’m hoping for a good exchange of thoughts for the next few months. I also think we can both agree that no model was made by the Red Sox trades.

      The Red Sox are in a unique position to rebuild a team quickly with money and a strong farm to use in trades or promotions) to get back on a winning franchise. Not every team will have both resources to follow the same model.

      • Karkat 12 months ago

        I had a very emotional reaction to the Lester trade, and I’ll admit it did put me in a foul mood most of the day (my all-day meeting didn’t help either). That said, I still feel like the returns could’ve been better, especially since I’m not a believer in Craig (someone pointed out his concerningly declining ISO). I’m willing to re-evaluate this offseason based on a variety of factors.

        Regardless, I always enjoy debating with you, especially as we’re both on the same side at the end of the day 😀

  3. centerfield_ballhawk 12 months ago

    The Doug Fister return is still extremely light, regardless of what Dave Dombrowski would like you to believe.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

      I mean, it’s possible that he wouldn’t have done better from another club. He talks in the interview about doing one’s homework, and he said at the time that he asked around for other clubs that had young pitching. For me, as I wrote extensively at the time, I felt that the Tigers did not make the right decision to simply move him for the best version of a certain kind of package (young starter, controllable pen piece, utility infielder).

      But Dombrowski adapts, and makes bold moves to craft the team he wants. And it’s hard to argue with the results on the field, ultimately.

      • It’s hard to say he’s really setting the team up for the future though. The best thing to come out of the Price trade is that it all but guarantees that the Tigers are out of the running for Scherzer. Detroit’s payroll woes are likely to get worse as Cabrera and Verlander age.

        • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

          The Tigers very sincerely face a crash and burn scenario in the years ahead. They are currently a product of a willing owner who wants a championship. I believe they overspend their market

          • I don’t understand the thought process behind the Verlander/Cabrera extensions. Neither was particularly team friendly and both players seem to love playing in Detroit.

            Fielder was another mess. The Tigers’ 2012 success and his injury now sort of validates the deal now, but it was still the same sort of short sighted behavior that ignores the long term ramifications.

          • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

            The thought process seems to be coming from an elderly owner who wants to win now. He pours his own money into a winner. Very much the opposite approach to what David Glass of KC does. They’ve chosen Price over Scherzer I’d say. It’s a good scenario a talented gm and an owner that spends

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            The owner is certainly generous, but he is not irresponsible. They play in the 11th largest tv market and had the fifth highest payroll.
            That is reasonable, especially when you consider
            how successful the Illitch family was with a huge Red Wing payroll. They know what they are doing.

          • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

            Great organization and great fan friendly ownership. Detroit and Michigan are overlooked and underrated.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            Detroit draws 3 million and the last Hall of Famer retired 40 years ago. They couldn’t let them walk. Why it took what it did to keep them seems high. Both sides must think the market is going much higher in the next 8 years. We will see. Both original contracts were incredibly cheap. Could be some make up going on.
            You’re not saying getting rid of Fielder was a mistake are you?

          • tune-in for baseball 12 months ago

            This process started with the hiring of Pudge in 2003. Detroit could not beg FA to sigh with them. Once he was on board the quality players took notice and Detroit was in the World Series in 2006. Verlander and Cabera are the face of the franchise and will go into the Hall Of Fame in Tiger hats. Got VMart,Hunter and Nathan to Detroit. They sell lots of merchandise and tickets. Will probably keep Price in Detroit and continue the process. Its hard to put a Dollar value on that.

          • Getting rid of Fielder wasn’t the mistake. Signing him was. The trade to Texas and the Fister deal represented moves that were done to increase payroll flexibility. Now they’re essentially paying Kinsler like a 20 million + player. They should never have signed Fielder at all.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            Agree. The situation was complicated by a close personal relationship between Prince and the owner when Prince was a teenager and his Dad, Cecil was with the Tigers. The signing was owner driven.
            It made a great story in Detroit, but they were lucky and smart to cut bait when they did.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            You may be under rating their market. They drew 3 million last year and are on track to repeat that this year. They had the highest tv ratings in baseball. They are very comfortable with a payroll of $175 million.
            The owner owns half of downtown Detroit which is rebuilding big time. He makes money on the family casino and other properties when downtown traffic increases.
            He “overspent” on the Red Wings and turned Detroit into Hockeytown.
            They are content to break even every year but have the value of the franchise increase from $80 million to $600 million in 20 years.

          • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

            I didn’t intend to indicate a slight. I do feel that Michigan is blessed to have an owner that’s willing to pile personal assets into a team. That’s the way it should be, and isn’t, in most markets. The Tigers aren’t exempt from a downturn in fan support if ownership changes financial direction in the future.

          • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

            I can personally attest that Detroit is a hell of a baseball town!

          • Red_Line_9 12 months ago

            I do question the value of these mlb TV contracts. They very much smell like a bubble to me. With salaries being built around them, and a general decline in baseball viewership..a likely continuing trend… baseball will have to deal with another reset. Of course… there’s multimedia money being shared. But cable wise… Soccer is out viewing baseball on FS1 even now

        • Mr Pike 12 months ago

          They solved their payroll woes when they dumped Fielder, Fister, Infante and Peralta last winter. They have enough payroll flexibility now to be able to pay Scherzer, Price or someone else $144 million and still stay on budget.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          Fair point, for sure … will be interesting to see how the club shapes up in the mid-term/long-term.

      • Mr Pike 12 months ago

        Jeff, you were wrong then and you are wrong now. A team like the Tigers need to “draft for need” rather than “take the best player available”. If they got a couple top prospect position players where would they play? How would it improve their team?
        They only position open at the time was left field. Left fielders are a lot easier to get than young left handed pitchers with big upside. JD Martinez.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          I agree that it can make sense, depending on a team’s situation, to add near-MLB prospects based on need. But prospects are also currency to be used when, you know, you decide to acquire a guy like David Price. (Instead, now there’s no more Fister and no more Smyly. Better hope Ray pans out and steps in for the latter.)

          I wrote a long post explaining how the entire offseason was shaped to an extent by the Peralta suspension. To an extent, the Fister trade was an extension of that. My critique of the deal is not just “they didn’t get enough!”, but relates to the question whether they should have dealt a fairly cheap, highly-productive starting pitcher only to go sign a more expensive, less valuable, older relief pitcher (Nathan). (The timing suggested to me that the moves were interrelated.)

          But look, I am but a child at Dombrowski’s feet — especially enjoy his discussions of his decisionmaking process — and am more than open to learning from his approach.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            I totally agree the Fister/Nathan deals are interrelated. But, they didn’t just get two years of Nathan for two years of Fister. They also got young, cheap Ray and Krol.
            If Smyly doesn’t go to starter, they can’t flip him for Price. Smyly can’t hit the rotation with Fister there and without Krol.
            Always enjoy your take on things, just don’t always see things the same way. That’s what makes Trade Rumors fun.

          • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

            Absolutely. Enjoy the debate.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            Good thing they got Ray, otherwise when Scherzer and Fister walked in free agency they wouldn’t have anybody to replace them.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          And are good, young, cost-controlled outfielders really so much easier to come by? Getting a hit on JD Martinez doesn’t prove that. It’s extremely rare. The reason there is a premium on pitchers at the trade deadline is that so many are injured, but that also drives down their value as a long-term investment.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            Yes outfielders are easier to come by. Look at how many get traded compared to good young left handlers and what they get in return when they do trade them.
            You can also fill an outfield hole with established players a lot easier than you can fill a starting pitcher hole.
            Stockpiling good young pitchers is a winning strategy. Dombrowski has proven it over the years.
            Take Martinez out of the equation if you want. How much better would the team be with a rookie left fielder compared to a rajai Davis / Dirks platoon? None.

          • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

            “Look at how many get traded …” Not sure where you get this perception from. Cards said they had no interest in dealing Taveras, even though they didn’t have an immediate need at the MLB level. Everyone called Myers-for-Shields an overpay. The Tigers (Sanchez deal, Soria deal), Blue Jays (Dickey deal), D’backs (Choo deal, Trumbo deal) and Dodgers (AGon, etc. deal), among others, have been fairly willing to deal away young, near-MLB arms recently.

