Anyone who is a fan of baseball and is present on Twitter probably spent a majority of the last 24 hours clicking refresh on Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) and Jon Heyman’s (@JonHeyman) feeds, trying to find out the latest deals and moves as the non-waiver deadline came and went.
Twitter was blowing up, not only with the news of trades, but reactions from players, fans and everyone in between. Teams focused on the postseason were out buying in full force, while those thinking about the future had firesales. But who made the best down to the wire moves?
The Dodgers had a busy few weeks, adding more power and talent in their bid to make it back to the World Series and, this time, win. While picking up Manny Machado from the Orioles a few weeks ago was their biggest move (.286 BA, 14 hits, 5 runs, 5 RBI in 12 games), the Dodgers were incredibly active at the deadline, most notably trading for second baseman Brian Dozier (they gave up Logan Forsythe and two minor league players).
Dozier was even able to make it out to LA to watch the ninth inning from his new dugout. He didn’t play, but is scheduled to start at second on Wednesday.
— Dodgers-LowDown (@DodgersLowDown) August 1, 2018
While his season has been sluggish compared to his career averages (hitting .224 compared to a .248 career batting average and .271 in 2017), Dozier has recorded 16 home runs, 9 hits, 52 RBI and 65 runs this season. The Dodgers are hoping a new uniform and change of location can help Dozier regain his former power.
LA is currently tied with the Colorado Rockies for second place in the NL West; both teams are 0.5 games back from the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks.
Chris Archer was headed somewhere, the only question was where. Half a dozen teams were interested in the Tampa Bay ace. By acquiring Archer, the Pittsburgh Pirates front office sent a message to both their clubhouse and the league: we believe in this team and have our sights set on the postseason.
Black & yellow, black & yellow!!!! @Pirates
— Chris Archer (@ChrisArcher22) July 31, 2018
It won’t be easy for the Pirates. They are currently six games back of the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers who are tied atop the NL Central. Pittsburgh’s starting rotation is 17th in ERA, per Statcast, with a combined 4.18 ERA. Adding Archer, whose struck out 102 batters in 96.0 innings pitched so far this season, could be the pitching key the team needs to continue their recent dominance, winning eight of 11 games since the All-Star break, and possibly make the postseason.
The Philadelphia Phillies are still holding on to their spot at the top of the NL East, but the Atlanta Braves are right on their tails (0.5 games back) after the Phillies lost four of their last five games.
With the clock winding down, Philadelphia traded for Tampa Bay catcher Wilson Ramos. Ramos has been on the disabled list with a hamstring injury since July 14th, and was forced to miss the All-Star game (the second time the soon-to-be 31-year-old was voted an All Star). When he does return, and depending on how he returns, Ramos can be a huge offensive upgrade to this Phillies team. While current catcher Jorge Alfaro is a great defensive catcher, his offense can’t compare to Ramos.
Alfaro is batting .255/.308/.402 with 66 hits, 29 runs, 24 RBI and 7 home runs. Before his injury, Ramos was batting .297/.349/.488 with 87 hits, 53 RBI, 30 runs and 14 home runs in 78 games.
The Phillies needed to find a way to improve without making too many changes to their core. Is Wilson the answer?
The Diamondbacks are in an incredibly close race for the top of the NL West, with a 0.5 game lead over both the Colorado Rockies and LA Dodgers. They made several trades leading up to the deadline, including acquiring relief pitcher Brad Ziegler from the Miami Marlins, the third pitcher they traded for before the deadline.
Ziegler, who didn’t have the best start to the season, had a 0.68 ERA in 13.1 innings pitched for the month of July. The Diamondbacks have the second best bullpen in the league, per Statcast, but had a tough month in July. They could certainly use a guy like Ziegler to lift them up and get them back to their old ways.
He also knows this club pretty well, having played in Arizona from 2011-2016.