With another deadline in the books, let's see where the division sits at.
Arizona Diamondbacks (49-51)
"Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes that see reality." — Niko Kazantzakis.
The D-backs didn't do much of anything after being tenuously linked to a deal for Aroldis Chapman and leave the deadline with the same team they had when they entered, content to do nothing seven games out of first.
Colorado Rockies (43-57)
"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." — Khalil Gibran
I had long advocated trading Troy Tulowitzki, which I'll elaborate on in a reaction piece sometime this weekend, but when the deal finally dropped I was heartbroken. I felt sick and I felt lost, immediately regretting ever wishing that he be dealt. Here was Troy Tulowitzki, the best shortstop in baseball and the face of our franchise. Here was Troy Tulowitzki, a player universally admired for his work ethic, talent, and love of the game. And then there was Troy Tulowitzki, shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Regardless of how you feel about the Tulo deal itself, it was an admission by the FO that the Rockies as currently constructed were not going to contend.
I've long bemoaned the lack of apparent organizational direction, but the Rockies have seemingly taken a harder look at their current position. We won't know who won the Tulo trade for a long time, but the deal was certainly going to be a failure in the scheme of things if the Rockies neglected to move the right pieces.
The Rockies are standing pat after shipping out Tulo. I fail to understand this. If you're trading him, isn't that an admission of a rebuild? I get that guys like Reyes and CarGo are still under contract through 2016 and there's ample time over the offseason to deal, but right now why wouldn't you move pieces? I refuse to believe the Rockies couldn't have gotten a decent return from some desperate teams. Obviously, I know nothing as I have no clue what the offers are, but I just can't reconcile the trade of Tulo with the lack of action otherwise. If you're trading Tulo, why not blow it up? I'm going to lose it if pieces like CarGo, Reyes, or Blackmon injured or suffer serious drops in production. I'm really going to lose it if Reyes is our starting shortstop in 2016. Realistically, the logical portion of me realizes that there likely weren't any good offers on the table and we'll flip people over the offseason and the rebuild will be on.
COL Traded SS Troy Tulowitzki, RHP LaTroy Hawkins to TOR for SS Jose Reyes, RHP Jeff Hoffman, RHP Miguel Castro, RHP Jesus Tinoco
It's going to be impossible to say who won this deal anytime soon, as it rests entirely on the shoulders of some very young pitchers. Troy Tulowitzki is a generational talent and while it's entirely unfair to expect Reyes to replace him, let's not overlook the fact that Reyes is a talented player in his own right. The Rockies will still get production from the position in a season that's been lost for a long time. If the Rockies can flip Reyes before the start of the 2016 season, then you can effectively view this deal as Tulo and Hawkins for the three pitching prospects that came our way from Toronto and whatever Reyes fetches. Plus, the Rockies save a good bit of money that can hopefully be used to extend Nolan Arenado and/or sign an FA when our window of contention opens in a few years. I say "hopefully" because I have my doubts over whether that money will be put to use, but that's another thing we won't know for some time.
In Jeff Hoffman the Rockies receive a potentially elite, frontline starter to complement Jon Gray. If Gray continues to pitch as he does and Hoffman pitches well back from injury, the latter could leapfrog the former in our prospect rankings. Miguel Castro's ceiling is still that of a frontline starter, which is often overlooked as he already has pitched at highest level at just 20-years-old. While Castro may eventually end up as an elite bullpen guy, there's every reason to believe he can stick as a starter. Tinoco is more of a wildcard, but gives the Rockies another live arm to add to the mix. All three could very well turn into pumpkins and fall on their faces, but that's a risk you run with any prospect. The return could potentially give the Rockies a lights-out starting rotation in a few years alongside guys like Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and Mike Nikorak.
