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They say you can't get something for nothing, but the White Sox did just that in adding outfielder Alex Rios for the stretch drive. All they had to do was agree to pay a minimum of $61.6 million. Only in baseball, which seems to have roughly the same effect on the laws of economics as black holes have on the laws of physics, could that make some sort of sense.

Taking advantage of the loophole that the trade deadline isn't, in fact, an actual deadline on trades, the White Sox landed the two-time All-Star after claiming him on waivers from the Blue Jays, who were probably looking to trade Rios but willingly handed him over without compensation given the opportunity to escape his contract. Got all that?

The upshot is the White Sox now have another bat, and possibly Jake Peavy's impending return, to chase down the Tigers in the Central or claim the AL wild card.

Of course, with a crowded outfield, Ozzie Guillen just has to find a place to play him. Just what Guillen needs, another mouth to feed and another batter to protect.

daphins23

This is a genius move by Riccardi. Now during the off-season he can afford to sign an all-star outfielder with around a .300 average who has some power and speed. Sweet. Hey, wait a minute...

-- daphins23
numberthirtyfive

I agree with whoever said Rios might thrive in a change of scenario. Playing meaningful games for the first time in years might result in a drastic improvement in play and attitude.

-- NumberThirtyFive

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J.P. Ricciardi has another day or two to decide if he wants to keep his ace or be flush with prospects, but for its part, SportsNation isn't sure if the Jays' general manager is Austin Powers or Mike McDermott at the table (come to think of it, among Hollywood card players, John Turturro might be a better fit for the Ricciardi role).

Voters ranked Ricciardi a tepid No. 19 in their GM Power Rankings. That's not Omar Minaya territory or anything quite so disastrous, but it's way down the ladder from the affection SportsNation showed Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. at No. 6. And Amaro is very much in the high-stakes game of dealing for a stud pitcher at the deadline.

Perhaps it's a bluff designed to make Ricciardi nervous, but the Phillies seemed to have turned their attention to Indians ace Cliff Lee after finding the price for Roy Halladay prohibitive. Voters in Pennsylvania remain convinced the Phillies will land either Lee or Halladay, but the rest of the country isn't so sure a deal will get done. Not that many outside Red Sox Nation are convinced the Phillies can't win without a big addition.

Edit: We knew Amaro was a big SportsNation blog fan, but that was an impressive turnaround. We post; he reportedly trades. We feel heady with power).

ghostsof1948

If the contenders lowball Shapiro, Lee will finish the season in Cleveland. They should have learned their lesson last year. Sabathia's price tag should have included Mat Gamel. The Brewers got away with sending a mediocre LHP with no future in Jackson, damaged goods in Bryson, and two guys that were at least a season away from being big league talent. The Indians will (should) walk away from anyone trying to get Lee at a discount. The worst case scenario is that they deal him at deadline time next year.

-- Ghostsof1948
robytooj

I don't understand alot of this talk...the only reason we would trade Lee is because we won't pay him after next year....if he is looking for Sabathia or even Zambrano money i think we should get the most that we can for him...i would hold out like Toronto for the best players teams have! We hold all the cards, lee is signed through next year, so we are in no pressure mode.

-- robytooj
mblakes03

if were (the phillies) so worried about not getting rid of drabek then why dont we have him in our rotation already? I mean if were so worried about not dealing him then why aren't we using him since our pitching hasn't been great this year and everyone keeps landing on the dl. i say put him in the deal and lets get hallady who we all know will dominate

-- mblakes03

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Most baseball managers are essentially household names in SportsNation (perhaps only in the greater Pittsburgh area and among Russell family members in the case of Pirates skipper John Russell). Most general managers, like this guy to the right, could show up at your fantasy draft without attracting much attention. Maybe if the latter group just wore uniforms like the former during games …

Whatever the remedy, general managers are mostly a faceless bunch beyond money guys like Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein (or "Moneyball" guy Billy Beane). But even if voters can't tell Jack Zduriencik from Andrew Friedman, they think that those who work phones that dial beyond the bullpen are more important than managers.

