This trade deadline was crazy, but not in ways that others have been. This deadline revolved around guys that we couldn’t believe there would be takers on. This deadline also set the price extremely high for pitchers and relievers, and saw some big-time prospects be traded.
I know this column is going up two days after the deadline. Most guys moved have already made their debuts, but its not like two games will determine the outcome of the trade. Most of these are made for October, when it really matters.
Anyways, here we go!
Cubs get: Aroldis Chapman
Yankees get: Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren, Billy McKinney, Rashad Crawford
This was a very predictable trade. We knew the Cubs would make some kind of splash when it came to adding bullpen, which is their only issue this season. Getting Aroldis Chapman is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There’s no one like him in the league. I thought he was the more important asset than Andrew Miller (more on him later), and the haul the Yankees got proves that.
When the report of this trade was making its way through Twitter (It took an extremely long time to be processed.), I thought it’d be Gleyber Torres straight up. There was no way in my mind that the Cubs would be forced to give up anything else. But we tend to underrate Brian Cashman. He’s a really good GM, and is just under the shadow of his owners, forcing him to always make big moves. But this trade made Hal Steinbrenner look smart, thanks to Cashman.
Torres and Billy McKinney were two top five prospects of the Cubs. People, including me, thought it was way too much to give up. But, at the same time, consider a couple things.
- Its not like the Cubs have any prospects they need to call up. McKinney and Torres weren’t needed, now or down the road. The Cubs are so stacked that these prospects never would’ve had a chance in Chicago
- People made the arguement that, if you’re going to give up two prospects like Torres and McKinney, that you don’t give them up for a reliever. Its a fair point, but at the same time, what else do the Cubs need? Now or in the future?
The Cubs had a weakness and decided to fill it with one of the best relievers in baseball, and to do it, they had to give up a lot. But this is a team that can afford to do that, more than anyone else we’ve perhaps ever seen.
Blue Jays get: Melvin Upton Jr, cash
Padres get: Hansel Rodriguez
I didn’t totally understand this trade. It felt really underwhelming compared to what our expectations were for the Blue Jays this deadline (That line was written before Monday came around, and boy, did Toronto make some good moves. More on those later.). Yes, Melvin Upton Jr. has had a nice year. He’ll be coming off the bench for Toronto. Depth is nice, but it only matters when you get to the postseason. I’d love them to get there, because they’re so fun to watch, but you can’t guarantee that right now. Thats why I felt like this trade wasn’t the best for Toronto. Another move may make me switch my feelings on it (It did).
Blue Jays get: Joaquin Benoit
Mariners get: Drew Storen, cash
This trade was absolutely hilarious. Its literally a trade of “Here’s my crappy reliever that we thought would do stuff for us for your’s.”
These were two guys who were expected to play big roles for their teams this season. Instead, they both suck and are traded for each other. It seemed like a player dump for both teams, and an experiment by both teams when it comes to the guys they acquired.
Giants get: Eduardo Nunez
Twins get: Adalberto Mejia
A lot of Twins fans/friends didn’t want to see Eduardo Nunez go, understandably. He was their best player this season, made the All-Star Game, and was the only real highlight of this season, besides Byron Buxton’s ridiculous catches.
At first, the move made no sense to me, considering the left side of the Giants infield was pretty good when they made this move. But then Matt Duffy traded (More on that later), and the pieces fit together.
San Francisco basically feels that Nunez gives them more than Duffy, now and later. Its not worthing debating, but from a longview, it seems fine.
This was a great return for the Twins, though. Minnesota needs all the pitching prospects they can get, and they have to hit on some of them, since its been their biggest organizational problem the past five years.
Marlins get: Andrew Cashner, Tayron Guerrero, Cash
Padres get: Carter Capps, Jarred Cosart, Josh Naylor
This trade seemed really simple as the reports of it’s happening came in, but only got more complicated and more interesting.
That was before the day of the deadline.
Then it got blown up after Colin Rea got injured in his first start with the Marlins. Two days after the trade was completed. So what happened?
The Marlins traded Rea back to San Diego for Jose Castillo, one of the main pieces of this deal.
The most amazing part of Rea getting traded back wasn’t that itself, but that Rea’s value to Miami was worth Costillo.
If I was the Marlins, I would have given back Carter Capps and Jarred Cosart. But whatever. It is the Marlins we’re talking about.
