The MLB trade deadline is focused heavily on which teams improved, but multiple teams downgraded or didn’t improve enough and thus were losers on this date.
It’s interesting to note that the biggest loser on this list was the Chicago Cubs, who failed to move pieces off their roster that would have likely given them more depth to a prospect system that needs it.
With that, let’s dive into the three biggest losers from the MLB trade deadline yesterday:
The lovable losers of the NL Central have continued to spiral this season, and there were multiple pieces on their roster, including Ian Happ and Willson Contreras, that didn’t get shipped out at the deadline. Contreras will be a UFA this winter, while Happ has one more year of arbitration rights for the Cubs. It’s somewhat difficult to believe that the Cubs wouldn’t have been able to get a considerable return for both of those pieces, who’re quietly having excellent seasons for Chicago. The Cubbies’ front office managed to deal late-inning lefty specialist David Robertson to the Philadelphia Phillies, but that move alone doesn’t take them off the losers list. What’s weird about this situation is that they’ve made no effort to try and sign Contreras, meaning he’s going to walk at the end of the season, which is complete mismanagement of a solid asset. In terms of Happ, it’s hard to see his value ever being as high as it was yesterday, meaning the Cubs failing to move him also results in a massive thumbs down from us at SportsGrid.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The following two teams on this list are clubs that should have likely been more active at the trade deadline. Look, it’s hard to say that the team with the best record in baseball needs to improve significantly, but there were players available who could’ve been upgrades to the Dodgers’ roster. Whether that’s Frankie Montas or Luis Castillo in the rotation, Andrew Benintendi off the bench, or superstar Juan Soto, these players could have helped propel the Dodgers to the promised lands. There’s a reasonable probability that the Dodgers will make a deep playoff run. Still, with one of the deepest and most talented prospect pools in baseball, they could’ve afforded to give up some bodies to improve their current roster as their division rival San Diego Padres did.
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals had the capability to make some significant moves ahead of the MLB trade deadline to solidify their positioning in the NL Central and Wild Card races. Instead, the Cards’ front office decided to go the conservative route and trade for back-end rotation pitching in Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana, which should help, but not enough to put them on the level of other contenders in the National League. When you’re in the mix for players such as Soto or Montas, and you come away with neither, fans will be upset, and they should be with the prospect capital this organization has. If the Cards fail to qualify for the postseason, questions should be raised about John Mozeliak and his future with the organization.
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