With dust still settling over the MLB trade deadline and predicted spate of last-minute moves, it’s only fitting that we ask Who will be the teams that will see the return on all this backroom negotiation?. Since much of the horse trade was stemmed by the Juan Soto saga, deals across the league may not have been as big as they would have been had it been traded earlier.
Last season, the moves made by deadline secured a roster that would eventually lift a fairly average Atlanta Braves team to World Series champions. A similar hope rests on the San Diego Padres after they landed what could be the biggest deal of all in the double whammy of Soto and Josh Bell from Washington.
There are six teams that are in the best postseason form so far and whose future will depend on the deals that are struck. Let’s start with this big thing in San Diego.
San Diego Padres
There is no doubt at all the The biggest winners in the 2022 Trade Deadline Shuffle are the San Diego Padres. Not only did they land two of the league’s biggest bats when they landed the coup of throwing Josh Bell into Juan Soto’s package, but they did They managed to nab Josh Hader, perhaps the top pitcher in baseball.
The Padres went from a long-distance run in the NL West to a post-season contender in the space of two days. They should at least grab a wild card spot, even if the Dodgers are too far ahead to realistically pursue, but here’s the spot Her newly revived lineup was to pay off for her. In September and beyond, the Padres will have one of the strongest offenses in baseball and real depth added to an already strong bullpen. You might have a long ride ahead of you in the late season, maybe even do the same big trick as Atlanta did last season and trade their way into the World Series.
The defending champions are a team that has lost out in the trade wars by comparison. Just two weeks ago they had very few needs and looked like a serious contender for the NL pennant in October. Fast forward and an injury-weakened outfield and a gap left by Ozzie Albies in center infield jumps the Braves onto the trade radar.
They managed to pick it up Robbie Grossman continues to help her outfield and Jake Odorizzi puts a solid arm in her bullpenbut none of their moves were earth-shattering, and nowhere near the lineup that got them into last season’s back nine.
They found a familiar face He brought back Ehire Adrianza from the Nationals and locked Austin Riley to a career contract, but essentially the Braves’ chances are no better now than they were last week, and given some improvement in the National League, that’s worrying. They should still make the playoffs, but their hill to climb is significantly steeper than before.
It’s a different story for the other team in last year’s Fall Classic. The Astros were going into the second half of the season as one of the strongest teams in baseball, looking for a strong contender to represent the American League in the World Series. They had three obvious needs that they wanted to act on and they addressed all of them, making them big winners in these negotiations.
Trey Mancini is a big at-bat at first base, adding to an already amazing offense, but The greatest need they filled was behind the plate. With Martin Maldonado solid behind the plate but disastrously weak with the racquet and Jason Castro just as flaky and picking up in the opposite direction The Red Sox’s Christian Vásquez is the move that should give this Astros lineup the best bang for the buck.
Jake Odorizzi’s last-minute trade for Will Smith gives the Astros a helper from the left side of the bowl to add spice to a strong bullpen, something that will be of great help in the months to come.
Los Angeles Dodgers
With one of the strongest batting commands in baseball, the Dodgers walk away with the National League West, and much of the fandom’s focus has lent even more power to this offense. That’s the attitude they picked up Joey Gallo from the Yankees, and while that may cause groans on the West Coast and cheers in the Bronx, there’s reason to be cautiously positive about the move.
Gallo has shown since his days in Texas that he can be a powerful weapon, and while New York’s pressure cooker didn’t suit him at all, leaving his batting average so low that some wondered why he’s even still in the majors, he might be able to return to his prolific environment like Los Angeles. Let’s be realistic He will always be just a supporting actorbut the Yankees require their three fielders plus DH to be their top four players in the country and that kind of expectation would never work with Joey. In contrast, in LA, the order in power hitters is so deep that anything he can add will add spice to the gumbo.
New York Yankees
The biggest win the pinstripes made was in Grabbing Frankie Montas from the A’s. He came as a two-fer deal with Lou Trivino and made their one-two combo deal nearly as big as the Padres Soto Bell packet. The Yankees desperately needed help with their rotation, and Montas is one of the best starters in the game.
They also contributed to their coup on the hill huge piece of offensive production in Andrew Benintendi, so their racket woes are likely to resolve in the coming days. Gallo’s move to LA clears a spot on the lineup where Benintendi’s solid production will add to the incredible power run Aaron Judge is on at the moment. All in all, the Yankees emerge as clear winners.
New York Mets
For a team with a new owner and a desire to spend money, the lack of serious acquisitions means that although they are still three and a half games clear at the top of the NL East, her position will not get any better than what she already was. They should still make the playoffs and be as strong a team as they were before, but if you’ve been looking for that big signing to take them to the top, forget it.
With the Braves hot on their heels and the Padres getting significantly stronger, The Mets are unlikely to win the pennant this season.
There are a few other teams that have won big in the trade negotiations, and not all are as clear cut and obvious. The Cincinnati Reds managed to emerge as the overall winner in the long runby selling instead of buying. They made huge returns for two of the game’s best pitchers, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, with each trade involving multiple infielders, pitchers and players yet to be named, as well as cash considerations that will set the Reds up for three or four years to come. Offloading Tommy Pham gives them a future pick for the Red Sox. That’s a big win for an aging player on a short contract.
The St. Louis Cardinals are also coming out of those deals a little better, and by adding Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton to their rotation, they’ve nailed it should be able to push past the Brewers in the NL Central go to the playoffs. Sometimes the smart move is the slow one.