The non-waiver trade deadline is freshly behind us, and indeed a bevy of deals went down before time ran out on Tuesday. At this point, the baseball onlooker is probably trying to make sense of everything. Because we are of, for, and by the people, we're here to help you do just that.
For this particular piece of hot content, we'll hand out grades for each rebuilding club that traded roster players for help down the road -- i.e., the sellers. The criterion is simple: The extent to which they helped their greater goals in 2019 and beyond. You can find our.
Baseball ops professionals, prepare to proudly present and or forge the following report cards. For these purposes, we're counting the July 18 Manny Machado blockbuster as the beginning of the trade deadline season for 2018, so trades since that point will be considered for grades ...
Baltimore Orioles: B+
- Received: UTIL Breyvic Valera, OF Yusniel Diaz, RHP Zach Pop, RHP Dean Kremer, 3B Ryan Bannon, RHP Dillon Tate, RHP Cody Carroll, LHP Josh Rogers, RHP Evan Phillips, 3B Jean Carlos Encarnacion, C Brett Cumberland, LHP Bruce Zimmermann, 2B Jonathan Villar, RHP Luis Ortiz, SS Jean Carmona, international bonus money
- Traded: SS Manny Machado, LHP Zach Britton, RHP Brad Brach, RHP Kevin Gausman, RHP Darren O'Day, 2B Jonathan Schoop
- Kept: OF Adam Jones, RHP Mychal Givens, RHP Dylan Bundy, UTIL Danny Valencia
That is six players out and 15 -- 15! -- players in, as well as approximately $3.5 million in international bonus money. The Orioles are very bad and give them credit, they didn't hold back when they sold. They didn't just trade impending free agents like Machado and Britton. They also traded players under team control beyond 2018 like Gausman and Schoop.
Diaz, who came over in the Machado trade, is the best of the prospects the O's received and he has star-caliber tools, and could help as soon as next season. Tate and Ortiz are former first-round picks who've gone backwards a bit in recent years, but still offer upside and are quality gambles for a team looking to hoard talent. Carmona, Encarnacion, Kremer, Bannon, Pop, and Cumberland are all legitimate prospects who provide depth the organization simply didn't have before.
Jones reportedly invoked his no-trade clause to stay with the O's, and Givens and Valencia could move in August. I thought the Orioles might trade Bundy as well, though maybe they just ran out of time to work out a deal. The Orioles get a B+ rather than A only because they went quantity over quality in some cases, most notably the Gausman trade, and I would've preferred to see them go for pure upside than depth. Overall though, good job by the O's accumulating talent and bonus money.
Chicago White Sox: C
- Received: LHP Kodi Medeiros, RHP Wilber Perez, LHP Caleb Frare, LHP Hunter Schryver
- Traded: RHP Joakim Soria, international bonus money
- Kept: 1B Jose Abreu, OF Avisail Garcia, LHP Luis Avilan, RHP James Shields
The White Sox did the heavy lifting part of their rebuild a while ago. Chris Sale is gone, Jose Quintana is gone, David Robertson is gone, Todd Frazier is gone. Soria, an impending free agent, was an obvious candidate to be moved and he went for a two-prospect package that included a former first rounder (Medeiros). Also, the White Sox can't really spend their international bonus money because they're in the $300,000 bonus limit penalty phase for past signings, so they traded their bonus money for closer to MLB players in Frare and Schryver. Good moves.
Despite that, I'm giving the ChiSox a C because they continue to hold on to Abreu and Garcia, both of whom will become free agents next season. There is something to be said for veteran leadership and respectability, but I can't help but feel like we're all going to sitting here at the 2019 trade deadline saying, "The White Sox missed their chance to trade those two for maximum return a year or two ago." The White Sox are very bad and no one should be off-limits. Abreu will be nearing his 33rd birthday when he becomes a free agent next winter. Are they going to re-sign him long-term? Not sure I get hanging on to two corner bats to build around.
Cincinnati Reds: C
- Received: RHP Lucas Sims, RHP Matt Wisler, LF Preston Tucker.
