MLB trade deadline updates (2024)

Catch up on all the news and analysis from a busy deadline day.

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Ken Rosenthal and The Athletic MLB Staff

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(Photo: Rich Schultz / Getty Images)

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The Athletic MLB Staff

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Recapping the 2023 MLB trade deadline: Grades, winners, losers and more

Major League Baseball's 2023 trade season is over. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander went south to the Rangers and Astros, respectively, while Shohei Ohtani stayed put in Anaheim. Catch up on the latest:

Around the league

Our big-picture look at the winners, losers and snoozers of the 2023 deadline period.

Jim Bowden grades the deadline performance of all 30 teams. The Astros and Rangers get high marks … the Yankees, not so much.

Which teams made the right trades and which ones missed at the deadline?

Mets trade Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer

New York executed its deadline plan, but it must learn from the failures that led to it, Tim Britton writes.

Scherzer said the Mets told him their new vision is to build toward 2025 and 2026.

How Verlander ended back in Houston and what it means for the Astros' playoff push.

Trade grades

Is Jack Flaherty enough to bolster the Orioles' pitching?

How the Phillies improved their rotation depth with Michael Lorenzen.

Grading Scott Barlow to the Padres, Josh Bell to the Marlins and other buzzer-beating deals.

View all of our trade grades in one place.

Here’s where you can buy tickets to upcoming games.

August 2, 2023 at 11:59 AM EDTDennis Lin·Senior Writer, Padres

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Padres thread the needle at the trade deadline

The needle the San Diego Padres threaded in the final hours before Tuesday’s trade deadline was not, it turned out, a complicated balance between buying and selling. President of baseball operations A.J. Preller has bought continuously since a pandemic turned the world upside down three years ago, creating a unique opportunity to go big when so many other front offices erred on the side of caution.

The trade-deadline returns have included Juan Soto and Josh Hader. They also have stained the executive’s spotty transaction history in the form of Austin Nola and Mike Clevinger and Adam Frazier, not to mention all of the present and potential value surrendered along the way.

But Preller, like Padres owner Peter Seidler, is not the type of gambler who hurries home after an extended run of bad beats and large losses. He’s the type who heads back to the ATM and reloads. In the end, it came as no surprise that the Padres approached the past two days — after a sweep of the Texas Rangers that highlighted their unmet ceiling — with a certain amount of aggressive abandon.

The Padres, for instance, again inserted themselves where most clubs in their current, midsummer position — multiple games under .500; on the outside of the postseason picture — would care to venture. Whether it was Preller’s typical exhaustiveness, an attempt to drive up the price, or a brief but genuine foray, the Padres at least asked the New York Mets about Justin Verlander before withdrawing from those sweepstakes well ahead of the 40-year-old’s eventual return to the Houston Astros, league sources told The Athletic.

And amid three separate trades Tuesday, it might have been the most un-Preller-like deadline yet.

“Around the edges,” manager Bob Melvin said, “is what we were looking for.”

The needle the Padres threaded, it turned out, was a balance between buying and not buying overly aggressively. There was little sense in risking much more of their future for what remains something of a long shot at the 2023 postseason.



August 2, 2023 at 11:30 AM EDTSahadev Sharma·Staff Writer, Cubs

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How the Cubs became trade-deadline buyers

Cubs team president Jed Hoyer tries to stay dispassionate. He, like many of the new-age, front-office types, won’t act rashly and refuses to judge his team on a day-to-day basis. That’s the right way to attack things during a long baseball season. But there were times over the last few weeks when it sounded like he was riding the same roller coaster fans tend to.

It may seem obvious now, especially after Tuesday’s 20-9 win over the Cincinnati Reds got them back to a game over .500 and just four games out of first place. But it wasn’t long ago that the direction the Cubs would go this deadline wasn’t so clear.

“There was a period where it looked like we were gonna be sellers,” Hoyer said. “I think back to when we were seven under and playing the Nationals down 3-0. It looked like we were going to drop to eight under. We ended up scoring 17 that night and then sort of didn’t look back for a while. That was not very long ago. At that point, it did look like things were going in (a selling) direction.”

That game Hoyer referenced was the start of the 11-3 run the Cubs are currently on. It was just last week that things started to crystalize for Hoyer and his front office. The comeback against the Chicago White Sox where they turned a 7-2 deficit into a 10-7 win started to push them into buy mode.

