As baseball fans, there are many things we don’t agree on. If you’re reading this, I probably don’t know you, but I can bet that we probably don’t agree on many things regarding baseball. But one thing we, along with everyone else, probably agree on is that this MLB Trade Deadline was the most exciting in years.
I can’t think of a Deadline that had more superstars, and super-prospects, getting moved here, there and everywhere than this one. Just like every deadline though, there were winners and losers. For instance, if you’re a Toronto Blue Jays fan, high fives all around. If you’re a Los Angeles Angels fan, you better start praying that an Angel in the Outfield keeps you alongside the Houston Astros.
So here are the winners and losers.
Winner: Toronto Blue Jays
This is almost as obvious as it gets.
If they had just gotten Troy Tulowitzki, I would have put them in the losers column. He could make their offense a thousand times better, but it really wouldn’t matter considering how good it already is without him in it.
But the deal for David Price is what puts the Jays in the “Clear Winners” category.
There was a lot of doubt leading up to July 31st on whether or not GM Alex Anthopoulos would actually try and improve his team.
And boy, did he ever.
Despite the fact that he gave up Daniel Norris, the 18th-ranked prospect on Baseball America’s Midseason Prospect list, Anthopolous made up for it in a big way. And he wasn’t done yet.
He then went out and got reliever Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners who has a 1.00 ERA and addresses the needs in the bullpen. After that, he went out and got Ben Revere from the Philadelphia Phillies who has a slash line of .298/.334/.374. Revere really helps the speed aspect for the Blue Jays as well.
Overall, the Blue Jays addressed every single need they had, and more.
Anthopoulos can no longer be called passive.
Winner: Houston Astros
But, they did not go to the extent that the Jays did, or a team later on this list did, in acquiring a Cy Young candidate. They did acquire Scott Kazmir, who is a brilliant guy to have at the top of the rotation. On top of that, Houston is his hometown.
The Astros also acquired Mike Fiers from the Milwaukee Brewers to help add to starting pitching depth.
But the biggest splash came with Carlos Gomez. Yes, they gave up an arm and a leg to get him, but still: Gomez in centerfield along with his bat is worth it.
The ‘Stros are getting fans thinking about 2005. Except this time, they’re thinking about winning it all.
Winner: Kansas City Royals
What’s going on with this “obvious” trend, because again, we have an obvious winner.
With the addition of ace Johnny Cueto, the Royals only solidified their spot atop the AL Central, and possibly the league. They also snagged Ben Zobrist, which isn’t a huge acquisition, but still an important one. He can fill in for Alex Gordon in left field.
The Royals are undoubtedly going for it this year, and for years to come.
Winner: Philadelphia Phillies
Most teams selling don’t get the most they could possibly get for their stars (a.k.a. the Colorado Rockies). But the exception to that rule was the Phillies. With Hamels now a Texas Ranger, baseball fans can finally let out a sigh of relief. Hamels has been rumored to go to numerous teams over the past year, and Amaro Jr. has taken more criticism than the Kardashian family combined for it. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch.
But still, a lot of heat toward Ruben.
The Phillies got five of the Rangers’ top prospects that are all projected at least as solid Major Leaguers. The Phillies are headed in the right direction for the future because of this deal, and the effects will be long lasting.
Well done, Rube. Well done.
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
I understand that they didn’t get Price, Cueto or Hamels. But, their goal was to solidify the starting rotation, and that they did.
In a huge three-team blockbuster with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins, they got starters Mat Latos and Alex Wood. They got much-needed relief help with Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan. And, they also got the 26th-best prospect in baseball with Jose Peraza. Although none of these guys are household names, they still met the needs of the team.
Getting these solid players was a smart move by the Dodgers. Their expectations are already high, and if they had gotten one of the aces out there, the expectations would have been enormous and almost too big to fathom.
Smart moves. Hopefully big results if you’re a Dodgers fan.
Now, lets get to the losers.
Loser: San Diego Padres
Considering the Laws of Physics, what goes up must come down. A.J. Preller found a way to break that law.
As the Trade Deadline approached, the new GM literally threw his entire team up in the air for opposing GM’s.. Almost every one of their players was rumored to go at some point, but somehow no one was dealt. Everyone thought there would be last minute deals done for the Padres, but none materialized
After the 4:00 pm ET trade deadline had passed, Preller said the reason for no moves was because he thought his team had a shot at the wild card spot.
Preller is either the worst liar in the history of the world, or should have his house searched for highly hallucinogenic drugs. Whatever the case may be, Padres fans should be pissed off. Yes, with that lineup there is still the smallest chance they turn it around. And yes, a lot of the team will be free agents at the end of the year. But that only means that they’ll be right where they were at the end of last year: boring and mediocre.
