Winners And Losers of the MLB Trade Deadline

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 31: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 31: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

2019 MLB Trade Deadline

Winner: Houston Astros

You knew this one was coming. Just as the clock was ticking down the Astros completed two trades that cemented them as the favorite to represent the American League in the World Series again.

The first trade Houston completed brings in righty pitchers Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini. Houston is a team of few weaknesses, with their only need really being relief help.

They solve that with Biagini, who is having a solid 2019 with a 3.79 ERA and striking out over nine batters per nine innings. With the Astros best reliever (Ryan Pressly) hitting the injured list Biagini will help bridge the gap to closer Roberto Osuna.

The big-name here though is Aaron Sanchez. The 26-year-old hasn’t had an ERA under 4 since his All-Star season in 2016, but he has also been hampered by injury in the years since then.

Sanchez still shows promise, both because of his age and his underlying numbers. The most basic of those is that his FIP is more than a full run lower than his ERA, which speaks to a lot of room to improve. Opponents are also hitting .340 on balls in play against Sanchez, so going from a team like Toronto (18th in DRS and 27th in UZR) to one like Houston (3rd in DRS and 13th in UZR) should help Sanchez greatly.

Let’s not forget Houston also has a pretty good track record when it comes to bringing in struggling or underperforming arms and returning them to ace form (Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, ever heard of ’em?).

The trade with Toronto wasn’t even the Astros biggest move, however, as news broke after the deadline had passed that Houston had come to another agreement, this time with the Arizona Diamondbacks and this time they acquired someone already in the Cy Young race: Zack Greinke.

At 35-years-old Greinke has been incredible this year. No other way to say it. He’s got an ERA of 2.87 and is walking fewer batters than he has at any other point in his career. Oh and the Astros can use him off the bench as a pinch hitter if they so choose because pretty sure a .563 slugging percentage is an asset.