We’re finally here! The official trade deadline day, July 31st, is just five days away, meaning that a flurry of trades should happen at any minute. Through that day, we’ll be analyzing every single trade that happens, giving grades to both teams based on how well they did.
July 13: Red Sox Acquire SP Andrew Cashner From Orioles
Info: Right as the second half started, the Red Sox acquired starting pitcher Andrew Cashner from the Orioles, in exchange for prospects Elio Prado and Noelberth Romero.
Red Sox: Cashner, 32, was serviceable for the Orioles with a 4.27 FIP. However, with a very low 6.2 K/9 and 5.03 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), I’m not sure he should be in a contender’s rotation. Obviously, he’s a cheap acquisition, especially with Baltimore taking on $1.78 million of his salary, but I don’t really see the point; he’s not an upgrade at all at the back-end of Boston’s rotation. Grade: 6/10
Orioles: Since both of the prospects the Orioles received are 17-years-old, they’re certainly taking flyers on both of them. Prado, an outfielder, has had a tremendous start to professional ball with a 130 wrc+ and a nearly identical walk rate (13.4%) as his strikeout rate (14.1%), which is certainly intriguing. As for Romero, a third baseman, he’s been about average at the plate in rookie ball with a 97 wrc+ while showing almost zero power (.098), but like Prado, is just a flyer that the Orioles hope can develop. I love this approach to the Cashner trade, and honestly, the team should be thrilled to get any sort of value for him. Grade: 8.5/10
July 14: A’s Acquire SP Homer Bailey From Royals
Info: Another trade for a veteran starting pitcher happened just a day later, as the A’s acquired starting pitcher Homer Bailey from the Royals in exchange for shortstop prospect Kevin Merrell.
A’s: Bailey, 33, had been simply unimpressive with the Royals. Yes, his 4.48 FIP is alright, but with a 4.87 SIERA and a high hard contact rate allowed, I’m not sold that he’s capable of being in a playoff team’s rotation. His strikeout rate (8.1 K/9) is fine, but for someone who doesn’t have much in the way of a pitching arsenal, his lackluster command (3.8 BB/9) won’t cut it. He could honestly be a disaster of an acquisition if tasked with pitching against the powerhouse lineups of the Astros, Twins, and Yankees. Grade: 5/10
Royals: Merell, 23, is a legitimate prospect that is ranked 14th in the Royals’ system, according to MLB Pipeline. A former first-round pick, he hasn’t yet put it together; he only had a 74 wrc+ in Double-A. The only skill he currently has is speed, though if his bat can develop, maybe he can be a solid depth piece in the future for Kansas City. Still, to get any sort of prospect for Bailey is extraordinary. Grade: 8.5/10
July 15: Cubs Acquire C Martin Maldonado From Royals
Info: After Wilson Contreras was sent to the 10-day injured list with a foot injury, the Cubs acquired veteran catcher Martin Maldonado from the Royals in exchange for starting pitcher/reliever Mike Montgomery.
Cubs: Maldonado, 32, has been, per usual, poor at the plate with a 66 wrc+. His value comes from his defense, as he has 7 drs and has a reputation for being a tremendous defensive catcher. Still, the fit with the Cubs doesn’t make sense. Victor Caratini (108 wrc+) has been solid as the backup catcher, meaning that the team will carry three catchers once Contreras comes back from injury. Is it really worth holding a spot on the bench for a well below average hitter? Definitely not. Grade: 5/10
Royals: It’s not as though the Cubs gave up anyone of value to them, as the 30-year-old Montgomery had been terrible for them with a 6.22 FIP. A lack of strikeout ability (6 BB/9) coupled with poor command (4.3 BB/9) is a major reason for his fall, but as recently as last year, he had a 3.94 FIP while starting 19 games for Chicago. With multiple years of control remaining, it’s worth taking a shot on Montgomery to develop into a possible asset and potential future trade-chip as a full-time starting pitcher, especially for a liability offensively in Maldonado. Grade: 8/10
July 27: A’s Acquire RP Jake Diekman From Royals
Info: In an attempt to bolster their bullpen, the A’s have traded for reliever Royals Jake Diekman, sending outfield prospect Dairon Blanco and pitching prospect Ismael Aquino to Kansas City.
A’s: The addition of Diekman doesn’t exactly fill a need for Oakland, who has the sixth-lowest bullpen FIP this season. However, this acquisition is still a tremendous one. The 32-year-old has been solid this season with a 3.36 FIP and 3.50 SIERA, while he’s struck out batters at a hilariously effective rate (13.61 K/9). Plus, he’s strong versus righties and lefties, and gives manager Bob Melvin a tremendous lefty option out of the pen. If I have one issue with this deal, it’s that Diekman’s control problems (4.97 BB/9) don’t match well with the control issues of Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen, but that’s a very small concern that most likely won’t matter anyway. He does come with a $5.75 million mutual option for next season, though that’s likely to be declined by him, as he’s earned a multi-year payday in the upcoming offseason. Overall, this is a sneaky move that should help the A’s in their pursuit of a wildcard spot. Grade: 9.5/10
Royals: Blanco, 26, isn’t exactly a prospect anymore, but he should be theoretically almost ready to make an impact at the big league level, since he’s already at Double-A. He’s been solid there with a 123 wrc+, but it’s unclear if that’s sustainable with his .380 BABIP. Honestly, it looks like Kansas City acquired him for his speed – he has 27 steals this season – but if that’s all he’s really offering, he’s nothing more than a potential bench piece at best. As for Aquino, he’s certainly a prospect at 20-years-old, but with just a 4.37 FIP in rookie ball, he hasn’t exactly done himself any favors of his hopeful path to the big leagues. His 10.6 K/9 is intriguing as a potential reliever down the road, but his 5.6 BB/9 means that he needs to either refine his command, or really increase his strikeout numbers. This is a very underwhelming return for a reliever who was coveted by multiple teams, though he was a rental. Grade: 5.5/10
July 27: Twins Acquire RP Sergio Romo From Marlins
Info: In the second big relief pitcher trade of the day, the Twins have acquired reliever Sergio Romo, pitching prospect Chris Vallimont, and a player to be named later in exchange for first base prospect Lewin Diaz.
