Late-Season MLB Trades: How They Affect Your Team and Your Collection
The Major League Baseball trade deadline and waiver wire is always a busy time of year. It's full of speculation, blockbuster deals, winners and losers. Several teams have made deals they hope will put them over the hump immediately, possibly at the expense of highly touted prospects. At the same time, other teams have unloaded salaries to help them in the future.
As a fan and collector I have a love-hate relationship with the trade deadline. The sports fan in me loves it when my team has a chance to improve and possibly win it all. As a collector, I hate it. It's the time to sell a once favorite prospect, the star of a personal collection or, for those who are lucky, pick up a team's new hot prospects. Below you will find a list of players who will not only have an impact on their new teams but also the hobby.
Hunter Pence (Phillies/Astros)
No player benefited more from the recent trade deadline than Hunter Pence of the Philadelphia Phillies. Since being traded away from the Astros, Pence has helped the Phillies improve their lead in the National League East and the team's hold on baseball's best record. He's quickly become a cult hero in “Pence-lyvania." Pence's now infamous quote “Good game! Let's go eat!" has created a marketing opportunity in the form of T-Shirts and inscribed autographed baseballs. Since being shipped to the Phillies, Pence already has five home runs and is batting .322. Sellers have seen a nice jump in final selling values. Although they've settled, look for Pence's cards to heat up again if he makes an impact in the playoffs. Although the Astros gave up the face of their franchise, they improved their farm system with the additions of Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart.
2007 Bowman's Best Autograph #79b Hunter Pence Astros
2008 Topps Heritage Chrome 17-card Lot # 1959 Justin Upton Hunter Pence
HUNTER PENCE AUTOGRAPHED 8X10 PHOTO (ASTROS)
2011 Topps HUNTER PENCE Silk Collection 17 of 50.
Colby Rasmus (Blue Jays/Cardinals)
Following a dip in production and a bitter relationship with manager Tony Larussa, the Cardinals sent Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays. Maybe a big change of scenery will help him reach the potential he showed in his first two seasons and bring back his card values. Most Rasmus autographs can be found for less than $25.
Carlos Beltran (Giants/Mets)
At 34 years of age, Carlos Beltran has seen better days. The Mets got the better end of the deal by landing pitching prospect Zach Wheeler who has already made an impact for the Mets' Single-A team. Beltran has hit just one home run and driven in three runs since the trade. A free agent at the end of the year, the Giants won't even get a supplemental pick if he signs elsewhere. With the addition of bullpen help and Paul Goldschmidt from the farm, the Diamondbacks could still hold off San Francisco in the NL West. Don't look for the Giants to repeat as World Series Champions.
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies/Indains)
The Rockies might have traded away their staff ace but don't feel bad for them. They may have emptied the Cleveland farm system by gaining future top-line starters Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. The Indians mortgaged their future and are still several games back in the American League Central. In the long-term, look for this trade to set back what seemed to be an up-and-coming contender. Pomeranz has affordable 2010 Bowman Chrome and Bowman Sterling autograph cards. White's 2009 Bowman Chrome and Bowman Sterling autographs are also reasonably priced.
Mike Adams/Koji Uehara (Rangers/Padres and Orioles)
In need of arms to help solidify their bullpen, the Rangers traded away two top pitching prospects and two major league-ready players to the Padres and Orioles for Mike Adams and Koji Uehara. The Rangers dealt Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland, who threw a no-hitter before the trade, to the Padres. The Orioles got Tommy Hunter, one of my favorite Rangers. Anyone want the autographed game-used jersey in my man cave? No longer a part of my team, it'll never mean the same to me. Starting the season, Hunter was the odd man out in the Texas rotation and was considered expendable. Also shipped to Baltimore was slugger Chris Davis, a native Texan who has yet to live up to expectations. Don't be surprised if Davis joins a long line of first basemen who become stars after leaving Texas. As a Rangers fan, it's staggering how many future All-Star first basemen the team has traded away. This drives me crazy. Wouldn't it be great if general managers consulted fans before dealing their favorite players?
While these are just a few of the key trades, there could be more to come as teams look to fill holes or dump salaries. A wise man once told me, “It doesn't matter who you have to trade away. It only matters if you win the ring." Best wishes for the teams who traded away future stars for a slim chance of winning the World Series.
As much as I hate it now, I know I won't care if the Rangers win it all.