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NL West Report: Talent in, Talent out at the trade deadline.

The good news for competitors in the NL West this week is that none of their rivals added what we would consider a major impact talent at the trade deadline along the lines of a Cliff Lee, Matt Holliday or Victor Martinez, the bad news is that this means that neither did they, leaving the division in pretty much the same state it was last week save for the one team at the very bottom, who did wind up making a very interesting move on Friday. The overall talent flow still seems to be flowing into the division rather than out, however, and the division as a whole still seems to be on the ascent.

NL West Report

San Francisco (58-47, t-2nd, W2, 7.0 GB)

Last Week: 6-1. 3-0 vs. Pirates, 3-1 vs Phillies. At some point you've just got to forget the projections and say a team is what it is. The Giants really seem to be that team this year, similar to the 2007 Diamondbacks, where they are combining some excellence in pitching with a favorable circumstance or two (in this case a deadly home field advantage) to mask over their flaws. While sweeping a rebuilding Pirates team isn't a huge accomplishment, taking three of four against the defending world champions is. The Giants are a very real threat, but an up and down one.

Pace: 86-76.

Divisional Change: Gained 3.0 games.

This Week:

News: The Giants were the most active NL West squad at the deadline, acquiring Ryan Garko from the Indians in exchange for Scott Barnes and Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates in exchange for Tim Alderson. Both prospects were immediately downgraded by pundits from potential aces to potential fifth starters after the transactions.

Ryan Garko

#23 / First Base / San Francisco Giants





Jan 02, 1981

Freddy Sanchez

#21 / Second Base / San Francisco Giants





Dec 21, 1977

Kidding about that last part, sort of. Barnes wouldn't have been a name most Giants fans would recognize, but he's a decent LHP prospect a bit beyond the Keith Weiser level but quite a bit below the Bumgarner level. With Barnes and Connor Graham added to their pitching depth the last couple of weeks, the Indians have put quite a dent on the starting talent in the Cal League's North division. I was curious about the amount of articles downplaying Alderson that came after the trade compared to the hype he was getting before it.

Grant's reactions to both trades at McCovey Chronicles were suspiciously understated:



Clearly something's up with these players that they're not telling us about, like how they wouldn't tell us that Fred Lewis will eat the children of Rockies fans if we let them stay out to late or how Pedro Feliz was able to control the forces of nature of his mind as long as he wore a Giants uniform and the Giants were playing the Rockies. You're not fooling me this time Grant, word to Rockies pitchers: approach these two players like you would Babe Ruth. If Babe Ruth was alive. And not really old.

Players Gained:

  • Freddy Sanchez
  • Ryan Garko

Players Lost:

  • Tim Alderson (AA)
  • Scott Barnes (A+)



Rich Aurilia toe 07/21/2009
Nate Schierholtz hip 07/27/2009
Andres Torres hamstring 07/31/2009


Randy Johnson trapezius 07/06/2009
Noah Lowry ribs 03/27/2009
Kelvin Pichardo shoulder 06/28/2009
Joe Martinez concussion 04/10/2009

Arizona (46-59, 4th, W1, 19.0 GB)

Last Week: 3-3. 1-2 vs Phillies, 2-1 @ Mets.


Divisional Change: Gained 0.5 games.

This Week: The Snakes wrap up a long road trip with three game series @ Pittsburgh and @ Washington

News: The Diamondbacks had a quiet week leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, but general manager Josh Byrnes expects August's waiver trade market to be active.

Brandon Webb finally decided to undergo the knife to fix his ailing shoulder, but no timetable has been established for when he is expected to return to the mound. Will the Diamondbacks pick up his $8.5 million option for 2010? Byrnes is taking a wait and see approach.

Brandon Webb

#17 / Pitcher / Arizona Diamondbacks





May 09, 1979

Steve Gilbert writes that Byrnes' faith in his core is a large part of the reason why the trade deadline was so quiet for Arizona:

"There are a lot of components there that we think are real positives," Byrnes said. "I think a lot of the pieces to get back to winning are already in place."

Certainly Justin Upton has to be a major component that Byrnes is thinking of, AZ Snakepit's Jim McClennan took a look at the elite club the phenom's track thus far puts him in.

The Snakes are negotiating with Daniel Cabrera for added pitching depth

Added Comment: Arizona remains a flawed team for 2010 until it gets the pitching ironed out, but a very dangerous one for 2009. The fact that they didn't sell off at the deadline doesn't leave them nearly as weak as other non-contenders. I'm relieved that the Rockies only have six more games against this team compared to nine for the Giants and ten for the Dodgers, because it really looks like they've finally righted the ship in Phoenix. Over the last thirty games, the D-backs have scored the fourth most runs in the NL in going 16-14. Other key potential spoiler series for Arizona will be in Philadelphia at the end of August and at Chicago for the last series of the season in October.