Twins: Romo, 36, is having another typical season for him as a decent reliever; he has a 3.89 FIP. There are some small concerns to be had over his low strikeout rate (7.88), and his suddenly lower HR-FB rate, but he’s a safe acquisition to add a veteran presence to a bullpen that has had its ups and downs this season. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Vallimont is actually a solid prospect to be getting back in addition to Romo, as he’s broken out this season with a 3.01 FIP and 10.50 K/9, and ranks 29th in their farm system, according to MLB.Com, actually higher than the prospect they gave up ranked. Grade: 8.5/10
Marlins: Diaz, 22, has received mixed reports depending on different outlets. Some viewed as a top 15 prospect in the Twins’ farm system, while others were much lower on him. After a very poor season last year, he’s rebounded with a 159 wrc+ in 33 games at Double-A after posting a 154 wrc+ in 57 games at High-A, demonstrating the well above average power that made him once a premier prospect. There’s still a lot of upside in his offensive profile, and it’s clear Miami believes in it. Grade: 8/10
July 28: Rays Acquire 2B Eric Sogard From Blue Jays
Info: In an attempt likely to add depth to their injury-ravaged team, the Rays have acquired utility player Eric Sogard from the Blue Jays in exchange for two players to be named later.
Rays: Signed to a minor league contract this offseason, the 33-year-old Sogard has had a breakout season, posting a 122 wrc+ and a 2.1 WAR. There are obvious concerns with if it’s sustainable, as his expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA, .301) is significantly lower than his actual wOBA, while he ranks in the FIRST percentile in hard-hit percentage. Yet, his ability to play multiple positions is important for a team dealing with injuries at second base (Brandon Lowe), third base (Yandy Diaz), and in the outfield (Kevin Kiermaier). It’s essentially a no-risk move with very low upside. Grade: 8/10
Blue Jays: It’s difficult to evaluate this trade for the Blue Jays, since it’s unclear who the two players to be named later will be. However, it’s still an alright return for a 36-year-old with serious red flags in the sustainability of his current performance, and it opens up a roster spot for top prospect Bo Bichette. Grade: 7.5/10
July 28: Mets Acquire SP Marcus Stroman From Blue Jays
Info: In an absolute shocker, the Mets have acquired arguably the top starting pitcher on the market, Marcus Stroman, in exchange for pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon WoodsRichardson.
Mets: There’s no question that the 28-year-old Stroman is a solid pitcher that will upgrade an already above average rotation; he has a 3.53 FIP and a 2.9 WAR this season. However, the Mets may be one of the worst fits for him. With a low strikeout rate (7.15 K/9), Stroman is a ground-ball pitcher who relies on his defense for him to have success. However, unfortunately for him, New York has an awful infield defense (-42 drs), which is why Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler have such high ERAs compared to their FIPs. If the Mets are trying to contend in 2020, simply holding onto Noah Syndergaard and possibly extending Zack Wheeler, who’s free-agent contract will likely be similar to Stroman’s arbitration cost, who are better fits with this bad defense anyway with their high strikeout rates. In addition, although the return they gave up was minimal, it’s not that small of a return when considering what Stroman brings this season doesn’t really matter, as New York seems to be out of the playoff race. Grade: 6/10
Blue Jays: Honestly, I may be more shocked but how small of a return the Blue Jays received than the fact that it was the Mets who acquired Stroman. Kay, 24, had performed well in Double-A with 2.73 FIP while representing New York in the Futures Game, but he’s been absolutely lit up in Triple-A to the tune of a 6.22 FIP while surrendering the home run ball at an alarming rate (2.01 HR/9). Even if he reaches his potential, he has a relatively low upside as a #3 or #4 starter, and since he’s already 24-years-old, time is running out for him to reach that ceiling. At just 18-years-old, Woods Richardson is practically the polar opposite of Kay. His upside is very high given his lively pitching arsenal and high strikeout rate (11.14 K/9) coupled with his low walk rate (1.95 BB/9). He’s a very sneaky addition who could quickly rise to being one of the game’s best pitching prospects if he keeps this up, but there’s still some uncertainty with that, and it’s clear this package lacks a true centerpiece. Grade: 6.5/10
July 28: Indians Acquired RP Hunter Wood and 3B Christian Arroyo From Rays
Info: Due to a 40-man roster crunch, the Rays have shipped reliever Hunter Wood and infielder Christian Arroyo to the Indians in exchange for minor league outfielder Ruben Cardenas and international slot money.
Indians: The Indians do need depth in their bullpen, and the 25-year-old Wood could provide it. He’s been okay with a 4.19 FIP, though is he can see his strikeout rate (7.45 K/9) rebound, he could be a decent middle relief option for them with the ability to throw multiple innings out of the bullpen. Arroyo, 24, hasn’t produced at the big-league level, with just an 85 wrc+ in 16 games this season, but he was solid in his time at Triple-A with a 145 wrc+, albeit with a somewhat high .345 BABIP. He’s at the worst a decent glove-first bench infielder, but given the fact that he’s a former first-round draft pick with such minor league success, maybe he can grow into a bigger piece for them. Either way, all they really risked was two roster spots. Grade: 9/10
Rays: Cardenas, 21, is somewhat unknown as a prospect, but he’s produced at Single-A to the tune of a 132 wrc+. There’s nothing that’s eye-popping from his numbers, but there’s nothing to suggest that his current production is legitimate. Tampa Bay has had success finding diamonds in the rough, however. Plus, the international slot money is important for a team that tends to be one of the major players in that market. It’s much better than the alternative, which was to get rid of Wood and Arroyo for nothing. Grade: 8.5/10
July 29: Brewers Acquire SP Jordan Lyles From Pirates
Info: In an effort to upgrade their struggling rotation, the Brewers have acquired starting pitcher Jordan Lyles from the Pirates in a small trade for relief pitcher prospect Cody Ponce.
Brewers: At one point this season, it seemed like Lyles was having a breakout season. However, the 28-year-old has been awful in July with a 10.48 FIP, which has inflated his overall FIP to 4.81. His strikeout numbers (9.84 K/9), are solid, but he, like the rest of the league, is suffering from the home run ball (1.75 HR/9). There’s not much to talk about with this trade, as Milwaukee is receiving a #5 starting pitcher at best, and this hopefully not the last of their efforts to improve the rotation as they gear up for a playoff push. Grade: 6.5/10
Pirates: In his first season being a full-time reliever, the 25-year-old Ponce has been effective with a 2.58 FIP and 10.33 K/9. He has at least a two-pitch mix with his fastball and cutter/slider, should emerge as a major-league reliever soon, and is a nice return for a struggling pitcher. Grade: 9.5/10
July 29: Phillies Acquire SP Jason Vargas From Mets
Info: In a low-risk move to patch up their rotation, the Phillies have traded for starting pitcher Jason Vargas from the Mets, sending minor league catcher Austin Bossart to New York.
