Greinke makes rotation formidable
While the Dodgers added four players and grabbed headlines with the acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino, the Angels were the biggest winners before Tuesday's trade deadline -- and it might not even be close come playoff time.
The Angels added superstar pitcher Zack Greinke to an already strong rotation and, in the process, kept him away from their division rival in Texas. They not only added Greinke for the stretch run but are also expected to sign the 28-year-old Cy Young winner to an extension after the season, making him a part of their long-term plans.
Landing the best pitcher on the market without giving up Peter Bourjos and Ervin Santana, as was rumored in a possible deal for James Shields, has positioned the Angels to have the best rotation in baseball when the postseason rolls around. No one needs to be reminded how important having a strong rotation is.
There is a possibility this year that an American League team would have to play five straight days in the postseason because of the condensed playoff format. If that happens to be the Angels, they are one of the few teams that would have no problem rolling out five quality starters.
The acquisitions of Ramirez and Victorino may help the Dodgers get to the playoffs but likely won't be enough to get them to a World Series -- not without the pitching help they so desperately needed but didn't get. Meanwhile, it's easy to envision Greinke taking the mound for the Angels in a potential series-clinching game in October, proving why his acquisition made the Angels the biggest winners at the deadline.
New owners show will to win
The Dodgers' new owners talked a big game about spending what it takes to build a winner in Los Angeles after they bought the team from Frank McCourt. They walked the walk and then some at the trade deadline with the acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Brandon League and Randy Choate.
Those acquisitions added about $40 million to the Dodgers' books, a sum that would have been staggering in the McCourt era but could be the new normal under the group fronted by Magic Johnson.
Yes, the Dodgers failed to land Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster or another starting pitcher. They needed to add a starter to a rotation that must now count on Ted Lilly to come back healthy after missing several months with shoulder inflammation.
In some ways, not yielding to the pressure to give up one of their elite pitching prospects -- Double-A hurler Allen Webster -- for a player who could leave as a free agent in two months was another victory for the Dodgers. There was tremendous pressure to do anything and everything at the deadline, principles and promises not to gut the already-thin farm system be damned. But Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and president Stan Kasten held firm and passed on the deal.
Some would say that decision looks good only if they can upgrade the rotation this month, or if Webster develops into the star they envision, but in many ways, demonstrating to the rest of the league that they aren't going to be reckless or desperate in their business just because they have the capital to do so is just as important.
The Dodgers are a very different, very dangerous offensive team after the trades for Ramirez and Victorino. The new owners demonstrated they will spend what it takes to compete for championships. Colletti and Kasten showed they aren't going to be reckless. And there's still another month to do more.