- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
One of my favorite trade deadline baseball clichés is "sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make." Indeed, fans and media clamor at this time of year for teams to make trades, but regardless of how compelling a trade proposal or rumor might be, doing nothing sometimes is a general manager’s strongest play.
I remember at the 2006 trade deadline, most of the media and the Washington Nationals’ fan base was calling for me to trade Alfonso Soriano. The best offers I had for Soriano were from the Seattle Mariners -- who offered me hard-throwing reliever Mark Lowe -- and the Minnesota Twins -- who offered right-handed starter Kevin Slowey.
In the end, I felt the best thing for the team was to hold on to Soriano, who eventually left via free agency and signed with the Chicago Cubs. Meanwhile, Lowe ended up blowing out his elbow and Slowey has been little more than a fringe starter. The draft pick compensation the Nationals received? It turned out to be the pick used to select right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, now one of Washington’s best pitchers.
Look, no fan wants to hear his/her team is going to just “stand pat,” but that’s exactly what these five teams should do in the next 72 hours.