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Some very big deals

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Trade deadline thoughts

Things certainly heated up in a big way at the Major League Baseball trading deadline.

In one of the most active periods perhaps THE most active - in the history of the deadline, a whole lot of teams made some major changes to their squads; some were aiming for a championship today, while others were looking down the road and building for tomorrow.

In any event, there has been a lot of movement in the trade market over the past few weeks, culminating in a frantically busy final day that saw some big names change teams and some unexpected teams cashing in their chips.

Here's a look at some teams that made prominent moves.

Texas Rangers

Any discussion of the 2016 trade season particularly the madcap final day has to start with the Rangers. The team fortified its lineup in a big way, acquiring outfielder/DH Carlos Beltran from the Yankees and catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers.

Basically, the Rangers wound up with players that were arguably the best hitter (Beltran) and best all-around player (Lucroy) available. Beltran's 2016 renaissance has been great he's batting over .300 with 22 home runs and nearly 70 RBI thus far. Lucroy might not be quite the MVP-caliber player he was a couple of years ago, but he's still an above-average defensive catcher who is at worst a top-five hitter at the position.

Sure, the Rangers could have used a starting pitcher them and everybody else but they still managed to put themselves in prime position to make the playoffs. It's telling that their acquisition of reliever Jeremy Jeffress a guy with closer talent in the Lucroy deal is being treated almost as a footnote.

Texas GM Jon Daniels got it done.

New York Yankees

There's something weird about a trade deadline sell-off by the Yankees.

Don't get me wrong as a longtime Red Sox fan, I'm not shedding any tears for the pinstriped ones but this kind of white-flagging is something that I've never seen out of the Bronx.

That being said holy cow, did GM Brian Cashman do some work.

In trading off prominent bullpen pieces Aroldis Chapman (to the Cubs) and Andrew Miller (to the Indians) two of the most coveted players out there along with the aforementioned Beltran, the Yankees have turned an already decent farm system into one of the best in baseball.

For Chapman, the return was shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielders Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford and pitcher Adam Warren. For Miller, they landed outfielder Clint Frazier and pitchers Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen. And for Beltran, they got pitchers Dillon Tate, Eric Swanson and Nick Green.

Four of those guys Torres, Frazier, Sheffield and Tate are considered elite prospects. And while there are no guarantees, if just a couple of these guys wind up paying off, the Yankees will be reaping the rewards of their 2016 moves for years to come.

Cleveland Indians

This one is a question of quality over quantity. The Indians only made one major trade, but it was the sort of move that can sometimes prove to be a tipping point in retrospect a move that pays massive October dividends.

Cleveland acquired left-handed reliever Andrew Miller in a move that instantly rehabilitated their bullpen. The Indians have sported one of the most talented rotations in the American League all season; with a guy like Miller anchoring the back end of the bullpen, they might well have put themselves in position for a huge postseason run.

Was it an overpay? Probably a little, although having Miller affordably signed for two seasons after this one makes it much less of one. And it would have been nice if they'd been able to convince Lucroy to waive his no-trade clause and come to Cleveland. Regardless, what this means is that the Indians recognize that this year might be their chance to end their nearly seven-decade World Series draught.

If that happens, no price would have been too high.


As for the Red Sox fans out there, wellit could have been worse. The acquisitions of guys like Rich Hill, Drew Pomeranz and Brad Ziegler (along with the deadline day pickup of reliever Fernando Abad) aren't necessarily the sexiest moves, but the reality is that the shutdown, no-doubt ace starting pitcher that they hoped for just wasn't available. Not for any price worth paying, at any rate. These names aren't the biggest and brightest, but they along with the potential impact of rising minor leaguers like Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada will ensure that the Red Sox give the AL East all it can handle.

In the end, it was a crazy trading season, with nearly 50 moves being made in the last couple of months. As for how effective all those transactions ultimately prove to be, wellthat's why they play the games.


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