These 5 teams were winners at the Deadline

July 31st, 2018

Wait, what? If you had that reaction a half-dozen times on Tuesday, you weren't alone.
You surely didn't predict Chris Archer would land with the Pirates. Nothing that happened as Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approached was more interesting than a deal we'll be dissecting for years to come.
OK, maybe one.

Just when the Brewers were figuring out how to shuffle a crowded infield, general manager David Stearns went out and got yet another infielder -- Orioles second baseman .
Even Stearns isn't sure how it's going to shake out. He began the day hoping to acquire a starting pitcher -- which he didn't do -- but saw Schoop as a player too good to pass up.

In the end, the larger arc did not change: In the American League, it still appears to be six clubs fighting for five postseason berths. Every AL contender made at least one trade.
Things are way more confusing in the National League, where, entering Wednesday, 11 of 15 teams were within 5 1/2 games of a postseason berth. Some clubs got better on Tuesday, some of them dramatically better. Others stayed the course.
What would the Trade Deadline be without declaring some winners? Let's consider the top five.
1. Yankees
Who they got: LHPs Zach Britton and J.A. Happ, RHP , 1B .
What it means: In getting Britton from the Orioles last week, the Yankees turned one of the AL's best bullpens into one that can be historically great. Postseason games frequently become a battle of bullpen matchups after the fourth or fifth inning, and no team in recent memory is better equipped to do this than the Yankees. Happ and Lynn provide quality rotation depth.

2. Braves
Who they got: OF , LHP Jonny Venters, RHPs , and .
What it means: GM Alex Anthopoulos expertly walked a tightrope in making trades that would give his team a better chance to win in 2018, while also holding onto the core pieces of a farm system so flush with talent that it has positioned the Braves for a nice long run. In getting five arms and a bat, Anthopoulos did not deal any of the club's top 10 prospects per MLB Pipeline, and only two of his top 30.

3. Pirates
Who they got: RHPs Chris Archer and .

What it means: GM Neal Huntington probably won the day on Tuesday by acquiring Archer in a trade that sent a loud, clear message to his clubhouse that he believes the Pirates can win in 2018. The Rays extracted a high price for Archer -- former top prospects outfielder  and right-hander  -- but it comes after a six-week run that got the Pirates back in contention and rewrote expectations for this season.

4. Phillies
Who they got: C , LHP , infielder .
What it means: Is it enough? The Phillies have spent almost all of July atop the NL East, despite an array of issues. Like the Braves, the Phillies wanted to improve the current club without tampering with the core of a solid farm system. That's what GM Matt Klentak did in getting three players -- including the starting catcher for the AL All-Star team -- that will help immediately.

5. D-backs
Who they got: IF , LHP Jake Diekman and RHPs and .
What it means: Diekman and Ziegler should be instant contributors to a bullpen that has had a tough month. They'll combine with , and Brad Boxberger to create a relief corps that will also help a rotation that is showing the wear and tear of a long season.

Honorable mentions
Who they got: 3B Mike Moustakas, 2B Jonathan Schoop and RHP .
What it means: Just when we were getting our minds wrapped around the concept of third baseman  shifting to second, Stearns acquired a proven second baseman in Schoop. This day began with Stearns hoping to land a starting pitcher, but when nothing developed, he went for making the Brewers better any way he could. That's what good GMs do. As for how it'll work out, Stearns said that's going to take some patience and creatitivy.

Who they got: OFs Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows, RHP Tyler Glasnow and LHP .
What it means: Who knows? This entire season has been an experiment in a new way to approach pitching, and it has worked out better than anyone could have imagined. All that's for sure is that in dealing away three proven performers -- right-handers Archer and and All-Star catcher Ramos -- the Rays remain a fascinating (and mostly successful) experiment.

Who they got: LF , LHP Zach Duke, RHPs and .
What it means: Maybin may not be the impact bat the Mariners were seeking, but he's a very solid defensive player who contributed offensively after joining the Astros last season. As for the other three, they've upgraded a bullpen that is being pushed hard.