That's particularly true this week, as Friday's trade deadline puts general managers like Toronto's J.P. Ricciardi (he's the guy in the polo) and Philadelphia's Ruben Amaro Jr. front and center for a fleeting moment. Ricciardi is trying to work off the negative stigma of signing guys like B.J. Ryan (looking for work), Alex Rios (.747 OPS) and Vernon Wells (.714 OPS) to massive contracts, while Amaro is trying to get out from Pat Gillick's shadow in his first season running the Phillies.

joba_rules

Seems like Ricciardi is overcompensating for the bloated contracts he handed out to Wells & Rios which have yielded practically nothing this season...give Ricciardi the boot & bring in John Hart.

-- Joba_Rules
aaron12580

Theo will prove he is the best GM when he makes another creative deal that might send away a player that may be or once was a fan fave but will prove once again it was the right time to send them packing. Like Manny, Pedro, Nomar, Lowe, Damon and others. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets Hallady and a big bat.

-- aaron12580

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SportsNation isn't buying Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi's July 28 trade deadline (apparently, neither is he), but voters are still basically split 50-50 when it comes to the probability of any deal at all involving Roy Halladay. And if neither Halladay nor Indians ace Cliff Lee files a change-of-address form before August, there likely won't be any additions this year to Jerry Crasnick's list of the most noteworthy trades involving aces since 2000.

It's difficult to establish a firm grading process for these deals. The Diamondbacks didn't benefit in the short term when they traded for Curt Schilling in the middle of the 2000 season, but they won the World Series the next season with him. And it's not like they ever really missed Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla or Omar Daal. The Brewers didn't win it all with CC Sabathia last season, but they got a summer's worth of pennant race, and quite possibly a playoff berth, because of the big guy. That's a good deal, right?

In the end, it's probably safe to say that if you make a trade and no longer have a franchise in a few years (hello, Montreal!), you probably weren't the winner in the deal. Beyond that, it's a matter of debate. And that's what we live for.

gillie108

I hate the Red Sox, but getting Beckett and Lowel was as good as when they got Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera. I knew then The Yankees wouldn't be going to the World Series that year.

-- gillie108
berberage

Giving the Twins and Bill Smith a "D" for the Santana trade is charitable, to say the least. You don't have to look any further than the GM role to see why the Twins have gone from perennial contenders to irrelevance in such a short span of time. Terry Ryan was one of the best GMs in baseball; so far, Bill Smith appears to be one of the worst.

-- berberage

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So is born the legend of Sergio Mitre. A simple man born in a distant land (all right, Los Angeles), Mitre arrived in the biggest city in the kingdom accompanied by whispers of miracles performed in the hinterlands (or more accurately, a 2.40 ERA at Triple-A Scranton). And with him came sunshine and bountiful harvests. Or at least first place in the American League East.

The Yankees' new fifth starter, and a veteran of a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs and 53 unremarkable starts in the majors, Mitre actually didn't have nearly as much to do with the Yankees claiming sole possession of first place as Robinson Cano or Alex Rodriguez, right, who drove in two and walked twice. And considering this is the latest in the season the Yankees have been alone in first since 2006, it's kind of a big deal.

As recently as two weeks ago, SportsNation voters were still sold on the Red Sox winning the division, but that support appears to be disappearing, albeit not as quickly as balls hit off John Smoltz.

bosox1045k

The Sox need a bat they have lacked offense all season. Lets see if Theo makes a move, I doubt he does though. Shorstop has to be top priority, Nick Green was a good story for a few months but let be real here.....Lowrie and Green dont scare anyone and neither of them are gold glove shortstops either...Tejada can be had for a reasonable trade and can still hit, something needs to be done.

-- BoSox1045K
paulc1955

Who cares. I hate first place until the end of September anyway. It is what it is. 2+ months to go. I wish we were hitting better but it is what it is. Go Yanks. NOT.

-- paulc1955
bryanv21

Yankee fans need to chill out a bit. It's July 21st. There is a lot of baseball to be played, so don't get ahead of yourselves celebrating the Yanks being in 1st and the Sox in a bit of a funk. I have confidence in the Yanks, but at the same time I'm not getting all crazy over their current streak.

-- BryanV21

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