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Assessing the go-getters and do-nothings of the trade deadline

The Red Sox did nothing — they didn’t help themselves for 2016 one bit.

The Red Sox held onto Mike Napoli at the trade deadline, though he could still be included in a waiver deal.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

We’ll have to see what the Red Sox come up with for an ace, but if they whiff this offseason, you wonder whether failing to acquire Cole Hamels will come back to bite them.

The Phillies and Red Sox danced the dance for about a year and a half, spending thousands of travel dollars, as well as manpower, scouting each other’s organizations.

There were all sorts of names spewed out. At one point, the Phillies were asking for Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts, but the Red Sox were never interested. The price eventually lowered, but the Red Sox never seemed fully engaged, falling back on Hamels’s losing interleague record as a guide.


The Rangers, who did acquire Hamels last week, didn’t agree with the Red Sox. While they knew Hamels wouldn’t put them over the top in 2015, they looked to him for 2016, hoping to team him with a healthy Yu Darvish at the top of the rotation.

Hamels would have solved the Red Sox’ problems immediately, and given the five-prospect package the Rangers used to land him, the Sox could easily have made a similar deal.

The Red Sox also didn’t obtain a controllable starter, such as Tyson Ross or Carlos Carrasco. They’re both good pitchers, but the Red Sox must pick up an ace. And by not obtaining Hamels they will be forced to enter the pricey free agent market for Johnny Cueto, David Price, Jeff Samardzija, or Jordan Zimmermann, etc. It’ll cost them far more than it would have if they’d re-signed Jon Lester.

In the end, the Red Sox didn’t even compete for Hamels. There were bogus stories put out that the Phillies wouldn’t deal with teams on Hamels’s no-trade list. But the Giants nearly obtained him, with Hamels waiving his no-trade to San Francisco. The Astros were also in it, and Hamels declined to waive his no-trade for them.


Here’s a look at how all 30 teams did during trade week:


Troy Tulowitzki, David Price, and right fielder Jose Bautista celebrated a win over the Royals Friday.Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports

1. Toronto Blue Jays — When you obtain the best available hitter (Troy Tulowitzki) and starting pitcher (Price) before the deadline, you’re trying hard. The Blue Jays acquired those players while at .500, but only a couple of games out of the wild card. They should have started much sooner, but once they got into it, they blew everyone away, willing to give up their top prospects, such as lefthander Daniel Norris. Big gamble, but a good one with the best offense in baseball. The Jays acquired Mark Lowe from the Mariners for three minor leaguers. Lowe has had a very good year but isn’t really considered a closer. They also received veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins in the Tulowitzki deal.

2. Kansas City Royals — Cueto and Ben Zobrist were outstanding pickups, and the Royals paid dearly, sending the Reds three lefthanded pitching prospects. The Royals lost to the Giants in the World Series and know given the weakness of the AL they have a chance to emerge once again. Zobrist certainly helps with the Alex Gordon injury and the fact he can be moved around the diamond.

3. Houston Astros — They were newcomers in terms of being buyers. They were also the team everyone wanted to trade with because they were so deep in prospects. So, they acquired local boy Scott Kazmir, and traded for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers from the Brewers. They gave up six prospects in the deals and still have the best farm system in baseball.


4. Pittsburgh Pirates — They got a bat (Aramis Ramirez) and a late-game reliever (Joakim Soria), who will pitch in front of Mark Melancon to give the Pirates a tough end of the bullpen. They also got a lefthanded starter in J.A. Happ from the Mariners to top off a pretty good trade deadline.

5. New York Mets — It took them a while to get going, but once they did the results weren’t bad. They added offense in Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, and Juan Uribe. They added Tyler Clippard as a bullpen piece. They went through a bizarre episode with Gomez before walking away from a deal. They never got a shortstop.

6. Texas Rangers — The Rangers set themselves up for 2016 with the Hamels deal. They failed to deal Yovani Gallardo, who will be a free agent, but they just may try to sign him long term and have a really good starting rotation with a returning Darvish.

7. Philadelphia Phillies — All eyes were on the Phillies to see how they’d make out rebuilding. The consensus was they did OK. They were able to move Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, and Ben Revere, ate some money, but got a good haul of prospects, including catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams, and righthander Jake Thompson from Texas. According to one team evaluator, “From where they started in their demands to where they wound up, it’s quite a fall. But if you look around at other deals, nobody was giving up No. 1 or 2 prospects. They settled for quantity in some cases, but they got a fair share of quality, as well.”


8. Detroit Tigers — The Tigers dealt Price to the Blue Jays for Norris (the prize), Matt Boyd, and Jairo Labourt; traded Cespedes to the Mets for Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa; traded Soria to Pittsburgh for JaCoby Jones. The Tigers, with one of the worst farm systems in baseball, replenished big time. They likely had no chance of re-signing Price. Cespedes is moody and not a long-term answer. The one surprise was Soria, as relievers of this ilk are hard to come by and the Tigers have a history of being unable to identify them. They finally did with Soria and yet they traded him.

