The MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone again and this year was one of the craziest ones in recent years. In total, 10 All-Stars were traded, the most ever in deadline history. Let’s recap each team’s deadline and grade them.
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The Diamondbacks have been the worst team in the MLB this season and it only made sense for them to be sellers at the trade deadline. However, the only big-name player that they traded away was infielder Escobar to Milwaukee. The Brewers added Willy Adames earlier this season, who has been on fire since joining the team, and adding Escobar gives them a new piece at the hot corner.
During his time in Arizona this season, Escobar hit 22 home runs and drove in 65 runs. He fits right in with Milwaukee, who has hit the 14th-most home runs this season. Even though they have a 6.5 game lead over the Reds in the NL Central, it was crucial to add more power to their lineup with teams like the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres in the NL playoff picture. In return, the D-backs added Hummel, who is a versatile player with a .257 average and 7 home runs in 163 at-bats this season. Thye also got 18-year-old Ciprian, who has impressed in only 20 games this season, hitting .328 with 11 RBI.
The Braves suffered a crushing blow with the loss of franchise cornerstone and star outfielder, Ronald Acuña Jr. The loss left a huge void in the outfield, meaning they needed to be active when the deadline came around. With only Ehire Adrianza and Abraham Almonte on the bench, Atlanta went out and acquired four outfielders. The team added two power hitters in Pederson and Soler to try to boost the lineup without one of their top power hitters. They reunited with Duvall and brought in Rosario to give their outfield lots of depth.
However, the Braves didn’t stop with additions in the outfield. They made a big splash and improved the back end of their bullpen with Rodriguez. The former Pirate has a 2.44 ERA with 14 saves in 44.2 innings pitched this season. The one downside is that they traded away Wilson, who stepped up in the playoffs last year. Overall, the Braves beefed up their lineup and bullpen as they chase the crown in a wide open NL East race.
Additions: RHP Tyler Burch and Cash
The Orioles were pretty quiet during a busy trade deadline. They traded away starting shortstop Galvis to the Phillies and sent Armstrong to the Rays. The emergence of Cedric Mullins has been the bright spot for the team this season as they continue their long rebuild.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have been one of the league’s most shocking teams this season, finding themselves right in the American League playoff picture. Going into the deadline, they needed to add a first baseman and starting pitcher, but neither were addressed. Boston traded for Schwarber from the Nationals, but he is currently on the Injured List and suffered an additional setback. It is unclear when he will return to action and whether he could be transitioned into the team’s first baseman, but he has showcased his power this season with 25 homers.
Instead of focusing on starting pitching, they added to the bullpen with the acquisitions of Robles and Davis. Unfortunately, both have struggled this season with ERAs above 4.75. In addition, the Red Sox traded away one of their most versatile players in Chavis. Chavis has hit under the Mendoza Line (.200 batting average) this season, but his versatility is a plus to any team. Overall, a disappointing deadline for Boston as they failed to add a first baseman and boost starting pitching.
Chicago White Sox
The AL Central-leading White Sox were busy during the trade deadline this year. They made two trades with their cross-town rival, Cubs. The first one was for Tepera, who had a sub-3.00 ERA with the Cubs and had 50 strikeouts. The second trade was for star closer, Kimbrel, who was an All-Star with a sub-1.00 ERA with the Wrigley squad this year. However, it was a steep price for Kimbrel as Chicago gave up Madrigal, who was the second baseman of the future for the franchise.
With Madrigal hurt and now traded, there was a void at second for the White Sox. They addressed it with the addition of Hernandez from the Indians. Hernandez is a drastic upgrade over Danny Mendick and is one of the best fielding second basemen in the MLB. Overall, the White Sox created a dominant three-headed monster at the back end of the bullpen with Tepera, Kimbrel, and Hendriks and boosted their infield with Hernandez. However, the hefty price tag on Kimbrel hurts their grade. Kimbrel has struggled with Sox so far and Madrigal was hitting .305 before his injury and is a potential future star.
