Winners And Losers Of The MLB Trade Deadline

Eric Urbanowicz
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Major League Baseball’s trade deadline has come and passed. In a year that saw nearly every team make at least one deal, several found new homes and several prospects gained new opportunities.

Naturally, after an event like this, there’s bound to be winners and losers. Some teams set themselves up for either the near or long-term future, while others made head scratching moves. Who did what? Let’s see.


Winner – San Diego Padres

Let’s start with probably the most obvious and clear cut winner of the trade deadline, San Diego. Grabbing first baseman Josh Bell, infielder Brandon Drury and pitcher Josh Hader alone were winning moves for them. However, adding outfielder Juan Soto skyrocketed this team’s stock even further.

Soto, on paper, makes this team even scarier and another layer of threat to this line up. These were the types of moves they needed to really compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and if all goes according to plan, it may push them past Los Angeles.


Loser – Los Angeles Dodgers

A year removed from their epic trade deadline where they acquired pitchers Max Scherzer and Danny Duffy, as well as shortstop Trea Turner, they didn’t do much. A few deals were made, such as acquiring reliever Chris Martin from the Chicago Cubs and a few prospects for small pieces, but nothing really substantial.

The one big move they made was trading their fifteenth best prospect, Clayton Beeter to the New York Yankees for struggling outfielder Joey Gallo. Los Angeles has a commanding lead in the National League west but to make these types of deals knowing that San Diego just loaded up is head scratching. Restocking the minors at this time could bite then on the butt ultimately, especially if they have two teams like the Padres and the Houston Astros in the playoffs or World Series.


Winner – New York Yankees

New York did what Los Angeles should have done, added pieces to solidify their roster despite being amongst the best teams in baseball. Acquiring outfielder Andrew Beintendi and pitchers Scott Effross, Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino, while trading Gallo should do wonders for the Bronx Bombers.

The one move that was questionable was trading pitcher Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader. Bader hasn’t really played this year, and giving up a young pitcher with a lot of potential is one that’s hard to understand. Still, four to one is still favorable for New York.


Loser – Baltimore Orioles

Like the Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles aren’t doing well in the American League East but are within striking distance of the Wild Card. Unlike Boston, they were sellers, rather than buying and selling.

Trading away All-Star closer Jorge López wasn’t great but was expected. It was first baseman Trey Mancini that really got to Baltimore fans, especially after they stuck with him throughout his bout with cancer in 2020. This is the type of move that demoralizes both the team and fan base, which is just another reason why they were featured in our piece “Which Organizations Need To Press The Reset Button?”


Winner – Philadelphia Phillies

Ever since firing manager Joe Girardi back in June, Philadelphia has rebounded nicely. Now that they’re firmly in the wild card race, they had to buy, and buy they did. Grabbing pitchers Noah Syndergaard and David Robertson as well as outfielder Brandon Marsh are upgrades that could go a long way in their pursuit of the playoffs.

Philadelphia will face a declawed Washington Nationals team 11 times in the last two months of the season and have one of the easiest strengths of schedules remaining. At the pace they’re going, they should be able to punch a ticket into the playoffs.


Loser – Chicago Cubs

Chicago held onto catcher Wilson Contreras and infielder Ian Happ, while moving Robertson, Effross, Martin and pitcher Mychal Givens. The question that remains is why?

Chicago has been dreadful this season and were in a great position to pick up some much needed top prospects, only to not pull the trigger on deals. It’s easy to question if manager David Ross should be the manager next year, it may be even easier now to question if Jed Hoyer should remain the President of Baseball Operations.

Trey Mancini gets traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers
Photo courtesy of Dodger Way


Winner – Houston Astros

Houston is the one team that could realistically be seen as beating the juggernaut that is the New York Yankees right now. Adding Mancini, catcher Christian Vazquez and pitcher Will Smith should go a long way in helping Houston get back to the World Series. On paper, Houston is still a powerhouse and realistically should still be seen as one of the favorites to win it all.


Loser – Colorado Rockies

Remember at the beginning of this article when it was stated that nearly every team made at least one trade? That’s because 29 of the 30 teams in baseball made at least one trade in the lead up to the deadline. The one team that didn’t, was the Colorado Rockies.

Despite having a wealth of players to trade and the ability to acquire some much needed prospects, they opted to sign 31-year old pitcher Daniel Bard to an extension while staying out of the trade deadline. They’re in last place in the National League West and are far behind in the wild card race.

Several names that are impending free agents such as outfielder Charlie Blackmon, shortstop Jose Iglesias and most of their starting rotation could have been dealt to really sure up their farm system. Now they have to watch as this team continues to burn and reap no rewards for any of it. What a pity.

Eric Urbanowicz


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