July 31, 2011
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Phillies OF Hunter Pence. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The final week leading up to the trade deadline makes for some of the most exciting and exhausting news in baseball. Beat writers, fans and owners dread the July 31 date and breath a huge sigh of relief when 4:00 PM passes.
This year was no different. With teams like the Phillies, Giants and Braves looking to bolster their offense and the Yankees and Red Sox looking to make splashes in pitching, the deadline can get hairy for the serious competitors and first timers.
Here are a handful of teams that made the biggest splashes at the deadline, hoping for that final push into the post season and baseball greatness.
Cleveland Indians – Ubaldo Jimenez: The Indians made a huge splash at the deadline, trading for Colorado’s ace Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez is one of the game’s best young starters and will have an immediate impact on a team that could be one good starter away from winning their first AL Central crown since 2007.
A year removed from winning 19 games and posting a 2.88 ERA, Jimenez is struggling this season. He’s been mediocre at best, compiling a 6-9 record and 4.46 ERA on a Rockies team that is 10 games behind any chance at the post season. But the Indians are 2.5 behind the Detroit Tigers and Jimenez’s presence is a significant upgrade.
The only interesting thing that remains to be seen is if Jimenez will be effective in the American League. He’s been struggling this season and is now walking into a tougher hitting league. This move could prove to be a huge step forward for the Indians or a monumental bust.
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