Where Do The Colts Go From Here?

As he walked off the field after the Colts’ third preseason game Saturday night to a shower of angry, sad and misplaced boos and the vibe of understandable frustration from Colts fans, Andrew Luck knew he had flipped Indianapolis’ whole team, season and future upside down.

“It hurt, I’ll be honest,” Luck said of the boos in his retirement press conference after the game.

The boos are crappy. Luck was unbelievable during his time as a Colt and went through hell while doing it, the main cause for his retirement. He sacrificed as much as he could for the team, and it reached a point where he couldn’t take it any more. He did all he possibly could.

Booing wasn’t the best way to get the point across. You’d hope that most Colts fans would have the reaction of “What the heck just happened?!?” rather than “You quit on us!”, but there is going to be that second crowd.

You’d hope that the boos were angry and confused ones rather than mean-spirited ones. The crowd can’t just yell “What the heck, dude?!?”, and boos, whether they’re too harsh for a specific situation, are what fans use to express anything with a negative connotation. For the Colts and their fans, there is hardly anything positive that comes out of this stunning decision.

The Colts are in a similar situation to the one the Minnesota Vikings were in about a year and a half ago: They have a Super Bowl roster with no quarterback.

The odds that Jacoby Brissett is a quarterback that can maximize this Colts roster and lead them to the success we projected for them are low. The Colts like Brissett, and he’s certainly not terrible, but he’s likely somewhere between the 25th and 35th best quarterback in the league. You need at least an average quarterback to have a defense carry you. The Colts don’t have the type of defense yet that’s going to carry an average quarterback to those heights, and Brissett being just average may be a little too much to ask.

Brissett could surprise and be average or slightly better, but that’s a fine line and producing slightly below it could waste the rest of the roster.  The Colts should learn from what the Vikings did and not go out and get someone who’s just good enough.

They also need a quarterback who can not only keep them at the status they were at with Luck at the helm but also be a fixture for the future. That probably crosses off a panic trade, especially since the options there are limited. There are two unlikely but wildly entertaining options exist in the Dolphins and Saints though.

There’s a hilarious and insane mix of names between these two teams, and I think all could make sense despite their lows odds and obvious drawbacks. Keeping Drew Brees in a dome would curb some of the decline concerns we have regarding him this season. The Saints believe their window is now, and they certainly wouldn’t trade Brees two weeks before the season, but if they are worried about Brees playing like a 40-year-old this season, and trust Teddy Bridgewater enough to take over the offense (I would!), then making the Colts pay a boatload for Brees in a win-now panic move may not be a bad idea.

Or, the Colts could call about Bridgewater, who the Saints would likely be reluctant to give up given Brees’ age and decline he showed toward the end of last year. Bridgewater is a free agent at the end of the year. If the Saints want to keep Brees around after this season, they can’t pay Bridgewater what he’d demand, so getting value for him now would be smart. At the same time, Bridegwater’s free agency should make the Colts more leery. They have the opportunity to put this loaded roster around a quarterback on a rookie contract still.  That’s perhaps the most valuable asset in football.  Why pass that up?

The Dolphins have not committed to Josh Rosen not only as their starter but as their long-term quarterback. I’m not sure it was exactly their plan to have Rosen be embedded in a quarterback battle with Ryan Fitzpatrick, as they were going to give Rosen this season to prove himself before deciding whether they wanted to make him their guy or whether they wanted to take one of the two generational talents coming up in the next two drafts (There’s been a lot of rumors about the Dolphins LOVING Tua Tagovailoa). Flipping him now to a team that really needs a QB would maximize value and allow the Dolphins to set their sights on Tua or Trevor Lawrence, and initiate a true tank.

I’m not giving up on Rosen whatsoever, but the Colts would have to be quite confident in his ability.  Again, the Colts can’t miss with their next guy. This roster is too good. Rosen hasn’t exactly impressed with Miami so far, which isn’t a good sign considering the change of scenery and the revenge factor. His camp gave off vibes of a disaster.

