The Best and Worst of the MLB Trade Deadline

by WagerHome Blog on August 4, 2023

You’re either competing for a World Series, or you are trying to get the roster that will enable you to compete for a World Series. There is no other way to be a general manager in the MLB. (The A’s, working to do neither until they have successfully forced their way to Las Vegas, is the exception.)

For some teams, getting that roster for the MLB World Series push means that you are trying to win now. For others, 2024 or 2025 becomes the target date. Partnerships between the two contrasting plans is how we get trades.

The Teams With a Plan

The Houston Astros (+550 to win the MLB World Series) are always looking to win now. They are the defending MLB World Series champions, and one of the keys to that win, Justin Verlander, is back in Houston. He was traded by the Mets to the Astros, where he is a proven winner.

Up I-45, the Texas Rangers (+850 to win the World Series) grabbed Verlander’s teammate in New York, Max Scherzer, as well as left-hander starter Jordan Montgomery from the Cardinals. The Astros and Rangers are locked in a battle for the American League West, and now they have the Hall of Fame arms to create a great pennant race.

The Mets are clearly not looking to win this year, even though that was what they were thinking when they signed Scherzer for 2022 and Verlander for 2023. For Scherzer, they now have shortstop prospect Luisangel Acuna, for Verlander, they got outfielder Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford, and for closer David Robertson, they received catcher Ronald Hernandez and infielder Marco Vargas.

The Best and Worst of the MLB Trade Deadline

Too many teams are unwilling to change courses so quickly, but kudos to the Mets for reading the writing on the wall and setting themselves up nicely for the future.

What’s the Plan?

The Kansas City Royals were the MLB World Series champion eight years ago, but it might as well be 100. They are on pace to have their worst season in franchise history. Trading away Nicky Lopez was a good idea, but for 29-year-old reliever Taylor Hearn, a pitcher was just designated for assignment by the Rangers? It’s an unusual move for a team appearing to be lost at sea.

At the top of the A.L. Central is Minnesota, but all they did was trade middle relievers. No other moves were made, no real push to become a winner, and no real effort to end their 32-year World Series drought. Strange.

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WagerHome BlogThe Best and Worst of the MLB Trade Deadline

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