Grading The Big Deals From A Busy Deadline

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 trading deadline was not only a very busy one, but it could turn out to be one of the most impactful deadlines we have ever seen. While there were too many moves to cover all of them, this article will touch on each of the biggest deals and grade them on a 1-5 scale. Moves that will not have an impact on teams in a postseason race (Kemp to the Braves, Clippard to the Yankees, etc) will not be covered. The Aroldis Chapman trade was previously touched on in another article, and will also not be covered in this one. 

San Francisco Giants acquire IF Eduardo Nunez from Minnesota Twins for for LHP Adalberto Mejia
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants infield has not only been banged up this year, but had also put up very disappointing offensive numbers. Answer? The versatile Eduardo Nunez. Nunez can not only play 3B/SS/2B/OF, but he is having a terrific season at the plate with a .295 AVG. to go along with 16 2B, 12 HR, and 49 RBI. Adalberto Mejia now ranks as the Twins number 11 prospect. 

Twins grade - 4/5, are out of contention, dealt a guy who's impact was not going to make a huge difference for them in exchange for a guy who could have a nice impact down the road

Giants grade - 5/5, acquired the perfect guy for what they were looking for in their postseason hunt

Miami Marlins acquire RHP Andrew Cahsner, RHP Tayron Guerrero from the San Diego Padres in exchange for RHP Jarred Cosart, 1B Josh Naylor, RHP Carter Capps
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins (57-48) found themselves to be buyers at the deadline for the first time in a long time, and bolstered their rotation with veteran Andrew Cashner (Collin Rea and Luis Castillo were originally included in the deal, were each returned to their teams after Rea left with an injury in his first Marlins start). Cashner is having a rough season but has a good track record and has strung together some strong starts. On the Padres end, they got Cosart, who has had a very streaky start to his career between Houston and Miami, along with a young reliever with some nice potential in Carter Capps. However, the biggest piece that went to San Diego was first baseman Josh Naylor, who is now their number four prospect. 

Marlins grade - 4/5, acquired a nice fit for their rotation and gave up players that didn't serve a huge purpose in their 2016 postseason race

Padres grade - 4/5, dealt a guy that was pointless to hold on to during their rebuild, acquired guys who will impact now and in the future

Washington Nationals acquire RHP Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for LHP Felipe Rivero, LHP Taylor Hearn
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Despite having the third best bullpen in baseball statistically, it was very clear the Washington Nationals needed an upgrade in the ninth inning. Jonathan Papelbon, 35, has had a season full of ups and downs and posted an ERA over 10.00 in the month of July, and while Sean Kelley locked down six saves he was not the answer they needed either. Enter one of the best closers in baseball, Mark Melancon, who has a 1.51 ERA along with 30 saves. The Pirates got two young relievers, only one of which has MLB experience. 

Pirates grade - 2/5, while the Pirates have a history of turning pitchers careers around (Mark Melancon is a prime example), and turning young, under the radar pitchers into top notch guys, one would think they could have gotten a much better return for Melancon, even though he is a free agent at the end of the season

Nationals grade - 5/5, got the best available guy for a low price

Baltimore Orioles acquire LHP Wade Miley from Seattle Mariners in exchange for LHP Ariel Miranda
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles bullpen might be stellar (3.06 bullpen ERA is 2nd in MLB), but their rotation is absolutely horrendous (5.00 ERA is 27th in MLB). The Orioles saw their obvious need for help, but acquired one of the lower tier named on the market. Wade Miley currently owns a 4.98 ERA and a record of 7-8, but Baltimore hopes for him to show the same form he did in July (3.45 ERA in July). The Mariners acquired young Ariel Miranda, who has one career MLB appearance. Miranda's potential is not overly high, but he could be a solid back end of the rotation guy.

Orioles grade - 2/5, did not get the right guy

Mariners grade - 3/5, traded a guy who's immediate impact was not needed in exchange for a guy who might be a solid pitcher down the road

Cleveland acquires LHP Andrew Miller from the New York Yankees in exchange for OF Clint Frazier, LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Ben Heller, RHP J.P. Feyereisen
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The most coveted piece at the deadline was most definitely Andrew Miller, and just when it appeared that New York wouldn't trade him Cleveland pulled off a huge deal to get him. Cleveland needed a LH reliever like Miller if they wanted to go deep in October, so this might wind up being the biggest trade of the deadline. New York recognized that and took some big name prospects from Cleveland, along with two smaller ones who have high potential to be 7th-8th inning relievers in the near future (Heller, Feyereisen).

Cleveland's grade - 3.5/5, while Miller is the perfect fit, they risk a lot giving up such good prospects for a 31 year old relief pitcher. Cleveland must go deep into the postseason, if not win it all to make this trade worth it 

New York's grade - 5/5, New York recognized Miller could bring a huge haul back, played their cards perfectly, and got some of the best names out of the rich Cleveland farm system

St. Louis Cardinals acquire LHP Zach Duke from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for OF Charlie Tilson
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

This trade may not be one that has been talked about at all, but it is one of the better deals of the deadline. More often than not, deals for relievers are the ones that make the biggest impact in October, and St. Louis got a very good lefty (2-0 2.63 ERA in 53 games) in exchange for a speedy outfield prospect. 

