Last week’s non-waiver trade deadline offered no shortage of excitement – who was buying, who was selling. Which team was going to add that all-important piece to push them over the top come October. I was flying on Monday and had the experience of turning my phone back on just minutes past the 4 PM EST deadline. All at once I received a flurry of notifications alerting me to the historic date. A total of 18 deals were made across the Majors – the highest total since 1995. Here’s a look at the teams that I think made the most significant additions/subtractions at the deadline.
Current leaders of the NL West, the Dodgers made some significant moves at the deadline picking up two significant pieces from Oakland – LHP Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick.
Hill is having a great year sporting a 9-3 record and a 2.25 ERA. He’ll be an important arm in the Dodgers rotation down the stretch, especially since they’re still without their ace Clayton Kershaw. In Reddick, they picked up a great middle-of-the-order bat who also
plays great defense. He’ll probably be seeing a wealth of time in right field with the recent demotion of Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers did give up three pitching prospects in Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes and Jharel Cotton in the deal. It should also be noted that the Dodgers also acquired Jesse Chavez from the Blue Jays. He’ll provide some versatility whether being used in the rotation or out of the bullpen.
It’s an even-numbered year so even before ‘pitchers and catchers’ we all knew that the Giants were going to be in the hunt. They acquired two lefties at the deadline, reliever Will
Smith from Milwaukee and Matt Moore from Tampa Bay. Moore was one of the most sought after arms available this season and is now part of an already formidable rotation out west. This deal though did not come without some sacrifice on the part of the Giants. They dealt away Matt Duffy, who finished second in last year’s NL Rookie of the Year Award voting, and their No. 1 prospect in righty Phil Bickford. If their even year magic holds up then the price will have been well worth the reward. Stay tuned…
Until a couple of weeks ago, the Yankees were unsure whether they were going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline. A weekend sweep at the hands of the last place Rays seemed to make that decision much easier and for the first time since 1989 they were sellers. The Yankees went ahead and dismantled arguably the strongest part of their team – the back-end of their bullpen. They traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Andrew
Miller to the Indians leaving just Dellin Betances as their closer. They also traded away Carlos Beltran to the Rangers. They still came out as winners as they received a king’s ransom in prospects. Clint Frazier came to the Yankees in the deal for Miller and it’s been said that the kid has already got a major league-ready bat with his bat speed being referred to as ‘legen-wait for it-dary.’ When all was said and done they received three top-100 prospects (Frazier, Justus Sheffield and Gleyber Torres) and now have the second ranked farm system in baseball. They also still hold onto a [very] slim chance of the second wild card spot (5.5 games out as of 8/5) but GM Brian Cashman has exceeded expectations by making the Yankees younger and more athletic; a goal that should’ve happened years ago.
The Rangers made some moves with October baseball in mind. They got two of the hottest commodities out there in catcher Jonathan Lucroy and outfielder Carlos Beltran. The
Lucroy deal is a bit of a controversy in that it came after the catcher invoked his no trade clause on a deal that would have sent him to Cleveland. The Rangers won him by sending over two of their top three prospects but the Rangers still got a good deal. Lucroy is still basically under team control for 2017 with a very modest $5.25M team option in his contract.
At age 39 Carlos Beltran is having a very good year and should also help fill some of the offensive void left Shin-Soo Choo and Prince
Fielder. The Rangers are now right up there with the Indians as favorites to come out of the American League this season.