The whirlwind of Major League Basesball trades in the month of July really began with the Dodgers, but acquiring superstar Manny Machado from Baltimore during the All-Star break was just the beginning. They would make moves at the end, too, and so would everybody else.
On Tuesday July 31, MLB's non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers picked up second baseman Brain Dozier from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for infielder Logan Forsythe and two minor leaguers. Thursday night, in his Dodgers debut, he singled, doubled, homered, and got a curtain call from the fans at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers, who got to the World Series last year for the first time in 29 years but fell in game seven, are going for it all again this year.
But the Dodgers are not the only team to make a deadline day move. In fact, according to CBS Sports' 'Trade Deadline Tracker', there were 16 deals on Deadline Day alone (1pm PDT), and a total of 22 in the last 24 hours before the deadline. MLB Network says in the month of July, every single major league team made a deal, either acquiring talent for a playoff run, or unloading talent to get prospects in return to build for the future. That's right, every single team.
Arizona got a couple of relievers including closer Brad Ziegler. Colorado picked up some middle relief help. Milwaukee got second baseman Jonathan Schoop from Baltimore. The Yankees added pitchers J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn, and the Red Sox got second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Angels and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi from Tampa Bay. The Braves added pitchers Brian Gausman and Darren O' Day from the Orioles (Baltimore virtually cleaned house, although outfielder Adam Jones reportedly vetoed a trade to Philadelphia—something he has the right to do as a ten-year major leaguer with the last five years with one team), and maybe the biggest surprise of all—the Pittsburgh Pirates added instead of subtracted, and acquired Chris Archer from the Rays, and reliever Keone Kela from Texas. Those aren't all of the deals, of course, but that covers most of the contenders.
For the Dodgers, Dozier (along with Machado), adds some more right-handed power. He hit 42 home runs with Minnesota in 2016 and 34 last year. He also adds speed, something the Dodgers don't have much of, stealing 16 bags last year, with a career high of 21 in 2014. In making the trade, the Dodgers in essence acknowledged that Forsythe was a bust—batting .218 in LA in one-and-a-half seasons. Dozier was available in the offseason leading up to last year, but the Dodgers traded for Forsythe instead to avoid giving up more talent in the minor leagues. Even in baseball, the saying is true. You get what you pay for.
With two months to go, the Dodgers are tied for first place in the National League West, and hoping they have the talent to return to the World Series. In a very close National League, with really about 10 teams out of 15 having legitimate playoff hopes, it could be the best deal at the deadline that makes the difference.
Trade tirade: The so-called deadline has come and gone, but teams can still make moves. Contenders have until August 31 to acquire players and still have them eligible for the playoffs. The only difference now is, players must clear waivers first (other teams could potentially block a deal by saying they would be willing to take on that player's salary). In the past 24 hours, the suddenly surging Oakland A's have dealt for two pitchers—Shawn Kelley from Washington, and Mike Fiers from Detroit.
Down and almost out: With eight weeks to go in the regular season, the Baltimore Orioles (34-78) find themselves 44½ games out of first place with 50 games to play. That means the magic number for the Boston Red Sox to eliminate the O's from the American League East title is just 6.
Bottom dweller: The Great West League has just concluded its third collegiate wood bat season, and it wasn't a good one for the Yuba-Sutter (formerly Marysville) Gold Sox. The Sox were 15-41 (.272), and finished in last place, 27½ games behind the Chico Heat. The Heat will play the winner of a playoff game between the Medford Rogues and Lincoln Potters for the GWL title. After winning 75 percent of their games (469-156-2) in 13 seasons as a successful independent franchise, the Gold Sox have gone 67-106 (.387) in their three years in the GWL. Their only winning season was the first one—winning their final game in 2016 to go 29-28.