The MLB trade deadline came and went as teams sought to help themselves get into playoff contention and position to win a World Series. The number of deals did not reach the limit predicted but here are the winners and losers of the deadline.
Houston Astros -
Houston added starting pitcher Zach Greinke at the final seconds of the deadline and only traded four prospects to get Greinke. He is 10-4 this season with a 2.87 ERA and one of the best WHIPs in baseball. Now added to a rotation with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, the Astros have three solid arms prime for a deep postseason run and a chance at a second World Series title in three years.
Along with Greinke, the Astros also acquired pitchers Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini. Both are expected to come out of the bullpen, with Sanchez a candidate for a starting role considering his past success.
Cleveland Indians -
The Indians acquired outfielders Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes in a three-team trade between the Reds and Padres that saw ace Trevor Bauer shipped to Cincinnati. While always tough to lose a top of the rotation starter, the return makes the trade an easy win for Cleveland.
Reyes, who is a young outfielder better suited as a designated hitter, hits for power with 27 home runs this season. Along with Puig's 22 home runs and a laser of an arm, the two outfielders help boost the Indians past the Twins in the AL Central.
Washington Nationals -
The Nationals added bullpen help in two separate trades. The first brought over Daniel Hudson from the Blue Jays, who is having a surprising season since his move to the pen with an ERA of 3.00. The second deal was for relievers Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland from the Seattle Mariners.
The biggest issue for the Nationals this season has been finishing games. The acquisitions of Hudson, Elias, and Strickland will help the Nationals 30th ranked bullpen with an ERA of 5.90 and 20 blown saves stay alive in the NL East.
The Nationals currently sit 6.5 games back in the East and .5 games back in the Wild Card.
Atlanta Braves -
The Braves are leading the NL East by 6.5 games ahead of the Nationals and Phillies. Just like Washington, Atlanta's weakness is their ability to close games. With that in mind, the team added closer Shane Greene from the Tigers. Green brings over a 1.03 ERA and 22 saves from Detroit.
Green will not be coming over alone as the Braves acquired set-up man Mark Melancon from San Francisco, who has dominated opponents in his last nine appearances.
With 16 blown saves this season, Atlanta knew the bullpen required improvement. Greene and Melancon, both veterans and former all-stars, add much-needed depth and stability to an erratic bullpen.
Los Angeles Dodgers -
To be short, the Dodgers are losers because they made no moves to help their inconsistent bullpen. Los Angeles is one of the best teams in baseball, being the first to 70 wins. The team also has two of the best players in baseball with MVP candidate Cody Bellinger and CY Young candidate Hyun jin Ryu, who at the moment has 1.66 ERA.
The regular season has never been the problem for the Dodgers. It is the postseason that always caused a problem. Luckily, Joe Kelly is getting his groove back but other then Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles has no late-inning relievers to face some of baseball's best lineups.
New York Yankees -
The Yankees have everything. They are the 'Baby Bombers' with massive powers, a strong bullpen but do need an elite rotation arm. Despite the rotational needs, New York leads the rival Boston Red Sox by nine games in the AL East, but the Yankees missed out on quality starters Marcus Stroman and Zack Wheeler, both now with the Mets, Madison Bumgarner, and Robbie Ray.
One of the four starters listed above would have set New York above the rest of the pack, but now that belongs to the Houston Astros as they added Zack Greinke and propelled their World Series odds to +275 tying them with the Dodgers.
New York Mets/Noah Syndergaard -
The Mets are nowhere near a playoff spot and playing through a waste of a season. Despite the long shot at the postseason, Mets did make a move for pitcher Marcus Stroman but the right-hander has one year left on his contract but is arbitration-eligible making his return to New York likely.
In regards to Noah Syndergaard, he is one of the biggest losers of the deadline. Syndergaard is one of the best young pitchers in baseball but will miss the postseason once again. Syndergaard, who also has a year left on his contract and is arbitration-eligible, is likely on his way out or will be demanding a trade after spending the majority of the year on the trading block.
The Mets should have been sellers. They sit in fourth place in the NL East and are going nowhere fast. Selling stars like Syndergaard or relievers like Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia could have pushed a New York rebuild to the next level. Instead, New York sits on a roster with big contracts and no hope of the postseason.
What else can we say, it is the Mets.
San Francisco Giants/Madison Bumgarner -
Bumgarner has had a subpar season with a record of 6-7 with a 3.74 ERA in 23 games pitched. While not terrible, the Giants currently sit in fifth place of the second Wild Card at 54-53. 2.5 games back does not seem like a stretch considering there is a chance to make the playoffs, but there is a risk of losing Bumgarner and closer Will Smith without getting anything in return.
Bumgarner has stated he wants to remain a Giant for the rest of his career, but the risk remains of not furthering the farm system when the team had to chance to net blue-chip prospects back for Bumgarner and Smith.
It is postseason or bust for the Giants, and right now the odds are leaning towards bust.
*preview photo credited to New York Post
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