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 continue our series with the clubs in the American League West.
For the second straight year, the defending World Series champions made a deal at the non-waiver deadline for a Blue Jays reliever. They acquired Roberto Osuna in exchange for Ken Giles and two prospects.
But unlike last year when they traded for Francisco Liriano, this move comes with a ton of controversy and may not help them in their quest to repeat as champions. After all, Osuna is in the end stages of a 75-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. He was arrested and charged with assaulting his girlfriend on May 8 in Toronto. Few details have been made public and the next court date in the case is scheduled for Sept. 5.
While Osuna has a ton of talent, the backlash the Astros are already getting for this move has become a national story. After all, they are on record for having a zero-tolerance policy regarding domestic violence and the fact that team leaders like Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr. spoke out strongly against former Astros prospect Danry Vasquez for domestic violence publicly adds a level of awkwardness to the organization.
Even if Osuna comes out, pitches great for them and nothing happens to him with this court case, the Astros will not be viewed in the same light as they once were.
Prior to the Osuna trade, the Astros had acquired Gold Glove winning catcher Martin Maldonado from the rival Angels on July 26 for a prospect and international bonus pool money. The move immediately upgrades their defense for the next two-plus months until Maldonado becomes a free agent at the end of the year.
Los Angeles Angels
After having great expectations this year and a hot start to the year, things went south for the Angels over the last two months to the point where they dealt two key pieces to their lineup.
As mentioned above, they dealt Maldonado to Houston for Patrick Sandoval. Five days later, they traded second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Red Sox for Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez.
The surprising part about both deals was that the Halos did not get any prospects who could factor into their short-term plans while they still have star Mike Trout under contract. Trout is a free agent after the 2019 season, so the Angels have only one offseason and an entire year to try to add pieces around him in order to compete for a championship.
After going on a surprise run in the first half, the Athletics stepped out of their normal character and actually made a deal as a buyer before July 31.
The A’s acquired closer Jeurys Familia from the Mets for prospects William Toffey and Bobby Wahl plus international bonus pool money. The move boosted their bullpen because they have a former All-Star teaming up with their current All-Star closer Blake Treinen to give them a quality 1-2 punch in the late innings. Another big part of this deal was that they did not have to give up better prospects for the free-agent-to-be Familia, as Toffey was ranked 17th in their system, according to MLBPipeline.com.
The move has paid off so far, as he has not allowed an earned run in eight innings, earned two wins and notched a hold in six appearances. More importantly, he has helped them take over the second wild card spot in the AL.
General manager Jerry Dipoto and the Mariners are always making trades, and this year was no different.
They made four big since May. In doing so, they acquired Alex Colome, Denard Span, Zach Duke, Adam Warren and Cameron Maybin.
They first snagged Colome and Span from the Rays in May for prospects Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Then on July 30, they landed both Duke and Warren, as the M’s acquired Duke from the Twins for prospects Chase DeJong and Ryan Costello, then got Warren 20 minutes later from the Yankees for international bonus pool money. Then on deadline day, the Mariners upgraded their outfield by acquiring Maybin from the Marlins for prospect Bryson Brigman and international slot money.
The hope for the M’s is that their new bullpen additions and Maybin can continue to help them win close games as they try to end the longest active playoff drought by a team in the four major professional sports (17 years). This season, the Mariners are 28-14 in one-run games, with their 28 wins being the best in the majors.
After numerous injuries plagued them at the beginning of the year, the Rangers fell behind the top teams in the division real quick, forcing them to become sellers at the deadline.
They did manage to sell their biggest chip, as they dealt starter Cole Hamels to the Cubs for veteran right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler, minor-league right-hander Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later. By doing so, they shed his contract from their payroll (owed $21 of $23.5 million this year and $20 million option that could turn into $24 million if he reaches 200 innings pitched and is not on the DL at the end of this year).
In addition, they also dealt closer Keone Kela to the Pirates in exchange for lefty prospect Taylor Hearn and a player to be named later. The good part about this deal was that Hearn was ranked seventh in the Pirates’ system, so he could factor into the Rangers’ plans shortly.
The Rangers did have other assets they could deal, particularly Adrian Beltre. However, they decided to hold onto the future Hall of Fame third baseman and could end up retiring as a Ranger at season’s end.