We are just a few days removed from the 2018 MLB trade deadline, and baseball fans are still buzzing. Now that we’ve been given a chance to sit back, breathe and analyze all the surprising moves that were made, it’s time to look further into them, and how they will affect the MLB landscape going forward. Some of the moves are going to prepare great teams to make a deep playoff run, while we also got some surprise moves that will help teams and their entire franchise for several years to come. It’s safe to say that this was one of the most exciting and unpredictable trade deadlines in recent memory.
So sit back and read along as we look at 10 great moves from MLB’s trade deadline, and 10 that we don’t think are so good, as we attempt to look into the future and see what these moves will do for the fortune of every MLB team going forward, starting with post-season success in 2018 (or lack thereof).
20 Great – Dodgers acquire Brian Dozier
The Dodgers once again had a very active trade period, and despite the fact that Dozier is having one of the worst years of his career, this is still a huge pickup. With Corey Seager out for the season, they picked up two power-hitting infielders to replace him.
Just days after becoming a Dodger, Dozier is already proving his worth down in Hollywood.
Similar to the Machado situation, this is really a move that LA didn’t have to make, but for a good price, Dozier brings a veteran presence and an explosive bat, and could be one of the catalysts behind the teams possible World Series success.
19 Not So great – Tommy Pham to the Rays
We all expected the likes of Chris Archer, Cole Hamels and JA Happ to be on the move, but the Cardinals trading Tommy Pham came out of nowhere, and the decision to send him to Tampa Bay was the most shocking part of the situation.
Pham had an MVP level season in 2017, and although his 2018 form hasn’t been that good, we didn’t expect him to be on the move.
This shows a level of confidence on the Rays' side. They made plenty of moves as sellers this trade deadline, but this buy is a good one for them, but we are just confused as to why they made the deal, as they won’t be contending for the next few years.
18 Great – Mike Moustakas to Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Brewers had a great season in 2017, but fell just short of the playoffs, and in 2018, it appears that they’ve taken the next step, and trading for a star like Mike Moustakas is one that will solidify their spot.
Moose isn’t having his best season, but he’s still flashing the all-around skill and power that helped Kansas City reach back-to-back World Series, and it could do the same for the Brew Crew. There is plenty of depth right now in the National League, so it’s going to be hard come playoff time, but with this now very deep lineup, this team can do anything come October.
17 Not So Great – Cole Hamels To The Cubs
A few years ago, this move would have been a blockbuster one that assured the Cubs of another World Series berth, but in 2018, Hamels just isn’t the pitcher that was once affectionately known as “Hollywood”.
He’s struggled ever since joining the Rangers; it appears age is catching up with him, and considering that contract, it’s an odd move.
The Cubs have the ability to add any big name star, so choosing an ‘over the hill’ guy like Hamels is confusing, and one that won’t work out, even though the Cubs are likely to again contend for a spot in the World Series.
16 Great – LA lands yet another big star
The Lakers just landed LeBron James in Free Agency, and although the Dodgers didn’t exactly need Manny Machado, they made a move for him anyway, and it makes them the most complete team in the NL.
Adding him to a lineup with Bellinger, Kemp, Muncy and the aforementioned Dozier makes them scary, and could finally break their World Series drought.
They’ve shown time and time again that they struggle in the biggest moments, and Manny doesn’t change that, but in terms of depth and talent, there’s no team in the NL that matches the Los Angeles Dodgers.
15 Not So Great – The Yankees acquire Lance Lynn
The New York Yankees are the biggest organization in American sports, and they should be able to make a move for any big name they like, so it’s confusing that outside of J.A. Happ, Lance Lynn was the best they can do. Sure, not everyone can be a number 1 starter, and having Lynn at the back of the rotation to eat up innings in the playoff is good, but they should have definitely gone for a #1 arm.
They are going to be hard to stop regardless, and Lynn may provide a valuable arm come playoff time, but this is the Yankees. They should be making big moves, and that’s why this underwhelming move falls on this side of the list.
14 Great – Boston snags Ian Kinsler
The Boston Red Sox are one of the MLB’s most complete teams as we head towards the final stretch of the 2018 season, but adding a veteran and proven winner like Kinsler could be the difference come October.
He didn’t cost too much for the team either, and to add someone who brings so much influence on and off the field, that’s a great trade that Boston won’t regret at all. I still don’t believe that the Red Sox will win the World Series, but this move gives them the best possible chance to do so in 2018.
13 Not So Great – Adam Duvall to the Braves
The Atlanta Braves are having a fantastic season, and while they may miss the playoffs in 2018, it’s clear that their future is very bright, so it’s quite odd that they’d pick up such an inconsistent player at the deadline this year. They made plenty of moves that will help them now and in the future.
While Duvall might turn into an all-round great hitter in the future, it doesn’t help them now, and it’s a bad trade.
Sure, they didn’t give up much, and Duvall might come up clutch towards the end of the season, but with all the potential trades out there to make, this is one that the franchise should have passed on.
12 Great – Wilson Ramos to Philadelphia
The Phillies were expected to be good in 2018, but no one saw them leading the NL East at this point in the season, and to pick up an All Star catcher like Wilson Ramos makes them a genuine World Series contender, this year and beyond.
Their current catcher Jorge Alfaro has been quite good all season long, but when you can bring in a veteran leader and great bat like Ramos, it could make all the difference come playoff time. They’ve now got a great lineup and an even better rotation, and with the other addition of Asdrubal Cabrera, this team is ready to go deep into the playoffs, with a bright future for the coming years.
11 Not So Great – Brewers acquire Joakim Soria
The Milwaukee Brewers made a few fantastic pick-ups during this trade period, and while they needed bullpen help, an ageing Joakim Soria just wasn’t the answer, because he’s not the pitcher that he used to be.