The Marlins basically traded two rejuvenation projects and a power-hitting first base prospect, who’s future is very bright for a mediocre starter in Andrew Cashner. Even though the deal was reworked, I still don’t like it for the Marlins. Andrew Cashner has been pretty sketchy in his career.
I’m much more interested in the Padres return. Josh Naylor is a power hitting first basemen prospect. Carter Capps was excellent in the 30 games he appeared in last year, though he just underwent Tommy John Surgery. Jarred Cosart was a intriguing piece two years ago at the deadline, and the trade that sent him to Miami from Houston was the best thing that ever happened to him. Sure, he’s been pretty crappy since, but the Padres are fine with seeing if they can get back what he once had.
Nationals get: Mark Melancon, cash
Pirates get: Filipe Rivero, Taylor Hearn
The Nationals lost out on Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, but Mark Melancon is nice consolation prize. Melancon’s a top ten reliever in the game, which makes the Pirates return look really weak. It is.
Filipe Rivero is still young, but has a 4.53 ERA so far this season. It seems like Pittsburgh is taking a flyer on him, with pitcher Taylor Hearn being the real asset in this deal. Still, its nothing close to what I expected the price to be on Melancon. Especially when it comes to contenders. It would have been smart by the Pirates to raise the price to teams that can afford it, or were as desperate as Washington was to get a reliever, their biggest need. I’m still struggling to understand this one.
Royals get: Billy Burns
A’s get: Brett Eibner
This trade was close to unfathomable. Sure, Brett Eibner has been a nice player for the Royals this year as a backup outfielder, but swapping Billy Burns for him had me speechless. Burns has had a down year too, but at least we’ve seen what Burns can do. He’s a speedy guy who can hit and get on base. We don’t totally know what Eibner is yet. The Royals got an impact guy in this trade at the expense of a bench player.
Padres get: Hector Olivera
Braves get: Matt Kemp
This was the 4th strange trade of the deadline (There were many more). The Padres dumped Matt Kemp, which left the Braves to be the 3rd team to try and figure out how to make him a star again.
There’s a lot of baggage with this trade. Hector Olivera’s had one of the strangest and most unfortunate careers we’ve ever seen, and you have to feel bad for Atlanta, knowing how much they liked Olivera as a prospect, even before they got him via trade from the Dodgers last Summer. They were ecstatic. But the domestic violence suspension required the Braves to practically ignore him, and now they won’t see him again.
Its a tough issue, obviously. The Padres have already sent him down to the minors, but it’ll be up to their front office to decide what to do with Olivera. I’m sure the PR department will have some say in that. The biggest issue is his contract, and the fact that he’s owed a ton of money, and the fact he may face prison time. Yeah, things aren’t so great for Hector Olivera.
The only positive is the Padres being able to dump Kemp, which I’m sure they’ve been wanting to do forever.
Indians get: Andrew Miller
Yankees get: Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller, J.P. Feyereisen
We knew the Indians were gonna do something big. For an eight hour period, it looked like the Tribe had landed Andrew Miller and Jonathan Lucroy. The Lucroy deal, as we know, fell through (more on him later). But the Indians landed the 2nd best reliever on the market.
Cleveland desperately needed a late inning guy. Miller can close or pitch in the 7th and 8th innings for the Indians. No matter what, he’s gonna get outs. Bringing him in makes scoring practically impossible for the other team. You don’t need any stats to make the case for Miller. In fact, you don’t need to make the case for Miller. We all already know how good he is.
The Yankees, expectedly, got quite the return on Miller, like they did for Chapman. The Yankees now have Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield, and Billy McKinney in the same system. Brian Cashman definitely did some restocking.
The Yankees put together an incredible bullpen in the offseason, and thought it’d make them contenders. It didn’t, and since New York is one of the oldest teams in the league, Cashman thought that 1) They needed to get younger. 2) They needed to restock the farm. 3) He had the two best players at the most coveted position when the deadline came around. That was the purpose of the Yankees moves, and man, did they work out.
Yankees get: Tyler Clippard
Diamondbacks get: Vicente Campos
Even though the Yankees fire-saled this deadline, they had to add a piece to make up for their substantial losses.
Tyler Clippard had been pretty average for the Diamondbacks, and for me pretty disappointing because I excited for him to come to Arizona. He’s gave up too many home runs, but can still get strikeouts.
