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Jul. 31, 2019 - Michael Stewart

2019 MLB Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Introduction: Well, the MLB trading deadline has come and gone and for the most part it was very uneventful until the final minute of the deadline (more on that later). Teams that were expected to be very active weren’t and teams that weren’t expected to be active were. Buyers became sellers and sellers became buyers; which left many baseball analysts scratching their heads. Here’s a look at my top 3 winners and losers in the 2019 MLB trading deadline.

Winners:

  1. Houston Astros: Hands down, Houston was the biggest winner at the trading deadline and got arguably the best pitcher available in Zack Greinke without surrendering their top 2 prospects in the process. The Astros earlier acquired two pitchers from the Toronto Blue Jays in reliever Joe Biagini and back end starter Aaron Sanchez; who many believe with his stuff could be a sleeper. This move definitely makes the Astros the team to beat and the favorites to win the World Series. GRADE A+.
  2. San Francisco Giants: The Giants did an excellent job not only helping themselves for the playoff run in 219, but they also acquired players for the future without giving up valuable assets. First they refused to trade away three key pitchers in reliever Tony Watson, closer Will Smith and starter Madison Bumgarner. Then they acquired All-Star 2nd baseman Scooter Gennett and lastly they acquired the Brewers #3 prospect Mauricio Dubon for two pitchers in Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black. Whether or not the Giants make the playoffs in 2019, they have put themselves in good position for 2020 and beyond. GRADE B+.
  3. Atlanta Braves: The Braves addressed arguably their biggest weakness at the trading deadline by acquiring closer Shane Greene from the Detroit Tigers reliever Mark Melancon from the Giants. The Braves have 17 blown saves this season despite leading the NL east (5.5 games) and with the addition of Green and Melancon, the Braves have positioned themselves to make some noise in the playoffs. GRADE B+.

Losers:

  1. Minnesota Twins: Although the Twins acquired Sergio Romo (Marlins) and Sam Dyson (Giants) it seemed that they should have done more; especially since giving up double-digit lead and being only 3 games ahead of the surging Cleveland Indians. The Twins should have gotten themselves another starting pitcher who could have helped the back end of the rotation. GRADE C
  2. New York Yankees: Despite having a 7.5 game lead in the AL east, the Yankees starting pitching has not performed well as all of their starters have an ERA above four.  In the weeks and days prior to the draft, the Yankees were rumored have interest in many of the top starters on the trading block, but the unwillingness to part with some of their prizes prospects; just might have sealed their chances of advancing deep in the playoffs. GRADE F.
  3. Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox made no moves on the trade deadline and despite being second in the AL with 19 blown saves. There were a handful of closers available; most notably Edwin Diaz (Mets), Felipe Vazquez (Pirates) and Kirby Yates (Padres). The Red Sox trail Oakland by two games for the second wild card, but failure to add bullpen help could make that 2 games feel more than 10 games back. GRADE F.

Final Thoughts: The 2019 MLB trading deadline will not go down as one of the most memorable trading deadlines in baseball, but it did give us an insight on which teams were the aggressor and which teams were not. The balance of power has shifted more favorably the Houston Astros with their stunning trade for Greinke and we could see a repeat matchup between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2017). However; teams like the Braves, Twins and Yankees may have something to say about that.