Which teams took the biggest step forward during the MLB Trade Deadline

Biggest Winners

Toronto Blue Jays

Over the past year, the Jays have taken a monumental step forward with the additions of Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin, David Price, Troy Tulowitzki, and Ben Revere. Although the Jays dumped many of their top prospects and committed tens of millions of dollars, they feel that their squad has the potential to make the playoffs. Toronto was willing to possibly risk their future for immediate success because they have the longest active playoff drought. Although the division may be difficult to claim, they should win the second wild card and have Price start the sudden death game. In addition to Price, the combination of Martin, Donaldson, Tulo, and Revere has given the Jays the best offense in the entire MLB and it is not even close.

Kansas City Royals

Before the trading deadline, the Royals were the best team in the AL, but they did not have an ace. If the Royals had an ace last season, they may have won the World Series championship against the Giants. However, during the deadline, the Royals were able to acquire Johnny Cueto. Although it needs to be seen if he can pitch during the postseason, since he has experienced troubles in the past, he has been one of the ten best pitchers in the league over the past three seasons. In addition to Cueto, Zobrist is a professional hitter that will give the Royals many options because he can bat anywhere in the order and play anywhere in the field.

Philadelphia Phillies

After nearly two years of non stop rumors, the Phillies finally decided to deal Cole Hamels to the Rangers. Although they traded their best player, they were able net quite a haul from the Rangers. The Phillies were able to claim 3 of the Rangers 6 best players, Thompson, SP, Williams, CF, and Alfaro, C, in addition to a quality starter, Matt Harrison. Along with Hamels, Philly dealt Revere to the Blue Jays for two pitching prospects, Cordero and Tirado. The Phillies needed to deal their two elderly starters in order to expedite their rebuilding process.

Biggest Loser

San Diego Padres

Throughout July, every baseball analyst believed that the Padres would have a fire sale. The Padres had many top flight players, Upton, Ross, Cashner, Kimbrel, Benoit, Veneble and Shieds, that could be dealt for quality prospects. Instead, the Padres decided to foolishly keep their stars in hope that they could make a postseason run, although they are currently 7.5 games out of the wild card. The Padres could have changed their future for the better. It was reported that the Padres could have acquired stud shortstop Jorge Mateo while relinquishing the contracts of Kimbrel and Gyrko, but turned down the offer.

Of the $1.5B spent, which team spent their money the wisest

The first three days of NBA free agency was absolutely spectacular and over $1 billion was given to players. Although many of the deals seem outrageous, in the future, these deals will seem less onerous. This season, the NBA salary cap is $67 million, but it will likely rise to $89 million next season and $108 million during the following season. ┬áIf one analyzes Brook Lopez’s 3 yr/ $60 million deal, it actually is worth $78.7 million. The first year of the deal, $20 million, is 29.8% of the salary. The following season, 29.8% of the salary cap will be $26.5 million and the following season it will be $32.2 million.

 

Winners:

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are the biggest winners in free agency and it is not even close. Besides for scoring the best player in free agency, LaMarcus Aldridge, they were able to keep Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Tim Duncan while signing David West to the veteran minimum. Although the Cavs and Warriors are incredible teams, the Spurs may have become the favorite to return the Larry O’Brien trophy back to San Antonio.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Although the Cavs had multiple high priced and important free agents, they have deals in place to re-sign all of their players, Love, James, Shumpert, Thompson, and Mozgov. The Cavs will have to pay a lot of money in luxury tax dollars, but Dan Gilbert wants to bring a title to Cleveland. However, the Cavs are not done spending and are looking to add another established scorer via trade.

Los Angeles Clippers

Less than a week ago, the Clippers were set to become the biggest losers of free agency. However, they were able to convince DeAndre Jordan to leave Dallas and rejoin the Clip. In addition to Jordan, they were able to sign Paul Pierce to the Mid Level Exception, which gives them an added scoring weapon off of the bench. The move for Pierce will allow them to trade Jamal Crawford in order to bolster their front court.

 

Losers

Los Angeles Lakers

At the beginning of the free agency period, it looked like the Lakers would land one of the highly touted big men, Cousins, Gasol, or Aldridge. However, they were forced to trade for Hibbert and it leaves them with a major hole. Without another star alongside Kobe, the Lakers are going to miss the playoffs for another season. Although the Lakers should be better with the addition of Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, and D’Angelo Russell, they will be awful once again.

New York Knicks

The Knicks were planning for this offseason for the past few months, but yet again they were unable to sign a major free agent. Due to their lack of talent, other stars refused to accept the Knicks money and play for a losing team. Although they spent millions of dollars on Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn, and Aaron Afflalo, none of those players are no better than role players. The Knicks traded away their first round pick for the 2016 draft and these moves will probably force them to deal away a lottery pick.

Portland Trailblazers

Over the past two seasons, the Trailblazers were one of the most successful and consecutive teams in the West. However, this offseason was an absolute disaster for Portland. Besides for the fact that they lost their best player, they lost two defensive wizards and a competent center. The Blazers will have 4 new starters next season, but none of them will be better than the previous starters. The Blazers will likely return to the lottery until they can find another star to play alongside Damian Lilliard.