MLB’s trade deadline expired yesterday, at 6 PM ET, and it was a chaotic one. There were some huge trades, some puzzling trades, and a couple of teams not making moves at all. Let’s recap the bigger moves and storylines from the past few days.
The Rockies are the only team not to make a single trade
Of course, let’s first talk about the news (or lack thereof) related to the Colorado Rockies. During last year’s deadline, the only move the Rockies made was trading Mychal Givens to the Reds, and this year they went a step further, making precisely zero trades. Not even guys like Alex Colomé or Chad Kuhl, upcoming free agents for whom there was some level of certainty that they’d be traded (at least among fans and media), were moved. We can argue the merits of extending Daniel Bard, but trading guys who are unlikely to be back next season is... curious. We’ll see if some information comes out about the types of offers they got for those ballplayers, but as of now, in my humble opinion, this looks pretty bad. And I’ll leave it at that.
The Padres go all in and make an unprecedented trade
Padres GM A.J. Preller is never shy about making splashes, and he made by far the biggest of his career when he traded for Juan freakin’ Soto, a 23-year-old megastar whose closest historical comparisons in terms of age and performance are probably Stan Musial and Ted Williams, two pretty solid ballplayers back in their day. Soto won’t be a free agent until after the 2024 season, which means the Padres get three shots at a postseason with him on the roster. Oh, and they also got first baseman Josh Bell in the deal. Bell is a free agent after this season, but he’s hit .278/.363/.483 for a 137 OPS+ across the past two seasons and represents another boost for a Padres club that looks to threaten the Dodgers in the NL West. Did the Padres give up a lot in return? Absolutely. Mackenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, James Wood, Robert Hassell III and Jarlin Susana, with Luke Voit included as well. That is a ton of young talent, but the Padres acquired literally Juan Soto. They won this trade in my eyes, and they’ll be a monster team moving forward. I almost forgot to mention that they traded for one of the best closers in the game in Josh Hader and one of baseball’s premium utilitymen in Brandon Drury as well. They look scary.
Twins, Phillies and Yankees among other winners at the deadline
All three of these teams came out of the deadline noticeably stronger than they entered it. Minnesota acquired stud closer Jorge López and a good starter in Tyler Mahle, reinforcing what had been a suspect pitching staff. The Phils made additions at almost every level, trading for closer David Robertson, starter Noah Syndergaard, centerfielder Brandon Marsh and shortstop Edmundo Sosa. The Yankees added Andrew Benintendi as a rental and made one of the bigger trades of these few days when they got frontline starter Frankie Montas from the A’s. They also shipped off the struggling Joey Gallo to the Dodgers (get ready for him to hit like peak Mark McGwire in L.A. You know it’s bound to happen) and made a curious move today, trading a fine backend starter in Jordan Montgomery for Cardinals Gold Glove centerfielder Harrison Bader. The Yankees look like the best team in the AL, and possibly in all of baseball, and the surging Phils and Twins gave themselves more tools to grab a postseason spot.
Seattle pays premium for a premium arm
When the Mariners traded for Reds ace Luis Castillo, they paid a pretty penny for him, shipping off two of their three best prospects in a move that indicated to me that the organization is tired of waiting for its first postseason appearance since 2001. Because this was perceived as an overpay by some, it set crazy standards as a seller’s market in people’s mind, but it didn’t turn out to be a trend-setter. With the Rockies unlikely to make a run, I could definitely recommend cheering for Seattle, a team that for years has been like the AL Rockies in many ways, to finally end that postseason drought.
The Cubs, Guardians and Marlins go relatively quiet
The Marlins did trade two good relievers to the Blue Jays, but aside from that, these three teams had lowkey deadlines. The Cubs held two of the market’s premium chips in catcher Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ, but they stayed put, and all Cleveland did was a minor league deal. It still counts, however, so the Rockies are officially the only team to not make even a single transaction in the period that went from the end of the All-Star break to the 6 PM deadline.
