There were numerous deals throughout the league on Friday. Let’s recap in the order that they were announced:

White Sox Acquire Edwin Jackson from Arizona
The Diamondbacks fire sale continues and believe it or not, but they may have picked up a better return for Edwin Jackson than they did for Dan Haren.I’m not sure what the D-Backs franchise plan is at the moment, but they seem to love trading for mid-rotation starters and then trading them away.

Jackson was traded for the fourth time of his career for pitcher Dan Hudson (No. 66 top prospect according to Baseball America) and low-level minor leaguer David Holmberg. Hudson is a great pickup for Arizona, but I’m not certain that they didn’t have more with Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth when they traded the two of them to Detroit last December for Jackson. I still think they should have held onto Scherzer. Despite throwing a no-hitter earlier this year with about 45 walks, Jackson isn’t having a very good season with a 5.16 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and a 4.0 BB/9. Forgetting about the deal last year, this stand alone deal was a good one for Arizona. Jackson will provide the White Sox some rotation depth with the loss of Jake Peavy as they battle the Twins for the AL Central title, but I can’t help thinking they gave up way too much in this deal. Though there’s also rumors going around that their plan is to flip Jackson around to the Nationals for maybe Adam Dunn? Crazy shit going down right here.

Rangers pick up Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman
Yesterday, the Rangers dealt for Marlins first baseman Jorge Cantu for two Double-A pitcher (Evan Reed and Omar Poveda) and today they added speedy infielder Cristian Guzman. Texas will send another couple of Double-A pitchers in Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark, which begs the question of who’s left at Double-A Frisco?

Guzman could have waived his 10-and-5 rights, but agreed to the trade. Guzman is hitting .282/.327/.361 while playing shortstop, second base and right field. Cantu has 10 home runs, 54 RBI and a slash line of .262/.310/.409 in 97 games. The Marlins may also not be done dealing as it looks like Cody Ross is also available. Neither of these guys (Cantu and Guzman) are going to single-handily win a division title for the Rangers, but they provide the team depth, experience and someone to play first base.

Yankees Bring Berkman to the Bronx
First the Yankees acquired Austin Kearns for a player to be named later from Cleveland. They like his right-handed bat. Ah, whatever. The next deal will make headlines. The Yankees continued to wheel and deal, trading for long-time Astros slugger Lance Berkman. In exchange, the Astros got reliever Mark Melancon and low-level minor league infielder Jimmy Paredes. Apparently after years and years of thinking they were still in the hunt, the Astros have finally given up the fight and are selling, selling, selling.

For some reason the Astros are sending about $4MM to cover part of Berkman’s salary for this year. Isn’t one of the prominent reasons to trade with the Yankees is that they have no payroll and will pay anyone and anything to play for them?

This trade will make big headlines in New York, but it would have been great had it been two years ago when Berkman was hitting like Lance Berkman. He’s currently in mist of a disappointing season with 13 home runs, 49 RBI and a slash line of .245/.372/.436 through 85 games. And I swear most of those home runs and runs batted in were against the Pirates this season. He’ll play DH for the Yankees and is an obvious upgrade over Colin Curtis, who has been playing there. Plus, the big guy still gets on base with 60 walks in 85 games for a .372 OBP. Berkman has the 10-and-5 rights, but waived his no trade clause in this deal, which he did when the White Sox attempted to get him.

There are the deals that went down today with possibly another one on the way with twitter blowing up right now on how the Dodgers are close to acquiring Ted Lilly from Chicago. Now does Paul Maholm go anywhere or Adam Dunn or Jose Bautista? Ah, the trade deadline. Don’t you just love it?


Dan Haren, who was coveted by many teams this month, found himself a new member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a trade that came about Sunday afternoon. So much for all those rumors about how he was going to be a Yankee. See why trade rumors are dumb?

The Angels literally came out of left field to make this deal happen and are sending a message to Texas that they are ready to concede the division title to them just yet. Though after another loss to the Ranges today, it’s looking very bleak for the Halos.

The Diamondbacks picked up major league starter Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez and young prospect Patrick Corbin. This is a great deal for the Angels because even if they can’t make up the 7.0 game difference in the division this year, they set themselves up nicely for next season by holding the rights to Haren for 2011 and 2012. Saunders is the most notable pickup for the D-Backs, but the lefty owns a 4.62 ERA this season.

With so many other teams interested in Haren (Yankees, Dodgers, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals), I have a hard time believing this was the best deal they could find for him. There wasn’t a major prospect sitting in Double-A/Triple-A they could have acquired? Arizona has made some suspect deals in the past couple of seasons that I may get into in a separate post, but this deal has me scratching my head from the D-Backs viewpoint.

