As it stands, in addition to the current division leaders, twelve teams are within five games of first-place creating a market in which 16 teams could potentially be buyers in the next two weeks as the non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaches. In the next fortnight, there will be a deluge of rumors, hypothetical scenarios and actual trades that inundate all mediums. To be sure, it is a dizzying time of year to be a baseball fan.
For example, last Friday the day began with Cliff Lee in a Seattle Mariners uniform but ended with him relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Somewhere in the middle of all that, there was a point in which the baseball world was convinced the Yankees would land the southpaw in exchange for catching prospect Jesus Montero. Some of baseball’s most prominent reporters all but confirmed this transaction.
But before you could finish your Jimmy John’s sandwich, that all changed.
Suddenly, the Mariners were no longer interested in the catching prospect and were broadcasted to be discussing terms with yet another team. Undoubtedly, every fan following this action unfold quickly did a mental inventory of their team’s farm system and tried to determine if there was enough prospect in stock to land the coveted ace. Twins fans held their collective breaths hoping that Wilson Ramos’s slump did not deter the Mariners from wanted the best trading chip in the organization. Was he enough? Who could have better chips on the table? Ultimately, the Rangers won the auction, landing Lee with a cache of prospects that included the switch-hitter first baseman Justin Smoak, and have changed the dynamic of the franchises both presently and in the future.
So unless you are nerdy enough to have Jimmy John’s delivered so you don’t have to miss a tweet as the transaction was constructed, you probably don’t have the time to dig through all 32 teams and figure you their needs, their commodities and their ability to absorb a budget. With that in mind, we at TwinsCentric enlisted some of the internet’s best writers to help condense all of this into an easily digestible and accessible 160-page PDF document: The 2010 Trade Deadline Primer.
These intelligent writers and wonks have provided us with an exclusive firsthand account of their respective team’s needs, trading chips and their specific targets. In additional to the individual teams, we’ve isolated all the potential trade targets league-wide and provided a cliff’s notes scouting report and analysis on the player. Likewise, we also have done the same with baseball’s top prospects as these are often the unknown pawns that wind up emerging as frontline contributors in no time. As names are bandied around on Twitter or MLBTradeRumors.com, you can quickly review these sections to see what the experts think about his ability.
Naturally, we did not farm out the writing for the hometown team. We’ve got all the information you want on the Minnesota Twins including a team summary by the always level-headed Nick Nelson, prospects covered by the minor league maven Seth Stohs, and a sharply-penned essay on the team’s future payroll (absolutely vital in shaping the available trade targets) by the entertaining and educational John Bonnes. Finally, I’ve contributed the team’s report card grades along with a first-half write-up on the roster’s individuals, attempting to explain their performances and what we may expect in the back-half of the year. Between the four of us and the stable of writers, we spoon feed you all the background you need to know to help you formulate a well-informed opinion on all trades, rumored or otherwise.
Lastly, ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer, whose resume includes working with Bill James, STATS, Inc as well as authoring numerous books on his own, lends his writing chops to the Primer in the foreword. His contribution to the publication added flavor from a professional individual that shares the same passion for the game and the intricacies of team-building that is enjoyed by the rest of us that do this more or less for free.
So as the activity intensifies in the coming weeks, be a proactive fan: Purchase the 2010 Trade Deadline Primer.