WHO WON THE MLB TRADE WARS?
At first glance, it looks like the Houston Astros pulled off the biggest blockbuster trade this year by grabbing Zack Grinke from the Diamondbacks. That gives them about the most awesome starting rotation in all of baseball with Justin Verlander, Garrit Cole and now Grinke.
Additionally Houston made a deal with Toronto and acquired right hand pitchers Joe Biagini and Aaron Sanchez to round out the bullpen. So the Astros appear to be going into the latter half of the MLB season with a stacked deck, however, history tells us that this is not always a guarantee of post season success.
Both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox were expected to make some major moves before the trade deadline occurred on July 31st, however, neither team was able to pull of any major acquisitions to their rosters. Boston did acquire starting pitcher Andrew Cashner on an earlier trade.
One obvious winner was Zack Grinke. Grinke was stuck on a going nowhere team out in Arizona with no hope of participation in this years’ postseason play. Now he is part of a potentially historical pitching staff with the Astros and finds himself and the Houston Astros among the top favorites to go to the World Series, something that has so far eluded Zack.
If judged solely by the pound, the Cleveland Indians walked off with the top prize of the season. By acquiring both Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes to round out their outfield roster, the Indians are assured of having the most meat on the field, no matter who they face. Besides, those two big guys are both excellent ball players and Puig still retains one of the most powerful throwing arms in the majors.
Perhaps the biggest winners of the years’ trading session were the teams that went under the radar and made relatively few changes to their roster.
Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman of the Dodgers played their cards close to the vest throughout the trade negotiations. There was much speculation about the Dodgers need to bolster their bullpen roster; and the names Felipe Vasquez and Edwin Diaz were floating around. However, in the end, the Dodgers stood pretty much pat.
At about that same time, the Dodgers showed why they stood pat by calling up from the minors as talented a group of young players as the game has seen in quite awhile. Left-handed, red haired pitcher Dustin May was joined by young catcher Will Smith, who only hit 3 for 3 against the Washington Nationals with a solo homerun and two doubles, racking up 6 RBI’s in one game. Then he did it again with at 449 foot home run in the bottom of the ninth for a walk off victory over the Colorado Rockies. Then, he did it again against the Padres! Welcome to Los Angeles Will Smith!
Dustin May and Will Smith were also joined by young Matt Beaty, who claims that his favorite position on the baseball diamond is in the ‘left hand batter’s box’. Beaty has already been donned with the nickname ‘hitman’ after only a short time with the team. Dave Roberts, in his wisdom, also went out and hired veteran infielder Jedd Gyorko to balance out, and help along, his recent young call-ups.
So now the Astros are on top of the picks to win the American League Pennant and the Dodgers remain the odds on favorites to win both the National League Pennant and the World Series this year.