The 2019 MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone. July 31st, one of the most exciting days in baseball, was full of action this season as teams made moves at the last moment to try to improve their teams before the final stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.
Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers of this year’s trade deadline.
Winner: Houston Astros
The Astros emerged from Wednesday as the biggest winner in all of baseball at the deadline. The AL West leaders acquired All-Star starter Zack Greinke (owner of a 2.90 ERA and a 10-4 record) for a reasonable prospect load from the Arizona Diamondbacks. They’ll have Greinke, a likely future Hall of Famer, under control through the end of the 2021 season.
This move turns their rotation top three into baseball’s best and puts them in a commanding position to challenge for their second World Series crown over the past three seasons.
Winner: Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves look to be headed for their second consecutive NL East title, but they’re looking to do better than their first-round exit last season. Their bullpen had major issues, and general manager Alex Anthopolous set out to do something about it.
The Braves acquired three quality relievers in Shane Greene, Mark Melancon, and Chris Martin, in exchange for none of the team’s top ten prospects. Greene, the owner of a 1.18 ERA in 2019 and an All-Star, is the team’s likely closer from here on out, while Melancon and Martin provide quality righty set-up arms. They upgraded their weak spot without giving up any of their best prospects. That counts as a win for me.
Loser: New York Yankees
The Yankees own the American League’s best record, yet they did nothing at the Trade Deadline in order to improve their chances of winning the franchise’s first title since 2009. In fact, the only move they made was an insignificant trade for a minor league lefty.
Many fans expected the Bronx Bombers to upgrade their rotation and/or bullpen at the deadline, but general manager Brian Cashman stated that the team simply didn’t close to making any moves. It hurts the club even more now that their main competition for the AL pennant this season, the Houston Astros, acquired Zack Greinke.
Loser: Boston Red Sox
The defending World Series champions have had a thoroughly disappointing 2019 season, yet they still find themselves in the mix of the Wild Card race at the beginning of August. They find themselves 2.5 games behind the Rays and could easily find themselves back in the playoffs.
The Sox, however, have major flaws, and the team did nothing to address those issues by the end of the deadline. The bullpen has been the team’s main sore spot, and GM Dave Dombrowski seems to have opted to believe that the team’s existing options will be enough down the stretch. It’s not an opinion that many others share.