- Traded: OF Adam Duvall
- Kept: IF Scooter Gennett, RHP Raisel Iglesias, RHP Matt Harvey, OF Billy Hamilton, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Jared Hughes
I can't help but feel like the Reds could've done so much more at the trade deadline. The Duvall trade was very good. Low on-base corner outfield bats like him can quickly become expensive through arbitration, and Cincinnati was able to net two interesting depth arms with maybe a chance to be more. The Duvall trade was very good.
But that's it? Harvey is an all impending free agent and Gennett and Hamilton will be free agents after next season, yet they remain. Maybe I'm just spooked by Zack Cozart. Cozart had an incredible season last year and the Reds got nothing for him. Didn't trade him, didn't get a draft pick when he left as a free agent. Nothing. Harvey, Hernandez, and Hughes are all August trade candidates, for sure. But the longer you hold on to them, the more risk you assume.
I thought the Duvall trade was very good for the Reds. I just wish they would've done a little more.
Detroit Tigers: B-
- Received: SS Willi Castro
- Traded: OF Leonys Martin, RHP Kyle Dowdy
- Kept: RHP Mike Fiers, RHP Jordan Zimmermann, OF Nick Castellanos, SS Jose Iglesias, RHP Shane Greene, RHP Alex Wilson, LHP Francisco Liriano
The Tigers look like a team that could be very active in August. Iglesias and Liriano are impending free agents and the rebuilding Tigers have no use for either long-term. There was interest in Fiers and interest in Greene, but Detroit held on to both. Seems a little risky even though both are under team control at least another year. It's been a while since Fiers has pitched this well; Greene has been on-and-off disabled list all year.
As for the trade they did make, the Tigers did very well getting Castro for Martin (and Dowdy). Castro's a much better prospect than I thought they'd get for Martin, especially coming into the season. A switch-hitting shortstop with the defensive tools to remain at the position makes for a very good prospect. Probably should've cashed in Fiers and Greene when their value was high. Otherwise, the deal for Castro was really good.
Kansas City Royals: A-
- Received: OF Brett Phillips, RHP Jorge Lopez, OF Brian Goodwin
- Traded: 3B Mike Moustakas, RHP Jacob Condra-Bogan
- Kept: 2B Whit Merrifield, 1B Lucas Duda, LHP Danny Duffy
There wasn't much left to trade in Kansas City, to be honest. Turning Moustakas into two big-league ready kids (Phillips and Lopez) with upside was an excellent move, and I love rolling the dice on Goodwin, a former first-round pick who got squeezed off the roster in Washington. The Kelvin Herrera trade went down before our cutoff date (July 18) though the three prospects that came over drew mixed reviews.
I assume the market for Duda was nonexistent -- those bat-only first basemen rarely generate interest -- though there was a market for Merrifield, and the Royals opted to keep him. I'm not sure a soon-to-be 30-year-old is part of their next contending team, but he is under control long-term, and they'll have plenty of chances to deal him. Same with Duffy, who hasn't had a great year overall. The Royals traded the guys they were supposed to trade and got a great haul for Moustakas.
Los Angeles Angels: B-
- Received: RHP Ty Buttrey, LHP Williams Jerez, LHP Patrick Sandoval, international bonus money
- Traded: C Martin Maldonado, 2B Ian Kinsler
- Kept: RHP Blake Parker, LHP Jose Alvarez, RHP Cam Bedrosian, RHP Jim Johnson
Relatively low-key deadline for the Angels, as expected. They were able to turn Kinsler and his expiring contract into two Triple-A relievers (Buttrey and Jerez) and Maldonado into organizational depth. The Angels lost a significant trade chip in Garrett Richards, who underwent Tommy John surgery a few weeks prior to the deadline. The impending free agent would've netted a nice little return. GM Billy Eppler could've flipped the relievers for something, though I suspect he'll have plenty of chances to do so in August. The Angels are trying to win before Mike Trout becomes a free agent in two years, so trading guys like Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs was never really an option.
Miami Marlins: D
- Received: RHP Tommy Eveld, SS Bryson Brigman, international bonus money
- Traded: OF Cameron Maybin, RHP Brad Ziegler
- Kept: RHP Kyle Barraclough, RHP Drew Steckenrider, LHP Adam Conley, UTIL Derek Dietrich, 1B Justin Bour, RHP Dan Straily, C J.T. Realmuto
A disappointing deadline for the Marlins, who could've cashed in big with Realmuto and the controllable relievers (Barraclough, Steckenrider, Conley), and instead flipped the two impending free agents for interesting enough prospects and nothing more. I'm not saying they should've given those guys away, but when you're this early in a rebuild, the goal should be acquiring as much talent as possible.
