AL Central Trade Deadline Review

AL Central Trade Deadline Review

by July 31, 2021 5 comments

After a whirlwind Friday where trades were flying, it’s time to wrap up an exciting Trade Deadline. Today, we take a look at the teams of the AL Central. We will analyze each team’s moves, and determine their deadline grade. Let’s get started.

Be sure to check out all of our division grades: AL East | AL West | NL East | NL Central | NL West

Chicago White Sox

We start with the division leader, the Chicago White Sox. Yesterday, they made one of the earlier moves acquiring Cesar Hernandez from the Cleveland Indians, who will become their starting second baseman, and adds a great contact hitter to their lineup. Their big move on deadline day was acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel from the Chicago Cubs. They had to give up a couple of young pieces to acquire him in Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer, but as this deadline showed if you want to compete, you’ll have to part with something pretty major. Overall, it was a great couple of days for the White Sox. They added a quality bat in Hernandez, and another lethal reliever in Kimbrel to pair with Liam Hendriks.

Grade: A-

Cleveland Indians

The Indians weren’t extremely active but did make some deals. As mentioned earlier they traded Cesar Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox, getting pitcher Konnor Pilkington in return on Thursday. They also made a few moves on deadline day, sending OF Eddie Rosario to the Atlanta Braves, trading OF Jordan Luplow and pitcher DJ Johnson to the Tampa Bay Rays, and dealing pitcher Phil Maton and catcher Yainer Diaz to the Houston Astros. In those deals, the Indians received Pablo Sandoval from the Braves, who has since been released, pitcher Peyton Bettenfield from the Rays, and OF Myles Straw from the Astros. It seems as though the Indians are retooling, which is odd seeing as they are only five games out of a Wild Card spot. However, they got a couple of young pitchers and a utility outfielder who will be able to plug into their lineup.

Grade: C-

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers were one of the more dormant teams with no deals happening on deadline day but dealt Daniel Norris to the Milwaukee Brewers for Reese Olson Thursday night. For the Tigers, who are starting to get out of their rebuild it seems, this was the right move to stand pat, and gain a young pitcher for a player that wouldn’t be back.

Grade: C+

Kansas City Royals

The Royals were a team with intrigue heading into the deadline. But it turns out the only move they made on deadline day was sending Jorge Soler to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Kasey Kalich. On Thursday night, they traded Danny Duffy to the Los Angeles Dodgers for players to be named later. Many across the baseball world thought this would be the year that Whit Merrifield would be moved, but they decided to stand pat. It is a little surprising that Merrifield is still a Royal with the hauls that teams were getting for some of their top players. The Royals certainly could’ve accelerated their rebuild, but they feel confident in their current group and got a good return for Soler, who is on an expiring deal

Grade: C

Minnesota Twins

Who would’ve seen the Twins selling at the deadline after last season? But here we are, and sell the Twins did. In one of the most shocking deals of the day, the Twins traded starting pitcher Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for shortstop Austin Martin and pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson. Martin was the fifth overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft and the 16th best prospect on MLB Pipeline’s rankings. That’s a great return for the Twins.

They also traded J.A Happ to the St. Louis Cardinals for John Gant and Evan Sisk, and sent Hansel Robles to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Alex Scherff. But the biggest trade is that Berrios trade. Martin being involved was shocking, and Richardson is also a great prospect as well, and these two prospects slot into the 2nd and 3rd best prospects in the Twins system according to MLB Pipeline. Happ and Robles were one year only pieces who struggled with the Twins and getting a return on them is good for the club.

Grade: A

Overall Analysis

The AL Central was a busy division during this year’s trade deadline. The two biggest winners in the division are the White Sox and the Twins for two different reasons. The White Sox strengthened themselves as a contender, and the Twins made some great deals to get good prospects into their system. The biggest loser in the division is the Indians. Most of their moves seemed to be moving players on one-year deals, but it didn’t seem like moves from a team that still is in the Wild Card hunt. However, the great thing about trades in baseball is that time will tell if these trades are better, or worse than everyone first thought they would turn out.

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