The Colts could get Rosen for cheaper than the Dolphins did from Arizona, and I’m sure Miami would do it.  But Indy would have to be absolutely sure.

Despite the feasibility and amount of fun these moves would be, none are good options compared what the Colts should actually do: Tank, and challenge Miami for the No. 1 pick and steal one of their guys.

The question for the Colts then becomes: Who do you like more?

Tanking this season could actually be tough.  As I said above, I don’t think Brissett is terrible. It would be quite surprising for him to be so bad that it earns the Colts a top four pick or so.

This is looking quite far ahead, and I know they’re in different drafts, but I like Lawrence quite a bit more than Tagovailoa (And I do like both, by the way).

Tanking for Lawrence, or essentially, waiting to tank until next season would give the Colts this year to evaluate Brissett and make sure he’s not anything special.

The downside to waiting for Lawrence as opposed to going for Tagovailoa this year is that it makes a young core older. If the Colts want Lawrence, you’re throwing away two seasons and then hoping Lawrence can have a Mahomes-like impact in year one, because by then, your young guys now are older, and are going to be needing pay-days.

But with Lawrence on a rookie deal, you have that extra money around. You’re not paying Lawrence the money deserves right away  You get four cheap years; most second-contract guys get extensions of four-to-five years when their rookie deal is close to up, so really, it’s a wash.

The Colts kind of have to panic here. Smartly panic, but panic. Indy is in good shape, but the engine behind everything they’ve built is now gone. They have to replace it, and soon, for this team to remain right side up.

Andrew Luck Still Had His Prime Ahead Of Him

I was not around for Barry Sanders.

It was the summer of 1999 when the NFL’s third-leading rusher of all-time shockingly announced his retirement, one year before I was born.

Sanders had just rushed for 1,491 yards in his age-30 season, and ran for 2,053 yards the year before, the fourth-most ever in a single season by a running back. At the time, it was the second-most ever.

Sanders was in his prime. In nine seasons, he never rushed for less than 1,115 yards in each.  He ran for 1,500+ yards four times, and within nine yards of making it five times in his final season.

Now, we would say he would have never gotten better. That those last two seasons of his career had to be his best. No running back was going to continue producing like that into his 30s. Running backs now produce for 2-3 years and are toast.

With Sanders, we never knew what he could have done.

Perhaps the one thing that we could count on with him was that NFL’s all-time rushing title. No matter how much Sanders declined, he was going to eventually reach it. He retired just 3,086 yards short of Emmitt Smith’s record.

It could have been a slog to reach it. He also could have done it in just two seasons.

Perhaps Sanders retired worried that the first sentence would be the truth. Perhaps playing just to reach that mark wasn’t worth it. Sanders’ numbers speak for themselves over the years. Did the rushing title really make us think differently about him?  Did it make him think any differently about himself?

In his case it didn’t. In our case, I don’t really believe so. Sanders not being the leading rusher in NFL history doesn’t make me think any differently about him.

Despite that and Sanders not showing any real signs of slowing down, Sanders’ career felt decently complete. He didn’t have anything left to really prove.

Andrew Luck did.

We never saw Luck’s peak. Luck had four seasons out of six where he threw for 4,000+ yards, including one in which he threw for 4,761 yards and 40 touchdowns. He led the second-largest comeback in NFL playoff history against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Colts couldn’t capitalize on it.  Despite making the playoffs four out of Luck’s six seasons, they never won a Super Bowl. They never even made it. The closest they came was during the 2014-15 season, when the Patriots stomped them in the AFC Championship Game 45-7.

Luck put up those numbers and made it that far in the playoffs with one of the league’s worst offensive lines and defenses at the same time.

We never saw Luck’s peak.

This season could have been it. The Colts turned around the issues that plagued them for most of Luck’s career last season. They invested in the offensive line by drafting Quenton Nelson, someone who everyone thought could be an All-Pro and then was right away. They improved the defense by drafting Malik Hooker and Darius Leonard, both of whom are absolute studs. They got Luck some better weapons by utilizing Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines and turning Eric Ebron into a functional NFL player. They hired an offensive mastermind in Frank Reich.

