By Jordan Shusterman
FOX Sports MLB Writer
Another MLB trade deadline, another deluge of transactional chaos. It was a wild one.
The trade deadline is all about teams reshuffling their rosters in an effort to get significantly better now or in the future. How these deals ultimately impact the course of the 2022 season remains to be seen, but the experience of watching dozens of players change teams over the course of a handful of days is always a thrill for fans regardless.
To put a bow on the trade deadline that was, I’ve ranked all 50 trades that took place since the All-Star Break based on the significance and shock value of the deals when they came across the timeline, counting them down from the fringe roster swaps to the mind-blowing blockbusters.
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To the trades!
In case you missed it: These were the minor moves that might have slipped through the cracks if you were more focused on the bigger names.
Many of these moves can best be described as “40-man housekeeping” or general bottom-of-the-roster maintenance. It’s unlikely any of these deals will have much of an impact on the 2022 postseason race.
45. Cardinals acquire Austin Allen from A’s.
Out goes one backup catcher named Austin, in comes another.
Who’s to say Adrianza wasn’t the key to the Braves’ World Series run a year ago? Now he’s back in the fold as they try to defend their crown.
As sad as it was to watch Baltimore trade their All-Star Jorge Lopez and the heart and soul of their team in Trey Mancini, at least they added one of the most fun players in baseball! (I love Phillips, but I’m not sure how much better he’s really going to make Orioles fans feel.)
Trader Jerry’s underwhelming encore: Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto lived up to his reputation of wheeling and dealing by landing Luis Castillo, the top pitcher on the market. But that went down several days before the actual deadline, leaving some to wonder if there was something bigger coming in the final hours.
Astros among winners at deadline
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Instead, Dipoto’s 134th and 135th trade as Mariners GM were for more complementary pieces. These moves were a bit disappointing for Mariners fans craving more impact additions as the team looks to end its infamous postseason drought, but they did address two crucial areas of need: catching depth and a left-handed arm.
36. Mariners acquire Jake Lamb from Dodgers.
Useful arms: These are pitchers acquired by good teams who could reasonably contribute down the stretch but don’t appear to be season-shifting moves.
35. Blue Jays acquire Mitchell White from Dodgers.
It’s Ross Stripling all over again!
It seemed likely that Quintana would be on the move and that the Cardinals would add a starter, so this was a nice match. Adding Stratton as part of this deal was a nifty way for St. Louis to improve their pitching staff in more ways than one.
The rare veteran-for-veteran swap between the two pennant winners from a year ago, this move made sense for both sides as Houston had a surplus of starters but lacked left-handed depth in the bullpen, while Atlanta had the opposite issue on their pitching staff.
Useful bats: As we learned with the Braves’ additions last year, it’s much easier for a hitter to catch fire and have an enormous impact on a playoff run than it is a pitcher, so you could realistically imagine any of these additions having an October moment à la Eddie Rosario or Joc Pederson a year ago. It’s also just as believable that some of these guys will contribute far less than the acquiring team envisioned. That’s what makes these moves so fun!
30. Blue Jays acquire Whit Merrifield from Royals.
29. Red Sox acquire Tommy Pham from Reds.
I thought this was a ton to give up for a 36-year-old platoon bat, but Ruf does complement Vogey quite nicely. Still, this felt like a huge win for the Giants to net three pitching prospects here — and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Davis, a NorCal native, thrive in a new environment in San Francisco.
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25. Rays acquire David Peralta from D-backs.
I love Peralta, and the Rays badly needed offense with all the injuries they are dealing with.
24. Astros acquire Christian Vazquez from Red Sox for Enmanuel Valdez, Wilyer Abreu.
The Red Sox had a tremendously strange deadline, hanging on to bigger potential trade pieces in Nathan Eovaldi and JD Martinez but still dealing their starting catcher in Vazquez to an AL rival in Houston.
23. Padres acquire Brandon Drury from Reds for Victor Acosta.
Bolstering the bullpen: As usual, there was a boatload of bullpen arms on the move over the last week as aspiring postseason teams look to build as much depth as possible for the stretch run.
Yankees the biggest winners?
Ben Verlander breaks down why the Yankees were big winners of MLB trade deadline for adding Frankie Montas, Lou Trivino and Andrew Benintendi.
Reliever trades are fascinating, as they are the most volatile player-type in the game, resulting in a constant push-and-pull of good teams trying to acquire relievers as they are peaking and before they get hurt or turn back into a 5.00+ ERA pumpkin. It’s a delicate game.
20. Brewers acquire Trevor Rosenthal from Giants.
Shoutout to GM Farhan Zaidi for acquiring a real prospect in Tristan Peters (a 22-year-old OF with an .871 OPS in High-A) for a rehabbing reliever in Rosenthal who hadn’t even thrown a pitch for the Giants this season. Rosenthal and Bush will need to fill in some of the later innings left in Josh Hader’s absence.
19. Twins acquire Michael Fulmer from Tigers.
Dodgers could’ve done more
Ben Verlander explains why he is disappointed the Dodgers didn’t make moves for a player such as Juan Soto or Pablo López.
17. Mets acquire Mychal Givens from Cubs.
16. Yankees acquire Scott Effross from Cubs for Hayden Wesneski.
15. Phillies acquire David Robertson from Cubs.
12. Twins acquire Jorge Lopez from Orioles.
Why were these two different trades?: About three hours before the deadline, it was reported the Phillies were acquiring Brandon Marsh from Anaheim. Then, shortly before the deadline, the Phillies landed Noah Syndergaard … also from Anaheim. Could they not have just done these moves at the same time?!
