Obviously, it’s too early to start declaring the winners of a dizzying trade deadline. But we’re going to do it anyway.
Here’s a look at the clear winners of this year’s process:
• They now have a new first baseman and cleanup hitter (probably), Josh Bell.
• A new designated hitter, one who has a higher percentage than everyone in the Padres’ lineup except Manny Machado.
• And of course, someone so good at the bat that he’s been compared to Ted Williams. We are talking about Juan José Soto.
The Padres gave up a lot, no question. Arguably they need to reach a World Series in the next three years to justify all these moves. But now we will see that whole group together with the Dominican Fernando Tatis Jr., who will be back soon.
Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos got Cuban Raisel Iglesias in the last few minutes before the deadline. While $16 million a season for a reliever is a lot, now the Braves will hit the late innings with him and Kenley Jansen on the mound.
3)-4) Phillies and (to a lesser degree) Brewers
Both teams were active at the deadline. Philadelphia added David Robertson, Noah Syndergaardthe Panamanian Edmundo Sosa and Brandon Marsh (the latter fills a large void in center field).
For their part, Milwaukee disappointed many by trading Hader and not adding a hitter, but they did get Taylor Rogers, Trevor Rosenthal and Matt Bush (with Devin Williams as their new closer, of course).
Now, one positive for both teams — the Brewers are fighting for the Central Division title and the Phillies for the final Wild Card — is that the Cardinals, their opponents in the respective fights, didn’t add Soto. They did reinforce their starting rotation with Colombian José Quintana and Jordan Montgomery, but they did not give up the future for the Dominican superstar who ended up in San Diego.
The Twins did what a top team is supposed to do. They added a solid starter, Tyler Mahlewhile bolstering their bullpen with Puerto Rican Jorge Lopez and Michael Fullmer. That helps somewhat, but one important point is that the two teams they’re fighting for the AL Central title, the Guardians and White Sox, did almost nothing.
6) Joey Gallo, now of the Dodgers
rooster not only was able to get out of that nightmare in New York, got to the other team that could claim the tag of best team in Major League Baseball. Can you imagine the Dodgers and Yankees meeting in the World Series and Gallo hitting a crucial home run for Los Angeles?
7) No change clauses
Sure, it’s a shame Eric Hosmer is leaving the Padres just when they have a team to win it all, but if he didn’t have that no-trade clause in his contract, he’d be playing for a Nationals that are going nowhere in 2022. Now , is the starting first baseman for a Boston team which is just 2.0 games away from the last Wild Card in the American League.
8) The 2025 Nationals
In 2025, a year after Patrick Corbin’s contract expires and a year before Stephen Strasburg’s expires, Washington could field a lineup like this:
And he could have a rotation with Josiah Gray, MacKenzie Gore, Cade Cavalli, Cole Henry and Jackson Rutledge (and Strasburg). The Nationals had a lot to ask for Soto. Looks like they got it.
That’s the good news. The bad news is our next winner:
9) Any contender facing the Nationals now
This team is not going to be very good for the rest of 2022. So congratulations to the contenders who are going to face Washington now, with the number of games in parentheses:
• Philadelphia (11)
• Mets (7)
• San Diego (7)
• Atlanta (6)
• Saint Louis (4)
• Seattle (2)
The Phillies could qualify simply because of their so many games against Washington, nearly a fifth of their remaining schedule.