The deadline gave us five different approaches from the teams in the AL West. Now that the dust has settled and we are about to turn the calendar to the dog days of August, the division looks like a two-team race.
Let’s take a look at how the clubs did.
The Astros have the best offense in the American League so far this season. So naturally, the thing to do is build up the pitching staff, right? The answer is yes and that is exactly what Houston did adding four bullpen pieces in Kendall Graveman, Rafael Montero, Yimi Garcia, and Phil Maton. While they did part with young third baseman Abraham Toro and centerfielder Myles Straw, they addressed a need. The Astros went out and fixed the one area of their team that could have been considered a weakness heading into the last two months of the season. They currently have the best record in the AL and the Astros put themselves in a prime position to hang onto that number one seed. That is a win.
The A’s were also buyers at the deadline but took a different approach than the Astros. Oakland has the third-best ERA in the AL (3.68), but their offense has been lacking. They were smart about it and made an early splash acquiring Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins. As time was winding down yesterday, they also acquired veterans Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison from the Washington Nationals. Those three hitters will lengthen Oakland’s lineup and give Bob Melvin some more flexibility as we head down the stretch. The A’s also added lefty Andrew Chafin to an already excellent bullpen as well. They, like Houston, addressed what was a glaring need.
Jerry Dipoto threw everyone a curveball. We expected a number of moves from the mad trader over the last few days. Alas, the Mariners only traded away their closer and then acquired a new one. On the surface that looks a little silly, but Graveman is a rental, and Montero only has one more year before hitting free agency. Whereas, Diego Castillo, who Seattle got from the Tampa Bay Rays, has three more years of control. Dipoto also managed to get back Kyle Seager‘s eventual replacement in the 24-year-old Toro. All in all, not horrible, but not game-changing either.
At .500 entering yesterday and sitting in fourth place in the AL West, the Angels looked like they might be sellers. They got rid of southpaw Andrew Heaney for Junk. No, literally they got back pitcher Janson Junk along with fellow right-hander Elvis Peguero from the New York Yankees. Los Angeles also traded veteran reliever Tony Watson to the San Francisco Giants for three pitchers. With Jared Walsh hurt and Mike Trout still working his way back, the Angels were smart to sell. They did what they could to further boost their stable of pitchers in the minors after famously drafting only pitchers in all 20 rounds of the MLB Draft.
With the second-worst record in baseball, it is obvious the Rangers are rebuilding. They traded their three top pieces in Joey Gallo, Kyle Gibson, and Ian Kennedy. Along with Joely Rodriguez and some cash, they got a lot in return. From the Yankees, they received pitcher Glenn Otto and middle infielders Josh Smith, Ezequiel Duran, and Trevor Hauver. From the Philadelphia Phillies, they got potential ace Spencer Howard with right-handers Josh Gessner and Kevin Gowdy. There was no surprise here and the Rangers did well for themselves as the four players they got from New York all slot in the Rangers’ top 25 with two of them, Smith and Duran, in the top 10.
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