Thursday, August 3, 2017

Trade Deadline 2017

(photo courtesy of NY Daily News)

In what seemed to be one of the more active trade deadlines in recent memory, at least in terms of big name players, there were several winners, several losers, and a few surprises also.  The Twins went from buyers to sellers in the span of a week, trading for Jaime Garcia, and then flipping him to the Yankees before after just one start while getting stuck with the bill.  They also shipped off the resurgent Brandon Kintzler to the beleaguered bullpen of the Nationals.  A wealth of talented prospects, an endless supply of money, and a division lead proved to be a lethal combination for the Dodgers and Yankees.  LA picked up Yu Darvish who would almost certainly be an ace on 3/4ths of the teams in this league but may be the #3 or even #4 starter on this team.  The Dodgers now have 6 legit starting rotation options not even including the injured Clayton Kershaw.  They also picked up two left-handed Tonys for their bullpen - "I only throw fastballs" Cingrani fromt the Reds and Watson from the Pirates.  The Yankees made the biggest splash of the year, acquiring Sonny Gray for 3 prospects.  While they did give up 3 of their top 12 prospects, two of them are out for the season, and Gray still has 3 years of team control, so Cashman comes out looking like a wizard in this deal.  Speaking of wizard GMs, Slingin' David Stearns picked up a couple of relief arms last week for practically nothing - Anthony Swarzak from the White Sox, and Jeremy Jeffress from the Rangers.  If the Brewers can ever figure out how to hit again, these two should add to a pretty formidable back end of the bullpen along with all-star closer Corey Knebel and rookie Josh Hader.  Jeffress rejoins the team after being traded just last summer.  With Jonathan Lucroy going to the Rockies, the Rangers now have neither player left from the Brewers firesale last year.

Besides the Rangers cleaning house, the Astros were another obvious loser of the trade deadline.  Yes they have been running away with the AL West since about mid-May, but the only major acquisition they made was Francisco Liriano, who probably won't even make the rotation.  The Detroit Tigers also had an opportunity to dive feet-first into a rebuild this summer but chose to hold on to all of their aging veterans.  Justin Upton, Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, and Victor Martinez are for some reason all still Tigers as of this post.  The Phillies did the same thing when they refused to trade Rollins, Utley, and Howard 5 years ago while they still had value and now have been the worst team in the league for the last two seasons.  So we'll see if Detroit shares the same fate.

It will be an interesting stretch run for a lot of teams.  The trade deadline was probably more active this year because there were more sellers than in the recent past, but there are still 3 divisions and both wild card races that are wide open.

Brewers 56-53, -2.5, -5.5 WC (3 @ Rays, 2 @ Twins, 2 v. Twins)
Reds 44-63, -13.5, -16.5 WC (3 v. Cardinals, 4 v. Padres)

Twins 51-54, -6.0, -3.5 WC (4 v. Rangers, 2 v. Brewers, 2 @ Brewers)

Erik - 11 (+23 worked)
Peter - 27

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