They lost to the NFL’s most high-powered offense in hellacious conditions in the second round of the playoffs in the first year of a new start.  No one was going to see that as an unsuccessful season.

This year was supposed to be the year. Luck’s year. The Colts’ year to maybe make the Super Bowl.

Luck’s prime was still coming because he’d never had this much talent around him before.

And it was that lack of talent in previous years that made him step away.

Luck’s retirement is the most shocking one since Sanders, and might even be bigger. Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis and Chris Borland’s all come to mind as well; this is easily the craziest NFL thing to happen since that Megatron retirement. Luck’s is bigger because he was what made the Colts into what they could have become this season. The Lions were still going to underperform with Megatron gone. The 49ers lost two massive parts of their defense in Willis and Borland, but no two players combined are more valuable than Luck. Sanders had done practically everything he could have in his career except for accomplishing one giant feat, which at the end of the day probably means less than we thought it did.  Luck had more value and so much more to accomplish. The magnitude of it is hard to comprehend. I’m not sure any of the names above had that hallmark at the end of their careers.

More to come

MLB Trade Deadline Roundup

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ constant shuffling from buyers to sellers, from neither to both was getting annoying.  It wasn’t possible to buy and sell at the same time.  The team was clearly not good enough to be a buyer.  Doing nothing would have ignorant and not done anything to help the team, whether that was this year or in the future.  Selling was the only option.

The D-backs certainly did the opposite of nothing.  You can cross that option off the list.

The Diamondbacks bought and sold.  They traded Zack Greinke to Houston, who was probably the most unlikely one to go after worries about teams wanting the rest of his massive contract surfaced.  They got Zac Gallen from Miami, another young pitcher similar to Luke Weaver with No. 2 potential.  And they went out and traded for Mike Leake, a move that I’m still confused by but made the D-backs look a bit more like buyers.

The D-backs sold while buying for the future.  And not just the next five years worth of future.  They bought for next year’s worth of future.

Giving up Jazz Chisholm is hard and legitimately terrifying.  The D-backs, who have completely revamped their farm system over the course of two years from one of the worst in the MLB to one of the best, traded their No. 1 prospect, someone that D-backs fans had held onto with such strength and hope over the years, because he, along with pitcher Jon Duplantier, was the only thing they had.  There were two legitimate prospects in the Arizona system two years ago: Jazz and Jon.  That was it. Jazz is a hard thing to let go of, especially when he’s displayed serious potential as a power-hitting shortstop.

But Gallen is 23 years old and ready to go.  He makes next year’s rotation look something like Robbie Ray(?)-Luke Weaver-Zac Gallen-Duplantier-Mike Leake, with Merrill Kelly, Alex Young and Taylor Clarke all standing by incase the D-backs don’t sign Ray (They’re not committing to that yet).  It wouldn’t shock me if Gallen edges Weaver at some point; he was really solid in seven starts this season with the Marlins, posting a 2.72 ERA and 153 ERA+.  He’s also been unhittable in Triple-A, posting a 1.77 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 91.1 innings.

Do the D-backs have an ace in that rotation?  Maybe not.  Weaver and Gallen are No. 2 guys at their ceiling.  That’s where the trade of Greinke rears its ugly head.  Corbin Martin, the No. 1 asset in the Greinke deal, had Tommy John surgery and won’t be back till 2021, and he’s like Gallen and Weaver too, where he probably tops out at as the second guy in the rotation.  He projects to take Leake’s spot in 2021.

But who says Greinke is going to continue to be an ace?  He’s defying everything we know about pitching right now; the dude is 35 and has a 2.90 ERA and 153 ERA+.  That should come back down to Earth as soon as next season, which yes leaves Houston in a big hole given his contract, but they’re likely to win the World Series now this season with Greinke having the season he’s having, followed by Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole and are paying two-thirds of it.  Two championships in three seasons is worth that.