But that was a White Sox team in disarray. They viewed the St. Louis Cardinals as a team that may have been struggling as far as wins go, but would give them a real test. After an easy win Thursday night against the Cardinals, the Cubs seemed to seal their fate last Friday. In what will be a long-lasting highlight for Cubs fans, the North Siders took a 3-2 nail-biter that ended with Mike Tauchman reaching over the fence to steal a would-be game-winning homer from Alec Burleson.

“That was sort of like, OK, this is a lot of fun,” Hoyer said. “These guys are celebrating like it’s a playoff game and just doing so many great things together as a group. It sort of felt like when we won six in a row against the Cardinals in that stretch, that was probably the turning point. You realize this group believes in each other and it’s definitely the right thing to do to keep them together and let them play the last two months. In a lot of ways they made it really easy.”


Where do the Yankees go from here after deadline disaster?

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(Brad Penner / USA Today)

In a room packed with reporters and TV cameras, Brian Cashman sat at a table with a microphone in front of him and folded his hands. The trade deadline had passed. The Yankees general manager had done almost nothing to improve a roster that has so throughly disappointed all season. His attention turned toward how his last-place club would handle the final two months of the season.

”We know that we have better baseball in us,” Cashman said, “although we haven’t shown that and proven that.”

By the end of the night, his Yankees had suffered the kind of defeat that had become all too familiar. They lost, 5-2, to the Rays at Yankee Stadium because they couldn’t hit, their high-priced offseason signing Carlos Rodón was terrible (4 innings, 4 runs) and boos rained from the crowd multiple times, even partially drowning out Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” when the final out had been recorded.

If the Yankees truly have better baseball in them, they’re going to need to start showing it soon. At 55-52, they were 3 1/2 games out of the third and final wild-card spot. The teams ahead of the Yankees battling them for playoff positioning made trades that beefed up their lineups, rotations and bullpens. The Yankees? They traded with the White Sox for a middling reliever in Keynan Middleton, and acquired a failed pitching prospect who the Rangers had put on the DFA scrap heap.

“It’s on us as players,” star Aaron Judge said. “We’re fully capable with the guys we’ve got in this room to go out and compete on a daily basis.”

But compete and win on a daily basis? That hasn’t happened for quite some time.

So, where do the Yankees stand now after an all-time bad trade deadline? Let’s discuss.


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The Athletic MLB Staff

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2023 MLB trade deadline winners, losers and snoozers

The trade deadline has passed. All the buying, selling and needle-threading that began with an opening volley a month ago, when the Rangers acquired Aroldis Chapman, has ceased. Once the air clears, the baseball landscape will have a new look. Some of it will prove familiar. Jeimer Candelario is a Cub again. Justin Verlander and Kendall Graveman are Astros again. But now Max Scherzer is a Ranger, Aaron Civale a Ray, and Lucas Giolito an Angel.

We’re here to rate each team’s overall trade-deadline performance. Winners improved greatly without getting fleeced. Losers overpaid, misread the market or entirely missed the mark with their moves. Snoozers had fans prodding, “C’mon, do something,” but sleepwalked through the trade deadline, doing little or nothing at all to better their ballclub for this season or ones ahead.


Arizona Diamondbacks

They gave up a lot to get Paul Sewald, but you know how the old saying goes: Play screw-up-the-bullpen-construction games, pay gotta-fix-the-bullpen prices. The Diamondbacks are right to think that they’re still in the mix for an NL West title and all the glory that comes with that. They can’t start coughing up leads while trying to get there.

Tommy Pham’s batted-ball stats are absolutely goofy, so it’s not like his .472 SLG and .820 OPS are flukes. He’ll help with an outfield that can be a little susceptible to left-handers in the late innings. He can hit southpaws and do a lot of baseball things well.

However, the Diamondbacks needed another starting pitcher, too. The need was so acute that it was tempting to put them in the losers section. Maybe they could have traded Dominic Canzone and Ryan Bliss for Justin Verlander, with the Astros getting Pham? It would have made a little more sense for everyone involved, at least from here. As is, though, the Diamondbacks got a little better, which is the point of all this stuff.

