The MLB playoffs have arrived and baseball is at its annual peak. It certainly was a fascinating pennant race down the stretch as the Cubs collapsed down the stretch, opening the door for a Brewers NL Central win and the Rockies managed to squeak in as a wild card after just coming up short in dethroning the heavily favored Dodgers for the NL West title.
It is also a time for 20 teams who failed to reach the postseason to focus on next season and see what can be improved upon. The Baltimore Orioles are in a position where they need a lot of upgrades at many positions both on and off the field. A team like the Arizona Diamondbacks are looking for just a few pieces to fill here and there to make a serious playoff run in 2019. But what about the trade deadline? What happened there for some of these teams?
The MLB trade deadline can be full of surprises. It can be a win for some teams if they get a big time piece like the Dodgers did with Manny Machado. It can also be a time where the team feels like their move was a huge waste of time such as the Red Sox acquiring Eric Gagne in 2007. What was the trade deadline like for some teams in 2018? Did some moves pan out and did some not meet expectations? Of course! So why not dig a little deeper into those moves? Let's look at 10 MLB trade deadline moves that were wastes and 10 that actually worked.
20 Bust: Chris Archer To The Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates were looking for a pitcher at the trade deadline that could help them compete for the postseason in 2018 and get them a top end rotation piece for 2019. One name that enticed the Pirates interest was Chris Archer. Archer is a two time All-Star that has spent his entire career with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays surprisingly let go of Archer and off he went to Pittsburgh. His numbers were not great as he was 3-3 with the Pirates with a 4.30 ERA.
The Pirates will have to hope Archer returns to his All-Star form next season. As far as this season goes, he was a waste.
19 Worked: Kevin Gausman To The Braves
The Atlanta Braves are becoming known as the "Baby Braves". These young players lifted the Braves to a National League East crown far earlier than many would have expected. Another guy that helped them was Kevin Gausman, who they got from the Orioles at the deadline. Gausman was seen as a veteran presence that could help the Braves staff toward the end of the season. He held up his end of the bargain on the mound as he finished with a 5-3 record along with a 2.87 ERA.
Gausman gave the Braves exactly what they were looking for down the stretch and Atlanta will hope to re-sign him this winter.
18 Bust: Jonathan Schoop To The Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers stunned the world of baseball and topped the mighty Cubs for the National League Central crown. With guys like Christian Yelich leading the way, the Brewers turned out to be the surprise team of the NL.
The Brewers wanted to be buyers at the deadline and they went out and got Jonathan Schoop from Baltimore.
Schoop was an All-Star in 2017 and the Brewers needed a second baseman at the time to end the Travis Shaw experiment. Schoop was not a huge piece as he hit .202 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 46 regular season games with the Brewers.
17 Worked: Tommy Pham To The Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays were a surprise team in the MLB as they finished above .500 at 89-73. The only problem is that they just so happened to be in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees, who had the two best records in the MLB. The Rays have put themselves in a good position next season to compete. One move at the deadline they made was getting outfield help in Tommy Pham from the Cardinals.
In 39 games for the Rays, Pham hit an eye-opening .343 with seven home runs and 22 RBI's.
Pham can be a huge help to the Rays next year as they will continue to battle in a suddenly very competitive AL East.
16 Bust: Brandon Kintzler To The Cubs
The Cubs season ended in a thud. In their NL Central tiebreaker with Milwaukee and their marathon Wild Card game against Colorado, the Cubs could only muster up two runs in 22 innings. Jon Lester gave them every opportunity to win in the N.L. Wild Card game against the Colorado Rockies. One move that the Cubs made that they thought would help was getting Brandon Kintzler from the Nationals. Kintzler did not have the best half season with the Cubs as he was 2-1, but his ERA was an even 7.00, not ideal.
With Kintzler being a free agent, he's likely leaving Chicago and it definitely wasn't the production the Cubs were looking for from a deadline pickup.
