So, who were the winners and losers?
The Round Table crew offers some thoughts…
1) Did the LA Dodgers do enough at the trade deadline to improve their team to overtake the Giants (who admittedly have not played well out of the gate after the midsummer break) in the NL West, or, at least solidify their present standing as the NL 1st wild card team come October?
Dan: I think the Dodgers did a great job at improving their roster. While the Giants did manage to get Will Smith from the Brewers and gave up a couple solid prospects to do so, I think the Dodgers were able to do enough to compete for the NL West crown and definitely for a Wild Card slot.
They were able to get Josh Reddick and Rich Hill. Hill, despite injury problems, has had a great year with an under-3 ERA and Reddick, despite having problems in the past with strikeouts he’s has a just-under .300 batting average this season.
Still, this team needs a healthy Kershaw back and they had to send Puig down to triple-A because of an over-crowded outfield.
Earl: Their trade with the Oakland Athletics for Josh Reddick and Rich Hill is a good move. In adding Riddick, they get to demote Yasiel Puig and hopefully get him straightened out in the minors, and, in Reddick they added a solid bat to what is already a good lineup.
With the Giants slumping right now the Dodgers have a fair shot at winning the NL West, let alone putting themselves in contention for one of the wild card slots in case their run at the Giants fall short.
The Dodgers got two guys who are either underperforming or hurt or both in Josh Reddick and Rich Hill… and… the Giants got an underperforming reliever (Will Smith) from the Brewers and a so-so Matt Moore from the Rays. I guess the Giants getting Matt Moore was a tad better but still I’m not impressed.
I see a veritable wash here and predict this battle for first in the NL West will be going down to the wire…
IF… the Dodgers get Kershaw back.
They got Rich Hill? Okay, that does nothing for me as he has not done too much in his career. The Giants went out and got a solid top tier pitcher in Matt Moore, and another great arm in Will Smith. They did not have to give up much to get these guys either.
I like the Reddick pick up for the Dodgers, but still I don’t think it is going to be enough to overtake the Giants, even if the Giants have been laying an egg since the All Star break.
2) The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs both improved their bullpens by acquiring the two arguably “best available” closers in MLB from the NY Yankees… Andrew Miller in the Indians’ case and Aroldis Chapman in the Cubs’ case.
Do you think what both teams did was a smart move in terms of what they gave up and how each pitcher supposedly improved their respective new teams?
Dan: I think what Chicago did was a huge victory for their roster. They have solidified their closer position which they had needed to do and they really didn’t give up all that much. Aroldis Chapman is almost unhittable and they made a great move in their push for their first World Series in 108 years.
Cleveland also made a solid move by solidifying their bullpen. They already have a great pitching staff, especially the starters, to grab a player like Andrew Miller, it’s certainly worth it.
Even if, we do not, both moves were worth it. The Indians and Cubs are both all-in and their fan bases should be excited at the prospect of not only playoff baseball but a legitimate chance at the World Series.
Joe: I think the Indians did what they needed to do to add to an already formidable pitching staff by adding Andrew Miller and shoring up the closer role/back end of their bull pen. Right now, I have to consider them one of the top two teams heading for the AL playoffs.
And, Chicago, they did essentially the same by getting Aroldis Chapman. Chicago’s main problems are that they need to get some players healthy and then just start playing to their capabilities. Quite trying to be the guy who needs to win the game. Their lineup is too damn good not to hit and hit frequently with man on base. It seems they are putting more pressure on themselves to get rid of the mythical curse of the goat than is necessary/ truthfully, I don’t think they needed Chapman as much as just wanted to add a supposedly shutdown man to close out games… not for the regular season but for the playoffs.
As far as the Cubs go: They are in a win now mentality, and getting a closer like Chapman probably solidified themselves as the best team in the National League. They still have an amazing farm system with a core of young players on the rise. So, they can afford to let a guy like Gleyber Torres go, as he is an infielder, and the Cubs are already sporting an All Star infield as it is now.
3)The biggest seller in this year’s trade deadline is arguably the NY Yankees…
They traded away the back end of their bullpen (8th inning setup man and closer) and their best offensive player in 2016, DH/Right fielder Carlos Beltran and got back 11 young prospects, some of which are being highly touted by the so-called experts as having “great potential.”
Was these good moves or bad moves by GM Brian Cashman and principal owner Hal Steinbrenner?
Dan: The Yankees’ moves were very good. They’re out of the race and they were able to unload two great players in order to receive a lot of minor leaguers. Also, they were able to trade off Carlos Beltran to get even more prospects.
the only question mark I have is why they’re talking about Alex Rodriguez’s at-bats being cut back and then maybe he could be released before the season over. If, they didn’t want him for the rest of the season, they should’ve just traded him to at least receive something in return. But, other than that, they did a great job this trade deadline period.
Earl: Brian Cashman should win executive of the year for the haul he got back. Shoot, he should win the award for conning the Pittsburgh Pirates in taking Ivan Nova. I’m surprised they found a buyer for Nova.
But, the Yankees have gotten back promising prospects from the Cubs, Indians, and the Texas Rangers. The Yankees needed to rebuild, before they reload, and so far they look to be on the right path to doing so.
I wholeheartedly applaud that they are trying to get age and big buck salaries off their roster and add young players with lots of upside. As GM Cashman has said in various interviews… the chessboard has changed. No longer is it just simply go out and spend and buy a championship. You now have to do your homework and developed a team. Like they did with the so-called Core Four back in the 1990s when George Steinbrenner was suspended from the game.
