The 2021 MLB Trade Deadline came and went with blockbuster moves being completed one after another. This trade deadline was one unlike in previous years, as it became as chaotic as NBA trade deadlines thanks to moves from the likes of the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants.
Overall, 10 players who were All-Stars this year ended up being traded at the deadline, which is a new record in a season.
This was to be expected, especially as plenty of teams are aimed to load up for the upcoming postseason, while a plethora of other teams looked to make one last push for the second wild-card spot in their respective leagues.
As usual, there were teams that came away with win-win deals and other teams left fans in sheer shock over what they ended up doing at the trade deadline.
In the big picture, here are five winners and losers from this year’s hectic MLB trade deadline.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Even after winning the World Series last season, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Andrew Friedman make moves at the deadline that signaled his aspiration to build the next dynasty in MLB.
The Dodgers’ headline acquisition was hauling in Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer in a multi-player deal. The deal was already a major win for Los Angeles, considering that both the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants were looking to package a deal for the three-time Cy Young Award winner. But now, they each will have to go up against him over the stretch run of the season.
Even as Scherzer is at the back end of his prime days, he is still performing like one of the more proficient pitchers in baseball. What should terrify NL West rivals is that Scherzer’s fastball pitch still has legs to it. He is holding opposing batters to a mere .210 batting average against his fastball to go along with an impressive 62 strikeouts.
Scherzer’s fastball pitch could be decisive in at-bats against the multitude of power bats in the NL West.
Based only on the acquisition of Scherzer, the Dodgers can already be tabbed as a trade deadline winner. But the additions of Trea Turner and Danny Duffy are like the icing on the cake for Freidman. Turner’s versatility to play multiple positions will be vital out of the gate, while Dodgers manager Dave Roberts could rely on Duffy as a possible multi-inning pitcher out of the bullpen come postseason time.
San Francisco Giants
While many are already slotting in the Dodgers as National League favorites following their key trade deadline acquisitions, one can not overlook the San Francisco Giants’ moves on Friday.
The Giants’ hauled in Kris Bryant on what can be tabbed as a win-now trade. Bryant may only be a rental move for the NL West leaders, especially as he recently touched on being open to re-joining the Cubs even if he was traded.
What makes the Giants a clear winner in this trade is that even if they fall short of pulling off a deep postseason run, they did not part ways with coveted prospects to acquire Bryant. The Giants only traded away one top-20 prospect from their farm system in this deal: Alexander Canario. At the least for Chicago, they could soon rely on Canario as a versatile utility player due to his prowess to play all three outfield positions.
The addition of reliever former Los Angeles Angels reliever Tony Watson for San Francisco can not be overlooked. The Giants had no real need for another left-handed pitcher to their bullpen, as the likes of Jarlin Garcia and Jose Alvarez have proved to be reliable relievers for the team in high leverage situations. Still, Watson can be a situational reliever with the Giants, which is a role that he often found success in during his half-season run in Anaheim.