            Anyway, when did I suggest they should have acquired and played a rookie left fielder??? Actually, in December, I wrote about how they made a shrewd move to trade away just such a player (Avisail Garcia) to plug their unexpected SS gap with Iglesias and avoid sacrificing future control in the process.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            Yes, they will sometimes trade young pitchers, almost always when they get an established pitcher back, like Sanchez, Fister, Dickey and Price. Otherwise, not so much.
            I get it from Dombrowski when he said he dangled Fister for any one of what he considered the top 15 Mlb ready arms and 14 said no. Even Rizzo said no at first. You would think he would jump on it before Dombrowski changed his mind if it was as lopsided as many believe.

          • Mr Pike 12 months ago

            Once again, left field was the only position open. If the position players you recommend don’t play left, they rot in the minors for three to eight years. They weren’t going to trade Fister for someone in A ball.

        • tune-in for baseball 12 months ago

          When I was a kid an adult told me something that stuck with me about baseball. He said if you don’t know if you want to be a pitcher or position player, be a pitcher. A team of 25 players is half pitchers. That is the drafting model for DD. He then has maximum flexibility in grooming for team use or trade chips.

  4. Timothy Rogan 12 months ago

    Hey just a heads up, Okrent’s “Nine Innings” is about a single game, not a season. It’s the “Ulysses” of baseball books.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

      I’ve read it. It’s about much more than one game. But I agree that that isn’t a very good way to describe it, I’ll edit.

  5. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 12 months ago

    Hey, I was talking to an associate yesterday about the Phillies and the associate said there’s better team in Philadelphia and they have a ‘girl’ as their ace.
    I believe him, I think the Taney Dragons could not only beat the Phillies!
    They have a very good chance in winning the Little League World Series.
    Quite honestly from reading about them I am surprised they aren’t getting more attention then the Phillies! They are the better team! =P

  6. Mike1L 12 months ago

    The Red Sox are among the best FO around, but they had a lot of things go perfectly last year, and it’s always a mistake to perceive good fortune as genius. Plenty of career years in 2013, plenty of over-production from solid players who just put everything together. That’s very hard to duplicate.

  7. dc21892 12 months ago

    Small market teams can’t afford to do what Boston did at the deadline, so it’ll really only work for big market clubs.

  8. Willy Adames a future All-Star? So say we all!

    • Mr Pike 12 months ago

      Something is up with him. Just about every club that was buying or selling scouted him and asked for him.

      • I was making a (bad) Battlestar Galactica joke. The name of the captain/admiral in that show is William Adama. And the way they say “amen” is “so say we all.” Hence my joke (now utterly ruined).

  9. Jeff Miller 12 months ago

    Montgomery is the team president and managing partner with a small ownership stake. He can be voted out by the rest of the ownership group if they so choose.

    No one will argue that Amaro hasn’t brought in talent, though it’s been 3 years since he’s made a significant trade to bring in talent. Then he turned around a year later and moved Pence at 30 cents on the dollar just to avoid a $750k luxury tax fee, probably less. It’s all the bad contracts he’s given out. It’s the refusal to admit what he’s built isn’t good. It’s the refusal see this team for what it is and not using their vast resources to improve the team. Now he’s blaming the league’s 29 other GM’s for his failure to properly evaluate and valuate players to make a trade.

    The Phillies just starting using advanced metrics to evaluate players, more than a decade after many teams started employing those tactics. They’re so far behind the rest of the league in just about every facet and they don’t even realize it. That’s why they need to make wholesale changes. They need a new team president, new GM, new scouting department, new player development people, new minor league instructors, more Latin America scouts, better advanced metrics department, etc. It’s the only way they’ll get back to competitive baseball before 2020.

  10. Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

    He has a history of wanting the moon for one of his players despite the player he’s shopping usually aging far too long beyond their peak value and having a ridiculous price-tag with a limited no-trade clause. All of those things hurt one’s value and give a player such as Cliff Lee, as an example a more limited market then he already has.