August 2, 2023 at 10:00 AM EDTKeith Law·Senior Writer, MLB

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Who made the right and wrong moves at MLB deadline

New York Mets

They did what they had to do, and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy call, but the Mets traded away six players from their big-league roster, including three pitchers all age 38 and up who either were heading for free agency or just unlikely to be that much help to the team in 2024. Dealing Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer — while paying enough of their salaries to return three solid prospects in Luisangel Acuña (No. 58 on my midseason top 60), Drew Gilbert (a first-round pick last year), and Ryan Clifford — are the kinds of moves more teams that have spent big only to fall short of contention should be making. And let’s give the Mets some credit for spreading the wealth around by sending one of those starters to Texas and the other to Houston.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers got off to a crazy start, slid back to the point where they’re neck and neck with the Astros, and decided to go for it, sending away three of their top 10 prospects to add two impact starting pitchers in Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery. This is what we should want to see teams do. The Rangers could have plodded along in their rebuild, which was certainly heading in the right direction, but chose to go big in free agency before the 2022 and 2023 seasons, saw the payoff already this year, and went in further to try to get not just into the playoffs but advance as far as they can.

August 2, 2023 at 9:30 AM EDTFabian Ardaya·Staff Writer, Dodgers

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Close but no cigar

The Dodgers had their deadline splash, until they didn’t.

A deal that would send an enticing package to Detroit for left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was agreed upon with only minutiae left to finalize. It was the move that would deliver the high-end starting pitcher Los Angeles desperately needed.

Until Rodriguez, citing a desire to be closer to where his family is based in Florida, invoked his limited no-trade clause and halted the deal.

With it, Rodriguez also halted any real traction the Dodgers generated during an underwhelming deadline period. Their early work, acquiring right-handed bats Kiké Hernández and Amed Rosario, along with starter Lance Lynn and reliever Joe Kelly, came at minimal cost. That positioned the Dodgers to be a major factor when a few obvious targets came into frame.

“(It) allowed us to really focus on more of the high-end, top end of the market,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Tuesday. Except when the bell rang at 3 p.m. PT on Tuesday, they’d come up with none of them.



August 2, 2023 at 9:00 AM EDTTim Britton·Staff Writer, Mets

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What is Pete Alonso's long-term role with the Mets

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Pete Alonso has been the face of the Mets franchise since his first month in the majors. How much longer will that be the case?

There are so many far-reaching ramifications to how the Mets maneuvered ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline. The most pertinent might be this one: What does it mean for Alonso’s long-term future with the club?

That wasn’t such a pressing question before the last week. Sure, if there have been any substantive extension negotiations between the Mets and Alonso’s camp, word of them has never leaked. But Alonso is the best power hitter the Mets have ever employed, one of the finest homegrown hitters they’ve ever developed. Surely, one of the benefits of having an owner like Steve Cohen is being able to spend whatever it takes to make Alonso a Met for life?

Now, however, every indication is that the Mets are targeting 2025 and 2026 as their next logical window of contention. That puts Alonso in a unique position with New York. The other key parts of the club’s position-player core are all under long-term team control. Francisco Lindor is signed through 2031, Brandon Nimmo through 2030, Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty through 2029, Jeff McNeil through 2026. They’re all still in line to be part of the next great Mets team, as it were.

August 2, 2023 at 7:30 AM EDTDavid O'Brien·Senior Writer, Braves

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Braves add another lefty to deep bullpen, decide not to trade for another starter

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves didn’t make a big splash by trading top prospects to land a front-line starter or the most dominant reliever available. But when you have the best record and largest division lead in the major leagues, adding around the edges can sometimes be a prudent and preferred strategy.

The Braves believed that to be the case. GM/president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos felt good about the Braves’ additions after trading for Rockies veteran left-hander Brad Hand, a former All-Star closer, as the final move before Tuesday’s trade deadline. The Braves got him for Double-A pitcher Alec Barger, a 25-year-old who wasn’t among Atlanta’s top 30 prospects.

“Brad Hand’s a phenomenal arm,” said Braves center fielder Michael Harris II, who had two home runs in Tuesday’s 5-1 win against the Angels that evened the series at a game apiece. “I always hated facing him, and now he’s another guy I’m glad is on our team. He’s gonna help us. I just knew, when he was with the Phillies last year, whenever I came up in the late-game situation, he was coming in and I was like, ‘I’ve got to go battle this at-bat.’ He’s a tough guy to face.”

The Braves traded just over a week ago for another hard-throwing Colorado reliever, Pierce Johnson, and on Sunday they traded for utility infielder Nicky Lopez from Kansas City.

“We went through so many different scenarios and so many deals,” Anthopoulos said of trade talks before Tuesday’s deadline. “You just don’t know what you’re going to come away with. We knew we wanted to get someone established for that bench role, in Lopez. We knew we wanted to do some things in the bullpen, so getting Pierce Johnson … and then having a third left-hander (Hand).”

They also checked on multiple available starting pitchers, but the Braves decided the ones available at acceptable prices weren’t good enough to merit trading for, given what they already have for depth, and especially who they have set to return from the injured list at the end of the week, ace Max Fried. They also expect to have Kyle Wright, the MLB wins leader a year ago, back from the IL in September.

Read more here.

August 2, 2023 at 7:00 AM EDTWill Sammon·Staff Writer, Mets

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How the Mets’ Billy Eppler changed direction at deadline: ‘Billy can be creative’

KANSAS CITY — In a consequential deadline for the franchise, the New York Mets traded their chances of winning in 2024 in exchange for better odds across the subsequent years.

Whether that strategy works out for the Mets needs time. The outcome depends on what the prospects they acquired — mainly for Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander — turn out to be.

Either way, Mets GM Billy Eppler has carved out an outsized impact on the organization that will be felt for years, no matter who gets to soon be in charge of baseball operations.

“You have to go through a little bit of pain to get where we want to go,” Eppler said.

Explaining why the Mets decided to move in such a direction and detailing what the implications could be requires unraveling a timeline. The process has featured major disappointment and bold decision-making.

The Mets entered spring training with a record-setting payroll and even higher expectations. They would go as far as Scherzer, 39, and Verlander, 40, would take them. They got to the end of July. On Tuesday, the Mets fielded a team featuring some minor-leaguers as roster replacements.

Looking back over the last couple of winters, recommending the additions of future Hall of Fame pitchers on short-term deals and then spending the money for their signatures looked easy.

Deciding to tear things down after the master plan flops in a massively disappointing way? Getting your billionaire boss to change direction? Overcoming the obstacles of offloading Scherzer and Verlander? All of that sounds a lot harder.

Read more here.

August 2, 2023 at 12:00 AM EDTKatie Woo·Staff Writer, Cardinals

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Cardinals have officially entered full rebuild mode

The Cardinals’ final two dominoes fell in the early afternoon of MLB’s trade deadline. The Cardinals traded Paul DeJong to the Blue Jays, their second deal with the organization in three days, in an emergency deal after Toronto infielder Bo Bichette suffered a knee injury Monday night.

As the clock ticked down to the 5 p.m. CT buzzer, the expectation that Jack Flaherty would also be dealt continued to grow. And sure enough, with roughly 10 minutes remaining before the official end of baseball’s annual swap meet, Flaherty was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for three minor-league prospects, closing out the first selling deadline in St. Louis in president of baseball operations John Mozeliak’s 15-year tenure.

The moves were what Mozeliak set out to do when he revealed his intentions of selling earlier in the month. He had hoped to avoid a full teardown and wanted to utilize the deadline as a chance to shed talented players who were approaching free agency, with acquiring “pitching, pitching, pitching” being of the utmost importance.

August 1, 2023 at 11:30 PM EDTMatt Gelb

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Dave Dombrowski sends a message at the deadline

When the trade deadline passed Tuesday evening and the only hitter the Phillies had acquired was a 24-year-old infielder who was on Pittsburgh’s Triple-A team, Dave Dombrowski had sent an unambiguous message. The Phillies all season have underachieved as an offense. Bryce Harper volunteered to learn first base so it would get him back on the field quicker and perhaps allow Dombrowski to find a lineup upgrade.

Instead, on this night, Dombrowski highlighted the virtues of 22-year-old Johan Rojas. He is an unfinished product. But he does things that much of the roster cannot — play elite defense with game-changing speed — and the Phillies decided to bet on that. It is a sizable risk.

“Really, from a run-scoring perspective, we have struggled,” Dombrowski, the club’s president of baseball operations, said on a conference call with reporters. “We looked at Rojas and we think we have a very talented offensive club. We have a lot of stars on our club. Sometimes, you just need complementary players to help them.

“So you have to be careful. If you acquire guys that are very similar to what you have from an ability perspective, you can be redundant. We just thought in this situation here, to play great defense and have speed, that was something we were not afraid to turn to.”

Some of it was convenient messaging; Dombrowski said the club’s priority was to add pitching depth, and it did that by acquiring right-handed starter Michael Lorenzen from Detroit for infield prospect Hao-Yu Lee.



August 1, 2023 at 11:15 PM EDTCody Stavenhagen·Staff Writer, Tigers

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Eduardo Rodriguez’s decision leaves more questions than answers

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(Ron Schwane / Getty Images)

By the time Tigers players were clearing out of the clubhouse Tuesday night at PNC Park, Eduardo Rodriguez’s gray jersey hung at his locker, but the left-handed pitcher who unexpectedly became the most wildly fascinating story of the trade deadline was nowhere to be found.

