Before we dive into this, I just want a little disclaimer that I am not going to go as deep into this as I normally would because later this afternoon, Jordan and I will be doing a special Post-MLB Trade Deadline edition of The Report. Check back in for that.
So the MLB Trade Deadline has come and go and, like always, it did not disappoint. We saw a multitude of deals that will help teams not only now, but in the playoffs as well. Lets get into the winners and losers of this MLB Trade Deadline....
1. New York Yankees
Shocker, right? Most MLB analysts have agreed that the New York Yankees surprisingly stole the show this week during the Trade Deadline. The Yankees were able to trade away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova for a plethora of prospects. Prior to this week, the Yankees were an aging, irrelevant organization that did not have a clear-cut identity. Were they a buyer or a seller? A contender or a pretender? They had a couple of great pieces, like Miller and Chapman, but did not possess the key pieces to make a run in the American League East.
Now, they have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball and have the financial flexibility to be extremely relevant in the next few years, when guys like Manny Machado, Jose Fernandez, and Bryce Harper are slated to hit free agency. . Because the Yankees are the Yankees, they had trouble admitting that they were not a contender this season. Fortunately, GM Brian Cashman took advantage of a very thin trade market and fleeced a few teams. Well done.
2. Texas Rangers
Before the Trade Deadline, the Texas Rangers were suffering from an identity crisis as well. Sure, they are leading the American League West by six games over the Houston Astros, but could they actually threaten the Cleveland Indians in the American League? Well, they sure as hell can now. The Rangers were able to acquire two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy and closer Jeremy Jeffress from the Milwaukee Brewers, as well as veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran from the New York Yankees.
Like the Red Sox, the Rangers possess one of the deepest farm systems in all of baseball, which allowed them to be serious buyers on the open market. Furthermore, the Rangers were able to pull off these trades while keeping top prospects Joey Gallo, Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz. Not too shabby.
3. Oakland Athletics
Strange, right? The Athletics only made one transaction, but were able to make the most of it, sending Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers for some highly touted pitching prospects. Like the aforementioned teams, the Dodgers feature one of the better farm systems in all of baseball. With a 59-46 record and only two games back of the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West, the Dodgers deserved some backup after fighting off a Clayton Kershaw injury.
However, the price did not come lightly, as the Athletics were able to land pitching prospects Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton. Holmes and Cotton are two highly regarded pitching prospects, while Frankie Montas, who was formerly with the Red Sox, has not played yet this season but still has some value in an organization. In typical Beane fashion, he traded two rental players that he was not going to be able to re-sign for a couple of the best arms in the Dodgers' system.
Honorable Mentions: Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers
1. Houston Astros
The Astros, like the Red Sox, were in on almost everyone. Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran were just a couple of the names that were rumored to be on the Astros' radar, but, unfortunately, they were not able to land a big fish. With the Rangers' big day, the Astros had to make a counter-move to keep up with the pace of the American League West. They struck out multiple times, and appear to be compliant with packing it in this season if they cannot threaten for a wild card spot.
However, with so many young players and prospects, the Houston Astros are in a good position to be in the hunt for multiple seasons.
2. Boston Red Sox
Look, I know many people just wanted them to get a lefty bullpen arm, and they were able to get that with Fernando Abad, but I was hoping for at least one other move, even if it was for a bench piece for some added depth in the outfield. The Red Sox were rumored to be in on Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Lucroy, and almost every member of the Chicago White Sox. A big win is that top prospects Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi are still in the Red Sox organization, but I still see major issues at the top-end of this rotation that I would have loved to see addressed. Additionally, according to President of Baseball Ops, Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox have decided to call up #2 ranked prospect Andrew Benintendi. He will be available for the game tonight, and the plan is to have him in the starting lineup tomorrow. If you think that it is just a coincidence that Benintendi is called up the day after the Trade Deadline, then I have a bridge to sell you. Nonetheless, this certainly softens the blow of not acquiring anyone at the Deadline.
While a deal for Chris Sale or Jose Quintana was certainly unlikely, it would have been nice to see a clear-cut #1 at the top of this rotation. Hopefully the Red Sox and White Sox had some productive conversations that can be continued into the offseason and Winter Meetings when the price hopefully drops.
3. Baltimore Orioles
While the Baltimore Orioles are right in the thick of things in the American League East, like the Red Sox, they are in desperate need for pitching in any capacity. Unfortunately, they were only able to add former Mariners hurler Wade Miley, who is now on his fourth team in three years. While Miley is a horse and will be able to eat up innings for the Orioles, he features an ERA that is close to 5 and will not be able to compliment Chris Tillman at the top of the rotation.
With the Red Sox and Blue Jays right there in the American League East, look for the Orioles to start to falter down the stretch, as, like the Red Sox, they will not be able to mash their way to a World Series.
Honorable Mentions: Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers