The New York Yankees got the trade deadline party started when they traded for Joey Gallo on Wednesday. Then they shocked baseball when they landed Anthony Rizzo in a deal with the Chicago Cubs. That was the talk of the league until … the Dodgers did whatever they did. Ugh.
But we don’t have to worry about the Dodgers until the World Series. Don’t care about what they do until then! Yankees fans need to be zoned in on what their American League counterparts did at the trade deadline … and will do for the next 2-3 months.
A lot of the Yankees’ direct competition improved with midsummer additions, and though Brian Cashman patched up serious shortcomings on the roster, it’s still going to be a battle of heavyweights leading up to the playoffs and then through October. You can thank the Cubs, Nationals, Twins, Marlins and other sellers for making that possible.
This season was never going to be easy for the Yankees, which became evident on Opening Day. New York laughed at the teams around them getting worse this offseason thanks to free agent departures and cost-cutting, and thought only a few marginal additions would do the trick to roll through the AL.
Not quite. And now, while the Yankees have gotten better, so has … everyone else. Even teams beneath them! So let’s do a quick scan of every pre-deadline deal outside of New York that affected the Yankees.
3. AL West
We’re going to break this down by division to make life easier, and we’ll start with two very important teams that could directly affect the Yankees’ season: the Astros and Athletics.
Astros acquired RP Kendall Graveman and RP Rafael Montero from Mariners
Houston added to their largely barren bullpen with one of the best relievers in the AL in Graveman, who’s having a career year (0.82 ERA, 0.70 WHIP in 33 innings of work), and Montero, who will likely be used to eat innings given his troubling 7.27 ERA in 40 games.
Astros acquired RP Yimi Garcia from Marlins
Another bullpen addition, which, yes, is smart, but didn’t the Astros need a starter? Garcia has a 3.47 ERA and 15 saves across 36.1 innings of work. His four-pitch mix will certainly help elevate the Astros’ pitching staff.
Astros acquired RHP Phil Maton and C Yainer Diaz from Indians
Another bullpen addition. The Indians sold off and Maton heads to Houston with his 4.57 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, but he owns a 3.13 FIP and has struck out 61 batters in 41.1 innings of work.
Athletics acquired LHP Andrew Chafin
Chafin was one of the many Cubs pieces sold off, and the lefty arrives in Oakland with his 2.03 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in the year. By far a career season for the 31-year-old, and a good addition to the A’s bullpen.
Athletics acquired OF Starling Marte from Marlins
Once thought of as a prime deadline target for the Yankees, Marte brings his plus defense, contact-heavy bat, and speed on the base paths to Oakland. The Yankees upgraded with Gallo, who is more versatile, possesses more power, and is a lefty. Nonetheless, a shrewd acquisition for the A’s, who level up in a big way.
Athletics acquired C Yan Gomes and UTIL Josh Harrison from Nationals
Gomes provides some improved catching depth while Harrison can be used all over the field thanks to his defensive versatility. Gomes is also a solid bat (.273 average, .778 OPS for a catcher) and Harrison is even better (.294 average, .800 OPS). More bats and defense for the A’s.