Additions: 2B Nick Madrigal, RHP Codi Heuer, OF Alexander Canario, RHP Caleb Kilian, OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, RHP Andrew Espinoza, RHP Alexander Vizacaíno, OF Kevin Alcántara, OF Greg Deichmann, and RHP Daniel Palencia
The Cubs fully adopted their eventual rebuild with a fire sale of talent at the deadline. Early in the season, Chicago was atop the NL Central and was leaning towards one last playoff run with their trio of Báez, Bryant, and Rizzo. However, a long losing streak changed that and they fell into fourth place in the division. With that, the Cubs traded the entire trio, along with outfielder Pederson and top pitchers in their bullpen (Chafin, Tepera, and Kimbrel).
However, the return that the Cubs got gives them a very promising future. They acquired multiple top prospects, including outfielders Canario and Crow-Armstrong. On top of that, they got a career .317 hitter in Madrigal, who was one of the top prospects in the majors a couple of years ago. Six of the Cubs’ 30 top prospects, according to MLB.com, were acquired during the trade deadline (Canario, Armstrong, Kilian, Vizcaíno, Deichmann, and Alcántara). They also have a new potential face of their franchise with Madrigal. The World Series core may be gone, but the future is bright for the Cubs.
The Reds find themselves in the middle of the NL Wild Card race this season. They have a dynamic offense that is led by All-Star outfielders, Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker. The main area of weakness for them has been the bullpen that has seven pitchers with ERAs over 5.00 that have logged over 20 innings of work. With that in mind, the Reds went out and added three arms to their bullpen with Givens, Cessa, and Wilson. Givens and Cessa have sub-3.00 ERAs this season and Wilson has a 1.69 ERA since joining the Reds. These three arms provide a major boost to a struggling bullpen.
The Indians were showing signs of a Wild Card team early on this season, but that fell apart in June and July as they now sit under .500 and 10.5 games back of first place in the AL Central. With that in mind, they traded away Rosario, Hernandez, and Maton. The return for a struggling Rosario was Sandoval, who was released. Hernandez brought them a minor league pitcher, Pilkington, who carries a 4.02 career ERA in 215 professional innings. Lastly, Maton brought back outfielder, Straw, who is a .258 career hitter.
Subtractions: RHP Mychal Givens
The Rockies are one of the league’s biggest losers of the deadline. They made the smart move in trading away Givens to Cincinnati, who needed bullpen help. However, they made a horrible mistake in keeping Trevor Story. The potential haul that the Rockies could have received for Story was multiple top prospects. Instead, they will settle from the compensatory pick in next year’s amateur draft.
Additions: RHP Reese Olson
Subtractions: LHP Daniel Norris
Detroit made one move in sending southpaw Norris to the Brewers for Olson. Norris struggled with the Tigers this year with a 5.59 ERA and is currently playing the worst season of his career with a 6.47 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Olson is a 22-year-old pitcher with a career ERA of 4.40. Overall, it is a good trade for Detroit to get something for the struggling lefty.
The Astros are a winner at the trade deadline this year. The biggest need for the AL West leaders was in the bullpen and they made moves to improve it. First, it was adding Graveman and Montero in a trade with the Mariners. Graveman has been one of the best relievers this season with a 0.72 ERA and 10 saves. Montero has thrown six scoreless innings with the Astros since being traded. Houston also added Garcia and Maton to revamp their bullpen and give them two more relievers who will eat up innings.
Kansas City Royals
Additions: RHPs Joel Payamps, RHP Kasey Kalich, and a Player to be Named Later
Subtractions: LHP Danny Duffy and OF Jorge Soler
The Royals were reluctant to move players with a year remaining on their contracts, like Whit Merrifield and Carlos Santana. Instead, they focused on trading away rental players. This involved them trading away longtime starting pitcher, Duffy. Despite being injured, Duffy has been great this season with a 2.51 ERA in 61 innings this year. The return is less than favorable with a player to be named later.
