Baseball’s annual non-waiver trade deadline came and went at 4pm ET on Monday. The biggest deals saw
go to the
Los Angeles Dodgers
go to the
New York Yankees
, though plenty of other trades were made as well. .
As always, teams make deadline trades for different reasons. Some make trades to improve their postseason odds. Some make trades to increase their World Series odds. And some make trades with the long-term in mind. Not every deal is made for the here and now.
That said, every trade does change the postseason outlook to some degree. Here, via SportsLine, is how Monday’s notable trade deadline activity has shaken up the 2017 playoff projections.
Cubs acquire Justin Wilson, Alex Avila
is not registering as a huge impact move for two reasons. One, SportsLine already loves the Cubs and gives them really good division, postseason, and World Series odds. And two, it’s not fully buying into Avila being this good. Me? I’m buying it. I think adding Wilson and Avila will help the Cubbies more than the projections indicate.
Dodgers acquire Yu Darvish
The Dodgers did not acquire Darvish to help them win the division. They’re playing at a 115-win pace and are as close to a lock to win the division as it gets on July 31. They made that trade to improve their World Series odds, and, according to SportsLine, they’ve done it … slightly. Keep in mind 33.9 percent World Series odds are insane. That’s really, really, good. That +0.7 percent increase is not insignificant.
It boils down to this: the Dodgers were already the NL West and World Series favorites. Darvish makes them favored a bit more.
Nationals acquire Brandon Kintzler
, similar to the Dodgers and Darvish, acquired
because they want to win the World Series. They have a big lead in the division and have more or less punched their postseason ticket. Kintzler is not a dominant late-game reliever — he succeeds more with ground balls than strikeouts — though he is an upgrade. He’s also a rental, so this is a short-term addition.
Wilson, it should be noted, will remain under Cubs control as an arbitration-eligible player in 2018. Avila will be a free agent after the season. The Cubs made this move to win this season, but also with an eye on next season as well.
Red Sox acquire Addison Reed
Boston Red Sox
have had some fairly spectacular bullpen meltdowns this season, and now they have
ready to step in as
‘s setup man. He’s going to feel like a much better pickup than he really is, based on the projections. There is no such thing as too many good relievers, of course, and the Red Sox are an undeniably better team with the Reed than without.
Rockies acquire Jonathan Lucroy
A year ago at this time, acquiring
would have been a huge impact move. Now, after struggling on both sides of the ball all season, he barely registers as a blip. Well, that’s not true, because a +2.1 percent increase in postseason odds is not nothing. The
have a 5 1/2 game on the second wild card spot, so they’re in a good place. Lucroy is an upgrade over their revolving door of backup catchers. He’s just not a true difference-maker at this point.
Yankees acquire Sonny Gray
The Yankees acquired Gray not only to improve their 2017 postseason odds, but also their 2018 and 2019 postseason odds as well. Gray will remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player for another two seasons beyond this one. Gray’s immediate impact is not huge — at least not according to SportsLine — but this is a win-now and win-later move.