Today there will be a lot of "winners and losers" columns discussing yesterday's deadline deals. Invariably, these first-out-of-the-gate pieces cast the teams who were the most active as the "winners" and the teams that stood pat as the "losers." Which is kind of silly, of course, because you really can't judge a deal -- one that happened or not -- for some time.
Take the Marlins, for example. They will probably be seen as a "loser" because they couldn't get the much-discussed deal for Ramirez done. My guess is that they'll even remain a "loser" in a mid-range analysis of this years' deals because it's my gut that they will fade from the race this year, and many will suggest that Manny the Marlin would have prevented that.
But if you read today's Miami Herald (and lots of other papers) you'll find that the deal breaker for Florida was Pittsburgh's insistence on one Mike Stanton being a part of the deal. No, not the old warhorse lefty reliever, but Mike Stanton the slugging prospect currently destroying Sally League pitching at the tender age of 18. His line right now: .272/.349/.553. Again, he's 18, and that's A ball, where the vast majority of the players are older than our boy Mike.
Manny Ramirez will probably be comfortably into his decline when Mike Stanton starts to make an impact in the majors. When that day comes, there's a good chance that people will get a chuckle at the fact that the Marlins nearly shipped him away, and the phrase "dodged a bullet" will be frequently employed. If the price of that is being called a "loser" by some columnist who doesn't know that baseball exists below the AAA level, I think the Marlins will gladly pay it.
Update: I notice that my friend Dayn Perry includes the Marlins in his "loser list," but I'm happy to note that it's not because they failed to pull the trigger on Manny. Rather, he notes that they overpaid for Arthur Rhodes and didn't address their catching problem. On those scores I agree.