There’s still some time left for contenders to make August deals. (You can still trade in September, but acquired players aren’t eligible for the post-season.) But we already have seen a decent number of sturdy veterans moved this month.
So, let’s take a quick poll. The question is simple: which of the following additions over the month of August made the biggest positive difference for a team hoping to bolster its chances at qualifying for and moving through the postseason?
- Mets acquire lefty Eric O’Flaherty from Athletics for minor league righty Dawrin Frias. New York needed a southpaw specialist, and liked how O’Flaherty was throwing, but he’s struggled since heading to the Mets.
- Rangers acquire first baseman Mike Napoli from Red Sox for PTBNL or cash. The resurgent Napoli returns to his former club to add a big right-handed bat to a lefty-heavy lineup, and he’s mashed in limited action.
- Blue Jays acquire infielder Cliff Pennington from Diamondbacks for minor league infielder Dawel Lugo. Pennington provides depth for Toronto. He hasn’t hit all year, and that has yet to change since the move.
- Astros acquire lefty Oliver Perez from Diamondbacks for minor league lefty Junior Garcia. Houston was pleased that it was able to win the claim for Perez and work out a deal to add the veteran LOOGY. He’s been strong so far.
- Rangers acquire outfielder Will Venable from Padres for minor league righty Jon Edwards and minor league catcher/outfielder Marcus Greene. Texas has a range of outfield options, but with Josh Hamilton a near-constant injury question, the versatile Venable represents flexibility for the surprising club.
- Dodgers acquire second baseman Chase Utley from Phillies for minor league outfielder Darnell Sweeney and minor league righty John Richy. While Utley’s play has dropped off this year, he’s been better of late and has an impeccable track record.
- Giants acquire outfielder Marlon Byrd from Reds for minor league righty Stephen Johnson. We’ve heard for some time that San Francisco wanted an offensive-oriented outfield bat, and the team finally landed a sturdy, veteran option in Byrd.
- Twins acquire lefty Neal Cotts from Brewers for PTBNL or cash. The Minnesota pen has been badly in need of some upgrades for some time, and Cotts looks like a good add, but did the team wait too long to make a move?
(Listed earliest to most recent; randomized in poll. Bear in mind that most of these deals also included salary offsets; see links for details. Note: Utley was mistakenly omitted from the original version of the poll and was not an option for the first ~2,400 voters.)