The 2021 MLB trade deadline has come and gone. Perhaps no division was as active as the National League West. When all was said and done, this was the division that featured the most blockbuster deals amidst its leaders.
Let’s recap and analyze the deals that took place in the NL West.
The Diamondbacks didn’t have an incredible deadline effort, but they did make enough moves to justify them as winners. Their biggest deal was sending Eduardo Escobar to the Brewers in exchange for Cooper Hummel and Alberto Ciprian. This, along with dealing Joakim Soria and Stephen Vogt, were also deals that allowed Arizona to pick up lower-level prospects in exchange for veteran rentals. While it would have been even better for them to trade someone like Merrill Kelly, they can always do that next year. All in all, the Diamondbacks should feel good about the deals they made in the weeks and days leading up to the deadline. It’s not enough to give them an A grade, but it’s certainly better than a C.
New general manager, same old Rockies. Colorado’s deadline performance was the absolute weakest in all of MLB. They had an opportunity to unload several key rentals who have been performing well, as well as some other older and un-needed pieces. Instead of trading players like Trevor Story, Jon Gray, Daniel Bard, and C.J. Cron, Colorado merely parted ways with Mychal Givens. At the end of the day, the Rockies failed to make the moves they needed to make in order to succeed down the road. Now, instead of fetching a large prospect haul, they’ll merely fetch a compensatory pick. This should be chalked up as yet another major failure by the struggling Rockies brass. If not for trading Givens, they would easily receive an F grade.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers pulled off the biggest trade the baseball world has seen in quite some time. After the Padres had a deal in place for Max Scherzer, the Dodgers jumped in and stole him—and then got Trea Turner, too. It cost them a pretty penny, but it’ll allow them to compete ferociously in baseball’s most stacked division. They also made up for a potential overpay with the Nats by clearly winning a deal with the Royals in which they acquired Danny Duffy. Ultimately, Los Angeles was able to get three pieces that will have a massive impact on their performance down the stretch. This team might just be the best in all of MLB now that they have Scherzer, Duffy, and Turner in tow.
San Diego Padres
The Padres were the frontrunners for Joey Gallo and Jose Berrios. They thought they had Max Scherzer locked up. Instead, they emerged with Jake Marisnick, Daniel Hudson, and Adam Frazier. That’s not a weak haul by any means, but it’s still a disappointment considering the expectations the team formed approaching the deadline. This lack of elite additions looks even worse when considering how much the Dodger and Giants fortified their rosters. In a league that is always adapting and getting better, it should be questioned just how much the Padres improved in July. San Diego made some moves, but since they failed to strike a blockbuster deal when their big-name rivals did, they draw a C grade.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants have the best record in baseball, so they didn’t necessarily need to make a boatload of moves. Instead, it was critical for them to make just enough additions to separate themselves from the rest of the NL West. They did just that by acquiring Kris Bryant from the Cubs, as well as reliever Tony Watson from the Angels. San Francisco massively overpaid for Watson, but they made up for it by slightly underpaying in a deal for Bryant. It’ll go down as an even bigger steal if the Giants extend Kris Bryant, win the World Series, or both. In the end, the Giants bolstered their bullpen and landed Kris Bryant without losing Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, or Marco Luciano. That alone fetches them an A grade.
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