Much Ado About Nothing: The 2016 MLB Trade Deadline Breakdown

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Teams in search of improving their roster had one last, open day to do so yesterday before all trades will be subject to waivers. While the Chicago White Sox did not move the ace that everyone loves talking about, several useful players did change uniformsRick Rowand breaks down the 2016 MLB trade deadline, going through each trade to see how organizations re-shaped their rosters.

The trade deadline has come and gone, ending not with a bang but with a whimper in the estimation of some Red Sox fans. Consummating only a minor deal – trading Pat Light to the Twins for lefty reliever Fernando Abad – most speculation had the Red Sox rumored to be talking today about players such as Chris Sale, Andrew Benintendi, Yoan Moncada, and Jose Quintana.
We understand that tweeting and posting trade rumors, results in more hits for whatever site you work for, but every time I saw, “(Insert team here) is in on Sale” I felt like tweeting the same thing. After all, I just heard the same rumor!

Abad is a solid left-handed reliever who has appeared in 39 games for the Twins this season, posting a K/9 of 7.68. His ERA is 2.65 and he has a BAA of .218, while lefties are only hitting .190 against him this season.

Light is a right-handed reliever who logged 31 innings in 25 games for Pawtucket this season. He recorded an ERA of 2.32, a BAA of .188, and 36 Ks. This seems to be a good trade for the Sox that strengthens their bullpen this season at the expense of a guy who might eventually help the Twins’ pen.

Despite some disappointed trade deadline enthusiasts, giving up the farm – quite literally – for Sale or another pitcher really doesn’t make sense. I know Sale is one of the best pitchers in MLB and that he’s signed for three more years for only $38 million, but some of the packages bandied about for a Sale were nuts. Moncada and Benintendi plus 2-3 more good prospects? That is too hefty of a price to pay. After adjusting to AA pitching, Benintendi is on his way to join the big-league club to presumably play in left field. Meanwhile, Moncada is on a similar path to starting at third.

A deal between the Red Sox and The White Sox had about as much of a chance of happening as Sir Alec Guiness not being the person to push the plunger with his dying breath to blow up the Bridge on the River Kwai.

Around the League

In other trade deadline news, the Reds traded Jay Bruce to the Mets for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell. Bruce departs Cincinnati having spent his entire nine-year career with the Reds. Meanwhile, in a dank and seldom used broom closet, Joey Votto remains curled up in the fetal position whispering,“why not me?” over and over again.

San Francisco acquired reliever Will Smith from the Brewers in exchange for prospects Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac. The Giants also received lefthanded SP Matt Moore from the Rays in return for 3B Matt Duffy and minor leaguers Lucius Fox and Michael Santos.

After the trade sending Jonathan Lucroy to Cleveland was blown up by the catcher, the Indians regrouped, picking up power hitter Brandon Guyer from the Rays for prospects Nathan Lukes and Jhonleider Salinas.

Infielder Steve Pearce returns to Baltimore in a deal that sends catching prospect Jonathan Heim to Tampa. Busy day for the Rays. The Orioles also swapped lefties with the Mariners, sending minor leaguer Ariel Miranda for Wade Miley.

Late on Monday, the Twins traded pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer to the Angels for left-handed starter Hector Santiago and the oft-traded PTBNL.

Perhaps the biggest news of the day came from the West Coast in a trade that involved both of the former Red Sox havens in California. Oakland traded outfielder Josh Reddick and southpaw Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were light on ex-Sox players, in exchange for pitching prospects Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas, and Jharel Cotton.

The A’s also exchanged outfielders with Kansas City, sending Billy Burns in exchange for Brett Eibner.

In another move, the Dodgers traded for Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez, with righty Mike Bolsinger headed to Toronto. The Jays also traded with the Astros for pitcher Scott Feldman.

Earlier this week Yankees GM Brian Cashman was finally let off the leash and off to work he went. In a series of moves, Cashman moved out high salaried veterans while rebuilding the depleted farm system. Previously moving relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, today Cashman capped off a very productive week by trading Carlos Beltran and cash to the Texas Rangers for prospects Dillon Tate, Erik Swanson, and Nick Green. The Yankees also sent pitcher Ivan Nova to the Pirates for two players to be named later.

The Pirates struck a deal with Toronto to acquire right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchinson in exchange for pitcher Francisco Liriano, along with two prospects, including highly rated OF Harold Ramirez.

In a move just before the deadline, the Rangers put together a deal with the Brew Crew for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. Unlike the earlier deal with Cleveland, Lucroy didn’t hit the auto-destruct button on this one. Two of the players being sent to Milwaukee are highly rated prospects Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz, who will be joined by a PTBNL.

Not So Fast, Padre

One thing to keep in mind is that a trade isn’t “official” until all medicals are looked at, approved, and both parties are satisfied. Today the Marlins sent pitcher Colin Rea back to the Padres after he left Saturday’s game after pitching just 3 1/3 innings. He was acquired in a seven-player deal last week that also brought Andrew Cashner to the Marlins. In a new deal, Rea headed back to SD, with the Padres returning pitching prospect Luis Castillo to Miami. The Marlins may have felt that SD was trying to ‘pull a fast one’ and knew that Rea was injured before the trade. Rea reported that he felt some discomfort in his elbow while warming up before the game. But, probably not as much discomfort as Padres GM A.J. Preller felt when he got caught.

On paper, the big winners were the Dodgers and the Rangers. But sometimes you win by subtraction, and the Yankees may have won the day by shedding payroll and adding some legitimate prospects.to their depleted farm system

One thing we did learn from today’s deadline is to believe Dave Dombrowski when he says that certain players will not be traded. And that was reinforced by his post-deadline comments:

Benintendi and Moncada are “special players” and close to the majors. They weren’t getting traded.


Rick Rowand has written about Boston’s young stars, David Ortiz’s career, Brock Holt’s aura, and Boston’s new starting third baseman.

Follow Rick on Twitter @rrowand.

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