9. Oakland Athletics — Billy Beane retooled, first getting two good prospects from the Astros (he loved catcher Jacob Nottingham) for Kazmir, then sending Clippard to the Mets and Zobrist to the Royals. Plenty of teams came at Beane for Sonny Gray, but that’s the one guy he didn’t budge on.

10. San Francisco Giants — The Giants are a team that always seems to do the right thing, and going after Mike Leake after they lost out on Hamels was a good move. Leake is a winner and a tough guy who will fit right in in San Francisco. Another good job by Brian Sabean, Bobby Evans, and pitching guru Dick Tidrow.


11. Cincinnati Reds — The Reds got rid of Cueto for three good arms, and sent Leake to the Giants. They failed to deal right fielder Jay Bruce or closer Aroldis Chapman, as had been speculated. They needed to be blown away on Chapman, and it never developed.

Gerardo Parra hit .435 in July.Morry Gash/Associated Press

12. Baltimore Orioles — They dealt Tommy Hunter, one of their top three relievers, for Cubs outfielder Junior Lake. The Orioles also acquired Gerardo Parra from the Brewers for Zach Davies. Curious move trading Hunter. Lake had become extraneous for the Cubs but still has a world of potential. The best thing the Orioles did was acquire Parra, a Gold Glove outfielder who has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball — .435 in July.

13. Los Angeles Angels — They needed outfielders and landed three of them — Shane Victorino from the right side and David Murphy and David DeJesus from the left. Could have used a bullpen piece but didn’t get it.

14. Washington Nationals — The Nationals got their prize in Papelbon and gave up a decent pitching prospect in Nick Pivetta. They failed to get another hitter, at one point considering Cespedes or Justin Upton.

15. Colorado Rockies — They made the big splash, dealing their franchise player (Tulowitzki) to Toronto and getting back Jose Reyes and prospects. Give the Rockies credit for finally doing what many thought they should have done a couple of years ago. They got a real good pitcher in righthander Jeff Hoffman from the Jays.

16. Milwaukee Brewers — They did some serious dumping of Ramirez, Parra, Fiers, and Jonathan Broxton, but failed to move Francisco Rodriguez or Adam Lind, where they could have received a haul. They did get quality prospects back in all of the deals and added some depth to their farm system. Getting outfield prospect Brett Phillips from the Astros could pay dividends down the road.

17. Cleveland Indians — Entertained a lot of talk on Carrasco but never pulled the trigger. The Indians were in need of a positional overhaul in their minor league system and Carrasco appeared to be the vehicle to do that. They did move Brandon Moss to the Cardinals and got a pretty good lefty in Rob Kaminsky. They also moved Murphy to the Angels.

18. St. Louis Cardinals — The Cardinals knew what they wanted once they lost Matt Holliday to an injury, so they replenished with Moss, who helps them at first base and in the outfield, and bolstered their bullpen with Steve Cishek and Broxton.

Mezza, Mezza

Kevin Jepsen was sent to the Twins.Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

1. Minnesota Twins — Got Kevin Jepsen from the Rays, precisely the bullpen piece they needed.

2. Tampa Bay Rays — Thought they’d do more dumping, but there’s still a feeling they might be in the wild-card hunt, so Jepsen to the Twins and DeJesus to the Angels was about it. Many teams inquired about their pitchers, but the Rays held on to them. There was some interest in James Loney, but they were not wowed enough to do it.

3. Chicago Cubs — Theo Epstein didn’t pull off the blockbuster we thought he might, but he added good pieces in Hunter and the gutsy Dan Haren. The Cubs are on the fringe of playoff contention. Not sure if these moves put them closer to their goal.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers — They have the most resources, a good prospect list, and yet they failed to net Price or Hamels. Instead, they got Mat Latos from the Marlins and Alex Wood from the Braves. Latos has pitched well lately and that’s perhaps what the Dodgers are going by, but they’re taking a chance on a very emotional pitcher after Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. They did get a terrific second base prospect from Atlanta in Jose Peraza.

5. Atlanta Braves — The Braves were all over the map. They dumped Johnson and Uribe to the Mets, and sent Wood, Bronson Arroyo, and Jim Johnson to the Dodgers. The Braves stayed competitive for a while but now go into full rebuilding mode. They got Cuban Hector Olivera and they have high hopes for him as a building block.

6. Miami Marlins — They traded Haren and Latos but didn’t get a great return. These were two highly sought veteran pitchers and they needed to come away with a better talent haul.

7. Seattle Mariners — They reluctantly sold off some pieces. Lowe, an excellent reliever, went to the Jays, Happ to the Pirates, and Dustin Ackley to the Yankees. Teams came after Hisashi Iwakuma, but the Mariners wouldn’t deal him, figuring they can sign the free agent-to-be for another season or two.


