MLB Musings: Trade Deadline 2018 – NL 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’ll kick things off by seeing what moves the National League contenders made in order to try to achieve October glory. This afternoon, be on the lookout for the American League to take their turn.

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

 

NL East 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 

Acquired infielder Asdrubel Cabrera from the Mets for pitcher Franklyn Kilome

Acquired catcher Wilson Ramos from the Rays for a player to be named later or cash considerations

Acquired reliever Aaron Loup from the Blue Jays for pitcher Jacob Waguespack

Overview: The Phillies fanbase was not too happy when they missed out on the Manny Machado sweepstakes a couple of weeks back. Asdrubel Cabrera is a solid, versatile player, but Machado he is not. Wilson Ramos returns to the NL East where he spent the better part of seven seasons as the primary starting catcher for the Nationals. Overall, the Phillies made moderate but underwhelming upgrades to their young core of talent. 

 

Atlanta Braves

Acquired starter Kevin Gausman & reliever Darren O’Day from the Orioles for third baseman Juan-Carlos Encarnacion, starter Bruce Zimmerman, reliever Evan Phillips, catcher Brett Cumberland and $2.5 MM in international bonus pool money

Acquired outfielder Adam Duvall from the Reds for pitchers Lucas Sims & Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker

Acquired reliever Brad Brach from the Orioles for $250K in international bonus pool money

Acquired reliever Jonny Venters from the Rays for $250K in international bonus pool money

Overview: Braves first year GM Alex Anthopoulos set out to upgrade Atlanta’s bullpen, rotation and bench and seemingly did all three. They were in on the Chris Archer sweepstakes, although later Anthopoulos said their involvement was overstated, and ended up with a solid middle of the rotation arm in Gausman. Brach and Venters are unexciting options, but they still serve as an upgrade over the beleaguered middle relief arms that Atlanta has been using of late. Acquiring Adam Duvall allows the Braves to bench the struggling Ender Inciarte against left handers, which is a plus. 

 

NL Central

 

Chicago Cubs 

Acquired starter Cole Hamels from the Rangers for pitchers Eddie Butler & Rollie Lacy

Acquired reliever Jesse Chavez from the Rangers for pitcher Tyler Thomas

Acquired reliever Brandon Kintzler from the Nationals for pitcher Jhon Romero

Overview: While Hamels is the “big” addition here, Kintzler might end up being the best piece the Cubs acquired. Hamels could, and probably should benefit from getting away from the launching pad that is Globe Life Park, but Wrigley isn’t exactly a pitchers paradise either. Still, Hamels brings postseason experience and success, and hopefully for the Cubbies moving to a legitimate contender will rejuvenate the veteran. 

 

Milwaukee Brewers

Acquired third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Royals for outfielder Brett Phillips & pitcher Jorge Lopez

Acquired reliever Joakim Soria from the White Sox for pitchers Kodi Medeiros & Wilber Perez

Acquired infielder Jonathan Schoop from the Orioles for infielders Jonathan Villar & Jean Carmona and pitcher Luis Ortiz

Overview: Another team who missed out on the Machado sweepstakes, the Brewers settled on consolation prize Mike Moustakas. To accommodate Moose, Milwaukee has shifted third baseman Travis Shaw to third where they believe he can be adequate defensively. Time will tell if that’s the case. Elsewhere, Jonathan Schoop will provide flexibility elsewhere on the infield, and veteran reliever Joakim Soria brings a wealth of experience and has been very good this season. 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

Acquired starter Chris Archer from the Rays for outfielder Austin Meadows, pitcher Tyler Glasnow and a player to be named later

Acquired reliever Keone Kela from the Rangers for pitcher Taylor Hearne

Overview: Perhaps the most surprising “buyer” at the deadline as they sit just four games above .500, the Pirates dead very unlike the Pirates things by acquiring two really solid pieces. Archer, widely considered to be the best pitcher on the market, comes to Pittsburgh while under contract for three more years (Kela is under team control for two more), so these moves will pay dividends for the Buccos in the future even if they don’t make the playoffs this season. 

 

NL West 

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

Acquired second baseman Brian Dozier from the Twins for infield Logan Forsythe, pitcher Devin Smeltzer & IF/OF Luke Raley

Acquired infielder Manny Machado from the Orioles for outfielder Yusniel Diaz, pitchers Dean Kremer & Zach Pop and infielders Rylan Bannon & Breyvic Valera

Acquired reliever John Axford from the Blue Jays for pitcher Corey Copping

Overview: The Dodgers had already acquired the biggest name to move in Machado, but they didn’t rest until adding a little more thump to their infield and another veteran arm to the pen. Dozier’s power numbers are down in 2018, but he’s still a marked improvement over the outgoing Logan Forsythe and the Dodgers, on paper at least, have solidified themselves as the favorite to win the National League and return to the World Series. 

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

Acquired third baseman Eduardo Escobar for pitchers Jhoan Duran & outfielders Ernie De La Trinidad and Gabriel Maciel

Acquired reliever Matt Andriese from the Rays for catcher Michael Perez & pitcher Brian Shaffer

Acquired reliever Brad Ziegler from the Marlins for reliever Tommy Eveld

Acquired reliever Jake Diekman from the Rangers for pitcher Wei-Chieh Huang

Overview: While none of the moves that Arizona made were particularly sexy, GM Mike Hazen really worked all the angles in trying to improve his club. Escobar was having a very solid season in Minnesota, and the Snakes added a ton of bullpen depth to their club. All in all, while nothing was splashy, I’d say the Diamondbacks did a nice job of boosting their postseason chances while surrendering very little. 

 

Colorado Rockies

Acquired reliever Seunghwan Oh from the Blue Jays for first basemen Chad Spanberger & Sean Bouchard and IF/OF Forrest Wall

Overview: Sort of the anti-Diamondbacks, the Rockies made simply the one move to acquire the solid Oh from the Blue Jays. While he’s nothing to sneeze at, with the moves that were made by Arizona and Los Angeles, one can’t help but feel like Colorado will be left behind. 

 

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