Phillies: After being absolutely horrible in the first year of his two-year contract that he signed with the Mets, the 36-year-old Vargas has been okay this season with a 4.71 FIP. Yet, his strikeout (7.73 K/9) and walk (3.72 BB/9) have declined this season, and his xFIP (5.22) and SIERA (5.03) are both over 5.00. In addition, he’s benefitted tremendously from a .253 BABIP allowed, and though he’ll be playing for a better defense now, there have to be concerned about his high fly ball tendencies in his transition to playing at a homerun friendly stadium at Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia needs help in the rotation desperately, but I’m not sure Vargas provides that, though the Mets are covering his salary this season. Grade: 6.5/10
Mets: Bossart, 26, was solid last season in Double-A with a 111 wrc+, but that number has dropped to 91 this season. However, he’s suffering from a very low .216 BABIP, and has an above-average 12.7% walk rate. He’s definitely not an exciting prospect by any means, but maybe he can develop into a backup at some point, though unlikely. Grade: 7.5/10
July 30: Cubs Acquire RP David Phelps From Blue Jays
Info: In somewhat of an attempt to help their shaky bullpen, the Cubs have acquired reliever David Phelps from the Blue Jays in exchange for pitching prospect Thomas Hatch.
Cubs: On the surface, Phelps, 32, seems to be having a solid season with a 3.63 ERA in 17.1 innings, after working his way back from Tommy John surgery. However, that ERA comes with a 4.79 FIP and 5.03 xFIP, while his SIERA isn’t much better at 4.27. Furthermore, Phelps isn’t forcing many batters to chase outside of the zone (23.5%), and is benefitting from a low BABIP (.262) and a high left-on base percentage (84.6%). It’s shocking that this was the best they could do to upgrade the bullpen considering they actually gave up a legitimate prospect., despite Phelps’ past success. Grade: 6/10
Blue Jays: There was some risk with trading Hatch, who’s 24-years-old, struggling in Double-A with a 4.70 FIP, and is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December. There’s nothing eye-popping with him and is known for having some command issues, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t be a useful swingman/long reliever in the future for Toronto, and those types of pitchers are always valuable. Grade: 8/10
July 30: Braves Acquire RP Chris Martin From Rangers
Info: The Braves have made the long-awaited move to add to their bullpen, acquiring Chris Martin from the Rangers in exchange for pitching prospect Kolby Allard.
Braves: Martin, 33, has thrived this year out of the Rangers’ bullpen. Though he has a 4.02 FIP that is inflated by a 2.57 HR/9 at the bandbox known as Globe Life Park, his underlying numbers are fantastic. He has an absolutely incredible 10.75 K-BB ratio, a 2.79 SIERA, and a 2.94 xFIP. Yes, he’s been the beneficiary of an absurd 93% left on base rate, but that doesn’t undermine his effectiveness, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his performance elevates further now that he’s out of Texas. He’s a rental, and they gave up a solid prospect to get him, but this a solid trade for them nonetheless. Grade: 8.5/10
Rangers: Allard, 21, was once a consensus top 100 prospect, but his stock has fallen quite a bit; he has a 4.67 FIP in Triple-A this season. Still, he’s improved his strikeout numbers (8.95 K/9) this season, possesses good command, and definitely has the makings of a #3 or #4 starting pitcher. He may not have a high ceiling, but to get a potential future piece for their rotation for an under the radar rental reliever is still a very solid return. Grade: 8.5/10
July 30: Reds Acquire SP Trevor Bauer In Three-Team Blockbuster With Indians and Padres
Info: In a blockbuster that is much more than shocking, the Reds have acquired starting pitcher Trevor Bauer from the Indians. Cleveland will receive outfielder Yasiel Puig and pitching prospect Scott Moss from Cincinnati, as well as outfielder Franmil Reyes, starting pitcher Logan Allen, and infield prospect Victor Nova from the Padres. Meanwhile, San Diego will receive outfield prospect Taylor Trammell from the Reds.
Reds: After a breakout season last year, the 28-year-old Bauer has regressed this season to the tune of a 4.17 FIP and 4.16 SIERA. Furthermore, his strikeouts (10.63 K/9), walks (3.62 BB/9), hard contact rate allowed (40.2%), and ground ball rate allowed (39%) have all declined. Cincinnati is obviously gambling that he can be the pitcher he’s always had the potential to become, and was last year, but that could prove to be a costly risk, as they’re giving away one of the better prospects in Trammell, as well as foregoing the chance to recoup additional prospects for Puig. Plus, since they’re not in the postseason race this season, they’re only really benefitting from Bauer for one postseason push, when they’re paying the cost that a team would pay for two postseason pushes, and it’s strange that the price was so high after a very similar pitcher with exactly the same amount of club control in Marcus Stroman netted a rather small return. Grade: 6/10
Indians: The Indians have a 2.5 game lead for the first spot in the AL wildcard and are just 3 games back in the AL Central; a trade for Bauer would need to bring back players who could help the team win now, and in the future. Puig, 28, falls in the former category. His overall offensive numbers (98 wrc+) aren’t impressive, but he’s been on fire ever since June, and is an elite defender. He’s definitely an upgrade over Cleveland’s current group of outfielders, as is Reyes, 24, who’s an offensive force with a 116 wrc+ and a .282 isolated power (ISO). His hard contact rate (47.8%) is through the roof, and he’s clearly gotten unlucky with a wOBA (.352) much lower than his xwOBA (.376). He’s an awful defender and is best served as a designated hitter, but his power is legitimate, and there’s no doubting his offensive potential. It’s unclear if the 22-year-old Allen, who’s struggled in the majors (5.95 FIP) and in Triple-A (4.87 FIP), will be sent back down, but he still remains a very talented pitching prospect with a high floor; he’ll settle into Cleveland’s rotation at some point in the future. Meanwhile, Moss, 24, has had no trouble striking out batters at Double-A, but walks are a major concern for him (5.03 BB/9). It’s unclear if he’ll become a major leaguer, but there is some solid potential with Nova, 19, who has been excellent with a 136 wrc+ and 13.8% walk rate in Rookie Ball. That’s a lot to take in, but essentially, Cleveland accomplished their goal of helping their team now and in the future, though they may have no received as much future talent as I would have anticipated. Grade: 8/10
Padres: At first, this seemed to be an underwhelming trade for the Padres, who only received Trammell in the trade. However, there’s a chance San Diego could turn out to be the major winners of this blockbuster. Ranked as the 30th overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, and it’s easy to see why. He’s completely lost his power (.102 ISO) this season at Double-A, but due to his high walk rate (14.3%), he’s still managing to get on base at an impressive .350 clip, which is why his wrc+ remains above-average at 108. If he can tap into his power, he has the chance to become a superstar, but either way, he’s an elite defender with tremendous on-base skills; he likely fills the void as the team’s future center field. Plus, they gave up an outfielder with defensive issues in their logjam of corner outfielders, a low-ceiling pitching prospect who isn’t super valuable considering all of their pitching prospects, and a lowly regarded infield prospect. That sounds like a nice trade for San Diego, who continue to add to their future by acquiring premium young talent. Grade: 8.5/10
July 31: Rangers Acquire RP Nate Jones and $1 International Money From White Sox
Info: In an under the radar trade, the Rangers have acquired reliever Nate Jones and $1 million international slot money, in exchange for minor league pitchers Joe Jarneski and Ray Castro.
Rangers: Jones, 33, recently landed on the 60-day injured list after undergoing right forearm surgery. He hasn’t pitched much in the past three seasons (51.2 innings), but in 2016, he was one of the game’s better relievers with a 2.93 FIP and 5.33 K-BB ratio. He has club options for 2020 and 2021 of $3.75 million and $4.25 million, respectively, though it’s likely Texas will decline those options. The main benefit of this trade for them is securing extra international money. Grade: 8.5/10
White Sox: Neither Jarneski, 19, (4.50 FIP Rookie Ball) nor Castro, 22, (7.07 K/9 Rookie Ball) are much of prospects; neither look to be future impact contributors. Still, they save about $1.25 million with his buyout this season; this money is all money motivated. Grade: 8/10
July 31: Rays Acquire 1B Jesus Aguilar From Brewers
Info: In a surprise move, the Rays have acquired first baseman Jesus Aguilar in exchange for pitcher Jake Faria.
Rays: After having a breakout season with a 134 wrc+ last season, the 29-year-old Aguilar has struggled this season with just an 82 wrc+. However, he’s been much better in July with a 131 wrc+, and his xwOBA (.342) is much higher than his wOBA (.304). If he can get his power (.149 ISO) back in check, he can prove to be an absolute steal for Tampa Bay, who are once again buying low on a player and could soon reap the benefits. Grade: 9.5/10
Brewers: Faria, 26, was seen as an up and coming pitcher when he posted a decent 4.12 FIP in 86.2 innings in 2017. However, he struggled last year with a 5.08 FIP, and in 10 innings this season, he has an even worse 5.73 FIP. Furthermore, he struggled with a 4.21 FIP in Triple-A, and command has always been an issue with him. There’s a chance he can figures things out, but he’s a risky addition for the Brew Crew in the middle of a playoff push, and they may have been better off just keeping Aguilar. Grade: 6.5/10
July 31: Astros Acquire C Martin Maldonado
Info: For the second time this month, catcher Martin Maldonado has been traded, this time from the Chicago Cubs to the Houston Astros in exchange for utility player Tony Kemp.
Astros: As mentioned when Chicago acquired him, Maldonado has once again been a poor offensive contributor with a 66 wrc+, but his defense has been strong behind the plate (8 drs) again. Houston clearly likes him after they had him for a pennant chase last year; they offered him a two-year contract and tried to trade for him before the Cubs did. Kemp was likely to be DFA’d by them, so upgrading the catching position with a veteran leader is certainly making the best of that situation. Grade: 7.5/10
Cubs: Just because Kemp was on the verge of being DFA’d doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. He’s been below average offensively this season with a 94 wrc+, but that’s being plagued by a .233 BABIP, which is strange since he’s a rather fast runner. The 27-year-old also plays the infield and outfield effectively (2 drs each), meaning he’s at least an average contributor offensively and an above-average defender, and also comes up additional three years of club control; he’s a steal for Chicago. Grade: 10/10
July 31: Nationals Acquire RP Daniel Hudson
Info: In their first of multiple moves to upgrade their bullpen, the Nationals acquired reliever Daniel Hudson, sending pitching prospect Kyle Johnston.
Nationals: Hudson, 32, has been strong on the surface with a 3.00 ERA, but his peripherals (4.21 FIP, 4.31 BB/9, 5.27 xFIP) tell another story. Washington certainly is betting on him continuing to outperform those peripherals, but he’s unlikely how much of a help he is for them, even when considering their previous bullpen situation. Grade: 6.5/10
Blue Jays: It’s unclear how much of a prospect Johnston is, considering he’s 23-years-old and still in High-A. He’s been decent there with a 3.54 FIP and a 2.70 K-BB ratio. Maybe he can be a late bloomer, but no matter what, it’s still a fine return for a mediocre rental reliever. Grade: 7.5/10
July 31: Nationals Acquire RP Roenis Elias From Mariners
Info: In another strange attempt to bolster the relief corps, Nationals have acquired reliever Roenis Elias in exchange for pitching prospects Elvis Alvarado and Taylor Guilbeau.
Nationals: Elias, 31, is a strange pickup for the simple fact that is unclear if he’s anything more than a below-average pitcher. He has a 4.67 FIP and 4.33 SIERA this season, has gotten lucky with a .258 BABIP allowed, and doesn’t do anything particularly well. Furthermore, he’s actually worse versus lefties than he is versus righties, and outside of the ability to throw multiple mediocre innings per outing, doesn’t offer a lot for Washington. He is under control through 2021, though that shouldn’t mean much since he’s not a very high-quality pitcher anyway. Grade: 6/10
Mariners: Even worse for Washington is that they actually gave up decent prospects from their farm system to make this trade happen. Alvarado, 20, is a two-way prospect who’s been abysmal as a hitter (30 wrc+) and as a pitcher (4.95 FIP) in Rookie Ball, but he’s still struck out batters at an impressive rate (11.4 K/9) and remains a somewhat intriguing player. The major loss in this trade is the 26-year-old Guilbeau, who was excellent in Double-A with a 2.07 FIP and 11.3 K/9 before being promoted in Triple-A. Honestly, they could’ve just called him up and received similar results, if not better, than what Elias will be giving them, making this a nice trade for Seattle. Grade: 9/10
July 31: A’s Acquire SP Tanner Roark From Reds
Info: In an attempt to improve their weak rotation, the A’s have acquired starting pitcher Tanner Roark from the Reds in exchange for outfield prospect Jameson Hannah.
A’s: It’s not as though the 32-year-old Roark is a game-breaking addition for Oakland. However, he was arguably the best rental starting pitcher to be traded; he has a 4.19 FIP with fine peripherals in 110.1 innings this season. Given that his ground ball allowed rate is trending downward, playing at Oakland instead of at Great American Ballpark will help, and playing behind one of the league’s best defenses should improve his BABIP (.333) luck as well. It’s a great fit in Oakland, though they gave up a decent prospect to acquire him. Grade: 8/10
Reds: Drafted in the second round of last year’s draft, Hannah, 21, was a consensus top-ten prospect in the A’s’ farm system. Still, most of his success this season in High-A (103) is BABIP (.361) oriented, which won’t last considering his high 54.2% ground ball rate. He’s also demonstrated no power and doesn’t bring much to the table besides speed and a potential 55-grade hit tool, according to Fangraphs; he was an expendable prospect for Oakland and is no bet to make a difference in Cincinnati. Still, it’s a better return than I would have expected the Reds to receive for a mediocre rental starting pitcher. Grade: 8/10
July 31: Brewers Acquire RPs Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black From Giants
Info: In a surprising trade, the Brewers have acquired relievers Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black from the Giants in exchange for infield prospect Mauricio Dubon.