While this deal obviously makes the Angels a better team, does it make them better than Cliff Lee and the Rangers? Probably not, but it does send a message to its fan and to the Rangers that they plan to stick around in the hunt this year and the recent future.

We’ve hit the halfway point in 2010 with most teams playing their 81st game of the season this past weekend. So let’s take a look at the weekly recap, full of All-Star news and a managerial change in the desert.

Moneyball in Hollywood
Eight years ago, the Oakland A’s were featured in Michael Lewis’ hit book “Moneyball.” The popularity of the book over the years has reached the Hollywood level where a movie is apparently necessary. With parts of the movie being filmed at the end of this month, it’s bringing back memories for the players and fans. I haven’t researched enough info on this film, but I’m wondering how well it will be done. Should be an interesting baseball movie nonetheless.

Changing of the guard in Arizona
AJ Hinch out, Kirk Gibson in as manager of the Diamondbacks.

July 1st division leaders
Good news for the respective division leaders according to this article as the majority of the leaders on July 1st have clinched a playoff berth in the past 15 years. Very interesting article.

What you taking about, Willis?
Dontrelle Willis was designated for assignment for the second time this season this time via the D-Backs. Big League Stew writes about the quick and sad descent of Dontrelle Willis‘ career. No matter what happens now for the D-Train, he’ll always have those couple of seasons where he dominated in Florida along with a World Series ring over the Yankees in his rookie year of 2003.

Show me the money
In case you missed it, the All-Star rosters were unveiled Sunday. I had a problem with part of it, but see the post below if you’re interested. But who gets the extra bonus money for earning the All-Star honor? MLB Trade Rumors breaks it down.

How Rivera Dominates
The New York Times put together a fascinating two-minute video on how Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been able to dominant for the majority of his career. I found this link via, and they were right—this video is a must watch for baseball fans.

Miguel Cabrera
Need any additional evidence that the Marlins-Tigers deal for Miguel Cabrera was one of the most lopsided trades ever? The Baseball Analysts breaks down Cabrera’s career so far, and given his age, how he should be hitting his prime over the next couple of years and where he stands on the list of great hitters in the past 50 years.

Can’t we all just get along?
Two dugout blowups between teammates in one week? Maybe it’s the summer heat picking up, but it sure seems some personalities are clashing in some clubhouses. I guarantee this stuff happens more often behind close doors, but the worse for a team is when it erupts right out in the public’s eye during a game. The most recent one with the Rays on Sunday was reasonable, at least I could see where Evan Longoria was coming from when he confronted BJ Upton about jogging to a gap shot that ended up being a triple. Upton probably didn’t like to be told he wasn’t hustling by another teammate in front of everyone and he lost it.

The other incident with the Cubs happened because Carlos Zambrano is an idiot. He’s no stranger to dugout temper tantrums and he went off for no apparent reason last Friday on Derek Lee while rearranging a couple of things in the dugout as usual. The Longoria-Upton thing will blow over as both have talked to the media and stated they are cool with each other. Zambrano’s situation is more complicated as the Cubs finally decided to not put up with his childish tactics and have placed him on the restricted list until at least the All-Star break. He will also undergo a treatment program to basically find out what in the hell is wrong with him.

The Five-Run System
I stumbled upon a very intriguing post this weekend regarding the Braves ridiculous 31-0 stat when scoring five runs or more this year (actually now 32-0 after their defeat of Strasburg on Monday). The article compares what the Braves are doing this year to similar surprise teams over the years that many people didn’t think were that good, but they somehow managed to win about 90 percent of their five-run games and win the World Series. Are the Braves the next in line for that? Jason Heyward heading to the DL isn’t a very good sign for Atlanta though. Anyway, it’s worth the read.

Enjoying retirement
Former longtime reliever Scott Eyre retired this past offseason, and he seems to be enjoying every minute of his post career. I came across this during the Giants-Dodgers broadcast last night. Scott and his wife decided to buy a massive RV and pack the kids and the dogs up for a summer trip across the country, Canada and back. They’ve obviously never done a summer vacation considering Scott’s 13-year career. They also have a blog running to update everyone on their adventures. A lot of players struggle to find meaning once their playing days are over, but it seems Scott and his family are taking the time to enjoy what’s important in life. I love cross-country travel stories, so I find this story fascinating. Enjoy the open road, Eyre family.

