Trades are over.
But, who won MLB deadline day? Or, perhaps more importantly, who lost?
2023 MLB Trade Deadline Winners
Teams have been swinging trades for the last few weeks, but I'm going to cap the timeline for evaluating a successful deadline for moves made in the last week. Here are the three big winners:
In: SP Jordan Montgomery, SP Max Scherzer, C Austin Hedges, RP Chris Stratton
Oh to be a Rangers fan. Texas has given their fans plenty to cheer about over the last few seasons. It started off with massive deals for Marcus Semien and Corey Seager a few offseasons ago and the Brinks truck backed up again this winter for Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, and others. So, naturally, the Rangers went shopping again at the deadline.
They brought in arguably two of the three best pitchers traded on deadline day (Monty and Scherzer), solidified backup catcher, and added another bullpen arm after trading for Aroldis Chapman a few weeks ago. The Rangers will need plenty to go right to hold off the surging Astros, but management is giving the roster the talent to do so. They're objectively a World Series threat.
Los Angeles Angels
In: SP Lucas Giolito, RP Reynaldo Lopez, 1B CJ Cron, OF Randal Grichuk
This win is less about who came in, and more about who didn't leave: Shohei Ohtani.
Buckle up Angels fans, you've got two months left with Ohtani to make a push for the playoffs and maybe, just maybe, convince him to stay. I argued earlier this season why the Angels should be deadline buyers and I'm glad they decided to go that route.
All four players they brought in can be regulars on a playoff team, they just have to get there.
Chicago White Sox
In: A boatload of prospects
Things haven't gone right on the south side in a few years. They didn't want to be sellers at this trade deadline, but they had to be. So, at least they did it right.
According to Baseball America, the White Sox acquired four of the eight-best prospects moved at the deadline. Korey Lee (from Houston) and Edgar Quero (from Angels) should be Chicago's catching tandem of the future, while pitchers like Nick Nastrini (Dodgers), Jake Eder (Marlins) and Kyle Bush (Angels) all have the potential to pitch in a big league rotation.
They should know better by now!— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) August 2, 2023
Second-ranked @WhiteSox prospect Edgar Quero (MLB No. 65) throws out his second former Trash Panda teammate attempting to steal on the @BhamBarons: pic.twitter.com/1CQsNx7Cff
Three of Chicago's top-five prospects right now were added to the system in the last week.
2023 MLB Trade Deadline Losers
Losing at the trade deadline doesn't just mean trading away big-league talent. As I argued above, the White Sox sold big and were still a winner in my eyes. Losing at the deadline is about a lack of direction or not capitalizing on opportunities:
New York Yankees
In: RP Keynan Middleton, RP Spencer Howard
This is a new feeling for Yankees fans: mediocrity.
So, New York's lack of urgency at the trade deadline this year was particularly perplexing. There was an argument to be made that New York should buy, trying to nudge out some other teams for a wild-card spot. There was also a case for selling, trading off pending free agents and retooling for next year.
The Yankees did neither. They're expecting (praying for?) a turnaround from a team sitting three games above .500 and last in the AL East. Fans, rightfully, aren't buying the vision.
I just don't understand what the Yankees did at the deadline. Pick a lane - either go for it or don't. Acquiring a rental reliever wasn't the move.— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) August 1, 2023
In: RP Sam Moll
The Reds had a chance to be the story of the season. With Elly De La Cruz and other top prospects coming up to the big leagues and immediately producing, Cincinnati is in real playoff contention. They currently sit at 59-50 and a half-game up for the NL Central lead. So, why did they do nothing at the trade deadline? It didn't have to be splashy moves that cost them top prospects
But this Reds team deserved a little injection of life. Bring in a depth starter or two or add another bench bat. Instead, the Reds essentially stood pat... and that's lame.