The Padres won the Trade Deadline. Actually, they probably won it a day or two ago and then kept going. Here’s to some amazing work by Padres general manager A.J. Preller.
Lots of other teams got better, too. Some clearly, some incrementally. The Blue Jays and Reds are on this list. The Marlins, Cubs and Rockies as well.
The Indians? No team took a bigger gamble. Say this for the Indians: Their front office has a very good track record, and they’re really happy on a couple of different levels.
While the Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, Astros and Twins were among the contenders to stand pat, here are seven Trade Deadline winners.
Bottom line: Preller has left a blueprint for future general managers. First, you accumulate gobs of Minor League talent. Then you spend big on a pair of veteran free agents (in this case, Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado). Then when you see an opportunity, you deal. Preller made trades that improved every area of the Padres, beginning with the top of the rotation (Clevinger), back of the bullpen (Rosenthal), middle of the lineup (Moreland) and behind the plate (Castro and Nola). He did all of this without trading away any of his top four prospects from a deep system.
Acquired: OF Starling Marte
Bottom line: He was the best position player to change teams on Monday and a nice reward for a remarkable, overachieving Marlins club that has been great fun to watch. Marte entered Monday with an .827 OPS, higher than any current Marlin, and his presence in the middle of the order will make life easier for the players around him in the order. They also traded away infielder Jonathan Villar in a deal with the Blue Jays, and it will be interesting to see how they fill that void.
Bottom line: Goodwin is an excellent addition to a team ranked among the bottom third in OPS and would never have been available if Jo Adell were still in the Minors. The Reds may have been hoping to do more, but he represents more than incremental improvement. Bradley is only 28 and entered Monday averaging 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He will upgrade a bullpen that has had a tough season.
Bottom line: General manager Matt Klentak put the finishing touch on a nice bullpen rebuild by getting Phelps from the Brewers on Monday. Manager Joe Girardi -- who managed Phelps on the Yankees -- suddenly has quality options at the end of games as his club competes for a playoff berth.
Bottom line: Villar is a nice addition since he can play shortstop until Bo Bichette returns, then is capable of moving around the infield. Walker has had an excellent turnaround season. If the Blue Jays can somehow get Ray on track, they’ll be thrilled about their day.
Bottom line: Trust the Indians. Trust the process. That’s the bottom line, right? Give them credit for guts. As for today, a trade that looks like one thing today could look completely different two years from now when we can more fairly evaluate the two 20-year-olds (Arias and Cantillo). For 2020, Naylor is the key. If he can provide some of the middle-of-the-order power the Indians need, they’ve still got enough pitching to win the American League Central and make a playoff run.
Bottom line: The Cubs got better, and isn’t that the bottom line? Not every team can say that. They did not pull off the bombshell trade for a starting pitcher Cubs fans may have been hoping for, but they got four pieces that could push them over the top in the NL Central. Maybin, who joined the fly-ball revolution last season, is an especially interesting acquisition, as are the two lefty relievers who give manager David Ross more options to maneuver through the end of games.