Wow. There were plenty of deals on August 1st, huh? I had a feeling that we would see a lot of activity, and even tweeted that we would probably see deals announced in the last few minutes before the 4pm deadline. We actually saw several deals announced after the deadline, as each trade has to be approved by MLB, so even though they were agreed to, MLB has to approve before they are announced.
There were several teams who won the trade deadline, including the Yankees, the Rangers, Dodgers, Brewers and Rays. The losers - the Pirates who didn’t get enough for closer Mark Melancon and gave up too much in the deal that sent Francisco Liriano to the Blue Jays. Drew Hutchinson? Really?
Tony Watson, closer, Pirates
The Pirates traded closer Mark Melancon to the Nationals a few days ago, I know. That said, it appears that Tony Watson will be the new closer in Pittsburgh. He has been the set up man for Pirates closers for several years now, so now he gets his chance to prove his worth in the ninth inning. Watson owns a career 2.48 ERA, 3.31 FIP while striking out eight batters per nine innings.
Dellin Betances, closer, Yankees
With both Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller being traded over the last few days, Betances assumes the Yankees ninth inning role. He is already one of the best relievers in the game, and will now step into the closer role and continue to dominate hitters a few innings later than he has in the past.
Tyler Thornburg, closer, Brewers
Thornburg is probably one of the underrated relievers in the game right now. With the Brewers including closer Jeremy Jeffress in the trade that sent catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Rangers for Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz and a player to be named later. In his 42.2 innings this season, he has struck out 59 and walked just 14 batters, pitching to a 2.32 ERA, 2.95 FIP and 0.98 WHIP.
Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, outfielders, Padres
With both Melvin Upton Jr. and Matt Kemp being traded over the last week, the Padres outfield is pretty weak with Alex Dickerson, an injured Jon Jay, Alexi Amarista, Jabari Blash and Travis Jankowski manning the three outfield spots. Yeah, very uninspiring. That is, until Margot and Renfroe arrive. Padres GM A.J. Preller has stated that neither Margot or Renfroe will be called up until September, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see both up before then. Margot offers contact and speed skills, while Renfroe is a power bat which should play even in Petco Park.
Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton, pitchers, Athletics
The Athletics dealt starter Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick to the Dodgers for three pitching prospects. They effectively traded two months of Hill and Reddick for 18 years of control of Frankie Montas and his 100 mph fastball, Jharel Cotton, and former #1 pick Grant Holmes. Holmes is probably three years away, but both Montas and Cotton are close to ready. Cotton could be a back of the rotation starter or reliever, while Montas, who is currently injured, could be a dominating closer down the road. Montas made four starts between AA and AAA, and pitched great before breaking a rib. His fastball reaches triple digits and sits in the 96-97 range, so if he doesn’t make it as a starter, he could be a dominant closer.
Matt Moore, starter, Giants
Matt Moore leaves the American League and the DH and landed in the best pitchers park in the game, so his value should improve. Instead of facing the DH 2-4 times a game (depending on how many innings he pitches), he gets to face the opposing starting pitcher and a bench bat 2-4 times per game, so his strikeouts and ERA should see some improvement with the move.
Rich Hill, starter, Dodgers
See Moore above. He just needs to stay healthy. That said, he was already pretty damn good pitching in the American League this season. As a Dodgers fan, I hope he can continue pitching like the Rich Hill pitched the first three months of the season.
Did I miss anyone?