Hobby Outposts From the North: MLB Trade Deadline Impact – If you are a fan of basketball, hockey or football, you know how quickly the impact of a swap at deadline can be felt. For baseball, however, this is uncharted waters.
Yes, MLB has a trade deadline just like the other sports, but this is a much shorter season than usual, which means there isn’t as much time for a new player to get used to his new surroundings and acclimate to his new teammates. Time is precious with as little as 20 games left before the playoffs. As such, teams are in hurry-up-and-go mode.
While the tendency might have been to hold off making moves and disrupt what is already an accelerated team chemistry scene, an unbelievable 17 swaps went down on Deadline Day.
As always, there are deal winners and losers – stories to be told in the coming days and weeks. In the interim, all we can do is analyze. Here are my picks for the biggest impact makers:
Starling Marte – Now with Miami Marlins – Though his $12.5 million price tag for the option year will likely keep him from being a longterm Marlins investment, Marte will have new duds for products that will entice his legion of collectors. The two-time Gold Glove Award recipient has a good shot at making a playoff impact with the Marlins if they continue their current pace.
David Phelps – Now with Philadelphia Phillies – Going into the trade, Phelps wasn’t having a strong season, with a 2-3 record and only 13 innings pitched; but the Phillies made big changes across the deadline period and Phelps has the opportunity, big time, to improve. Well traveled in his career, Phelps won’t take long to get used to his new digs, which should attract collector attention.
Kevin Pillar – Now with Colorado Rockies – Boston has been suffering through one of their worst seasons in recent memory and took the opportunity to swap out one of their veterans for future potential. The Rockies made a wise move in picking up the 31 year-old standout, who is hitting at a decent .274 rate and thus far is nuzzling an RBI-per-two-game rate. Expect the latter stat to go up with the playoff-chasing Rockies.
Miguel Castro – Now with New York Mets – The Mets haven’t had a strong season thus far (15-20 as of the start of September), but the 25 year-old Castro could make a big change in short order. Through 16 games with the Orioles, Castro, who is currently on the day-to-day injured list, has only surrendered three home runs. Even if the Mets don’t get into a playoff spot, this is a big pickup that will have years of impact.
Jonathan Villar – Now with Toronto Blue Jays – You almost have to wonder how this trade happened in the first place. Villar leads the bigs with nine stolen bases after all! Yes, Bo Bichette will return, but Villar can play both infield and outfield easily and will transition away from shortstop as needed. Canada has reason to believe in blue once again, which will elevate Villar’s hobby value.
Mike Clevinger – Now with San Diego Padres – Big deal here, to say the least. Clevinger inserts well into the Padres starting rotation, counting 21 strikeouts over 4 games and a strong 3.18 ERA. San Diego was well positioned at the start of the month to get into the playoffs and, indeed, go far. Clevinger has an additional year in his contract, which gives the Padres some solidification.
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