The Greinke trade was the opposite of a salary dump.  Despite Arizona paying a third of the rest of it, they got back a package that you just don’t fetch in a salary dump trade.  Despite Martin being injured, he’s another young, close-to-ready starter who can be a top of the rotation guy.  That makes three of those in Arizona’s 2021 staff, plus Jon Duplantier.  Seth Beer is a slugger, whose value only goes up if the NL adds a DH, or if Christian Walker’s season is a crazy fluke and Jake Lamb can never stay healthy at first base.  J.B. Bukauaskas has struggled this minor league season but was still one of the Astros’ top 16 prospects, and Josh Rojas, who I really like, is the type of utility man that’s really gaining usage and value around the league.  The only problem with him is that the D-backs didn’t sell other pieces (Like Jarrod Dyson or Adam Jones) to clear a spot for him.

You don’t get four of a team’s top 16 prospects in a salary dump trade, even when you’re paying a third of the salary.  You’re paying the third to get those prospects, which is exactly what D-backs CEO Derrick Hall said yesterday.

The Leake trade is still a little puzzling.  I guess it’s insurance if Ray doesn’t come back, or if Merrill Kelly hits some brutal regression next season (Likely.  But then you still have Alex Young to possibly work in).  It didn’t cost the D-backs anything (Jose Callabero is 22 years old and is in High-A), and they’re paying a small amount of Leake’s large contract ($6 million of the whopping $30 million), but still, the move just feels a little unnecessary.  He’s been fine, and at what’s going to be age 33, next season, likely won’t get any better.

From the Marlins perspective, Chisholm is a huge get.  They flipped just one of the four assets received in the Marcell Ozuna trade into Chisholm, and still have Sandy Alcantara remaining from it.  The Marlins essentially have one shortstop on their roster in Miguel Rojas currently, and he’s 30, which doesn’t fit their timeline.  Chisholm is the future there for them, and could be an absolute star.  The Gallen trade was easily the riskiest move the D-backs made this deadline.

For the Astros, the Greinke deal was a no brainer.  For them, the reason they have prospects is to move them in deals like this.  They also still have Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley in their system, which is unbelievable given they’ve traded for Greinke and Verlander in the past two years.  Houston is automatically the World Series favorite; Verlander, Greinke and Cole in the same rotation approaches a historic collection of talent.  Who’s beating that come October?

The D-backs echoes of doing nothing weren’t totally a smokescreen.  The Gallen trade had been a thought of their’s for awhile; same with Leake.  But as detailed here, the Greinke deal was really out of nowhere.

As problematic as it is that the D-backs weren’t planning on doing anything, what they did do worked.  Maybe this deadline will wake them up into doing more.

Here are some thoughts on the other big trades that occurred over the past five days or so…

Mets get: Marcus Stroman

Blue Jays get: Anthony Kay, Simeon Woods-Richardson

Like the Reds, the Mets have a little too much confidence in themselves.

Sunday’s trade for Marcus Stroman was yet another team doubling down on their ill-fated moves from the offseason. The Mets, who probably should have been looking for bullpen help rather than rotation help, traded yet another former first round pick in Anthony Kay along with a recent second round pick Simeon Woods-Richardson for someone they didn’t exactly need.

Sure, Noah Syndergaard and others have struggled for the Mets.  But their rotation does rank fourth in WAR generated from starters this season, and Syndergaard’s ERA+ is exactly 100.

The Mets issues are not their rotation.  They seemed to think that adding more talent to it, and giving away more prospects with bright futures (I really like Kay and a lot of smarter baseball people like Woods-Richardson), solves the rest of their issues.

Besides the bullpen, there isn’t really an exact answer to the Mets’ struggles.  Perhaps that should have been a cue to the front office to sell everyone and start over.  I guess it wasn’t.

For the Blue Jays, Stroman didn’t retain the big package other starters on the market did.  But in Trevor Bauer and Zack Greinke, we’re talking about some of the better pitchers in baseball.  In Stroman, we’re simply talking about a good starter who happened to be available.

The Jays shouldn’t get down on themselves too much for not getting a huge package.  Kay and Woods-Richardson are good players, and continue the trend of the Mets just sending away prospects like they’re nothing.  We’ll get into another one of their returns later though.  That one was a little more questionable.

