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The Top 10 most impactful moves from the 2023 MLB trade deadline | Locked on MLB Prospects

The Top 10 most impactful moves from the 2023 MLB trade deadline | Locked on MLB Prospects
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Aug 02, 2023

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Sep 17, 2023

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A few teams cleaned house and others went all-in at the deadline.

NEW YORK — The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone, and while some teams were cleaning house, like the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, others made minimal moves. 

The Mets got rid of their top two starters, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, and a top reliever in David Robertson, as well as outfielders Tommy Pham and Mark Canha. 

The AL West-leading Texas Rangers bolstered their starting rotation, and the Los Angeles Angels, after taking Shohei Ohtani off the board, also made some moves as they fight for an American League Wild Card spot. 

Not to be outdone, the Houston Astros reacquired a guy who helped them win the World Series in 2017 and 2022, and the Miami Marlins made a few moves as they compete for a National League Wild Card. 

Lindsay Crosby, the host of the Locked On MLB Prospects podcast, ranked the Top 10 most impactful trades on the latest episode of his show. 

“It’s really easy to look back and say there were some teams that won and some teams that lost the trade deadline.” Crosby said, “I think one team that you have to argue won the trade deadline is the Texas Rangers.” 

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Crosby included two trades the Rangers made in his top 10, and here they are in order: 

Houston Astros acquiring Justin Verlander.

Verlander, who is a two-time World Series Champion with the Astros, was sent back to Houston by the Mets, who cleaned house at the deadline. Verlander is 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 16 starts. The 40-year-old has thrown 94 and one-third innings, has struck out 81 batters, and has given up nine home runs. 

In return, the Astros sent the Mets their number one and number four prospects, Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford, both outfielders.

Texas Rangers trade for Max Scherzer.

Scherzer was also unloaded by the Mets, who gave the Rangers $35M to help pay for Scherzer’s services through 2024. He opted in for 2024 with the Rangers, who will pay $22.5M for his services. Scherzer is 9-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 19 starts. He’s tossed 107 and two-thirds innings while striking out 121 batters. 

The Mets will receive Luisangel Acuna, who is a middle infielder and center fielder and will likely be ranked as one of their top prospects. He’s also Ronald Acuna Jr’s younger brother. 

Tampa Bay Rays acquiring Aaron Civale.

The Rays pulled off a somewhat rare trade by acquiring Civale from the Guardians. Both teams are in the playoff hunt, and with Civale, the Rays get a righthanded starter who is under team control through 2025. He is 5-2 with a 2.34 ERA over 77 innings and has struck out 58, walked 22, and allowed only five home runs. He also started the season late while recovering from a strained oblique. 

In return, the Guardians get first-base prospect Kyle Manzardo. Manzardo is hitting .238/.342/.442 with 11 home runs at Triple-A. He was drafted by the Rays in 2021. 

Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly head to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers needed some pitching help, and they got it with Lynn and Kelly, who won a World Series in 2020 with the Dodgers. Lynn is 7-9 with a 6.32 ERA in 22 starts, but he’s thrown 126 and two-thirds innings while striking out 151 batters. Kelly has appeared in 32 games and is 2-5 with a 4.91 ERA out of the bullpen. 

In exchange, the Dodgers sent Trayce Thompson, who was drafted by the White Sox in 2009, along with two minor leaguers in starter Nick Nastrini and reliever Jordan Leasure.

Los Angeles Angels get Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.

After deciding to go all in and not putting Shohei Ohtani on the trade market, the Angels traded for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López of the White Sox a week ago. Giolito is 6-7 with a 3.85 ERA in 22 starts. He made his first start for the Angels against the Blue Jays on July 28 and picked up the loss. Lopez, a reliever, has appeared in 45 games in 2023 and is 2-5 with a 4.00 ERA across 45 innings of work. He closed out the Angels win against the Braves on Monday night. 

The Angels sent two players from Double-A Rocket City to the White Sox, catcher Edgar Quero and left-hander Ky Bush. 

Baltimore Orioles acquire Jack Flaherty.

The Cardinals are rebooting and rebuilding, and a part of that was sending a few players away in trades. One was Jack Flaherty, who headed to Baltimore for three prospects, infielder César Prieto and pitchers Drew Rom and Zack Showalter. 

The Orioles needed pitching help, and they got it with Flaherty. He is 7-6 with a 4.43 ERA in 20 starts, but he’s picked it up lately, going 3-1 in his last five starts. 

Texas Rangers trade for Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton

The Cardinals also sent starter Jordan Montgomery and reliever Chris Stratton to the Rangers in exchange for two prospects; infielder Thomas Saggese, right-hander Tekoah Roby, and left-handed reliever John King who has pitched in the Majors.

Texas has the best offense in baseball, and thanks to some major injuries to members of their starting rotation, they needed pitching help. They got it with the deal and the aforementioned Max Scherzer acquisition. 

Chicago Cubs acquire Jeimer Candelario.

After declaring Cody Bellinger wasn’t available, the Chicago Cubs decided to go for it and acquire third baseman Jeimer Candelario from the Washington Nationals in exchange for prospects Kevin Made and DJ Herz.

Candelario has 16 home runs, three away from his career-high of 19 in 2018. He also has 30 doubles and two triples. 

Toronto Blue Jays acquire Jordan Hicks.

The Blue Jays wanted a strong arm in their bullpen, and they got it with Jordan Hicks, another former St. Louis Cardinal. In exchange for Hicks and his 102 MPH fastball, the Cardinals got back pitching prospects Sem Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein, both right-handers. 

Hicks is 1-6 with a 4.01 ERA in 41 games. He also has eight saves. He made his first appearance with Toronto in a 13-1 loss to the Orioles and gave up two runs in an inning of work. 

Miami Marlins get David Robertson.

The first big move the Mets made before the deadline was trading reliever David Robertson to fellow NL East occupant Miami. The Marlins gave the now-rebuilding Mets two young prospects; 18-year-old Marco Vargas and a 19-year-old switch-hitting catcher Ronald Hernandez. Both players are currently in the Florida Complex League.

Robertson has already appeared in two games for the Marlins. He picked up a save against Detroit and blew a save against Philadelphia.  

BE SURE to listen and subscribe to Locked On MLB Prospects wherever you find your podcasts! 

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