The MLB trade deadline has come and gone.
Although no aces were on the move, some big bats and solid pitchers got thrown into the mix on playoff contenders. In the end we saw a pretty wild deadline day that included 50 players changing uniforms in 18 deals.
Now that the smoke has cleared, we can sit back and examine the headline moves when it comes to not only the teams involved, but the DFS ramifications.
Here are the 10 most impactful additions:
10. Minnesota Twins
The Twins were buyers??? The Twins were buyers! Obviously, this isn’t a huge move and Minnesota isn’t going anywhere this season. It’s still a solid move for the future considering how cheap Santiago came. The Twins are swinging the bats well right now, so adding an arm definitely makes them more respectable. Minnesota could have some of the better low-owned GPP options the rest of the way out.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates had a little bit of a confusing deadline. They sold on closer Mark Melancon and starter Francisco Liriano, but also chose to bring in Nova. It was a neutral effort to balance not giving up on this season while keeping an eye toward the future. Just going off the numbers, Nova’s been much better than Liriano this season, even in the AL East. Nova could be a nice upgrade for right now in Pittsburgh’s rotation.
8. Toronto Blue Jays
As mentioned, Liriano was on the move and will be joining Nova’s old division. With a 5.46 ERA in the NL Central, life in the AL East may come at Francisco fast. This is a nice add for the back of the rotation for the Jays as it accomplishes their goal of moving Aaron Sanchez back to the bullpen later this month. We’ll see if Liriano can be solid enough. He’s been very hit or miss.
7. Tampa Bay Rays
This was a weird trade by both sides (more on the Giants below). But simply from a Rays point of view, this trade is a win. Duffy is an extremely valuable young infielder that’s going to keep improving, and really help the Rays’ brutal lineup right away. He’s also under contract for the next five seasons which is crucial for a market like Tampa in terms of retaining him. As Duffy improves, he could also be another huge trade chip for the Rays.
6. Cleveland Indians
The Indians didn’t have a huge “DFS deadline,” but they did wonders for their World Series chances. Keep in mind they added Andrew Miller from the Yankees. But Guyer was a nice add to the outfield as well. Guyer gives Cleveland a right handed bat that can crush left-handed pitching — which means he’s likely to platoon with LHB Lonnie Chisenhall. Being able to play matchups down the stretch (with an arm that can close out games) unquestionably makes Cleveland better.
5. Baltimore Orioles
Steve Pearce and Wade Miley
The O’s probably should’ve just re-signed Pearce so they didn’t have to go out and trade for him, but the past is the past. The move still gives Baltimore a big bat that’s had tons of experience in their lineup already — a lineup that’s improved since Pearce left. The Miley deal isn’t one to sleep on either. Miley was solid in the AL East with Boston last season and should be again with Baltimore. The rotation is a huge question mark for the O’s, and with a lineup like theirs, Miley makes them better, and could provide a sneaky cheap option for DK purposes.
4. San Francisco Giants
Matt Moore and Eduardo Nunez
So the Giants got Moore in the Duffy deal. I can’t decide if this was a win or a loss … Adding pitching is great, but with Mad Bum, Cueto and Samardzija is it worth the cost of a strong young bat in a lineup that already struggles to score? We’ll find out. Moore was a one time elite pitching prospect that’s under contract for three more seasons and could turn his career around in the NL West. It’s going to be interesting to watch this play out. Common sense tells us Moore will improve in San Fran. Don’t sleep on Nunez being added to the lineup as well. The idea has to be to bring in some type of offense to fill the void Duffy left. I don’t hate it.
3. New York Mets
Jay Bruce and Jonathon Niese
A Jay Bruce trade finally happened! The Mets gave away some solid prospects, but nothing overwhelming for the guy that leads the NL with 80 RBI. The Mets are historically bad at getting men across the plate with runners in scoring position (the worst since 1969). This is going to help, and Bruce will be back with the team next season to try and recapture some of that 2015 magic. Niese had been with the Mets for his entire career until being traded to the Pirates for Neil Walker in the offseason. With Harvey shut down, he’s back home in a swap for Antonio Bastardo, an ex-Pirate reliever headed back to Pittsburgh. Interesting swap.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Josh Reddick and Rich Hill
Reddick and Hill are two very good upgrades for the Dodgers. With Puig being sent down to the minors and his future with LAD in question, Reddick gives them an everyday outfielder. Hill helps a rotation that’s holding on by a thread waiting for the news on Clayton Kershaw. It’s pretty simple, if this team can get into the playoffs with a healthy Kershaw, it always has a chance. These additions give the Dodgers a better chance. If Kershaw can’t make it back … well, things become much different.
1. Texas Rangers
Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran
Texas needed some arms and was only able to slightly upgrade the bullpen. It really needed a starting pitching and didn’t get one. So what do you do? Just keep piling on with offense. After having a huge lead in the division, the Astros are breathing down the Rangers necks now. Beltran and Lucroy are two huge upgrades to the lineup that didn’t come at a very high cost. These were two excellent win now moves that give us two obvious bats to throw into a Rangers stack.
Back to real baseball for a moment. Closing out games with elite postseason pitching really, really matters. Joe Smith and Aroldis Chapman put the Cubs in great position to finish off opponents down the stretch and into the playoffs. This team made the moves it needed to make to win the World Series. That’s all you can ask for.
New York Yankees
The Yankees won by becoming sellers for the first time since the ’80’s. When you’re the Yankees, you can get away with this because come the offseason it’s not going to matter. New York will simply reload with a handful of the best free agents on the market and be right back in contention. Hell, there’s even talk that Chapman already wants to sign back with the Yankees. Let’s see how Chicago works out. But the kicker is all the prospects New York gained. Moving Chapman, Miller, Beltran and Nova got the Yanks some really nice pieces. When the next deadline rolls around, they have the ability to be huge buyers without sacrificing major league pieces.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.