Brewers: Overall this season, Pomeranz, 30, has struggled with a 5.24 FIP. However, he sports an impressive 10.66 K/9, and since being converted to a reliever, has dominated with a 0.79 FIP and 8 K-BB ratio, albeit in just 5.1 innings. Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Black possesses a fastball over 100 MPH and at times an elite slider, but command has always been an issue for him, which is why he’s struggled at Triple-A this season (5.16 BB/9, 4.64 FIP), though he was solid in the majors last season with 12.73 K/9 and a 3.98 FIP. There’s a lot of uncertainty in this trade, though there also is a lot of upside; this will either help their bullpen a lot, or not at all. Grade: 7/10
Giants: Dubon, 25, was rumored to be a coveted target for the Giants in a Will Smith trade. Instead, they’re able to acquire Milwaukee’s third-best prospect for a reliever that wasn’t needed and a minor-league reliever. There’s not a lot of upside with him, as he’s basically been an average hitter in the minors and is an average defender. There’s a small chance he can become an everyday second baseman, though I’m not sure he does anything particularly well enough for that to happen; he’ll likely be a utility player and a depth piece for San Francisco this year and in the future, which isn’t a bad concern considering what they gave up. Grade: 9/10
July 31: Nationals Acquire RP Hunter Strickland From Mariners
Info: In their second trade with the Mariners for a bullpen arm, the Nationals have acquired Hunter Strickland, sending pitching prospect Aaron Fletcher.
Nationals: Strickland, 30, has only pitched 3.2 innings this season, as he was put on the injured list with a lat strain in March and was only activated this week. After being a solid reliever for the Giants in 2016 and 2017, he really struggled for them in 2018, posting a 4.42 FIP, only a 1.76 K-BB ratio, and a 4.99 xFIP. Furthermore, his strikeout rate and hard contact rate allowed really declined, which are not signals that he should’ve been a target for Washington, especially since he’s barely pitched this season. They do get an extra year of club control with him, though like with Elias, they seem to be valuing that too much. Grade: 5/10
Mariners: For someone that’s pitched so little for them, the Mariners received an outstanding return in the 23-year-old Fletcher. He’s been excellent in Low-A, High-A, and Double-A, with a FIP under 2.50 and a K/9 of 9.00 or better at each stop, and he seems to be on a quick trajectory to the majors as a solid reliever. Therefore, Seattle pretty much traded out 1.5 years of control for a below-average reliever for a future six years of control of a future solid reliever; they win this trade by a landslide. Grade: 10/10
July 31: Dbacks Acquire SP Zac Gallen From Marlins
Info: In a rare prospect for prospect trade, the Diamondbacks have acquired starting pitcher Zac Gallen from the Marlins in exchange for shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm.
Diamondbacks: In 36.1 innings in the majors this season, the 23-year-old Gallen has broken onto the scene with a 3.58 FIP. He also was strong in Triple-A, with a 3.36 FIP and a 6.59 K-BB ratio. There’s a lot to like with him, as his strikeout rate in the majors (10.65 K/9) and in Triple-A (11.04 K/9) has been strong, and although his command has been slightly off (4.46 BB/9 MLB), it’s projected to be a strength for him in the future. I’m not as sold on Gallen as others seem to be, but he should be at least a decent #3 or #4 starting pitcher with six years of club control, and his MLB-readiness fits their strategy of retooling rather than rebuilding. How they fare on this trade really depends on how Chisholm turns out, though. Grade: 7.5/10
Marlins: There’s a lot of risk with Chisholm, 21. He’s striking out at an awful 33.8% rate in Double-A, and those contact issues have caused his on-base percentage to slip to a below-average .305. However, he’s still walking in 11.3% of his plate appearances, has gotten unlucky with a .261 BABIP despite possessing above-average speed, and has also demonstrated decent power (.223 ISO). Despite there being some perception that he’s struggled this season, he still has a 114 wrc+, which is fine considering he also projects to be a great defender at shortstop. Miami also lacked quality position player prospects and had depth with young pitchers; this was a logical trade for both sides, but primarily for them. Grade: 9/10
July 31: Phillies Acquire OF Corey Dickerson From Pirates
Info: The Phillies have acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Pirates in exchange for international slot money and a player to be named later.
Phillies: Since Andrew McCutchen tore his ACL in June, the Phillies had a need for an outfielder, even with Jay Bruce (now injured) and Adam Haseley spending time in left field for the team. Dickerson, 30, should fill the need. Though it’s a small sample size (44 games), his 133 wrc+ is impressive, and though he’s been lucky with a .353 BABIP, has improved his walk rate and .ISO this season. It’s concerning that after a gold-glove season last year that he’s regressed significantly defensively (-5 drs), but he’s a no-risk pickup for the team and should at least be an average everyday player for them. Grade: 8.5/10
Pirates: There was never going to be much of a market for Dickerson, who’s been limited with injuries and has struggled defensively. We’ll have to wait to see how the player to be named later is and how much international money they received, though ideally, they would have been able to land one known prospect. Grade: 7.5/10
July 31: Dodgers Acquire INF Jed Gyorko From Cardinals
Info: In a rare trade involving two contenders from the same league, the Dodgers have acquired infield Jed Gyorko and international money in exchange for reliever Tony Cingrani and minor-league pitcher Jeffry Abreu.
Dodgers: Though he’s currently on the injured list, Gyroko, 30, is expected to return shortly. Though he has just a 56 wrc+ in 62 plate appearance this season, he had a wrc+ over 100 in the three seasons prior, and he has the reputation for mashing lefties. He also the ability to play all over the infield and outfield; his platoon splits and versatility make him a great fit for Los Angeles, who add depth and insurance for the injured David Freese at a very low risk, since St.Louis will be covering some of his remaining salary and $1 million buyout on his $13 million club option next year. Grade: 9.5/10
Cardinals: Cingrani, 30, is out for the season, and as a pending free agent, is only in this contract for salary purposes. This trade was made to acquire a 19-year-old pitching prospect in Abreu, who has 11.17 K/9 in Rookie Ball while also inducing ground balls at an impressive 56.6% rate. Additionally, with versatile infielders Yairo Munez and Tommy Edman already on the roster, there simply was no room for Gyroko, though it’s still unfortunate they couldn’t find a spot for him. Grade: 8/10
July 31: Braves Acquire RP Shane Greene From Tigers
Info: Continuing to upgrade their bullpen, the Braves have acquired reliever Shane Greene, sending pitching prospect Joey Wentz and outfield prospect Travis Demeritte.
