The 2017 Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and a few teams got much better. In fact, teams like the Dodgers and Yankees may have solidified themselves as the favorites to reach the World Series.
But I’m not here to talk about the teams and players who made out like bandits. Positivity? Who needs that? No, I’m going the other direction.
Here’s a look at the biggest losers from the 2017 MLB trade deadline.
So far in 95 games this season, Alonso is hitting .268, with a career-high 22 home runs, 48 RBI and an OPS of .899. The 30-year-old is a free agent after the season, and tearing it up in a playoff chase would have increased his value big time. Instead, he’s stuck with the A’s, who are one of baseball’s worst teams. Yay?
The Houston Astros failed to land Zach Britton, Brad Hand, Justin Wilson or any of the top-level relievers available. In fact, they were only be able to get Francisco Liriano, who represents a minor addition at best. This is a team that needed a lot of help on the mound, and Liriano isn’t going to solve any real issues.
So far this season, Liriano is 6-5 with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 82 innings over 18 starts. He isn’t exactly tearing things up. Lefties are hitting just .230 against him, but he’s a starter, not a situational reliever, so the value of lefty/righty splits is minimal. Houston’s pitching situation is a mess and the team needed to do more to address it.
After appearing in his first All-Star Game, Lance McCullers posted a 9.64 ERA in July. He was promptly put on the disabled list with “back issues.” Meanwhile, Dallas Keuchel has been battling a neck injury and lasted just three innings in his return from the DL last week. No one knows what either guy will give Houston down the stretch.
The Astros have a real shot at a title this year but pitching could sink the team. I mean, the bullpen has an ERA of 5.42 in the past two months, the farm system is stocked with talent, and the best addition the Astros could make was Francisco Liriano? Really?
The Baltimore Orioles couldn’t find a deal they liked for Zach Britton despite a ton of suitors, and then made two trades that have many evaluators shaking their heads. Baltimore is 6.5 games behind the New York Yankees in the NL East and 4.5 games out of the last Wild Card spot, but clearly aren’t a good team. But for some reason, they actually added players at the deadline.
The Orioles picked up Jeremy Hellickson from the Philadelphia Phillies, despite the fact that he’s had a below-average season. Hellickson is 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He’s not going to make the team better. Meanwhile, Baltimore also went out and got former No. 1 overall pick and largely disappointing pro Tim Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays. Beckham is hitting just .259 this season with a .721 OPS. The 27-year-old is a decent defender at shortstop, but the acquisition makes little sense.
Neither Hellickson, nor Beckham will elevate the Orioles to the postseason. Baltimore is also now on the hook for the remainder of Hellickson’s comical $17.2 million salary for this year before he hits free agency. Beckham is under team control through 2019.
Again, neither of those moves made the Orioles appreciably better. At the same time, they failed to move Britton (who is only under team control for one more year) for a haul of prospects that could have helped revitalize one of the worst farm systems in baseball.
Boston Red Sox
The Yankees added Todd Frazier, two high-leverage relievers in David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, and landed one of the best starters on the market in Sonny Gray. The Boston Red Sox got…Addison Reed. And that’s it.
The Sox have been in a tailspin lately, while the Yankees have blown past them into first place. Boston is 8-10 since the All-Star break and, seeing how the team has played, I’m shocked the record isn’t worse. The Yankees are 12-6 since the break and got decidedly better through their moves.
With David Price on the DL thanks to elbow issues and the lineup struggling, the Red Sox could have used some kind of jolt. They didn’t get it at the deadline.
Poor Jay Bruce. He’s bounced back to have one of the best seasons of his career, and the New York Mets didn’t have the decency to send him to a playoff race. Through 97 games, Bruce is hitting .263 with 27 home runs, 72 RBI and an OPS of .849. He’s on pace to set several career-highs, but he’ll be doing so for a team that is 14.5 games back of the Washington Nationals in the NL East.
Luckily for Bruce, he’s still just 30 years old and is set to hit free agency this offseason. If he keeps mashing he’ll get a chance to cash in this winter. Still, the last two months of the season could be brutal to play through.