That was a pretty fun trade deadline, no? It looked like there wasn't going to be a ton of action and then, BOOM, a furious last 24 hours. The collective effort was spear-headed by our hero of the day, A.J. Preller. The Padres are serious contenders and their general manager was dead serious about ramping up his roster to the point that a run to the World Series is possible. That doesn't mean it'll happen, but that roster shapes up as one that would scare almost any opponent, especially in a short series where they can run a playoff rotation of Mike Clevinger, Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack.
The Padres were absolutely the winners of the trade deadline. Past them, let's go three up, three down here before we rank 'em.
Blue Jays - They needed to shore up the rotation and they went fishing in doing so. It's possible that Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Ross Stripling are all busts, but it's also possible they get the best versions of the three. If the latter is the case, that's a strong rotation with such an exciting position-playing core. They'll likely end up a lower seed in the playoffs, but a Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling, Robbie Ray rotation -- again, assuming the good versions of those guys -- with that offense would put a scare into a titan in a three-game series.
Reds - Unlike their fellow disappointing NL Central rival, who I'll get to below, the Reds recognize that despite the disappointing performance to date, they are every bit in the playoff picture (1 1/2 games out as of the deadline) and went out and bought outfielder Brian Goodwin and late-inning reliever Archie Bradley. Good stuff, Reds, even if it doesn't work out.
Cubs - With no money available and not really any prospects they should deal, Theo Epstein and company still managed to grab a pair of lefty relievers, a right-handed DH (Jose Martinez) and a replacement in the pinch-hitter/defensive replacement outfielder role that was being so poorly occupied by Albert Almora.
Yankees - Is now really the time to be conservative, Brian Cashman? What if I told you in the winter of 2009 that the Cubs, Nationals, Astros, Giants (three times) and Royals would win championships before the Yankees did again? There's no guarantee Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton or Gleyber Torres will play again this year. They just lost seven games in a row. And they did nothing.
Brewers - Worse than the Yankees, the Brewers were just one game out of a playoff spot and they sold. They traded one of their best relievers in David Phelps and added nothing. Afterward, they said they are counting on their own hitters to get better. As the Billy Beane character said in the "Moneyball" movie, "if he's a good hitter, why doesn't he hit good?"
Indians - They sold. Their GM said the Clevinger trade had nothing to do with him breaking protocol. If that's the case, why trade away one of the better pitchers in baseball while tied for first place? Terrible.
|They probably didn't need to add, because they are so good, but they still haven't won the World Series with this string of postseason appearances. Why not go nuts?||--||59-39|
|Here I thought the Steinbrenner family owned the Yankees. It turns it the 2020 Rays are the actual owners.||1||59-39|
|Mike Minor got off to a brutal start to the season, but last time out he shut down the Dodgers with six scoreless innings. Now Beane swoops in and grabs the guy who got Cy Young votes last season. You love to see it.||1||56-42|
|The most fun AL team to watch. I wish they had more starting pitching, though.||2||58-38|
|I feel like the concern over Chris Paddack was overblown. It was really just two bad starts (one against the mighty Dodgers). Last time out he was very good and it was in Coors Field. He's fine.||5||58-42|
|I initially picked the Yankees to win the World Series but changed my pick at the last minute. I started them number one in power rankings. I just don't know how that rotation gets them very deep into the playoffs at this point, though.||1||50-46|
|I present the following slash line: .286/.402/.560 (157 OPS+). You know who that is? Jason Heyward. For real.||--||48-50|
|Let's say Ian Anderson sticks. That's still just two reliable starters for the playoffs, along with Max Fried. Another head-scratcher to not trade for a starter.||1||47-49|
|The two-game sweep of the A's all of a sudden closes the gap in the AL West pretty well. We're gonna have a race after all.||2||58-39|
|At least if they wanted to trade Clevinger, why wasn't the move used to shore up the big-league offense? I'm lost, man.||2||48-47|
|They've won 11 of their last 15 and have done so without their best offensive player. Keep your eyes on this bunch.||2||48-45|
|That six-game losing streak shows how quickly things can turn in this wild and wacky season. They've dropped all the way to the seven seed in the AL after being the three less than a week ago. Yikes.||8||41-56|
|Rhys Hoskins is scorching hot overall. He also has five homers in his last seven games. The team is heating up, too.||9||48-48|
|I like what the Rockies did at the deadline. Similar to the Cubs, adding at the margins this season was a win. Kevin Pillar and Mychal Givens will help.||3||42-54|
|They still have SEVEN doubleheaders left. They need to thank the Reds and Brewers for letting them hang around in playoff position, but this is going to be a tall hill to climb.||3||49-49|
|If the Reds can get straightened out, a first-round playoff rotation of Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo looks pretty damn imposing.||4||50-47|
|Among regulars, they have one above-average hitter by OPS+ (Christian Yelich) and he's below the Mendoza Line. I'm just not seeing some huge turnaround.||1||56-41|
|Maybe Mike Yastrzemski was simply a late bloomer? He was never really a great hitter in the minors, but now at age 29 in the bigs, he looks special.||3||61-35|
|They took two of three from the Indians, two of three from the Cubs and then swept the Twins. What's gotten into them?||5||47-51|
|Good for the Marlins to add Starling Marte. Love it. They have a real shot at the playoffs.||3||41-57|
|I guess at least it's good to try, but the Mets being somewhat aggressive buyers was weird and kind of funny. It's almost like someone knows he's gonna get fired.||7||51-43|
|Less than a month to go, Jose Iglesias is hitting .405. BIG EYES EMOJI!||1||32-64|
|It's never a sure thing, but they seem to be really setting up for a stacked outfield in the future with Kyle Lewis, Jerred Kelenic and Taylor Trammell. It's possible Mitch Haniger comes back and rakes again at some point, too.||2||51-46|
|I was apparently wrong for suggesting they might completely blow things up and trade J.D. Martinez and maybe even Xander Bogaerts. They did deal some rentals, though they held Jackie Bradley and he's a free agent after the year.||3||60-38|
|The defending champs are out here consistently losing series to teams with worse rosters. Is this the bill for October of 2019? If so, Nats fans are happily paying for it.||9||45-51|
|The year is 2045. Despite a bevy of rumors, Dayton Moore is still clinging to Whit Merrifield for dear life.||3||39-55|
|It's hard to figure how badly that roster underperformed baseline expectations, but selling was certainly the right move.||8||30-69|
|I'd really love to see what kinds of offers they were getting on Lance Lynn. As mentioned several times above, there were lots of contending teams who sure could've used starting pitching help.||2||35-62|
|The Pirates are 8-7 against the Cardinals and Brewers. They are 2-15 against everyone else.||1||36-60|
|Free Mike Trout.||2||47-48|