The trade deadline has come and gone and the craziness of the pandemic shortened season manifested in the past two day’s wheeling and dealing of the trade deadline. Young teams made moves to solidify playoff pushes and contenders loaded up to try and win the World Series. As per usual with trades, there are winners and losers.
San Diego Padres
The Padres set out to grab all the headlines leading up to the deadline and they succeeded. Bringing in a a haul of big leaguers that will help this young, exciting “Slam Diego” team make a push for the franchise’s first World Series trophy. GM A.J. Preller did well to pick up solid additions with Austin Nola, Mitch Moreland, Dan Altavilla and Taylor Williams to help fill gaps at DH, catcher and in the bullpen. The Friars also added the top starting pitcher on the market and the top bullpen arm on the market with the megadeal for Mike Clevinger and the pickup of Trevor Rosenthal to cap it off. The Padres managed to make all of these moves and keep 8 of their 10 top prospects in their loaded farm system.
The Reds didn’t have as splashy a deadline as the Padres but they had a solid day with two moves that make them better. They struck a trade to bolster the back end of their bullpen that has been a wort on what was considered to be a playoff contender before the season. Bradley will step into the back end of the Reds’ pen and become a force. Bradley currently owns a 4.22 ERA but a FIP just over 2. The acquisition of Brian Goodwin is an underrated one but the Reds will get an outfielder that rakes. Goodwin is slashing .242/.330/.463 with a .335 wOBA and 113 wRC+. This acquisition will also likely mean that Nicholas Castellanos will likely be pushed more into the full time DH role. The compensation for both players was minimal as well. This Reds team is 15-19 but could climb up the standings in a relatively open NL Central.
The Mariners were clearly going to be sellers during the deadline but they came away one of the biggest winners when dust had settled and all the paperwork had been submitted. They only struck a couple of deals but came away with a haul of prospects to help accelerate their rebuild. The Mariners traded away Catcher/Utility Man Austin Nola, as well as the trio of relief pitchers Austin Adams, Dan Altavilla and Taylor Williams all to the Padres. They were able to turn those players into Taylor Trammell, Luis Torrens, Ty France, Andre Munoz and a PTBNL. The big prize here for the Mariners is Taylor Trammell who was one of the Padres top prospects and now gives the Mariners 7 of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects and a future outfield of Trammell, top prospect Jarred Kelenic and breakout Rookie Kyle Lewis. Add that to number 1 prospect Julio Rodriguez and this Mariners team has its building blocks for the future.
New York Yankees
The Yankees are deadline losers for the simple fact that they stood pat when they probably needed to make a move to bolster their pitching staff. The Bronx Bombers especially needed to give a shot in the arm to a rotation where they’ve gotten disappointing performances from J.A. Happ who has posted a 6.13 FIP and James Paxton who has pitched to 6.64 ERA and is currently on the 10-Day IL . Rental starters like Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker were all rumored to available and varying degrees of interest in each from the Yankees were reported. While Gausman stayed put, Ray and Walker found their way to their division rival Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees came up empy handed. They also missed an opportunity to bolster their bullpen that is also in need of some help. They most likely could have also matched an offer for Diamondbacks closer Archie Bradley. The Yankees will instead rely on prospect starters to come in and do a job like Deivi Garcia and maybe Clarke Schmidt to shoulder some of the load down the stretch.
The Braves are in a similar position as the Yankees. They have been ravaged by injury and ineffectiveness in their starting rotation with Cole Hamels yet to throw a pitch in the regular season, Mike Soroka missing the rest of the season with an Achilles tendon injury, and Mike Foltynewicz struggling and ultimately being DFA’ed. The Braves did attempt to remedy that with a smaller trade for inning eater Tommy Milone from the Orioles. The Braves missed a huge opportunity to make a move for Mike Clevinger. Reportedly the Braves were hesitant to part with Drew Waters to make a deal happen and now the Braves will have to cobble a pitching rotation together around Max Fried.
Too Early to Tell
The Indians made their roster weaker in the present day with the Clevinger trade. The big need the Tribe had was a power hitting outfielder. They managed to get a large haul back for Clevinger which was RHP swingman Cal Quantrill, LF Josh Naylor, C Austin Hedges, SS Gabriel Arias, LHP Joey Cantillo and SS Owen Miller. The power hitting corner outfielder they sought in this case was Josh Naylor. Naylor has so far struggled to adapt to major league level hitting. This season Naylor is slashing .278/.316/.417 with a 99 wRC+. The Indians strength has been their pitching and getting rid of Clevinger, who has statistically been a top 10 pitcher in the A.L. since 2017 weakens that. The Indians’ championship window lasts about as long as Francisco Lindor is in Cleveland. The Indians have thus far failed to get a strong return back for Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. Missing here could end up costing the Indians the rest of their championship window and consequently Lindor.