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The many facets of the trade deadline and the impact on Colorado

Patrick Lyons Avatar
August 1, 2019


After an incredibly slow build going into July 31, a lot of trades occurred on what will be baseball’s only trade deadline. Without the ability to deal players placed on revocable waivers as in seasons past, it was all or nothing once the clock struck 2pm MST.

In the American League, juggernauts like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox made zero deadline deals to bolster their chances of adding another trophy to their cluttered cabinets. Cleveland made a swap with Cincinnati to jettison one unique personality (RHP Trevor Bauer) for another (OF Yasiel Puig). And the Houston Astros made it obvious a second championship in three years is paramount to prospects.

The National League was equally as interesting in its own right, especially for the ramifications pertaining to the Rockies.

The biggest deal on Wednesday has immediate impacts on not just the future of the NL West, but also the potential outcome of the World Series. With plenty of moving pieces scattered around the league, here’s the lowdown of the 2019 MLB Trade Deadline.

NL West

Colorado made two trades focused on improving personnel within the organization. The first deal included young LHP Alfredo Garcia, who has ultimately been short of expectations after a $1M signing bonus out of Venezuela, to the Yankees for RHP Joe Harvey. The 27-year-old pitched ten innings for New York in 2019 and could be an intriguing arm for the Rockies bullpen moving forward.

The second deal brought center fielder Jimmy Herron from the Cubs at the cost of some international bonus pool money. Though the value of this allotment is unknown at the time, it’s involvement in the deal is essentially as an asset deemed less than important by the front office. By returning a 23-year-old speedster selected 98th overall in 2018, Colorado got something for what could ultimately be next to nothing.

Arizona (6 games remaining)

The Diamondbacks made four deals, including the biggest trade of the day with the Astros, swapping RHP Zack Greinke and over $20M for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP J.B. Bukauskus, 1B/OF Seth Beer, and IF Joshua Rojas. As an ace with a Hall of Fame resumé, Colorado is relieved to see Greinke sent packing for the next two seasons, even if they bump into him next week in Houston.

Arizona looked to fortify their rotation by acquiring RHP Mike Leake from Seattle and engaging in a challenge trade with the Marlins, sending top prospect SS Jazz Chisholm to Miami for breakout prospect RHP Zac Gallen.

Los Angeles (6 games)

After adding the likes of Manny Machado and Brian Dozier at the 2018 trade deadline, the Dodgers played it conservatively in 2019. Somehow, LA did not add a fourth starter or dominant arm to their bullpen as expected, opting to hold onto top prospects instead. Los Angeles did improve their pen by acquiring LHP Adam Kolarek from Tampa Bay before flipping a different southpaw, LHP Tony Cingrani, to St. Louis for IF Jedd Gyorko, in a move that improved their already impressive bench.

San Francisco (6 games)

President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi made an impressive five trades before baseball’s flea market closed, cleaning house and relieving his payroll of some unwanted contracts while also replacing veterans with good talent and even a former All-Star. With an understanding that Bruce Bochy’s final year as the Giants’ field manager will not be tossed away after a poor start, especially since a recent surge has San Francisco only 2.0 games out of the final Wild Card, San Francisco got creative in order to not tap out entirely.

Exiting the Bay Area are RHP Sam Dyson (Minnesota), RHP Mark Melancon (Atlanta) LHP Drew Pomeranz (Milwaukee) and RHP Ray Black (Milwaukee) and returning are RHP Daniel Winkler, IF Mauricio Dubon, OF Joe McCarthy, four prospects and 2018 All-Star 2B Scooter Gennett.

San Diego (10 games)

The Padres and A.J. Preller were crafty at the deadline, providing the linchpin for a three-way swap that included characters Bauer and Puig. Trading two young players with upside (OF Franmil Reyes and LHP Logan Allen) for an even younger player with greater upside (OF Taylor Trammell), the Friars made their roster appear even scarier for 2020 and beyond.  The addition of four-year veteran RHP Carl Edwards Jr. from the Cubs for rookie LHP Brad Wieck only ages the bullpen 42 days, improbably.

