After months filled with great anticipation, the non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone just like that. Some big deals (Sonny Gray/Yankees and Yu Darvish/Dodgers) and small deals (Joaquin Benoit/Pirates and Adam Rosales/Diamondbacks) came to fruition as time almost ran out on Monday, but all 30 teams made a move in July in order to try to make themselves better down the stretch and/or in the future.
Yet, there were some big names who stayed put with their clubs. Here is our list of top 10 players who did not get traded before or on the deadline.
- Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers — A lot of speculation surrounded the Tigers ace after the Tigers started conducting a big sale. The 34-year-old right-hander, who finished second in the AL Cy Young voting last year, ended all of it when he tweeted a selfie he took in the club’s locker room saying he was still with the Tigers with 17 minutes left until the deadline. At the end of the day, there appeared to be just too many hoops that both interested clubs and the Tigers had to jump through in order to make a deal happen in July. The first one was finding a suitor to take over Verlander’s contract, which he is owed about $75 million through the end of 2019 and could earn an additional $22 million in 2020 if he finishes within the top five in Cy Young voting in 2019. Also, Verlander has a no-trade clause and he would’ve had to agree to any deal. The third was the Tigers getting the right package for him without having to offset his salary. However, Verlander was put on revocable waivers on Wednesday, so the Tigers will try to see if they can move him over the next 28 days.
- Zach Britton, RP, Baltimore Orioles — One of the best closers in the game, Britton became a big target for a number of teams at the deadline, mainly the Dodgers, Astros Nationals and Indians. However, the Orioles decided to not deal their All-Star reliever— who has recorded an AL-record 57 straight saves — because they did not feel they were going to receive the big package they believed would be better than what the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller last year. Britton is under control through next year, so the Orioles could revisit a possible trade in the winter or at this time in 2018.
- Ervin Santana, SP, Minnesota Twins — The Twins were in the playoff picture right before the All-Star break and were planning to add pieces around a resurgent Santana, who at 34 was 10-4 with a 2.80 ERA through June 25. Then, the Twins started to spiral out of contention and Santana began to struggle, leaving the club trying to scramble to put Santana on the market and actually find possible trade partners. With no one really taking any interest, the Twins will see if Santana can improve his value from now until next year. He is a free agent after 2018, but has a club option for 2019.
- Brad Hand, RP, San Diego Padres — Hand had his name heard a ton in the final days of the deadline. But, San Diego general manager A.J. Preller felt that "there was no rush" to deal the All-Star reliever, according to Dennis Lin of The San Diego Union Tribune. Preller is right about that, as Hand is eligible for arbitration after this season and is not a free agent until 2020. Prefer admitted him and the Padres “worked up until the deadline” as far as negotiations with possible suitors for Hand, but couldn’t find a team willing to give them a return they wanted. This makes Hand a name to keep on watching for the next couple of seasons.
- Yonder Alonso, 1B, Oakland Athletics — For all the talk about him being one of the most likely players to get shipped at the deadline, Alonso remains in Oakland. Alonso, a pending free agent who became an All-Star for the first time in his career this year, had been involved in rumors mainly with the Yankees. However, no contenders had a real need for position players, despite how cheap Alonso’s contract is (one year, $4 million). Alonso said he is open to signing an extension with the A’s, but he looks like he will end up hitting free agency in the winter since there have been no talks of an extension, according to our own MLB insider Chris Cotillo.
- Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis Cardinals — While Gray, Darvish, Verlander and new Cubs starter Jose Quintana dominated the trade rumors for starting pitching, Lynn garnered some interest in the final weeks. But, it wasn’t enough for the Cardinals to move the 30-year-old pending free agent because they still viewed themselves as a potential playoff team, despite now being 5 1⁄2 games behind the Cubs for first in the NL Central. And with no known talks about any extension, it looks like Lynn’s days in St. Louis are numbered.
- J.A. Happ, SP, Toronto Blue Jays — Despite struggling most of this season, Happ still had some clubs interested in acquiring him this year based on his performance last year, when he had career highs last year in wins (20), WAR (4.5), strikeouts (163), innings (195) and starts (32). However, the Blue Jays never received a good enough offer to deal him. Happ is a free agent after next season, so Toronto may try to sell him next year before losing him in the open market.
- Zack Cozart, SS, Cincinnati Reds — Cozart played well enough in the first half of the season to make himself an All-Star for the first time and the struggling Reds’ top trade chip. However, there was hardly a market for position players, let alone a market for a shortstop. Like Alonso, Cozart is also open to an extension with the Reds, but it seems that is unlikely and he will more than likely head for free agency.
- Jay Bruce, OF, New York Mets — Surprisingly, there was hardly any interest in Bruce, unlike this time last year when he was dealt to New York. Bruce, who is a free agent after this year, entered the week with 27 homers for the Mets and clearly one of the better bats among position players on the market. But, just like with Alonso and Cozart, the need for any sort of big-named position players were not there this year.
- Brad Brach, RP, Baltimore Orioles — Outside of the top-notch closers, Brach gained some interest late after filling in nicely for Britton while he was sidelined with an arm injury this year. But, the Orioles did what they always have done and that was not sell any of their players, even though they had permission to do so from owner Peter Angelos. Brach is 31 and has another year with the O’s before becoming a free agent, so the club may want to see how he performs this year and in early 2018 before having to make a decision on his future with the club.