The hour of the trade deadline has come and gone. The Orioles snuck in one move at the deadline, bringing Steve Pearce back to Baltimore.
If you were obsessively following baseball Twitter all day, and it’s probably healthier for you if you weren’t, you missed a lot of talk about things that never quite happened. For most of the afternoon it looked like the Orioles wouldn’t do anything at the deadline because teams were asking too much.
Dan Connolly of Baltimore Baseball tweeted that the player being asked for the most was Dylan Bundy. Not a surprise they didn’t trade him. Getting Pearce was a surprise, especially for catching prospect Jonah Heim, who they seemed to like. Heim for two months of Pearce is one of those Dan Duquette moves that can really get frustrating, and two or three years down the road may look really bad.
Their competitors, however, were not quiet about trying to improve themselves for the present and for the future. The effects of these trades will reverberate through the division for the rest of the year and possibly even for years to come.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays, for mysterious reasons, were said to be interested in Twins pitcher Ervin Santana. They did not trade for Santana. They also did not trade for Jeremy Hellickson.
The starter they ended up getting is Francisco Liriano from the Pirates. Liriano joins the Blue Jays along with two prospects, with the Jays only sending Oriole-bane Drew Hutchison to the Pirates in exchange. Some money is going to Toronto as well. Liriano, sporting a 5.46 ERA this season, is making $13 million this season and another $13 million next year.
Who they did end up trading for is old friend Scott Feldman from the Astros. They sent 18-year-old pitching prospect Guadalupe Chavez, their #20 prospect, to Houston in the deal. This seems to suggest the Jays are serious about not riding Aaron Sanchez in the rotation for the whole rest of the season.
The Jays also traded reliever Jesse Chavez to the Dodgers. Chavez was seen yesterday giving up a first pitch three run home run to Adam Jones. They received 28-year-old righty Mike Bolsinger from Los Angeles. Bolsinger made 21 starts for the Dodgers last year, with a 3.62 ERA, but that success has not continued this year.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox supposedly had some interest in getting Chris Sale from the White Sox, but that never seems to have gotten too serious. What they did do is trade for Twins lefty reliever Fernando Abad. Orioles fans may remember Abad as the guy who threw two pitches at Manny Machado’s knees immediately before the whole bat-throwing incident.
To get Abad, they gave up 25-year-old reliever Pat Light. Although Light was once a supplemental first round pick (37th overall) in 2012, he seems like a Brad Brach sort of pitcher to me, right down to the fact that he went to Monmouth. Abad has another year of arbitration remaining, so it’s not a pure rental.
Of course, the Red Sox were very active leading up to the trade deadline, also acquiring Drew Pomeranz from the Padres and reliever Brad Ziegler from the Diamondbacks. Maybe they’ll miss the prospects they gave up in the long run or maybe they won’t, but they’re clearly trying to win the division this year, and of course they’re only 1.5 games back.
New York Yankees
Things have worked out perfectly for Orioles fans, like me, who want to see one very miserable Yankees team in 2016. They have not worked out so well for Orioles fans, like me, who don’t want to see the Yankees improve their future standing.
After a couple of prospect-heavy sell-off moves for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, the Yankees added one more on deadline day, trading Carlos Beltran to the Rangers. For Beltran, the Yankees received Dillon Tate - the 2015 4th overall pick - as well as High-A pitcher Erik Swanson and short-season pitcher Nick Green.
Neither Green nor Swanson rank among the top 30 Rangers prospects, but Tate, despite a down year, is quite a name to land. Imagine if the Orioles had traded any of Brian Matusz, Dylan Bundy, or Kevin Gausman just a year after being drafted, for a two month rental of an old outfielder who should probably only DH? That would have been crazy.
Add that to the haul for Chapman and Miller and the Yankees have really added talent. In the last week alone, they picked up three top 100 prospects in baseball: shortstop Gleyber Torres from the Cubs, and outfielder Clint Frazier and pitcher Justus Sheffield from the Indians.
With the Rangers coming to town tomorrow, the Orioles will get to face the newly-traded Beltran immediately.
The Yankees also traded disappointing starter Ivan Nova, a free agent to be, to the Pirates. They will receive a player to be named later.
Tampa Bay Rays
There was a lot of ink spilled leading up to the deadline about whether the Rays would trade any of their starting pitchers. The Rays essentially waited until the last minute to make multiple trades. They shipped Matt Moore to the Giants and former Oriole Steve Pearce back to the O’s.
For Moore, the Rays received Giants infielder Matt Duffy as well as two prospects: 19-year-old shortstop Lucius Fox and 21-year-old pitcher Michael Santos. Fox was the Giants #6 rated prospect, while Santos ranked 25th in their system.
They also traded Brandon Guyer, sent to the Indians for two minor leaguers, Nathan Lukes and Jhonleider Salinas. Lukes, an outfielder, was a seventh round pick last year who has spent most of this year in Low-A. Salinas, 20, was signed out of Venezuela and is making his US debut in the rookie Arizona league, where he’s struck out 38 batters in 30 innings but has also walked 14.
Other trades of interest
There were a few players the Orioles were at one point linked to who were traded elsewhere. Could or should the O’s have made any of these deals?
For one, Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce was traded to the Mets. The Mets sent their 21-year-old second baseman, Dilson Herrera, to Cincinnati in the deal, which originally involved other players but was restructured after the Reds didn’t like something in the medicals of one of the Mets prospects. The Mets also gave up 19-year-old lefty Max Wotell, their #16 prospect - a 2015 third round pick.
The O’s next opponent, the Rangers, also got themselves a new catcher, picking up Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers, as well as reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Well, that’s annoying too. The Rangers are paying quite a price for that trade, giving up outfield prospect Lewis Brinson and pitcher Luis Ortiz. Those guys are both ranked in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects list.
None of the others of the many players the Orioles had reportedly been interested in, including Philadelphia’s Jeremy Hellickson and Minnesota’s Ervin Santana, ended up being traded before the deadline.