Hey, Matt Kemp: is A.J. Preller still a rock star-GM?
Loser: New York Mets
This is the controversial one.
There are two reasons why the Mets are losers. The first is the glaring question on everyone’s mind: why didn’t you take Carlos Gomez? We know why (his hip), but really who cares? In reality, it probably had more to do with the Mets balking at how much of Gomez’s salary they would be on the hook for and then finding a way to back out. The Mets were going to give up Zack Wheeler, a potential bust of a top pitching prospect, and Wilmer Flores, your average shortstop. So with what they were going to give up, the hip thing didn’t exactly matter.
The second is the Yoenis Cespedes trade. I have nothing against Cespedes. In fact, I think he has arguably the best raw power in the game. He’ll also be hitting at Citi Field: a place where he won a Home Run Derby. But it’s not him I don’t like — it’s his contract.
The Mets got desperate and picked up the biggest rental player there is. No literally, it’s in his contract. In his contract, it says that the team he’s on must release him after the season, so therefore they can’t resign him. CBA rules say that any team that releases a player can’t resign them until May 15th, which then puts them on the market for an outfielder in the offseason.
Cespedes being a pure rental wouldn’t matter if the Mets were clear World Series favorites.
But, they’re not.
His power helps their measly offense, but it doesn’t exactly put them as playoff favorites. Getting Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe helps their cases, but doesn’t beat the Nationals by themselves.
But, you never know. Chances are they just miss the playoffs and Cespedes is swinging his club for someone else next year.
Loser: Minnesota Twins
The Twins are in second in the AL Central, and did nothing. They got Kevin Jepsen who helps out the bullpen, but nothing major. They could have used some more offense, and some more starting pitching. But, they decided to stand pat.
With the streaking Chicago White Sox behind them, who also surprisingly did nothing as well, you’d think the Twins would want to gain an advantage on them that way.
It should be a crap-shoot come September for who finishes in second behind the Royals. Obviously the Twins still have a large shot at the Wild Card, but you’d think that have a bit more urgency for bringing in at least someone.
Disclamer: They are the Twins though, so what did you really expect?
Loser: Los Angeles Angels
I’ve never seen a team whose offense is run by two players until I saw the 2015 Angels. You would have thought that they would have went out and picked up another big bat, like a Cespedes, or an arm.
Instead, they opted to go for the role-playing Shane Victorino, which was smart to help mentor Mike Trout and the group of young guys there. They then got David DeJesus from the Tampa Bay Rays and David Murphy from the Cleveland Indians.
They got three mediocre outfielders to occupy right field. The question most Angels fans are saying right now is why the hell would you do that? That doesn’t make sense: not in Los Angeles, or on Earth, or even on Saturn for that matter.
They are in a foot race with the Astros and judging from the deadline, it looks as if the Astros are now the clear favorites to win the Division.
Start putting your hands together and praying, Angels fans.
Loser: Miami Marlins
This is my chance to rant about the worst franchise in all of baseball, and possibly all of sports.
They were not projected to really do anything at the deadline, but what they did proves how bad of a franchise they are.
They basically made all of their trades for salary relief reasons: Mike Morse, Latos and a competitive-balance draft pick, likely to be in the first round, were all sent away. For that, they got three minor-leaguers who by the way, aren’t even prospects.
This further proves how cheap of a franchise they really are, and how they’re really committed to screwing over their fans and saving as much money as they can instead of winning: that’s why they built that gaudy new Marlins Park with mostly taxpayer money.
If you’re a baseball fan living in Miami, move. Go somewhere else that has a real baseball team.
Fun Fact: the owner, Jeffrey Loria, is the second-most hated person in Miami, only behind Fidel Castro. This deadline only helps his case to be number one.
Loser: New York Yankees
At the deadline this year, the Yankees were like that one friend that leads a bunch of girls on and then when crunch time comes, they run away. In baseball terms, they were rumored to be in on a bunch of players, and then in the end just kind of ducked off.
Any rumors of them being in on Padres players don’t count as them “ducking away”. The Padres ended up pulling back as well.
The Yankees needed some pitching help, and didn’t address it at all. The only move they made was snagging outfielder Dustin Ackley from the Mariners, which is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
With the Toronto Blue Jays gunning for first place, and Michael Pineda on the DL, the Yankees’ only hope is that Tulo can’t handle balls on the turf, Price develops an inability to pitch outside of America and that the Blue Jays go back to being the Blue Jays.
That’s what you get for being misleading.