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What a time the 2022 MLB trade deadline was.
Baseball might have seen the biggest trade in league history, and there were plenty of other huge splashes in the days leading up to the 6 p.m. ET deadline.
There were also moves and non-moves that had to be disappointing to some fan bases.
Here are the winners and losers of the trade deadline.
Winner: San Diego Padres
The Padres came away with the biggest prize: Juan Soto.
And that’s not all. Despite essentially being out of the NL West race, the Padres are doing what the Los Angeles Angels failed to do for their superstar, Mike Trout. The Padres are supplying Fernando Tatis Jr. a team of stars. The Padres acquired Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers and also got Josh Bell in the Soto deal. They also struck late and got Brandon Drury from the Reds.
The Padres are going for it, and October figures to be fun in southern California.
Winner: New York Yankees
The Yankees have the best record in baseball but have been humbled recently by going 2-7 against the Houston Astros and New York Mets. They had clear holes in the rotation, bullpen and outfield and filled them all by getting Frankie Montas, Scott Effross and Andrew Benintendi. If you weren’t convinced the Yanks were legitimate World Series contenders, these moves should move that needle.
Admittedly, the Jordan Montgomery trade for Harrison Bader is a bit confusing, but it begs the question: Was Montgomery even going to have a role in the postseason?
The Yankees also got rid of a struggling Joey Gallo.
Winner: Minnesota Twins
The Twins have historically not performed well in the postseason when they qualify. But as long as they’re in the dance, they’ve got a shot. The Twins took advantage of their division rivals remaining silent and made some much-needed improvements while leading the AL Central by just a game.
On deadline day, they got Michael Fulmer and Tyler Mahle for their rotation, and they acquired All-Star reliever Jorge Lopez from the Baltimore Orioles. They didn’t exactly light up the deadline, but they were active and did what they had to do in an effort to distance themselves in the division and become a postseason threat.
Winner: Seattle Mariners
They got the best pitcher on the trade market in Luis Castillo, who is also under team control through the 2024 season. It took an absolute haul to get him, but the Mariners see an opportunity to reach the postseason for the first time in over 20 years and are going for it.
Like the Padres, Seattle has a young stud in Julio Rodriguez and wants to make his tenure worthwhile. Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis is back, and although he is struggling, Robbie Ray is still the defending Cy Young Award winner. A team already built for the postseason now has an anchor in the front of its rotation with a bullpen that has been elite.
The Mariners won 90 games last year and missed out on the postseason in Game 162. The Mariners have the longest postseason drought in baseball, and now have a realistic chance to play in October for the first time since their 116-win campaign in 2001.
Loser: Baltimore Orioles
Three weeks ago, fans expected the O’s to be sellers. But then they went on an absolute tear, winning 10 in a row, and they entered deadline day above .500. But that didn’t stop the franchise from giving away Trey Mancini and Jorge Lopez, who was its lone All-Star this year. It would have been nice to see a team that got hot and put itself into the wild-card race (they are only 2.5 games back) go for it, or at the very least, not sell.
Loser: Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays might be the biggest disappointment of the season. They were everyone’s favorite team heading into the season. However, they trail the Yankees by 12 games in the AL East. Yes, they are the leaders for the wildcard by a healthy margin, but a couple of teams chasing them (Minnesota and Seattle) all got better, while Toronto didn’t do much of anything.
At the buzzer, the Blue Jays acquired Whit Merrifield, but he’s been a shell of his old self, owning a -0.2 bWAR and hitting just .240 with a .643 OPS, hardly an improvement for a team that needed one. Merrifield was previously unvaccinated against the coronavirus, barring him entry into Canada.
Loser: New York Mets
The Mets watched just about every other team get its main targets. The Mets were reportedly in on Josh Bell, Trey Mancini, J.D. Martinez, Willson Contreras and David Robertson — to name a few.
They got none of them.
It’s hard to blame owner Steve Cohen. The Mets are in first place with the franchise’s highest payroll of all time, and they were, by far, the winners of the offseason. However, the Mets have some glaring holes, and Cohen and general manager Billy Eppler were mostly silent.
They got a much-needed reliever in Mychel Givens from the Chicago Cubs, who will likely set up Edwin Diaz, but one probably isn’t enough for that bullpen. And the Mets did nothing to improve their bad DH and catching slots. They head down the stretch with hardly any roster improvement.
Both teams are within three games of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. The White Sox are the defending division champs with young talent. So it was surprising to see them stand pat. The Guardians have a perennial MVP candidate in Jose Ramirez, a surprise All-Star in Andres Gimenez and are just a game back in what’s been a surprisingly good season for them.
As the Twins got better with three big moves, both Cleveland and Chicago stood pat. The Twins did not enter the deadline as the undisputed leader of the division. But, after Tuesday, the Twins may have to be considered the favorite down the stretch.