Yes, some money can still be spent… judiciously and smartly… to add to the team where necessary or to tweak a roster but overall its time to let the young dudes play and see what ya got. I think they did really well and are their way to reestablishing themselves as a team to be reckoned with in future playoffs instead of being a team who just makes the playoffs and more times than not its one and done.
I would be remiss, if, I didn’t add that Hal Steinbrenner has also said very similar words to what Cashman has expressed about the Yankees’ moves at the trade deadline. Without his OK Cashman never would have made any of the trades that literally changed the landscape of the Yankees’ future.
It was time to re-boot and start developing a new team. They got some amazing rookie prospects, especially from the Cubs, and, unloaded a ton of cash. This was the right move because honestly, the Yankees were not going anywhere with the team they had.
4) Did The Texas Rangers do enough to improve their team of wounded warriors, headlined by their pickups of Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran, to reestablish and solidify their being the front runners in the AL West as the 2016 entering the last 1/3rd of the schedule?
Dan: The Texas Rangers really improved their offense by acquiring two great players. Not only did they grab a solid outfielder this season in Carlos Beltran. But, they were also able to acquire Jonathan Lucroy who is one of the best catchers in the game both behind the plate and at the plate.
To feature both of them in the line-up is incredible and really helps them out against Houston.
But, the bigger win is that they made these moves and the Houston Astros did not. The Astros in my mind dropped the ball in not getting Beltran, and, then, seeing him going over to the rival Rangers should really stick in their craw. I’d think these two additions should be enough to hold off the Astros in the AL West.
Joe: The answer to this question is a resounding “Yes.” They add a DH/Outfielder who is belting the ball around with authority… forget the fact he is 39… in Beltran. And, then, they add a catcher, who is arguably one of the best in the game today, in Lucroy… what’s not to like?
Now, as their other players already on the team start coming back they should be ready to march almost without challenge into the playoffs.
Steve: The Rangers added two All Star players, and put themselves in a prime position to win the West, and, probably, in a great spot to win the American League. I picked them to win the World Series at the beginning of the year, I kinda fell off that wagon over the past month or so, but, now, I am back on that gravy train. I think the Rangers are easily the team to beat now in the AL.
5) Were there any players not traded that took you by surprise? Or, did a team or teams seem to do little to nothing… either sell or buy… to improve their respective team? Who and why?
I was a little surprised that Houston didn’t do anything to improve their roster as well as St Louis being quiet this trade deadline period as well. Thought they could’ve used a couple of additions to help make a push towards the playoffs.
Earl: Well, the good news is that we can still see players dealt in August, but, I’m a little surprised the Dodgers did not move Yasiel Puig. I get that Puig is still a name and he likely just needs a change of scenery, but, I’m surprised there wasn’t a bigger effort from the Dodgers to move on from him. Puig might still get dealt this month (I doubt that happens but you never know).
Joe: I was a little surprised Chris Sale of the White Sox wasn’t traded. I don’t know if the White Sox were just seeking too much in return or said fergeddaboudit we will visit trading him in the off season. And while Miami was behind the eight ball because of a lack of prospects, I still thought they could have finagled something better than what they did get. Plus, Houston and St. Louis standing pat surprised me, too.
Steve: I am surprised, and, yet, not surprised at the same time, that the White Sox did not unload Chris Sale. They understand that Sale is not happy in Chicago and there is probably no chance that he re-signs with the White Sox when he becomes a free agent. After his outburst a couple of weeks ago where he cut up some ugly ass jerseys, I thought Sale would have been out of Chicago.
I am not surprised that the Sox asked too much for him as he is under a very good contract for the team, and he is not a payroll nightmare. He is under team control for another couple years, so the asking price was probably astronomical.
A bonus question…
OK, it’s all over but the shouting or the gnashing of teeth…
So, which team did the best and which team did the worst as the trade deadline for 2016 is now history?
Dan: I think there were three teams who did the best at the trade deadline. Milwaukee, New York Yankees and Texas. The team that did the worst was probably Houston and St Louis. I didn’t see much activity from either team which was pretty surprising. I thought they should’ve improved their rosters a little bit to make the final push towards the playoffs.
I thought Milwaukee did a great job this trade deadline in getting the biggest bang for their buck. Texas was able to improve their offense like I had said earlier and the Yankees got a nice haul of prospects in for who they were able to trade off.
The loser to me is the Houston Astros. The Astros have a fine lineup but they needed a little infusion in their fight against the Rangers and they did nothing.
While the worst teams in no particular order were The Phillies… they couldn’t pull the trigger on a Hellickson trade in a very weak starters market? The White Sox… same as with Philly… they couldn’t move Sale who was the best starter available? Even if they had to take a little less than they wanted for Sale, they should have moved him. They still would have walked away with a very nice haul in prospects and maybe even a decent MLB ready player, too. And, the same thing with the Colorado Rockies… they had assets to sell (Carlos Gonzalez, anyone?) and failed to move anyone for anything.
They made some serious moves to get better despite losing half of their roster to injury. The Astros did not do enough I think to help their chances at the division championship. Last week, I went on record and said that the Astros were going to over take the Rangers and win this division. I think the Rangers made a liar out of me. I especially like the acquisition of Jonathan Lucroy. He is going to bolster their offense and likely lead them to a division championship again this year. I think the Rangers are once again favorites to win the American League.
We cannot count out the Indians, after Andrew Miller will be joining their already massive pitching staff. The Indians have the pitching, but the Rangers, I think are the better all around team.
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