Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, I have ranked the top five general managers in two categories -- those who were making deals to win now, and those who were building for the future.
TRYING TO WIN NOW
1. Brian Sabean, San Francisco Giants: Sabean made three deals, including a deal for the best available hitter (Carlos Beltran) and two minor deals that added infield depth (Jeff Keppinger and Orlando Cabrera).
2. Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers: The Rangers needed to bolster their bullpen, which was ranked last of all playoff-contending teams. After wheeling and dealing for Mike Adams of the Padres and Koji Uehara of the Orioles, the Rangers now have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
3. Ruben Amaro, Philadelphia Phillies: This was the third consecutive year he made a blockbuster at the deadline. In 2009, he acquired Cliff Lee. In 2010, he acquired Roy Oswalt. And this year he filled the team’s biggest need, a right-handed-hitting right fielder (Hunter Pence) who can hit behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
4. Frank Wren, Atlanta Braves: He made the best “value” deal of the deadline, acquiring a much-needed leadoff hitter in Michael Bourn, who has led the league in stolen bases the last three years. He made the deal without giving up any of his top five pitching prospects.
5. Chris Antonetti, Cleveland Indians: He paid too big of a price for Ubaldo Jimenez, but for the short term, the trade gives the Indians a legitimate chance to win the AL Central. Jimenez was the best starting pitcher traded at the deadline.
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
2. Jed Hoyer, San Diego Padres: He did an excellent job of trading one of the game's best setup relievers for two middle-of-the-rotation starters (Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland). A solid long-term decision.
3. Alex Anthopoulus, Toronto Blue Jays: He continues his long-term plan, acquiring one of the most talented young center fielders in baseball in Colby Rasmus from the Cardinals without giving up a single prospect.
4. Sandy Alderson, New York Mets: He did an excellent job of eradicating any risk of long-term exposure by dealing Francisco Rodriguez, and he held out to get a top pitching propect in Zach Wheeler for Carlos Beltran. Holding on to Jose Reyes was also the right move.
5. Ed Wade, Houston Astros: He acquired a lot of young prospects in the Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn deals. If half of them reach their potential, he will have done well. But there is a lot of risk in both deals, though.