The MLB Trade Deadline is generally a very busy time of year. It will generally include a couple of very big moves being made, and we saw that again this season. However, there were also a plethora of small moves made that will help contenders out.
Trevor Bauer to the Reds
This trade happened the day before the deadline, but boy was it a big one. In the deal, the Cleveland Indians received outfielders Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes, IF/OF Victor Nova and pitchers Scott Moss and Logan Allen while shipping off Trevor Bauer.
This was a fascinating deal. Cleveland is right in the thick of the playoff race and traded the player who’s probably been their second-best pitcher this season. However, they might not have gotten worse. They needed outfield help in the worst way and Puig and Reyes are both nice options.
Puig has obviously come with his issues, but he will be an upgrade in the outfield as the only reliable outfielder in Cleveland this season has been Oscar Mercado.
Reyes will also add power to a lineup that needs it. This is one of the more spotty lineups out of teams who are contenders, and now they have improved their offense with a powerful right-handed bat.
For Cincinnati, they add another pitcher to a team who already has a nice pitching staff. They will have another season of team control over him, although it will probably come with a hefty price tag, assuming he and the team go to arbitration.
They will now have probably the most underrated starting pitching staff going into next season in the National League with this move.
For San Diego, giving up Reyes is probably not something they wanted to do, but Taylor Trammell is a top-30 prospect in all of baseball and immediately becomes the third-ranked prospect in the San Diego system
All of the teams involved in this deal seem to have gotten something they wanted. We won’t know how this trade pans out for each team for a few more years, but in the short-term, it seems like a good move to be involved in for each team.
Rays Get Jesus Aguilar
Adding power to the lineup is a good thing for Tampa Bay. They have been in and out this season when it comes to consistent run production, and this will give them a much-needed right-handed bat that will likely go in the middle of the lineup.
If he can somewhat regain his form from last season, adding Aguilar will be a good move and really there’s no risk involved in this one.
Astros Get Martin Maldonado, Aaron Sanchez, Zack Greinke, and Joe Biagini
The Houston Astros were the surprise team of the deadline. Not because they were buyers, but because of who they got.
Martin Maldonado was just traded to the Cubs a couple of weeks ago and now he has been flipped to the Astros. This isn’t a monumental move, but adding Maldonado as a backup catcher to Robinson Chirinos is a very solid move.
The team was also able to get Blue Jays starter, Aaron Sanchez. This is a good, low-risk move by the team. Sanchez has really struggled the past two seasons to get back to the form that saw him win the ERA title in 2016, but he is still a talented pitcher. For that reason, and the fact that the Astros have Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and now Zack Greinke, make the high potential of Sanchez worth it.
Houston also swung a huge trade for Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke. This is a big one for obvious reasons. Greinke is in the latter part of his career, but he is still a very good pitcher. This season he has an ERA of 2.87, which is better than the 3.36 ERA he has posted in his 16 seasons in the league so far.
Zack Greinke still has a lot of money left on his contract that the Astros will be responsible for, however, the Diamondbacks are sending a healthy chunk of money to Houston to help with the remaining money on his deal.
Pairing Greinke with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole has put Houston as the favorites to win the World Series in a lot of people’s eyes. The front office has certainly done everything they can to give the players in the clubhouse everything they need to win.
In the last move, the team picked up Blue Jays pitcher Joe Biagini. This move won’t come with the hype that the Greinke trade did, but Biagini is having a nice season and while Houston has a flashy rotation, they did need bullpen help and while they still could’ve afforded to add more, this is a good move. Plus, Sanchez could come out of the bullpen in the postseason.
Nationals Get Daniel Hudson and Hunter Strickland
Washington needed to add to their bullpen if they want any chance of chasing the Braves down in the NL East, but even more so, if they want to put themselves in a great position to get one of the wild card spots.
They did help their bullpen out by getting Daniel Hudson. Hudson has been solid since transitioning to the bullpen about four years ago, and now he’s having his best season yet out of the bullpen.
Now Hunter Strickland has shown flashes of potential, but the production has not quite matched that. He will now be in a postseason race and that can always help someone get the best out of themselves.
Washington still doesn’t have the strongest bullpen, but it’s better after these moves.
Brewers Get Drew Pomeranz
Drew Pomeranz has been much better as a major league pitcher since coming out of the bullpen and now he is on the move.
Milwaukee needed to add starting pitching, but they may just be taking the same route as last season.
That is to load up the bullpen as much as possible and use that to counteract a lack of starting pitching depth.
Phillies Get Corey Dickerson
Philadelphia took a step towards improving their offense on deadline day by adding Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson.
The Phillies needed to add pitching at the deadline if they were going to make a serious run at a title, but improving their outfield is still a good move.
Dickerson is hitting .317 on the season.
Dodgers get Adam Kolarek, Jedd Gyorko
The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t make a big splash on deadline day, but they did go out and make two solid moves.
Adam Kolarek is a solid left-handed reliever and with the Joe Kelly experiment not working out this season, adding to the bullpen was a must as we passed the deadline if the Dodgers are going to finally get over the hump and win it all.
As for Jedd Gyorko. He is having a terrible season at the plate. However, he can play multiple defensive positions and he can do it at a solid level, which is exactly what the Dodgers love.
Don’t expect Gyorko to come in and have a huge impact on the offense. But what he does do is give them even more depth than they already have.
Braves Make Key Moves
Shane Greene, however, is a huge pickup. On a terrible Tigers team, Greene has been one of the more dominant closers this season. He has an ERA of 1.18 and he’s 22/25 on save opportunities this season.
Mark Melancon didn’t live up to his contract in San Francisco, but once he was taken out of the closer role, he was able to succeed in a setup role. Luckily for the Braves and Melancon, they won’t need him to be the closer on this team.
If Atlanta wants to make it to the World Series this season, adding to the bullpen was a must and they did a great job. Greene gives them a lockdown closer and Melancon gives them a solid setup man and deepens their bullpen.
Mike Leake has been up and down this season in Seattle and now he has a new home. Arizona is in the middle of a race for a wild card spot in the National League.
Leake is not a game-changing starter, but he is a quality pick up for cheap.
The team also traded Zack Greinke and in that deal, they were able to boost their farm system. They got Seth Beer as the main piece of the deal. He is a top-100 prospect.
The last piece of the deal was utility man Joshua Rojas. Rojas probably won’t turn into anything as he is already 25 years old, but he was part of this deal.
Cubs Get Nicholas Castellanos
Castellanos will not do much to improve the defense of the Cubs, but what he will do is give them a chance to be more consistent on the offensive end of the spectrum.
The outfielder was putting up huge numbers in a bigger Comerica Park and now he will be going to a generally more hitter-friendly Wrigley Field.
Castellanos is good at spraying the ball all over the yard and his spray chart will play well in Wrigley Field.
Giants Get Scooter Gennett
San Francisco has gotten themselves into the thick of the NL wild-card race and adding Gennett is a good move.
He’s not a household name, but he is a definite threat in the box and should help this offense, which is spotty at best, improve.
Twins Get Sam Dyson
Dyson has been very good over the past two seasons and for a team that needed bullpen help, this was a great under-the-radar pickup.
This move isn’t garnering headlines, but it was probably one of the better moves of deadline day.
The Minnesota bullpen has been the weakest link of their team so far this season, but the front office has taken huge steps in plugging the holes that existed out there.
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