Mets get: Austin Bossart

Phillies get: Jason Vargas 

So then the Mets moved Jason Vargas, who has been actually quite good and one of the few starters in the rotation that has put up decent individual numbers.  Vargas, at 36 years old, has a 4.01 ERA and 103 ERA+.  Besides Jacob DeGrom, that’s the best line in the Mets rotation this season.

GM Brodie Van Wagenen claimed that trading Vargas was to make room for Stroman.  What about trading Zack Wheeler?  He’s been worse than Vargas this season, and was attracting serious interest on the market.

For the Phillies, Vargas is a veteran, experienced starter.  Philly’s had most of their young pitchers struggle this season.  Vargas is a guy they can throw out in a big game and get decent innings out of.  The Mets essentially dumped him for nothing.

Rays get: Eric Sogard

Blue Jays get: Two PTBNLs

This was the first move of the Blue Jays’ sale at the deadline.  Sogard feels like the most Rays player ever with his defense and versatility, but he’s going to give them offense as well, as he’s hitting .298 this season, a career high.  The Rays will probably use him mostly at shortstop, as Wily Adames has struggled at the plate in his second season and neither of their other options at the position have produced.

Braves get: Chris Martin

Rangers get: Koby Allard

The Rangers didn’t sell like we expected them to, but they did do a nice job of cashing in on the one trade they did make.  The Braves, as I’ll touch on more later, completely overhauled their bullpen, which has been the worst in baseball per WAR this season.  It was a necessary thing to do, but Atlanta sure paid a lot to do it.  Allard is someone who was drafted high four years ago and has made his MLB debut already.

But the Braves did get Chris Martin back, whose been fantastic with a 3.08 ERA and 165 ERA+ just two seasons after playing in Japan.  His home run rate is a little high, but Atlanta should be comfortable rolling with a guy who is having a career year.

Rays get: Jesus Aguilar

Brewers get: Jake Faria

The Rays added another bat in addition to Sogard to get deadline day rolling in Jesus Aguilar, whose production has fell off sharply from 2018, where he batted .274/.352/.890 with 35 home runs.  This year, he’s down to .225/.320/.374 with just eight home runs, leading to more playing time for Eric Thames, whose batting .252 with 15 home runs.

Aguilar is a bench bat for the Rays.  He can DH or play first base.  Plus, they clear Jake Faria from their bullpen, who has been up and down over the past three seasons, but was better at the MLB level this season.  Unfortunately for him, the Rays are just out of room back there.

The Brewers get more depth for their already-loaded bullpen as well with this trade, making it pretty much a win-win, and a clearing trade for both teams.

Astros get: Martin Maldonado

Cubs get: Tony Kemp

What a fun trade!

Somehow, two of the Astros key contributors from last year’s playoff run got swapped for each other.

Kemp, a shifty outfielder who can run, field, and play a lot of small-ball for you in the playoffs, was DFA’d not long ago, making him expendable.  The Cubs, who essentially traded Mike Montgomery for him, will certainly find Kemp a role even with all of their other multi-positional players and platooned lineups.  The addition of Nicholas Castellanos won’t make that simpler, but Kemp is the type of guy you want to have in October.

The Astros shipped out Max Stassi and got back Maldonado.  Houston hasn’t gotten any offensive production out of their catchers this season.  Maldonado’s not going to help much on that end, and actually ranks below Stassi in Baseball Prospectus’ FRAA stat, which is an attempt at measuring a catcher’s defensive impact.  This could be more of a comfort thing though, as Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, two of Houston’s now big-three in the rotation (More on that tomorrow), had Maldonado catch them last season.

Dodgers get: Jedd Gyroko, international cash, cash

Cardinals get: Tony Cigrani, Jeffry Abreu

Like the Cubs, the Dodgers’ plethora of multi-positional and purely talented players only increased at the deadline.

Los Angeles is currently without Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez, both of whom shift between infielder and outfield roles.  Gyroko is another guy who has the ability to do that.

