IT has become an annual tradition and the MLB trade deadline didn’t fail to deliver once again in 2017. Some contenders went all in, some big names stayed put and of course, there were plenty of head scratching moves throughout it all. So let’s break down the winners and losers from the madness that just unfolded.
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Los Angeles Dodgers
EASILY the biggest winners of the deadline the Dodgers tightened their grip on the National League’s top seed. They acquired one of the biggest names Yu Darvish from the Rangers at the buzzer, strengthening their already formidable rotation. With Kershaw’s health still a concern adding another strikeout specialist is a plus for their World Series aspirations.
WE know all about their offensive power (see: July 27th box score) led by their All-Star sluggers, but their bullpen was holding them back from being a legit title threat. Making a move for late-inning relievers Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle and Brandon Kintzler addresses that issue. Kudos Mike Rizzo.
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New York Yankees
WHAT was already a formidable late game rotation only got stronger this deadline. David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle made their way to NYC via a trade with the White Sox and the Yankees then strengthened their depth at starter by getting Sonny Gray from the Athletics. Throw in the addition of lefty Jaime Garcia and the Yankees pitchers are one of the strongest groups in all of baseball.
THE red hot Chicago Cubs are most certainly back! Sitting at 43-45 as the second half of the season commenced, the Cubs have reeled off 13 wins in their last 16 tries and a large part of that has been due to starting pitcher Jose Quintana joining the team. In addition late-inning lefty Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila landing in Chicago not only does their postseason dreams no harm, but sets them up for future dominance in the coming years.
WHAT the hell is Baltimore doing? Sitting 4.5 games out of the second wild-card spot the Orioles went in on buying starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and shortstop Tim Beckham. If they are serious about going all in on making the playoffs they did not buy enough. And if they aren’t then why the hell did they buy at all? It’s a weird strategy to tread water with a flawed roster.
SEEMINGLY the team to beat is all of a sudden raising a lot of questions. Their positional players are due to feature in AL MVP discussion, but a sporadic rotation of unhealthy pitchers leaves a lot to be desired for the Astros championship hopes. Houston failed to land another quality starter at the deadline, only managing to bring in a strugglingFrancisco Liriano (5.88 ERA this season). With Keuchel and McCullers injury woes still a concern the failure to make a move could come back to bite the Astros.
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WITH the Tigers on the verge of a full rebuild the time to trade the likes of Justin Verlander, Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler was now. With pieces to benefit their future up for grabs Detroit missed a real opportunity to fast forward their rebuild. There were plenty of teams that needed a veteran pitcher (*cough Houston cough*) but standing pat doesn’t help the Tigers at all.
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