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This year’s MLB season is already crazy with it being shortened due to COVID-19 and what seems like the ever-changing tide of momentum. Teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays seemed to sleep through the trade deadline due to their rosters being fairly balanced with no real holes. Others stood pat with the hopes that what they have will be enough to make a push at the postseason.
Let’s see which teams ruled the day and which teams got a little too overzealous.
Toronto Blue Jays Grab the Bullpen by the Horns
The Blue Jays had a pretty solid team going into the August 31st trade deadline. Ross Atkins knew if they wanted to compete with the Yankees and Rays they had to be more than just solid.
The acquisition of former Arizona Diamond Backs lefty Robbie Ray gives the Blue Jays a solid starter with elite level strikeout ability. In a division where you face Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Xander Bogaerts, you need an ace on the mound. Ray has the third most strikeouts in the MLB since 2017. Though he has struggled this year, I expect him to return to form with Toronto.
Ray was just the tip of the iceberg as the Blue Jays also added strong-armed starter Ross Stripling, which cripples the Dodgers in the National League. Adding Infielder Jonathan Villar was just overkill but it solidifies the Toronto Blue Jays as a winner of the trade deadline.
Vamanos mi Com-Padres
Is it possible to become the best team in baseball virtually overnight (or between 10am and 4pm ET)? If it is, the San Diego Padres found the formula. Dealing for Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger and out fielder Greg Allen while only giving up one top five prospect is highway robbery.
San Diego is already stacked in the batting rotation with Fernando Tatís Jr. and Manny Machado but adding Allen to that lineup should give them good depth if one goes down. Also, getting first basemen Mitch Moreland off the Boston Red Sox is a undeniably the best move of the trade deadline. His .328 batting average and eight home runs will make this already lethal batting squad scary for even the most cold-blooded pitchers.
Catcher Jason Castro, who may be one of the best pitch framers in baseball from the Angels, joins the team as well. Those moves make the Padres a real dark horse to make a magical World Series run.
The Padres weren’t flashy but they got better with the moves they made. That’s a win at any trade deadline if I’ve ever seen one.
Yankees “Know When to Hold’em and When to Fold’em”
Many expected the New York Yankees to make some splash moves at the deadline to land some bullpen help. That wasn’t the case as the pinstripes stood pat.
Most of the deals just didn’t sit right within the Yankees brass as starting pitcher Deivi Garcia was a commodity New York wasn’t willing to part ways with. Garcia carved up the New York Mets in his debut and looked like part a Major League ace-future Cy Young Winner.
Plus, in a pandemic shortened season where “rental” players don’t have the same allure, the Yankees were smart not to mortgage the roster to get a big name. This is a team that is pretty much a playoff lock barring a steep skid.
This may be the only team that can be said they won by not making a single move.
The Cubs come out of hibernation
The Chicago Cubs are not normally big movers at the trade deadline, which is why the moves they made surprised
Like many teams, they had an underwhelming bullpen, so what did they do? They went and picked up two southpaws in pitchers Andrew Chafin from Arizona and pitcher/outfielder Andrew Osich from Boston. Each brings a live arm but Osich is the gem of this haul. His versatility to play in the outfield or on the mound will pay off for Chicago.
Outfielder Cameron Maybin is looking to recapture his Yankees form, and Chicago would love to see him do so. Maybin’s ability to hit with power as well as track balls in the outfield can make the Cubs a real contender, definitely at this point in the season.
Jeter made the Marlins the Marlins….?
If you take a turbo charged V6 out of a sports car and drop a naturally aspirated V10 in it, it’s still the same car. That’s basically what Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins did.
Trading away speedy infielder Jonathan Villar and getting power slugging outfielder Starling Marte didn’t change the outlook of the team at all. Not to mention, Marte’s $12.5M team option that the Marlins will have to absorb if he is on the roster next season. The Marlins also received a legacy player in outfielder Griffin Conine, son of Marlin great Jeff Conine.
That was just the icing on the cake as the younger Conine has yet to crack a batting rotation on a major league team. It just seems like Miami wanted to join in the party and had no real plan for the moves made.
You’ve Met them once, don’t Met them again
You don’t get re-married to your ex cause their unhappy when you asked for the divorce. It’s the New York Mets so what else do you expect from them.
Trading for third baseman Todd Frazier who was on the roster just last year just doesn’t make sense. 31 games into the season with the Rangers Frazier is batting an embarrassing .119 on 42 at bats. That’s horrible yes but why the Mets rescued the Rangers is harder to figure out.
If Frazier continues to stink up the place and the Mets don’t make the postseason, Mets fans may just burn their side of New York down.
Arizona helps the League
I don’t know if the D-Backs lost their minds or not but they definitely lost their roster at the deadline.
Arizona literally got rid of everything that wasn’t bolted to the floor in the clubhouse, including the drapes. Players like pitcher Archie Bradley, pitcher/outfielder Josh Osich and outfielder Starling Marte were all dealt for players that are band-aids at best. I’m sure there is a good reason for each player to be traded but in an abbreviated season, you would think a team would want to hold on to something.
As of right now, pitcher Madison Bumgarner is the only bright spot on the roster. Unless one of the players received becomes an All-Star ,the Diamondbacks sabotaged their team.
This is just some of the Major League’s trade deadline winners and losers. Next season brings so much more drama and another chance at another frenzy. Until then, we will have to see how these player perform in their new homes.