Gyroko’s offense is dreadful, but Hernandez’s contact and on-base percentages have dipped a bit this year as well.  Perhaps a change of scenery could turn Gyroko around at the plate, and there’s a chance Hernandez or Taylor miss the rest of the season, giving Gyroko an even bigger role.

The Dodgers essentially gave up Abreu for Gyroko.  Cigrani struggled last season and is out for 2019 with a shoulder injury, but is a decent reliever when healthy, giving the Cardinals something extra in addition to Abreu and cash in the deal.

Nationals get: Daniel Hudson

Blue Jays get: Kyle Johnston

The first move of the bullpen overhaul for the Nationals cost them quite a bit, and they kept spending as well after it.

Washington gave up their 27th ranked prospect for Hudson, who owns a ERA of 3.00 and an ERA+ of 151 this season, which is a huge rebound from his past three seasons.

Hudson’s walk rate is a bit high, but the Nationals needed relievers who get outs.  Hudson has done that this year.

Nationals get: Roenis Elias

Mariners get: Taylor Gulibeau, Elvis Alvarado

The Nationals then traded their No. 15 ranked prospect to get Roenis Elias, who isn’t necessarily the first guy you’d think would have been traded at the deadline.  Elias owns a 4.40 ERA, but ERA+ suggest he’s been average as he checks in at the 100 mark.

Gulibeau was a lot to give up for Elias, but the Nationals must see something they like.  Perhaps they believe a change of scenery can get him back on the track he was  on last season.

Brewers get: Drew Pomeranz, Ray Black

Giants get: Mauricio Dubon

Well, these certainly weren’t the Giants pitchers we expected to get moved! However, Mauricio Dubon was the prospect we’d expect to get moved for Giants pitchers.  Just not these Giants pitchers.

First of all, Drew Pomeranz hasn’t been even close to good since 2017, his last season with Boston.  In 2018, he posted a dreadful 6.08 ERA, which didn’t overrate his poor play, as he had an ERA+ of 73.  This year hasn’t been much better, as Pomeranz has a 5.68 ERA and a ERA+ of 74.  He’s came out of the bullpen four times this season for San Francisco, which is how Milwaukee plans to use him.

That’s probably a good thing.  Limiting innings for someone who is struggling reduces the odds that they will struggle.

Except, the last thing Milwaukee needs is more relievers.  As mentioned in Jesus Aguilar write-up above, the Brewers are set in the bullpen.  They need starters.  Trading for Pomeranz and hoping they can fix him as a starter makes more sense than trading for him as a reliever.

The same case goes for Ray Black, who the Brewers must have some serious confidence in as he’s only played in 28 games in his two year career as a 29-year-old, and has been terrible in that small size with a 6.04 ERA.

And then to give up Maurcio Dubon, one of your best prospects who could have easily been the No. 1 asset in a trade for an established starter, for Pomeranz and Black is even stranger.  Sure, Dubon may have been blocked by the duo of Orlando Arcia and Keston Huira in the middle of the infield, but he could have been moved for a better player(s) than Pomeranz and Black.

This is why Farhan Zaidi deserved his own team to run.

The Giants get Dubon, who immediately becomes their eighth best prospect and adds another name to a farm system that’s suddenly came a long way over the past two years, and get rid of what’s been a failed rejuvenation project in Pomeranz.  Not bad!

Nationals get: Hunter Strickland

Mariners get: Aaron Fletcher

The Nationals finished their bullpen overhaul by shipping out this time their No. 21 prospect for Hunter Strickland, who has been injured practically all season.

You can essentially combine this deal with the Elias deal, but either way it’s a lot.  Strickland was good last season with a 3.97 ERA, but came in below average in ERA+ (96), is coming off of an injury that’s kept him out months and has a long and questionable playoff track record.

The Nationals getting Hudson was huge, but they’re going to need Strickland to produce right away and for Elias to turn it around.  They gave up a lot for so little certainty.

Rays get: Trevor Richards, Nick Anderson

Marlins get: Ryne Stanek, Jesus Sanchez

This was a fun one.

