trade deadline winners, losers: Dodgers, Pirates, Yankees make good first impressions

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As always, the future is unpredictable. Any accurate grading of a trade deadline or draft or free-agent signing can only happen years down the road, obviously. But we’re going to pick winners and losers from the trade deadline anyway. We’re considering everything that happened from the All-Star Game through the 4 p.m. ET deadline on July 31. Not every team that made a deal is listed below. TRADE TRACKER: SN analyzes the deadline season movesLet’s get started.  WinnersLos Angeles DodgersWhy they’re here: Feels like they traded for Manny Machado months ago, but since we’re counting everything that has happened since the All-Star Game, that deal counts. In his 11 games with the Dodgers, Machado’s batting .304 with two homers and a .918 OPS, which is just the type of impact the club hoped for when it made the deal. On deadline day, they picked up a couple of veterans: Brian Dozier to take over at second base, and John Axford to join the bullpen. That’s solid work. Pittsburgh PiratesWhy they’re here: The Pirates added a couple of impact arms with years of club control remaining in Chris Archer and Keone Kela. That’s a big win for a franchise that watches dollars closely. We’ll hold off on a final evaluation, though, until we hear who the third player going to Tampa Bay in the Archer deal is. It's rumored to be someone of significance, not just a low-level minor leaguer. GRADING ARCHER TRADE: Bucs make great, gutsy move for now, future   New York YankeesWhy they’re here: The Yankees added J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn to give their rotation veteran depth. They added Zach Britton to give their bullpen added excellence. They added Luke Voit as right-handed power insurance, stashed in the minors for now. Oh, and they added international money in two separate deals, and they immediately used that money to sign a highly rated prospect. And they did all of those things by trading from areas of strength. They traded depth. Quite honestly, this deadline season featured some of Brian Cashman's finest work. Bravo.GRADING LYNN TRADE: Yankees take calculated riskMilwaukee BrewersWhy they’re here: The Brewers were active in the offseason, signing Lorenzo Cain and trading for Christian Yelich. They were active in the rumor mill early and often, and though they didn’t land Manny Machado, they did trade for Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop to add pop to an infield that hasn’t supplied much of it this season. Where everyone is going to play is a bit of a mystery, though. Travis Shaw was the incumbent third baseman, but he moved to second when Moustakas arrived. Schoop has been almost exclusively a second baseman in the majors, though he did make 215 starts at shortstop in the minors. And the Brewers also added a veteran bullpen piece in Joakim Soria, who had a 2.56 ERA and 16 saves with the White Sox this season. Atlanta BravesWhy they’re here: The Braves have spent the past couple years building up their stable of prospects, and they’ve done an excellent job. They ascended to the No. 1 spot in the Baseball America organizational talent rankings in 2017, and they grabbed the top spot again heading into 2018. They’ve managed to make a couple of potential impact additions without trading anyone on BA's top-10 list of Braves prospects. They needed significant bullpen help, so they picked up relievers Brad Brach and Jonny Venters for international slot money. They felt they needed more right-handed power in their lineup, so they traded three players who are past their prospect prime for Adam Duvall, who has 79 home runs since the start of 2016. They wanted a controllable arm for the rotation, and they traded for Kevin Gausman. DEALING NOT DONE: Five who could move in AugustNow, the argument could be made that the Braves should have set their sights higher, and that’s a valid argument. They were at least loosely mentioned in trade rumors for big names, including Archer, Machado and Britton, so to settle for Brach, Venters and Duvall might be a bit disappointing for Braves fans, but their reported goal was to make their 2018 squad better without dipping into their group of “elite” prospects, and they did an excellent job accomplishing that goal.Baltimore OriolesWhy they’re here: If nothing else, the Orioles finally admitted they needed a full rebuild. Just that admission — and the follow-through of trading players headed to free agency either this offseason or next offseason — is a step in the right direction for a franchise that has been floundering the past couple seasons. San Diego PadresWhy they’re here: The goal for trade deadline sellers is to acquire prospects who will help the big league club down the road, and while it’s nice to receive a package that includes a handful of young-ish prospects with high upside, pretty much any GM will tell you they’d rather trade for one elite prospect, especially one who’s close to big league ready — elite quality over risky quantity. That’s what the Padres got in Francisco Mejia, the catching prospect Cleveland sent to San Diego in exchange for two very good major league relief pitchers. Mejia ranks No. 5 on Keith Law’s midseason top 50 prospects, No. 8 on Baseball Prospectus’ list and No. 24 on Baseball America’s list. No other team landed a prospect even close to that level leading up to this year’s trade deadline, because teams loathe the idea of trading a top-25 talent. The Padres could have easily converted outstanding relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber into a package of prospect dice-rolls, but they used those two assets to land an elite prospect. Think about this: In a trade that involves one team sending only talent and the other sending only prospects, how often do you see more big leaguers involved? That’s what happened here; the Indians got Hand and Cimber and the Padres got only one player, Mejia. That’s the power of an elite prospect. LosersWashington NationalsWhy they’re here: For a team with a clubhouse that’s reportedly a bit of a disaster, the best approach to the trade deadline probably was not to let rumors leak that their best position player (Bryce Harper) was available in a trade, and then come back and say he wasn’t going anywhere and that the front office believes in the team. But the actions of not adding anyone — in fact, they traded away Brandon Kintzler, the veteran reliever who was tied for the team lead in appearances — to a clubhouse that entered deadline day a game under .500 says the front office doesn’t believe in the players enough to bring in any reinforcements. A team that is mired around .500 and does nothing much except create a little controversy on deadline day seems destined to stay around .500.Houston AstrosWhy they’re here: It’s hard to imagine how a front office can preach about its zero-tolerance policy regarding domestic violence and then trade for a player serving a suspension for domestic violence. Ugh.VERLANDER ON OSUNA TRADE: Astros' ace calls it a 'tough situation' St. Louis CardinalsWhy they’re here: They’re not necessarily here because they made bad moves leading up to the deadline. The moves of the past few weeks were necessitated by, essentially, the franchise's failures of the past few seasons and the poor play again in 2018. They traded outfielder Tommy Pham — a 6.2 bWAR player in 2017 — at what is almost certainly his lowest value in more than a year. They DFA’d Greg Holland, the free agent they sacrificed a draft pick to sign, and they DFA’d Tyler Lyons, a left-hander who was outstanding in 2017 but struggled in 2018 with injuries and inconsistency. Both of those relievers had value six months ago. In an ideal world, teams sell high at the trade deadline, but that’s not what happened for the Cardinals. They made moves they felt were necessary, but in an addition-by-subtraction manner.REVIEWING THE PHAM TRADE: Cardinals continue needed revamp New York MetsWhy they’re here: The Mets have three top-half-of-the-rotation arms they could have traded in a market that was thin on top-of-the-market arms, but the front office, headed by a three-man committee, opted against trading Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler. The opportunity to bring in much-needed young talent slipped away again.

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