Siberian Baseball

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rich bullpen gets richer - Trading deadline 2007

It's not the wild west trading days of old, but most major league fans will take it.

With few superstars being moved this season, the headliners had to be Boston's aquisition of Eric Gagne - but not Jermaine Dye - and Atlanta's two newest Braves in Mark Teixeira and Octavio Dotel, big enough names, but nothing like the old school fire sales that used to happen.

Gagne is the talk of the telecast as the Red Sox are trailing the Orioles tonight and there is plenty to talk about there. With a bullpen that is already home to All-Stars Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon as the respective setup man and closer for the team.

The reports I've read make a point of mentioning that Gagne agreed to take a supporting role in Boston, so hopefully there won't be any turf wars over the closer's spot. Assuming that holds true and that Gagne is fine with taking it easy on his suddenly shaky arm, this is a great play by the Red Sox.

With Curt Schilling returning from the DL shortly, Josh Beckett's history of injuries and Daisuke Matsuzaka's high pitch counts this year another reliable arm in the bullpen can only help, especially if the starters need to be spelled in August as a long season takes its toll.

There's something to be said for having confidence in a deep bullpen - just ask any Cubs fans this year.

Personally, I thought the move to put Scott Linebrink in a Milwaukee uniform was interesting from a NL Central perspective. Despite his numbers, Linebrink was a bit of an untouchable player in San Diego as he was a favorite of management from everything I'd read. It seemed strange at the time, much like the unnatural attachments fantasy baseball managers seem to develop with their players, especially when they find diamonds in the rough.

For overviews of the trades made, you can check ESPN's take here or a little more blogger-friendly link here.

The Cubs decided to stand pat, with Sweet Lou Piniella opting to get a rubdown as the clock ticked down to zero on the trading deadline and the club prepares the areas around the clubhouse whirlpool tubs for Kerry Wood's return this weekend. Better put up some of those little yellow signs, too - just in case.

Knowing Wood's awful luck, there should probably be a lifeguard on duty just to be on the safe side.

(Image from

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