MLB Trade Deadline Winners, Losers: Padres Come Away With Juan Soto

The Padres weren't the only team to make aggressive moves


August 2

The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone, and there’s only one team the baseball world is talking about, the San Diego Padres.

All-Star outfielder Juan Soto was the biggest prize of the deadline, and three teams were in the running for the now former Washington Nationals slugger. The San Diego Padres came away with Soto, and they made more moves along with the Soto trade to push themselves into World Series contention.

While the Padres made the flashy moves of the trade deadline, there were a few other contenders who made moves to improve their rosters. There were also a handful of clubs who made perplexing moves, or lack thereof based on their standing heading into the trade deadline.

Here is a full breakdown of the winners and losers of the MLB trade deadline.


San Diego Padres
The Padres made aggressive moves at the deadline, likely seeing this year as their window to win a World Series. They made the biggest move of the deadline by landing Soto in a trade that also involved first baseman Josh Bell. Pitcher MacKenzie Gore, outfielder Robert Hassell and shortstop C.J. Abrams were a few highlights of the players who landed with the Nationals.

The moves began a day before the trade deadline when San Diego traded for Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader. Also on deadline day, the Padres traded Eric Hosmer, who was initially part of the Soto deal, to the Boston Red Sox for pitching prospect Jay Groome. Luke Voit was sent in the Soto deal, and to replace his bat, San Diego acquired Brandon Drury from the Cincinnati Reds for Victor Acosta.

The simple matter is the Padres got better, and they’ll hope their moves can make them a threat in the National League playoffs.

Minnesota Twins
The American League central leaders weren’t willing to sit quietly, and the Twins upgraded their bullpen by acquiring All-Star closer Jorge López from the Baltimore Orioles. Minnesota continued to bolster their pitching staff, acquiring Tyler Mahle from the Reds and Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers. The Twins also traded for catcher Sandy León from the Cleveland Guardians.

The Twins’ pitching staff got a big upgrade at the deadline. López was named to his first All-Star game this season, and he has 19 saves to go along with 54 strikeouts and a 1.68 ERA in 48 1/3 innings. The Twins will surely be primed to combat the top bats in the AL, most notably, the New York Yankees.

Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies held a one game lead over the Cardinals for the final NL Wild Card spot heading into the trade deadline, and they appear to be prepared to not relinquish their position. With a pitching staff ranked second in the Majors in WAR, Philadelphia acquired Noah Syndergaard from the Angels. The All-Star pitcher will be very familiar with the NL East, as he played for the New York Mets for the first six seasons of his professional career.

The Phillies had to part with former No. 1 pick of the 2016 MLB Draft, Mickey Moniak, and Jadiel Sánchez, but Syndergaard has commanded a 3.83 ERA through 15 starts (80 innings), and he has 64 strikeouts through the trade deadline. Philadelphia also acquired Brandon Marsh from the Angels, giving them a true center fielder.

The Phillies brought back All-Star closer David Robertson, who played in Philadelphia in 2019. Robertson won a World Series with the Yankees in 2009, and the 37-year-old has seen a career rejuvenation this season. Through 40 1/3 innings, the right-hander has 14 saves along with 51 strikeouts a 2.23 ERA. The moves Philadelphia made should give their fan base an easy time seeing they are committed to making a deep playoff run.

New York Yankees
The Yankees could have easily stuck with their roster and ride the regular season on top. But New York chose to tinker with the roster and even part with a player like Jordan Montgomery for Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader to improve defensively at the position.

The Yankees were also able to trade away Joey Gallo and acquired Frankie Montas from the Oakland Athletics, Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs and Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals. General manager Brian Cashman upgraded the roster without having to give up a ton in return, in terms of prospects, as the Yankees hope to translate their regular season success into a World Series.

Houston Astros
A team likely to compete with the Yankees in the postseason will be the Astros, and Houston shored up its weakness. They acquired a big bat in Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles, depth at the catcher position in Christian Vázquez from the Boston Red Sox and a relief arm in Will Smith from the Atlanta Braves. The AL West leaders looked to cover up weaknesses in their roster, and they will hope it pays off in a big way.

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Washington Nationals
It’s not hard to see why losing Juan Soto and Josh Bell makes the Nationals losers. As The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya noted, Washington had Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Soto on its roster, and now those players gone in a matter of years. Though, they won a World Series in 2019, the Nationals have few exciting stars for their fans — the hope is the prospects they have received can transform into great players one day, but a rebuild is always a tough sell.

Cleveland Guardians
The Guardians appear to have forgotten Tuesday was trade deadline day. Cleveland sat one game back in the AL Wild Card race heading into Tuesday, but they did not make an impactful move to help bump them ahead of other contending teams. Perhaps general manager Mike Chernoff did not see a deal he liked.

Baltimore Orioles
Trading Mancini made sense on paper for Baltimore. The now former Oriole had one year left on his deal, and Baltimore still have Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle, so the team isn’t entirely bereft of talent. But it’s a tough pill to swallow for the fan base to see Mancini traded to the Astros and López to the Twins, especially with the team 2.5 games behind in the AL Wild Card heading into Tuesday.

New York Mets
The Mets didn’t make a bad move at the deadline. New York’s inaction may be its undoing, though. The Mets were reportedly in talks to acquire Willson Contreras, but they weren’t willing to pay the high asking price from the Cubs. The Mets are in a decent spot, 3.5 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East heading into the deadline. But a lack of an upgrade to the roster could hurt their hopes for a deep postseason run.

Thumbnail photo via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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