MLB’s trade deadlines in the past few seasons have really spoiled us as fans of the league. The sudden unprecedented moves, gargantuan blockbuster deals, and assembling of unbeatable superteams (check: 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers) have made us feel entitled to some entertainment every time the trade deadline rolls around.
But this bubble has been broken by the 2022 trade deadline, which has been a largely uneventful affair. Perhaps this is because of the new playoff format, which has added an extra wildcard team in the playoffs for each league. As a result, more teams are still in the hunting for the playoffs, and therefore less willing to give up their major pieces.
Let’s remember though, that there is still one more day left before the trade deadline. We could still see some MAJOR moves (*cough cough* Juan Soto *cough cough*) tomorrow, and I have a feeling we will.
We all look forward to what tomorrow will bring, but we do have plenty of trades to analyze already, so let’s get started! Let me warn you, some of these are pretty huge.
1. Yankees get their No.2 starter, A’s sell their final piece
New York Yankees – A
Oakland Athletics – A
It hurts to say as a Red Sox fan, but the New York Yankees have been on an absolute tear this season. The only piece they have been missing is a strong No.2 starter to follow after Gerrit Cole. Naturally, their first choice was Luis Castillo, but after the Mariners snapped him up, Montas was their best remaining option. They had to let go of three of their best pitching prospects to secure the deal, but were able to hang on to Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, and Jasson Dominguez which is a remarkable feat. Overall, this is an incredible move for the Yankees.
Montas has been a silver lining in an otherwise disappointing Oakland squad. Oakland is going through a rebuild, and the pitching prospects will help them much more in the long run than Montas would’ve been able to as a lone warrior this season. Ken Waldichuk, especially, has a shot at making the majors in the upcoming seasons, and could be a real asset for the Athletics in years to come. This trade is the definition of a win-win, and both sides should be quite happy with their hauls.
2. Playoff Contending Brewers Trade Their Star Closer, Padres Free Up Roster Spots
Milwaukee Brewers: A
San Diego Padres: B
At first look, this trade may be extremely surprising. Josh Hader has been one of the very best relievers in the past decade if not the best, and he has certainly carried the Brewers to many victories. However, his form has dipped recently and the emergence of 2020 NL Rookie Of The Year Devin Williams (who hasn’t given up a single homerun all year and is maintaining an ungodly ERA of 1.59) means that he will probably take Hader’s spot as the closer, ensuring the Brewers’ bullpen doesn’t suffer. Young outfielder Esteury Ruiz could also create an immediate impact with his immaculate speed and baserunning skills. Finally, starter Dinelson Lamet hasn’t been performing too well recently but perhaps the Brewers could bring him back to his elite standards in 2020 where he had an outstanding ERA+ of 2020. Overall, this is a really good trade for the Brewers which could be pivotal in their run for the World Series this year.
The San Diego Padres may have given up 4 quality players, but they’re getting an absolute superstar in return. Josh Hader will immediately take the closer spot in San Diego, and add strength to their bullpen. The Padres have recently switched to the philosophy of assembling a star-studded team, and this move fits perfectly in line with that. Additionally, they have now freed up 3 roster spots to potentially be filled up with more trades: maybe even Juan Soto? Overall, this trade is decent for the Padres, but the Brewers might have the slightly better haul.
3. Mariners Get Their Ace, Reds Get Premium Prospects
Seattle Mariners: B*
Cincinnati Reds: A
Luis Castillo was probably the best pitcher on the trade block this season, and the Mariners have pulled all their strings to get him. Seattle is really making a push for World Series glory this year, and having Castillo as their ace will help them in a winner-takes-all wildcard game (which looks quite probable for them). There’s not much to say here: Castillo is a winner, Mariners want to win. Simple as that.
The Reds are going through a rebuild, and had no real need for a superstar like Castillo in their team. What they did need is a premium infield prospect like Noelvi Marte who is ranked No.17 on MLB pipeline’s Top 100 prospects list. He is probably the best prospect that will be traded this season, and Cincinnati fans will be eager to see how he progresses. The other pieces they received – pitching prospects Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore, and infielder Edwin Arroyo – are also promising and might pay off in the long run.
4. Yankees Get Gallo’s Replacement, Royals Get Star Prospects
New York Yankees: B*
Kansas City Royals: B
This trade is essentially the Yankees admitting that their experiment with Joey Gallo was a failure. Gallo is hitting for an abysmal batting average of .159 with an OPS of just .621 this season, and that simply cannot cut it for the Yankees who have been arguably the best team in the league this year. Benintendi is a massive improvement on Gallo: he is hitting for an average of .311 and an OPS of .773 this year, numbers that should make any Yankees fan happy. The Yankees are on their way to the playoffs, and they’re going to reach there in style.
The Kansas City Royals are non-contenders this year, and a young superstar like Benintendi could probably be better utilized elsewhere. In exchange for their prime outfielder, they’ve received three decent pitching prospects. Beck Way, in particular, may have a bright future. He is currently their No.5 pitching prospect, and this number will only go up. Overall, the trade makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. For the Royals, it is a decent trade but perhaps they could have pushed for a top prospect out of the Yankees’ farm system, perhaps Yoendrys Gomez or Luis Gil.
5. Red Sox Make Some Weird Trades
Boston Red Sox: D
Houston Astros: A
Chicago White Sox: B
The Boston Red Sox have suffered through a horrendous month of July where they just couldn’t win a game to save their lives. This has resulted in them falling to last place in the AL East. Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom may say that they are still hoping to clinch a playoff spot, it doesn’t look likely. Hence, they have decided to trade away one of their best offensive players this season in Christian Vasquez. Vasquez is hitting for an average of .282 and an OPS of .759, which is unreasonably good for the Catcher position that he plays. They received two mid-level prospects in exchange for him, both of whom are quite unlikely to ever make it to the majors. This trade makes no sense for the Red Sox, and it hurts me as a fan to see one of my favourite players being sent away for basically nothing.
The Red Sox’s second weird trade was for Catcher Reese McGuire – the man who was caught masturbating in his car in a public parking lot. Safe to say, he doesn’t bring too much to the table off the field. His output on the field is rather disappointing too. A former first-round pick, McGuire has failed to follow up on his promising 2019 season, and is hitting for an average of .225 with an OPS of .546 this season. Safe to say, he doesn’t even come close to Vasquez in terms of production at the plate. Dispensing Jake Diekman was a good call, but to only get McGuire in return is an absolute joke. The Red Sox are humiliating themselves, and it is difficult to watch. Let’s hope tomorrow is better for the Fenway Faithful, although it doesn’t seem like it will be…