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Winners and losers of the trade deadline


We’re required by federal law to make a “winners and losers” post after the trade deadline. Gotta know where the teams stand after all of the 4 PM EDT hubbub.

Check out the list of all the deadline transactions here.


New York Yankees – GM Brian Cashman turned pending free agents Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova into legitimate prospects. For Beltran, the club acquired Dillon Tate, Erik Swanson, and Nick Green from the Rangers. Tate’s stock fell sharply after being selected fourth overall by the Rangers in last year’s draft. He struggled to a 5.12 ERA in 65 innings with Single-A Hickory this season, but he’s only 22 and probably fixable. Meanwhile, for Nova, the Yankees received two players to be named later. Beltran is 39 and Nova hasn’t been good for a while, so turning them into potentially useful young players is a win. The Yankees on Sunday flipped reliever Andrew Miller to the Indians for four prospects: outfielder Clint Frazier and pitchers Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller, and J.P. Feyereisen. A week ago, the Yankees sent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for pitcher Adam Warren, minor league outfielders Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford, and shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres. Torres is now the Yankees’ #2 prospect. Frazier is first, Sheffield is seventh, and McKinney is 16th, per MLB Pipeline.

Texas Rangers – The Rangers bulked up to protect their 62-44 record and six-game lead in the AL West by snagging Beltran from the Yankees as well as catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Brewers. While the Rangers would’ve liked to have also brought in a starting pitcher, the club otherwise addressed its glaring needs. Lucroy and his .841 OPS represent a major upgrade over the aggregate .710 OPS the Rangers have gotten from their catchers. Jeffress bolsters a scary back of the bullpen that includes closer Sam Dyson, Tony Barnette, Jake Diekman, and Matt Bush who all have ERA’s under 3.00. Beltran and his .890 OPS help the Rangers fill the DH role vacated by Prince Fielder. Beltran could also find time in the outfield and at first base as needs dictate.

Milwaukee Brewers – Like the Yankees, the Brewers were able to ship out some veterans to truly bolster their minor league system. The club sent Lucroy and Jeffress to the Rangers for outfield prospect Lewis Brinson and pitching prospect Luis Ortiz, rated as #2 and 3 in the Rangers’ system, respectively, by MLB Pipeline. Reliever Will Smith went to the Giants for catcher Andrew Susac and pitching prospect Phil Bickford, who is now rated fourth in the Brewers’ system. That’s a pretty good day.

Chicago Cubs – A team with few flaws added arguably baseball’s most dominant reliever in Chapman and also picked up Joe Smith from the Angels on Sunday. Smith isn’t as lights out as he used to be, but he has an adequate 3.82 ERA with a 25/13 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings this season. With the way Hector Rondon, Travis Wood, and Pedro Strop have been pitching this season, though, Smith is mostly just middle relief depth. If the Cubs can have their starters depart with a lead after six innings, they have a very good shot at winning that game. It’ll be even scarier in the playoffs.


Los Angeles Angels – The Angels sent starter Hector Santiago and minor league reliever Alan Busenitz to the Angels for starters Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer. This trade doesn’t make much sense for the Angels, even though they’re getting money to cover Nolasco’s salary. Nolasco has been terrible and will be under contract next season. It’s possible the Angels just designate him for assignment as his rotation spot could be better used. Meyer will be under team control for a while, so that will be nice for the Angels, but Meyer has been battling a shoulder injury for most of the season.

Cleveland Indians – The Indians completed a deal with the Yankees on Sunday for Miller, sending four prospects to New York. The Indians thought they had a deal with the Brewers for Lucroy, but that fell through when the Indians wouldn’t promise Lucroy a starting catching role in 2017 nor nullifying his club option for ’17. Outfielder Brandon Guyer was also added ahead of Monday’s 4 PM EDT deadline. The 60-42 Indians lead the AL Central by 4.5 games, but adding only Miller and Guyer may not be enough. They really needed a catcher. The club has gotten an AL-worst .511 OPS from the catching position. A pitcher — even one as lights out as Miller — who only pitches one inning every other game or so can only do so much.

Atlanta Braves – The Braves didn’t do a whole lot, other than exchanging outfielder Hector Olivera with the Padres for outfielder Matt Kemp. Olivera was given an 81-game suspension for his involvement in a domestic violence incident in April. The Braves washed themselves of the player and what was remaining of his six-year, $62.5 million contract originally signed with the Dodgers. They also brought in a useful outfielder in Kemp. While Kemp may not be an MVP-caliber player anymore, he still put up a .774 OPS this season playing half his games at Petco Park and he’s not a known domestic abuser. So that’s nice.

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3


HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”