For most, July 31, 2019 was just another blasé Wednesday – but for the world of Major League Baseball, it was everything. The 2019 trade deadline mattered in a big way.
In years previous, organizations had the chance to wheel and deal even after the deadline (i.e. Justin Verlander, Josh Donaldson, Gio Gonzalez, and Andrew McCutchen) – while this year, the trades made at the deadline would be final until the off-season with the exception of players being placed and claimed on outright waivers.
For months, some of the biggest names in the show were tossed around the trade rumor mill. From Bumgarner, Stroman, Bauer, to even Syndergaard – everyone waited patiently to see which teams would buy and which would sell. Social media ran rampant, fans arguing with fans about who needed to be traded for the likes of starting pitching and offense. Thousands of fans refreshed the MLB trade rumor twitter daily. Even I had my moments of worry when it came to some of my favorite players being traded for bigger names in the business. And I openly admit, I would have liked it if the Yankees traded Clint Frazier to a team that would allow him to play in the show again.
Only a few teams made the move for bigger and better things from starting pitchers to big bats: Houston, New York (Mets), Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Chicago (Cubs). For some, the trades didn’t make sense – why did the Mets go for Stroman when they are /still/ under .500? Why would the Astros need Grienke when they have Cole, Miley, and Verlander?
Other teams, like New York (Yankees), St. Louis, Los Angeles (Dodgers), Boston, and Minnesota fell short of making headlines with blockbuster trades. Which left some fans feeling, well, deflated and unsure about the upcoming postseason.
For example, when word broke that there was a possibility that Zach Wheeler could have been pitching for St. Louis this weekend, Twitter went a little haywire. The trade between the Cards and the Mets would have meant losing either Harrison Bader and/or Tyler O’Neill. (As of August 4, 2019 – Bader is in Memphis AAA and O’Neill is on the 10-day IL.)
As someone who had the chance to sit and refresh my Twitter twenty times within the last hour of the deadline, I can say, it was a bit nerve wrecking. Every time Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Passan pressed send tweet, another bomb rocked the world of baseball. From Scooter Gennett leaving his beloved Reds, Jason Vargas (and the time traveler) heading to the Phillies, and the live tweets of Nicholas Castellanos on hug watch before heading to the Cubs.
- Houston Astros – Z. Greinke.
- New York Mets – M. Stroman.
- Cleveland Indians – Y. Puig.
- Atlanta Braves – S. Greene.
- Chicago Cubs – N. Castellanos.
- Cincinnati Reds – T. Bauer.