By: Chris Larson
The 2019 July 31st Trade Deadline has now come and gone and although there was a lot of talk about potential names moving, a lot of those names ended up staying put in the end. All along dating back to the start of the month, fans and analysts alike kept waiting for the market to become unclogged and for deals to start happening, but that wasn't the case. While many of the big names that were mentioned in many trade rumors ended up staying put, there were some nice fireworks that ended up happening after the 4 o'clock EST Trade Deadline.
To begin with, let's recap the Top 10 trades that ended up happening today and over the past month and showcase who ended up going where and how each transaction impacted the teams involved.
Top 10 Trades from Today and The Past Month
1. Zack Greinke Heads to the Houston Astros - The Houston Astros got significantly better this afternoon when they made a trade for Arizona Diamondbacks ace, Zack Greinke. Greinke is now considered Houston's number 3 starter and will be a fantastic compliment to the other two workhorses in their rotation, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. In exchange, the Astros sent four various prospects to Arizona including: 1B/OF Seth Beer, RHP Corbin Martin, RHP J.B. Bukauskas, and INF/OF Josh Rojas. Arizona went into this year's July 31st Trade Deadline exploring various avenues of being a buyer, seller, or a team that ended up doing nothing and playing out the season with their current 25-man roster. However, Mike Hazen & Company did an excellent job of adding more impactful talent, to an already promising farm system, a system that wasn't that way just a few short years ago. Furthermore, all along one of the more challenging aspects of any Zack Greinke trade revolved around finances, but the Arizona Diamondbacks found a way to score big financially with this deal. Houston will pay around $50 million dollars of Greinkes remaining salary with the Arizona Diamondbacks responsible for the other $24 million.
2. Trevor Bauer Stays in The Buckeye State, Heading to the Cincinnati Reds - If the Zack Greinke trade hadn't happened earlier this afternoon, this would have been the biggest trade of this year's July 31st Trade Deadline. While the Cincinnati Reds have around a 5% shot of being a true contender this season, they did a phenomenal job of adding more substance to their starting rotation in Bauer and while many thought Bauer could ultimately be flipped, he will stay in The Queen City at least through the end of this season. The other parts involved in this trade were impactful as well with the Cleveland Indians being the clear winner coming away with OF Yasiel Puig, DH/OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allan, LHP Scott Moss, and INF Victor Nova. Cleveland did very well by addressing the need to add more offense into their lineup and got some solid pitching prospects as well. Finally, the San Diego Padres, who shipped away three prospects to Cleveland, got up-and-coming star outfielder, Taylor Trammell, from the Cincinnati Reds. Trammell might not be a name that pops out to many on paper, but many scouts expect him to be a star at the big league level and this was one big get for AJ Preller and the San Diego Padres.
3. Atlanta Braves Acquire Closer Shane Greene from the Detroit Tigers - Heading into today, many executives around the game believed that Shane Greene would be the biggest and most impactful name that was traded and that was the case to a point. Regardless, the Atlanta Braves knew they needed to add a closer before the bell rang today and they did just that in Shane Greene. Greene is having an excellent season with the Detroit Tigers, posting a 1.18 ERA over 38.0 innings of work with a (0.86) WHIP and (10.2) K/9, and will be a tremendous commodity for the Braves in locking down games down the stretch and come the postseason. Alex Anthopoulos was reluctant to meet the high asking price of many of the rumored closers that were available including: Kirby Yates of the San Diego Padres, Felipe Vazquez of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Alex Colome of the Chicago White Sox, but when the Braves started to run into trouble in the 9th inning of today's game and had to pull Luke Jackson from the mound, they knew they had to make a deal. In exchange of Greene, the Detroit Tigers ended up receiving back two pieces in RHP Tristan Beck and RHP Dan Winkler. Winkler is a guy that will likely step into a bullpen role for the Tigers big league club, while Tristan Beck is a Low-A Ball prospect who was a fourth round draft pick by the Braves out of Stanford University, last year.