Evaluating the Rays trading for pitchers is hard.  Are they going to use them as starters?  “Openers”?  Relievers?  What’s their role going to be?

Here, it seems as if the Rays made this calculation: That giving up Ryne Stanek, whose been very good in his opener role the past two seasons, was worth giving Trevor Richards a shot in the same role, getting Nick Anderson to replace Adam Kolerak and acquiring Niko Hulsizer, who the Rays got from Los Angeles in the Kolarek deal.

It’s a fascinating calculation, and though I have disagreements with parts of it, am hesitant to criticize because the Rays are really, really smart.

The issue I have with it?  Why swap Kolarek (3.95 ERA, 115 ERA+, 30 years old) for Anderson (3.98 ERA, 107 ERA+, 28 years old) and Hulsizer (A 22-year-old, who, while producing, is only still playing A-level ball)?

The Rays likely have numbers beyond my understanding that support this move.  But I tend to believe in “Don’t fix it if it’s not broke.”  The Rays kind of fixed something that wasn’t broke.  They didn’t really need to do anything.  An extra starter, who can be in the Charlie Morton/Blake Snell-like starter role, would have been nice for October.  The bullpen didn’t really need anyone else.

The Marlins did well here.  Jesus Sanchez is ranked in the top 100 across prospect boards, and Ryne Stanek, despite not necessarily fitting Miami’s timeline, is a good pitcher who can be dynamic in the pitching staff.

Twins get: Sam Dyson

Giants get: Jaylin Davis, Prelander Berroa, Kai-Wei Teng

It took awhile for the Twins to do something, as it did with most of the teams Wednesday.  It was going to feel odd if Minnesota’s only move was to get Sergio Romo from the Marlins four days before the deadline.

The Twins went out and got one of the premium relievers on the market in Dyson.  He’s put up a 2.47 ERA and 171 ERA+ this year with San Francisco.  The playoff resume is a little scary, as was yesterday’s outing (Perhaps don’t use him as a closer??), but the Twins have multiple reliable relievers in the bullpen, including Taylor Rogers and Ryne Harper.  Romo has experience, and Dyson’s been there for better or for worse.

And Minnesota didn’t give up too much.  Berroa and Teng aren’t exactly top prospects, and Davis is a fringe guy.  It was a pretty modest price for one of the hottest names on the market.

The Giants may not care as much about not nailing this return due to their success in the Pomeranz deal, though.  They’re fine.

Phillies get: Corey Dickerson

Pirates: PTBNL, international cash

The Phillies continue to load up on outfielders to replace the holes left by Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera.

Dickerson has been good in a limited sample size this season, batting .317/.376/.556 in 43 games.  He’s been just a backup in Pittsburgh, but in Philly he could be playing everyday with Jay Bruce, the Phillies last outfielder trade, hurt.

A’s get: Tanner Roark

Reds get: Jameson Hannah

So the Reds, who traded for Trevor Bauer and intend to compete next year (I guess the Bauer move was for next year?  Good luck!), then traded Tanner Roark, who they signed to a one-year, $10 million contract in the offseason as part of a rotation overhaul.

Had the Reds not gotten Bauer, the Roark deal would have made sense.  Like the Mets, if Cincy’s grand plan failed this season, they could flip guys who they brought in over the season.  Roark was the perfect candidate for that; so was Yasiel Puig.

But bringing in Bauer and then shipping away Roark, who’s been fine (4.24 ERA, 107 ERA+), when you’re still trying to find a fifth starter (I understand Tyler Mahle is young, but if you’re trying to “compete”, you’re not going to be rolling out a 24-year-old who has a 4.93 ERA when you can keep getting him reps in Triple-A) doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Keeping Bauer and Roark together would have improved the Reds greatly.

They did get a good prospect back in Jameson Hannah though; I was surprised Oakland gave him up.

The A’s are right in the middle of the AL Wild Card Race and currently have Mike Fiers and Brett Anderson as their No. 1 and No. 2 starters.  Sean Manena won’t be back until close to the postseason, and that’s even if they make it.  Frankie Montas is in a similar situation, though his absence is due to a PED suspension which will make him ineligible for postseason play.

