Monday, August 1, 2016

Top 10 Trade Deadline Deals of 2016

Yeah, I do this every year. This may not be pretty, because what was looking like a pretty small amount of contenders turned into a sprawling free-for-all within the last 24 hours, as random, astonishing deals took place that we didn't especially dream of happening.

I'm grading these on how much they impact the sellers, as well as how much they could impact the rest of the season. I'll say that the Matt Kemp deal, Andrew Cashner deal and Francisco Liriano deal were all considered for the final spot, but the winner, as deducted by the top of the post...

#10- Wade Miley to the Orioles, prospects to the Mariners.
Who wins? The Orioles. The O's have been dealing with a few rotation issues, but have developed a strong core of Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Yovani Gallardo and Tyler Wilson, but a lot of different names have been swishing around and there's not a solidarity. They didn't need a top-starter, but Miley, who has played for four teams since 2014, is a solid starter who had been giving some decent numbers for the Mariners- he'll likely help the playoff case for the Orioles, because they didn't need a hell of a lot.

#9- Eduardo Nunez to the Giants, prospect to the Twins.
Who wins? Giants, of course. Thanks to some injuries, and a deal that will be a few spots further down the list, the Giants were in need of some infield solidarity, and Nunez, a bench player and infield spot player, is perfect for the job. He, Joe Panik, Crawford and Belt will make a tight infield for a pennant-contending Giants team.

#8- Mark Melancon to the Nationals, prospects to the Pirates.
Who wins? Nats by a hair. Yeah, Mark Melancon is one of the best closers in baseball right now, but the Nationals essentially took him because they could- they already have Jonathan Papelbon as a closer from last trade deadline, and all this does is makes him mad. Plus, Melancon's stuff may have just clicked in Pittsburgh, and may have trouble shifting to Washington. But for right now it's an impressive move for the Nats, who clearly want a title this year.

#7- Matt Moore to the Giants, Matt Duffy and a few prospects to the Rays.
Who wins? Another close one, but probably the Giants. Matt Moore's numbers this season have been due to a lack of run support- with a better roster he could have a year like his 2013.  So throwing him into the Giants' rotation is a wise idea, though he'll probably be acting as a 4th or 5th man to MadBum, Cueto and Shark- him and Peavy just round out an incredibly strong rotation that has no use for Matt Cain anymore. Putting Matt Duffy in Tampa does set them up to have an interesting combination with Logan Forsythe, Brad Miller and Duffy in the same rotation.

#6- Andrew Miller to the Indians, prospects to the Yankees.
Who wins? Indians. Yes, this legitimizes a potential playoff threat and gives the Indians the keys to one of the best closers in baseball right now, but this still couldn't make the top 5. Still, this is a huge move, as Miller may have been one of the last few pieces necessary for the Indians (except maybe a catcher).

#5- Jay Bruce to the Mets, Dilson Herrera and prospect to the Reds
Who wins? Mets. Look, it's becoming very unlikely that the Mets will make a huge difference in the playoffs, but putting Jay Bruce in that outfield with Cespedes and Granderson is a wise one, one that could give a ton of power back into a lineup that desperately needs one. If they decide to sign Bruce long-term, which would be wise, this could affect the team next year, when everyone is healthy.

#4- Carlos Beltran to the Rangers, prospects to the Yankees
Who wins? Rangers. This one saddens me, but it was the right move for both sides. Beltran could help the Rangers get to another World Series, as he's a wonderful September-October player, and he also helps the outfield depth, as a lot of the rookies have been struggling in those positions. Plus, this may be Beltran's last truly great season, and the Rangers should definitely make something of it rather than keeping it in 4th place.

#3- Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Dodgers, Frankie Montas and prospects to the A's.
Who wins? Dodgers. This gives some outfield support and some well-needed pitching help to another team that could be deadly in the postseason. Putting Josh Reddick in the outfield with Joc Pederson, Howie Kendrick and (possibly) Yasiel Puig gives a bat and an outstanding arm to one that's struggling with depth. Speaking of depth, Rich Hill gives the Dodgers some rotation flexibility...assuming he comes back from the DL rather quickly to join Brandon McCarthy, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir and the rest of the stragglers.

#2- Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, Adam Warren and prospects to the Yankees.
Who wins? Cubs. Yeah, regardless of my disdain for it, this is still a pretty great deal. The Cubs cement their bullpen's status as, finally, one to be reckoned with, along with the entire damned roster. Chapman closing games in Chicago could be the cherry on top of a playoff team. Also, they finally gave Adam Warren back, as they couldn't figure out what to do with him.

#1- Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to the Rangers, prospects to the Brewers.
Who wins? Sadly, the Rangers. In dealing for one of the best catchers in baseball, as well as one of the best closers in baseball, IN ADDITION to dealing for one of the best hitting outfielders in baseball, they've made their case for sheer AL dominance for the rest of the season, and have made it clear to Cleveland that they'll need to fight to stay ahead.

So...those were my Top 10, and a TON of them might affect how this season turns out.

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