Braves: With a 1.18 ERA that is not backed up by his 3.70 FIP and 3.45 SIERA, it was clear to see a scenario where a team overrated Greene. Atlanta didn’t however, given the package heading to Detroit, and in return, they receive a solid reliever with 10.18 K/9 and a 3.58 K-BB ratio. Obviously, his .178 BABIP allowed and 85.2% left on-base percentage are unsustainable, but even if he pitches like a mid 3.00 ERA reliever, it will be worth it for Atlanta, who will control him through next season. Grade: 9/10
Tigers: It’s disappointing for the Tigers that they didn’t receive the lofty return they likely imagined, but it’s still not a horrible package. Wentz, 21, has struggled with a 4.36 FIP in Double-A this season, but ranked as the 7th best prospect in a strong Atlanta farm system and doesn’t have a clear weakness; he should develop into a middle of the rotation starting pitcher for Detroit. Demeritte, 24, has raked to the tune of a 137 wrc+ in Triple-A, improving his power (.271 ISO) and walk rate (12.8%), though he comes with serious strikeout concerns (26.6%). He can play both the infield and outfield, which is nice, though it’s unclear how he’ll be as a major league (he was just called up). It’s an okay return, though still not what it could have been in a seller’s market for relievers. Grade: 7/10
July 31: Braves Acquire RP Mark Melancon From Giants
Info: In somewhat of a surprising move, the Braves have traded for reliever Mark Melancon, sending pitching prospect Tristan Beck and reliever Daniel Winkler to San Francisco.
Braves: Melancon, 34, is a rather fascinating addition to the Braves’ bullpen. Seen as a bust after signing a four year, $62 million contract with the Giants, he was actually solid for them, and has been strong this season with a 3.33 FIP and 3.57 SIERA. Furthermore, he’s improved his strikeout rate (8.55 K/9), and has found success despite an unlucky .354 BABIP despite a 61% ground ball rate. The major drawback in this trade is his salary, as Atlanta will be taking on what he is owed this year as well as the $14 million he is owed next year. That’s a lot when considering they could be major players in free agency for a big name such as Gerrit Cole, though with a lot of cheap, but talented young players on the roster, they have the financial flexibility to make this trade AND not hurt their plans for this offseason. Grade: 7.5/10
Giants: For the Giants, getting rid of Melancon’s contract is a major bonus, as it adds some salary for a team that desperately needed to. Winkler, 29, was just designated for assignment, so the only piece on this trade is the 23-year-old Beck. A fourth-round pick last year, he’s done well in High-A with a 3.08 FIP and 2.94 xFIP, while also striking out batters at a good rate (9.57 K/9). Considering Atlanta is taking on all of Melancon’s salary, Beck, who could definitely develop into a fine #4 starting pitcher, is a nice piece to add. Grade: 9/10
July 31: Astros Acquire RP Joe Biagini and SP Aaron Sanchez From Blue Jays
Info: The Astros have acquired starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez and reliever Joe Biagini from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Derek Fisher.
Astros: It’s been a rough season for Sanchez; the 27-year-old has a 5.03 FIP this season. However, he’s the prime example of someone who could have his career revitalized by Houston’s analytics staff. He’s currently throwing his sinker 37% of the time, but if like they did with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, if they can get him to throw his high 90s four-seam fastball more in addition to his elite spin breaking ball, he should find success. He could factor into the rotation in the future, though for now, he’s more of a bullpen piece. Meanwhile, Biagini, 29, comes with an extra three years of club control. He’s been alright this season with a 4.38 FIP, though his 3.80 xFIP and 3.92 SIERA indicate he’s slightly better than the FIP would suggest. He’ll add bullpen depth for a team that needed some, and at a very cheap cost. Grade: 10/10
Blue Jays: It’s safe to say Fisher, 25, was not a key piece for the Astros. That’s not to say he’s a bad player, as he has a decent amount of upside and traditionally has high walk rates to complement his elite speed. As per usual, he’s had success in Triple-A (125 wrc+), but that hasn’t translated to the majors (86 wrc+). Toronto is certainly hoping he’ll prove to be a solid major leaguer rather than the classic “Four-A” player, but they paid a pretty steep price to find out. Grade: 7.5/10
July 31: Angels Acquire C Max Stassi From Astros
Info: In an inner-division trade, the Angels have traded for catcher Max Stassi in exchange for outfield prospects Rainer Rivas and Raider Uceta.
Angels: Stassi, 28, is an abysmal offensive producer, as illustrated by his 25 wrc+, 34.7% strikeout rate, and .044 ISO. Despite playing elite defense, he’s still been worth -0.1 WAR this season, and is someone Houston clearly didn’t believe in. However, Stassi posted a 100 wrc+ as recently as last year, and combined with that defense, was worth a 2.6 WAR. It’s a great trade if he can recapture that form, and considering the Angels are really focusing on contending next season, he’s an underrated buy-low pickup. Grade: 9/10
Astros: The Astros are taking flyers on two unknown 18-year-olds in Rivas and Uceta. Rivas is something to keep an eye on since he’s posted above-average walk rates in Rookie-Ball, though the same cannot be said about Uceta, who’s relied on a .389 BABIP to post a below-average 95 wrc+ due to his lack of power (.095). With the acquisition of Maldonado, Stassi was a superfluous piece for Houston, so getting more than cash considerations is actually somewhat impressive, although the prospects acquired don’t appear to be very intriguing. Grade: 8/10
July 31: Rays Acquire RP Nick Anderson and SP Trevor Richards
Info: In a very surprising trade, the Rays and Marlins have made an inner-state trade. Reliever Nick Anderson and starting pitcher Trevor Richards are heading to Tampa Bay, while reliever Ryne Stanek and outfield prospect Jesus Sanchez will be going to Miami.
