Phil Rogers: Rangers, Padres most improved after deadline

Adam Dunn didn't change teams. Ditto Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Jose Bautista, Brett Myers and Carlos Zambrano. But there were a flurry of deals in the 30 hours leading up to Saturday's deadline for non-waiver trades.

All-Star-level names Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Ryan Ludwick, Dan Haren, Miguel Tejada, Edwin Jackson, Kerry Wood and Matt Capps changed teams. Yet with even Manny Ramirez figuring prominently in some of the wild possibilities reported, there may have been a letdown that nothing totally crazy was done.

All in all, an entertaining time, if not necessarily a productive one for your favorite team.

Ken Williams, the White Sox's longtime general manager, added Jackson on Friday but went home empty-handed at the deadline to watch tSaturday night's game on television and ignore his cell phone for a while.

He said he has learned not to be bothered by misinformation floated on the Internet, radio and TV in the days and, especially, hours before the deadline.

"We're the beneficiaries," he said. "It drives the business. … Fans eat it up, you guys report it and I've come to accept it."

Finally, a chance to write what we know — the winners and losers in the deals and non-deals done in July.


1. Rangers: General manager Jon Daniels landed an early haymaker with his deal for the Mariners' Cliff Lee, but he wasn't satisfied. Despite the club's ongoing bankruptcy issues, he also found ways to add Jorge Cantu, Bengie Molina and Cristian Guzman and somehow held onto his stable of young power pitching prospects. The Angels and other AL teams can't be happy MLB allowed the Rangers to have this much flexibility.

2. Padres: In Ludwick and Tejada, they now have the firepower they lacked for much of the season and did nothing to disrupt the pitching that has allowed them to lead the NL West for all but five days since April 19.

3. Phillies: Oswalt got knocked around by the Nationals in his Philadelphia debut — while A.J. Happ won his debut for the Astros —but the addition of Oswalt could swing the NL East race the Phillies' way. He joins Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels to form a very nice 1-2-3 combination.

4. Braves: Some observers believe they added more than the Phillies by getting shortstop Alex Gonzalez on July 14 and following it up with the addition of Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel in a Saturday deal with the Royals.

5. Diamondbacks: There's a lot of value in knowing when you're going nowhere fast. Arizona made that recognition when it sacked GM Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch, and in salary-dump moves involving Haren, Jackson and Chris Snyder, landing good parts in Joe Saunders and Daniel Hudson especially. The Diamondbacks' farm system looks a lot better today than it did a month ago.


1. Brewers: Hello, Doug Melvin, Mark Attanasio. Is anyone home? It's hard to believe the Brewers, at eight games below .500 through Friday, could have sat out the deadline activity, but they did. Attanasio seems petrified about hurting his excellent home attendance, but Melvin knew a long time ago that he's not competing with this pitching staff. This was the time to aggressively shop Fielder and to trade Hart.

2. Angels: They are sinking into the West after adding Haren and Alberto Callaspo, and could have looked even worse if Derrek Lee had not blocked the deal that would have sent him there. How did they figure Haren would provide a lift when he essentially replaced Saunders? And despite a significant number of hitters being shopped, they left the lineup in essentially the same shape it has been in since Kendry Morales broke his leg in May.

3. Cardinals: By standing pat, the Reds got the better end in the battle at the top of the NL Central. The Cardinals added depth with Jake Westbrook. But he's a fringe guy and getting him cost them Ludwick, who has been invaluable at times. John Jay is hitting .396 in his first 48 games, but can he keep it up with the heat now on him?

4. Lee: Family should come first, but turning down the Angels to stay with the combusting Cubs was a bad long-term move for his potential value on the free-agent market. Will anyone take him seriously if he finishes fast in the race for fourth place?

5. Red Sox: They fell even further behind the Yankees and Rays, somehow failing to address their bullpen needs and adding only catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whose troubles prompted the Rangers to add Molina.

Driven to tears: Saunders was stunned the Angels traded him to the Diamondbacks. A former first-round pick and No. 2 starter in the 2009 ALCS, he broke down on camera in discussing how he was dealt for Haren.

"I don't know why," said Saunders, who lives in the Phoenix area. "I hadn't cried since I was really young. … I always thought the Angels were big on me."

Both Haren and Saunders are having down years. Saunders goes to Arizona alongside three other pitchers, including two good prospects — lefties Tyler Skaggs, a 2009 sandwich-round pick, and Patrick Corbin, who is a younger version of Saunders.

The last word: "To go to the playoffs you have to beat good pitching. They have Roy Oswalt, so what? … If you're sitting in this locker room, and you're thinking you have a chance to win a world championship, which we feel that we have a good enough team to [do], then you're going to have to beat good pitchers period. The best (pitchers)."

— Braves catcher David Ross.

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