    If you’re saying I don’t know what Ruben’s asked for, clearly you haven’t been on this website long because it’s constantly leaked what he’s asking for in trades and it’s likely because people think his asking prices are ridiculous.

  11. Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

    Hi Ruben, how have you been? Still regretting that Ryan Howard extension? He was due to become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season yet you extended him during the start of the 2010 season for what reason? His aging alone from 30 to 32 would’ve made his value go down. You don’t resign players when their value is at an all time high when you don’t have to resign that player. That’s like resigning Chris Davis to a long term deal after his 54 homerun season. I’m sure the Orioles are glad they didn’t do that when the man had another season to play for them and likely regress in value.

    Also what’s the point of giving a limited no-trade clause to all of your players? These guys are bound to sign with the Phillies off of the annual value of the contract alone. Why would you want to limit a market for a player who you might one day want to trade?

  12. Jeff Miller 12 months ago

    You should google “Phillies Phantom Five” and read the Philly Mag article. It gives a breakdown of who the ownership group is and what Montgomery’s job, like Bill Giles before him, really is. Montgomery has very little ownership stake and can be removed at any time the ownership group feels like doing so. But they won’t, because that’s not how they operate.

    Apologies for the double post. Got modded for some reason and never know if a post will go through when that happens.

  13. Jeff Miller 12 months ago

    You should search Phillies Phantom Five and read the Philly Mag article. It gives a breakdown of who the ownership group is and what Montgomery’s job, like Bill Giles before him, really is. Montgomery has very little ownership stake and can be removed at any time the ownership group feels like doing so. But they won’t, because that’s not how they operate.

  14. TheRealRyan 12 months ago

    It really was a foolish move. It’s like making a 31 yo, who is two years away from FA, the highest paid player in the game for his age 33-40 seasons even though he was coming off of a career year as a 30 year old.

    I wonder how long before Tiger fans view Cabrera’s contract in the same light as Phillie fans view Howard’s today.

  15. Jeff Miller 12 months ago

    I never said anything about Montgomery selling his shares or losing his ownership stake. No idea where you got that from. All I’ve said is that the ownership group can vote him out as team president and managing partner if they choose to. If the Phillies want prolonged success in the largest single team market they need to change how they operate.

    Did you read the Phantom Five article? If you haven’t, you should. The Phillies don’t operate like a normal sports franchise. There’s virtually no accountability and no repercussions for failing to do your job. When Ruben is out (either fired or when his contract expires after ’15) he’ll be brought back in an advisory role of some sort.

  16. newphillyphan 12 months ago

    Jeff, don’t waste your time arguing with lisainnj.. He/she posts on Phillies forum too and has nothing but praises for Amaro and Phillies front office.. Over last few years, I have yet to see a single post from him/her criticizing anything that Amaro does. As they say ‘you can wake up a person who is really sleeping, but you can’t wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep’. Everybody around baseball knows what ridiculous contracts Amaro has written over the years and converted Phillies into some sort of MLB Nursing Home. Halladay couldn’t complete his contract here nor will Lee. Those vets who might manage to avoid DL have ridiculous dollars, options and no-trade clauses included their contracts that make them virtually immovable. He has thrown money at aging pitchers like a drunken sailor while still not being able to find true replacements for Werth and Victorino. Of course, Amaro and Lisainnj would rather blame other GMs and everybody else in baseball – for not being ‘aggressive’ (read ‘stupid’) enough to pick up these contracts – for this mess rather than looking themselves up in the mirror.

  17. Jaysfan1994 12 months ago

    That GM was fired and replaced by one that immediately traded him within his first year in charge, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. AA traded him while he still had value and didn’t wait far beyond his expiry date to make that move.

    He also didn’t have to eat any of his contract besides the first year meaning the Angels ate something like 100M for a guy coming off a 32 homerun season. Vernon’s numbers immediately declined like so many power hitters not on steroids in the AL West do and Vernon’s career was over before that contact ever ended. Can you say RAJ ever did something like that?

  18. Jeff Miller 12 months ago

    By out I meant out of their current jobs. Ruben no longer the GM and Montgomery no longer team president and managing partner.

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