4. The Cubs Add OF Nicholas Castellanos to Their Lineup - Nicholas Castellanos might not necessarily be the best defender in the big leagues at the moment, but he is certainly a nice offensive bat to put into the Cubs lineup, a lineup that is starving for extra offense during certain stretches of time. So far this season, Castellanos is hitting: .272/.328/.462 with 37 doubles and 11 home runs and will occupy one of the corner outfield spots for the Cubs, allowing Joe Maddon and his coaching staff to have a potential bat to platoon with current leftfielder, Kyle Schwarber and Jayson Heyward. One fascinating aspect about Nicholas Castellanos is his ability to hit left-handed pitching which is something the Cubs have been on the lookout for. With the Tigers, over 82 plate appearances this season, Castellanos hit: .347/.415/.611 with 4 home runs, 11 RBI, and 8 walks. Theo Epstein and the Cubs front office, likely knew the concerns that were published about Castellanos below average defensive skill set, but clearly felt comfortable acquiring him. For Castellanos, the Cubs ended up dealing away RHP Paul Richan and RHP Alex Lange to the Motor City. Richan, who is currently 22 years of age, was the Cubs 16th best prospect and put up a 3.97 ERA over 93 innings in Class A ball. On the other hand, Alex Lange, who was a first round draft pick from the 2017 Amateur Draft, ranked as the Cubs number 23 prospect and pitched to the tune of a 5.82 ERA over 86.2 innings of work, between Class A and Double A so far this season.
5. Oakland Athletics Acquire Starting Pitcher Tanner Roark - The Oakland Athletics, who were in need of another arm within their starting rotation for their stretch run and a potential postseason run, came away with starting pitcher Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds. Roark, who is in the midst of his age-32 season, posted a 4.24 ERA over 31 starts with Cincinnati, but does have a lot of experience pitching at the big league level and a track record to help lead some of the Athletics young starting pitchers as Oakland looks to return back to the postseason. Roark, who will be a free agent after the end of the season, has a career 2.11 ERA over 21.1 innings pitched at The Coliseum and has held opponents to a: .137/.171/.260 batting line over that sample size. To get Roark, the Athletics shipped away their number 8 prospect in, OF Jameson Hannah. Hannah is now Cincinnati's 10th best prospect and is an outfielder that many scouts project to really succeed at the big league level. Scouts note that Hannah does a phenomenal job on the base paths, has enough athleticism to cover plenty of ground in centerfield, and could eventually end up being a number 2 hitter within the Reds lineup.
6. The Phillies Acquire Outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Pirates - In another trade where a player was shipped from one team to another in the same state, outfielder Corey Dickerson ended up joining the Phillies to provide protection for their young outfielders down the stretch. Before, when there was an August Waiver Trade period, this was likely one transaction that would have happened at that time, but since teams can no longer make moves to their 40-man rosters past today, the Phillies knew they had to go out and add some substance to their depth. Although Dickerson has missed a substantial amount of time due to injuries this season, he went over to the Phillies batting: .317/.376/.556 on the season over 141 plate appearances. Prior to acquiring Dickerson, the Phillies had a combination of Adam Hasley and Nick Williams penciled in left field, but have upgraded that position with someone that has a better track record and a bat that plays when healthy. In exchange of Dickerson, the Pirates received back international bonus pool money and a player to be named later.
7. Sam Dyson Heads from the Bay Area to the Twin Cities - The Minnesota Twins were one of a handful of contenders that were scouring the market dating back to June looking at potential additions to their starting rotation and bullpen. About a week ago, the Minnesota Twins acquired reliever, Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins, but knew that had to make another substantial move and they did that by acquiring Sam Dyson. Although Romo will be a free agent at seasons end, Dyson won't hit free agency for another year meaning that he adds that depth to the bullpen for another year-and-a-half for the Twins. It was being widely reported that the San Francisco Giants were hesitant to move Dyson amid their surprise postseason race, but they had enough depth down in the minor leagues to make him expendable thus leading to the eventual trade to the Twin Cities. For the second straight season, Dyson has been able to post an ERA below 3 (with the Giants Dyson put up a 2.47 ERA over 51 innings of work) and has a strikeouts-per-9 rate over (8.0) for the first time since the 2015 regular season. On the other side, heading back to the Bay Area were three prospects in OF Jaylin Davis, RHP Prelander Berroa, and RHP Kai-Wei Tang.
8. Jesus Aguilar Finds a New Home in Tampa Bay with the Rays - In the very first move that happened today, the Tampa Bay Rays traded RHP Jake Faria to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange of first baseman, Jesus Aguilar. After being named an All-Star last season and finishing in the Top 20 in NL MVP voting in 2018, many thought that Aguilar was set to become the next established part of the Brewers lineup, but that definitely wasn't the case. Over this season, Aguilar's overall performance has been up and down and he never really found a comfortable spot within the Brewers defensive makeup considering that Milwaukee also has Travis Shaw, Eric Thames, and Ryan Braun that are all capable of occupying first base. Although the Brewers lost an offensive player, they ended up gaining someone to help out their pitching staff in Jake Faria, who turned 26 just yesterday, and has been used by the Rays out of the bullpen all of this season. In the past, Faria was used as a hybrid pitcher, something that fits the overall mentality of how the Brewers build their pitching staff, and is a high strikeout guy with an overall strikeouts-per-9 rate of (9.9) so far this season. Faria helps to lengthen the Brewers bullpen out and preserve Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress for those late inning situations.
9. San Francisco Giants Trade for Second Baseman Scooter Gennett - Second base has been a position where the San Francisco Giants have struggled offensively all season long and it was only a matter of time before San Francisco General Manager, Farhan Zaidi, found a solution to combat those issues. After being connected to utility pieces on the market in Eric Sogard, formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles, the Giants found their guy in Scooter Gennett. Gennett will be a free agent at the end of the season, but has the ability to produce at a higher offensive level than current San Francisco Giants second baseman, Joe Panik. When Gennett is healthy and performing at his highest level, he has the ability to provide some pop and that will only help to lengthen out the Giants lineup down the stretch as they look to clinch a postseason berth.
10. New York Yankees Acquire Terrance Gore from Kansas City - No, this deal didn't include any type of pitching for the New York Yankees, who desperately were in need of pitching going into today's Trade Deadline and came away with none, but it is a move that was made with the postseason in mind. Brian Cashman is a General Manager that knows how to plan ahead and look forward towards situations where the Yankees might need a particular role player for a particular situation. In this case, Cashman and the Yankees acquired a speedy guy in Terrance Gore, who can be called up come September and come off the bench for the Yankees when they might need a pinch runner during a postseason game or need a guy that they know can steal a base when it matters the most. While it's definitely not a Hollywood level trade or one that made headlines across the country, it was a move that deserves recognition nonetheless and something that lengthens out the Yankees bench down the stretch as the postseason creeps closer.
Top 5 Surprising Names That Didn't Move
1. Trey Mancini (Baltimore Orioles) - Going into this year's Trade Deadline, it almost seemed like a given that Trey Mancini would no longer be a part of the Baltimore Orioles after July 31st. After all, Baltimore fielded interest from teams such as the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, and a few other contending teams, but never found a deal to their liking. That was likely due in part to the fact that Mancini has three-and-a-half seasons left before he hits free agency and is someone that is highly regarded as a leader within the clubhouse - something that the Baltimore Orioles need during this time of transition.
2. Mike Minor (Texas Rangers) - Over the past month, Mike Minor's name was mentioned on many different occasions in various reports and it seemed as though the Texas Rangers would for sure move him for the right haul in return. However, the Rangers know that they are going into a new ballpark next season and need to have an established starting rotation, meaning that there wasn't an urgent need to move him unless they were overwhelmed by a trade offer.
3. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds) - Raisel Iglesias was a late entry into the Trade Deadline sweepstakes as a pitcher that was reportedly available and there were a handful of different teams that were in constant contact with the Reds about his services. Cincinnati also received plenty of interest in Amir Garrett, but they were hesitant to move on from him and knew that Iglesias was the more expendable piece of the two. Despite the need for relief pitching from a wide number of teams, Raisel Iglesias remains a part of the Reds 25-man roster.
4. Robbie Ray (Arizona Diamondbacks) - With the lack of impactful starting pitching options that were reportedly available leading up to today's deadline, it's a surprise that the Arizona Diamondbacks never received a satisfying enough offer to move Robbie Ray. Ray has another year-and-a-half to go before he is a free agent and while there was plenty of interest by the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, and a few other clubs, the Diamondbacks never got what they viewed to be a fair market deal in return.
5. Kole Calhoun (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) - The Angels likely won't be heading to the postseason this year despite playing to the tune of a 14-10 record over the month of July. At the end of play today, the Angels sat 6 games out of a Wild Card spot and given that their front office only made one minor move (acquiring catcher Max Stassi from the rival Houston Astros), it seemed like Calhoun could be on the move. Calhoun is a pending free agent and someone that could have been a nice offensive pickup for a contender.
3 Winners from This Trade Deadline
1. Houston Astros - The Houston Astros are a clear winner from this year's Trade Deadline as they not only came away with Zack Greinke, but bulked up their pitching staff with three other acquisitions from the Toronto Blue Jays in: RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Joe Biagini, and OF Cal Stevenson. Houston knew that it had to make a significant, impactful trade or two to bolster it's pitching staff and by adding Greinke, along with the three aforementioned names, they did just that.
2. Atlanta Braves - Up until yesterday afternoon, Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves front office had yet to make any sort of impactful move to address some of their pitching woes and provide extra assurance from their young starting pitchers down the stretch. However, that all changed yesterday afternoon when the team acquired RHP Chris Martin from the Texas Rangers and continued today by the acquisition of the aforementioned, Shane Greene from the Detroit Tigers, as well as the trade for RHP Mark Melancon of the San Francisco Giants. Anthopoulos added two relievers with closing experience to the back end of the bullpen and scored big time.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks - The Diamondbacks might not have made a ton of moves to add even more depth to what is becoming an increasingly more impactful farm system, but they scored big by getting four prospects from the Houston Astros for Zack Greinke, trading for RHP Mike Leake of the Seattle Mariners for stability in their starting rotation, and acquiring pitching prospect, Zac Gallen, from the Miami Marlins. Particularly, the Gallen trade might not seem like a big acquisition and seem like Arizona overpaid considering they dealt away shortstop, Jazz Chisholm, but Gallen has shown that he has plenty of promise and could be a future star within the Diamondbacks rotation.
3 Losers from This Trade Deadline
1. New York Yankees - By far the team that has the most shame from this year's Trade Deadline is the New York Yankees. Despite Brian Cashman coming out and saying that the Yankees were going to acquire a starting pitcher, Cashman failed to live up to that obligation and could be putting his team in serious danger heading down the stretch. Over the past week, it was more apparent than ever that the Yankees needed to do something to address their starting rotation, but since New York was reluctant to give away some of their top prospects, they ended up coming away with nothing. That's a hard sell for a team that plays in a large market and has a history of being a championship caliber ball club.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers - Heading into today's deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers still had to acquire a reliever to help add substance to their bullpen and while they came away with left-hander Adam Kolarek formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, it simply wasn't nearly enough. After being connected to virtually every reliever that was available on the market, it was a surprise to see the Dodgers fail to land an even bigger name and to see their concern in surrendering their first overall prospect, INF Gavin Lux, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Felipe Vazquez. Vazquez is a legitimate reliever, who could have helped lead the Dodgers to their first World Series Championship since 1988, but the Dodgers dropped the ball on this one.
3. St. Louis Cardinals - The Cardinals definitely let down their team and fan base by failing to acquire the proper players leading up to today's Trade Deadline. For a team that is leading the National League Central, the Cardinals failed to bolster their chances of winning the division and playing deep into October which could end up being a problem for the team down the stretch. Despite being in on rentals and controllable players, the only players the Cardinals came away with was LHP Tony Cingrani and left-hander Adalberto Mejia. That's a significant letdown for a team that could have afforded the luxury of adding a front line starter to their rotation along with an impactful late inning, bullpen arm.