Trea Turner and Max Scherzer in Dodger Blue, Kris Bryant heading towards the Golden Gate. Javier Baez joins the Mets; Craig Kimbrel crosses town to the White Sox; Jose Berrios moves north of the border.
This was truly an All-Star trade deadline.
Following a race that saw Nelson Cruz, Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo swapping, more high-profile names switched teams during Friday’s whirlwind.
This was a day of massive moves, from contenders adding to their rosters to the already-ran Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals gutting theirs.
“They all feel busy but today was nonstop,” Chris Antonetti, Cleveland president of baseball operations, said after making three trades.
He said that although we executed many trades, there were likely at least a dozen more that we considered seriously at different times and exchanged differing ideas.
Many playoff chasers engaged arms. Toronto landed Berrios, Philadelphia got Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy and Boston added relievers Hansel Robertles and Austin Davis. St. Louis acquired starters Jon Lester, J.A. Happ.
Alex Anthopoulos of Atlanta, who struck a number of deals, said that “I felt like it was one of the most active trading deadlines that I can remember.”
Friday saw deals from 27 teams. In the last week, 10 All-Star Game players were traded.
All 30 clubs have participated in a trade since Wednesday. This totals 42 transactions involving 114 players, including 20 All-Stars as well as four top-100 prospects.
“I think that’s the thing that surprised me this season is the amount talent that was traded for short-term, potentially free agent-type assets. Sandy Alderson, Mets president, said that some clubs gave up their third or fourth-best prospects to acquire a certain player. “I was impressed that there were so many teams involved. I was also surprised that the prices weren’t lower than usual closer to the deadline.
Los Angeles Dodgers made the most noise by signing Turner and Scherzer for a talented group of young prospects. They could close the gap to the San Francisco Giants (NL West leader) by acquiring Bryant as their ace and star shortstop.
Although much of the day was focused on who added players to their teams — Atlanta got Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario, and reliefr Richard Rodriguez among them — it also centered around which clubs split up.
Major pieces of their 2016 World Series title championship were traded by the Cubs. They sent Bryant and Baez to New York Mets, one day after sending Anthony Rizzo to New York Yankees. Kimbrel, the Cubs’ dominant closer, was also traded crosstown to Chicago White Sox, who are AL Central-leading.
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts stated in a statement that he personally thanked Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez, and Kris Bryant. “They played crucial roles in one of the most successful runs of Chicago Cubs history.”
“They all occupied a special place in the hearts and minds of Cubs fans around the world. He said that while their time together on the Cubs field has come to an abrupt end, they left us with memories that will last a lifetime.”
The Nationals were also busy. They also traded Turner and Scherzer, which were key to their 2019 title, as well as Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison, Lester, and Yan Gomes, who are all out of the team. They did this after trading Kyle Schwarber and Brad Hand on Thursday.
Mike Rizzo, Nationals general manager, stated that while it is a difficult decision, sometimes a decision is made for your benefit. “This year, it was because we saw where we were at the time and knew what we needed to do. We made the decision to start a building process that will enable us to compete at a high level.
In trades that were completed Thursday, Rizzo was joined by fellow All-Star Joey Gallo by the Yankees. New York acquired Andrew Heaney, an Angels starter, shortly before Friday’s 4 p.m. Eastern Time (EDT) deadline.
Rizzo was in Miami with his new team Friday night. There was still time to look back at the past while looking forward.
“Did many special things in front a fan base who had not seen a World Series in 108years.” He said that those moments would never be forgotten.