The Washington Nationals added to their bullpen in a big way on Trade Deadline day, landing three different relievers in two different trades. The team acquired both Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elias from the Seattle Mariners, while also bringing in Daniel Hudson from the Toronto Blue Jays. They made this move due to their bullpen recording a 5.97 ERA this season, which ranks them last in the majors. They also have 20 blown saves on the year, which is the third-most in all of baseball. They have gotten better as of late with a 4.76 ERA in July, but it is known that it won't be enough for them to make the Postseason in a tight NL East and National League Wild Card race. They enter Wednesday 5.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves, as they continue to try to get the bullpen right. That has included moves to add Fernando Rodney and Sean Doolittle, while also parting ways with Trevor Rosenthal.
Athletics, Brewers Add Starting Pitchers
Two playoff-contending teams added starting pitching a couple hours before Wednesday's deadline, including the Oakland Athletics getting a guy that just started Tuesday night. The A's acquired Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds, less than 24 hours after he was rocked by the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark. The 32-year-old began his career with the Washington Nationals, and was in his first season with Cincinnati. In 21 starts this season, he has gone 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers went out west for their starter, acquiring Drew Pomeranz from the San Francisco Giants, along with right-handed reliever Ray Black. Pomeranz signed with the Giants as a free agent last winter, but has struggled with them, going 2-9 with a 5.68 ERA. He does have impressive production in him, with his best season coming in 2017 with the Boston Red Sox, when he went 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA.
Brewers Send Jesus Aguilar to Tampa Bay
The Milwaukee Brewers are just not getting the offensive production that they were last year from first baseman Jesus Aguilar, so the Tampa Bay Rays hope they can get it out of him. The Brew-Crew sent Aguilar to Tampa Bay on Wednesday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jake Faria. Aguilar made the National League All-Star team in 2018 when he hit .274 with a career-high 35 home runs and 108 RBI. That production has gone down tremendously this season, as he is hitting just .225 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs. Those are the worst numbers he has had in the past three seasons, but he is also under contract through the 2022 campaign. The 29-year-old does go from one contender to another, as the Rays are just a half game back in the American League Wild Card race.
Cubs, Astros Swap Maldonado. Kemp
Catcher Martin Maldonado has now been traded twice this season, and is now joining his third different team in the past calendar year. After signing with the Kansas City Royals in the off-season, and then getting traded to the Chicago Cubs, those same Cubbies are sending him to the Houston Astros. Maldonado was traded away on Wednesday in exchange for outfielder Tony Kemp. It is another situation with both players going from one contender for another, as both teams filled in needs at each position. This will be the second straight season that Maldonado is joining Houston, as he was acquired by them from the Los Angeles Angels a season ago. He is known as one of the best defensive catchers in the game, and is on a one-year, $2.5 million contract. He appeared in just four games for the Cubs and went without a hit, while Chicago adds Kemp, who is hitting .227 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs this season.
Phillies, Dodgers Add Pop in Lineups
The Philadelphia Phillies were one of two National League contenders to add some major pop for late-game situations down the stretch on Wednesday, as they got Corey Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dickerson has put up productive numbers for the struggling Pirates, batting .317 with four home runs and 25 RBI in limited playing time. He is coming off a career year with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017, which saw him hit a career-high 27 long balls. This move also comes at a hot point of his season, as he drove in a career-high five runs Tuesday night in the Pirates' 11-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. And not that they need it, but the Los Angeles Dodgers went out and got veteran Jedd Gyorko from the St. Louis Cardinals. Gyorko's playing time has gone down from his All-Star seasons with the San Diego Padres, and you can thank that in part to injuries. He is batting just .196 with two home runs and seven RBIs in just 38 games this season. A move back out west could be what's needed as he did hit drive in 171 runs in his three seasons with the Padres. His best year was his second year in St. Louis though, as he hit .272 with 20 home runs and 67 RBIs for the 2017.
