The MLB trade deadline came and went, but not before becoming one of the busiest and interesting deadlines in MLB history. The final day provided us with 19 different trades, which put a juicy bow on what had already been a season of wheeling and dealing. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers.
WINNER: TEXAS RANGERS
The Texas Rangers (62-44) were already a contender for the AL pennant heading into August 1st. By trading for catcher Jonathan Lucroy, DH Carlos Beltran, and closer Jeremy Jeffress, they’ve nearly cemented a deep playoff run. While the Rangers have put themselves into prime position this year, ownership was able to hold onto their top tier young talent in Nomar Mazara,Jurickson Profar, and Joey Gallo. Even though they had to give up their top prospects to land these players, for a team that has yet to win a title in 55 years of existence, the time to win is right now. It would have been great if they were able to acquire another starter for that suspect rotation, but the offensive talent they pulled in puts them in my winners bracket.
LOSER: HOUSTON ASTROS
The Houston Astros (56-49) were considered favorites in the AL West this year despite their collapse in the post season last October. They followed that up with an abysmal start to the 2016 campaign, yet an impressive stretch to the All-Star break. And then, when division, and in-state rival Texas, made arguably the biggest moves on deadline day, the Astros did nothing. This all follows a sweep at the hands of the Tigers just the day before, pushing them 5.5 games behind the Rangers, and 2.5 games out of a wildcard spot. It’s going to be tough for the Astros to keep up in the division now, and the wildcard race is as tight as ever.
WINNER: NEW YORK YANKEES
Where do you even start with the Yankees (53-52), the most interesting .500 baseball team of all time. The Yankees had pieces to move and stole the show. By trading away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, and Carlos Beltran; Brian Cashman and co. have created the top prospect pool in baseball. Now with 7 prospects in the top 100, and 4 of those in the top 30, the Yankees look poised heading into the future. You know when the last time the Yankees had a prospect pool this deep was? The early 90’s, and we all know how that turned out for the pinstripes.
LOSER: NEW YORK METS
The Mets (54-51)needed to make a push for a big bat at the deadline. Offense has been an anomaly for New York who rank at a miserable 28th in runs per game (2.9 per game since the all-star break). So with hopes of another Cespedes like impact, Sandy Alderson went out and acquired the RBI league leader (80) Jay Bruce from the Reds. With this move though, the Mets now have a classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen. 5 Corner outfielders have now created a log jam that could very well stifle the development of Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo, who we are made to believe are the future of the franchise. All the while, ignoring the gaping holes at catcher, center field, and a lackluster bullpen. Not to mention, the Mets were forced to move future big leaguer Dilson Herrera, who the Mets were so confident in, they decided to let Daniel Murphy a.k.a “The Met Killer” walk. The offense is in dire need of revitalization, and Bruce is more than capable of doing that, but the situation in the outfield just got really messy.
WINNER: CHICAGO CUBS
Yeah, best team in baseball (64-41), goes out and addresses the one position there was concern in, by grabbing a closer that throws 105 mph. Not a lot more to say.
WINNER: CLEVELAND INDIANS
Having Andrew Miller under control for the next two years is huge for a team that has win-now talent. And it seems as if the Indians (60-43) are looking to keep the championship trend going that the Cavs started. Now with one of the best rotations in baseball, a top tier defense, and now one of the best closers in the game, the Indians are looking good heading into the home stretch and are considered the team to beat in the AL.
LOSER: YASIEL PUIG
For a guy that was touted as one of the top players in the league a couple years ago, the fall of Puig is reminiscent to that of the Roman Empire. After the Dodgers traded for outfield Josh Reddick, Puig was thrown on the trading block for a bag of balls, and when nobody bit, the Dodgers shipped him down to their AAA affiliate Oklahoma City. Puig needs a change of scenery in the worst way, and nobody seems to want to give him that shot.
LOSER: CHICAGO WHITESOX
Ownership has consistently hinted at a rebuild for the struggling White Sox (51-54), yet the team was left untouched with the exception of reliever Zach Duke who went over to St. Louis. While it seems smart to hold onto Chris Sale and Jose Quintana and their team friendly contracts, you have to commit to a rebuild if you are to go in that direction. Sale would have been the move of the deadline had he been dealt. And for a team that has little to no hitting depth in the minor leagues, the ace pitcher could have fetched a steep return of some top prospects. But for now, the White Sox seem to be content being a middling team. Just keep Sale away from those throwback jerseys.
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