Rays: There’s a lot to like with Anderson, 29, who has broken out to the tune of a 2.72 FIP, 14.22 K/9, and a 2.79 SIERA. He has allowed hard contact at an alarming 47% rate, but still, his .294 xwOBA is elite due to that strikeout rate, and he’s still gotten unlucky with the BABIP gods (.368). He also comes with five additionals years of control, which is important for a small market team like Tampa Bay, who rely on cheap talent to win, though it should be noted relievers are volatile and this is Anderson’s first season of note. On the surface, Richards, 26, has been simply bad with a 4.74 FIP and 4.10 BB/9, but he isn’t a free agent until 2025, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Tampa has something up their sleeves with him. Grade: 6.5/10
Marlins: It’s strange to see Tampa deal Stanek, 28, who’s been solid this season with a 3.74 FIP. However, he on the lucky side based on his BABIP (.264), despite allowing hard contact at an absolutely alarming 48.3% rate. There’s a chance he can develop into a future trade chip for Miami, but the main piece in this deal is Sanchez. The 21-year-old was recently promoted to Triple-A and produced at a solid level (116 wrc+) in Double-A. He’s yet to demonstrate his elite power yet, but for a future slugger, a strikeout rate at or below 20% in each stop beside his limited sample at Triple-A is impressive, and he’s also an above-average defender. He’s a solid addition for Miami, who need to keep adding impact position player prospects and were able to sell high on Anderson’s value. Grade: 8.5/10
July 31: Astros Acquire SP Zack Greinke From Dbacks
Info: In a stunning blockbuster, the Astros have traded for Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke, sending pitching prospects JB Bukauskas and Corbin Martin, first base/outfield prospect Seth Beer, and infield prospect Josh Rosas to Arizona. Houston will also take on 2/3 of the remaining $77 million of his contract, which lasts through 2021.
Astros: The Astros were on the hunt for a starting pitcher to add depth behind Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, and with the addition of Greinke, they definitely have the best trio of starting pitchers in the American League. He may be 35-years-old, but like Verlander, he continues to defy father time. In 146 innings this season, he has a 3.20 FIP and a 6.43 K-BB ratio, and has barely given up free passes (1.29 BB/9) this season. His .263 BABIP allowed may be a little low, and his 3.90 SIERA may be a little too high, but Greinke is as consistent as it gets, and Houston knows that they’re getting a low-end ace/high-end #2 starter. They are taking on more salary than I’d like, however, which could hurt their financial flexibility, meaning Gerrit Cole is definitely leaving in free agency, and are giving up a lot of their prospect depth. It’s definitely an aggressive overpay, but if Houston wins the World Series this season and Greinke allows them to compete for two more after this year, no one will be complaining. Grade: 8/10
Diamondbacks: Beer, 22, is probably the headliner of this deal. He lacks any sort of athleticism and is definitely going to be a first baseman now that he’s in the National League, but he’s already an elite hitter. After dominating with an absurd 188 wrc+ in Double-A, he’s continued to be incredible in Triple-A, posting a 161 wrc+ in 280 plate appearances. Furthermore, his plate discipline numbers are satisfactory, his power (.244 ISO) is elite, and he could be in the majors by next season, if not this season. Also 22-years-old, Bukauskas has seen his stock slip as he’s struggled with a 4.34 FIP and 5.67 BB/9 in Double-A, but he’s striking out batters on an impressive rate (10.67 K/9), and has a high floor as a potential dominant reliever if he cannot become a major league starting pitcher. Martin, 23, was once seen as an up and coming pitching prospect, but after being awful in 19.1 major league innings (8.50 FIP) and undergoing Tommy John surgery, he almost could be seen as a flyer in this trade. Still, he has tremendous strikeout numbers, and until this season, also demonstrated solid control; he could definitely become a middle of the rotation starting pitcher in the future. Meanwhile, it’s likely that Rojas, 25, makes his major league debut soon, and with a walk rate (12.3%) very close to his strikeout rate (14.8%), overall terrific numbers in Double-A (167 wrc+) and Triple-A (133 wrc+), as well as positional versatility, he’s definitely an exciting final piece in what is a excellent return for a pitcher with such a huge contract. Grade: 9.5/10
July 31: Cubs Acquire OF Nicholas Castellanos From Tigers
Info: The Cubs have acquired outfielder Nicholas Castellanos from the Tigers in exchange for pitching prospect Paul Richan and Alex Lange.
Cubs: Castellanos, 27, hasn’t been his usual self this season offensively with just a 107 wrc+, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that’ll change with Chicago. For starters, he made it public that he did not like hitting in Detroit, so it comes with no surprise his road wrc+ (125) has been much better than his home wrc+ (86). Furthermore, the Cubs have struggled versus left-handed pitching this season, making Castellanos and his ability to mash lefties (166 wrc+) an excellent fit. Whether it be in a platoon split or everyday role, his bat will be a much upgrade in Chicago’s lineup. The concern, meanwhile, comes with his defense. Though he’s improved defensively, his metrics (-6 drs, -4 UZR) are both still well below average. However, with excellent defenders in Albert Almora Jr and Jayson Heyward either serving as outfield counterparts or potential defensive replacements, the team is perfectly suited to hide his defensive limitations, while reaping the benefits of his offense. Grade: 9/10
Tigers: In return for Castellanos, the Tigers are receiving two former high draft picks. Richan, 22, was ranked as Chicago’s 16th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and with a 3.52 FIP and 1.74 BB/9, he’s done nothing but improve his stock as a potential future part of a major league rotation. However, Lange, 23, hasn’t fared as well with a 4.94 FIP in Double-A and a 4.10 FIP in High-A, and has struggled with his command this season. However, he’s a former first-round pick, and there’s a chance he can become a future long reliever/swingman type. It’s not a great return for Castellanos, but considering his rental status and defensive limitations, it isn’t a return that the team should be disappointed in. Grade: 8/10
July 31: Twins Acquire RP Sam Dyson From Giants
Info: In their only move made on deadline day, the Twins have added more bullpen help in the form of reliever Sam Dyson, sending minor-league outfielder Jaylin Davis and pitching prospects Prelander Berroa and Kai-Wei Teng to San Francisco.
Twins: Dyson, 31, has been excellent this season with a 2.73 FIP and 6.71 K-BB ratio, and played a huge role in San Francisco’s excellent bullpen. Though his ground ball rate is down this year, it’s still elite at 54.1%, and he hasn’t allowed much hard contact this season (29.8%). There are absolutely no red flags with Dyson, who is controlled through next season and should play a vital role in playoff runs for Minnesota this year and next year. Grade: 10/10
Giants: On the surface, this would appear to be a light return for one of the better relievers in baseball; none of the prospects the team received ranked in Minnesota’ top 30 prospects list, according to MLB Pipeline.r. With a 1Still, the team is receiving a lot of upside with the players they traded fo49 wrc+ in Double-A and 173 wrc+ in Triple-A, it’s safe to say that Davis, 25, is on the verge of a major league call up. With his elite power (.377 ISO) and generally above-average walk rates, he has plenty of offensive upside. However, his power was never significant until he was called up to Triple-A, which is a red flag considering the leaguewide power surge at Triple-A, and his ground ball rate sits at an alarming 52.8%. He’s definitely not a sure thing, and isn’t someone I’d be too confident in. Berroa, 19, has struggled mightily with a 4.67 FIP and 4.55 BB/9, but with a 10.52 K/9 and a solid two-pitch mix with fastball and changeup, he does have some potential, though he’s years away from being major league ready. Already in Low-A at just 20-years-old, Teng is probably the best prospect in this trade, as he has a 2.92 FIP, 3.5 K-BB ratio, and 53.7% ground ball rate allowed this season. The upside with this three is obvious, but not being able to land one high-end prospect, or even one mid-level prospect, for a controllable reliever, given the demand for relievers, has to be disappointing for Giants fans. Grade: 6.5/10
July 31: Giants Acquire 2B Scooter Gennett From Reds
Info: In their only trade where they acted as “buyers”, the Giants have traded for second baseman Scooter Gennett in exchange for either cash considerations and a player to be named later.