Moving the relievers felt like the bare minimum to me. Relievers are so volatile that planning around them long-term is impossible, and the chances they lose trade value going forward are too great. The Marlins rushed to trade their star-studded outfield over the winter. Now they're holding everyone else tight? Eh.
Minnesota Twins: B
- Received: 2B Logan Forsythe, OF Luke Raley, LHP Devin Smeltzer, RHP Chase De Jong, 1B Ryan Costello, 1B Tyler Austin, RHP Luis Rijo, OF Ernie De La Trinidad, OF Gabriel Maciel, RHP Jhoan Duran, OF Gilberto Celestino, RHP Jorge Alcala, cash
- Traded: 2B Brian Dozier, UTL Eduardo Escobar, RHP Ryan Pressly, RHP Lance Lynn, LHP Zach Duke, OF Jeremy Hazelbaker
- Kept: RHP Kyle Gibson, RHP Ervin Santana, RHP Fernando Rodney, 1B Logan Morrison, RHP Jake Odorizzi
Dozier's down season crushed his trade value, so the Twins did not have that one stud to trade, someone who could net them an elite prospect. Instead, they added gobs of organizational depth. Outfielders of all shapes and sizes and pitchers both close to MLB (De Jong) and very far away (19-year-old Rijo). Forsythe came over in the Dozier trade to offset salary and could be flipped in August, even if for nothing but salary relief.
Morrison and Rodney, two impending free agents, probably didn't have much of a market at the deadline. Santana missed most of the season following offseason finger surgery and teams probably weren't eager to trade for someone who's made just one start back. Odorizzi and especially Gibson were of interest around the league, though both are under control next season, and it's not crazy to think Minnesota could be in contention in 2019. The Twins traded the guys they had to trade and did well in the Escobar and Pressly trades, in particular.
New York Mets: C-
- Received: RHP Franklyn Kilome, RHP Bobby Wahl, 3B Will Toffey, international bonus money
- Traded: SS Asdrubal Cabrera, RHP Jeurys Familia
- Kept: C Devin Mesoraco, UTIL Jose Bautista, RHP Jacob deGrom, RHP Noah Syndergaard, LHP Steven Matz, RHP Zack Wheeler, IF Wilmer Flores, LHP Jerry Blevins
Man, what are the Mets doing? The trade market was starved for starting pitchers and the Mets have four -- four! -- who would've fetched very strong returns, and instead they kept them all. Don't want to trade deGrom? Okay. Don't want to sell low on Syndergaard? Fine, I get it. But Matz and Wheeler have long injury histories and the Mets seem to be banking on them staying healthy and performing next year, which, by the way, they're doing now and the team still isn't contending.
Mesoraco, Bautista, and Blevins are all impending free agents and I don't think they had a ton of value, so I'm not going to get on the Mets for keeping them. They can always be moved in August. The starters though, gosh. You see what the Pirates gave up for Chris Archer? What would teams have given up for deGrom or Syndergaard or Matz? I get it, trading those guys is painful, but the Mets have been building around them for years now and the team isn't getting any better.
The Mets had a chance to make a significant franchise-altering team (or two!) at the deadline, and instead played it conservative. Not a fan at all. On top of that, they didn't get a standout return for Familia even though relievers across the league -- even the rentals -- were bringing back quality pieces. I don't know, folks. I just don't know. At least they traded the two guys they had to trade before July 31.
San Diego Padres: A
- Received: C Francisco Mejia
- Traded: LHP Brad Hand, RHP Adam Cimber
- Kept: C A.J. Ellis, RHP Kirby Yates, RHP Craig Stammen, RHP Tyson Ross
In Mejia, the Padres landed the best prospect traded at the deadline and one of the very best prospects in baseball overall. I'm not sure any of the guys they kept could've netted a worthwhile return -- Yates is the best of the bunch, but his track record is relatively short and left-handed batters have crushed him this year -- so keeping them isn't some huge mistake. Ellis and Ross could always go in August.
