MLB Trade Deadline
By: Justin Hopkins
The trade deadline came to an end today. While it was a little less dramatic, then I was expecting, had one asked a month ago. Still packed plenty of surprising moves. Five teams sought ought, not only to win their Division Races, but drastically improve their odds of taking home a ring. Let’s jump right in with the National League East, Washington Nationals.
Coming into this year, the National’s were a top favorite to contend, and carrying the second best record in the National League. There biggest weakness being in the bullpen. They weren’t content with picking up the two relievers they had gotten. They added the third best closer in MLB, Brandon Klintzer. Sporting a 2.38 ERA, and 28 saves. This is going to go a long way to build confidence with a lead late in the game now.
The lack of movement in the National League Central, was actually really surprising. (particularly my hometown Pirates) Outside of the Cincinnati Reds, four teams are all within 4.5 Games of first. That is except the leader, Chicago Cubs. Having already added Ace Jose Quintana. In controversial move, traded two top ten prospects to Detroit, for reliever Justin Wilson and Alex Alivia. It might seem strange, but it was a move they had to make. Having won their first World Series in over a Century. This team was being herald as a potential Dynasty has had a rocky first half. They need to be successful this year, to prove to their fans and the media, that last year was not a flash in the pan.
Onto the National League West, where the Los Angeles Dodgers have been a juggernaut. Unstoppable force putting up 74-31 and they just got better. Picking up Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani, from the Pirates and Reds. At the final minutes to the Deadline, picked up Ace Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers. Who may be a little off this year, 4.01 ERA. Fully expect this move to rejuvenate him, and with the team they now possess. Even their toughest critics will be hard pressed to not say they are World Series favorites.
The Houston Astros, have stolen the show on the American League side. Not only taking control over their Division, but the league itself. They are young and versatile. Proven their dominance and resilience time in and time out. Adding veteran Francisco Liriano is just a smart move. May have lost a step, but has simply stifled lefties at the bag, making him extremely useful in the pen, but his veteran status and playoff experience. Can be a club house leader for the younger guys to work with.
The New York Yankees have been throwing out feelers since the All-star break. Seeking help to fend off the Boston Red Sox. Landing just that, with Oakland Athletics, Right Hander, Sonny Gray. Adding instant star power pitching to an already talented rotation and powerful hitters. They may have dealt three players for him, but two of them are injured. They got him for a steal. Which may not only have won them the division, but punched their ticket to the big game.
Trade Deadline has past. May have been less exciting then what I was thinking it would be. These teams have made drastic moves that may have been the difference between watching from home, to playing in the World Series.