Now that we've had a few days to sift through the trading-deadline madness, we've practically made a little sense of it. So it's time for a never-too-late edition of Useless Deadline Movers Information:
The Last Goodbye
Last Friday in Seattle, Erik Bedard coughed up five runs in 1 1/3 innings -- and then got traded two days later.
The next night in San Diego, Ubaldo Jimenez gave up four runs in an inning -- and then got traded about 30 seconds later (or, if you want to get technical and count the small print and physicals, the next day).
So here's the question:
Were these the worst two final starts ever (for their old teams) by pitchers who got traded before the deadline?
Hmmm. Tough question. So we asked the Elias Sports Bureau to help us.
We went back to 1986, when the deadline moved to July 31. Then we zeroed in on messy July starts by pitchers who changed teams within the next two weeks. Then we pared down the list. And here's what we found:
The only other starting pitcher in all that time to go fewer than two innings and give up more earned runs than outs: Shawn Boskie (six ER, four outs) for the Phillies, on July 18, 1994. He was dealt to Seattle three days later.
We found just two other starters in all that time who went exactly two innings and gave up at least as many earned runs as Jimenez or Bedard. They were Scott Erickson for the Mets on July 26, 2004, and Walt Terrell for the Padres on July 20, 1989. They gave up six earned runs apiece and each got six outs, then got traded to the Rangers and Yankees, respectively.
So that's our list. Which means the winner of the Worst Final Start Ever By A Starting Pitcher Who Got Traded At The Deadline award goes to ... Shawn Boskie.
But if you want to make a case for Jimenez and Bedard? Knock yourself out.
Putting The "O" In October
The Giants haven't won a game since they traded for Orlando Cabrera, but no worries there. Teams that trade for Cabrera ALWAYS make it to the postseason.
If the Giants follow the trend, this will be the seventh time in the last eight seasons that Cabrera has made it to the Octoberfest -- with SIX different teams. And if that's how it turns out, Cabrera will become just the third player in history to make a postseason appearance with six franchises.
The others, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: David Wells (over 15 seasons) and Kenny Lofton (over 10 seasons).
But if Cabrera does it in just eight seasons, now THAT'S quality traveling.
• But hold on. We're not through with Orlando Cabrera yet.
If the Giants are still playing in October, it will mean five consecutive postseason appearances for Cabrera -- with five teams (Angels, White Sox, Twins, Reds, Giants). And that, Elias reports, would be a first.
At the moment, Cabrera is locked in a three-way tie with Lofton and Eric Hinske. They've all made it to the postseason four straight years with different teams. But nobody has ever made it a fifth straight season. So stay tuned.
O No Not Again
As I tweeted last week, it doesn't feel like the trading-deadline season has officially begun until Octavio Dotel gets traded. And now we can prove it.
When Dotel got dealt to the Cardinals last week, it was the FIFTH time he'd changed teams in midseason (not all of them before the deadline, we should add). And according to Elias, that ties him with Bruce Chen (who switched clubs an astounding five times in only 34 months in 2000-03) for the lead in that prestigious category among active pitchers.
Ah, but here's where Dotel separates himself from Chen (and the rest of the pack):
Dotel has been TRADED five times in midseason. One of those Chen employer switches, on the other hand, was a mere waiver claim (from Houston to Boston in 2003).
So what active pitcher has been traded more than any other in midseason? Octavio Dotel, come on down.
Who says you can't trade for a top-of-the-rotation starter in July?
When Jimenez got swapped to the Indians, it made four straight years in which a top-five finisher in Cy Young voting has gotten traded before the following year's trading deadline. Here's that list:
2010-11: Ubaldo Jimenez (3rd in 2010 NL vote)
2009-10: Dan Haren (5th in 2009 NL vote)
2008-09: Cliff Lee (1st in 2008 AL vote)
2007-08: CC Sabathia (1st in 2007 AL vote)
So it would be a fun pool to start with your buddies, to predict which top-five finisher this year is most likely to get traded next July. We'll take Johnny Cueto. Your move.
In Other News ...
• Mike Adams spent four seasons pitching for the Padres. In all that time, he NEVER allowed a home run to a left-handed hitter that put his team behind. He got traded to Texas on Sunday -- and served up a game-winning home run to the first left-handed hitter he faced (Brennan Boesch). Who knew.
• If you're keeping track of deadline trades involving the Hairston family, they're now up to five of them -- two by Scott, two by Jerry Jr. and one by Jerry Sr.
• If you have the feeling Edwin Jackson gets traded every year, it isn't your imagination. He's now been involved in five trades since 2006 (assuming we count this year's White Sox-Blue Jays-Cardinals extravaganza as one deal). Total players involved in those trades (not counting Jackson himself): 22.
• The player who had to qualify as Most Grateful to Get Traded: How 'bout Doug Fister? Before he got dealt by the Mariners to the Tigers, he led all of baseball with 13 Criminally Unsupported Starts (6+ IP, 1 run or none scored for him while he was in the game). AND he'd ripped off six CUS in a row. AND he'd piled up nine of them in his last 10 starts as a Mariner.
The Tigers have run nine starting pitchers out there this season. The nine of them combined have totaled only 15 Criminally Unsupported Starts. In case you're wondering, the Mariners lead the majors with 33 -- three more than the Padres.
• And theoretically, Chen and James Shields were both "available" when they took the mound last Wednesday. Then they went out and ensured they were staying put by giving up 10 earned runs on the same day. Incredibly, it was the second time this year two pitchers allowed 10 earned runs on the same day. (Jaime Garcia and Sean O'Sullivan just did it on May 28.)
Last time that happened twice in the same season? Would you believe 1937, when Wes Ferrell and Lon Warneke gave up 10 apiece on July 10, a mere 2.5 months after Vern Kennedy (11 ER) and Oral Hildebrand did it on April 21.