What a team does does during the MLB Trade Deadline can say a lot about a team.
A team which goes out and makes certain trades to essentially rent a players for the rest of season lets the fans know the organization thinks they are contenders.
A team which trades away veteran players for prospects is clearly throwing in the white towel for the current season and building for the future.
And a team that stays completely quiet, well, that means the General Manager probably doesn’t know what he’s doing.
So now that we have had a couple days to soak in the transactions at the deadline, here are the top three winners and losers.
1. Toronto Blue Jays – Troy Tulowitzki. David Price. Need I say more?
The Blue Jays, who already had one heck of a lineup, brought in the game’s best shortstop in Tulowitzki. They now have a lineup which consists of five all-stars. Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion all have insane power from the right side of the plate. Pitchers better watch out.
And if adding Tulo wasn’t a big enough splash, they added All-Star and Cy Young Award Winner David Price. Even with Price, the starting rotation isn’t anything to be nervous about, but if the Blue Jays snag a Wild Card spot, Price is not the man you want to face in a do-or-die game.
They currently sit one game back of a Wild Card spot, and six games back on the New York Yankees in the East.
With the two big splashes they made, the trade for Ben Revere may have gone unnoticed. He will provide speed to a lineup filled with a bunch of slow but powerful hitters.
2. Houston Astros – The Astros have already shocked the baseball world with how good they have been this season. Coming in to the season, most people would have said they were still a season or two away from becoming a great team.
Not only have they greatly improved from last season, but they currently sit atop of the A.L. West by four games.
The Astros showed they are all in this season. They made two big trades bringing in two All-Stars in Carlos Gomez and Scott Kazmir.
The team also acquired Mike Fiers to help bolster the starting rotation.
The team didn’t want to settle with just being a good team with its young players. They brought in proven guys like Gomez, Kazmir and Fiers to turn the Astros from a possible playoff team to a possible World Series contender.
3. Kansas City Royals – The team which already had the biggest lead in any of the divisions got far better at the trade deadline. How is that even possible?
Well, you trade for an All-Star and definite number one starter in Johnny Cueto and make a second trade for another All-Star and ultra-utility man, Ben Zobrist.
The Royals are a complete team. They play well at all aspects of the game. They have good starting pitching and defense, the bullpen is lights-out, and the offense has speed and power.
If the Royals didn’t make a single move at the deadline, they would still be in good position to return to the World Series. The moves they made just solidifies that position even more.
1. Washington Nationals – While the Nationals are sitting tied at the top of the division, it’s not so much what they did at the trade deadline, but what the New York Mets did which makes them losers.
The Nats made one trade to acquire Jonathan Papelbon to help the bullpen. That is a great pick up. He’s an All-Star reliever and has won a World Series.
While the acquisition of Papelbon was a solid pick-up, the Mets improved its roster far more than Washington did.
The New York Mets made a handful of trades to bring in Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, and former Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard.
Both teams sit atop the N.L. East. The Mets greatly improved at the deadline, while the Nationals, for the most part, stayed the same.
2. San Diego Padres – The team is nine games out of first place in the N.L. West, and six and a half games out of a Wild Card spot and they didn’t do anything impactful.
They didn’t trade away players with expiring contracts. They didn’t bring in players to help a possible playoff push (if that’s even possible at this point). They didn’t do anything.
The team made it clear that they were willing to trade Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, and Tyson Ross. And what did they do? Nothing.
General Manager A.J. Preller thinks the current team can make a playoff push. The team is clearly not good enough. They haven’t been in the race all season, so what is going to change now? If he really thinks the team had the slightest bit of a chance, why not make a trade to bring in someone who will help the team win?
As you may notice, there are a lot of questions about the Padres not making a move. I’m not quite sure many people understand what the team was thinking at the deadline.
3. Detroit Tigers – The Tigers sold. They sold big name players. They told its fans the season is over and the team is moving on to next year.
That would be a good idea if the team wasn’t just three and a half games out of a Wild Card spot.
Teams with similar record like the Blue Jays were 100 percent buyers, while the Tigers were 100 percent sellers.
It doesn’t make much sense.
Yes, the team hasn’t lived up to its potential, but there is a lot of season left to make up the three and a half games.
As we have seen in the past, once you reach the postseason, anything can happen.
Trading Cespedes to the Mets, Price to the Blue Jays and Joakim Soria to the Pittsburgh Pirates is baffling.
They are a team whose star players are heading towards the end of their prime. The team’s time to win is now, but not according to Detroit’s front office.