Now that the non-waiver trade deadline is just hours away, there have been a flurry of moves made by teams trying to compete for a playoff spot over the final two months of the season. When asked last night about whether or not he expects any moves to be made, Mets manager Terry Collins said that he anticipates he will have the same roster of players tonight that he did before yesterday’s series opening win in San Francisco against the Giants.
While it’s almost certain the Mets will stay put, not making any deals and not parting with Scott Hairston for pieces to help now and next season, the Braves were very busy last night. Once the deal for Ryan Dempster didn’t come to fruition, Atlanta continued working with the Cubs to make another trade that finally became official last night, as they acquired starter Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from Chicago, in exchange for prospects Jaye Chapman and Arodys Vizcaino.
The Braves got the reinforcement they needed for the rotation, as Maholm currently owns a 3.74 ERA, 6.1 K/9 IP, and is inducing ground balls about 50% of the time he’s on the mound. A couple other teams inquired about the starter, but the Braves won the bidding, and also received the highly sought after Reed Johnson. He’s hitting .307/.361/.452 in 180 plate appearances this season, while playing all three outfield positions. Chicago received two young pitching prospects that are close to Major League ready. Jaye Chapman is 25-years-old and is having a solid year in Triple-A so far, posting a 3.52 ERA and 10.1 K/9 IP. Vizcaino played with three Braves affiliates in 2011 and is the 40th ranked prospect in the Minors, but is sitting out this year after having Tommy John surgery.
Meanwhile, there were two other players that got traded last night that the Mets were linked to at one point over the last few weeks. Geovany Soto (.195/.278/.345) was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Jacob Brigham. In a corresponding move, Texas designated Yorvit Torreabla for assignment. The organization is hoping that Soto, who is entering his third year of arbitration in the winter, will start performing closer to his 2008 and 2010 seasons, to give them some leverage with Mike Napoli as he hits the free agent market.
Also, reliever Brandon League was dealt by the Seattle Mariners to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom. League gives the Dodgers some much needed late inning relief, as they have lost both Todd Coffey and Matt Guerrier to injury this year.
With each passing minute, the Phillies come closer to becoming major sellers, with rumors swirling around about Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, and Juan Pierre. Even though the Mets aren’t making moves that will impact their roster right now, the rest of the NL East is active, which will have a direct impact on New York. It will be an interesting day for sure, so don’t miss a beat.