The 2017 Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline is past, and earlier I focused on the biggest losers from the league’s annual trading frenzy. Now it’s time to examine the teams that improved the most over the last few weeks.
Here’s a look at the winners of the 2017 MLB trade deadline.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are baseball’s best team, but they needed to add a starting pitcher and some bullpen depth. They succeeded.
Los Angeles was able to get two lefties for the ‘pen by trading for Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani, but the starter they landed was the big news. Yu Darvish can be an elite piece in the rotation, and he’s now headed to Hollywood. While he has posted a 5.81 ERA over his last eight starts, Darvish is almost certain to turn things around. His track record suggests he’ll be far better than he’s been so far this year.
Even with Clayton Kershaw sidelined, the Dodgers can run out a rotation that includes Darvish, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood and Rich Hill. They’ll be fine while their ace heals, and could be unstoppable when he returns.
The Chicago White Sox have the third-worst record in baseball and are currently 22 games below .500. Meanwhile, the Cubs are in first-place in the NL Central. Quintana also has three years left on his contract, which means he’ll be a key piece on a team that should be contending every year during that time. Oh, and he didn’t have to move to a new city.
Quintana went from a rebuild to a pennant race while likely not having to pack up any boxes. It doesn’t get much better than that.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees needed help at the corner infield spots, in the bullpen and the starting rotation. They filled all of those needs and didn’t give up either of their top two prospects.
The Yankees swung a deal that landed them Todd Frazier and two of the best relievers on the market in David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. Then they were able to add both Jaime Garcia and Sonny Gray to a rotation that desperately needed some help. New York also managed to make upgrades without surrendering top prospects Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have done fantastic work over the last year building an incredible farm system by selling off veterans. This year’s deadline was no different.
Moving Quintana brought Eloy Jimenez, the seventh-ranked prospect on MLB.com’s top 100 list. They also added Dylan Cease (67th) from the Cubs in that deal. The Frazier-Robertson-Kahnle trade brought Blake Rutherford (45th), Ian Clarkin, Tito Polo and reliever Tyler Clippard.
The White Sox now have a ridiculous eight of the top 67 prospects in MLB.com’s top 100, including three of the top 12. Chicago is building what could be a juggernaut in a few years and did a great job to further that rebuild at this year’s deadline.
The 27-year-old Gray is under team control through 2019 and should be a cornerstone of New York’s rotation during that time. The Yankees are a young, emerging team with a ton of talent, but needed rotation help. Gray will immediately be one of the most important players on a team in contention.
That’s quite a change of scenery.