There were other things to mention, but they’re relatively minor stuff. The Red Sox both sold and bought, to the confusion of many. The Astros and Blue Jays made a few solid additions. The Orioles waved the white flag despite only being a few games out of a postseason spot, and so on. What did you think of the trade deadline? Was there anything that surprised you? Anything that you thought didn’t make sense? Any particular move you liked?
★ ★ ★
The classic trade tracker. There were a lot of deals being made, and there could’ve been even more (the Cubs and Marlins, among others, were relatively quiet).
One of, if not the greatest storyteller in baseball history, and a voice synonymous with the game. May he rest in peace.
On The Farm
In some ways, it’s impressive that this ballgame ended up being as close as it was, considering that Albuquerque trailed 9-1 after four frames. Starter Riley Smith got blitzed and chased in the fourth (3.2 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR), and even though the bats managed to outscore El Paso 8-4 the rest of the way, it was too little, too late. Ryan Vilade had a good day (3-for-5 with a double), Jimmy Herron was on base four times and Coco Montes homered in the losing effort. The Isotopes are now 47-53 and will look to turn it around today with Ashton Goudeau (0-5, 11.53 ERA) needing a solid outing to regain his footing.
The Yard Goats (60-37) reached the 60-win mark with a solid, all-around performance headlined by a strong start from Mitchell Kilkenny (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR) followed by three shutdown innings from the bullpen. The lineup overcame a 2-for-11 performance with runners in scoring position to score four runs, thanks mainly to a pair of solo home runs from Michael Toglia (3-for-5 overall) and Daniel Montano (1-for-4 with a walk). Montano’s homer was a go-ahead shot in the 7th inning, giving Hartford a lead it wouldn’t surrender. Gavin Hollowell locked down his 13th save with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, and the Yard Goats took the first game of the series. Tony Locey (0-2, 9.39 ERA) will take the ball today, looking for his first win at the Double-A level.
#10 for Rockies unranked outfielder Daniel Montaño pic.twitter.com/cLXKMaUrVv— William Bane (@thewilliambane) August 2, 2022
Much like Albuquerque, Spokane (48-46) fell down big early, in their case trailing 8-1 entering the bottom of the 5th. Unlike the ‘Topes, however, the Indians bats didn’t mount a comeback attempt, managing only five hits and a pair of walks all game. As such, when Will Ethridge got roughed up (4.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR), he wasn’t picked up in any way. There were positives, of course. Zac Veen showcased his ability to impact the game with more than just the bat, picking up a hit and walk, stealing a base (his 48th) and throwing out a runner at home plate. Also of note: Warming Bernabel homered for the fourth time since his promotion to High-A, and he’s hitting .354 with 10 extra-base hits in 20 games for the Spokane ballclub. They’ll look to bounce back today with Joe Rock (7-6, 3.58 ERA) on the mound, who’s looking to continue his good season as he eyes a possible promotion to Double-A in the near future.
If I were to tell you that the Grizzlies struck out 16 times and left 8 runners on base, you’d think they lost, probably getting shut down by the opposition, right? Well, think again: Fresno did all that, and somehow managed to get 16 hits (8 for extra bases) and 7 walks, also taking advantage of some sloppy San José defense to put up a staggering 20 runs on the board, 11 of them in just the 2nd and 3rd innings combined. As you might expect, there were some big offensive performers. Yanquiel Fernández drove in five runs, Juan Guerrero had a double and two triples (!), Yorvis Torrealba went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three RBI, Adael Amador was on base four times via two hits and two walks (and also drove in three), and Benjamin Sems walked four times and scored three runs. All of this meant that Cullen Kafka simply needed to get through five to get the win, and he did despite an abundance of traffic (5.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). Somehow, a ballgame that featured 30 combined hits only last 3 hours. The Grizzlies will try to keep it rolling when they hand the ball to 21-year-old Brayan Castillo (1-4, 6.22 ERA), who’s in desperate need for a good outing after giving up 16 runs (12 earned) on 17 hits in his last two starts.
★ ★ ★
Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!