It was a very busy non-waiver Trade Deadline season this July and everyone was involved. Literally.All 30 teams made a trade involving Minor League players leading up to Tuesday's deadline. Many teams were buyers, looking to improve their big league roster to make a push for the playoffs. Others were
It was a very busy non-waiver Trade Deadline season this July and everyone was involved. Literally.
All 30 teams made a trade involving Minor League players leading up to Tuesday's deadline. Many teams were buyers, looking to improve their big league roster to make a push for the playoffs. Others were sellers, hoping to restock farm systems while looking to the future.
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That latter group did so without a whole lot of thump in terms of true impact prospects changing teams. Only two guys on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list were dealt, with catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia going from the Indians to the Padres and outfielder Yusniel Diaz heading to the Orioles from the Dodgers. But in terms of sheer numbers, it was pretty impressive overall.
Volume doesn't always equal improvement, and like with all of these trades, who did well in building for the future won't be known for a while. But there were some teams that did seem to improve their systems the most with the trades they did make. Here's a top five (with a bonus team):
No team overhauled its system more than the Orioles did. Baltimore added a total of 10 new names to their Top 30 prospects list, along with a handful of other non-ranked Minor Leaguers. It was definitely more quantity than quality, with Diaz the only Top 100 player to come (via the Manny Machado deal), and he is now the top prospect in the organization. But given how thin this system was, volume is important. Keep in mind, also, that the team was in last place before making these trades. Perhaps people feel they should have gotten more for the big leaguers the O's dealt, but to change over one-third of the Top 30 is nothing to sneeze at.
Minnesota didn't pick up any elite-level players, but it did add five new members to its Top 30, to go along with a few non-ranked players. The Twins had a solid farm system heading into the Deadline period, with some serious high-end talent at the top of the list. Right-hander Jorge Alcala, who came over from the Astros in the Thomas Pressly deal, is the best player they acquired, slotting in at No. 11. The Twins are under .500, but they aren't floundering in last place, with young talent in the big leagues and the upper levels. They brought in some guys with some upside, even if they are a little farther away, and can be patient in allowing them to develop.
3. Blue Jays
When you start with 1-2 punch atop your Top 30 list like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, you're already in pretty solid shape, and this was a good system before any trades were made. Then the Jays added four new members to their rankings via trades, starting with right-hander Hector Perez, who came over in the Roberto Osuna trade. The other additions were made to the bottom part of the list, but even non-ranked Chad Spanberger is interesting.
While the prospect-for-prospect swap, Oscar Mercado for Conner Capel (and young outfielder Jhon Torres) was curious, the Cardinals still ended up adding four to their Top 30. And they're not necessarily putting up the white flag on the season, knowing that prospect Tyler O'Neill can potentially step in for Tommy Pham, who netted the organization two guys now slotted into its top 15 in outfielder Justin Williams and lefty Genesis Cabrera.
Yes, San Diego added just one prospect during the Deadline period, but it was the best prospect who changed hands. Francisco Mejia is No. 21 on the overall Top 100 and slots in at No. 3 on the Padres' very deep Top 30. He's getting the chance to really work on his catching to see if it will work, with a bat that's ready now. San Diego slots in at No. 4 because they only added one (albeit to a system that was already considered the best in baseball), but it could be that Mejia outproduces the prospect packages listed above.
Bonus team: Yankees
Yes, the Yankees were buyers, adding pieces to help what they hope will be a long postseason run. And they didn't add any prospects. In fact, they traded away four Top 30 guys. But in what was a very shrewd effort, they added $3.75 million in international bonus pool money. That helped them already add right-hander Osiel Rodriguez, who was No. 9 on the Top 30 International Prospects list, and will allow them to aggressively pursue other international free agents as they see fit.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.