However, the Diamondbacks got a great return. Everything I’ve seen on Vicente Campos seemed positive.
Orioles get: Wade Miley
Mariners get: Ariel Miranda
What a weird move. The Orioles really love mediocre pitchers, don’t they? I guess it upgrades their rotation, but only by taking away innings from guys like Ubaldo Jimenez.
With Baltimore, their pitching issues won’t keep them out of the playoffs, but will keep them from going deep in them.
As for the Mariners, Wade Miley was an experiment that didn’t work out. They were lucky to find a taker in Baltimore.
Red Sox get: Fernando Abad
Twins get: Pat Light
I think the Red Sox got a steal here. The Twins should have made them pay up, because Boston’s stacking their bullpen and just added another nice piece in Fernando Abad.
Abad’s pitched very well for the Twins this year, with a 2.65 ERA in 30 games. He has issues with walks, but can usually get himself out of those situations.
It really seemed like the Twins gave Abad away. Pat Light is pretty much a lower-level prospect.
This was part one of an odd deadline for Minnesota. We’ll get to that later.
Dodgers get: Josh Reddick, Rich Hill
A’s get: Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton
What a magnificent trade by the A’s. Oakland shed two expirings for three very nice prospects, all who rank in the A’s top 30. Only one appears in the MLB top 100, and thats Grant Holmes, but still, this is incredible value for Oakland.
It showed not only how good Billy Beane is at his job, but how willing the Dodgers are to overpay. Josh Reddick is thrown into a mix of nine (!) outfielders with the Dodgers. Its a cluster, and always has been. However, the Dodgers have too many non-contributors in the outfield. Reddick’s bat is the 2nd best in the outfield based on BA; only behind Yasiel Puig (Funny how this league works, aye?), who has his own issues in other areas.
Reddick can hopefully provide the Dodgers with some stability back there.
As for Rich Hill, the Dodgers love getting these type of guys, and sometimes they work out, and sometimes they don’t.
Its not a massive upgrade for the Dodgers, but could be meaningful down the road, especially if Clayton Kershaw doesn’t return this season.
I’ll dive into this later when we touch on the Dodgers again, but it seems like the Dodgers are acquiring as many starters as possible.
Giants get: Will Smith
Brewers get: Andrew Susac, Phil Bickford
This was a tough pill to swallow for Giants fans. Phil Bickford is a top 100 prospect in the league, and now listed as the Brewers’ 4th best prospect, impressive when it comes to Milwaukee, a well-stocked farm. Andrew Susac was a favorite of mine, and with the Jonathan Lucroy trade (more on that later), gives them extra depth behind the plate.
The Giants desperately needed bullpen help, like a lot of teams. We all know this was a ferocious market. That couldn’t have been set up worse for San Francisco, a team with a weak farm system. To get help, they would have to give up a lot. They did, and not for someone who’s all that.
Will Smith’s ERA and ERA+ disagree. His ERA stands at 3.68, a little high for my liking, but his ERA+ makes him out to be better than that, at 115. However, Smith walks a ton of guys (3.7 per nine innings!). Thats concerning, and makes this trade look not so great.
Smith can strike guys out, and the Giants’ bullpen has struggled with that, as they rank 26th in the league in bullpen strikeout percentage, at 19.8%.
Like their other trade (more on that later), the Giants paid the price. Now its just gotta work out.
Rangers get: Carlos Beltran, cash
Yankees get: Dillon Tate, Nick Green, Erik Swanson
This deal was pretty funny. Its the one Yankees trade I didn’t like. It was obvious that New York was gonna move Carlos Beltran, but I thought they’d get a little more value for him. Beltran’s been productive; he’s batting .304/.344/.546, good for a 1.8 WAR.
Beltran most likely takes over the DH position, now that Prince Fielder is out for the year. They can also rotate him in the outfield, though he has a -8 DRS out there this year.
Dillion Tate has fallen off a cliff in the past year when it comes to development. The Yankees must see him as a flyer-prospect.
Blue Jays get: Scott Feldman
Astros get: Lupe Chavez
I really liked what the Blue Jays did at the deadline. As I said above, the Melvin Upton Jr. trade was a little strange, and the Joaquin Benoit trade was a flyer, but acquiring what they did when it comes to starters was genius.
