Chris Archer swap highlights winners and losers of the MLB trade deadline

Jay Asser 19:31 01/08/2018
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Tampa Bay sent Chris Archer to Pittsburgh.

Another MLB trade deadline has come and gone to shift the league’s landscape.

It’s impossible to say if any of the 43 trades since July 15 – Including 13 on the final day – will play a crucial role in who ends up winning the whole thing, but for now, some teams have added ammo for the stretch run, while others made head-scratching decisions.

Here’s a look at the winners and losers from the trade deadline.

WINNERS

Tampa Bay Rays

The moves they made ahead of the deadline aren’t going to make them better for the rest of this season, but they could benefit the Rays for years to come.

By snagging Tommy Pham from the St. Louis Cardinals at a steep discount, they got a centre fielder with pop who can be a contributor now and later.

By trading away Chris Archer, they netted two post-hype prospects in Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow for a pitcher who has been on the decline since 2015.

As they say in football, this was a good bit of business.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Duh. They got one of the best players in baseball in Manny Machado. He could very well end up being a rental, but difference-makers like that don’t grow on trees.

Closer to the deadline, they also picked up Brian Dozier, who struggled for most of the first half of the season before showing more signs of life in July.

They lost a top prospect in Yusniel Diaz, but when you came within a win of a World Series title the year before and are in the thick of the fight for a playoff spot this season, it makes sense to go for it.

Baltimore Orioles

You can argue the players they got back for blowing it up isn’t inspiring, but they ultimately succeeded in their goal of replenishing their farm system and accelerating a rebuild.

If they had made these moves this past offseason, or even before then, who knows what they could have received. So in that sense, their haul could have been better.

But as far as this moment in time, they did what they had to and can now turn the page to the future.

LOSERS

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates felt the need to ship out Gerrit Cole in the offseason for an underwhelming package, but are now compelled to acquire Archer when they’re three games back in the wild car race? It’s simply puzzling.

Archer has appeal as a hurler who’s under team control until 2021 at a cheap price, but his reputation is much better than his production right now. His earned run average hasn’t been below 4.00 since 2015 and has since gotten worse every year.

It’s nice to see Pittsburgh as buyers instead of sellers for once, but the thought process behind their moves is confusing.

Houston Astros

Making your top acquisition a player who is currently serving a suspension for violating the MLB-MLBPA domestic violence policy is never a smart move, but especially for a loaded Astros team that didn’t need to go that low.

Will Roberto Osuna help their bullpen? Sure. But Houston could have done that with a number of other guys. Instead they went out and traded for Osuna because the Toronto Blue Jays were willing to sell low.

And who knows how this affects their chemistry – something that seemed important to their championship run last season.

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