Ahhh yes, July is in the books and that officially marks the end of the 2016 MLB trade deadline. Historically the MLB trade deadline has proven to be one of the most exciting times in all of sports. At no other time, in no other sport do you see huge names being traded away day in and day out like you do during the MLB trade deadline. Although the addition of the extra wildcard teams have calmed this frenzy a little, July still is a circus throughout major league baseball. I never really cared much about the teams selling during the deadline so let’s go ahead and focus in on the buyers and teams gearing up for a late September run.
The Rangers may have stolen the spotlight, swooping in twice on deals that were seemingly done with the Cleveland Indians. Jonathan Lucroy was pretty much signed, sealed, and delivered to the Indians when at the last minute he exercised his no-trade clause and packed his bags for Texas. Lucroy is one of the best offensive catchers in the game and this move immediately makes Texas a lot better. Carlos Beltran followed suit when he chose the Rangers over the Indians and the addition of a savvy veteran outfield guy is always a good piece to have.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
The Dodgers are another team who made a big splash, acquiring outfielder Josh Reddick, and starting pitcher Rich Hill. On the surface this looks like a good move for the Dodgers, and it is… for everyone not named Yasiel Puig. Los Angeles told Puig that he would either be traded or sent down to the minors. A very tough pill to swallow for a guy who was an All-Star last year and one of the brightest prospects in the game.
Toronto Blue Jays:
Toronto made moves acquiring Francisco Liriano from the Pirates and Melvin Upton Jr. from the Padres. Now while I love the move to get Upton, I hate the Liriano trade if I’m a Blue Jays fan. Yeah the guy USE to be good, but for anyone that has paid attention this is not the same guy. He was on my fantasy team so I know way more about Francisco Liriano than I should. The guy has absolutely no control and when he locates the strike zone he gets lit up. Weird move for one of the best starting rotations in the American League.
San Francisco Giants:
The Giants made two solid moves trading for LHP Matt Moore and third baseman Eduardo Nunez. Although Matt Moore hasn’t been the same since his tommy john surgery, he has looked good as of late and will provide a valuable left handed arm at the back end of that rotation. Eduardo Nunez will make an immediate impact and his addition will make San Francisco’s offense exponentially better. The guy hits for a decent average (295.), scores runs, and steals bases, and plays solid defense at the hot corner.
The Cubs made perhaps the biggest splash with the first big trade to go down during the deadline. Although Aroldis Chapman is the definition of a “rental player” this moves says one thing… Chicago is ready to make a run at the World Series, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by them since way back in 1908. Even though Chapman will probably sign back with the Yankees in the offseason, a proven closer who throws 103 mph is a huge piece for a team looking to make a legit run.
New York Mets:
The Mets made a pretty blase move in my opinion. They traded for Cincinnati outfielder Jay Bruce, and while I’m not high on Bruce, their offense is one of the worst in the league so adding any bat to the that lineup will be nothing but beneficial.
Cleveland fans will probably have some harsh words for the Texas Rangers as they stole two big players right out from under them. Even though the Indians got double crossed they didn’t let that stop them from getting closer Andrew Miller from the Yankees. Miller is definitely a little more than a consolation prize, proving to be one of the best closer’s in the game over the last two years. As I’ve said before, an experienced closer that you can rely on in a tight game will allow a manager to sleep easy.
Now I know my buddy Bmac desperately wanted Yoenis Cespedes (didn’t happen), he cannot be disappointed with the acquisition of Matt Kemp. The Braves posses an offense that rivals the worst in all of baseball so the addition of Kemp has to make all Atlanta fans happy. A guy who when healthy, is among the MVP front runners will provide a big spark to an otherwise pathetic offense.
Boston Red Sox:
Now Boston fans (myself included) might be a little disappointed that the Sox didn’t make more moves or pick up a “sexier” name can find some solace in this; We still have Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi (two of the best prospects in all of baseball). Now even though Chris Sale was dangled in front of us for weeks now, I’m glad we didn’t trade away the future for him. On one hand Sale has a very team friendly contract and would be under our control for the next three years, but on the other hand the guy is a complete psychopath, one who i would never trade our top two prospects for. Instead Boston made a great roster move and added a solid arm to their bullpen. Fernando Abad might not be the sexiest of names, but when our dogshit rotation gets into early trouble we are going to be very glad we got a guy like Abad to come in and eat up some important middle innings.
A couple other teams and players that I want to touch on are the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. The Yankees with the trades of Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller moved their farm system from one of the worst in baseball to quite possibly the best. Now I know that Yankee fans are not use to their team selling around this time of the year, but I think they made some great moves and I would be happy nonetheless.
The Chicago White Sox are another team that left people scratching their heads. How could they not move Chris Sale!? I’ll tell you why, because they were asking for the world (and they had every right to). Chris Sale will win the AL Cy Young this year and in a time where a clear cut ace is hard to come by, there is no way they were just going to give him away. When it became clear that the Rangers were not going to trade Gallo, or Mazara, and the Sox were not going to trade Moncada, or Benintendi I think Chicago was more than content on keeping Chris Sale.
The trade deadline has come and gone and for those teams who made moves it’s GO time. Time to gear up for the dog days of summer and make a bid to play in October.