15 Worked: Wilson Ramos To The Phillies
Sometimes, MLB teams just need a catcher that can handle pitching staffs. That seemed to be the case for Wilson Ramos who was coming from the Tampa Bay Rays. Ramos was also a pleasant surprise at the plate as he hit .337 with a home run and 17 RBIs. Although the power numbers were not present, Ramos seemed to be hitting for average very well for a Phillies squad that could use a veteran boost in their lineup.
The Phillies ended up finishing under .500 for the season, but Wilson Ramos could be huge for them next season if they re-sign him, handling with likes of Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, and the rest of the Phillies pitching staff.
14 Bust: Brad Ziegler To The Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in an interesting situation. They are a good team, but not a great team yet. They were in postseason contention until the very last week of the season. One move they made at the trade deadline that seemed to not work as well as they had hoped was Brad Ziegler.
Ziegler was entering his second stint with the Diamondbacks after starting the season with the Miami Marlins.
Brad Ziegler was very average with a 1-1 record along with a 3.74 ERA. Ziegler is unique with his delivery which should help any bullpen. However this time, he was a waste for the Diamondbacks to acquire at the trade deadline.
13 Worked: Ian Kinsler To The Red Sox
This next move did exactly what Boston expected. The Red Sox had it all going this season (maybe besides their bullpen), but they needed a replacement at second base for Dustin Pedroia. They went out and got Ian Kinsler from the Los Angeles Angels and he has been pretty consistent. Kinsler only hit .242 in the regular season for the Red Sox, but he has given them reliability at second base that they haven't had with Pedroia over the past few seasons. Kinsler would definitely be worth bringing back for 2019 if he takes a reasonable one-year deal with Boston.
12 Bust: Leonys Martin To The Indians
The Cleveland Indians were looking for some outfield help to assist them in their quest to get back to the World Series for the second time in three seasons. One interesting choice they came up with was acquiring Leonys Martin from the Detroit Tigers. He only played in six games with the Indians and had 15 plate appearances. He did hit .333, with little power to add to the equation.
The Indians outfield already has Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis, and Melky Cabrera. Cleveland going and getting Martin for depth was a waste and they could've instead went for some more pitching depth.
11 Worked: Mike Moustakas To The Brewers
Mike Moustakas knows what it takes to win a World Series title as he had that feeling backing in October of 2015. The Royals core has long since been moved to several other teams and the Brewers took another piece from that core in Moustakas, at the trade deadline.
The Brewers figured this would be a win for them as they get a corner infielder with postseason and veteran experience.
Moustakas hit .256 with eight home runs and 33 RBIs in his short time in Milwaukee and helped the Brewers steal the NL Central from Chicago. Safe to say, this deal worked.
10 Bust: Adam Duvall To The Braves
Like mentioned before, the "Baby Braves" were trying anything and everything possible to put their team in the best position to win the National League East division. The Braves went out and got Adam Duvall from the Cincinnati Reds at the deadline. Duvall was a 2016 All-Star with the Reds, but other than that, he has not done much in his MLB career. Duvall hit a putrid .132 average along with having a .193 OBP in 33 games with the Braves.
Duvall simply added nothing to the Braves lineup and looking back on it, the Braves probably wish they just stood pat.
9 Worked: Ryan Pressly To The Astros
The Houston Astros came out on top as World Series champions in 2017, and are looking to do the same in 2018. The Astros went out and go help with their bullpen at the deadline by getting guys like closer Roberto Osuna. One guy that does not get talked about enough is Ryan Pressly.
Pressly was traded from the Twins to the Astros and the Astros got a lot of good out of the deal.
Pressly in 26 games for the Astros had a 0.77 ERA, which is impressive to say the least. Pressly could be a huge factor out of the bullpen for the Astros going forward. He's eligible for salary arbitration this winter and the Astros should definitely keep him on the roster for 2019.
8 Bust: Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phillies
The Phillies will be looking forward to the 2019 season for a variety of reasons. Asdrubal Cabrera was acquired from the Mets to help give the Phillies some depth help. However, Asdrubal Cabrera was not anywhere close to what the Phillies were hoping for. In 49 games, Cabrera hit .228 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. The Phillies are young and exciting and adding the right veteran players in the offseason can help.
