(All trade information referenced can be found here)
What seemed to be a very quite trade deadline heated up more than anyone could have expected in the final two days of July, with the biggest trades of them all being saved for last. Lots of teams chasing pennants were right there in the thick of it, with the Astros, Braves, Indians, Rays, Twins, Brewers, and more finishing themselves deep in trade talks. Now that the deadline is a few days removed, let's take a look at who had the best pickups for the lowest prices.
1. Houston Astros
Astros get RHP Zach Greinke, C Martin Maldonado, RHP Joe Biagini, RHP Aaron Sanchez, Minor Leaguers RHP Andre Scrubb, OF's Rainier Rivas and Raider Uceta, OF Cal Stevenson.
Astros trade away OF Derek Fisher, C Max Stassi, INF/OF Tony Kemp, Minor Leaguers RHP J.B. Bukauskas, RHP Corbin Martin, OF Seth Beer, and IF Joshua Rojas.
The Astros were the most active team in trades by the sheer number of players involved in their deals. The Astros swooped in at the last second to get Zach Grienke from the Diamondbacks, making for the headline blockbuster trade of 2019. Arizona got a boatload of prospects from the Astros in return, but because Houston played their other trades correctly, they did not lose too much and have other prospects with upside now. Plus, they have a rotation of Verlander, Cole, and Greinke as their top three starters, plus Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini combined for 7 no-hit innings while contributing to Houston's no-hitter on August 3rd, in their Astros debut. I think it is safe to say the Astros take the cake this year.
2. Atlanta Braves
Braves get RHP Shane Green, RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Chris Martin, C John Ryan Murphy.
Braves trade away some cash considerations, RHP Dan Winkler, Minor Leaguers LHP Joey Wentz, OF Travis Demeritte, RHP Tristan Beck, LHP Kolby Allard.
The Braves looked to seek out a starter or some bullpen help during this years trade deadline, but opted to go for bullpen pitching because of internal pitching options. They traded for one of the best closers in the market, along with two other top tier relievers, and also got a catcher for team depth. They did this all while keeping their top five prospects in their loaded farm system and not giving up much at all. Both Chris Martin and Mark Melancon have come on in much needed scoreless debuts for the Braves already. The Braves were in serious need of bullpen help before these deals, but with what they now have, they look like a solid postseason team now, and at not much of a cost to their farm system.
3. Cleveland Indians
Indians get OF Yasiel Puig, RHP Hunter Wood, INF Christian Arroyo, OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and Minor Leaguers LHP Scott Moss, and 3B Victor Nova.
Indians trade away some international bonus pool money, RHP Trevor Bauer, and Minor Leaguer OF Ruben Cardenas.
The Indians absolutely won their trades this year, and would certainly be higher if it wasn't for the Astros and Braves great trading. Anyone could make the argument that the could even be number one on this list, but I feel that because they lost such a good pitcher in Trevor Bauer (even though his time in Cleveland was wrapping up), that they could not be ranked higher. They got a boatload of prospects and great outfield bats in the form of Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes, so they definitely got the return they were looking for.
4. Tampa Bay Rays
Rays get international bonus pool money, 2B Eric Sogard, 1B Jesus Aguilar, RHP Nick Anderson, RHP Trevor Richards, Minor Leaguers OF Niko Hulsizer and OF Ruben Cardenas
Rays give up LHP Adam Kolarek, RHP Jake Faria, RHP Hunter Wood, INF Christian Arroyo
The Rays quietly got the pieces that they needed to make a deep postseason run if possible. They are overshadowed by the Yankees right now, but are still a solid team and have the wild card spot available. They added some bullpen help at the deadline, and got a utility player in Eric Sogard, who hit two homers for the Rays in his debut, and the strong Jesus Aguilar. If I was a Rays fan, I would be more than satisfied with the return they got.