MLB Musings: Trade Deadline 2018 – AL Edition

Alas, after a whirlwind of a couple of weeks that saw MLB teams make a ton of moves, the 2018 trade deadline has finally come and gone. I don’t know how this deadline compared to years past, and frankly I’m too lazy to look, but it seems like a lot of moves were made. We compiled all of the moves here that the contenders made to sure up their clubs and gave out totally unbiased, professional opinions on them. Cool, right? No? Alright, fine.

Anyway, this morning, we kicked off things by taking a look at the deadline action in the National League. Now, we take a look at the movin’ a shakin’ that occurred in the American League.

Note: All teams are listen in the order in which they currently reside within their own division.

 

AL East 

 

Boston Red Sox 

Acquired starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi from the Rays for pitcher Jalen Beeks

Acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Angels for pitchers Williams Jerez & Ty Buttrey

Overview: Red Sox President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowski, by his own admission, has kind of painted himself into a corner. Boston severely lacks the prospect capital that many trade partners covet at the deadline, so his options were sort of limited. Luckily for he and Red Sox Nation, they really don’t need much. Injuries have hit Boston’s rotation hard, so Nathan Eovaldi was a welcome addition and should provide quality innings down the stretch. Ian Kinsler, while not the bat he used to be, helps to salve the loss of Dustin Pedroia. Overall, considering what they had to work with, Boston improved their club as best they could. 

 

New York Yankees

Acquired starter JA Happ from the Blue Jays for infielder Brandon Drury & outfielder Billy McKinney

Acquired pitcher Lance Lynn from the Twins for first baseman Tyler Austin

Acquired first baseman Luke Voit from the Cardinals for relievers Chase Shreve & Giovanny Gallegos

Acquired reliever Zach Britton from the Orioles for pitchers Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers

Overview: The Yankees seemingly were “in” on every player traded at or near the deadline and ended up making a handful of moves. JA Happ will add another veteran option for the rotation, while rental lefty reliever Zach Britton should be able to pair with closer Aroldis Chapman to form quite the formidable duo for late in games. Lance Lynn, another savvy veteran, provides flexibility to get some starts or be the long man out of the pen. Like Boston, the Yankees were fine tuning rather than making moves for large impact. 

 

AL Central

 

Cleveland Indians

Acquired relievers Brad Hand & Adam Cimber from the Padres for catcher Francisco Mejia

Acquired outfielder Leonys Martin and pitcher Kyle Dowdy from the Tigers for infielder Willi Castro

Overview: The Hand deal was one of the first major dominoes to fall on the trade market. The bullpen was their biggest weakness, so that deal made a ton of sense. With the outfield being their other glaring weakness, Cleveland waited until just before the deadline to grab Martin from Detroit He should greatly improve their production in center field, which has been a big problem to this point. The Indians will probably win the central by 20 games, so they can turn their attention to the gauntlet that will be the American League playoffs. 

 

AL West 

 

Houston Astros

Acquired reliever Roberto Osuna from the Blue Jays for pitchers Ken Giles, Hector Perez & David Paulino

Acquired reliever Ryan Pressley from the Twins for outfielder Gillberto Celestino and pitcher Jorge Alcala

Acquired catcher Martin Maldonado from the Angels for pitcher Patrick Sandoval and $250K in international pool money

Overview: In what was absolutely the most controversial move at or near the deadline, Houston made headlines when they acquired the currently suspended Osuna from Toronto. The Jays were openly shopping the talented young closer as he’s been serving a 75 game suspension for violation of the league’s policy against domestic violence. It was a bold move from a PR perspective, but a no-brainer on the field as the back end of the bullpen is the only weakness on what is otherwise an absolutely stacked roster. Ryan Pressley is a quality reliever who will also lend toward the effort of suring up the back end of the game, while Maldonado is one of the best defensive catchers in all of baseball. Houston got better on the field, but at what cost? 

 

Seattle Mariners

Acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Marlins for infielder Bryan Brigman and $250K of international pool money

Acquired reliever Adam Warren from the Yankees for international bonus pool allocations

Acquired reliever Zach Duke from the Twins for pitchers Chase De Jong & Ryan Costello

Acquired reliever Sam Tuivailala from the Cardinals for pitcher Seth Elledge

Overview: Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto is one of the most active, aggressive executives in the game when it comes to making deals to benefit his team. With that in mind, all of his moves at this deadline could be categorized as understated. Warren, Duke and Tuivailala will all certainly help to bolster what has been an iffy bullpen, and Maybin is a flexible outfield option who can play all three positions well while add solid speed. There’s no way Seattle catches the Astros for the division title, but an AL Wild Card birth is squarely in their sights. 

 

Oakland Athletics

Acquired reliever Jeurys Familia from the Mets third baseman William Toffey, pitcher Bobby Wahl & $1MM in international bonus money

Overview: The A’s did just this one thing… And, well, they gave up some things to do it? Oakland seems fairly unlikely to make the playoffs and Familia was a pure rental, so this was a little bit of a head scratching move. He will help them for the rest of the season for sure, but with Oakland not pulling the trigger on anything else, you have to ask yourself if they jumped the gun on this one thinking they would do more and it just didn’t work out. 

 

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