D-Backs throw game away
There are times when teams throw games away late, and then there are times when teams literally throw games away. The Diamondbacks handed one to the Cardinals last night in which two errors in the ninth did them in. One of them included a horrendous throw from Aaron Heilman to third base, and then Adam LaRoche decided to bounce one over the catcher’s head on a throw home to end the game when two runs scored. Check out the highlights, it’s brutal.

Poor Joel Zumaya
Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya is no stranger to bizarre injuries (Guitar Hero, boxes), but Monday night’s horrific injury after throwing a 99MPH heater did not look good at all. Zumaya’s arm went pop in Target Field last night against the Twins in one of the most painful pitcher arm injuries I can remember seeing live. Catcher Gerald Laird said he heard a “pop” and even though no word has been given on what exactly happened, I think it’s safe to say Zumaya is done for the year. And just like that the Tigers are in need of a setup man once again.

Batted Ball Play
Leave it to the Pirates to find every way to lose a game. With Pedro Alvarez on first with two outs in a 3-2 deficit against Oakland Sunday, Jose Tabata ripped a pitch into right field…well he would have had the ball not hit Alvarez on the foot as he took off to second. In case you aren’t familiar with the batted ball play, the runner is out and the play is recorded as a hit. So game over on a hit. It’s one of the only ways a team can lose in which their final at-bat goes down as a hit.

As the A’s announcer said directly after the game: “If that doesn’t say it all for the Pittsburgh Pirates, I don’t know what does.”

So Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson threw a no-hitter the other night against the Rays. Yes, the Rays were no hit…AGAIN. I missed the game, most people missed the game and I haven’t heard much since it so it doesn’t seem like very many people care. Maybe that’s because Jackson’s no-no included a ridiculous eight walks. Not to take anything away from Jackson’s performance because it was a no-hitter and the only person who beat him on the field was himself with the walks, but I can’t be all that impressed by someone who walks eight. Walks are kryptonite to the pitcher and exactly what you don’t want to do when you have a lead, yet he walked eight. The only two pitchers to walk more batters in no-hit games was AJ Burnett, who walked nine in 2001, and Jim Maloney, who walked 10 batters in a 10-inning no-hitter in 1965.

The most impressive thing to me about his feat was the 149 pitches he threw in the game. That’s obviously the most this year and will stay that way. Actually, it’s the most pitches thrown in a game since Livan Hernandez tossed 149 in 2005. That’s just insane as he dialed up the old days of pitching.

As far as no-hitters go, Jackson’s 149 pitches are the most by any no-hitter thrown in years that pitch counts were tracked. Randy Johnson and Sandy Koufax threw the next most with 138 pitches in their no-hitters.

Jackson’s no-hitter is the 65th this season. OK, not quite but seriously what’s next in this season of pitching?

For a team coming off a disastrous season full of injuries, could there be a worse sign for the Mets than news that Jose Reyes is heading back to New York for tests for a possible thyroid imbalance? Talk about a bad omen to kick off your spring training schedule. On a positive note, at least it’s not a baseball injury like his hamstring that cost him to miss the majority of last season. Hopefully for the Mets, Reyes gets this problem properly diagnosed, is OK and will be able to treat the issue and concentrate on baseball all season. But if I’m a Mets fan, I’m wondering when’s the next axe going to fall and on who?

Staying on injury front, it looks like Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb starting the season on the DL is a real possibility. This appears to be nothing more than Arizona just wanting to ease Webb back into the fold after his injury last year and make sure he gets all of his necessary starts in this spring. With the top of the rotation that could be the best in the NL West with Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and Webb, it’s imperative for the Diamondbacks to have Webb get back to form sooner than later into the 2010 season. Arizona was expected to challenge the Dodgers for the division title last season until Webb’s injury, so not falling behind early this season is crucial for the D-backs.

Is anyone going to sign Jermaine Dye? I realize the trend of signing older players that are breaking down is falling by the wayside these days, but holy smokes Dye can still be extremely productive for a team. I’m guessing he’ll have a team by the end of spring training once some injuries occur.

This happened last month, but I wanted to mention the Giants two-year extension they gave Tim Lincecum. The Giants played around with this for a while and almost took it to arbitration (which they would have easily lost) before signing the two-year deal worth $23 million. My question, why weren’t the Giants trying to keep Lincecum with a long-term deal in the first place? They don’t want to lock up their 25-year-old ace that has won back-to-back Cy Young awards? The Giants should sign him to an eight-year deal, give him whatever he wants and name the Bay Bridge after him. Of course, this really isn’t surprising to question what Brian Sabean is thinking after all the trade success he’s had in the past. Seriously, how is this guy still employed?