By the time the MLB trade deadline passed on July 31, we needed to let the dust clear after all the action. It was a very active deadline to say the least, but there were four teams that stood out.
I graded every team that made a noteworthy deal, which you can read here. However, the Blue Jays, Royals, Astros and Mets made the biggest splashes. Only a couple weeks later they’re already showing us how being a deadline buyer can turn your season in the right direction.
Let’s start with the Blue Jays — by FAR the best example (probably too extreme of an example but it really helps prove my point). When the Jays traded for Troy Tulowitzki on July 28 they were in fourth place in the AL East with a losing record of 50-51.
It took balls to not only add Tulo, but then go out and pay the price for David Price, and even Ben Revere.
Now, on August 13, the Blue Jays are World Series favorites in the eyes of many. The Jays are 64-52 … yup, that’s 14-1 since they decided to start wheeling and dealing. Absolutely amazing when you think about the tear Toronto’s on.
It was July 26 when the Royals, then leading the Twins by 7.5 games in the division, made a power play on Johnny Cueto (with a record of 59-38). They may be just 68-45 today, but they’ve increased their lead on the Twins to 11.5 games, and have the ace it takes to win in the playoffs.
On Monday night (in his home debut) Cueto threw a complete game shutout against the Tigers, both establishing his dominance, and showing the home fans just what they can expect from him down the stretch. The Royals are just as much favorites in the AL as the Jays, thanks to their additions.
Then there’s the Astros, who sat a game back of the Angels at 54-43 on July 23 — the day they acquired Scott Kazmir. Although they’re currently just 62-53, they’ve added Carlos Gomez to their outfield and taken over first place in the AL West.
Much like the Royals, they haven’t seen the immediate success the Blue Jays have, but Houston has put itself in strong position to win the division as the current heavy favorites.
Finally, of course, we have the Mets. These guys were dead in the water. The Nationals were locks to win the division on July 24 when they sat 3.0 games ahead of the 49-48 Mets. That was the day New York added Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson in a three team deal.
Today the Mets are considered strong favorites to hold onto their 4.0 game lead over the Nats, and they’re hearing some World Series talk too. The Mets now sit at 63-52, much thanks to their last minute addition of Yoenis Cespedes, but they’re still 14-4 since originally deciding to become buyers.
So what’s the point?
Well, there’s a couple actually. The first is simple, never be shy to buy no matter who you are. You don’t have to be a division leader looking to establish dominance. Look at the Blue Jays, they went for it and it’s paying off. Secondly, every season is different, but maybe this will encourage more teams (especially non-traditional buyers like the ones above) to be aggressive and go after it next season.
It’s just more fun when we get a lot of trades! Both as fans and DFS players.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow