It’s that time of the year when MLB teams make moves to try and improve their postseason chances. This year’s trade deadline was the busiest in years. Seems like a lot teams feel they have a shot at postseason success and made moves to reinforce that belief. So let’s get started by first talking about the moves made by a team that pretty much restocked their farm system by trading away prominent arms and a clutch postseason bat.
The New York Yankees, who are usually buyers, were actually big sellers this time around; and in my opinion, they were the big winners in the whirlwind of trades. They traded away Aroldis Chapman (Cubs), Andrew Miller (Indians) and Carlos Beltran (Rangers). Through these trades, the Yankees acquired 11 players which include some top prospects from each team. So clearly these trades made by the Yankee’s were for the future and an attempt to restock their depleted farm system. Kudos to them for not doing the usual “Yankee” thing.
Did the Cubs really need Aroldis Chapman? No. They have the best team in the league from top to bottom, but having a Closer that can hit 105 MPH is nice to have. Character issues aside, I like this move. The Cubs are all in, World Series or bust. The Indians needed an arm in the bullpen and they got it with the trade for Andrew Miller.
The Rangers acquired Carlos Beltran, the Postseason Assassin. Nobody is better in the postseason than Carlos and the Rangers are on a crash course towards the playoffs and picking up speed. With the addition of Carlos, a switch hitter, this just boosted the already potent batting lineup that the Rangers have. Not to mention they also traded for Jonathan Lucroy as well. So that adds two switch hitters to that lineup. People say that the Indians are the best in the AL, I think the Rangers have something to say about that.
The Red Sox acquired Drew Pomeranz to address their starting pitcher issues and Francisco Abad to help out in the bullpen. While the Orioles got some pitching help in the form Of Wade Miley and reacquired Steve Pearce as a utlity man off the bench. Even amidst the movement within the AL east and the possible Bautista trades being proposed, the Blue Jays made a few moves themselves. They bolstered their outfield by trading for BJ Upton and got Francisco Liriano to help with their starting pitching woes. Even though the Orioles are in first place, it seems like the Jays and Sawks are trying to come for the AL east crown. I still feel that these moves won’t get them as close to the Orioles as they think.
As we move to the NL East, not too many division changing moves occurred in my opinion. The best move was made by the Nationals by acquiring a closing pitcher that can ACTUALLY close in Mark Melancon yet the Mets made the biggest splash by acquiring Jay Bruce….But WHY??? The Mets have been decimated with injuries and are currently nine games out of first place. Maybe this was a move for next year, but either way, I don’t like it personally. The Braves made a trade that brings Matt Kemp to Atlanta which is actually not a bad move for them. They have a new ballpark that will be opening next season and they will need some star power to fill those seats and Matt kemp is a start. Lastly, the Marlins brought Andrew Cashner to bolster their starting pitching, which was needed. They have an outside shot at the NL East and steady pitching can help them along the way.
In the NL West, only 2 teams were buying and those two teams happen to be the 2 teams vying for the NL West crown. The Dodgers made a move to pick up Josh Reddick to give them someone who is consistent in the batter’s box since Yasiel Puig seems to be flaming out completely. They also added a couple pitchers to their staff. The Giants on the other hand picked up the blazing fast Eduardo Nunez to add to their infield. Nunez had his coming out party in DC when he hit 2 triple and a double in one game. They also added a feft handed starter in Matt Moore and another lefty for the pen. So things are shaping up for a photo finish in the NL West.
There were some other minor trades made between teams that don’t really have a shot at the playoffs, but that not what this article is focused on. After the dust has settled, it’s apparent that the Cubs,
Nationals, Dodgers, Rangers, Giants, Red Sox and Blue Jays have tooled up for a run at the World Series.
We know that only one of these teams will win the whole thing, but it will be fun to watch and see who will. Hopefully the moves made will help each team achieve their goal of a World Series win.