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The 2021 MLB trade deadline was the busiest trade deadline we've seen in years, and all those moves made at the deadline have helped shape the postseason races. The calendar flips to September on Wednesday and still 13 teams are within at least five games of a postseason spot as of Tuesday morning.

Monday was the one-month anniversary of the trade deadline, and since we're about to head into the stretch run, why don't we take a second to review the deadline moves have had the most (and least) impact thus far? We're not going to review every single trade (there were a lot of them!), just the ones involving notable players joining contenders. Let's get to it.

Instant impact

There's nothing quite as satisfying as a player coming over in a midseason trade and making a difference right away. Occasionally players will need a few days (or weeks) to settle in before they really contribute, and sometimes they hit the ground running. Here are the deadline moves that helped the team without a waiting period.

Kris Bryant hit a home run in his first game with the Giants and he's been an impact middle-of-the order presence since arriving. Also, he's played four positions with San Francisco (third base and the three outfield spots), giving manager Gabe Kapler all sorts of flexibility to use his entire roster and maximize matchups. Bryant has been a perfect fit for the Giants and vice versa. A new contract when he becomes a free agent after the season would make sense for both sides.

One rough start against the Dodgers skews Kyle Gibson's overall numbers with the Phillies (3.16 ERA). He's been very good in five of his six starts and downright excellent four times. Gibson is averaging over six innings per start with Philadelphia, so he's taken pressure off their shaky bullpen, and he's reduced their reliance on fill-in starters like Matt Moore and Vince Velasquez. Ian Kennedy came over with Gibson from the Rangers and allowed two runs in each of his first two appearances with the Phillies, but has given up only three runs total since. Kennedy hasn't been great. He has been a net positive for the bullpen though, even if Philadelphia is seemingly incapable of going on a run that vaults the club into the postseason.

No player traded at the deadline has helped their new team as much as Starling Marte. The Marlins-turned-Athletics outfielder has been a difference-maker in every single way since joining Oakland. He's been a force at the plate, he's saving runs in center field (which is especially important with Ramón Laureano now serving a performance-enhancing drug suspension), and he's 20 for 20 stealing bases with the A's. Marte currently ranks fourth in the AL in stolen bases and third in the NL in stolen bases. Decent chance he finishes top 10 in both leagues in steals this year, maybe even top five. Alas and alack, Oakland has fallen behind in the postseason race despite Marte's excellence and strong work from fellow deadline additions Andrew Chafin, Josh Harrison, and Yan Gomes.

What, you didn't expect Max Scherzer to not dominate with the Dodgers, did you? He's been dynamite in five starts since the trade and so has Trea Turner, who has seamlessly shifted over to second base and raised hell atop the lineup. The Dodgers acquired the best pitcher and the best position player who moved at the trade deadline and the two pickups could not be working out any better. Scherzer remains a no-doubt ace and Turner is simply electric, bringing a speed element to a roster that lacked a legitimate stolen base threat much of the year.

"Instant" isn't the most accurate word to describe Kyle Schwarber's impact on the Red Sox -- he returned from his hamstring injury on Aug. 13, two weeks after the trade deadline -- though he has indeed been impactful. Schwarber has reached base in 29 of 60 plate appearances with Boston and the first base experiment is going well enough in very limited time. The bottom of Boston's lineup was unimpressive much of the season and Schwarber gives them a little more length. Trade deadline additions Austin Davis and Hansel Robles haven't moved the needle much out in the bullpen.

Replacing Ronald Acuna Jr. was always going to be impossible. He is among the very best players in baseball and that makes him close to irreplaceable. Rather than go for that one big deadline addition, the Braves instead brought in multiple players to bolster the outfield (and bullpen), and raised the floor of the roster. Jorge Soler has been the best of the bunch, putting up numbers that are essentially Acuña numbers in his month with Atlanta (.281/.391/.563 with eight home runs). Richard Rodríguez has been steady in the bullpen and Adam Duvall and Joc Pederson (and Eddie Rosario, who only recently returned from the injured list) give the club more inventory in the outfield too. Clearly though, Soler is the deadline star for the Braves. 

