The trade deadline has come and passed, and players all around the MLB are packing their bags and saying goodbye to their teammates. Not everyone is a winner though, many teams and players walk away from this deadline for the worse. Here are the winners and losers of this year’s trade deadline.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox may have traded most of their pitching staff, but is hard to call this a fire sale. They brought a bunch of established MLB players back by trading Jon Lester and John Lackey. Yoenis Cespedes has a hug ceiling, though he has only shown glimpses of it so far. It is definitely possible he could breakthrough now that he is playing in Fenway, as opposed to the run down football stadium, the A’s call home. Allen Craig is also a solid player, who is a clear improvement over Shane Victorino. Add in the fact Lester said he would consider coming back tom Boston in free agency, and Boston walk away huge winner of this deadline.
Landing David Price is huge, and they didn’t have to give up too much to get him. Losing Austin Jackson is tough, but his production is replaceable. Drew Smyly is a decent pitcher, but you are getting his replacement in Price, and Price is much better than Smyly obviously, so it pays off. A playoff rotation of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, David Price, and Anibal Sanchez is formidable, and will possibly give them the extra boost they need to win.
New York Yankees
The Yankees didn’t make any big deals, but that was probably the right thing to do. They in all likelihood aren’t going anywhere this year, and it isn’t worth wasting prospects and more money to try to make a desperate push to win it. Sometimes staying put and keeping your players is the right thing to do. Some Yankees fans won’t like it, but it will be worth holding onto Aaron Judge down the road when he is ready for the big league.
The A’s are clearly in win now mode after acquiring Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, and Jon Lester. We will not know if it pays off until the playoffs when we can see if they do win it, but if they don’t they could easily look like losers. It is a risk well worth taking though, as for too long they have settled for being a great regular season team, but never in the playoofs. They have always messed around with the Money Ball strategy, but it wasn’t working. Its nice to see them finally put their foot down and try to win. If they lose though, and Lester walks, this trade would look like a Steal for the Red Sox.
Of all the big deals that happened this deadline, very few of them involved top prospects changing teams. Most deals involved current MLB players, leaving the top rated prospects to stick with the team they have been playing for all along. Many prospects had their names thrown around in trades, but no one really pulled the trigger for them. This is a good sign because it means their current team clearly trusts tem and sees them as a big part of their future. The biggest name we saw move was Addison Russell, who gets to go to a Cubs team that looks like it could be impressive in a few years.
The Philadelphia Phillies
This Phillies team is done. Howard, Utley, and Rollins are not bringing the Phillies to anymore World Series. The Phillies really needed to improve their farm system this deadline, but failed to do so. Not a single trade, not a single prospect gained. Some moves can still be made off waivers, or in the offseason, but it is easy to see why Phillies fans have lost faith in the Front Office of this team. As a Phillies fan I personally know I went on a twitter tirade against Ruben Amaro and Phillies Owner David Montgomery. Phillies say they don’t want a complete fire sale because they don’t want to lose attendance, what they don’t realize is fans are already sick of many of the players on this team, and they want a fresh group of young players to root for. Phillies could be down for a while if they don’t get some young talent soon.
AL playoff teams
Between the Tigers and A’s rotations, hits may be tough to come by in the playoffs for other teams. On one side, you have the aforementioned Verlander, Scherzer, Price, and Sanchez, on the other side you have Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, and Jason Hammel. Baltimore, LA, and Toronto will have their hands full. None of them have a pitching staff good enough to match up to these guys in a pitching duel, so they will need to rely on their hitters beating some really tough pitchers. The Tigers and A’s are both no clear favorites going in the playoffs.
Pederson would normally be a player who was up in the big leagues right now. He has killed AAA this year, and looks to be a player who could have a 30/30 season. Unfortunately, the Dodgers outfield is clogged up with bloated contracts of aging stars. Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford have been terrible, and while Matt Kemp has picked it up lately, he has been a disappointment overall. Of course, Yasiel Puig has been great, but the other three have failed to impress in the other two outfield spots. Many thought one of them would be moved to make room for Pederson, but it wasn’t so. It looks like Pederson will have to wait a little while longer for his debut.
Tampa Bay Rays
They aren’t huge losers, because they needed to get something out of David Price, but they were probably hoping for a little bit more. Nick Franklin has potential, and Drew Smyly is a decent pitcher, but neither are anything special. They at least got something for Price, but it seems like it was only a compensation prize as opposed the haul a team would usually get for a pitcher of his caliber.