The Royals sent Soler to the Braves. Soler struggled this season with a .192 average and 13 home runs in Kansas City. He signed a one-year deal worth over $8 million last offseason. In return, they received Atlanta’s No. 21 prospect, Kalich. Over his two-year professional career, Kalich has a 2. 44 ERA. The Royals traded for Payamps from the Blue Jays, who isn’t a free agent until 2027 and has a 2.70 ERA in 30 innings this year.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels failed to acquire a big name at the deadline. They had an interest in star pitcher Max Scherzer but nothing materialized. Instead, the Angels traded away Heaney to the Yankees and Watson to the Giants. One of the MLB’s worst pitching teams continues to struggle to add pitching.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers came away as the biggest winner of the trade deadline. They acquired Duffy in a trade with the Royals and even though he is injured, the southpaw will bring some valuable innings in September and the playoffs. Los Angeles also made the biggest blockbuster with the acquisition of three-time Cy Young Award winner in Scherzer and star shortstop Turner. With the uncertain future of Trevor Bauer, the Dodgers boosted their rotation with the addition of Scherzer and created a beast of a duo up the middle with Turner and Seager.
They did trade away their top two prospects in Ruiz and Gray, but the Dodgers have one of the deepest farm systems and have made their lineup and pitching staff even more dangerous as they eye back-to-back World Series Championships.
After shocking the MLB last year and making the playoffs, the Marlins have fallen back into the depth of the NL East. At the trade deadline, they became sellers and traded away multiple key pieces. The first piece was Marte. After failing to secure an extension, they traded the outfielder for lefty Luzardo. In my opinion, the Marlins won this trade by acquiring a top pitching prospect. Their rotation includes Trevor Rogers, Sixto Sanchez, Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, and now Luzardo. The future is bright for the Miami pitching staff.
The Marlins traded away Duvall, who is on a one-year deal, making him a rental player for the Braves. In addition, they traded away Curtiss and Garcia to contending teams that needed bullpen help.
Additions: INF Eduardo Escobar, LHP Daniel Norris, and RHP John Curtiss
Subtractions: RHP Reese Olson, C Payton Henry, INF/OF Cooper Hummel, and INF Alberto Ciprian
The Brewers made a great trade earlier this season with the acquisition of shortstop Adames. Since that trade, he has been on fire and provided a boost to the Milwaukee offense. At the deadline, they added a power bat in Escobar, who has hit 22 homers this season and looks to bring another dimension to the Brewers lineup. They also added Norris from the Tigers and Curtiss from the Marlins, but both relievers have struggled so far during their tenure with the Brew Crew.
The Twins have been one of the most disappointing teams in the MLB this year. After winning back-to-back AL Central crowns, they have fallen into the cellar of the division. With how the season has gone, the team became sellers at the trade deadline. The two notable pieces they traded away were Berríos and Cruz. Berríos has been the team’s ace the past couple of seasons and posted a career-best 3.48 ERA this season with the Twins. In return, they got the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft Martin, who was considered the class’s best hitter by multiple scouts. Cruz was sent to the Rays and continues to rake as he has hit 20-plus home runs for the 12th time in his career.
New York Yankees
Subtractions: LHP Justin Wilson, RHP Luis Cessa, RHP Alexander Vizcaíno, RHP Glen Otto, RHP Elvis Peguero, 2B Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith, INF Diego Castillo, INF Hoy Park, INF/OF Trevor Hauver, and OF Kevin Alcántara
The New York Yankees came away as a winner at the trade deadline as well. They started the deadline with a questionable move as they traded away Cessa and Wilson to the Reds. They were a team in need of pitching, but sent away arms, including Cessa who posted a sub-3.00 ERA. However, they turned it around with the acquisitions of Gallo and Rizzo.
New York needed to add some left-handed hitters to their lineup and they did by adding both Gallo and Rizzo. In addition, a powerful lineup that featured Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton got even more powerful with Gallo and Rizzo. The Yankees needed to make moves that would help them make a postseason push and they did by acquiring two of the top available players at the deadline. I believe they needed to do more with pitching, but the lineup is as good as it gets in the MLB.