Rodriguez, per a team spokesperson, left the ballpark earlier in the day as part of his preparation to start Wednesday’s matinee against the Pirates.

And so that leaves many of the biggest questions of deadline day lingering into the night.

What we do know? The Tigers had a deal in place with the Dodgers that would have sent Rodriguez to Los Angeles and young talent to Detroit in return. That deal never happened, and it never happened because Rodriguez invoked the 10-team no-trade clause written in the contract he signed in November of 2021.

Based on multiple conversations with people involved, heading into deadline day Tigers officials had reason to believe Rodriguez would have been willing to waive his no-trade clause and go to Los Angeles.

Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris said Tuesday he had conversations with Rodriguez via phone, text and in person in the days leading up to the deadline. It remains murky whether Rodriguez had ever outright said he would agree to go to the Dodgers. But the Tigers would not have spent so much time working on the deal had they believed otherwise.

“We had steady communication throughout,” Harris said, “and at the end of the day, Eduardo wasn’t comfortable with the deal as it was presented to him. That’s his right. He’s earned that right. … He shouldn’t be the villain in any of this stuff. He earned that right with the performance he’s had throughout his career, and we respect that right.”

August 1, 2023 at 11:00 PM EDTZack Meisel·Senior Writer, Guardians

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Cleveland's not so fruitful year

Mike Zunino lasted in Cleveland until June 16. Josh Bell made it another 46 days. Neither of the Guardians’ noteworthy free-agent additions will don a Cleveland uniform in August or September.

The Guardians severed ties with Zunino a couple of months into the regular season, and they traded Bell to the Marlins in the final moments before the trade deadline Tuesday. This has, uh, not been the most fruitful year for Cleveland’s front office.

“Didn’t work out,” team president Chris Antonetti said about the club’s two signings. “When you make those investments, you hope that they work out and have productive seasons. … That’s part of the risk when you venture into free agency.”

Bell was in the clubhouse playing cards with teammates ahead of a team meeting scheduled for five minutes after the 6 p.m. ET deadline. The Aaron Civale trade already created some unrest in the clubhouse on Monday. Manager Terry Francona described the group session Tuesday as “one of the hardest meetings to prepare for.”

“I don’t ever want to BS any player,” Francona said. “Can’t do that. I just told them that, ‘Hey, if you’re frustrated, if you’re angry, OK. But if that trickles into our play on the field, that doesn’t help anybody.’”

August 1, 2023 at 10:30 PM EDTKeith Law·Senior Writer, MLB

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Here's a few MLB trades that went under the radar

Jake Burger to Marlins

I wrote Monday that the Marlins were one of the teams that could most use a boost at third base, but figured Jake Burger, who is hitting .214/.279/.527 this year, wouldn’t move the needle for a would-be contender. He does have 25 homers, but they come at a cost of that abysmal OBP, which would be the third-worst among qualifiers if he had eight more plate appearances. He’s a below-average defender at third, although he’d probably be fine at first. With a strikeout rate of 31.6 percent this year, this is probably just what he is as a hitter. The fact that he’s a huge upgrade for the Marlins is more an indictment of how bad Jean Segura has been, with a .277 OBP and below-average defense, but no power. It’s like adding the same guy but with the potential for 10 homers the rest of the way instead of 1 or 2.

August 1, 2023 at 10:04 PM EDTKaitlyn McGrath·Staff Writer, Blue Jays

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Following Bo Bichette's good news, the Blue Jays focused on finishing touches at the deadline

The best news for the Blue Jays on deadline day was that they appear to have avoided a worst-case scenario with Bo Bichette, who exited Monday’s game with a knee injury but had no significant structural damage. But a sparse position-player market meant all the Blue Jays achieved in the final 24 hours before Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET trade deadline was acquiring shortstop Paul DeJong from the St. Louis Cardinals.

DeJong, 29, will be a free agent at the end of the season and is primarily an insurance policy in case Bichette misses time with an injured list stint, which is still to be determined. Yes, DeJong is a right-handed bat, and yes, he’s hit left-handed pitching well this season, which addresses their team need for lineup balance — but the Blue Jays didn’t acquire the sort of right-handed power bat that could’ve added thump to a lineup that hasn’t scored runs at the rate many expected they would. The Blue Jays were sitting 14th in runs scored prior to play on Tuesday.

