Sports Summary Logo
College Sports Summary Header

MLB Trade Deadline Fallout    Share

31 July 2010

In the final 24 hours there was some excitement, but in the end the biggest story was that Adam Dunn did not go anywhere.  Dunn, a first basemen and big home run hitter on the Washington Nationals, was rumored to be involved in several deals with a few big name teams (Yankees, White Sox).  The Nationals are a team with a bright future and could have added some youth as they build for the next few years.

Cliff Lee was the biggest talent to move this year and he moved fairly early.  Two weeks ago the hapless Mariners dealt him to the Rangers for some youth. 

The biggest name to move in the final 24 hours was probably Lance Berkman.  He is a veteran on the downside of his career, but his move to the Yankees means he does not have to do it all himself. With the first place Yankees, he merely needs to play a role, presumably the Designated Hitter.  The Yankees and their bottomless wallet didn’t bat an eye at his $14.5 million salary (according to CBS Sports). 

An interesting trade didn’t even get reported until almost an hour after the deadline.  The Red Sox acquired Rangers’ catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Saltalamacchia only played one day in the majors in 2010 because of a problem throwing the ball back to the pitcher after a pitch.  He can play his position very well, but he cannot throw the ball back to the pitcher between pitches.  In one minor league game he threw 12 return throws into the outfield or into the dirt before the pitcher.  This being a complete mental issue, the Red Sox hope they can offer him something to get over it and get a good player for very little at the trade deadline. 
In the past, there have been some monumental stars moving at the end of July.  None of the trades this year will single-handedly change any of the playoff races.  They were all deals that helped patch up holes in the team, rather than change the overall makeup.  It was really a pretty boring day for the baseball writers who worked the phones hoping to be the first one to report on a blockbuster trade. /p>

One liner: Typical Yankees move: $14.5 million to a guy hitting .245.

Send comments to:

The Basics

Baseball Regular Season:

Major League Baseball (MLB) is divided into two leagues, the American League (AL) and the National League (NL).  Each league is further divided into three divisions, west, central, and east.  The regular season lasts from early April through early October.  While NL teams mostly play other NL teams and vice versa with the AL, there are occasional times in the regular season that NL teams will play AL teams.  During the regular season, each team plays 162 games.   These games determine who will go to the playoffs—each division winner and one “wild card” team from each league.   
Baseball is a statistics crazy game—true fans will quote batting averages, fielding percentages, slugging percentages, and just about any stat that you could think of for their favorite teams or players.  We’ll explain the ones that you need to know throughout the season. 


Win (for a pitcher):  A pitcher must complete five innings of pitching and his team must be leading when he exits for him to get a win.  A pitcher with 15 wins in a season is doing well; 20 wins is the recognized plateau of excellence.

ERA:  Earned Run Average.  A statistic which measures how many runs a pitcher averages surrendering to opposing teams based on pitching nine innings.  For instance, a pitcher with an ERA of 2.00 would on average give up 2 runs over the course of 9 innings.  ERA’s are always measured to the hundredths.  An ERA of under 3.00 is considered good.  An ERA under 2.00 is excellent and only a handful of pitchers are able to sustain an ERA under 2.00 for an entire season.

Pinch Hit:  when a player that did not start the game comes in to bat for a player that did start the game. 

Batting Average:   How often a player gets a hit.  Batting average is calculated by dividing the number of hits by total chances to hit.   If a player walks or is hit by a pitch, such actions are not counted as a chance to hit in calculating the batting average.  A .300 batting average (getting a hit 30% of the time) is considered to be above average for a MLB player.

Mendoza Line:  A euphemism for a .200 batting average.  The term came from a reference to Mario Mendoza, a light hitting infielder in the 1970s that usually batted around .200.  A player that is hitting around the Mendoza Line is lucky to still have a job in the Major Leagues.