The 2015 MLB trade deadline as come and gone, and there was a whirlwind of movement made. Over the course of the last few weeks, leading up to and including the deadline date of July 31, there were a total of 43 trades made, with 29 of the 30 teams included (only the Diamondbacks were asleep at the wheel, I mean, didn’t register a deal).
Some of the biggest names in the game, like Cole Hamels, David Price, Johnny Cueto and Troy Tulowitzki were moved. So without further ado, here is my version of “Trade Deadline Winners and Losers”.
Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays had the best trade deadline of the season, and quite possibly the best in major league history. They acquired former Cy Young Award winner, David Price (slot him into the ace and Game 1 role if they make the playoffs). They bolstered their bullpen with Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins.
They added speed and improvement in left field in Ben Revere (one of the more underrated outfielders in the game, and the shrewdest move GM Alex Anthopolous made IMO) and Top 3 shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki (and they dumped Jose Reyes to boot). With these moves, I think the Blue Jays are now the favorites to get the second wild-card spot and are good enough to overtake the Yankees.
Kansas City Royals: Like the Blue Jays, their biggest need was an ace and a Game 1 starter, and Johnny Cueto fills that role (see my article on Dayton Moore’s master stroke). Cueto will also help the continued development of Yordano Ventura, who should now blossom in the second half.
Acquiring Ben Zobrist was a huge move, as he can fill in for the injured Alex Gordon in left field and then offer an upgrade in right field or at second base. Getting Zobrist now gives the Royals the protection they fully need at almost every position if there were to be another injury.
Houston Astros: The Astros acquired two starting pitchers in Scott Kazmir and Mike Fiers, which will have a nice impact on a 162-game season, and one who should play an even more important role in October. Kazmir gave up only one earned run in the month of July, and putting him with Keuschel and McCullers’ Jr, now forms a nice top 3 for their rotation.
The trade for Carlos Gomez gives them a top five all-around center fielder and will help the ‘Stros on both sides of the ball, as well as giving the team even more high energy and enthusiasm on and off the field. Give Jeff Luhnow credit, as he decided to go all in, made the right moves, and didn’t mortgage the farm to do so.
New York Mets: Mets GM Sandy Alderson has put the Mets in a strong position to compete for not only a wild-card birth, but now a shot at the division is also palpable. They needed a strong power bat, and they got it with Yoenis Cespedes (after the Gomez debacle, a great way for the team to plow right through it), who also has one of the game’s best outfield arms.
The Mets improved their eighth inning dramatically with the addition of Tyler Clippard (even though it was brought on by the overwhelming and mind-boggling stupidity of Jenrry Mejia) and built their roster depth with the Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson acquisitions.
San Diego Padres: AJ Preller and the Padres were seemingly everywhere in trade talks, and many contenders were hopeful of landing Craig Kimbrel, Tyson Ross and Justin Upton. It almost seemed that a deal was at hand non-stop, yet despite all the aggressive talks, the Padres didn’t think there was enough value coming back and instead traded for a bullpen piece, Marc Rzepczynski.
Then came the proclamation that they are going for it (40-19 rest of the way to even catch the 2nd wildcard now – just an FYI). They missed a great opportunity to put this team back on track for the future, and now, one has to wonder if the team will regret the off-season moves that was to put them back on the map.
New York Yankees: The Yankees needed another starting pitcher and could have considered an upgrade at second base but got neither. Now, with Michael Pineda on the DL (strained forearm), CC Sabathia looking like it’s time to go to the bullpen (wear and tear of many a long season, weight, and injuries) and Masahiro Tanaka a health question come late September (the elbow is ready to go, you have to wonder), they may regret not making a deal to shore up the rotation some more.