The clock struck 4 p.m. on August 31st, and another trade deadline passed. It is always an interesting time frame across all professional sports leagues. Names and rumors begin piling up, players get on edge, and every team knows by now if they will be buyers or sellers. Different players have their auditions the week prior to generate some buzz, and teams either stand pat with their current squad or try to build for the upcoming postseason. At the beginning of the season, the talk amongst the town was that it would be a quiet deadline. It definitely wasn’t the most active, but a lot of moves took place. You can find the full list here.
It was quite an intriguing weekend of deals, with lots of surprises. The Red Sox became sellers. They shipped off Kevin Pillar, Mitch Moreland, Josh Osich, Brandon Workman, and Heath Hembree to clear room for the future. Cincinnati was thought to also be sellers, but they added relief pitcher Archie Bradley to improve their pitching and Marky Payton to bolster their outfield depth. The Cubs made some splashes too, adding Cameron Maybin, Jose Martinez, and Josh Osich.
Ultimately they were teams that drastically improved and others that did nothing to help their chances. Here are the biggest winners and losers of the deadline.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are not messing around this season. It is clearly World-Series or busts this year, and Padres GM, A.J. Preller knows that. They were very aggressive at the deadline. The team has made seven trades since July 1st, and five during this trade deadline buzz. San Diego landed reliever Trevor Rosenthal from the Royals, veteran lefty DH and 1B Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox, and surging catcher Austin Nola from the Mariners. The biggest name on their list was none other than Mike Clevinger from the Indians. The seven-player deal broke the news this morning and made San Diego a favorite for the playoffs.
The A’s have been quite a fiery team in 2020. They lead the AL West at 22-12 and have had great production from their team, from top to bottom. They made two moves which will further make them a competitive team for these upcoming playoffs. The team made two inter-division trades. They landed Mike Minor from the Rangers for two players to be named later, and $133,000 of international draft bonus pool money. Although he is not the Mike Minor of last year, he is still a nice pitching addition. They also got utility man Tommy La Stella from the Angels for Franklin Barreto. He will be slotted at 2nd base, and complete a very nice infield with counterparts Matt Olson, Marcus Semien, and Matt Chapman.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays already have an impressive core of young players, including Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, ad Travis Shaw. The team is only 1 game back from the Yankees, and 4.5 back from the Rays on top of the AL East. The team made some acquisitions that will immediately improve their team and possibly propel them into the postseason. They improved their rotation drastically by trading for Taijuan Walker (Mariners) and Robbie Ray (Diamondbacks). Slotting those guys in with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Shoemaker, and Chase Anderson, create nice depth in the rotation. Both starters were on the radar of a division rival, the Yankees, but Toronto swooped in and got them. They also landed utility infielder/outfielder Jonathan Villar, from Miami. He is having a nice little season, batting .272 with 2 home runs, 9 RBI’s, and 9 stolen bases. They also did not break the bank landing these guys. The team dished out Travis Bergen, Griffin Conine, and future considerations for the three. Overall, the Blue Jays went out and filled the needs of the team to help their chances in the expanded playoffs.
New York Yankees
All week, GM Brian Cashman stated that pitching was a need and that they would be seeking. They also stated that they were looking for some reinforcements in the batting department. They Yanks stood put and did not make an acquisition in either of those categories. Clevinger was a steep price, and it was smart for the team not to give up too much, especially with young pitching in the pipeline. The team did however miss on Robbie Ray, Mike Minor, Archie Bradley, Starling Marte, Andrew Chaffin, Mychal Givens, Trevor Rosenthal, and Tom Milone. They also could not make deals for Lance Lynn or Kevin Gausman. They acquired backup catcher Rob Brantly from the Giants, and relief pitcher Addison Russ from the Phillies, but those two players are not solutions for the fall. The team hopes for their injured players to be back soon, and to provide the push they so desperately need.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels yet again are disappointing and wasting another year of Mike Trout. The team finds themselves at 12-23, the bottom of the AL West. They shipped off Brian Goodwin, Gerardo Reyes, and Tommy La Stella. They kept Dylan Bundy but did not attempt to improve their team or the hopes to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
New York Mets
Ahh, the Mets. At least they made moves this deadline, unlike their cross-town rival, but were they the correct moves to help them win? The team swapped pitchers with the Baltimore, landed Miguel Castro for Kevin Smith. They also brought back an old friend in Todd Frazier from the Rangers. Also coming in from Texas is Catcher, Robinson Chirinos. These are all cute moves, but it does not help their depleted bullpen or necessarily make them any better.
Photo: Elite Sports NY
There are thirty days until the postseason begins. A lot can change in a season, especially to teams that have multiple double-headers in the near future to recover from postponed games. Let’s see if these new acquisitions help boost their new teams to high hopes come this fall.