Braves Add Greene, Melancon to Back-End of Bullpen
While the Washington Nationals went out and got three relievers during their game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday afternoon, the National League East leaders went out and got one major All-Star addition to the back-end of their bullpen. The Braves acquired closer Shane Greene from the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, about an hour before the 4:00 P.M. EST. deadline. The 30-year-old was the Tigers' lone American League All-Star in Cleveland earlier this month, and has 22 saves with a 1.18 ERA on the season. Last season was his first full season as a closer, which saw him record 32 saves with a rebuilding Tigers team. The Braves also acquired veteran reliever Mark Melancon in a trade with the San Francisco Giants, giving up two minor league players to do so. The 34-year-old recorded 3.50 ERA in 43 games with the Giants, and is a three-time All-Star in his career. Both Greene and Melancon are locked in with the Braves through the 2020 season. Atlanta also acquired John Ryan Murphy in a minor trade.
Cubs Get Much-Needed Bat in Castellanos
In one of two major trades right as the clock past 4:00 P.M. EST. on Wednesday, two major trades took place fill big needs for contenders. First, the Chicago Cubs got a big bat to face left-handers, and that's outfielder Nicholas Castellanos from the Detroit Tigers. They sent right-handed pitching prospects Alex Lange and Paul Richan the other way in the trade, as they hope to help an offense that has slowly lost production as of late. That led to them falling out of first place, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals heading in to their matchup at Busch Stadium Wednesday night. Castellanos' best season was in 2017, when he hit .272 with 26 home runs and 101 RBIs, but he is not having a bad season this year. So far on the season, the 27-year-old is batting .273 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs.
Mike Leake Dealt to Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks may have shopped away some decent pieces on Wednesday, but they did add an arm in Mike Leake from the Seattle Mariners. This is the second time this season that Leake's name has been linked in with the Diamondbacks, who fell, 7-5. to the New York Yankees Wednesday afternoon. Leak claimed that he did not hear the news until about 15 minutes before the deadline, as the M's get ready to visit the Texas Rangers Wednesday night. The 31-year-old is under contract and set to earn $15 million next season. In 22 starts for the Mariners this season, he has gone 9-8 with a 4.40 ERA. He does have 10 major league seasons under his belt, also spending time with the Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals.
Nate Jones Traded to Rangers
The Texas Rangers were a surprise contender in the American League not too long ago, but they have fallen off as of late. They are still looking to compete for the in to next season, as they acquired reliever Nate Jones from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor leaguers Joe Jarneski and Ray Castro. The White Sox will also send $150,000 to the Rangers, helping pay part of the remaining $1.5 million Jones is owed of his $4.65 million salary. He is currently on the injured list with a tear in his right forearm, and is not expected to pitch again this season. In 13 appearances this year, he had a 3.48 ERA before going on the IL April 27th. In 284 career appearances, all with the White Sox, he is 22-13 with a 3.12 ERA since debuting in the 2012 season.
Giants Get Veteran Bat in Gennett
The San Francisco Giants are still sitting right over .500, which is just enough to stay in contention for a National League Wild Card spot. They hung on to Madison Bumgarner, and went out and added a veteran bat that just got healthy. The Giants acquired second baseman Scooter Gennett from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for a player to be named later. Gennett missed most of this season with a groin injury, and will be a free agent after this season. The major injury came after he had 20 home runs and 90 RBIs in consecutive seasons, but he's hitting just .217 with five RBIs in 22 games this year. He suffered the injury in Spring Training and did not debut until June 28th, still hoping to get back to what he once was. In 771 career major league games, Gennett is a .287 hitter with 85 home runs and 354 RBIs.
Astros Bolster Rotation With Zack Greinke
As if the Houston Astros didn't already have enough aces in their starting rotation, and weren't already favorites to represent the American League in the World Series. If you didn't think they were before, you sure do not, as the Astros stunned the baseball world by landing Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks right at the deadline Wednesday. The likes of Madison Bumgarner, Matt Boyd, and Noah Syndergaard were all expected to be on the move on Wednesday, and most likely to the New York Yankees, but the Astros and Greinke came together to put everyone in shock. He now joins Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole atop the Astros' rotation, and they now sit as co-favorites to win the World Series. Cole admitted that there was a lot of "hooting and hollering" when the news came through, as they also got pitchers Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini form the Toronto Blue Jays. Outfielder Derek Fisher is going north of the border in that trade. In 23 starts this season, the former Cy Young Award winner Greinke is 10-4 with a 2.90 ERA. He won the Cy Young in 2009 with the Kansas City Royals, and has a career record of 197-122 with a 3.36 ERA in 16 major league seasons.