By Jordan Zuniga
It’s August, which means baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline has come to a close, and, for the most part, teams will have to get by with what they have for the rest of the season.
This year, pitchers were the most-sought-after commodity, and it showed as a number of pitchers got new homes last month.
Aces such as Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, and Sonny Gray now reside on playoff teams, while some of baseball’s top prospects, including Eloy Jimenez and Willie Calhoun, are adjusting to new farm systems.
Without 20/20 foresight, it is impossible to know which trades will work out and which won’t, but that doesn’t take the fun out of speculating.
So, here are the two biggest winners and two biggest losers from this year’s MLB trade deadline.
Chicago White Sox:
For some, it may be weird to see a team that is going to lose 100 games this year as a winner at the trade deadline.
But baseball has evolved over the past few years, and being average is a good way to never go anywhere.
The White Sox have experienced this firsthand since their World Series run 12 years ago. They have made the playoffs just once since then, yet have annually refused to begin a rebuilding phase.
That all changed last winter when they dealt Chris Sale and Adam Eaton for a plethora of prospects.
Entering this season in rebuilding mode, the Sox continually looked to swap their major-league talent for prospects.
They were able to do just that, trading Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, and Quintana for an abundance of prospects; headlining the prospects was the No. 7 ranked prospect Jimenez.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
You wouldn’t think that a team with a 74-31 record needed to improve, but the Dodgers are focused on winning in October — each of the last four years, they have made the playoffs but have fallen short of a World Series berth.
For the Dodgers, last year’s playoffs highlighted their lack of depth in their starting pitching.
So, this year they went out and got Yu Darvish to back up Clayton Kershaw, and they did it without having to give up their best prospect.
Darvish may only be a rental, but it’s not uncommon for rentals to come in and have a big impact.
Most recently, the Cubs had great success with Aroldis Chapman last year, and the Dodgers hope Darvish can have similar success.
Like the Dodgers, the Astros were one of the best teams in baseball at the break.
Also like the Dodgers in previous years, there are questions about whether the Astros are a team built for the playoffs.
They especially lack depth in their rotation, and with the number of quality pitchers available this summer, it seemed as if the Astros were destined to make a move.
But July 31 came and passed, and the Astros failed to make any major moves, much to the disappointment of the Astro fans and players.
From 2006-2014, the Tigers made the playoffs five times, making it to the World Series twice and getting swept both times.
Now, the Tigers have a bunch of players past their prime and locked up with major contracts.
This led many to believe that the Tigers would try to trade some of their stars, such as Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, even if they had to eat some money from the contracts.
But whether they were unable to find a trade partner for their aging stars or were just unwilling to give them up, the Tigers are still stuck with a bunch of bad contracts.
It may be a while before Tiger fans get another taste of October baseball.