The Call to the Pen: Trade Deadline Wrap-Up

Welcome back to The Call to the Pen! This week’s post comes on Tuesday thanks to the Trade Deadline yesterday and celebrating Matty D passing a test to keep his job! I had thought last week that the Chapman trade was the big move of 2016 and that Jeremy Hellickson’s days as a Phillie were limited. The other contenders in both leagues made GIGANTIC acquisitions that could have locked up each league’s championship series. Let’s get to it! Here are the Power Rankings…

Power Rankings

The Bottom:

30) Atlanta Braves (37-68): Even
29) Minnesota Twins (41-64): Even 
28) Cincinnati Reds (42-62): Even
27) Tampa Bay Rays (42-62): Even 

26) Arizona Diamondbacks (43-63): Even
25) San Diego Padres (46-60): Down 1
24) Oakland Athletics (47-58): Down 3

23) Philadelphia Phillies (48-59): Down 1

22) LA Angels of Anaheim (47-58): Up 1
21) Milwaukee Brewers (47-57): Up 4

The Brewers traded Jonathan Lucroy to the Rangers after Lucroy vetoed a trade to Cleveland. Texas was not on Lucroy’s list of teams he could veto and it’s been reported that Lucroy voted because Cleveland would have exercised the option to extend Lucroy for 2017 at a lower salary than he’s worth. The thing about that is: A) you can’t blame Cleveland and B) while you can’t blame Lucroy, what’s stopping Texas from still exercising that option? Meanwhile the A’s sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers and the Reds (finally) shipped Jay Bruce off to the Mets. Cincy is the most likely seller to plummet in the final stretch now that Bruce is gone; he led the NL in RBIs and now their offense should drop and their RD will widen extremely.

The Middle:

20) Kansas City Royals (50-55): Down 1
19) Chicago White Sox (51-54): Up 1
18) Seattle Mariners (52-52): Down 3 
17) Pittsburgh Pirates (52-51): Down 3 
16) Colorado Rockies (52-53): Up 2
15) New York Yankees (53-52): Up 2
14) New York Mets (54-51): Down 1
13) Houston Astros (56-49): Down 5
12) Miami Marlins (57-49): Down 1 
11) St. Louis Cardinals (56-49): Up 1

The ‘Stros drop into the Middle mainly because they did NOTHING at the Trade Deadline while the Rangers loaded up. As the Wild Card Race starts to form, Houston needed to make a few tweaks to stay close to the other contenders. Detroit may have also done nothing, but they’re red hot right now. I still think Houston can take the second Wild Card but the lack of a move won’t take them beyond the Wild Card Game, not against the AL East Runner-Up. The Pirates and Mets swapped pitchers and the Pirates acquired Ivan Nova from the Yankees but both teams are cold right now and have a lot of ground to make up. If the Mets can get healthy, it’s definitely not out of the question.

The Top:

10) Detroit Tigers (57-48): Up 6   
9) Toronto Blue Jays (59-47): Up 1 
8) LA Dodgers (59-46): Up 1
7) Boston Red Sox (58-46): Down 2
6) Baltimore Orioles (59-45): Down 2
5) Washington Nationals (62-44): Down 3 

4) San Francisco Giants (61-44): Down 1 
3) Cleveland Indians (60-43): Up 3 
2) Texas Rangers (62-44): Up 5
1) Chicago Cubs (64-41): Even 

I alluded to it before, but the Final Four could have been locked up. The Rangers, Indians, and Giants LOADED up their respective lineups. Texas grabbed Lucroy from the Brewers and Carlos Beltran from the Yankees. Cleveland also traded with the Yankees, but grabbed their other shutdown bullpen pitcher in Andrew Miller. San Francisco added ANOTHER arm to the loaded starting rotation trading for Matt Miller from the Rays. SanFran is beginning to thaw from their ice cold start to the 2nd half and could start a nice win-streak this week as they travel to Philadelphia. While Detroit has been red hot, they stood still at the deadline as Cleveland loaded up; it’s very possible Cleveland begins to pull away in August. Texas used the Trade Deadline last year to vault themselves to the AL West crown. This year, Texas has the AL West lead at the deadline but they’re moves will widen that gap.

Phillies Update:

A 3-4 week on the road against the Marlins and Braves–a status quo week for the Phightin’ Phils. The bats were going one day, and were gone the next. Pitching was solid but showed its youth–nothing surprising. What was surprising was that the Phillies didn’t trade away anyone–specifically Jeremy Hellickson. The Phils apparently asked for a lot to trade Hellickson, and given the market for starting pitching it was a reasonable thought. I am very happy that Valasquez is still a Phillie and I’m excited to see his future with the team. Overall, sitting still at the deadline may not have been the most optimal move for the Phillies right now, but it will still benefit the future. San Francisco comes into town tonight for a three-game set before the Phillies head out to San Diego for their West Coast swing.

Disagree with the Rankings? Let me know in the comments

(cover photo via)


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