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3 Winners and 3 Losers From the 2020 MLB Trade Deadline
In case you weren’t aware that 2020 has been a peculiar year, just look at what happened in the hours preceding Monday’s MLB Trade Deadline. While notable contenders like the Yankees and Braves mysteriously stood pat, the Marlins and Blue Jays turned into buyers.
The Dodgers failed to bring any big names aboard, while the Padres stayed busy and received a serious boost.
Who were the biggest winners and losers of the MLB Trade Deadline?
Let’s take a look.
Winner – San Diego Padres
The cherry on top for Padres GM A.J. Preller was landing the most coveted starter who was available – Mike Clevinger. With that being said, San Diego initiated a litany of moves that figure to substantially increase their chances of winning an NL Pennant.
Jason Castro and Austin Nola shore things up at the backstop position, while Trevor Rosenthal is a proven commodity that strengthens the bullpen. Adding 1B Mitch Moreland gives Jayce Tingler a powerful left-handed bat in to plug into the middle of his lineup – one that already leads the majors in slugging and ranks 2nd in home runs.
Watch out of the Friars to make some serious noise in October.
Winner – Oakland A’s
Already out in front of the AL West standings, the A’s were hoping to land a reliable second baseman. They did just that – plucking Tommy La Stella from the Angels in exchange for a guy who’s a career .180 hitter.
Rather than stop there, David Forst decided to roll the dice on Mike Minor.
The left-handed starter has regressed sincerely after an outstanding campaign in 2019, but perhaps the change of scenery is exactly what Minor needed. The A’s GM certainly feels as though adding the southpaw will be crucial to his team’s future success.
Winner – Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays recognized an opportunity to close the gap between them and the Yankees, and that’s exactly what they achieved thanks to their concentrated aggression leading into the deadline.
I’m not a huge fan of acquiring Robbie Ray, although a hard-throwing lefty who can strike out batters could come in handy in October. On the other hand, trading for Taijuan Walker and Ross Stripling could pay massive dividends down the stretch.
Walker shined in his debut in Buffalo hurling six scoreless innings while Stripling is just one year removed from being an invaluable piece to the Dodgers staff.
Aside from bolstering the rotation, Toronto also scooped up Jonathan Villar from the Marlins. The MLB’s leader in stolen bases will fill in at SS until Bo Bichette returns, and from there will evolve into a key role player. Villar’s ability to play just about everywhere on the diamond adds to his resourcefulness.
Loser – New York Yankees
Staring up at the Rays in the standings and battered by injuries, it seems inconceivable that Brian Cashman would stand pat when a flurry of moves around him were being made.
Once a distinguishably potent lineup is playing without the services of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton (surprise, surprise). We don’t know when Gleyber Torres is going to return or how effective he’ll be, and then there’s the pitching.
It looks like Aaron Boone is intent on trusting the likes of Jordan Montgomery and J.A. Happ come playoff time – which is quite surprising when names like Lance Lynn and Mike Clevinger were there for the taking.
Loser – Atlanta Braves
Just like the Yankees, we figured to see Atlanta shopping for at least one legitimate starting pitcher. Instead, they went after Tommy Milone – a dude sporting a 5.68 ERA this season and someone who just got annihilated in his first game with the Braves.
Losing Mike Soroka to a torn Achilles left a massive hole at the top of Atlanta’s rotation, and don’t expect Cole Hamels to fill that void anytime soon.
Snitker said Hamels is feeling good but is still "a little ways" from getting off the mound.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 18, 2020
Asked if Hamels could make a regular season start if he throws off the mound by Sept. 1, Snitker said, "That I don't know. I hope so."
Felix Hernandez opted out and Sean Newcomb was so disappointing he had to be optioned down to their alternative training site. Alex Anthopoulos had the chance to pull the trigger on Joe Musgrove and could have inquired about Dylan Bundy or Trevor Bauer.
I’m left scratching my head as to why the Braves weren’t more assertive.
Loser – Minnesota Twins
The White Sox are built for the long haul and the Indians don’t seem to be going anywhere. The Twins are hitting a paltry .236 as a team and suddenly lack pop outside of Nelson Cruz’s bat.
Adding nothing to their roster in advance of Monday certainly qualifies the Twinkies as one of the losers of the MLB Trade Deadline.
Minnesota could have sought out a catcher considering how poorly Mitch Garver and Alex Avila have played. We saw Starling Marte change teams, and Jose Martinez was out there for the taking.
The Twins rank dead last in the Majors with just seven stolen bases and they didn’t even attempt to lure in speedster Jarrod Dyson. To make matters worse, they watched the AL Central-leading Chi Sox nab him from the Pirates.
If you predicted the White Sox would emerge from this division, Minnesota didn’t do anything that should change your mind.