11. Phillies acquire Brandon Marsh from Angels for Logan O’Hoppe.
Whether it was one trade or two, I really like what Philadelphia did here, particularly buying low on a really talented player in Marsh while also strengthening their rotation with Thor. I’m a bit skeptical that Marsh can be the solution in center field right away, but this still feels like a worthy gamble that could pay off big time long-term.
Non-rental starting pitching is expensive: These three starters each came with a year and a half of team control left, making them especially enticing but also especially prospect pricey for the teams pursuing them.
9. Twins acquire Tyler Mahle from Reds for Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Steven Hajjar.
The Twins had a really strong deadline, headlined by the Mahle acquisition, who should bring both stability and upside to a rotation that sorely needed reinforcements. It came at a considerable cost, though — all three of these prospects are having excellent seasons in the Minors and could help the Reds as soon as next season.
It seemed likely the Yankees would add one of these starters, and Montas ended up being the guy. To add in Trivino, whose stuff is far better than his ERA suggests, makes this an even more impactful version of the Quintana/Stratton double-dip St. Louis acquired from Pittsburgh
7. Mariners acquire Luis Castillo from Reds for Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt, Andrew Moore.
What Seattle gets with Luis Castillo
Check out some highlights from Luis Castillo after he was acquired by the Mariners.
Marte and Arroyo headline an absolute whopper of a prospect haul for Cincinnati here, but you can only hug your prospects for so long before you’re missing out on opportunities to significantly improve your big-league team. It’s go-time in Seattle, and Dipoto was not going to let this deadline pass without at least one big-time add. Castillo could be an enormous difference-maker should the Mariners indeed reach the postseason for the first time since 2001.
You’re making me dizzy: These were the deals that elicited the most amount of pure shock for a variety of factors, leaving fans of all the teams involved in a haze of confusion, left to wonder: what in the world just happened?
6. Astros acquire Trey Mancini (Orioles), Jayden Murray (Rays); Rays acquire Jose Siri (Astros); Orioles acquire Seth Johnson (Rays), Chayce McDermott (Astros).
The lone three-way deal of this year’s deadline, this one was a head-scratcher for Tampa Bay, a heart-breaker for Baltimore, and a perfectly solid addition for Houston.
5. Dodgers acquire Joey Gallo from Yankees for Clayton Beeter
That Gallo was moved was hardly a surprise, but to see him go from the best team in the AL to the best team in the NL was certainly quite the twist considering how much he seemed to be struggling to deliver in high-leverage at-bats for a team with World Series aspirations.
At the same time, we all know there is still massive talent within Gallo, and it’ll be fascinating to see if the Dodgers can tap into that down the stretch before he hits free agency. I’m certainly rooting for him to turn it around.
I’ll nominate this trade as the Most Perplexing, at least from the Yankees side of things, as Bader is still dealing with a foot injury and doesn’t appear to address an obvious need while Montgomery is a key part of a rotation that has carried them through this incredible first half of the season. It’s a nice pickup for St. Louis, though, who badly needed starting pitching.
This trade was only possible following Hosmer declining to be sent to Washington as part of the Soto deal. After years of Hosmer trade rumors, it was pretty wild to see this trade come about the way it did. It was also the interrobang to punctuate Boston’s bizarre add-and-subtract Trade Deadline.
Hader had been in trade rumors over the last year despite his consistent dominance as one of the best closers in baseball, but it was hard to believe the Brewers would move him while in first place. The Padres pounced and offered a healthy haul for Hader, but the Brewers will now have to prove that it was worth it to deal one of the faces of their franchise in the middle of what should be a serious postseason push.
Of course, this huge addition for the Padres was quickly an afterthought come Deadline Day …
The big one: Duh. The only correct answer.
How Juan Soto strengthens Padres lineup
Former MLB player and current San Diego broadcaster Tony Gwynn Jr. joins Colin Cowherd to break down the Juan Soto trade.
This trade has an argument for the biggest trade of any Trade Deadline, so obviously it’s going to top my list here.
You’re never going to win the trade when you’re trading away a future Hall of Famer, but I was glad the Nationals at least ended up with four potential foundational pieces and an unfortunate throw-in in Luke Voit after the Hosmer no-trade debacle. Still, this is about the Padres, a team with a GM in AJ Preller clearly willing to do whatever it takes to vault his team into legitimate World Series contention.
It’s a bit odd for a 23-year-old in Soto to come in with the most extensive October track record on the roster, but he’ll look to raise the standard for a franchise that has failed to see much of any postseason success in decades outside of the strange 2020 season.
And by the way — let’s not overlook Josh Bell! You could reasonably argue the Padres got the two best hitters on the market, and he’s merely a footnote in this historic swap. Even though we all knew for weeks there was a good chance a Soto deal was going to happen, seeing it actually coming to fruition was still stunning.
Juan Soto is a San Diego Padre. It’s going to take a while to get used to.
Jordan Shusterman is half of @CespedesBBQ and a baseball writer for FOX Sports. He lives in D.C. but is a huge Seattle Mariners fan and loves watching the KBO, which means he doesn’t get a lot of sleep. You can follow him on Twitter @j_shusterman_.
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