The A’s needed another fine, reliable starter, and they got that in Roark.  Making him be worth Hannah though will be tough.

Astros get: Joe Biagini, Aaron Sanchez, Cal Stevenson

Blue Jays get: Derek Fisher 

Once a top prospect, it was quite stunning to see Derek Fisher get moved in a deal like this.

But, the Astros might have gotten away with one here.  Cutting bait with Fisher made sense.  He’s about to be 26, and has hit extremely poorly up at the major league level the past two seasons.  There’s a chance he’s just a fourth outfielder who can run.

The Blue Jays must think they’re getting the top prospect Fisher. Biagini was one of the better relievers on the market (3.78 ERA, 120 ERA+), and trading any starter, no matter how bad their past performance is, to the Astros is a terrifying proposition.  To just get Fisher back is quite risky.

For Houston, Biagini gives them a reliever who can help take innings away from  the struggling Hector Rondon or Chris Devenski, and Sanchez could be switched around with Brad Peacock as a fifth starter or reliever.  Sanchez was good as a 22-year-old out of the bullpen for Toronto in 2015, posting a 3.22 ERA, so the Astros likely see potential there along with their vision for fixing him as a starter.

Giants get: Scooter Gennett, cash

Reds get: PTBNL

The Reds dumping Scooter Gennett like this is quiet stunning after the season he had last year.  Injuries and poor productivity have made him unplayable, and that’s saying a lot considering other Cincinnati second basemen are also having issues at the plate (Jose Peraza and Derek Dietrich have low averages but are hitting home runs).

The Giants overhauled second base this deadline, getting Dubon and now Gennett, who’s just a rental/flyer.  If he starts playing a bit better, and he will get innings since Joe Panik has struggled, he could be an interesting bridge signing for the Giants in the offseason.

Cubs get: Nicholas Castellanos, cash

Tigers get: Paul Richan, Alex Lange

As if the Cubs needed more talent and players on their roster.

I was surprised there wasn’t more action on Castellanos at the deadline.  Obviously, action throughout the league was relatively low, but Castellanos was very available and was maybe the best bat that had that label.

Castellanos is a fantastic contact hitter who can hit for power.  The home runs, and obviously the OPS+, is down a little bit this year.  But Chicago is likely to platoon Castellanos with Kyle Schwarber, who brings the exact opposite approach to the plate (Low contact, but 24 home runs on the year).

In regards to the talent glut, the Cubs have mostly infielders as backups.  They lack outfield depth.  It’s best when Kris Bryant moves out from third; then you’re only choosing between Albert Almora Jr. and Schwarber’s bat.  Now, Castellanos can be an almost everyday guy in the outfield, switching off with Schwarber and giving the Cubs a nice mix at that spot in the batting order when David Bote plays third.

It seemed like a little much for the Cubs to give up, as Paul Richan and Alex Lange are both top 30 prospects, for someone they maybe didn’t need.  The Tigers got a good package for Castellanos, someone who’s been with the franchise for years, is still quite young at 27, and has produced practically every season.

Braves get: Shane Greene

Tigers get: Joey Wentz, Travis Demeritte

Braves get: Mark Melancon

Giants get: Tristan Beck, Dan Winkler

The Braves completed the overhaul of their bullpen by adding Shane Greene and Mark Melancon, one of whom has been excellent this season and the other good.   Melancon gets only the label of “good”, only because his 3.50 ERA and 120 ERA+ probably still isn’t worth his massive contract, which the Braves are going to pay the rest of in full (It’s only next year, but it’s also $19 million!).

Wentz is one of the Braves top prospects, but when you’re as young as the Braves are, and are legitimately capable of making the World Series, you’re going to move prospects for October’s most valuable assets.

Beck seemed like a bit of an overpay for Melancon, especially when Atlanta is paying all of the salary.  The Giants nailed this deadline, and have a lot of steam coming out of it.  Somehow, they might have sold and could still be a potential playoff team.