Now that the MLB trade deadline has passed we can look at the winners of this year’s deadline. Fair warning, one team really shouldn’t be a surprise to any of you. So the three winners shall discuss are the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Texas Rangers. Noticing a trend? Yes they are all in the American League. In my opinion, these teams made the biggest impacts for now and the future. Now let’s see why they are the winners.
Kansas City Royals: Sure they only made two moves, but that was all they had to make. Baseball’s most complete club upgraded the only areas they were lacking in a big way. The strength of this team is the bullpen. But a bullpen can only be effective if they are rested. The starting pitchers on this team are largely ineffective. Their opening day starter was sent down to triple A for a bit and they are ranked in the bottom three for innings pitched by starters. So their solution was simple. Go out and trade for Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds. Not only did they pick up a true ace, but they also got a pitcher who seems to go into the seventh and eight innings every time he pitches. Only having to use one reliever every fifth day is going to help keep the bullpen stay rested until October. This move also presents the Royals as World Series favorites. If their rotation can start to click, then this team should be going deep into October. Oh and the most under the radar deal was they also got Ben Zobrist, a super utility player from the Rays. He will most likely be playing left field until Alex Gordon comes back from injury. He can hit, can play anywhere, and is someone who can play every day and not need a rest. This team is built to be a winner, and they just became more of one.
Toronto Blue Jays: Gee I wonder what this team is doing among the winners. Yes that was sarcasm because this team stole the entire trade deadline. Not only did they grab Troy Tulowitzki, who by the way wasn’t in ANY trade rumors, but a mere two days later they went out and grabbed David Price. Yes they gave up a bunch of pitching prospects to get these two players, but Toronto is trying to go back to the post season. They have one of the best-run differentials in the majors and that was without Mr. Tulowitzki. So in hindsight the best offensive team picked up the most explosive shortstop AND picked up the best pitcher on the market. Not bad for a team that decided to go all in. Toronto desperately needed pitching. Their best starter was Mark Buehrle, who is still a fantastic pitcher, but after that there wasn’t much. So now the best offensive team has the best pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw. Combined with the Yankees not doing anything at the deadline, this team is going to make a run for it. Prepare for a great September.
Texas Rangers: Now some people might wonder why this team is on here and not teams like the Giants or Dodgers, but the Rangers made a move that helped them now and in the future. They only made a trade with the Phillies to get Cole Hamels. Not only did they get Hamels, but also they aren’t even paying for the total of his contract. Throughout the rest of his contract, the Rangers are only going to pay for about $40 million for three years. Hamels has three years left on his original 6-year $144 million deal. He still has three guaranteed years left and then one club option for 2019. Basically the Rangers have control of Hamels for four more years. They gave up a lot however, as the Rangers sent over Matt Harrison and five prospects. Philly also included reliever Jake Diekman. The bottom line was that Texas gave up six players for a reliever and team control of an ace for four seasons. They also have a discount, as Hamels is still owed over $65 million total for his deal. Texas is only paying for $40 million. Sure it was a lot to give up, but it was worth it for a former World Series Most Valuable Player award winner.