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Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Trade deadline acquisitions have been flops

By David Schoenfield

For all the hype about the trade deadline, the early returns haven't been good.
Not all the acquistions have been duds. Omar Infante (.304/.315/.478) has been a big upgrade at second base for the Tigers. Shane Victorino has done OK with the Dodgers (.277/.333/.426). Chris Johnson has slugged .602 and has 18 RBIs in 15 games for Arizona. The biggest acquisition may prove to be Paul Maholm. He was regarded as the third-best of the Cubs pitchers on the trade block (behind Dempster and Matt Garza, who wasn't dealt), but has been superb for the Braves, allowing three runs through his first two starts. Over his last eight starts, he's allowed eight runs. It's possible that Maholm could be this year's Doug Fister, the under-the-radar pickup that proves to be a better deal than the more glamorous names.

The most interesting results have been from Dempster, Sanchez and Greinke, who all moved from the National League to the American League. It's only 10 starts, so it's a small sample size, but they've combined for a 7.15 ERA. Is the change in the leagues that much of a factor? Probably not, but pitching in Texas or Yankee Stadium is certainly a different test than facing the Astros.

As always, the trade deadline can provide reinforcements to a contending team, but the hype it generates rarely matches the impact that many fans and front offices expect.