Cardinals grade - 5/5, St. Louis got a very good reliever without taking a nasty hit to their farm system

White Sox grade - 3/5, while Chicago pulled an under the radar trade that brought them a nice young prospect, perhaps shopping Duke more aggressively could have yielded them a better return

Los Angeles Dodgers acquire OF Josh Reddick, LHP Rich Hill from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHPs Jharel Cotton, Grant Holmes and Frankie Montas
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a strong need for pitching with Clayton Kershaw down, and were interested in some outfield help with Andre Ethier out indefinitely. The Dodgers did their best to meet those needs, with Rich Hill and Josh Reddick. While Hill has been very injury prone this season, he has reinvented himself and if he can stay healthy and keep pitching the way he has he is a perfect fit (9-3, 2.25 ERA). Reddick has been one of the games best all around outfielders over the last few years, and can certainly provide exactly what the Dodgers wanted. The Athletics got a haul of quality pitching prospects, and can be very happy with their return for two rental players.

Dodgers grade - 4/5, Reddick is perfect, should have obtained a more reliable SP

Athletics grade - 5/5, got a superb return for two rental players

San Francisco Giants acquire LHP Matt Moore from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 3B Matt Duffy, SS Lucius Fox, RHP Michael Santos
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants offseason rotation makeover was not quite enough, so the added young lefty Matt Moore in an effort to make it even better. Moore has had a bit of a disappointing return from Tommy John surgery, but he has shown the ability that he has several times in the past and is a good fit for San Francisco. The Giants did give up some nice pieces, Matt Duffy being one, but overall acquiring Moore was a good move.

Giants grade - 4/5, acquired a guy who can give them a big boost down the stretch

Rays grade - 3/5, traded away a guy who could have been a big piece in the future of their rotation, acquired guys who could be key to their future as well

Texas Rangers acquire OF Carlos Beltran from the New York Yankees for RHPS Nick Tate, Erik Swanson, Nick Green
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Beltran was rumored to be going several different places, but Texas was the one who won out the sweepstakes. Texas gave up some nice young arms that stockpiled the Yankees farm system even more, but they know full well what they are getting in Carlos Beltran. Beltran is in the middle of another 20+ HR season, and is one of the best postseason hitters of all time, which could help Texas finally win that ring they have barely missed out on so many times. 

Yankees grade - 5/5, aced the deadline, stockpiled their farm system and solidified their future

Rangers - 4/5, acquired one of the best of all time that will slide in perfectly with Prince and some of their outfielders down

San Francisco Giants acquire LHP Will Smith from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for RHP Phil Blackford and C Andrew Susac
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Will Smith was another sought after lefty reliever, and the extremely busy San Francisco Giants won out on the war for him. In return, the Brewers got their replacement for Jonathan Lucroy with Susac, and a pitching prospect to help their rebuild. 

Giants grade - 4/5, obtained a nice piece for their bullpen

Brewers grade - 3/5, possibly could have gotten more for him

New York Mets acquire OF Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds for IF Dilson Herrera, LHP Max Wotell
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After a few seasons of everybody expecting Jay Bruce to be moved, he was finally dealt in the last year of his contract. The New York Mets saw their need for offense if they wanted to make a late run, and will now try to have Bruce duplicate the boost the Cespedes gave them last deadline, propelling them to the World Series. Bruce is having one of the best seasons of his career, and looks to continue it in New York.

Mets grade - 5/5, acquired just what they needed

Reds - 4/5, gained more prospects in their rebuild, could have had a bigger return if they had dealt him sooner

Texas Rangers acquire RHP Jeremy Jefress, C Jonathan Lucory from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for OF Lewis Brinson, P Luis Ortiz
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a blockbuster deal sending Lucroy to Cleveland fell through, the Texas Rangers not only grabbed him, but reliever Jeremy Jeffress as well. We all know Lucroy's ability both behind and at the plate, and Jeffress is in the middle of a 27/2.22 ERA season. This move, along with the Beltran move make a Texas vs. Cleveland ALCS a huge favorite in the prediction department. Milwaukee again made a big trade towards their future, despite trading two of the best in the game. 

Rangers grade - 5/5, this deal pushes them over the top

Brewers grade - 4/5, Brewers stockpiling for their future, desperately lacking players that sell tickets

Toronto Blue Jays acquire LHP Francisco Liriano, OF Harold Ramirez, Reese Mcguire from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Drew Hutchinson
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the more bizarre moves of the deadline, Pittsburgh traded it's struggling ace, Francisco Liriano, along with two prospects for Drew Hutchinson. While Liriano and the Pirates have been unable to put it together this season, Hutchinson has never been able to put his entire career together (4.92 ERA in 76 games, several DL stints accumulated). Toronto hopes to get the Liriano the Pirates had the past two years, but that may be a long shot.

Toronto's grade - 3/5, acquired a potential big rotation boost along with prospects

Pirates grade - 1/5, made a move that made little sense