I was intrigued by San Diego's interest in Chris Archer because their farm system is loaded and it's not crazy to think Archer could still be in his prime by time the Padres are ready to contend again. The Archer thing didn't work out, but I like the thinking. That doesn't factor into the A grade, however. Turning two relievers, one of them a soon-to-be 28-year-old rookie, into a prospect as good as Mejia is a fantastic move.
San Francisco Giants: Incomplete
- Received: None
- Traded: None
- Kept: OF Andrew McCutchen, RHP Sam Dyson, LHP Will Smith, LHP Tony Watson, C Nick Hundley
Our cutoff date is July 18 and the only trade the Giants made at last month went down on July 8, when they used prospect Jason Bahr to salary dump Austin Jackson and Cory Gearrin on the Rangers. I totally get keeping Madison Bumgarner. He's a franchise icon and he's young enough (29) that you can see him being part of the next contending Giants team.
Other than Bumgarner, what did the Giants have to sell? McCutchen is more name value than on-field value at this point of his career, and besides, he'll clear trade waivers in August. There's still a chance to move him. Same with Hundley and the relievers. Trading Johnny Cueto or Jeff Samardzija is a pipe dream. Perhaps San Francisco could've pushed more aggressively to unload McCutchen and the bullpen arms. I'm not sure those deals would've moved the needle much at all.
St. Louis Cardinals: B
- Received: OF Justin Williams, LHP Genesis Cabrera, RHP Roel Ramirez, LHP Chasen Shreve, RHP Giovanny Gallegos, RHP Seth Elledge, OF Conner Capel, OF Jhon Torres.
- Traded: OF Tommy Pham, OF Oscar Mercado, RHP Sam Tuivailala, 1B Luke Voit, international bonus money
- Kept: RHP Bud Norris, 1B Jose Martinez
Kind of a weird deadline for the Cardinals. Kind of a weird month of July for the Cardinals, really. They fired manager Mike Matheny and faded out of the postseason race, yet there was still talk they could buy at the deadline, particularly younger players with long-term control. There was talk they could make a run at Chris Archer, for example.
The Cardinals opted to take a step back and go with what amounts to a "soft" sell. They might've sold low on Pham -- his surface numbers are mediocre but the exit velocity and underlying data says he's been crushing the ball on par with last season -- and didn't trade Norris, who is on a one-year contract. They also kept Martinez, who doesn't really have a spot in the lineup and might never have more trade value than right now.
I am a big fan of Cabrera and Gallegos -- Gallegos led Triple-A in swing-and-miss rate last year and figures to get a long look in the team's bullpen the rest of the way -- and I like the Cardinals turning Mercado into Capel (and Torres). Mercado and Capel are similar outfield prospects but I think Capel has the greater long-term upside. It's the kind of move a deep organization, which the Cardinals are, can take. St. Louis probably should trade Norris as soon as possible. Otherwise a decent deadline for the Cardinals.
Tampa Bay Rays: B
- Received: OF Tommy Pham, OF Austin Meadows, RHP Tyler Glasnow, LHP Jalen Beeks, C Michael Perez, RHP Brian Shaffer. OF Jeremy Hazelbaker, international bonus money, two players to be named later
- Traded: RHP Chris Archer, C Wilson Ramos, RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Matt Andrese, LHP Jonny Venters, OF Justin Williams, LHP Genesis Cabrera, RHP Roel Ramirez, LHP Hunter Schryver
- Kept: OF Carlos Gomez, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Sergio Romo
The Rays did a little buying (Pham) and lots of selling (pretty much every other move) at the deadline. I loved buying low on Pham -- I do like Cabrera long-term, though you trade the Double-A kid for the MLB player with three year of control coming off a 7 WAR season every day of the week -- and I wonder how many teams out there are kicking themselves for not trying harder to get him or just flat out didn't know he was available.
As for the seller moves, gosh, getting a player to be named later for Ramos was rough, and that's why the Rays get a B rather than an A. I suppose the player to be named later could turn out to be a good prospect, but the fact the trade was announced as "player to be named later or cash" doesn't bode well. The "or cash" part is usually a dead giveaway it is not a significant prospect. Eovaldi grew into some value and I thought the Rays would get more for him than a guy like Beeks, who has shiny Triple-A numbers but pedestrian stuff.
