The blockbuster trade that all MLB fans want to see go down at the deadline just wasn’t there this year. There were still some monumental moves made, and teams that have that “win now” mentality certainly positioned themselves perfectly to make a World Series run. We’ll diagnose the best deals that made the most sense for certain teams, as well as look at some head scratching moves that did or did not happen for teams that needed to make a change at the deadline.
Winners: Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees
Texas Rangers– A familiar saying, “The rich get richer,” comes to mind when analyzing the moves that the Texas Rangers made at the deadline. At 62-44, the Rangers are in the pole position for the American League pennant and only bolstered their roster. Jonathan Lucroy was one of the biggest targets at the deadline. The former Milwaukee Brewers catcher will now play inspired baseball with a chance to win a World Series in Texas. The best part for the Rangers? The way Lucroy’s contract is structured he’ll probably only cost the Rangers $5.25 million next year, a bargain in the baseball world. Oh, and throw in the fact that the Rangers sealed up their designated hitter position by trading for Hall-of-Famer Carlos Beltran and deadline day was a great day to be a Rangers fan.
Chicago Cubs– Theo Epstein has done it again. About a decade removed from his brilliance in Boston, which ended a curse that Red Sox fans never thought was possible, Epstein pushed all the right buttons at the trade deadline for Chicago. First off, getting flame thrower Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees was a great start. He impressed in his debut to say the least. Before his arrival, a Cubs pitcher had not thrown a pitch 100 mph this season, but Chapman managed to do it 13 times in one inning last Wednesday night. His electric stuff can get out the best in the game. They also added reliever Joe Smith, who can’t be touched by right-handed batters while his side-arm delivery is a nice wrinkle that most MLB hitters struggle to pick up on. The Cubs already have the best record in baseball too at 65-41, just saying.
New York Yankees– The Yankees have definitely overachieved this season, and were in the playoff race after the All-Star break. A poor start to the second half changed plans, and the dynamite bullpen they possessed could not even be used due to their lack of run production. After sending Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians and Carlos Beltran to the Texas Rangers, the Yankees are waving the white flag on the 2016 season. As much as Yankees fans are used to always competing for World Series titles, they are now a few years away. The bright side to all this, and why they are in the winner’s side of this trade deadline bracket is the fact that the future is so promising now. They traded away talented players, but received some very talented prospects in return. They now have six prospects in the Top 50 rankings per ESPN, headlined by Cubs shortstop Gleyber Torres.
Losers: Boston Red Sox and Miami Marlins
Boston Red Sox– It pains me to say this as a Sox fan, but after all the hype surrounding the Sox at the deadline this one can be classified as a strike out. They were the front runners in the Chris Sale sweepstakes, but apparently the asking price was too much. A deal could have been done if they didn’t trade away a top prospect for underwhelming lefty, Drew Pomeranz from San Diego. They added relief help by making a deal with the Minnesota Twins for specialist Fernando Abad, but as their closest competition (Rangers, Indians) vastly improved, the Sox stayed in neutral.
Miami Marlins– The Marlins have shocked us all this year by currently hanging on to the second spot in the NL Wild Card race, but they returned to their unlucky ways during the trade deadline. They made a deal with the San Diego Padres for starters Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea that has now backfired. Cashner will likely provide some decent starts, but Colin Rea was injured in his first outing with the Marlins and thus will be traded back to the Padres. The Marlins still lost top-prospect Josh Naylor in the deal, and did not get much better while the push for the playoffs will only get harder.
After all the trade deadline dust settles, there is still a lot of baseball left to be played. With just about two months left in the regular season there are a few pivotal series that will determine whether or not these moves were worth it.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants – Sept. 30-Oct. 2
Let’s start this segment with a bang. These two NL West rivals are only separated by two games in the standings and they both made smart moves at the trade deadline. The Dodgers added Rich Hill, a starter from the Athletics, and the Giants received Matt Moore in a trade with the Rays. Whichever starting pitcher has more an impact could tip the scales for the division title. Either way everything should be on the line in these last three games of the season, and they will be must-see just like any other game between these two heated rivals.
Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Indians – Aug. 25-28
This will be an interesting matchup to say the least. The Rangers are the best team in the American League, followed closely by the Cleveland Indians. The Indians vastly improved their bullpen by getting Andrew Miller from the Yankees, and tried to lure Lucroy to the team, but he used his no-trade clause and instead was traded to the Rangers. The Rangers now have a great offense, but these will be some intense games in late August as it could be an ALCS preview.
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox – Sept. 27-29
You know the biggest rivalry in baseball history had to make the list. It seems as if the Yankees gave up on this season, but are only 5 1/2 games out of a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. With two months left that is plenty of time. The Red Sox pitching got a little bit better and necessary depth was added, but their offense has been historic this season. The Yankees could be fighting for a playoff spot or would relish playing the spoiler role for the Red Sox playoff chances. David Ortiz should have something to say about it as well as it will likely be the last games he ever plays in Yankee Stadium.
There is no doubt the trade deadline set us up for an amazing finish to the 2016 MLB season. As fans, all we have to do now is sit back and enjoy great baseball. Or in the case of many fans, stand up and cheer for our favorite teams at the ballpark! Find tickets to some of the most important MLB games of the season right here at TicketNetwork.