Playoff Odds per FanGraphs: 0.0%
Los Angeles Dodgers (57-45)
"The taste for luxuries increases with marvelous rapidity under indulgence." — George Payne Rainsford James
The Dodgers made a bevy of moves over the offseason, acquiring through various avenues Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, Howie Kendrick, Chris Hatcher, Jimmy Rollins, and Brandon McCarthy in addition to some other smaller pieces. The Dodgers, never a team to sit on their hands, of course added a slew of players and somehow got cash back in the past week, which somehow really bothers me.
LAD Traded INF Hector Olivera, RHP Zachary Bird, LHP Paco Rodriguez to ATL, RHPs Kevin Guzman, Victor Araujo, Jeff Brigham to MIA for RHP Mat Latos, 1B/OF Michael Morse, Cash (MIA) and LHP Alex Wood, LHP Luis Avilan, RHP Jim Johnson, RHP Bronson Arroyo, INF Jose Peraza, Cash (ATL)
LAD Traded 1B/OF Michael Morse, Cash to PIT for OF Jose Tabata
Follow all of that? A massive deal involving no less than 13 players nets the Dodgers a slew of players who will help them shore up their depth. Alex Wood and Mat Latos are quality additions for a rotation that has lost two of its original members and is in sore need of reinforcements. The Dodgers also receive some arms for the bullpen, a quality prospect in Peraza, and cash. Arroyo has been placed on the 60-day DL and Morse, who was included due to the salary he is owed, has been DFA'd.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Morse from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dodgers?src=hash">#Dodgers</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pirates?src=hash">#Pirates</a> for Jose Tabata, per <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS">@JonHeymanCBS</a>. Morse had been DFA’d, Tabata DFA’d and outrighted.</p>— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/627211509207314433">July 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Playoff Odds per FanGraphs: 93.1%
San Diego Padres (49-53)
"Economy is half the battle of life. It is not so hard to earn money as to spend it well." — Charles H. Spurgeon
Despite ravishing the farm system to bring in some big names over the offseason, GM A.J. Preller's Padres still find themselves four games under .500. After acquiring James Shields, Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow, Matt Kemp, Craig Kimbrel, Derek Norris, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Will Middlebrooks, Shawn Kelley, Brandon Maurer and Melvin Upton, Jr. in a dizzying number of signings and trades, the Padres found themselves in a difficult position after their big gamble failed to pay the dividends they thought it would.
After speculation that pretty much everyone on the Padres was up for grabs, it's pretty surprising that they made no moves at all, but that's baseball with A.J. Preller at the helm.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Padres?src=hash">#Padres</a> largely standing pat because GM A.J. Preller believes the team can reach the postseason, source says.</p>— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/627208213365174272">July 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Padres?src=hash">#Padres</a> will make JUp a qualifying offer. Other potential free agents - Kennedy, Benoit, Venable - will simply walk if not moved in August.</p>— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/627212328572948480">July 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Playoff Odds per FanGraphs: 4.0%
San Francisco Giants (56-45)
"You suck." — Jay Milnes
The Giants didn't really need to make any moves, given their annoying ability to win championships with questionable rosters. Playing poorly the entire season? Not a problem for the Giants! They'll sneak into the postseason and emerge with a ring either way. I won't be surprised if they get their fourth ring in six years. In fact, I'm preparing myself now for the inevitable. Because the flipping Giants exist to frustrate me to no end. Somewhere my roommate from California is saying, "Bitter, much?" Sigh. At least the Giants didn't get Hamels, right?
SF Traded INF Adam Duvall, RHP Keury Mella to CIN for RHP Mike Leake
Leake (9-5) will immediately help the Giants' rotation and likely give the boot to the struggling Tim Hudson. With an ERA of 3.56, a FIP of 3.88, and a WAR of 1.6, Mike Leake figures to shore up the rotation as a solid piece in its middle and will help the Giants compete for another title. Mella profiles as a solid middle-rotation type pitcher and I know Giants fans weren't thrilled to part with him, but the reality of the deal is that it gives the Giants a better chance to win now.
Playoff Odds per FanGraphs: 54.4%