But along with DeJong, the Blue Jays did add hard-throwing relievers Génesis Cabrera and Jordan Hicks, also acquired from the Cardinals. Hicks was one of the best relievers to move this deadline period and he especially helps fortify an already strong bullpen and gives the club back-end protection while they weather closer Jordan Romano’s back injury. That bullpen was battered on Tuesday, however, as Cabrera and Nate Pearson combined to allow seven runs in two innings against the Orioles.

August 1, 2023 at 9:15 PM EDTKeith Law·Senior Writer, MLB

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Jack Flaherty joins Orioles' rotation without giving up any top prospects

The Orioles are in outstanding shape for the rest of this season, but their rotation is clearly the team’s weak spot, so using some of their prospect depth to acquire a starter – just as they did in the winter, trading Darell Hernaiz to Oakland for Cole Irvin – was the obvious move at the deadline. They dealt two prospects from their second or third tier to St. Louis on Tuesday to land right-hander Jack Flaherty, who, even in a down year, is an upgrade for the Orioles’ staff.

Flaherty was an ace back in 2019, but since the injuries started to pile up, he’s lost some stuff and a lot of command while making just 23 starts over the last two years. He’s been mostly healthy this year, taking 20 turns in the rotation for the Cardinals, with mixed results, from his career-worst 11 percent walk rate (outside of 36 innings in 2022) to his surrender of more hard contact than ever. He’s down about 1.5 mph from that 2019 season on the fastball, comparably down on the curveball and his pitches must be getting old because they sure don’t move like they used to. He has deprecated the four-seamer this year, throwing more sliders and a lot more cutters, although the cutter isn’t more than an average pitch either – it’s just more effective than the fastball.



August 1, 2023 at 8:22 PM EDTRustin Dodd·Staff Writer, New York

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Padres acquire Scott Barlow

The Royals and Padres, familiar deadline partners, matched up again at the buzzer, the Padres acquiring reliever Scott Barlow for minor-league right-hander Henry Williams, San Diego’s No. 10 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

The Royals were in a bit of tough spot with Barlow, who was quietly one of the better relievers in baseball in 2021 and 2022 before his velocity and effectiveness dipped over the last year. With only one more season of club control, the Royals decided to be aggressive. Understandable.

Read more about the trade grades for the Padres and Royals.

August 1, 2023 at 6:43 PM EDTRustin Dodd·Staff Writer, New York

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Yankees acquire Keynan Middleton

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(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

In a vacuum, nobody would give much thought to the Yankees acquiring reliever Keynan Middleton in the moments before the trade deadline. The 29-year-old reliever has a 3.96 ERA in 36 appearances for the Chicago White Sox, who he signed with before the season. Last year, Middleton had a 5.29 ERA for Arizona. Before that, he pitched for the Angels and Mariners. He had some moments for the Angels and not many for the Mariners. If the Yankees need a reliever to throw some innings, he can do that.

To acquire Middleton, the Yankees are reportedly parting ways with Juan Carela, a 6-foot-3, 186-pound right-hander with a 3.67 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings at High-A. It’s an inconsequential deal that embodies the Yankees’ posture at this deadline: Caught between worlds, unsure of whether to buy, sell, or retool — or what possible moves could advance any of those ends.

Read more about the trade grades for the Yankees and White Sox.

August 1, 2023 at 6:40 PM EDTBrittany Ghiroli·Senior Writer, MLB

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Orioles acquire Jack Flaherty

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(Sam Navarro / Getty Images)

Of all the moves the Orioles could have made, getting Jack Flaherty, who owns a 4.43 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP feels uninspired. After all, Baltimore is in first place with the game’s top-ranked farm system. Acquiring a rental who has not pitched well hardly does much to put them over the top, particularly when the O’s have several pitchers who will reach their innings limit and Tyler Wells was sent to Double-A to freshen up his arm.

Is it better than doing nothing, which hardly seemed like an option a day ago? Sure. But it’s not a particularly inspired move though the Orioles do hold on to their upper echelon of prospects, which general manager Mike Elias made clear is a priority as the organization looks at 2023 as just the start of their competitive window. Still, who are we to deem when windows start? This Orioles team is good now.

This is a lackluster move at best, regardless of what it cost. Prieto was blocked by an already-excellent Orioles infield and Rom is a lefty that projects well. Both were top 20 prospects in the system. For the Cardinals, getting anything for two months of Flaherty in a lost season is a boon. St. Louis went all-in on selling, which they hope to never do again.

Read more about the trade grades for the Orioles and Cardinals.


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