By: Chris Larson
The Waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone and there was plenty of action yesterday for those of you who relish trade season and who love watching teams make moves. Even if you don't like trade season, it's interesting to see what final move(s) teams might have up their sleeves, as they look to make that final push over the last month of the regular season, and enhance their chance of playing deep into October even more.
Regardless, there were several teams who got better with the moves they made yesterday including the: Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Those teams made the boldest moves and should see their work pay off over the next month as well as in October, which was the primary reason, why all four of those teams made the trades they did yesterday.
Here are a few of my own personal thoughts regarding the moves that took place yesterday:
1. Bringer of Rain Adds Another Potential Lethal Bat to the Indians Lineup - If Josh Donaldson is able to recover and stay on the field healthy this next month as well as in October, the Cleveland Indians just got significantly better and added another legit bat to their already impressive lineup. The best part was that the Indians got the Toronto Blue Jays to pay down enough of the money remaining on his contract, that they only owe him, around $1.3 million dollars. A lineup consisting of Edwin Encarnacion, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Yonder Alonso and a healthy, Josh Donaldson, certainly is no joke and absolutely improves Clevelands chances of returning to the Fall Classic and competing with the best of the best in the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees.
2. Andrew McCutchen Adds Some Much Needed Veteran Leadership to the Yankees - With the addition of Andrew McCutchen yesterday, the New York Yankees not only showed that they are uncertain about the possibility of Aaron Judge returning this season for the stretch run/postseason, but also that they were in need of another veteran presence in their clubhouse. McCutchen not only brings a lot of energy on the playing field and someone that the fans can easily cheer for, but certainly brings an abundant amount of leadership to the clubhouse and someone who can carry the team through the high's and low's that remain. In addition, while McCutchen has had somewhat of a down season, AT&T Park is not one of the friendliest hitters parks in the league, as it is difficult to hit home runs there, so who knows if a change of scenery will be the exact thing that Cutch needs to get going again.
3. Milwaukee Brewers Played It Smart by Adding Gio Gonzalez - Gio Gonzalez might not be having a headline season or might not be in that elite class of starting pitchers, but he is the perfect guy for the Brewers, who desperately needed someone who had experience pitching at the big league level along with someone who can eat innings up. Gonzalez has all of those things and is familiar with pitching in the postseason, which is vital, assuming that the Milwaukee Brewers are able to hang on and clinch a postseason berth. Worse comes to worse, Gio Gonzalez finishes this season pitching in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform and then hits free agency after the Brewers season ends. Regardless, the Brewers acquired a pitcher who has been tested in multiple different situations and proven that he can add some tremendous depth to any starting rotation, when healthy and on top of his game.
4. Ryan Madson Addition is a Sneaky Pickup for the Dodgers - The Dodgers made a sneaky pickup yesterday when they acquired relief pitcher, Ryan Madison, from the Washington Nationals. Now, Madson might have a 5.28 ERA over 44.1 innings of work so far this season with the Nationals, but don't overlook the fact that this is a guy who put together a 1.83 ERA over 59 IP with the Oakland A's and Nationals, just last year. The Dodgers are certainly taking a gamble, but if Madson is able to find his mechanics again and be the reliever that he was just last year, then this will be a sneaky good pickup and one that likely will attract little to no fanfare for Los Angeles. As we have seen in the past few postseasons, the bullpen is extremely important and, assuming that the Dodgers clinch a postseason berth, having extra bullpen depth won't be a bad thing.
Those were my four primary thoughts regarding yesterday's deadline action. Now let September commence along with the September callup process, as there is still, plenty of excitement left!