They’ve got the back end of their bullpen secured already, so Soria will feature in the middle of the ‘pen in this upcoming stretch, and although he’s still a decent pitcher, it’s just an underwhelming move. Sure, no one expected this team to get Moose and a guy like Zach Britton, but they could have gone for a bigger, more impressive name to make a true splash.
10 Great – Chris Archer to the Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t meant to contend in 2018, but they sit just outside the Wild Card as the hottest team in baseball.
They shocked the world by acquiring Rays ace, Chris Archer.
Archer has been rumored to be on the move for the past few years, and the Bucs finally pulled the trigger on him, and it’s going to help them this year and into the future. The future is very bright for this team after two big trades in the offseason to move Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, and as the biggest move of this deadline, we love this trade.
9 Not So Great – Jonathan Schoop joins the stacked Brewers lineup
The Milwaukee Brewers have a very deep and varied lineup, and it’s always good to add depth, but the pickup of Jonathan Schoop is a weird one, especially after picking up Moose. Travis Shaw looks to be the second baseman going forward, and Schoop is having a down year, especially considering his form over the past few seasons, so it’s a head-scratcher.
Sure, come playoff time, it’s always good to have a talented veteran like this in case of injury or lack of form from other players, but one would think Milwaukee could have improved their team in other ways, and although we may be overly critical, we just can’t see this as a great move.
8 Great – Zach Britton to the Yankees
Everyone expected the Yankees to add a big arm to their rotation, but they also added to their already lethal bullpen, and it makes them incredibly scary. Landing Zach Britton from the Orioles gives them another incredible arm, and although they gave up a potential #3 arm in the rotation in the future to get him, it was well worth it.
Coming into the playoffs, the Yankees have an incredible offense, as well as an even more dangerous bullpen, and while their rotation still isn’t the best, their bullpen will save them 99% of the time.
7 Not So Great – The Dodgers land John Axford
The LA Dodgers have made tremendous moves at this time over the past couple of years, and maybe it’s the fans high expectations of them, but a move to get John Axford just seems pointless.
With Zach Britton and other big name bullpen arms out there, you would have thought the Dodgers could focus on getting them, but instead, they bring in the ageing Axford who hasn’t been effective for quite some time. Sure, he may prove me wrong in the playoffs, but the team should have focused more on big names in the ‘pen, instead of wasting a promising prospect for Axford.
6 Great – J.A. Happ to the Yankees
All throughout this season, fans have been waiting for the Yankees to add to their rotation to make them a true World Series threat, and while they didn’t get a big name, they did get a fantastic pitcher.
J.A. Happ has been having a fantastic couple of years, and he may not be known around the world, but he’s an effective pitcher who will shore up this rotation.
If this offense is rolling, this team will be hard to beat in the playoffs, and with a guy like Happ joining Tanaka and Severino, they could be the AL favorite.
5 Not So Great – Nathan Eovaldi to the Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox don’t have many holes, and come playoff time, it’s going to get fun, so it’s quite confusing why they would trade for an injury-riddled pitcher like Nathan Eovaldi, as he just won’t add too much to the rotation.
For Boston, making no moves at the deadline would have been much more effective than making this one, and while we’ve talked about the great deal for Kinsler, this one is just odd. Eovaldi probably won’t do anything for the team going forward, but that means they didn’t give up much, so they potentially got a steal, but it’s unlikely.
4 Great – Mariners secure bullpen help
The Seattle Mariners are poised to break their playoff drought in 2018, and with their lineup and rotation, they are ready to take the next step, so securing two great bullpen arms like Zach Duke and Adam Warren is a great step to doing so.
Sure, they still have to compete in a tough division and even tougher conference, but with these moves, they are ready to finally give the fans in the North West some playoff baseball. These aren’t two of the biggest names out there, but they didn’t give up too much to get them, and come October, two shutdown relievers can make all the difference in the world.
3 Not So Great – Houston acquires Roberto Osuna
The Houston Astros are one of MLB’s best teams, and after winning their first ever World Series in 2017, they look to be well on the way again in 2018, so buying a controversial closer who hasn’t performed well this year is a head-scratcher.
Sure, Osuna has been great for the Blue Jays during their playoff runs, and he is still very young, but a veteran reliever would have been a much better choice if they could have found such a deal. Overall, it’s probably not going to hurt them, as they still possess one of the most talented lineups and rotations in baseball, but it’s still a trade that they didn’t need to make.
2 Great – Pirates add Keone Kela
Keone Kela isn’t a very big name, especially since he’s been closing for the woeful Texas Rangers this year, but he’s done a fantastic job, and the Pirates have made yet another great deal this trade deadline.
Kela will never be as dominant as some of the other names at the back end of the bullpen in the Majors, but he has incredible amounts of talent, and in a playoff-ready environment like Pittsburgh, he’ll thrive.
Sure, the team may not make the playoffs in 2018, but they’re set for the near future, and a young guy like Kela could be a key piece for the future of this franchise.
1 Not So Great – Matt Andriese to the D-Backs
The D-Backs had a great chance this season to get a strangle hold on the NL West, but they’ve let their lead slip to the Dodgers, and with a very quiet trade deadline, they may risk missing the playoffs altogether in 2018. The team failed to make a splash, with Matt Andriese and Brad Ziegler being their two biggest acquisitions.
With an ERA over 4 this season, he just isn’t anything to get excited about.
The NL has plenty of young, hungry teams battling for playoff spots, and due to this trade deadline, the Diamondbacks will unfortunately not feature in playoff baseball in 2018.