Trade deadline? What trade deadline? Though arranging deals during the August waiver period is more complicated the swinging deals prior to July 31, that didn’t stop teams from perhaps the single busiest August ever in terms of notable trades. Several major names that didn’t switch uniforms on or before July 31 ended up going to new teams last month, promising big repercussions during pennant races and into October (or beyond, given how many notable non-rental players were dealt).
We’re only looking at trades here, not straight waiver claims — such as the last-minute moves by the Astros to add Cameron Maybin and the Phillies to nab Juan Nicasio. Here are the most significant swaps of August 2017 (in alphabetical order, by category):
Mariners acquire Yonder Alonso from Athletics for Boog Powell (link): The Mariners addressed a big need at first base by acquiring Alonso, who has provided solid production since the deal. Powell has also played well in regular action for the A’s, giving Oakland another potential outfield candidate as the club looks toward 2018.
Indians acquire Jay Bruce from Mets for Ryder Ryan (link): With Michael Brantley still on the DL and Lonnie Chisenhall just back in action, the Tribe added a big power bat to right field, and Bruce has continued his hot hitting since the deal.
Red Sox acquire Rajai Davis from Athletics for Rafael Rincones (link): Jackie Bradley’s injury likely inspired the Sox to add some extra outfield depth in Davis, a respected veteran who brings speed and postseason experience to the roster.
Dodgers acquire Curtis Granderson from Mets for Jacob Rhame (link): The Mets’ fire sale continued as Granderson was sent to L.A. Joc Pederson’s struggles and demotion created an opening for a left-handed outfielder, and Granderson has seen significant playing time on the stacked Dodgers roster.
Angels acquire Brandon Phillips from Braves for Tony Sanchez (link): Second base has long been a problem area for the Angels, and the team hopes Phillips can be the answer for at least the next month as the team pushes for a wild card berth.
Brewers acquire Neil Walker from Mets for PTBNL (link): Walker has done nothing but rake since coming to Milwaukee, giving the surprising Brewers the boost they needed at second base in the wake of Jonathan Villar’s disappointing season.
Future Contract Rights
Athletics acquire Chris Hatcher from Dodgers for international pool money (link):
Oakland gets a change-of-scenery candidate for the bullpen, though the $500K acquired by the Dodgers could lead to a bigger headline. Every little bit of international pool money is important to a team that has designs on landing Shohei Otani this offseason.
Blue Jays acquire Tom Koehler from Marlins for Osman Gutierrez (link): Koehler had made one start in four appearances for Toronto and may be called on to eat some more innings as the Jays play out the string.
Mariners acquire Mike Leake from Cardinals for Rayder Ascanio & international pool money (link): Perhaps the most surprising trade of the month saw the Cards part ways with Leake less than two years after signing him to a five-year, $80MM free agent deal. (St. Louis will send $17MM to Seattle as part of the trade.) The Cards now have extra flexibility with both their payroll and the rotation, while the M’s pick up a durable long-term arm.
Pirates acquire Sean Rodriguez from Braves for Connor Joe (link): The popular veteran hit a walkoff homer in his first game back in a Pittsburgh uniform and seen time at six different positions so far as one of the Pirates’ top utility options.
Angels acquire Justin Upton from Tigers for Grayson Long (link): The Angels added a much-needed lineup upgrade to bolster their AL wild card chase. Upton could be a rental if he opts out of the remaining four years/$88.5MM on his contract, though if not, the Halos will have added another expensive long-term asset to join Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
Astros acquire Justin Verlander and a PTBNL from Tigers for Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron and Jake Rogers (link): The month’s biggest blockbuster went down just minutes before the August 31 deadline, as the Astros made a late move to bolster their rotation with the former AL Cy Young Award winner. Verlander’s vesting option for the 2020 season was also waived as part of the deal, and the Tigers sent just over $17.35MM to help facilitate the $60.66MM owed to Verlander through the end of the 2019 season.
Notable Minor League Depth Trades
- Mariners acquire Ernesto Frieri from Rangers for cash (link)
- Yankees acquire Erik Kratz from Indians for cash (link)
- Mets acquire Travis Snider from Rangers for cash (link)