Players Gained:

  • Brandon Allen (AAA)
  • Cole Gillespie (AAA)
  • Roque Mercedes (AA)

Players Lost:

  • Felipe Lopez
  • Tony Pena

Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Eric Byrnes hand 06/26/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Tom Gordon hamstring 05/04/2009
Conor Jackson pneumonia 05/12/2009
Brandon Webb shoulder 04/07/2009

Los Angeles (62-36, 1st, L1)

Last Week: 3-4. 1-3 vs Cardinals. 2-1 vs Braves. The Dodgers road trip started out poorly against Matt Holliday and the Cardinals, but much like the Rockies, the Dodgers finished well, going over the last four games of the trip, against much tougher competition than we had to face.


Divisional Change: Lost 0.5 games to Colorado and 3.0 games to San Francisco

This Week: The Dodgers return home where they will face a Brewers team (3 games) that's been caught in a rut for much of the last two months and then get a four game set against the Braves who will want revenge for losing a series in Atlanta this weekend.

News: The Dodgers had been rumored for much of last week to be in on every prominent trade target supposedly available, and apparently came close to reeling in Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell in a mega deal with the Padres. Unwilling to part with prize major league talent such as Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw (wisely, I might add, Kershaw's change-up is starting to be as devastating as his fastball and curve) Los Angeles wound up making one major move, trading minor leaguers Josh Bell and Steve Johnson for Orioles closer George Sherrill.

George Sherrill

#0 / Pitcher / Los Angeles Dodgers





Apr 19, 1977

The Dodgers made one other minor depth move to clear a roster space for Sherrill, trading Claudio Vargas to Milwaukee for catcher Vinny Rottino. Rottino actually has an engaging baseball biography, as he was an undrafted free agent out of college and wound up getting signed out of a try-out camp. He caught for team Italy in the WBC this Spring. Still, not going to supplant team Canada's catcher anytime soon.

Even with the Sherrill addition, Los Angeles continues to wage a war against an unseen and unknown enemy as the workload for their young pitching continues to mount. Chad Billingsley seemed like he might be the latest to succumb when he was pulled from Sunday night's start with what turned out to be just a case of leg cramps. Rockies and Giants fans are all hoping this menace proves more real than it has, but that just might be wishful thinking on our parts. Sherrill hasn't been the only cavalry to arrive to rescue Los Angeles' young arms, as both Jason Schmidt and Hong Chi Kuo made returns from long injury absences this week.

Eric Stephen's monthly reviews are always worth reading to catch up on the rest of the Dodgers news.

Players Gained:

  • George Sherrill
  • Vinny Rottino (AA)

Players Lost:

  • Josh Bell
  • Steve Johnson
  • Claudio Vargas

Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chad Billingsley hamstring 08/03/2009


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Casey Blake wrist 08/03/2009


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Will Ohman shoulder 05/28/2009
Ronald Belisario elbow 07/06/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Eric Milton lower-back 06/28/2009
Doug Mientkiewicz shoulder 04/17/2009
Xavier Paul ankle 05/21/2009

San Diego (43-63, 5th, W2, 22.0 GB)

Last Week: 5-2. 3-1 @ Reds, 2-1 vs Brewers. Visiting Cincinnati has become a medicinal spa retreat for ailing NL West teams, as the Padres and Rockies combined to go 6-1 against the hapless Reds. San Diego carried their winning ways home with them against the Brewers.


Divisional Change: Gained 2.0 games.

This Week: Braves (3 games) fans and Mets (4 games) fans will learn just how easy it is to go into PETCO Park and win series.

News: The Padres traded away their erstwhile ace Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox in the trade deadline's most surprising move. Peavy must have felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day in getting a chance to change a decision he made two months ago, for whatever reason, the White Sox held more appeal this time around.

Coming back from Chicago are four of the White Sox better prospects in Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell. This move was typical of other blockbusters in 2009, where the selling team generally walked away with the buying team's quality depth, but not their creme de la creme as far as talent is concerned.

jbox gets oddly, I don't know, pragmatic, in his review of the trade at Gaslamp Ball.

Clayton Richard

#41 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres





Sep 12, 1983

The Heath Bell/Adrian Gonzalez trade to the Dodgers wasn't the only big deadline deal that San Diego was involved in that fell through, apparently there was also a blockbuster that could have send Gonzalez to Seattle, Felix Hernandez to the Red Sox, and a bushel of prospects to the Padres that got nixed by the Mariners. The day was so busy, that Kevin Towers told the LA Times Bill Shaiken:

"It's almost comical," he said. "I wish we had a video camera in there. You tend to worry about everything moving so fast."

Players Lost:

  • Jake Peavy
  • Scott Hairston
  • Cla Meredith

Players Gained:

  • Ryan Webb (AAA)
  • Craig Italiano (A+)
  • Sean Gallagher
  • Aaron Poreda
  • Clayton Richard
  • Dexter Carter
  • Adam Russell
  • Oscar Salazar

San Diego Padres Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Young shoulder 06/15/2009
Nick Hundley forearm 06/18/2009
Brian Giles knee 06/19/2009
Edgar Gonzalez concussion 07/19/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Mark Worrell elbow 03/27/2009
Cha Seung Baek forearm 03/30/2009
Shawn Hill elbow 04/26/2009
Cliff Floyd shoulder 06/18/2009