MLB Trade Deadline Winners And Losers
Trade Deadline Winners
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers went from being bankrupt at the beginning of this past offseason to a team with the new label of "big-time spenders." Dodger fans should thank its new ownership for all of their aggressive moves that could easily result in a playoff spot. While they didn't end up winning the Ryan Dempster sweepstakes (a starting pitcher they really could've used), the Dodgers did revamp their lineup and improve their bullpen.
The biggest splash they made was acquiring shortstop Hanley Ramirez. While the Dodgers do take on Hanley's contract with $38 million remaining, Hanley has provided an instant spark to their lineup by batting .280 with 7 RBI in his first six games with the Dodgers.
Shane Victorino was another big-time acquisition, and he can be a great top-of-the-order guy that the Dodgers have been severely lacking all season.
Hanley is the bigger acquisition though because Victorino is only a half-year rental. Shipping away reliever Josh Lindblom to the Phillies does hurt, but the Dodgers also acquired former Mariners closer Brandon League and lefty specialist Randy Choate from the Marlins. This was a big deadline coup for the Dodgers, and they are in prime position to prevail in what should be a great division battle out in the wild NL West.
Los Angeles Angels
The four aces that carried a lot of buzz heading into the season dwindled down to two due to Dan Haren and Ervin Santana not pitching well at all, although Haren's past two starts have been solid. So what did they do? They snatched ace Zack Greinke from the Brewers, and they didn't even give up their two biggest trade chips to do so (Peter Bourjos and Garrett Richards).
Chicago White Sox
Despite the farm system of the White Sox ranking amongs the worst in baseball year after year, GM Kenny Williams is still able to wheel and deal quite effectively. He made three trades that weren't big time splashes, but they gave the White Sox three key players who can make an impact during the stretch run.
The first deal, which already looks like a big winner, was acquiring Kevin Youkilis. Youk has been completely revitalized in the White Sox lineup and has been great for the clubhouse as well. The White Sox did not give up much in return either, with Zach Stewart not having a lot of upside in the Red Sox farm system and Brent Lillibridge already out of Boston.
More recently, they acquired former Houston Astros closer Brett Myers for bullpen help and experience along with the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde starting pitcher, former Twin Francisco Liriano. With closer Addison Reed struggling lately, Myers could be the ninth inning guy in the heat of the playoff race. After a slow start, Liriano has been pitching quite well over the past couple of months and can help solidify the middle of the starting rotation, especially with John Danks out for the season. And by not giving up any top prospects for any of these guys, the reward clearly outweighs the risk, especially if the White Sox end up playing in October.
Trade Deadline Losers
Remember that big offseason splurge the Marlins' had which resulted in a lot of people saying that they were the favorites to win the NL East this year? That feels like a really long time ago.
Then, they made a head-scratching move by trading away prospects for Carlos Lee, when it was clear that they would not be overtaking the Nationals or the Braves at the top of the NL East. After unsuccessfully trying to unload Lee before the deadline, the Marlins are now expected to put him on waivers. They've also dealt three quarters of their Opening Day starting infield (Gaby Sanchez, Omar Infante, Hanley Ramirez) along with pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Randy Choate in a huge fire sale.
While they did land some good prospects (Jacob Turner and Nathan Eovaldi to name a few), they still owe a lot of money to offseason acquisitions Heath Bell and Jose Reyes. They also could have restocked their farm system more by trading away ace Josh Johnson, a pitcher that multiple teams were interested in. This team has really fallen to the bottom since May. Expect multiple Ozzie Guillen implosions before the season is over.
The Reds made a peculiar trade at the deadline by acquiring Jonathan Broxton from the Royals. They dealt two pitching prospects with strong potential in starter J.C. Sulbaran and lefty reliever Donnie Joseph. Sulbaran may not have the greatest numbers this year with a 7-7 record and 4.04 ERA, but he has struck out more than a batter an inning and has two good pitches (fastball and changeup). Joseph, who is a lefty specialist, has pitched in AA and AAA this season, and has an 8-3 record and a 1.72 ERA between the two minor league levels. He also has struck out over a batter an inning, and according to ESPN's Keith Law, left-handed batters are 7-for-54 against him this season with 24 strikeouts and only two extra-base hits.
In addition to giving up these two good prospects for Broxton, there is no way that Broxton will be the closer over Aroldis Chapman for the Reds. Will he even be the top set-up man over Sean Marshall? The Reds gave away two prospects with upside for essentially another bullpen arm. Add in the fact that Broxton will be a free agent this offseason and how inconsistent he's been as a reliever over the years, and this is just a losing deal for the Reds.
The Diamondbacks are quietly three-and-a-half games behind the Dodgers and Giants for first place in the NL West. Today, the Dodgers acquired Shane Victorino. Today, the Giants acquired Hunter Pence. Today, the Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik and pitcher Matt Albers from the Red Sox for reliever Craig Breslow. The Diamondbacks simply did not keep up with their NL West rivals today, and it could definitely backfire on them in August and September.
They also traded for Astros third baseman Chris Johnson. But is he that much of an improvement over former starting third baseman Ryan Roberts, who the Diamondbacks shipped off to the Rays? While I applaud them for not foolishly trading away their young franchise player Justin Upton, the Diamondbacks simply could not catch up to the Giants and Dodgers in terms of trade deadline deals. And now, it looks that way in regards to the NL West standings, as well.