The MLB Deadline came and went yesterday as it capped off a flurry of trades that started right after the All-Star Game where the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado from Baltimore. He was the top market guy the whole time, only until the possibility of the Washington Nationals were considering having a fire sale of sorts which included the idea of trading Bryce Harper. It didn’t happen, but a lot of rumblings were going on the day before the deadline and again at the deadline until GM Mike Rizzo stated the Nationals would not move the talented superstar. But teams who needed help for the most part got help. So who won the deadline and who messed up?
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: The Dodgers won the Manny Machado sweepstakes and really did not destroy their farm in doing so. It was a decent package they sent to Baltimore including Yusniel Diaz, the 4th ranked Dodgers prospect and Rylan Bannon who has a lot of promise at third, as well as 3 other prospects. Los Angeles wasn’t done as they added second baseman Brian Dozier from the Twins. He’s had an off-year but is still an upgrade over Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley and maybe a move out of Minnesota was needed for him. The Dodgers also picked up John Axford, who evidently is a Timex Watch as he takes a licking but keeps on ticking. The pieces for the Dodgers that they gave up weren’t top prospects in their farm but they do have an excellent farm so they will be boosts for the Twins notably.
ATLANTA BRAVES: The Braves needed to get a starter, a couple of relievers, and another bat. Check. Now granted, it isn’t mind-boggling as the starter they got has been the talented but the very inconsistent Kevin Gausman as a starter while the relievers of Brad Brach and Jonny Venters isn’t exactly warming to Atlanta fans. However, many view Gausman leaving Baltimore is going to be the biggest jolt for the Braves while Brach when he is on his game is an excellent reliever. Venters returns to Atlanta after putting up solid numbers with the Rays. And Atlanta added Adam Duvall from Cincinnati. While not eye-popping, Duvall can hit the ball out of the park and SunTrust Park is a nice park to hit. It’s a good move and a relatively cheap move on all of them. The major piece in any of them was catching prospect Brett Cumberland going to the Orioles in the Gausman deal. A low-risk, high reward deadline for Atlanta if you ask me.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: The Orioles while didn’t get a heavy supply of top notch prospects from the Yankees, Braves, Dodgers, or Brewers, got good returns such as Diaz and Cumberland while getting pitching prospect Luis Ortiz in the Jonathan Schoop deal from Milwaukee. And I think the Orioles got a steal in getting Dillon Tate from the Yankees. It’s the right step forward and many will argue that not trading Adam Jones wasn’t a good idea, but you can’t just dump on them for that either. He’s earned his dues with the Orioles to treat him better than that. If Jones had wanted to get a trade, he would have. I think it says a lot about Jones.
TAMPA BAY RAYS: They traded Chris Archer, who is a good starter, but they got Austin Meadows in return from the Pirates. I think that’s a W for Tampa Bay. They added Tommy Pham in somewhat of a surprise move as the Cardinals have really waved the white flag for the 2018 season.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: I think many Phillies fans have to be disappointed they came up short in the Machado sweepstakes, but I also think the situation they are in is a little different than the Dodgers situation as Los Angeles knows this is their window. Philadelphia was playing it safe, not trying to forfeit their future for a possible rental like Machado. They opted instead to get Asdrubal Cabrera at a low cost and Wilson Ramos at a low cost (player to be named and cash). I think it was a good move to keep ahead of Atlanta for now.
NEW YORK METS: Asdrubal aside, the Mets did nothing with their roster of veterans who have pretty much struggled this whole season. And instead of replenishing the farm to get a return for a Zack Wheeler and others, the Mets stood pat. Dumb move for a team really going nowhere and now in what is a very tough division with the Braves and Phillies and if they get it going, the Nationals. They have to re-visit the idea of trading away the likes of Syndergaard and deGrom.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: Yes, I know they got Mike Moustakas. I know they got Jonathan Schoop. But the Brewers failed once again in getting a front end guy. Granted there wasn’t a lot out there and Milwaukee has a decent farm system. They could have made a good offer for either Syndergaard or deGrom. Or use one of those prospects they sent for JA Happ. But look, the National League winners will be decided by starting pitching. And that’s where the Brewers lag behind the Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies, and Braves. And that is where they would fall short in October too. They needed to make a move now for the past year to get a front end guy and so far they have come up very short.
CLEVELAND INDIANS: They made a splash after the break with landing Brad Hand, but they gave up a top 15 prospect in baseball in Francisco Mejia. It was a bit dumbfounding Cleveland would do that. And then the Tribe, while in talks for getting a jolt in the outfield with the likes of Jones, Andrew McCutchen, and even Bryce Harper, got Leonys Martin. Martin is having a solid year in Detroit, but nothing like the others. Its kind of a letdown to think about it like that.
NEW YORK YANKEES: They added Britton, Happ, and Lance Lynn. But they gave up some good players like Tyler Austin (in the Lynn Trade), Billy McKinney & Brandon Drury in the Happ trade and then Dillon Tate in the Britton trade. And you have to think that all of the players the Yankees got are not exactly sure locks to propel the Bombers ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East. If anything, if those three fail it will look very bad. That said, if Britton, Happ, and Lynn turn back to what they were just a couple of years ago, oh boy.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS: It seemed like the days leading up to the deadline Washington would be sellers which would include the likelihood of Bryce Harper being moved. However, the Nationals held back and said no go and try to make a big run the rest of the way. Good idea since the Phillies and Braves haven’t made that big run to send them out of the division race, but the team many view is fractured. If it continues the up-and-down trend the Nationals may still sell in the waiver deadline, but it will be tougher. And it may be an opportunity missed.
We will still see more trades until September, but it will be trickier, but so far these are the teams that I think have made the biggest splash, good or bad at the deadline.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat