Been a little while since we dived into some MLB Thoughts, but the baseball action tends to start dragging when the calendar hits July. Outside of the All Star Game, not much has really happened besides the Red Sox turning into the worst team in the league. Luckily for everyone, though, the Trade Deadline came and went yesterday to shake things up and add some new storylines for the stretch run. Some teams are clearly going all in, some teams are bringing The Process to baseball, and some teams did nothing for no apparent reason. So, in a quasi-MLB Thoughts, let’s go through all the major developments from the MLB Trade Deadline.
- The Yankees, man. Getting Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia, Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle, and Nate Robertson without giving up Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, or Estevan Florial (their top prospects) is pretty incredible. Were this the NBA, I would wonder if all of these moves were heavily encouraged by the league to set the Yankees up for current and long-term success. A lot of people are saying getting Sonny Gray makes the Yankees the favorite in the American League. I’m not sure that’s true. Sure, Gray can be filthy when he’s healthy, and he’s returned to form in the last month or so, and their bullpen is now STACKED. But outside Gray and Severino, are any of their other starters really all that trustworthy? Call me a hater if you want, but I’ll still take the Red Sox at their best (more of a myth at this point than a reality) over the bombers.
- I can’t seem to find any evidence of it, but some foolish, unnamed bloggers declared the Cubs dead earlier this season. Apparently, the Lord of Light isn’t done with them just yet and decided to bring them back from the grave. The Quintana trade happened a few weeks ago, but I’ll still consider it a deadline deal. Quintana, Alex Avila, and Justin Wilson are all really good, and all of a sudden they’re 2.5 games up in the division. They’re going to coast into the playoffs.
- While the Red Sox couldn’t swing any major moves (maybe it’s because Dave Dombrowski traded half their prospects for Drew Pomeranz, but who’s to say), I like the ones they were able to make. Eduardo Nunez used to be my least favorite player in the league because his stupid helmet would fall off every time he ran the bases, but now that he and confirmed Second Coming Rafael Devers are manning the hot corner instead of literally anyone else they had, I love him. Then adding much needed bullpen help in Addison Reed for a bunch of prospects I’ve never heard of was a strong acquisition. The World Series Parade is Officially Back On.
- As everyone knows, I’ve been boasting about predicting the Rockies’ success all season. Well, they helped me out big time. Getting Pat Neshek for not much, and then getting Jonathan Lucroy for the admittedly high price of perennial all-star Player to be Named Later was a gamble that might pay off big time if he can regain his Milwaukee form. And it’s not like any other National League team is going to challenge for the second Wild Card spot, anyway.
- For some, the allure of prospects’ future glory can be an intoxicating fragrance. And, clearly, White Sox GM Rick Hahn has been fully ensnared in the siren’s grasp. I can’t really blame him, either. Teams keep wanting to give up top prospects for crappy (besides Chris Sale, Boston’s Lord and Savior) White Sox players, so why not keep taking them? The White Sox have to have the best farm system in the league now, and, come 2025, they’ll be a real force to be reckoned with.
- I don’t get where the Dodgers find the resources to make massive trades every season but still have some of the best prospects in the league, but I guess when you have Magic Johnson running things, everything mysteriously breaks in your favor. They were already the best team in the league, but adding Yu Darvish and Tony Watson sends a clear message that this year is championship or bust for them. Like they say it is every year. Then they lose first or second round.
- Speaking of losing early in the playoffs, the Nationals improved their terrible bullpen I guess, but not in an exciting way. Brandon Kintzler is good, but the guys they got from the A’s are just kind of guys. I know you wouldn’t be, anyway, but don’t be surprised when the Nats somehow don’t win the World Series again this year.
- I really don’t understand what the Orioles were doing. They could have gotten some huge returns for Zach Britton, Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, literally anyone on the team besides Machado, and instead they added random veterans. Don’t they know they stink?
- A lot of people seem to think the Astros kind of missed out, since they were only able to get Francisco Liriano. I tend to agree. Sure they probably still have enough to make it to, and possibly win, the World Series. But they really could have used another good starter to set themselves up for the postseason. Keuchel’s great, but everyone else, including Liriano, is a pretty big question mark. If all their injured position players don’t come back the same, or if they don’t come back at all, they might live to regret not getting Yu or Sonny.
- I kind of feel bad for the Brewers. They’re a dead man walking at this point, and a sad, desperate trade for reliever Jeremy Jeffress isn’t going to change anything. R.I.P. Brewers.
- How Melky Cabrera somehow found himself in a position to be relevant again now that he’s on the scalding-hot Royals is amazing. Guy just won’t go away.
I think that’s everything big that happened. I’m sure I forgot something, but if it’s inconsequential enough to forget, I’m sure it wasn’t worth talking about, anyway. Now, someone get me to October, already.