Craig Kimbrel stayed in San Diego despite trade talks surrounding him.Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

1. San Diego Padres — Big talk, no action. Kept Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Ian Kennedy, Ross, and Andrew Cashner. CEO Mike Dee said the Padres will win with this team. Doubt it.

2. Boston Red Sox — The Sox didn’t help themselves for 2016 one bit. Traded Victorino for Josh Rutledge, and dealt for Ryan Cook, described by one scout as a “good arm but has trouble with strikes.”

3. Arizona Diamondbacks — Tried for Chapman but nothing else. Tony La Russa told me he was only going to do something if it was a move toward the future. Nothing really stood out.

4. Chicago White Sox — They were on a roll, got back in the wild-card race, and should have enhanced the team. But they got nothing.

5. New York Yankees — Surprisingly didn’t add to their starting rotation or bullpen, which could come back to bite them, particularly with Michael Pineda out with forearm tightness. They did add lefthanded-hitting utilityman Ackley, who is hitting just .215 but is made for Yankee Stadium.

Updates on nine

1. Dave Dombrowski, president and GM, Tigers — Dombrowski is in the final year of his contract. Could the fact that he was entrusted with dealing off David Price, Joakim Soria, and Yoenis Cespedes mean he’s likely to sign an extension soon? Dombrowski would have some appeal in Los Angeles, where the Angels are looking for a president/GM.

2. Mike Napoli, 1B. Red Sox — Napoli figures to be a waiver deal in August. One GM said Napoli “is a guy teams want to see a little bit more of. He’s hitting better but not for a long enough stretch.”

Waking up Nap
Napoli is trying to get back on track after a tough few months.
April 19 .162 .269 .250 .519 3 4 10 16
May 27 .242 .361 .516 .878 11 18 17 27
June 26 .190 .274 .321 .595 7 8 9 28
July 21 .239 .329 .463 .792 9 9 8 19
Source: baseball-reference.com

3. James Shields, RHP, Padres — Shields is a guy the Padres might be able to slip through waivers because of his hefty salary. It’s hard to imagine a team putting a claim in, so Shields could be an August acquisition for a team such as the Yankees, who didn’t solve any pitching needs.

4. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Red Sox — There was speculation Friday morning that Sandoval might be of interest to the Padres, who went after him in the offseason. The Red Sox were probably hoping for something like that, but it never happened. The Padres still need a third baseman after the Will Middlebrooks experiment failed.

5. Felix Doubront, LHP, Athletics — Doubront has moved around a lot — Red Sox, Cubs, Blue Jays — but now seems to be in a place where he could find himself. He’ll be in a big ballpark, which tends to build confidence in pitchers, and with a good pitching coach in Curt Young. Doubront has a world of talent but has never made the commitment to be good consistently.

6. Kenta Maeda, RHP, Hiroshima Carp — The Carp weren’t willing to post Maeda last winter but he could be in play this offseason. What will he demand and where would he fit? Most scouts thinks he’s a No. 3 starter at best, and likely a No. 4. Maeda is 8-6 with a 2.03 ERA in 17 starts this season. Also in the Carp rotation is former Dodger and Yankee Hiroki Kuroda, who is 7-4 with a 2.58 ERA.

7. Dustin Ackley, INF/OF, Yankees — GM Brian Cashman had a funny line about Ackley and why the Yankees got him. “We’re trying to load up with lefties against [David] Price,” Cashman said, tongue in cheek. Lefthanded batters have hit Price at a .267 clip this season, righthanded batters .233.

8. Justin Upton, OF, Padres — The Padres still think they’re in the hunt? Upton again could be a waiver deal if the Padres feel they’re out of it at some point. The Padres shocked baseball by not trading anyone, but at a minimum teams seeking hitters thought Upton would go.

Rich Gannon/Getty Images

9. Jason Varitek, special assistant, Red Sox — There’s the feeling that Varitek could be a managerial candidate for the Padres should they bypass interim skipper Pat Murphy for the job. Varitek is a favorite of former Red Sox chief operating officer Mike Dee, who is now president of the Padres. Varitek has not wanted a full-time role in baseball, preferring to spend more time with his family.

Extra innings

From the Bill Chuck files — “In 2012, in 90 games, David Ortiz grounded out 79 times; this season, in 92 games, he has grounded out 99 times.” . . . Happy birthday, Grady Sizemore (33), Scott Taylor (48), Tim Wakefield (49), Danny Sheaffer (54), Roger LaFrancois (59), Jim Dorsey (60), and Tom Burgmeier (72).

Power of Angels

David Zalubowski/Associated Press/Associated Press

Angels sluggers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols took over the major league lead for home runs last week. If they were to finish the season 1-2 they would be the first teammates since the Giants’ Willie Mays and Willie McCovey in 1965 to accomplish that feat. Here’s a look at the others, since 1920:

Compiled by Richard McSweeney.

Nick Cafardo can be reached at cafardo@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo. Material from interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.