The Overrated Trading Deadline

For some reason we care about the MLB trading deadline. I think partially it is because there’s not a whole lot going on right now. (Normally) NFL is in a lull because it is the time before training camps and after free agency. The NBA and NHL are in their offseason and the MLB has dragged on for so long at this point, the only thing we have to talk about is the baseball trading deadline. When you’re SportsCenter and you run ten new SC’s a day, you start to run out quickly on things to talk about (normally) during this time period.

However, when it is all said and done, the trading deadline in recent years does not affect a whole lot. Sure, it may be the difference maker in some instances of which teams make the playoffs, but it has made a minuscule impact on who wins the World Series. My theory for this, is that you need to put together a good team from the get go and you use the trading deadline to get a few extra cogs here and there. But, if you need to use the trading deadline to get a huge, key component, then you really were not *that* good of a team to begin with.

Here’s a list of the past few World Series winners and their “big” trading deadline piece(s):

- 2010- San Francisco Giants: OF Jose Guillen, INF Mike Fontenot, OF Cody Ross (from waivers)
- 2009- New York Yankees: OF/3B Eric Hinske
- 2008- Philadelphia Phillies: SP Joe Blanton
- 2007- Boston Red Sox: (I personally can’t find what free agency moves the Red Sox made in ’07 but it looks like their opening day line up was their WS line up and the only new major contributors were rookies like Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz)
- 2006- St. Louis Cardinals: SP Jeff Weaver, 2B Ronnie Belliard
- 2005- Chicago White Sox- 1B Geoff Blum

Now don’t get it twisted. Many of the guys on this list were integral to helping their teams win the World Series. Jeff Weaver was somehow phenomenal in the post season to help the Cardinals win. Guillen and Ross were part of the misfit line up San Fran trotted out there to help that anemic offense. Geoff Blum hit the game winning home run in that 14 inning contest between the White Sox and Houston. These guys made a difference but they are scraps compared to some other notable mid-season acquisitions in recent years like Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia.

Speaking of Lee and Sabathia, they were really good moves for their respected clubs. The Milwaukee Brewers rode on C.C.’s back (literally and figuratively) to earn a much needed playoff birth. Cliff Lee helped the Phillies and Rangers get to the World Series. So obvious free agency can help your franchise do something in the year they are acquired, but I think it is fool’s gold to think midseason pick ups can help your club win the whole she-bang.