Originally Posted by TDog
The Orioles also got a relief pitcher along with Chris Davis. It was considered a stupid deal for the Rangers long before the old pitcher the Rangers got didn't pitch particularly well in limited action. The Rangers could have picked up someone that could have given them what Uehara did for much less, and they could have gotten more for Davis. The people who OKed that deal probably don't want to make a similar mistake again.
It isn't just a matter of scouting well. It is a matter of scouting well and finding someone who the organization you're trading with has undervalued for whatever reason. The Rangers could have got more for Chris Davis, even if they internally questioned his future in the organization. Sometimes an organization believes it has scouted well but later discovers there was reason the acquired value came so cheaply.
Santos was worth pretty much what the Sox got for him. It was a matter of finding a player who had a chance to develop in their system. In two major league seasons as a reliever, Santos ceased being reliable in August, and he never pitched 70 innings in a season, anywhere. The Sox knew he was limited out of the bullpen. Other teams knew he was limited out of the bullpen. And I don't think Santos has pitched 10 major league innings since leaving the Sox. Like most trades, Santos for Molina failed to help either team.
It is true that teams have made dumb deals. So many teams have made dumb deals that increasingly more organizations are loathe to make similar mistakes in the future.
Fans look at the rare examples of solid future major leaguers who were acquired for aging veterans at the deadline and seem to believe that is what's out there. The truth is what is out there are your Nestor Molinas. The deals that don't return future major league stars are the rule. The big prospects going for relief pitchers are the exception.
Within the realm of the quality of prospects that teams would give for Santos, we chose poorly. We didn't pick someone we could develop...we picked someone that I assume we thought was developed; in reality, he was stunted and then declined (which is common). We didn't shop around. It wasn't good.
We did the same thing with the same team for Jackson, which makes me wonder a lot about what we were doing.
I agree that we have to find someone that another team undervalues. But that's always true, really. But it's hard to be impressed with the results of the Sox scouting other teams' farm systems in recent years.