We took the temperature of the MLBTR readership recently on the subject of deadline buyers, with the Blue Jays getting the most top ratings, and now we’ll turn to the seller’s side of the line. As I noted there, while we heard a lot of talk of teams reshaping their current rosters rather than strictly buying or selling, that really did not occur much this year.
The following organizations all pursued slightly different strategies in moving current production for future assets. Which do you think did it best?
Future Asset Traders
These clubs not only moved rental pieces, but also dealt significant players with future control in order to add other future assets.
Rockies acquire Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, & Jesus Tinoco in deal for Troy Tulowitzki & LaTroy Hawkins — Still-fresh GM Jeff Bridich shocked the baseball world by finally putting an end to the Tulo rumors. Now, the team has another expensive veteran shortstop that could become a trade piece, along with three fresh young arms.
Brewers acquire Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, Domingo Santana & Adrian Houser, Zach Davies, and Yhonathan Barrios in deals for Carlos Gomez & Mike Fiers, Gerardo Parra, and Aramis Ramirez — Milwaukee gave up some cheap control in both Gomez and Fiers, while selling high on the expiring Parra and saving dollars with Ramirez. Phillips headlines a nice group of prospects who’ll replenish the Brewers system.
Phillies acquire Matt Harrison, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, Nick Williams, Alec Asher, & Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Pivetta, Jimmy Cordero & Alberto Tirado in deals for Cole Hamels & Jake Diekman, Jonathan Papelbon, and Ben Revere — The Hamels saga rivals that of Tulowitzki for duration and attention. So, was it worth the wait? Philly landed three top-100 prospects in the deal, spreading its bets when it couldn’t seem to pry loose a super-premium youngster.
Braves acquire Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, & Zachary Bird, Rob Whalen & John Gant in deals for Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, Bronson Arroyo & Jose Peraza, Juan Uribe & Kelly Johnson — The Wood-Olivera deal (originally “the Latos deal”) might have been the deadline’s most interesting, and it’ll take quite some time to see how it plays out. Atlanta continues to be exceedingly creative in structuring trades.
Indians acquire Rob Kaminsky, Eric Stamets, and Abraham Almonte in deals for Brandon Moss, David Murphy, and Marc Rzepczynski — Cleveland was said to be unlikely to deal Moss, but was overwhelmed with the offer of Kaminsky, a highly-regarded young pitcher.
Many of these deadline sellers dabbled in deals for players under control for the future, but ultimately ended up moving only their pure rentals.
Reds acquire Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, & Cody Reed, Keury Mella & Adam Duvall in deals for Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake — Moving its soon-to-be-free agent starters long seemed a given, and Cincinnati was able to bolster its future staff with some appealing arms. The club held off on deals for other veterans, including Marlon Byrd and Jay Bruce, but could consider future trades.
Athletics acquire Sean Manaea & Aaron Brooks, Casey Meisner, Jacob Nottingham & Daniel Mengden in deals for Ben Zobrist, Tyler Clippard, and Scott Kazmir — Likewise, the A’s showed little inclination to discuss controllable pieces, instead moving its best expiring veteran assets. The club opted for upside over near-term contributions in its returns, marking something of a departure from other recent trades.
Tigers acquire Daniel Norris, Jairo Labourt & Matt Boyd, Michael Fulmer & Luis Cessa, and JaCoby Jones in deals for David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, and Joakim Soria — Detroit waited until the last minute to hit the sell button, and then shipped out three high-end veterans to add young talent, especially in the rotation. The Tigers seemingly structured their moves to prepare for another run next year.
These clubs all likely considered more significant sell-offs, but ultimately chose to shave some salary and move a few pieces that probably did not figure prominently in future plans.
Marlins acquire Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham & Victor Araujo, Elliot Soto & Ivan Pineyro, Tomas Telis & Cody Ege, and Kyle Barraclough in deals for Mat Latos & Michael Morse, Dan Haren, Sam Dyson, and Steve Cishek — While we heard some chatter about Martin Prado and Marcell Ozuna, Miami held onto those controllable players. The club also did not pull off a move for a starter with extended control, as had been rumored.
Rays acquire Eduar Lopez, Chih-Wei Hu & Alexis Tapia in deals for Kevin Jepsen and David DeJesus — Tampa Bay remains in the Wild Card hunt, but shopped its controllable relief assets and moved the veteran DeJesus. All in all, the team elected to make smaller-scale moves, as was expected.
Mariners acquire Adrian Sampson, Ramon Flores & Jose Ramirez, Rob Rasmussen, Jake Brentz & Nick Wells in deals for J.A. Happ, Dustin Ackley, and Mark Lowe — Entering the deadline in a tough position, the Mariners decided to hold for the most part, but did move two solid arms and finally parted with Ackley, a former top prospect.
Red Sox acquire Josh Rutledge in deal for Shane Victorino — Boston was one of those teams rumored to be in the market to buy for the future, and also may have considered moves involving large contract swaps, but will now do the bulk of its work in the offseason (though August deals can’t be ruled out).