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How much sleep do you imagine the average MLB GM has gotten this week? One hour? Two? Two and a half?

The days leading up to the trade deadline will do that to a person. Conventional wisdom states that the first third of the season is used to evaluate what your team needs, the second third is used to get what your team needs, and the third … the third is used to win with your newly revamped team. There are a few hours left in that second phase, a time when championships are forged, nerves are tested and probably a lot of take-out is ordered.

Victor Martinez has been the big name flying around recently. The Red Sox are currently working on a three-team deal with the Indians and an as-yet unnamed third team that would send Martinez to Boston, Clay Buchholz to Cleveland and several other players to various places to even out the deal. A week ago, SportsNation thought the Red Sox should have swapped Buchholz for Martinez straight up. Based on the way the Red Sox offense has been performing lately (hint: not well), acquiring a big bat may be just what the team needs to beat the Yankees. At very least, it might distract from all that other unpleasantness.

ed0057

this is a waste for the Sox. Victor Martinez an aging catching who is a DH in waiting. Victor is considered a sub-standard catcher as far a game management goes. He does have a good bat but you can find a DH anywhere. Giving up Buchholtz for Martinez would really be a stupid move on the Sox part

-- ed0057
yungzak

I think Martinez would fit perfectly on the Red Sox because with Tek getting older and power production down, Martinez could add more production and depth to the lineup and if he were to do well with the red sox then maybe they could sign him to a long-term deal.

-- yungzak
tybae40

If the Red Sox land Martinez, then what happens to Varitek? He's the team captain and he'll be sitting on the bench. You can't DH him, then you have to put David Ortiz at 1B and we all know how well he fields.

-- tybae40

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We've spent considerably more time over the last couple of months talking about the Pirates than their basement-dwelling peers like the Royals and Orioles, but they just make it so easy. After all, an inability to field a competitive team is one thing -- Elgin Baylor made a nice living out of it -- but trading away a potential contender over the course of two seasons? That takes a certain something special. Surely, Pirates GM Neal Huntington deserves to be ranked ahead of Royals GM Dayton Moore for chutzpah alone.

The latest to leave the fold were shortstop Jack Wilson, second baseman Freddy Sanchez and pitcher Ian Snell. And look, this whole rebuilding thing might work, even if SportsNation isn't buying it. The haul for Sanchez was Tim Alderson, the Giants' No. 4 prospect according to Baseball America, and the guys at USS Mariner, who are right more often than they're wrong about these things, weren't thrilled about how much Seattle gave away for a good defensive shortstop in Wilson and an enigmatic pitcher in Snell.

But even if Alderson, Jeff Clement, Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen are the second coming of the "We Are Family" Pirates, the franchise has a serious credibility problem. Just ask SportsNation blogger Fairsoldier50, who says it's time for Huntington to buy a cabin in the woods.

redguy12588

Any Pirates fan that doesn't like either of these trades is not really a Pirates fan.

-- redguy12588
brianlarry

I GIVE UP!!!!!! How can I watch and cheer for a team that wants to suck. I just gave all my stuff to a bum because thats how i feel about the Pirates. Pirates ownership sucks soooo bad, pay me half the money those guys make and I can do just as good as them and maybe better. oh, I just threw up in my mouth. I am so glad that football is starting soon so i can watch a team that wants to win in Pittsburgh, THE STEELERS!!!!

-- BrianLarry
bus3668

The Pirates ownership continues to bilk the fans buy putting out a terrible product in a nice package (PNC Park). They wouldn't even spend to a salary cap, if there was one because they don't care enough. How long can you continue to rebuild a team for? The last time they were any good, Barry Bonds was a skinny young man. They have gone beyond rebuilding. It's a constant cycle. Pathetic..

-- bus3668

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SportsNation isn't buying Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi's July 28 trade deadline (apparently, neither is he), but voters are still basically split 50-50 when it comes to the probability of any deal at all involving Roy Halladay. And if neither Halladay nor Indians ace Cliff Lee files a change-of-address form before August, there likely won't be any additions this year to Jerry Crasnick's list of the most noteworthy trades involving aces since 2000.

It's difficult to establish a firm grading process for these deals. The Diamondbacks didn't benefit in the short term when they traded for Curt Schilling in the middle of the 2000 season, but they won the World Series the next season with him. And it's not like they ever really missed Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla or Omar Daal. The Brewers didn't win it all with CC Sabathia last season, but they got a summer's worth of pennant race, and quite possibly a playoff berth, because of the big guy. That's a good deal, right?

In the end, it's probably safe to say that if you make a trade and no longer have a franchise in a few years (hello, Montreal!), you probably weren't the winner in the deal. Beyond that, it's a matter of debate. And that's what we live for.

gillie108

I hate the Red Sox, but getting Beckett and Lowel was as good as when they got Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera. I knew then The Yankees wouldn't be going to the World Series that year.

-- gillie108
berberage

Giving the Twins and Bill Smith a "D" for the Santana trade is charitable, to say the least. You don't have to look any further than the GM role to see why the Twins have gone from perennial contenders to irrelevance in such a short span of time. Terry Ryan was one of the best GMs in baseball; so far, Bill Smith appears to be one of the worst.

-- berberage

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If the American public had the kind of faith in the auto industry's brands that SportsNation has in the St. Louis Cardinals, well, maybe Hyundai wouldn't be reporting record profits. Come hell, high water or Miguel Tejada, voters refuse to doubt the power of Pujols.

A little more than a week ago, the Cardinals were 49-42, held a 2½-game lead on their closest competition in the NL Central and were the pick of 60 percent of SportsNation to win the division. Fast-forward to the present, and they've gone just 2-4 in the interim, including a sweep at the hands of Tejada and the Astros, and watched three teams close to within two games of the lead. And now 65 percent of voters are picking them to win. If they get swept again, this thing might be unanimous.

Looking at each of the four top contenders, SportsNation blogger pacersfanatic33 admits he's among those who underestimated the Cardinals' pitching entering the season and suggests acquiring shortstop Julio Lugo from the Red Sox isn't necessarily a minor trade.

If only the Pirates were so lucky. The Bucs actually won Wednesday -- in dramatic fashion, no less -- but the bigger news of the day came when the team traded yet another regular player, Adam LaRoche, for seemingly marginal return. Next up? Probably Jack Wilson and even Freddy Sanchez. It's not exactly a crushing condemnation, but SportsNation isn't buying that the team has a plan. The verdict is that the franchise is bad for baseball.

tyhoward24

Wow...what a game [between the Cardinals and Astros], and what a division. This is going to be really fun down the stretch.

-- TyHoward24
pride4jc1222

Wow, the Astros are only a game back in the NL Central... Oh, what a division!

-- pride4jc1222
cards%20fan90

[Ryan] Franklin has had an outstanding year. This one game doesn't change that. I blame our offense for this sweep.

-- Cards Fan90

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