Tampa missed their opportunity to trade Archer for maximum value two or three years ago, but the Rays did well to get Meadows and Glasnow, two very young players with an awful lot of upside. Glasnow has to figure out command, no doubt, but so did Archer when the Rays first got him from the Cubs in the Matt Garza trade way back when. The Rays have had success with guys like this. Meadows still has a small chance to be a star and a much greater chance to be an above-average regular. I like it. I like getting MLB-ready players for Archer rather than lottery-ticket prospects.
Texas Rangers: B
- Received: RHP Eddie Butler, RHP Rollie Lacy, RHP Wei-Chieh Huang, LHP Taylor Hearn, LHP Tyler Thomas, three players to be named later
- Traded: LHP Cole Hamels, RHP Keone Kela, LHP Jake Diekman, RHP Jesse Chavez
- Kept: 3B Adrian Beltre, RHP Bartolo Colon, LHP Mike Minor
The Hamels trade was a salary dump. Lacy is not a significant prospect and Butler is just a warm body for the pitching staff. Kela brought the best return. Hearn is underrated in my opinion because lefties who can light up the radar gun and miss bats are hard to find. Getting Hearn and a player to be named for Kela was a nice get. Diekman and Chavez didn't have a ton of trade value and that is reflected in the return.
Colon and Minor presumably didn't have much of a market and Beltre made it pretty clear he didn't want to leave Texas. And, given his no-trade clause, Beltre was in total control. He decided to stay, so he stayed. Kela was the team's best trade chip and the Rangers did well to get Hearn regardless of who the player to be named later turns out to be. Not the sexiest deadline for the Texas, but they shed Hamels' contract and got a good prospect in Hearn, as well as some other interesting players in Huang and Thomas.
Toronto Blue Jays: A
- Received: RHP David Paulino, RHP Hector Perez, RHP Ken Giles, IF Brandon Drury, OF Billy McKinney, 1B Chad Spanberger, 2B Forrest Wall, RHP Jacob Waguespack, RHP Corey Copping
- Traded: RHP Roberto Osuna, LHP J.A. Happ, LHP Aaron Loup, RHP Seung-Hwan Oh, RHP John Axford
- Kept: RHP Tyler Clippard, OF Curtis Granderson, RHP Marco Estrada
Very nice trade deadline for the Blue Jays. The Osuna situation was ugly given his domestic violence suspension and pending court date. Reports indicate the Blue Jays wanted him gone and they were able to trade him for some actual talent, including a buy-low candidate (Giles) and two power arms (Perez and Paulino) with a chance to be more than spare parts. As far as I'm concerned, just getting Osuna out of the organization would've been a win. Toronto did that and then some.
The Blue Jays also turned Happ into a potential everyday player (Drury) and the relievers into some decent prospects. McKinney and Spanberger are exactly the kind of talented bats with power the Blue Jays have had success turning into middle-of-the-order forces in recent years, like Edwin Encarnacion. Clippard, Granderson, and Estrada are all August trade candidates who didn't have to be moved before July 31. They can go this month at some point. Real nice deadline for the Blue Jays.
Washington Nationals: F
- Received: RHP Jhon Romero, RHP Jacob Condra-Bogan
- Traded: RHP Brandon Kintzler, OF Brian Goodwin
- Kept: OF Bryce Harper, 1B Matt Adams, LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Ryan Madson, RHP Shawn Kelley
The Kelvin Herrera trade was quite good but it went down before out July 18 cutoff date. I was not a fan of the Nationals' trade deadline activity since July 18. I mean, the moves themselves were fine from a value perspective. But there was talk the team would sell at the deadline, and GM Mike Rizzo opted against it, saying he believes in his team and wants to keep Harper, and that's great! Why not add in that case though?
Rizzo and the Nationals decided to stand pat, for all intents and purposes, and that was pretty much the last thing the team could afford to do. If you don't want sell, then don't sell and instead reinforce. Don't want to buy? Okay, then you're better off trading your impending free agents like Gonzalez, Herrera, and Madson at a minimum. We have over 100 games of evidence saying this roster is not good enough to contend. Rather than change the roster, Rizzo stuck with it and says he believes in his team. If the roster doesn't change, why would I expect the results to change?