New York Mets
Additions: INF Javier Báez, LHP Rich Hill, RHP Trevor Williams, OF Mark Payton, and OF Carlos Rincon
The Mets have been riddled with injuries to their starting rotation this season. They addressed it at the deadline with the acquisitions of Hill and Williams. Both pitchers will throw valuable innings until Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard return to action and remain as depth for the team. However, the biggest addition was Báez from the Cubs. He is one of the most exciting players in the MLB and creates a dynamic duo up the middle or on the left side of the infield with Francisco Lindor. However, they gave up a potential star and No. 5 prospect in Crow-Armstrong. In addition, Báez has struggled so far with the Mets, hitting only .176 and has struck out 13 times in 34 at-bats.
The Athletics made a big splash when they acquired outfielder Marte from the Marlins. They gave up one of their top young arms in Luzardo, which hurts their rotation, but the suspension of center fielder Ramon Laureano makes the trade crucial for Oakland. In addition, the A’s added to their bullpen with Chafin and brought depth to the catcher position with Gomes. Harrison will bring versatility and depth to the middle infield that has struggled to produce at the plate.
The Phillies are in the middle of a wide open race for the NL East. At the deadline, the main priority was to address the pitching staff. In one trade, they boosted both the starting rotation and bullpen. They acquired Gibson and Kennedy from the Rangers. Gibson joins the duo of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, forming a dynamic trio. Kennedy adds another layer to the back end of the bullpen as well. They did give up one of their top prospects in Howard, but the Phillies are going all-in for a playoff run.
Additions: RHP Bryse Wilson, RHP Ricky DeVito, RHP Joaquin Tejada, RHP Michell Miliano, LHP Dillon Peters, SS Tucupita Marcano, INF Diego Castillo, INF Hoy Park, INF/OF Michael Chavis, OF Jack Suwinski, C Abrahán Gutiérrrez, and Carter Bins
The Pirates are in the middle of a long rebuild and have sat at the bottom of NL Central for a while now. At the deadline, it was expected for them to be sellers and that’s what they did. They traded away one of the best contact hitters in baseball with Frazier going to the Padres. San Diego sent a package highlighted by their No. 5 prospect, Marcano. The Pirates wanted Marcano and gave the Padres extra cash to acquire him. Rodriguez was sent to Atlanta and Wilson was the top piece in the return for him. Pittsburgh received utility man Chavis in a trade with the Red Sox as well.
San Diego Padres
Additions: 2B/OF Adam Frazier, RHP Daniel Hudson, and OF Jake Marisnick
The Padres made a huge splash by acquiring Frazier from the Pirates. Frazier ranks top five in the MLB in batting average and doubles, while leading the league in hits as well. Frazier adds versatility to the San Diego defense and another great bat to a lineup highlighted by Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. Additionally, Frazier has another year of arbitration in 2022. Hudson provides depth to the San Diego bullpen that has battled injuries throughout this season. However, they did miss out on Scherzer after it was reported that were close to acquiring him.
San Francisco Giants
Additions: 3B/OF Kris Bryant and LHP Tony Watson
Subtractions: RHP Caleb Kilian, RHP Jose Marte, RHP Ivan Armstrong, LHP Sam Selman, and OF Alexander Canario
After the blockbuster deal by the Dodgers, the Giants felt the pressure to make a move before the deadline. They made a move right before the deadline hit to add Bryant from the Cubs. Bryant brings an immediate boost to the Giants lineup that has hit the most home runs this season. They gave up two top prospects in Canario and Kilian, but it was crucial to make a move to keep up with Los Angeles and San Diego.
