Major League Baseball’s non-waiver traded deadline came and went with plenty to talk about in both the American and National Leagues.
A number of current and past All-Stars went to contenders in exchange for prospects that their new franchises hope will become All-Star caliber players in the near future.
Three major trades benefited a team in the NL. Here are the breakdowns of those trades and my reaction.
Jay Bruce to the Mets
For the second season in a row the New York Mets bolstered the lineup with a power bat.
Last year it was the addition of Yoenis Cespedes that sparked the Mets offense and carried them to a trip to the World Series. This year, GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins hope they found the missing link in the bat of former Reds outfielder Jay Bruce.
Bruce leads the National League in RBI with 80, and is among the leaders in home runs as well with 25. In his nine-year career Bruce has slugged 233 long balls while hitting for a .249 average. His BA this year is 16 points higher at .256.
One of the Mets top prospects Brandon Nimmo had been rumored to be part of the deal, but according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin that is no longer the case.
Bruce, who is owed $12.5 million this season, has a club option for $13M in 2017. If New York only wants him for the duration of this season, they can buyout the contract for $1 million.
The Mets rank near the bottom of the NL in runs scored to this point in the season, so adding Bruce to the lineup should help out the offensive production. The outfield will likely need a little bit of shuffling has Bruce has played all but 53 games in his career in right field.
Overall, this is a trade for the Mets that, even if they miss out on the postseason this year, can help them out next year if they do decide to pick up his option.
Dodgers strike a deal for Hill and Reddick
The Los Angeles Dodgers currently sit just two games behind the San Francisco Giants for the lead position in the NL West.
Dodgers front office personnel gave manager Dave Roberts the tools necessary to make a late-season run.
LA completed a deal with a fellow California team, the Oakland Athletics, which brought starting pitcher Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick to Chavez Ravine. In exchange, the Dodgers sent over three prospects – No. 5 prospect Grant Holmes, No. 8 Frankie Montas, and No. 13 Jharel Cotton.
It’s a lot to give up for two players that will both be free agents at the end of the season, especially considering Hill is still on the disabled list, but it’s what had to be done by the Dodgers.
LAD needed a reliable outfielder and bat, as well as a good pitcher, both of which they got.
Reddick was arguably the most well-rounded player that was being openly discussed in trade talks, as a player that can both hit well and is a good outfielder. Hill, when healthy, was also one of the top pitchers that was being openly discussed (not including Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Chris Archer of course, who were being held tight to the chest of their respective teams).
Reddick is hitting for a slash line of .296/.368/.449, though his power numbers this year are down slightly with just eight home runs this season.
Hill, a 36-year-old veteran, has gone back and forth between being a starter and a reliever. He is having his best season as a starter in his career, despite batting injuries, with a 9-3 record and 2.25 ERA.
As I mentioned, Hill is currently on the DL dealing with a blister on his throwing hand, but there is hop he could be removed from the DL this weekend.
Reddick gives the Dodgers flexibility in the outfield, as LA could sit Yasiel Puig, or move one of them to left and have quite possibly the fastest outfield in the majors with Reddick, Puig and Joc Pederson.
Hill helps the Dodgers rotation stay intact and good enough talent-wise until Clayton Kershaw returns from a DL stint of his own.
Yes, it was a decent amount to give up, but as long as Hill can stay healthy once coming off the shelf, LA should make good on this trade.
Giants get Matt Moore and a reliever
Moore was one of the Rays young starters that was at least rumored to be available at the deadline, and he was for the price of three players.
One of those three players was the currently injured third baseman Matt Duffy, who had recently begun rehabbing on the comeback trail from an Achilles injury. San Fran also sent two prospects to the Rays in the deal.
Moore is a talented pitcher. He showed that talent in 2013 when he went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA in his lone All-Star season. The following year he injured his UCL, which required Tommy John Surgery after just two starts.
This year Moore has an even 7-7 record on the hill with an ERA just over 4.00. The long ball has been a problem for him in his career has he has given up 52 home runs in his three full seasons, including a career-high 20 this year.
Earlier in the day, San Francisco completed a deal with the Brewers to bring left-handed reliever Will Smith to the City by the Bay.
Following an impressive 2015 campaign, Smith hasn’t had the same luck in 2016 as his ERA is up almost a full run compared to last year in almost one third of the innings pitched.
Despite the stats for neither pitcher this year being what they were in the past, both are key moves for the Giants.
Moore is a great option to have as the No. 4 or 5 starter in a rotation, and manager Bruce Bochy is a master at managing the bullpen. If there is someone who can help Smith turn his season around, it’s Bochy.
Of course, I’m sure the Giants aren’t happy about having to give up Duffy, but with both players being controllable pieces after the season, the risk of giving up Duffy is worth the reward.
And hey, it’s an even year.
(Note: The Miami Marlins send Colin Rae back to San Diego and get Luis Castillo back in return. This was after Miami traded a number of players to the Padres for Rae and Andrew Cashner, and Rae injured his arm in his first start with the Marlins.)
The recap and reactions to the big trades in the American League will come later today.