Grading the deadline deals

The Cardinals simply didn't get enough for a hitter like Ryan Ludwick, who helps San Diego right away. Getty Images

In one of the busiest trade deadlines in years, it's almost quicker to describe which players weren't traded: Adam Dunn stayed in Washington. The Kansas City Royals weren't bowled over with an offer for Joakim Soria or Zack Greinke. Everybody else (it seems) got a new uniform. Without further ado, let's get right to the moves and hand out some grades.


In a three-way trade, the St. Louis Cardinals sent right fielder Ryan Ludwick to the San Diego Padres, the Cleveland Indians sent pitcher Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals and the Padres sent pitcher Nick Greenwood to St. Louis and pitcher Corey Kluber to Cleveland.

The easy winner of this trade is the Padres. The lineup this season has been Adrian Gonzalez and a whole lot of very average players. With the Friars being this year's Cinderella team and with a good shot at making the playoffs, they'd like to have another real power bat in the lineup (Gonzalez has more homers than any other two Padres combined) with their likely playoff opponents generally having solid rotations. Ludwick's one of the more successful players in recent years that fits Bill James' old term -- "Ken Phelps All-Star" -- as an unappreciated career minor leaguer who can rake but has been overlooked for one reason or another. After dropping off to a .775 OPS after his .966 OPS in 2008, Ludwick's rebounded to .281/.343/.484 to demonstrate that while he's no superstar, he's a really good hitter. Ludwick instantly goes to the middle of San Diego's lineup.