by Julian Spivey
The Major League Baseball Trade Deadline, which is now a hard deadline with baseball no longer allowing waiver deals throughout the month of August, was fairly exciting with a flurry of deals going down to the wire on Wednesday, July 31 despite many of the biggest names not trading jerseys. There was one big name dealt at the very last second – ace Zack Greinke going from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Houston Astros in a deal that mirrors what the Astros were able to pull off two summers ago when they acquired Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers and rode him all the way to their first ever World Series title.
Here are the winners and losers of the 2019 MLB Trade Deadline:
The Astros are clearly the biggest winners of the trade deadline getting an ace of a starting pitcher in Greinke to go along with he other two aces they already have in Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Scoring runs on the Astros in the postseason is going to be very hard and that’s a problem for the rest of baseball considering the offense is among the best in the game, as well. I know you still have to play the games, but I really believe the Astros just clinched their second title in three years with this deal. Adding icing to their cake the additions of another starting pitcher in Aaron Sanchez (who’s better than his 2019 numbers suggest) and a reliever in Joe Biagini (3.78 ERA) from the Toronto Blue Jays just bolsters their pen for the postseason.
The one glaring hole the Atlanta Braves have faced all season is their bullpen. As long as they could address that they would end up on this winners list and, boy, did they ever address it. They added an all star closer in Shane Greene (1.18 ERA and 22 saves) from the Detroit Tigers, a former all star closer in Mark Melancon (3.50 ERA) from the San Francisco Giants and Chris Martin from the Texas Rangers, who’s had a great K/BB ratio this season and walks have been a huge issue for the Braves ‘pen. The fact that Greene and Melancon aren’t rentals and the Braves only had to give up prospects, and not their biggest ones either, just adds to the winning in their deadline deals.
New York Mets
The New York Mets and what they were going to do with their pitching staff was the bulk of the discussion leading up to the trade deadline with many believing they would trade either Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, if not both. They wound up somewhat surprisingly not trading either. In fact, the Mets decided to add to their rotation at the deadline acquiring the Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman, who had a top five ERA this season playing in the high-powered offense American League East Division. At 53-55 the Mets are probably out of contention the rest of this season (although we that second Wild Card it’s too early to say for certain), but to have a starting rotation of Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard, Stroman, Wheeler and Steven Matz next season should put fear into the hitters of the National League.
The Cleveland Indians were a part of a three-team deal with the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres the day before the trade deadline that got them a couple of good bats for the playoff stretch and one of those bats who should be their power hitting designated hitter for a while. They received Yasiel Puig from the Reds and Franmil Reyes from the Padres. Reyes is a 24-year old monster of a hitter who’s already on pace to hit 40 or more homers in his first full MLB season this year. The addition of him to this lineup for the foreseeable future is major. Trading Trevor Bauer to the Reds could hurt their rotation, especially if their injured stars can’t return well, but in the long run the deal should prove to be well worth it.
New York Yankees
The only thing of significance the New York Yankees were able to do before the trade deadline came over a month ago when they acquired power hitting designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners. What the team really needed was to add a pitcher to their rotation for the postseason and they failed miserably. They desperately wanted Zack Greinke from the Diamondbacks, but just couldn’t make it work and the Astros could … that’s going to hurt big time, especially if the two teams matchup in October.
Boston Red Sox
General Managers of the American League East Division just were not getting the job done going into the end of the trade deadline on Wednesday. The reigning champion Boston Red Sox currently sit third in the A.L. East at 10 games behind the Yankees and if the playoffs began today they’d be at home watching from their couches. The Red Sox desperately needed some bullpen help and there were plenty of bullpen arms to be had, hell the Braves acquired three within a 24 hour span, but the Red Sox basically stayed pat and because of it may end up staying put in third place.
Los Angeles Dodgers
OK, so I’m putting the Dodgers on the losers list because they didn’t do much at the trade deadline and we’ve been accustomed to them making some of the splashiest deal like acquiring Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles last season and Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers the year before that. But even though the biggest name they acquired was utility infielder Jedd Gyorko from the St. Louis Cardinals the Dodgers are still easily the best team in the National League.