The MLB trade deadline came and went on Friday, but unlike in past years we saw some real fireworks. Usually the deadline will involve one or two big news if we\’re lucky. However this year massive deals were being made left and right. This made for great entertainment for neutral fans while fanbases of selling teams might beg to differ. That being said some teams came out as clear winners while others will wish they did some more. So let\’s jump into who had a good Friday and who would like a redo.
Winner #1 NL West race
The three teams fighting for the division crown out west all made moves during the deadline. None was bigger than the Dodgers snatching Max Scherzer from underneath the Padres nose at the last minute. Up until Thursday night, it seemed that Scherzer was headed to San Diego, but the dodgers swooped in with an offer the Nationals couldn\’t refuse. The Dodgers also got all star shortstop Trea Turner in the deal as well. It was a blockbuster deal that was a statement of intent from LA.
Meanwhile, the current division leaders, San Francisco, completed a big trade themselves securing the services of Kris Bryant from the Cubs. Bryant immediately improves their offense as well as their defense. Most importantly he can play multiple positions giving them flexibility with players being injured. The Padres didn\’t make a splash compared to the other two, but they weren\’t quiet either. Grabbing bullpen help as well as the versatile Jake Marisnick are the type of under the radar moves that make a huge impact later on. With all three teams putting their chips in the middle it will be fun to see how it all plays out.
Loser #1 Players left behind
While many players were getting shipped off to contending teams not everyone was so lucky. For months there was speculation as to where Trevor Story would get traded to. Yet when the deadline came and went he was still in Colorado. Story was obviously frustrated by the lack of movement and will have to play the rest of the season with the Rockies. It is a bit of a curious move on the Rockies part to not trade the star shortstop considering he\’s a free agent at season\’s end. Either way it makes for an awkward two months in Colorado.
The other player that was left behind was Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals. While he was never in danger of being traded, the rest of his running mates were. Just two years after winning the world series the Nationals decided to blow it up. Turner, Scherzer, Schwarber, Harrison and a few others all were shipped out. Soto is now the only marquee name on the roster and will feel what it\’s like to not have much help. He, like National fans will hope for a quick rebound instead of a lengthy rebuild.
Winner #2 AL East Race
The NL West wasn\’t the only division to make a splash as four of the five teams in the AL East made moves. The Yankees came out swinging at the deadline grabbing Gallo and Rizzo. The pair finally gives the Yankees some power hitting lefties that will benefit from their home ballpark. The division might be out of reach, but the Yankees are suddenly the wild card team no one wants to play. Toronto secured the services of Jose Berrios who was the second best pitcher on the market. Getting Berrios greatly helps a pitching staff that was a pretty big weakness to this club.
Boston probably could\’ve done more during the deadline, but grabbing Schwarber isn\’t a bad get. Boston fans were hoping for a first basemen, but Schwarber can mash with the best of them. The Rays grabbed Nelson Cruz and were routinely linked to some of the big names on market. Tampa eventually decided to bet on their team and add only a few complementary pieces. All this will add up to a very fun two months in the AL East.
Loser #2 Selling team\’s fanbases
It\’s never easy seeing your team being a seller on deadline day especially when they completely clean house. For Nationals and Cubs fans this became a reality. Household names that fans grew up with were shipped out left and right. National fans saw the team that just won the world series two years ago decimated. The decision to blow it up makes sense, although the NL East was and is still up for grabs. Either way fans will have to learn about some new players moving forward.
Same for Cub fans who saw the core that finally ended their 100+ year drought scattered to different teams. Unlike National fans the Chicago faithful shouldn\’t be surprised by this. The writing was on the wall with several of the core members eligible for free agency at season\’s end. Cub fans will always have the memories of that world series championship, but it doesn\’t make the fire sale any easier.
Winner #3 Chicago White Sox
While the north side of Chicago was in mourning the south side was busy being a winner of this deadline. The White Sox basically stole Cesar Hernandez from Cleveland in what was clearly a salary dump. Hernandez fills a hole in second base left by Madrigal after he suffered a season ending injury. The White Sox then turned around and grabbed Ryan Tepera and Craig Kimbrel to solidify their bullpen. The additions give the White Sox arguably the best bullpen in baseball. With the AL Central being particularly weak this year these moves were all about gearing up for October. With the AL East swinging massive deals and the Astros in the West we best not forget about the White Sox. Oh and seeing their crosstown rival cubs blow everything up had to feel good as well.
Loser #3 Fanbases hoping to make a splash
Coming into the deadline, fanbases of the Cardinals, Mariners, Reds and the A\’s were hoping for something to get excited for. Once the dust settled, all four fanbases were in different levels of disappointment. The A\’s basically stood pat and watched everyone around them get better. Perhaps closing the gap with the Astros was a bit too much, but surely they could\’ve fought for a wild card spot. The Mariners basically swapped closers and grabbed another promising MLB player. The moves scream more we\’re planning for next year than ending our lengthy playoff drought.
The Cardinals gave up three players under the age of 30 for a pitcher with an era above 6 and another veteran who has seen better days. Both players will most likely leave as free agents in 3 months time. The Reds watched the trade deadline like the rest of us perhaps forgetting that they could participate. Several divisions got more fun, but you can\’t say the same about the NL Central or the AL West. For those four fanbases they have a legitimate reason to be disappointed after the deadline.