This year’s trade deadline was like no other. With a shortened season and expanded playoffs, more than half of the league is currently in playoff contention. With less than halfway to go until the conclusion fo the season, teams had to quickly examine their roster and decide if they would like to “buy” or “sell” before the 4 PM Sept. 1 trade deadline. Many few teams went above-and-beyond and acquired game-changing pieces to their roster, while others missed the mark at this year’s deadline. Here’s who came out winners and losers of this year’s trade deadline:
Winner: San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres stood head-and-shoulders above all other teams and dominated the 2020 Trade Deadline. With an already strong team, San Diego acquired assets for a potential deep playoff run. General Manager A.J Preller assessed the team’s needs and then went out to fill those gaps. At the slim catching position, Preller acquired Jason Castro (LA Angels) and Austin Nola (Seattle Mariners). At the DH slot, the Padres landed slugger and impact bat Mitch Moreland (Boston Red Sox). All three of the bats will certainly play a pivotal role in the remainder of the Padres season.
In the bullpen and rotation, the Padres receive an easy A+ with their deadline acquisitions. In the back end of games, SD is now able to call upon trustworthy arms such as Austin Adams (Minnesota Twins), Dan Altavilla (Seattle Mariners), Trevor Rosenthal (KC Royals), and Taylor Williams (Seattle Mariners). All four of these arms can play impactful roles in the San Diego bullpen. Rosenthal, considered a highly-regarded pitcher on the market, ends up in San Diego and could potentially be moved to a starting pitching role. With maybe the best trade of the entire deadline, the Padres went out and got the most prized arm on the market: Mike Clevinger (Cleveland Indians). Clevinger, one of the most targeted arms on the market, will now help San Diego march into a deep postseason run. In four starts, the right-hander Clevinger has a 1-1 record along with 21 K’s in 22 IP this season.
Holding the highest-scoring offense along with a well-equipped set of arms, the San Diego Padres have their sights on one more thing: the World Series Championship trophy. Without giving up top prospects nor much from their everyday lineup, San Diego has emerged as a favorite to take home the hardware this October.
Winner: Toronto Blue Jays
Rather than making a cannon-ball splash at the deadline, Toronto took a different route and impactful under-the-radar roster moves. First, General Manager Ross Atkins addressed their starting rotation with the additions of Taijuan Walker (Seattle Mariners), Robbie Ray (Arizona Diamondbacks) and a buzzer-beater signing of Ross Stripling (LA Dodgers). These three arms will most certainly provide depth and flexibility throughout the starting rotation.
With young star Bo Bichette on the 10-day IL on a sprained right knee and the return date up in the air, the Blue Jays added veteran INF Jonathan Villar (Miami Marlins) to provide depth around the infield. Villar’s above-average glove and bat will provide an everyday starter until Bichette returns.
Currently sitting with the no. 8 seed in the American League playoffs, Toronto will look to venture and move up with these depth-adding acquisitions. If you’re a Blue Jays fan, you should be more than satisfied with these deadline moves. The AL East will certainly be a sprint to October.
Loser: New York Yankees
The New York Yankees needed one — if not multiple starting pitching / bullpen arms and a bat at this year’s deadline. Unfortunately, the Bronx Bombers swing and miss at these opportunities. With stars such as Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton all on the IL, New York needed to add a player to fill the gaps. Rumors were swirling that New York could have targeted pitchers such as Lance Lynn, Mike Clevinger or even Archie Bradley. If GM Brian Cashman pulled the trigger and landed an arm at this year’s deadline, the script would be flipped as New York would now be considered the team to beat in the American League.
Adding on, the lost production from injured bats fell on Cashman as they were unable to fill the holes within the lineup. With Torres, Judge and Stanton out of the lineup, New York needed a go-to weapon. With eyes set on players such as Joey Gallo, Starling Marte and Andrelton Simmons, the Yankees fell short of the answers.
Loser: Atlanta Braves
With a desperate need for a starting pitcher at this year’s deadline, the Atlanta Braves failed to make an impact move. With ace Mike Soroka and veteran starter Cole Hamels on the IL, the rest of the rotation provides a slim value of production. Currently at the Alternate Site, arms such as Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb and Kyle Wright provide add to the starting pitching dumpster fire in Atlanta.
General Manager Alex Anthopolous could have gotten impact starters such as Robbie Ray from the Diamondback or even Mike Minor from the Rangers for a small asking price. Though, with a 20-14 record and sitting first in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves still have the ability to make a strong postseason run.
Loser: Texas Rangers
Besides Mike Clevinger — who was dealt to San Diego — the Texas Rangers hold the second best starting pitcher in the market: Lance Lynn. The right-handed Lynn is currently on a tear with a 1.93 ERA along with a 4-1 record in 51.1 IP. The underachieving Rangers certainly could have flipped Lynn for one or even multiple top prospects, if they decided to deal him. Many say the LA Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox were in serious talks for a trade, but ultimately backed out. Lynn will set to become a free agent after the 2020 season and would have been a fantastic rental for teams that needed a starting pitcher.
Besides Lynn, rumors were surrounding the movement of slugger Joey Gallo. Gallo, 26, is off to shaky start with a below .200 batting average and 7 RBIs. Gallo, when on his game, is equipped with one of the powerful bats in all of baseball. A playoff contender who is in the search for the extra push over the edge in a bat would have certainly loved to have Joey Gallo on their roster.
Currently sitting with a 12-21 record, the Texas Rangers don’t see light at the end of this season’s tunnel. Sitting 9.5 games back pf the first place Oakland Athletics, it’s almost impossible that the Rangers turn their season around and head to the postseason.