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Landscape changed by abundance of deals

August 1, 2017

In the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association adjusted the compensation for free agents to create more movement.What impact it will have on offseason dealing won't be known until the fall, but with the Draft-choice compensation for the loss of a tendered

In the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association adjusted the compensation for free agents to create more movement.
What impact it will have on offseason dealing won't be known until the fall, but with the Draft-choice compensation for the loss of a tendered free agent now reduced, it appears to have made teams much more agreeable to parting with potential free agents prior to Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Twenty-one potential free agents were dealt in the past two weeks, including left-hander Jaime Garcia twice -- from the Braves to the Twins, and after one start with Minnesota, to the Yankees.
And by the time the deadline for deals came at 4 p.m. ET on Monday, all 30 teams had made at least one deal to either bolster their postseason hopes or restock their farm system.
Teams that opened eyes at the Trade Deadline:
Making a statement
• The Dodgers have come up short in 10 postseason appearances -- including each of the past four years -- since winning their most recent World Series in 1988. It haunts them, which is why they made the biggest Deadline Day splash. They gave up three prospects for potential free agent Yu Darvish to likely slot in the playoff rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, and Los Angeles also added bullpen depth with lefty Tony Watson (another potential free agent) from the Pirates and fellow southpaw Tony Cingrani from the Reds.
• The Yankees see an opportunity with the struggles of the Blue Jays and inconsistency of the Red Sox, and they're looking to capitalize on it. New York filled voids in the rotation, sending three prospects to the A's for Sonny Gray, as well as picking up Garcia from the Twins. The Yanks also addressed their needs at first base with Garrett Cooper and third base with Todd Frazier, and filled bullpen needs with Player Page for David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. Frazier and Garcia are the only potential free agents.

• The Cubs ended their World Series drought last October, and they overcame a slow start this season to to move back atop the National League Central in recent days. Now the focus is on another World Series championship, highlighted by adding veteran Jose Quintana to beef up the rotation, lefty Justin Wilson to strengthen the bullpen, and catcher Alex Avila, who can also fill in at first base.
Patching holes
• The Nationals have a comfortable lead in the NL East with an offense that has compensated for the lack of late-inning relief. That won't work in the postseason, and that's why the Nats swung deals to acquire the lefty-righty combo of Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the A's, and potential free agent Brandon Kintzler from the Twins.
• The Red Sox cut ties with third baseman Pablo Sandoval and moved quickly to fill the void by acquiring potential free agent Eduardo Nunez from the Giants, and they addressed the need for bullpen depth by acquiring another potential free agent, Addison Reed, from the Mets.

• The Rays have been a surprise in the AL East, and they showed that they're serious with deals for potential free-agent first baseman Lucas Duda and right-handed reliever Steve Cishek, along with left-hander Dan Jennings. And Tampa Bay didn't give up a prime prospect.
• The Rockies had two goals and met them both: acquiring potential free agents Pat Neshek to fill a right-handed late-inning relief void, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who will be given the challenge of a rotation with four rookies. Colorado did not give up any of its top 30 prospects to do it.
• The D-backs added an impact bat with J.D. Martinez, and they moved quickly to replace the injured Chris Owings at shortstop by acquiring Adam Rosales from the A's.
• Royals general manager Dayton Moore's early-season faith in his club was repaid when a team heavy on free agents rallied to get back into the middle of the postseason battle. And Moore responded at the Trade Deadline. He did have to put highly regarded left-handed prospect Matt Strahm in the package, but he landed relievers Ryan Buchter (a lefty) and Brandon Maurer (a right-hander), and he reinforced the rotation with Trevor Cahill in a six-player deal with the Padres. And Moore acquired Melky Cabrera from the White Sox to offset the struggles of designated hitter Brandon Moss (.210 average) and left fielder Alex Gordon (.202).
Lying in the weeds
• The Mets haven't had the season they expected. They sent Duda to the Rays, but they also gave a hint that they are confident of a rebound in 2018 by acquiring right-handed reliever AJ Ramos from the Marlins. Now they look ahead feeling confident about their late-inning relief in 2018 thanks to their contract control of closer Jeurys Familia and left-handed setup man Jerry Blevins.
Looking ahead
• The White Sox provided a facelift to their farm system, acquiring six players that rank in the top 25 of the South Siders' Top 30 Prospects list. Last offseason, they landed No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada as part of the package from the Red Sox for Chris Sale, and in July the list of prospect additions included left fielder Eloy Jimenez (No. 2) and right-hander Dylan Cease (No. 8) from the Cubs, center fielder Blake Rutherford (No. 5) and left-hander Ian Clarkin (No. 24) from the Yankees, center fielder Ryan Cordell (No. 19) from the Brewers and right-handed A.J. Puckett (No. 25) from the Royals.
• The A's sent Gray to the Yankees, and the bullpen duo of Doolittle and Madson to the Nationals, and in return, they acquired five prospects who now rank in the top 15 of their Top 30 Prospects list: Center fielder Dustin Fowler (No. 3), shortstop/second baseman Jorge Mateo (No. 5), left-hander Jesus Luzardo (No. 7), right-hander James Kaprielian (No. 11) and third baseman Sheldon Neuse (No. 15).

• The Marlins dealt right-handed relievers David Phelps (to the Mariners) and Ramos (to the Mets), but the return was five prospects who rank among the top 24 on the organization's Top 30 Prospects list: right-hander Merandy Gonzalez (No. 6), center fielder Brayan Hernandez (No. 8), right-hander Brandon Miller (No. 20), right-hander Pablo Lopez (No. 23) and center fielder Ricardo Cespedes (No. 24).

Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for