Some impact, but not as much as expected

Changing teams in the middle of a season and in the middle of a postseason race (and in the middle of a pandemic) isn't always easy, especially when you've spent your entire career with one franchise. Because of that, some players need time to get settled in before helping their new team. Here are the deadline additions who have yet to make a real difference for their club, but should soon enough.

José Berríos has been good to great in three of his six starts with the Blue Jays, and also pretty bad in the other three starts. The longtime Twins righty has allowed 13 runs in 12 1/3 innings during a three-start span earlier this month, twice failing to complete five innings. Toronto is still on the fringes of the postseason race and Berríos righting the ship would go a long way toward making a run at October. He is not a rental though, and the Blue Jays will have him in 2022. If nothing else, a strong finish would make Berríos and the Blue Jays feel better about things heading into next season. Deadline bullpen addition Brad Hand has done more harm than good to date.

The Rays finally went out and got that big middle-of-the-order slugger at the trade deadline (feels like we've been waiting for them to do that for years), and so far Nelson Cruz has been OK at best. He's hit a few timely home runs and handled himself well when the team put him at first base in an interleague game in a National League park. Otherwise Cruz is sporting a .254 on-base percentage and an elevated 30.3 percent strikeout rate with Tampa. I learned to not bet against Cruz a long time ago and I'm sure he'll get himself back on track before long.

Although they've each had a few clutch hits, neither Joey Gallo nor Anthony Rizzo has been a consistent performer for the Yankees just yet. They're hitting a combined .183/.320/.372 in pinstripes, far below their career norms. To date, Gallo and Rizzo have helped the Yankees most defensively, where they've both been significant upgrades, and also by providing lefty balance to a lineup that leaned a little too right-handed much of the season. Rizzo is a rental, so the sooner he gets going, the better. Gallo will remain under team control in 2022. Fellow deadline addition Andrew Heaney has given the Yankees a chance to win in three of his five starts, which is about all you can ask from your fifth starter.

No impact thus far

Baseball, like life, is filled with disappointment. Something that makes perfect sense on paper may not work out once it's put into action. There is still a month left in the season and plenty of time to flip the narrative on these trades, but to date, these deals have not had the desired impact.

There are days Javier Báez looks like the best player in the world and days he looks like he belongs in Triple-A, and oftentimes you will see both versions of Báez in a single series. He's hitting .210/.258/.452 with the Mets and also created unnecessary headaches with comments about the "thumbs down" gesture. Players complaining about the home fans is a no-win situation and the club has been in damage control mode ever since. The Mets were hoping Báez's electric skills would spark the club and it hasn't happened. Not even close. The club's August collapse is not all on Báez -- the list of underperforming Mets is long -- though it's very fair to say he has not had the desired impact since coming over from the Cubs.

It was unrealistic to expect Adam Frazier to hit .324 like he did for the Pirates all season, but surely the Padres were expecting more than this from the team's big deadline addition. Frazier has slumped to .228/.271/.267 with San Diego, and the contact maven already has as many multi-strikeout games with the Padres as he did with the Pirates (four with each team). The Padres have slipped out of a postseason spot and their issues are numerous. Their top deadline addition making the offense worse is chief among them. Frazier hasn't just had no impact. He's been a negative. He's actively hurt the team.

Craig Kimbrel is up to nine runs (nine earned) in 11 1/3 innings with the White Sox after allowing only six runs (two earned) in 36 2/3 innings with the Cubs. His struggles have created the narrative that he can't perform well in non-save situations -- Kimbrel has been used primarily in the eighth inning with Liam Hendriks in the ninth -- though Kimbrel says his issues are mechanical. Whatever the reason, Kimbrel hasn't been all that effective with the South Siders. The ChiSox have the AL Central title pretty much locked up, so Kimbrel's struggles haven't hurt them. They have a month to get him right and figure out how to maximize Kimbrel and Hendriks. Fellow Cubs-turned-White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera has comfortably outpitched Kimbrel since being joining the ChiSox.