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MLB Trade Deadline: What Happened

A lot happened at the MLB Trade Deadline. Thankfully, you have us to spell it out for you.

> Trevor Bauer by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

MLB Trade Deadline: What Happened

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Braves Looking to Lock Down The NL East with some Lockdown Bullpen Arms

The Atlanta Braves began this season with an untested, unchecked starting rotation. Midseason calls to sign 2014 Cy Young Winner Dallas Keuchel were heard, and he was brought on to help. However, the Braves bullpen has been left wanting.

Not anymore.

The Braves took the deadline’s opportunities to improve and capitalized by adding Chris Martin from Texas, Mark Melancon from San Francisco, and Shane Greene from Detroit. All it took was dealing their #11, #16, #20 and #22 ranked prospects. Not a bad trade-off.

Now the Braves have bullpen options. They have their three-headed dragon, similar to the one that saw Cleveland through to the 2016 World Series.

Will this help Atlanta’s World Series hopes? Only time will tell.

Houston Pulls The Trigger, Lands Another Ace

Over the last two years, the Houston Astros have acquired the aces of the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Now they own three.

The Arizona Diamondbacks sent Zack Greinke to the Astros for four prospects, most notably 1B/OF Seth Beer. The deal seems like a salary dump more than anything, as the D-Backs swap $53 million dollars of the remaining $77 million deal.

The move for the Astros cements them as the team to beat in the American League. Seriously. This rotation could suffocate any team in a 5-game series, and a 7 game series doesn’t sound much more appetizing either. In a game where pitching can make or break your postseason dreams, the Astros should be sleeping easy in October.

Philadelphia Phills the Void with Vargas

The Philadelphia Phillies are trying to topple the Atlanta Braves at the top of the NL East. After making a splash in the offseason, acquiring J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, and Andrew McCutchen to shore up their lineup, the Phillies pitching has failed them for the most part.

They also paid a lot of money for the privilege of Bryce Harper‘s services.

However, after Aaron Nola made a run for the Cy Young and things seemed to be looking up for the Phillies staff, they hit the skids. The Phillies staff boasts a 4.62 ERA and a 1.390 WHIP, both of which are at the bottom of the rankings. If there’s a really obvious stat that points to the dysfunction it’s 181 home runs, the most surrendered by any MLB team in 2019.

So the Phillies obviously went out and got the best starter available, right? No, they got Jason Vargas and Drew Smyly. As Ellen Adair so aptly put it, “As I also mentioned on MLB Now, the Phillies desperately need another healthy, competent starter. Preferably two, if one of them is going to be Jason Vargas.”

Whether the Smyly/Vargas tandem will work out remains to be seen, but with Vargas’ trash tenure with Mets in the rearview and Smyly looking for a fresh start, perhaps Philly is just the place for them to find some success.

The Rays Land Aguilar, Still No Word On Actual Land for a Stadium

When the Rays are 7.5 Games back in the Wild Card, anything after that should be lauded as a success in the stacked AL East. If the Rays played in the AL Central, they’d be divisional champs every year.

That being said, when you’re playing the AL East, you better bring your best bats to the plate, and the Rays upped their offense by acquiring Jesus Aguilar from the Brewers in exchange for Jake Faria. Aguilar had a terrific 2018 season with the NL Central Champs, good enough for 16th in the NL MVP voting, but has seen limited success this year. His 2019 line of .694 OPS, .225 average and 8 homers pale in comparison to his 2018 season with a .890 OPS, .274 average and 35 dongs.

Faria might be the sleeper steal here, depending on how things work out in Milwaukee. Faria made his MLB debut in 2017, where he pitched very well in 16 starts. The last two years have been a completely different story, seeing Faria move to the bullpen so far this season in Tampa Bay. If he can somehow right the ship and return to his 2017 form, Faria could be found money for the Brew Crew.

The Mets Pull a Two-For-One Swap with Toronto for Stroman

This deal was the first big move of the deadline and was quite the shock as Stroman was considered to be the best pitching option on the market at the time. Before the trade, the Mets were 5 games under .500 and 6 games back in the Wild Card, behind 5 teams.

After the trade? Two games under .500, and 4 games back from the second Wild Card spot, cruising to an 8-2 record in their last 10 games, 7 of those Ws coming in a row.

Stroman brings a 6-11 record to the Mets, along with a 2.96 ERA, a 1.227 WHIP and a 7.1 k/9 through 21 games this season for Toronto. As noted by Eno Sarris, Stroman has the 10th best homer rate in the MLB’s #JuicedBall Era.

Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson were the Mets #4 and #6 prospects prior to the deal. Kay had solid success in Double-A, (posting a 7-3 record in 12 games, surrendering only 2 home runs in that stretch, holding opposing hitters to a stifling .165 average) but has had his struggles since arriving in Triple-A. In 7 games for Syracuse, he has posted a 6.61 ERA, surrendering a home run each game, getting rocked to the tune of a .325 average against opposing hitters.

Woods-Richardson has had a decent season for the Columbia Fireflies, posting a 3-8 record in 20 starts for the Single-A Club. He currently sports a 4.25 ERA and a 1.210 WHIP while holding opposing hitters to a .256 average.

While the addition of Stroman to the Mets was shocking, what really took the cake at the deadline was the Mets inability to move Zack Wheeler. With free agency looming, and the market waiting for a solid right-hander, the Mets failed to make any kind of deal for Wheeler.

What could they have wanted? Oh, I don’t know, prospects to replenish the farm system. I don’t know. I’m an idiot. Who needs prospects?

Bauer Stays in Ohio, Switches Leagues

In what was easily the most complex deal of the deadline, Trevor Bauer joins the Cincinnati Reds in a deal that sends Yasiel Puig to Cleveland.

The deal shakes out to this:

Cincinnati gets: RHP Trevor Bauer

Cleveland gets: OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen, OF Yasiel Puig, 3B Victor Nova, LHP Scott Ross (per @AJCassavell)

San Diego gets: OF Taylor Trammell.

Cincy gets Bauer, who was the top guy dealt at the deadline before Greinke got shipped off to Houston. Bauer is top-notch, and with the Reds only 6 games back, perhaps they can make a run at the NL Central crown.

San Diego gets another jewel for their treasure trove of prospects, adding Taylor Trammell who took home the Futures Game MVP at last year’s All-Star Game in Washington. How good is Trammell? The Padres easily have the top farm system in the league, and he’s immediately the #3 guy. Nuts.

However, Cleveland gets… a lot. Yes, Puig is the main name headed towards The Land, but the rest of this haul is… really something else. Logan Allen is a big piece on the move and instantly becomes the #3 prospect in the Cleveland system. Scott Ross has a similar effect, popping up at #17 for the Tribe.

But the sneaky win here is Franmil Reyes. The only player on the Padres who out mashed Reyes? Hunter Renfroe. That’s right. Not Eric Hosmer, not Manny Machado… just Hunter Renfroe. Look for Franmil to go off in Cleveland. He’s got the swing, he just needs the at-bats.

That’s it for the 2019 Trade Deadline Recap! Who are the winners and losers of the deadline? Stay tuned for more coverage here at The Turf!

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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