Cabrera will definitely not be one of those pieces going forward. With his contract expiring, the Phillies will likely let him walk, making this summer acquisition an overall disappointment.
7 Worked: J.A. Happ To The Yankees
The New York Yankees starting pitching coming into the regular season was questionable. They had Luis Severino, but then after that, they were all suspect, especially with Sonny Gray's continued struggles. They went out at the trade deadline and acquired J.A. Happ at the trade deadline.
The Happ deal is turning out to be one of the more beneficial ones in the league. Happ was 7-0 in the regular season with the Yankees with a 2.69 ERA.
The Yankees should definitely do what they can to bring Happ back next season, as he really helped balance out their starting rotation.
6 Bust: Nathan Eovaldi To The Red Sox
The Red Sox not going to be outdone for adding depth to their starting pitching. The only problem the Red Sox had is their shortage of reliable right-handed starting pitching besides Rick Porcello. The Red Sox went out and got Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays.
When healthy, Eovaldi can throw in the high 90s with a devastating slider to add. He wasn't that great as he was 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA.
He did have a few quality starts when the Red Sox faced the Yankees throughout the course of the regular season. But the Red Sox's Achilles heel remained their pitching down the stretch.
5 Worked: Cole Hamels To The Cubs
The Cubs needed to add somebody to replace Yu Darvish when he went down. The Cubs went out and acquired left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers. Hamels was a three time All-Star when he was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies to start out his career. He gave the Cubs exactly what they needed as he finished with a 4-3 record with a 2.36 ERA to match.
While the Cubs' offense let them down in their playoff game, Hamels did his part. And the good news is, the Cubs have a club option to bring Hamels back in 2019, which they should. Hamels will be essential to the Cubs getting back to the playoffs next season.
4 Bust: Andrew McCutchen To The Yankees
Andrew McCutchen was a long time Pittsburgh Pirate before being dealt to the San Francisco Giants in the offseason. McCutchen probably didn't realize that he would be traded again as he was acquired for outfield help with the Yankees when Aaron Judge went down. Now that Judge is back and healthy, McCutchen does not really need to be a part of the Yankees roster.
Sure, he hit .253 and played decently enough in the outfield. But, with Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Brett Gardner to control the outfield, McCutchen is no longer needed. The Yankees could've held on to the assets they gave up for McCutchen and still would be just fine.
3 Worked: Manny Machado To The Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers found themselves being one of the best teams in the MLB in the first half of the season. They also wanted to upgrade to bring themselves one step closer to a World Series title, which they were one game away from last season. The Dodgers made a huge splash and got Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles. Machado is in the prime of his career at age 25.
With the Dodgers in 66 games, he hit .273 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs.
Machado gave the Dodgers what they wanted, but the crucial part will be for the Dodgers to win it all this time and for Machado to return next season.
2 Bust: Brian Dozier To The Dodgers
As great of a move as getting Manny Machado was, getting Brian Dozier was not as good. Dozier was acquired by the Dodgers after spending his entire career as a Minnesota Twin. Dozier was known as a big power bat at the second base position and the Dodgers were hoping he would hit well in their pursuit toward another World Series appearance. In 47 games, Dozier hit .182 with five home runs and 20 RBIs. Dozier had been having a down season even before heading to Los Angeles. Acquiring him wasn't exactly a difference maker in the Dodgers' quest to repeat as NL Champions.
1 Worked: Zach Britton To The Yankees
The Yankees have been looking for that dominant closer since the Mariano Rivera days. The Yankees do have Aroldis Chapman but he has not been performing like he has in year's past. The Yankees went out and got Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles. Britton was a great pickup to add to an already very good Yankees bullpen. The two time All-Star left-handed closer had a 2.88 ERA for the Yankees in 25 games.
If the Yankees decide to keep him past this season, he can be a steady hand in the Yankees' bullpen, especially if Chapman doesn't return to form.