Additions: LHP Tyler Anderson, RHP Diego Castillo, RHP Joe Smith, and 3B Abraham Toro
Subtractions: RHP Kendall Graveman, RHP Rafael Montero, RHP Joaquin Tejada, RHP J.T. Chargois, C Carter Bins, and 3B Austin Shenton
Going into the deadline, the Mariners were hot and in the midst of making a run for the postseason. However, they made a deal to send top reliever, Graveman, and Montero to the division-leading Astros. This move caused a little uproar in the clubhouse and came as a surprise. However, they went out and stole Anderson from the Phillies after a potential deal between the Phillies and Pirates hit a snag. After losing Graveman, they traded for Diego Castillo from the Rays to replenish the bullpen.
St. Louis Cardinals
Subtractions: RHP John Gant, LHP Evan Sisk, and OF Lane Thomas
The Cardinals went into the trade deadline needing to make some moves to help the pitching staff. They went out and traded for two veteran southpaws in Lester and Happ. Both pitchers have struggled this season and look to help St. Louis turn the tide.
Tampa Bay Rays
Additions: DH Nelson Cruz, OF Jordan Luplow, 3B Austin Shenton, C Matt Dyer, RHP Shawn Armstrong, RHP Tommy Hunter, RHP Calvin Faucher, RHP D.J. Johnson, and RHP J.T. Chargois
Subtractions: LHP Rich Hill, RHP Diego Castillo, RHP Drew Strotman, RHP Joe Ryan, RHP Peyton Battenfield, and C Deivy Grullon
The Rays came into the deadline looking to add power to their lineup and they did. They added Cruz to their lineup and it has paid off so far as he has hit four homers in his first 13 games with Tampa Bay. Cruz will be a key piece to the Ray lineup as they look to make another postseason run. They also acquired Luplow from Cleveland to add depth in the outfield.
Additions: RHP Spencer Howard, RHP Kevin Gowdy, RHP Josh Gessner, RHP Glen Otto, 2B Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith, and INF/OF Trevor Hauver
Subtractions: OF Joey Gallo, RHP Kyle Gibson, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Hans Crouse, and LHP Joely Rodriguez
In the past, the Rangers have been reluctant to trade at the deadline. However, that was not the case this year as they traded away Gallo to the Yankees and shipped off Gibson and Kennedy to the Rangers. They added Howard and Duran in return for their players. The Rangers farm system got a boost at the deadline.
Toronto Blue Jays
Additions: RHP José Berríos, RHP Joakim Soria, and LHP Brad Hand
Subtractions: RHP Joel Payamps, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP T.J. Zeuch, C Riley Adams, SS/OF Austin Martin, and 2 Players to be Named Later
The Blue Jays needed to add pitching when it came to the trade deadline this year. They made two big splashes as they boosted their bullpen with Hand. Hand will be added to the back end of the Toronto bullpen. The Blue Jays also acquired Berríos from the Twins to pair with Hyun-Jin Ryu. Berríos has continued to get better each year he is in the MLB and has gone 6-plus innings in 11 of his past 12 starts. Toronto has a talented and strong lineup and used the trade deadline to improve their pitching. They were another trade deadline winner.
Additions: RHP Josiah Gray, RHP Gerardo Carrillo, RHP Seth Shuman, RHP Richard Guasch, RHP Mason Thompson, RHP Aldo Ramirez, C Keibert Ruiz, C Drew Millas, C Riley Adams, SS Jordy Barley, OF Donovan Casey, OF Lane Thomas
Subtractions: RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Daniel Hudson, LHP Brad Hand, LHP Jon Lester, C Yan Gomes, SS Trea Turner, INF Josh Harrison, and OF Kyle Schwarber
The Nationals were the second team to go on a fire sale at this deadline. Washington made a blockbuster move that sent star pitcher Scherzer and shortstop Turner to the Dodgers. They shipped off Hudson to the Padres, Hand to the Blue Jays, and Schwarber to the Red Sox. Lastly, they shipped away Lester, along with Gomes and Harrison. Multiple pieces to the World Series Championship team are gone, but they got a lot of young talent back. The team’s top 30 prospects feature nine new players from the deadline, including three in the top 10, headlined by Ruiz and Gray at the top.