Scott Feldman’s been great for Houston this year. He has a 2.90 ERA in 26 games, his FIP is a little high since he’s giving up 1.2 homers per nine innings. He’s not a strikeout guy, but will get outs. He also doesn’t walk guys often, like the other starter the Blue Jays got.
With Aaron Sanchez getting moved to the bullpen soon, a tough but smart decision by the Blue Jays, Toronto needs as many guys as they can to eat innings and fill his void. I think there’s a good chance he pitches in the postseason if they make it, but for now, Feldman and Liriano keep Toronto afloat in the pennant race pitching wise, as we know the offense is what is really carrying them.
Dodgers get: Jesse Chavez
Blue Jays get: Mike Bolsinger
This is strictly to improve the Dodgers bullpen. Chavez hasn’t been great this season, as his ERA is high and gives up too many home runs, but its not like the Dodgers gave up anything big (like usual) to get him.
Mets get: Jay Bruce
Reds get: Dilson Herrera, Max Wotell
This trade was completely redone after medicals on one of the prospects in the original trade didn’t satisfy Cincinnati, and I think it was redone for the better.
The original trade included Brandon Nimmo, the Mets outfielder prospect who will eventually hit for batting titles. He’s struggled against major league pitching this season, but is killing the ball in the minors. Giving him up for Jay Bruce, someone who’s still good but probably declining was madness to me.
Instead, the Mets traded Dilson Herrera, who’s value has dropped lately, from the Mets’ and others’ around the league’s perspectives.
I think giving him up is fine. But the Mets are taking a chance with Jay Bruce. He’s horrendous defensively, which isn’t going to help a Mets outfield which is practically in the middle of the pack when it comes to defense. I guess defense isn’t a huge concern to them with their rotation.
Essentially, they’re trading for his bat, which we can all agree is much needed. This Mets offense could be one of the worst of all-time. Jay Bruce is the current NL RBIs leader. He’s putting up MVP-like WARs offensively.
Its a trade the Mets had to make. Bruce is gonna preform for them, and they have him under control for next season. In the middle of a division race, this is the kinda things you have to do.
Rangers get: Jonathan Lucroy, Jeremy Jeffress
Brewers get: Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, PTBNL
After Jonathan Lucroy vetoed the trade to Cleveland, I thought that his value would drop, but that it was as likely as ever he’d be moved. We knew he didn’t want to be there, and later on, it seemed Milwaukee didn’t want him.
Lurcroy’s value certainly dropped. The Rangers somehow constructed this trade without giving up Joey Gallo or Nomar Mazara, an incredible job by Jon Daniels.
Instead, the Rangers gave up what is now the Brewers’ 2nd and 5th best prospects. Keep in mind, the Brewers farm is stacked, and while Texas’ is too, they’re worth a lot more in Arlington than Milwaukee. However, the Rangers are looking good in the outfield for now, though Shin Soo Choo’s a long-term liliabilty with injuries, and Ian Desmond’s a free agent after this season. Giving up outfielder Lewis Brinson is better than giving up Gallo though, since Mitch Moreland hasn’t hit well this year, and figures to be on the decline now that he’s 30.
Getting Lucroy though addresses the one weakness Texas had: Catcher. The Rangers’ catchers have all batted poorly this year, and are practically non-contributors. Lucroy hasn’t only been good offensively, but as we know, is an incredible pitch framer, something a smart team like Texas has probably coveted for years.
Jeremy Jeffress gives Texas bullpen depth. He has a very nice ERA, but tends to walk a lot of guys. He usually gets out of them, as his ERA (and especially FIP) prove.
This trade makes the Rangers the ones to beat in the AL. Cleveland is close, and its fitting that the Lucroy sweepstakes came between those two teams. Guess we’ll find out in October, aye?
Twins get: Hector Santiago, Alan Busenitz
Angels get: Ricky Nolasco, Alex Meyer
One of the many mind-bogglers of this deadline. I don’t even know where to start here. Its amazing to say that Terry Ryan would have done a better job making this trade.
It seemed like Ervin Santana was gonna be the one moved, and people on Twitter were reporting that he was “gone” at one point. Instead, it was Ricky Nolasco, who Twins fans should be glad to see gone. However…
Minnesota gave up one of their best pitching prospects for Hector Santiago, who’s ERA is 4.25 and leads the whole MLB in walks. He’s basically another Ervin Santana when it comes to his stuff and what he’s gonna give you as a pitcher.
