MLB Trade Deadline Winners and Losers
Chris Archer has arguably had the worst season of his seven-year career so far, and he has not been the ace pitcher over the last couple of seasons that he was from 2013-2015. However, it might have just been time for a change of scenery for the two-time all-star, who still is one of the better strikeout pitchers in the league. He, along with stud reliever Keone Kela, will not only help them in the wild-card race now, but both are also under team control through 2021. The Pirates may have given up two top young prospects in Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow, but Glasnow has yet to show the command of a future star. Meadows, on the other hand, was once regarded as a top-10 overall prospect and he played well in a call-up earlier this season (.292/.327/.468 in 165 plate appearances). After hitting .404 with five home runs in his first 14 games, however, he tailed off to .243/.281/.308 with no home runs over his next 114 plate appearances. He also hasn't hit great in AAA-ball this year and has battled injuries throughout his minor league career, so the jury is still out on him.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers added Manny Machado and Brian Dozier to their infield. After a down season in 2017, Machado has looked every bit of the two-way superstar that he has the ability to be year in and year out. Dozier, on the other hand, has not had a strong year, but he has caught fire in the last couple of months of each of the last two seasons. The two acquisitions also help add depth to the infield with lingering concerns over Justin Turner’s health. Turner is currently on the DL with a groin injury, but even without him, the Dodgers now have an infield of breakout rookie Max Muncy, Dozier, Chris Taylor and Machado. Combine that with a powerful outfield of Matt Kemp, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig, and Enrique Hernandez filling in at various spots. If Turner gets back and regains his form, then Machado can move back to shortstop and Taylor can play all over the place. The Dodgers just added to a team with already incredible depth.
The Braves get a solid back-end starter who is under team control through 2020 without giving up any of their top-10 prospects from arguably the best farm system in the league. The highest rated player they gave up was third baseman Jean Carlos Encarnacion, the No. 14 prospect on MLB's midseason update list for the Braves, who has 100 strikeouts and 13 walks in Low-A level this season so far.
Wilson Ramos is a huge pickup for the Phillies even if it may be a while before the Phillies get to start him behind the plate. Ramos is still recovering from a strained hamstring. When Ramos returns, however, he'll look to build on an All-Star first half in which he put up a .834 OPS and 14 home runs. The Phillies have gotten just a .709 OPS and 10 home runs out of the catcher spot so far. The Phillies are only renting Ramos for the rest of the year, but they currently lead the National League East and have upgraded at its most glaring weakness. They also add Aaron Loup, whose 4.54 ERA is not impressive, but it is mitigated by a 10.6 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9. He's also always been tough on left-handed hitters, holding them to a .618 OPS in his seven-year career. Philadelphia needed a reliable lefty in the bullpen alongside shutdown righties Seranthony Dominguez and Victor Arano.
The Diamondbacks needed an infield upgrade even before Jake Lamb suffered another shoulder injury. Adding Eduardo Escobar was a great addition, as he brings a versatile glove and a bat that produced a .852 OPS and 55 extra-base hits in Minnesota. They also upgraded their bullpen by bringing in Jake Diekman and Brad Ziegler. Diekman has struck out 48 batters in only 39 innings and has surrendered just two home runs. Ziegler pitched in Arizona from 2011 to 2016 and has allowed only two earned runs over his last 28 appearances. His groundball rate has soared, which will blend well with the Diamondbacks' elite infield defense.
The Nationals needed to add a starter to help a rotation that is 10-24 with a 5.48 ERA since the month of June began. General manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday that he believes in his team, but the only notable move he made was to trade a relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler. The lack of moves was not a good look for a team that wants to bring back Bryce Harper in the offseason, but inaction will do nothing to give Harper confidence that Washington is the place for him to be going forward.
New York Mets
The Mets also did close to nothing at the trade deadline. They are one of the worst teams in baseball, and there is no reason to believe a quick turnaround is in store. The Mets could have gotten plenty of value in exchange for selling pieces like Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom, especially given the deGrom has been arguably the best pitcher in the National League this year.
The Astros have a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to domestic violence, but they traded for Roberto Osuna, who is currently serving a 75-game suspension for allegedly assaulting a woman. General Manager Jeff Luhnow said the policy only applies to current employees. No matter how one looks at it, bringing in Osuna involves compromising off the field. The Astros were also seeking a bat for left field or bench depth and didn't address either of those. Stud shortstop Carlos Correa will begin his rehab assignment shortly, which will make the Astros even more dangerous in defending their World Series crown, but their quiet deadline did not strengthen their case.
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