The 2016 MLB trade deadline ended Monday at 4:00 PM and I say 4:00 PM because teams used every second of that this year. It was a wacky one this season, guys who were traded to a team were literally sent back to where they came from, trades being agreed to only to be vetoed, and some teams you think would be buyers were sellers and some that are sellers were buyers. The deadline really gave the public a good idea where certain teams are heading this year and what the motives of some of the teams are. It’s August and every baseball fan knows that this month is where pennant chases intensify and teams go all in. Here’s a breakdown of the trade deadline by division and how the trades made will impact each division’s race.
American League East:
Baltimore Orioles (60-45): The Orioles added a couple pieces at the deadline acquiring old face Steve Pearce from the Rays for Western New York native Jonah Heim, as well as left handed starter Wade Miley. Now this isn’t anything to go crazy about, but Pearce’s best year came with the O’s last year and Miley was literally traded after he had a near no-hitter. Both guys are hit or miss but when they play well, they’re two guys that can be huge pieces to a team. Pearce bolsters an already powerful lineup and Miley boasts a good starting arm to a rotation that is highly questionable.
Toronto Blue Jays (60-47): The Jays added two starting pitchers in Francisco Liriano and Mike Bolsinger, while also adding relievers Joaquin Benoit and Scott Feldman, as well as outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. Of the four pitchers, Feldman has the lowest ERA at 3.05 but the biggest name is Liriano.
He has struggled this year in Pittsburgh with a 6-11 record and ERA in the 5’s but when given run support and having control of his pitches, he has ace quality stuff. Benoit has always managed to be a serviceable late inning guy out of the bullpen and if any team needs bullpen help it’s Toronto. Last but not least, Melvin Upton Jr. This move kind of plays with fire a little bit. He can be a head case at times but currently he’s in the midst of a bounce back year with 16 home runs and 45 RBI. He also brings good defense and speed to the Jays with only two errors all season and 20 stolen bases.
New York Yankees (53-53): The Yankees made some moves that were tough to make but in the end made their farm system one of the top ones in the league. The Yankees decided not to be buyers and sold of two-thirds of their late inning relievers in Andrew Miller (Indians) and Aroldis Chapman (Cubs). They also traded their best bat so far this year, Carlos Beltran (Rangers), and shaky starter Ivan Nova (Pirates). The bombers got a huge load with the Chapman deal for only a two month rental, everything I’ve heard about 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, who comes over from Chicago, is that he is something special. Then with the Miller trade the Yanks get some of the Indians’ top prospects in Clint Frazier, who was just recently called up to Triple-A, and also Justus Sheffield. The Beltran deal also got the Yankees a top pitching prospect in Dillon Tate who was just selected in the first round by the Rangers in 2015. We all know the Yankee’s classic mentality, spend spend spend and win now. This is the first time in a while that Brian Cashman has been a seller at the deadline, but I promise pinstripe faithful, it will be worth it down the line. The Bombers in the blink of an eye have one of baseball’s best farms, and it will pay future dividends.
Boston Red Sox (58-47): The Sox made a couple notable trades acquiring starter Drew Pomeranz from San Diego and relievers Brad Ziegler and Fernando Abad. Pomeranz was having a career year as a starter for San Diego and if the Red Sox need anything badly it’s pitching.
He has struggled in his first three starts as a member of Boston but he’s only 27, the former fifth overall pick can grow into something promising for the Sox. Abad was a good pick up by the Sox, a left handed reliever that could be used late in games and as of now he possesses a 2.86 ERA and hitters only hit at a .220 clip off of him. Ziegler was also huge for the Sox and since he’s been with the club he has only given up one earned run while picking up two saves.
Tampa Bay Rays (42-63): The Rays were obvious sellers at the deadline but kept most of their rotation in tact. They sent southpaw starter Matt Moore to San Francisco but actually got a decent sending back from San Fran with Matt Duffy, along with 19-year-old shortstop prospect Lucius Fox and 21-year-old right hander Michael Santos who now are top 30 prospects in the Rays organization at seven and 30 respectively. The Rays also sent outfielder Brandon Guyer to the Indians for two minor leaguers. No surprise here that the Rays were sellers, I believe the only surprise here is why didn’t they sell more? It shows that they could’ve had some steep asking prices for guys like Chris Archer or Jake Odorizzi.
2016 AL East final standings prediction:
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Baltimore Orioles (Wildcard)
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
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