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Perspective on the trade deadline

Austin Jackson may be missed, but like most hitters traded at the deadline he is underperforming

Austin Jackson celebrates with Dustin Ackley and James Jones after a Mariners victory over the Rangers on September 5, 2014
Austin Jackson celebrates with Dustin Ackley and James Jones after a Mariners victory over the Rangers on September 5, 2014
Tom Pennington

So you are frustrated about David Price not living up to the hype, with three losses and a 4.10 ERA? You are not comforted by his 2.58 FIP and 1.16 WHIP, but cannot forget a loss when he allowed only one hit?

And you are frustrated by the lack of a true center fielder in Detroit since the departure of Austin Jackson?

Many playoff contenders have been underwhelmed by the contributions of their trade deadline acquisitions.

Austin Jackson is triple-splitting .252 / .288 / .297 (68 OPS+) in Seattle. I think they were hoping he would reach base at least 30% of the time and use his speed, or hit for some power. He never performed so poorly at the plate in a season for the Tigers.

The trade deadline focus was on Oakland and Detroit, locked in an arms race to win the American League. The Athletics acquired Jonny Gomes in the Jon Lester deal, to help replace Yoenis Cespedes. While Gomes is still reaching base, his power has vanished with splits of .273 / .346 / .295 (86 OPS+).

The A's also traded for Sam Fuld to help in the outfield. Fuld is hitting .216 / .273 / .338 (73 OPS+) while playing all three outfield positions in Oakland. Be thankful that Dave Dombrowski did not pick him up to replace Jackson.

Maybe you had hoped for Emilio Bonifacio, whom Atlanta acquired to play center field as part of a super-utility role. Emilio is switch-hitting .238 / .274 / .288 (58 OPS+), while the Braves have fallen to contending for a wild card.

The Tigers are fighting Seattle for an American League wild card. The Mariners traded for Kendrys Morales to boost their offense, but he has underwhelmed Seattle with a .215 / .272 / .348 line (76 OPS+).

The Mariners also picked up Chris Denorfia, who has not kept pace with Austin Jackson or Kendrys Morales by hitting .206 / .299 / .398 (65 OPS+) while playing primarily right field.

Maybe you had hoped that Stephen Drew could be a veteran shortstop for the Tigers? The Yankees acquired him from Boston to play second base and provide Derek Jeter with occasional rest. Drew has delivered .133 / .218 / .256 (34 OPS+), a line only slightly better than Alex Gonzalez delivered in April and exceeded by Andrew Romine.

There are only a few position players who have met the hopes of their new playoff-contending clubs. Gerardo Parra was a quiet acquisition for Milwaukee and has delivered .305 / .345 / .439 (117 OPS+) in 33 games.

Asdrubal Cabrera has provided the Nationals with .248 / .329 / .432 (109 OPS+) and helped Washington run away with the National League East.

Danny Valencia's .269 / .299 / .398 (94 OPS+) would look good for a middle infielder, but the Blue Jays have him at third and first base where his typical production is only mildly helping their fight for a wild card.

The most impressive performance is Martin Prado's .298 / .322 / .509 (132 OPS+) in 31 games with the Yankees. It will likely not be enough to carry New York to the postseason, but it is keeping them in the discussion. Prado hit another home run last night helping the Yankees to a come-from-behind victory.

Perhaps the Tigers should have targeted Tony LaRussa's Arizona Diamondbacks at the trade deadline.

A review of pitchers who moved at the deadline will follow in part two.