The MLB trade deadline has once again come and gone, but not without a flurry of moves being made. Some teams who are right in the thick of things enhanced themselves, while others simply did not make the necessary moves that will land them one step closer to the ultimate prize in the game: a World Series ring. Let’s take a look at the top three winners of the trade deadline.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are not only aiming to make a push at one of the two wild cards spots in the AL, but the AL East as well. Toronto currently sits six games behind the New York Yankees in the division and just one game behind the Minnesota Twins in the wild card. The addition of Troy Tulowitzki was a major move and now they have one of the best shortstops and players in the game today, when healthy. He has a slash line of .303/.350/.481 to go with 13 home runs and 56 RBIS. In his first game north of the border, he went 3-5 with a home run, three RBIs, three runs scored and three extra base hits. Talk about a stellar debut. The Jays also went out and got an ace in David Price from the Detroit Tigers. However, the addition of Price comes with a catch in that he is basically a rental player as he becomes a free agent after the season and will likely seek max dollars from someone. As for on the field this year, he is 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 138 strikeouts. He has a career record of 95-55 and a career ERA of 3.91. The Jays needed an ace and got one in Price. Those weren’t the only deals Toronto was able to pull off. They acquired LaTroy Hawkins in the Tulowitzki deal and also got another piece of bullpen help in Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners. Lowe is throwing the ball well this year and has an ERA of 1.00. Toronto also got a quality player from the Philadelphia Phillies in Ben Revere, who can be a starter in the outfield or come off the bench, which is needed heading towards October.
If you would have told anyone who follows the MLB closely two years ago that the Houston Astros (who lost 111 games that year) would be in first place in the AL West, they would have looked at you as if you had three heads. What this team has been able to do this season with the young core they have is not only great for the organization and the city of Houston, but for baseball as well. The Astros didn’t make a ton of deals, but got quality players. They acquired veteran pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics. Mix him in with the stellar young pitching that’s already there and you have increased chances of making the postseason for the first time in a decade. Kazmir doesn’t have a dominant record this season as he is 6-5, but does have an ERA of 2.10, a WHIP of 1.04 and 109 strikeouts. After the New York Mets deal for Carlos Gomez fell through, Houston swooped in and made a deal for Gomez with the Milwaukee Brewers. Gomez is a veteran who can help this lineup and play the outfield. He is hitting .258 with eight home runs, 43 RBIs, an OBP of .328 and a slugging percentage of .423. He will be able to take advantage of the short porch in left field.
New York Mets
The Mets had a deal for Gomez, but that did not happen as originally planned. Next they targeted Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds, but couldn’t get a deal that would afford Bruce. So then at the last minute, the Mets and Tigers struck a deal that sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Big Apple. Cespedes is a guy who can fill a void in the Mets lineup and he can serve as protector of Lucas Duda in that lineup as Duda hasn’t really been pitched to over the last two months. The Mets were also able to make a deal with the Athletics for reliever Tyler Clippard, someone who will help the bullpen down the stretch. The Mets sit two games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East and 3.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the wild card race.
St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Dodgers