The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and boy was this year something else. Where usually there are maybe one or two blockbuster deals, this year saw closer to a dozen. With that in mind, here are the top 10 moves we saw in a trade season for the ages.
1. Dodgers land Scherzer, Turner
The rich get richer, and now the Los Angeles Dodgers are the heavy favorite to repeat as World Series champions. Max Scherzer is a future Hall of Famer and even at age 37 remains one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the Dodgers snatched him away from division rival San Diego — which reportedly had a deal in place for the ace — while also adding star shortstop Trea Turner for good measure.
2. Giants add Kris Bryant
San Francisco has been one of the stories of the season, and now the first-place Giants are prepared to hold off the Dodgers and Padres in what should be an epic NL West race. Kris Bryant was one of the top prizes of the deadline, and this season the former NL MVP is enjoying another all-star season while contributing at nearly every position on the field.
3. Kimbrel to the White Sox
The Chicago White Sox already had one of the best bullpens in baseball, and now you could argue they have one of the best ever assembled. Craig Kimbrel (0.49 ERA, 23 saves) has returned to form after a couple of down years, and he now joins a bullpen that already features Liam Kendriks (2.53 ERA, 26 saves), Jose Ruiz (2.90), Michael Kopech (1.52) and Garrett Crochet (2.93).
4. Gallo, Rizzo to Yankees
The Yankees, sellers? Despite New York’s struggles, the team put to rest any such notion by landing two of the biggest bats on the market. Joey Gallo is one of baseball’s best power hitters, and Anthony Rizzo was the heart and soul of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs team and remains an elite defensive first baseman.
5. Mets get Javier Baez
There is a short list of players who have a case for best shortstop in baseball, and now two of them play for the New York Mets. Javier Baez is an elite defensive player who swings a big stick, boasting 22 home runs on the year, and when fellow Puerto Rican native Francisco Lindor returns from injury the Mets will have a middle infield pairing for the ages.
6. Schwarber to Red Sox
Is he a natural positional fit for the Red Sox needs? Not exactly, but the big power-hitting lefty will make a huge difference in Boston’s lineup once he returns from a hamstring injury. Boston hopes Schwarber can fill the team’s hole at first base despite his lack of experience at the position, and he will also provide key outfield depth.
7. Braves remake outfield
Losing Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell Ozuna to injury could have spelled doom for Atlanta, but with the NL East in disarray the Braves completely revamped their outfield to stay in the hunt. Atlanta made a series of deals to acquire Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall, and while none of those players have performed to expectation this year, Pederson and Soler both have great track records and could be impactful if they get back to form with the change of scenery.
8. Athletics go all in
Historically known for their long-term “Moneyball” approach, the Oakland Athletics are going for it and made some of the biggest splashes of the week. Outfielder Starling Marte, catcher Yan Gomes and utility man Josh Harrison are all former all-stars enjoying productive seasons, and Andrew Chafin was one of the top relief pitchers on the market. They should be a big help for an Oakland team that currently owns the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
9. Berrios to Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are better than their record suggests, and now they are betting that another frontline starter will help them make a late push back into the postseason. Jose Berrios was one of the most sought after pitchers on the market and he now teams with Robbie Ray and Hyun Jin Ryu to form a formidable top of the rotation.
10. Astros load up bullpen
The Houston Astros had a clear need in their bullpen and they moved aggressively to address it. First the Astros engineered the most demoralizing trade of the season, poaching closer Kendall Graveman from division rival Seattle in a move that reportedly enraged the Mariners clubhouse. Then Houston also added Yimi Garcia from the Marlins and Phil Maton from the Indians, both of whom should help contribute in key late-inning situations down the stretch.