Wow! The trade deadline has now passed, and what a crazy time it was. Some moves were predictable, but others came out of nowhere. We will be looking at each division and what each team did, starting with the American League East. The AL East was one of the busiest divisions in the league at the deadline.
With not many notable pieces to move, the Orioles had a fairly quiet trade deadline. The only real big name that had any rumblings of being talked about was left-hander John Means. But the talks of Means never went anywhere, and the only real deadline move Baltimore made was a buzzer-beater deal. That being a trade of shortstop Freddy Galvis to the Philadelphia Phillies. In return, the Orioles received 23-year-old right-handed reliever, Tyler Burch. Burch is not found on the latest MLB Pipeline top 30 Phillies prospect list, but he has some potential. Burch has combined to strike out 49 batters in 29 1/3 innings across Low-A and High-A this year, along with holding a low walk per nine of just 2.5. It will interesting to see what level the Orioles start Burch out at, whether it is High-A Aberdeen or Double-A Bowie.
The Red Sox came into the deadline sitting in first place in the division. Expectations were high that they would make a splash. General Manager Chaim Bloom seemed prepped to go out for a big move for an ace like Max Scherzer and a first baseman like Anthony Rizzo. Instead it was somewhat of a disappointment, but not a complete failure. After seeing the Yankees sneak in to get Rizzo, they “settled” for Kyle Schwarber, who is currently on the 10-day injured list. When he comes back, he should be the impact bat that Boston sought after. The deal for Schwarber cost them their number 19 prospect, right-hander Aldo Ramirez. Schwarber had an incredible month of June, as he slashed .280/.362/.760 with 16 home runs in 116 plate appearances.
The Red Sox also swung a last-minute deal for right-handed reliever Hansel Robles from the Minnesota Twins. In the deal, they sent minor league pitcher Alex Scherff to Minnesota. Robles, who turns 31 in two weeks, owns a 4.91 ERA, 4.82 FIP, and 1.39 WHIP in 45 appearances and 44 innings this season. While this deal hardly moves the needle, the Sox didn’t give up much. Also, who knows, maybe Robles will turn it around with the change of scenery.
The Yankees haven’t lived up to expectations this year and needed to do something drastic to improve their chances of not only going deep into the playoffs but even just making it. So, they went out and got not one, but two impact left-handed bats. On Wednesday, the Bombers swung a deal for big bopper Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers. Then on Thursday, they came out of pretty much nowhere and picked up Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs. Both of these left-handed hitters really change the Yankees’ lineup construction. Gallo isn’t just a one-trick pony like many people would let you believe. He gets on base at a .379 clip and is a tremendous defensive outfielder with a very strong arm. The former Ranger went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his Yankee debut on Friday night, but he also walked once. Rizzo also has a high .346 on-base percentage and plays great defense at first base. He went 2-for-3 with a homer and a walk on Friday as his homer broke a scoreless tie in the sixth.
In a trade deadline day deal, the Yankees added left-hander pitcher Andrew Heaney from the Los Angeles Angels. Heaney gives New York another option in the rotation which has been very good of late, while they wait for Luis Severino to make his return. The southpaw may not have the best numbers, but he has struck out 113 batters in 94 innings. Making these deals even better is the fact the Yankees don’t have to pay any of these player’s salaries for this season.
The Rays are right in the division race, now just a half-game back of the Red Sox after beating Boston on Friday. The moves they made at the deadline barely moved the needle, though, especially with the rest of the division going crazy (minus the Orioles). In a head-scratching deal, they traded away one of their better relievers in Diego Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. Castillo is only 27 and held a 2.72 ERA in 36 1/3 innings over 37 appearances for the Rays this season while having an active streak of 10 straight scoreless outings. In return, Tampa Bay got third baseman Austin Shenton and right-hander JT Chargois. Chargois will have an immediate impact as he was an effective arm in the Mariners’ bullpen, limiting opponents to a .217 average. The Rays also received outfielder Jordan Luplow and right-hander DJ Johnson from the Cleveland Indians for right-handed pitching prospect Peyton Battenfield.
The Blue Jays needed to make a splash for a pitcher, and they sure did. Being right in the playoff hunt, Toronto picked up Brad Hand from the Washington Nationals on Thursday for catching prospect Riley Adams. While Hand has not been great of late – 9.45 ERA, 7 earned runs, and six walks in his last seven games – he hasn’t had a terrible season. He has converted 21 of 27 save opportunities, but did blow his last two chances with the Nationals. The Jays weren’t finished with that move, as they made a massive deadline day trade with the Twins for Jose Berrios. While getting Berrios to add to their rotation is solid, it was a massive overpay. Especially when the team really doesn’t really have a great chance to go on a deep postseason run this season. Maybe the fact that Berrios is under contract through 2022 takes some sting away. But they gave up their second and sixth-ranked prospects based on our preseason rankings, in infielder Austin Martin and right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson. Both of them are on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list, Martin 16th, and Woods Richardson 68th.
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