Rest of NL

With the Rockies set to do battle with the Senior Circuit 21 more times this season – including nine against Wild Card contenders St. Louis, New York and Milwaukee – Colorado will quickly need to get acquainted with some new faces.

Pittsburgh (4 games)

The Pirates were the lone seller in the NL, sending former Rockies players to different parts of the league: outfielder Corey Dickerson went to Philadelphia and LHP Jordan Lyles was shipped to Milwaukee. Should Pittsburgh sink any lower in the standings, it could nix the reunion with Clint Hurdle at the end of August in Denver.

Milwaukee (3 games)

The Brewers were also less active this year, opting to add pitching in the form of Lyles and RHP Jacob Faria, who came via Tampa Bay in exchange for 1B Jesus Aguilar. With a three-game set against Colorado to close the season, Milwaukee could find itself popping champagne once again at Coors Field.

New York (3 games)

The Mets muddied the waters as they teased the sale of their own pitchers before acquiring RHP Marcus Stroman for a modest pair of top ten prospects: LHP Anthony Kay and RHP Simeon Woods Richardson. Controlled for another season, Stroman will have several opportunities to show the Rockies what they missed out on before reaching free agency after 2020. With Noah Syndegaard and Zack Wheeler in the shop window, New York eventually dealt LHP Jason Vargas to the rival Phillies.

Miami (3 games)

The Marlins fresh-faced starting rotation got even more youthful after dealing RHP Trevor Rogers, along with rookie reliever RHP Nick Anderson, to the other side of the Sunshine State for RHP Ryne Stanek and incredibly promising prospect OF Jesus Sanchez from Tampa Bay. Miami has been a thorn in the side of Colorado in years past, but a series win and possible sweep of the Fish is within the realm of possibilities later this month.

St Louis (3 games)

The Cardinals currently sit in possession of an NL Wild Card with two months left to play, but opted to sit tight with their roster, only dealing Gyorko to the Dodgers for Cingrani.

Atlanta (1 game)

The team with the second best record in NL got a lot better with the acquisition of Tigers’ closer RHP Shane Greene. Atlanta also aided their bullpen with 2014 Colorado reliever RHP Chris Martin from Texas and added some depth with C John Ryan Murphy coming over from Arizona. They did ship some talented arms in LHP Joey Wentz and LHP Kolby Allard in these deals, but an NL East pennant and a deep playoff run should more than make up for their departures.

Washington acquired a bevy off relievers, none of whom will face the Rockies in 2019: LHP Roenis Elias, RHP Hunter Strickland, and RHP Daniel Hudson.

Philadelphia made smaller transactions in the weeks leading up to the deadline after the losing OF Andrew McCutchen and RHP David Robertson for the season with injuries; Vargas gave the rotation some depth on Monday and Dickerson solidified the outfield with Wednesday’s pact.

Cincinnati completed their scheduled six games with Colorado, all in the month of July. In acquiring Bauer, while also trading away RHP Tanner Roark to Oakland, they strengthened their 2020 rotation and kept the Reds from taking a step back next season. The emergence of Derek Dietrich at second base made the injury-plagued Gennett expendable.

Chicago managed to stay active with a farm system depleted by trades in previous seasons that helped break a 108-year drought between World Series championships. Theo Epstein and company acquired RF Nicholas Castellanos from Detroit, OF/2B Tony Kemp from Houston, and RHP David Phelps from Toronto.

The remaining four games on the Rockies’ 2019 schedule are two-game sets against Houston and Boston, the latter of which takes place at Coors Field later this month.

Without the luxury of the revocable waiver wire and its August 31 trade deadline, Colorado will have to rely upon in-house addition at the major league level. Players on the 40-man roster like OF Sam Hilliard, OF Yonathan Daza, IF Josh Fuentes, and Harvey, not to mention rising prospects like RHP Rico Garcia and LHP Ben Bowden, will all need to take with them the teachings of Albuquerque if anything is going to break for the Rockies during the remaining 53 games of the season. .

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