Sure, the Twins are trying to put together a better pitching staff, which is what they’ve struggled to develop for years, but they gave up what could be their future ace for a mid-rotation guy. Thats not how you build a rotation. Then again, this is the Minnesota front office we’re talking about. I could run that team better.
Congrats on Ricky Nolasco I guess, but this was a great trade by the Angels.
Cubs get: Joe Smith
Angels get: Jesus Castillo
This was a massive overpay by the Cubs, considering Jesus Castillo is now the No.28 prospect in the Angels system, but consider two things:
- We all know how insane the reliever market was, and this was just another example of it’s craziness
- The Cubs can afford to overpay
Plus, the Cubs main target this deadline was bullpen help. They’ve done a great job of acquiring it, and this was the final piece.
Joe Smith’s fine. His ERA is 3.82, and he walks a ton of guys, but he’s one reliever in a stacked bullpen.
Pirates get: Ivan Nova
Yankees get: 2 PTBNL
The deadline wasn’t crazy because no huge (Big, but not huge.) names were moved, nor were there any true surprises when it came to those big names. This deadline was crazy because of deals like this one. Ones that were dumb, or that didn’t have anything to do with a playoff race were made this deadline. Here’s another one of them:
The deadline was crazy because the Yankees somehow found a taker for Ivan Nova, who’s been a disaster the past three seasons. Pittsburgh had a rotation hole (More on that later), sure, but Pirates fans have to be thinking “Why him?”. This is normally a smart front office, but Pirates fans have to be wondering about the logic used in this deal.
Giants get: Matt Moore
Rays get: Matt Duffy, Lucius Fox, Michael Santos
The Eduardo Nunez trade made a lot more sense after this move by the Giants. However, it was still an insane price (Following the trend of the deadline) the Giants paid.
First, Matt Duffy became a fan favorite in San Francisco. He was incredible replacing Pablo Sandoval, and as a friend of mine pointed out, helped the Casey McGhee signing not become a total disaster. Duffy’s gonna be moved to shortstop in Tampa Bay, and Eduardo Nunez will take over 3rd base for the Giants. Thats a much more effective use of him. If they had kept Duffy, Nunez would have been sheltered as a bench guy who could hit when needed. He’s an everyday player, at shortstop or 3rd. The Giants were smart, and realized Duffy was expendable now.
However, the Giants gave up two top 30 prospects to get Matt Moore also. In all, this is an incredible trade by the Rays. Acquiring a new shortstop and two top 30 prospects for a starter with a 4.08 ERA is pretty good.
Matt Moore’s use will come to value in the next few years, as he’s under contract till 2019. Jake Peavy’s having a rough year and is 35. There’s a good chance he’s done after this season. Moore is right there to take his rotation spot. Thats what made this trade worth it for San Francisco, even though the market didn’t help them out, as it didn’t for many other teams.
Orioles get: Steve Pearce
Rays get: Jonah Heim
I don’t know if this trade totally matters for either team, but the whole idea of Steve Pearce getting traded back to Baltimore was pretty funny. The Orioles missed him, and since he’s played well, they decided to go get him. Anyways, Pearce will be an effective bench guy for Baltimore as they try to fend off Toronto in the AL East.
Mets get: Jon Niese
Pirates get: Antonio Bastardo
The Pirates practically fire-saled this deadline, and man, was this (And our next and final trade!) a sure example of it.
Antonio Bastardo has been really bad this season, giving up a ton of walks and with ERA of 4.74. But hey, at least he has this going for him!
And he has a return to Pittsburgh going for him too, where he was excellent in 2015!
The Mets will use Niese out of the bullpen this time around, as their rotation is doing okay, to say the least.
Blue Jays get: Francisco Liriano, Harold Ramirez, Reese McGuire
Pirates get: Drew Hutchinson
Last trade! The Pirates continued their fire-sale by sending their No.2 starter and two top five prospects in the Blue Jays system for Drew Hutchinson, who’s never had a good season in his career and is practically a salvation project.
Liriano has been really bad this year, but as we talked about above with the Blue Jays getting Scott Feldman, it gives them options for later in the season, and maybe October. Toronto seems conformable with giving Liriano a chance in a possible postseason game. Plus, even if thats not the case, you still make this trade anyways giving what 1) Pittsburgh was asking for back and 2) The prospects you’re acquiring.
Thats it! 4,285 words of trade deadline madness!