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.
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.