With less than a month to go in the remainder of the 2021 MLB season, several teams are benefiting from moves made at the deadline. From the Nationals fire sale, to the Yankees going all in, I am going to go into detail about the most influential deals. It’s safe to say that every trade made will not work out for both teams but the extent of how far the organization will be set back is still to be determined.
- New York Mets acquire SS Javier Baez and RHP Trevor Williams from the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Pete Crow-Armstrong
The Mets took advantage of the dismantling Cubs and picked up 2x All-Star and 2016 World Series Champion Javier Baez. The acquisition paired him with Francisco Lindor, who were fellow teammates in the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Team Puerto Rico. Baez is an impending free agent, and it did not take long for him to make an impact on the city of New York. Within days, Mets fans had enough and felt it was right to boo him after a poor first few games Baez, after homering August 29th against the Washington Nationals, did a thumbs-down gesture to the fans at Citi Field. This sparked lots of controversy, including a statement from Mets President Sandy Alderson who was not very pleased with the gesture. Baez might not have made the best first impression on the fans or the front office so it will be interesting to see what they do with him this offseason.
They also acquired 29-year-old journey man Trevor Williams who in 18 innings pitched owns a 1.50 ERA. He is a decent back end of the rotation guy and can also get you multiple innings out of the bullpen. Which is the exact role he has played for the Mets since arriving.
The compensation for both Baez and Williams was Pete Crow-Armstrong. At the time, he was the Mets number five prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He was the 19th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and is still only 19 years of age. It will take a few years down the road to see who ultimately wins this trade. If Baez can help a reeling Mets team sneak into the playoffs, that may be enough to say this experiment was a success. Only time will tell.
The Boston Red Sox headed into the All-Star break with one of the best records in league. They were in a very good spot playing well above the expectations that were set before the season. Everything was going well, and it looked as if they may have won the Mookie Betts deal with Alex Verdugo playing better than serviceable. But with other teams’ inner division making moves, may have forced Red Sox General Manager Chaim Bloom. But without a doubt the move has paid off. Schwarber has been on a tear since joining the Sox, having an impressive .899 OPS with a 0.7 WAR in only 26 games. He has been a versatile player playing DH and First Base along with mainly Left Field. As the Sox make a push for the first Wild Card spot, Schwarber will be a key player in the explosive Sox offense.
The compensation for Schwarber was Relief Pitcher Aldo Ramirez. At the time, he was the Sox’s 19 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Since being a part of the Nationals organization, the 20-year-old has a struggled owning a 8.22 ERA in 7.2 IP. Ramirez is currently with the FCL Nationals which is a Rookie Affiliate team in the Nats organization. He still has a way to go before potentially making an impact with the big-league club. As it sits today, it looks like a good move for the Sox even if Schwarber leaves in free agency. It was a move the Sox needed to make and has paid off up to this point.
- New York Yankees acquire OF Joey Gallo and RHP Joely Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers for 2B Ezequiel Duran, RHP Glenn Otto, SS Josh Smith, and INF/OF Trevor Hauver
New York felt intense pressure after the first half of the year concluded, finishing with a 46-43 record. Which was incredibly disappointing considering they were World Series favorites before the season. As a result, they felt it was important to add some power and another lefty threat in an underwhelming offense. Gallo was the player they chose after raking with Texas and earning his first All-Star selection. Thinking he was the going to be the same player he was with Texas they made the deal, it simply put has not worked out for the Bronx Bombers.
He has struggled mightily at the plate hitting a measly .134 at the dish with a horrid .635 OPS, his OBP has also dropped 80 points since wearing pinstripes. Gallo still has another year of arbitration with the Yanks, and it will be interesting if he can finally hit his stride within the next year and a half. The addition of Joely Rodriguez has been a pleasant surprise for the Yanks posting a 2.57 ERA with 12 Ks in 14 IP. Even with the addition of Rodriguez, the horrid play of Gallo has overshadowed it. He still has time to make a mark in the 2021 season so a hot end of September may flip the script.
Texas benefited from a loaded Yanks farm system with the addition of several highly touted prospects. All four prospects the Rangers acquired were top 30 in the Yanks system according to MLB Pipeline. Shortstop Josh Smith (No. 14), 2B Ezequiel Duran (No. 15), INF/OF Trevor Hauver (No. 23), and RHP Glenn Otto (No. 28). Smith has risen from A+ to AA with the Frisco RoughRiders. In 23 games with the RoughRiders, Smith has produced in a big way posting a .284 BA with .408 OBP. Duran another big piece in the swap has struggled at the dish with a .733 OPS in 35 appearances. The Rangers are hoping he can pick it up in the near future, but he is still a valuable player to them.
Hauver has made a good first impression in the High-A East League hitting 6 Home Runs in his first 30 games with his new club. Otto earned himself a call up to the big leagues after dominating in AAA with the Round Rock Express. He has been a letdown so far with the Rangers firing 13 innings with a 6.92 ERA. He is still only 25 and make his mark with some better appearances. It is too early to tell who will end up winning this deal but up to this point the Rangers have robbed the Yankees.