Giants: It’s been a rough season for Gennett, who has missed most of the season with a groin injury. The 29-year-old has also been really bad in 72 plate appearances this season with a 26 wrc+, 1.4% walk rate, and 27.8% strikeout rate. However, he posted a 4.5 WAR season last season, and although he benefitted from a .358 BABIP, had a 125 wrc+ and a .180 ISO. He’s about average defensively, so combined with his normally above-average offensive ability, he’s a top ten second baseman when healthy. San Francisco is essentially making a no-risk acquisition, though if he returns to form, it will be a major boost for a team that seems to have some playoff aspirations. Grade: 9.5/10
Reds: A lot of this trade hinges on the player to be named later, but it likely won’t be anyone of note. I can’t fault the team for shipping him out in favor of younger talent, but he may have been a player worth keeping in hopes of him performing at his usual form and being a potential part of their plans next season. Grade: 7.5/10
July 31: Dbacks Acquire SP Mike Leake From Mariners
Info: Adding a veteran arm to their rotation to supposedly replace Greinke, the Diamondbacks have acquired starting pitcher Mike Leake from the Mariners in exchange for minor-league third baseman Jose Caballero.
Dbacks: The Diamondbacks will only be paying $6 million of what Leake is owed through 2020, which is definitely a bonus. After all, the 31-year-old isn’t exactly a top-notch pitcher, as evidenced by his 4.73 FIP and 4.50 SIERA. He doesn’t walk many batters (1.25 BB/9), but he’s not exactly a strikeout threat (6.57 K/9). Maybe he can be a #5 starting pitcher who can eat some innings in a young rotation, but most likely be what he was in Seattle; a very expendable swingman. Grade: 5.5/10
Mariners: Even though they’re eating most of his salary, this trade has to be seen as a major win for Seattle. Caballero, 22, may not be much of a prospect considering he’s still in Rookie Ball, but his high walk rate (12.1%) and overall offensive success (125 wrc+). Moreover, the indirect result of the Leake trade is also a bonus, as it opens up a spot this year and next year for a younger pitcher. Grade: 9/10
July 31: Dodgers Acquire RP Adam Kolarek From Rays
Info: In their only move at what was a quiet trade deadline day for them, the Dodgers have acquired lefty reliever Adam Kolarek from the Rays in exchange for outfield prospect Niko Hulsizer.
Dodgers: Kolarek, 30, may not be Felipe Vazquez, but he’s still a solid addition for the bullpen. Though his 4.54 FIP and 7.48 K/9 isn’t exactly impressive, his 61.4% ground ball rate is, and his 3.78 SIERA is fine. His value comes versus lefties, as he’s only allowed hard contact against them at a 15.5% rate, while inducing a 75% ground ball rate and holding them to a .238 wOBA. With Scott Alexander on the 60-day injured list, the team needed a left-handed reliever, and though Kolarek isn’t special, he’ll be extremely useful come playoff time. Grade: 8.5/10
Rays: The Rays needed to clear up space on the 40-man roster, especially after the additions of Anderson and Richards, and with their heavy reliance on their bullpen, having a lefty specialist wasn’t an ideal fit for them. Plus, they’re able to ship him off for a decent prospect in Hulsizer. The 22-year-old dominated Low-A with a 171 wrc+, .306 ISO, and 14.5% walk rate, and in High-A, he’s continued to show his power with a .247 ISO and 125 wrc+. He’s definitely a high-upside prospect worth shipping Kolarek for. Grade: 8.5/10
July 31: Padres Acquire RP Carl Edwards Jr. From Cubs
Info: The Padres and Cubs have swapped relievers in a minor trade. Carl Edwards Jr will head to San Diego, while lefty Brad Wieck is going to Chicago.
Padres: It’s been a rough season for Edwards Jr., 27, as he has a 5.50 FIP in 15.1 innings this season, while he’s also struggled with a 4.90 FIP in Triple-A. However, as of last season, he was an above-average reliever with a 2.93 FIP and 11.6 K/9, and the year before that, he was the same with a 3.40 FIP and 12.75 K/9. Command will always be an issue for him (4.96 career BB/9), but his strikeout ability is intriguing, and he’s a nice buy-low addition considering he comes with club control through 2023. Grade: 9.5/10
Cubs: Wieck, also 27, has also struggled with a 5.61 FIP this season. However, that’s been plagued by an unsustainable 21.9% HR-FB rate, and his strikeout rate (11.31 K/9) and walk rate (3.28) are excellent. With a 3.67 SIERA that shows that he’s a useful reliever, he could also turn out to be a brilliant buy-low addition for the Cubs, though Edwards Jr. is definitely the better reliever. Grade: 8/10
July 31: Phillies Acquire SP Dan Straily From Orioles
Info: The Phillies have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Orioles in exchange for cash considerations.
Phillies: Straily, 30, has been awful this season by all measures, with a 9.35 FIP and 7.10 xFIP. Meanwhile, his strikeout rate (6.23 K/9) is way too close to his walk rate (4.15 BB/9), and has declined by all measures. I see no use for him on a big-league roster at this point, especially a contender’s, and though Philadelphia clearly has some sort of faith in him, this is as pointless as it gets and could actually hurt them. Grade: 2.5/10
Orioles: Getting Straily and that 9.35 off of the roster in favor of younger pitchers is a plus for the rebuilding Orioles; shipping him is a no-brainer for them. Grade: 9.5/10
July 31: Braves Acquire C John-Ryan Murphy From Dbacks
Info: The Braves have traded for Diamondbacks catcher John-Ryan Murphy, sending cash considerations to Arizona.
Braves: Murphy, 28, has consistently been a below-average offensive producer, and that’s remained true this season with a 68 wrc+. However, he’s also an above-average defender at catcher, and isn’t too much of an offensive liability to be incapable of being a backup catcher for a contender, though he’s depth for Atlanta in case anything happens to Tyler Flowers or Brian McCann. Grade: 8/10
Dbacks: The Diamondbacks have two catchers on the roster in Alex Avila and Carson Kelly and had no room for Murphy, so rather than completely cutting ties, they trade him for cash considerations. It’s as simple as that. Grade: 7.5/10
*Will Be Updated With Every Trade