Now that the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team in each division was able to accomplish (or not accomplish) before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. We begin our series with the clubs in the American League East.
Dan Duquette, #Orioles executive director of baseball operations: “I hear it’s easier to demolish the entire house and rebuild from the ground up rather than renovating one room at a time.” Machado, Britton, Brach, Gausman, Schoop, O’Day. The Great Baltimore Demolition of 2018.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2018
This quote and tweet from Rosenthal sum up the Orioles’ work this summer. For the first time since 2000, the Orioles sold off their top assets in hopes they can rebuild their club into a future contender.
Obviously, the best player they dealt was All-Star shortstop Manny Machado, who they traded to the Dodgers for five prospects: Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop, Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera. Yes, Machado is one of the best players in the game, but the Orioles needed to sell the free-agent-to-be for a package that will help them get better at multiple positions in a hurry.
They also hit a home run when they dealt Zach Britton to the Yankees for pitching prospects Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers. After all, Britton is also a free agent at the end of the year and has health questions after being plagued with injuries in 2017.
The returns for Kevin Gausman, Darren O’Day and Jonathan Schoop were pretty good overall, but the more important thing was that they were able to shed $35 million in payroll by making all of these deals.
The best team in all of baseball managed to get even better by making a couple of deals.
The biggest move they made this summer was adding starter Nathan Eovaldi after striking a deal for him with the Rays on July 25. The move was big because it came a day after the Yankees traded for Britton. More importantly, it beefed up the back of Boston’s rotation, which was already having an excellent season with the way Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson had been pitching, for the end of the regular season. Plus, Eovaldi could be an impact arm out of the bullpen in the postseason.
Another big trade they made was acquiring second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Angels for Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez. Kinsler isn’t the player he used to be, but he has been productive and the Red Sox need production at second with Dustin Pedroia unable to get healthy.
Boston also acquired first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce and cash considerations from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor leaguer Santiago Espinal on June 28.
New York Yankees
The Yankees were a big winner during this deadline season after they struck deals for Britton, starter J.A. Happ and starter Lance Lynn.
They acquired Happ from the Blue Jays for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney. The Yankees needed help with their rotation and having a veteran like Happ will be key for them as they plan to compete in the postseason. In addition, they were able to use their surplus in their farm system by dealing a couple of players who are talented, but had no path toward playing in pinstripes someday.
As far as the Lynn deal, the Yanks got him from the Twins in exchange for Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo. Though Lynn has been struggling as a starter this year, the Yankees hope he can be effective either as a starter or as a reliever, especially in the postseason. When he was with the Cardinals during their World Series run in 2011, he was a big part of their bullpen success.
In their trade for Britton, the Yankees are hoping the former All-Star closer returns to the way he was playing back in 2016, when he led the majors with 47 saves, posted an eye-popping 0.54 ERA and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting. He also recorded an American League record 60 consecutive saves from Oct. 1, 2015 to Aug. 27, 2017. If he is even close to this, the Yankees’ bullpen of him, Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Chad Green will be really hard to beat in the playoffs.
They also acquired Luke Voit and international signing pool bonus money from the Cardinals and dealt solid reliever Adam Warren to the Mariners, but Brian Cashman and company have to be thrilled with what they were able to accomplish.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays made the biggest move on July 31 by dealing coveted ace Chris Archer to the Pirates for Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and a player to be named later. The Rays flirted with the idea of trading Archer for the last couple of years and was asking a king’s ransom for him because of his team friendly deal (under contract through 2019, but has club options for 2020 at $9 million and 2021 at $11 million) and his experience.
However, the Rays felt it was the right time to make a deal due to the lack of controllable starting pitching available on the trade market. In doing so, they received two possible impact players in Meadows and Glasnow, who can help them compete in the rugged AL East while they try to rebuild their franchise.
Along with this move, they made out pretty well in the Eovaldi deal with the Red Sox. They received minor-league starter Jalen Beeks, who was ranked 15th in Boston’s farm system. Beeks, who was named an International League All-Star while playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, can also give the Rays a boost as they rebuild.
They also made the first big trade of the season on May 25 by trading closer Alex Colome and Denard Span to the Mariners for pitching prospects Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero, who now give them starting pitching depth in the minors.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays were also a prime seller and a big winner during deadline season. They dealt Happ and also sent closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros for Ken Giles and two prospects.
In addition, they also got minor leaguers Chad Spanberger, Forrest Wall, and a player to be named later or cash from the Rockies in exchange for Seung-Hwan Oh and Espinal from the Red Sox in the Pearce deal. They also traded John Axford to the Dodgers for Corey Copping and traded LHP Aaron Loup to the Phillies for Jacob Waguespack.
These moves gave them a stable of young players that they can use to hopefully build around top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette whenever they get to the big leagues.