The last week has given us the most exciting MLB trade deadline in recent memory. Several teams still feel as though they’re in the hunt, which led to a lot of untraditional buyers (Astros, Blue Jays, Royals). Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, here’s a grade for each team that was involved in a major deal.
Blue Jays — Troy Tulowitzki, David Price, Ben Revere, Mark Lowe, LaTroy Hawkings
The Jays had a HUGE deadline. Upgrading to Tulo is a pure A+ move (probably the biggest bat moved at the deadline since Manny Ramirez in terms of franchise player potential). Revere is a nice role player and Lowe has a 1.00 ERA in 36 inning pitched this season, so those are good gets. Price was exactly what the team needed (an ace), but some risks remain. The team is no sure thing to make the playoffs, and Price is also a free agent after the season, so he’s a costly rental. Those two facts prevent an A+, but wow, I’m impressed.
Cubs — Dan Haren
Cubs fans were probably hoping for bigger moves, but Haren is helpful as a middle of the rotation guy. If they want to keep up with the race for the NL Wild Card, they probably needed a bigger add, though.
Orioles — Gerardo Parra
This is your response to fend off the Blue Jays?
Giants — Mike Leake
Adding Leake is undoubtably helpful to the rotation, but it sounds like it came at a price. Prospects obviously change hands during all of these deals, but Keury Mella and Adam Duvall might have been an overpayment for Leake’s services (or so I’ve heard).
Astros — Scott Kazmir, Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers
It just keeps feeling like this might be the Astros year for some reason. On the night that their new addition in Kazmir helps them complete a home sweep of the Angels in his debut (and take back first place in the division) Gomez and Fiers acquired as extra firepower. These guys are legit.
Pirates — Joakim Soria, Joe Blanton, Aramis Ramirez
The Pirates are an elite team already, so these smaller pickups aren’t to be overlooked. They’re going to be nice complementary pickups. But like I said earlier, in a year we saw the Blue Jays, Astros and Royals all make big time moves, it would have been fun to see the Buccos in that class.
Dodgers — Mat Latos, Alex Wood, Michael Morse, Bronson Arroyo, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson, Jose Peraza
The Dodgers were rumored to be in on all the top aces, including David Price. It looks like they settled for quantity over quality when you sort through that list, but Latos and Wood will provide some good help at the back end of the rotation.
Cardinals — Brandon Moss, Steve Cishek
Not huge additions, but the Cards are the best team in baseball. Moss could help out if he can find his groove from earlier in the season, but he’s really been struggling of late.
Angels — David Murphy, David DeJesus, Shane Victorino, Conor Gillaspie
Much like the Dodgers, the Angels went for quantity. They added players to platoon in the OF for essentially little to no price. It would have been nice to see them get a guy like Cespedes instead for what wound up being just a slightly higher price tag. I’m sure the team sitting in Houston is pretty pleased, though.
Nationals — Jonathan Papelbon
No DFS impacts here but Papelbon’s going to help the Nats win games. Makes their bullpen much deeper.
Royals — Johnny Cueto, Ben Zobrist
Imagine if the Cardinals got a haul like this? Well the best team in the AL did, and this has to make them favorites to get back to the World Series. An already fantastic team got its hands on an ace and a utility stud — can’t argue against either move.
Mets — Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard, Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson
I was very ready to make fun of the Mets for the Carlos Gomez deal very publicly falling apart while their players cry on the field like little girls. Somehow, in the least likely move of all-time, things worked out. Clippard, Uribe and Johnson are all solid adds, but Cespedes is an even better snag than Gomez. The cherry on top is they would have had to part with Zack Wheeler to land Gomez, but didn’t have to in a deal for the better player (Cespedes).
Most XBH by OF’ers this season: Harper (54), Trout (51), Céspedes (48) Mets OF ranks 27th in XBH https://t.co/yAS0uOBaog— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 31, 2015
Rangers — Cole Hamels
Obviously this improves the Rangers, but I have a few questions/fears. I’m afraid that Hamels could have a tougher time in his new division (and in the AL in general), coming from a pretty easy division to pitch in. Another fear is that maybe the Rangers paid too much. Hamels is legit, but they gave away four of their top 13 prospects, not many other players cost as much as Hamels did.
The sellers were mostly the usual suspects, but three of them actually did really well for themselves, which I’ll address.
Tigers — Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, Jairo Labourt (return on Price alone)
Price wasn’t going to stay in Detroit, so getting three good prospects is a nice move. Norris is considered one of the best young pitching prospects in baseball. What I didn’t like by the Tigers was their inability to get Wheeler from the Mets. In the end they knew they had to part with Cespedes, so they gave in.
Phillies — Jerad Eickoff, Alec Asher, Matt Harrison, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams
Like I mentioned above, I love Philly’s return in the Hamels deal. These prospects all come with hype, that’s all you can ask for. We’ll see how it plays out.
Rockies — Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, Jesus Tinoco
Really interesting return for the Rockies on Tulo, but I love it. Three pitching prospects to work with and another All-Star caliber SS to replace Tulo? The Rockies didn’t take that much of a step back.
The biggest surprise?? The Yankees stayed pat after the Blue Jays spent all week going HAM … the AL East should have a fun finish.
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