The MLB trade deadline has come and went and boy, was it fun.
Contenders improved positions of need, non-contenders made a flurry of interesting and confusing trades, oh, and the Astros traded for Zack Greinke and solidified their hold on the best rotation in baseball.
Let’s breakdown all the major moves from the MLB trade deadline and tell you what deals I love and hate.
Zack Greinke to the Astros for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP J.B. Bukauskus, 1B Seth Beer and INF Josh Rojas
This is the lit the internet on fire. Zack Greinke is one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball with an average annual value at $34,500,000. That is a ton of money for a pitcher that has arguably not lived up to the billing of his six year 206.5 million dollar contract but that pressure to become the ace of a staff is gone now with his move to Houston. A front line staff of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Greinke and Wade Miley is devastating and has left the other American League contenders with brown streaks on their underwear. For the Diamondbacks they get back the 4th, 5th, 8th, and 16th best prospects in the Astros organization which is… fine? I guess if you are the Diamondbacks you know you can’t compete without tearing down your roster first and Greinke would not have been on the next great D-Backs team. Flipping him for good prospects is the right move but not pulling Forrest Whitley or Kyle Tucker in this deal is absolutely mind-boggling to me.
Shane Green to the Braves for LHP Joey Wentz
Relievers are so important in baseball now that having a shutdown bullpen can lift a great team into a World Series champion. The Braves pushed their chips in and tried to fix a huge need for their team. Their offense is incredible with the likes of Ronald Acuña and Freddie Freeman in their lineup but pitching has been a massive hole for them. Their young starting staff has been poor with the exception of Mike Soroka. They rank ninth in bullpen ERA with a 4.10, 13th in strikeouts and tied for 13th in blown save opportunities with 17 this year. They could use the help and by grabbing Shane Green, one of the best relievers on the market, for Joey Wentz (????) is definitely a win for the Braves. But, they were not done adding to their bullpen.
Atlanta Braves get RHP Mark Melancon; San Francisco Giants get RHP Tristan Beck and RHP Dan Winkl
Melancon has been bad since joining the Giants on a large 14 million dollar AAV deal. This falls under the category of a home run swing for the Braves because if they can unlock the Pirates version of Melancon again then oh boy, the Braves just got shutdown closer and could put themselves on the level of the Dodgers in the National League.
Oakland Athletics get RHP Tanner Roark; Cincinnati Reds get CF Jameson Hannah
Casual fans of baseball will look at this and be like “Who the fuck is Tanner Roark”. I don’t blame you. He’s a good to average starting pitcher that the A’s need desperately to eat innings on their way to a wildcard push. The A’s bullpen is electric with a variety of arms that can give you all kinds of looks in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings but getting there with a lead has been an issue. Roark will take those innings and keep them in games which they desperately need. Famously the A’s player budget is incredibly low so, finding a cheap pitcher who’s on an expiring deal is a classic move for them and Oakland has a track record of figuring out how to best utilize their pitching.
Nationals trade for Three Relievers (Hunter Strickland, Daniel Hudson and Roenis Elias)
It has been a turbulent year for the DC team. Losing franchise corner stone, Bryce Harper dampened the mood in Washington and put expectations low coming into the season. But, their team has over performed expectations and are in the thick of the wild card chase in the NL. The Nationals bullpen has long been a thorn in their sides and they have finally made some moves to try to plug one of their biggest holes. Does it help that I know two of these three players for non-baseball related things (Strickland for fighting Bryce Harper when he was a Giant and Elias for being a Red Sox flame out) no, but they are making the effort and I love when teams try to win baseball games.
Cleveland Indians get RF Yasiel Puig, RF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen, LHP Scott Moss and INF Victor Nova; Cincinnati Reds get RHP Trevor Bauer; San Diego Padres get OF Taylor Trammell
There’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, the Padres get Trammell who is projected to be a stud outfielder for two really good players in their own right in Franmil Reyes and Logan Allen. The flipped a worse outfield prospect and a solid pitcher for a potential All-Star outfielder. That’s win for a team not competing this year.
The Reds trade for a STUD pitcher who can lead a staff into the playoffs when the time comes but they have to resign Bauer and this deal would not make sense if they do not already have a plan to do so. Bauer has one of the more unique personalities in baseball so signing in Cinciannti isn’t crazy to think about but it is a risk for the Reds.
The Indians traded their ace and got better?? I’m not sure how they did it but Puig has been sneakily impressive this season and rolling the dice on two young players when you knew you were not going to pay Bauer is a solid move. Even if they do not make the playoffs this year they are set up to compete in the future with plenty of depth in their rotation to absorb this blow.
Tampa Bay Rays get 1B Jesus Aguilar; Milwaukee Brewers get RHP Jake Faria
There isn’t much to say here about this trade but when you trade for a former all-star, most people would consider that a win. The Rays desperately need help offensive and Aguilar can provide the power they need. He has struggled this year for the Brewers but the Rays have a solid coaching staff and could easily pull Aguilar back to all-star level of performance. As the Brewers said last year, #WeBelieveInJesus.
There weren’t many trades that I did not like but when they came, P.U. did they stink.
New York Mets get RHP Marcus Stroman; Toronto Blue Jays get LHP Anthony Kay and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson
What are the Mets? What do they want to do? What is new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen wanting to do with this team? In the offseason he said that they were ready to compete, heading into August the Mets are five games back of the wild card and 11.5 games back of the Braves in NL East. Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Jacob DeGrom is a great starting staff. But you only have one more year of Stroman after this season which means we have to trust the Mets to resign him. Their lineup is shaky but the emergence of Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil has given them hope. IF they can resign Stroman and IF they can build a talent lineup then this is a great trade for the other team in New York but, I do not trust the Mets to do anything correctly so, good luck Mets fans.
Philadelphia Phillies get LHP Jason Vargas; New York Mets get C Austin Bossart
I’ll keep this short and simple, Jason Vargas sucks. The Phillies didn’t give up a blue chip prospect so it’s not like their farm system is ruined now but Vargas stinks. You can keep your 5.77 ERA in 2018, 4.01 ERA in 94 innings this year and hot head locker room problems. I’ll take my chances with literally anyone else.
Milwaukee Brewers get LHP Drew Pomeranz and RHP Ray Black; San Francisco Giants get INF Mauricio Dubon
This is by far the worst trade of the deadline. Drew Pomeranz is hot garbage left outside for two weeks in the sun to roast. Last year in the World Series, Red Sox manager Alex Cora used up almost everyone in their bullpen during an 18 inning classic against the Dodgers. He threw Nate Eovaldi for seven incredible innings after working the game prior while Drew Pomeranz, who hadn’t picked up a baseball for the Red Sox in weeks, sat in the bullpen, alone. He was the only pitcher not used in that game and I will always remember that. He stunk back then and even though he’s having a decent season this year, I will never believe in Pomeranz. To make matters worse for the Brewers they gave up their fourth best prospect, Mauricio Dubon, who could have been their shortstop of the future. He has dominated the triple-A ranks with the San Antonio Missions and the Giants got him on a BARGIN. Congratulations Dubon, you are now apart of two of the worst trades in recent MLB history.