Grade: C The Snakes were expected to contend in 2020, but a brutal first month-plus of the season got in the way of those expectations. So they approached the deadline as sellers. Before the bell rang, they parted with outfielder Starling Marte, closer Archie Bradley, left-hander Robbie Ray, and lefty reliever Andrew Chafin. As for the young talent they got back, outfielder Stuart Fairchild qualifies as interesting, albeit with a limited ceiling, and young arms Humberto Mejia and Julio Frias have some upside and could benefit from fresh coaching eyes. Overall, though, it’s a fairly modest return given the major-league talent Arizona gave up. They clearly waited too long to move Ray. Grade: F The Braves are without ace Mike Soroka (Achilles’) for the remainder of the season, and it’s possible that lefty Cole Hamels (triceps) won’t throw a pitch for them in 2020. Additionally, the Braves not long ago cut loose Mike Foltynewicz, a former All-Star who made two playoff starts for the Braves last season, because of his diminished velocity and stuff. They badly needed to bolster the rotation, but all they did was add middling veteran lefty swingman Tommy Milone. That’s a half measure for a contender who hasn’t advanced to the LCS since 2001. Grade: B+ The Sox wisely resisted the temptation to, say, bid adieu to cornerstone shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Instead, they dealt from the margins. In a deal for two relievers with the Phillies they added a significant pitching prospect in Connor Seabold, and in exchange for Mitch Moreland they got two of the Padres’ 20 best prospects (and the Padres have a rich farm system). To boot, the Red Sox positioned themselves to be more active on the international market by adding slot bonus money in the deal that sent Kevin Pillar to the Rockies. Grade: B The Cubs didn’t make any headline-grabbers, but they addressed their most pressing roster needs. Specifically, they bolstered their lefty relief corps, added a DH bat from the right side in Jose Martinez, and improved their situation in center field with the trade for veteran fly-catcher Cameron Maybin. Grade: D The Sox are one of the most exciting teams in baseball this season, and they’re also one of the best. That said, the South Siders needed additional rotation depth, and they needed an upgrade over Nomar Mazara in right field. Instead of taking care of those matters, they did nothing more than swing a trade for Jarrod Dyson. Grade: A- The Reds continue to make near-term improvements, even though the 2020 season has been a disappointment thus far. Archie Bradley upgrades their high-leverage relief situation in a big way, and he’s not slated for free agency until after next season. Outfielder Brian Goodwin, whom the Reds acquired from the Angels, is a solidly underrated player who gives them some versatility, pop from the left side, and speed on the bases. Grade: D Cleveland traded ace-ish starting pitcher like Mike Clevinger without truly addressing its awful outfield situation. Yes, Josh Naylor constitutes an upgrade for Cleveland, but that has a little to do with how bad things have been thus fair (their outfielders have combined to “hit” just .186/.283/.289 in 2020). Naylor, at age 23, has time to improve at the plate, but he’s been a below-average hitter through the first 102 games of his MLB career. As well, he never was a consensus top-100 prospect despite being a No. 12 overall pick. Austin Hedges and Cal Quantrill help the current MLB roster in Cleveland, but this feels like a pretty light return for a pitcher of Clevinger’s caliber who isn’t a free agent until the offseason of 2022-23. Grade: C+ They got Kevin Pillar, which improves the outfield depth, and Mychal Givens improves their bullpen situation. On the other hand, those additions came at a cost. Pillar dinged the Rockies some international slot money, and they gave up two of their top 15 prospects for Givens. Grade: D- Despite the major injury to Justin Verlander and a bullpen that’s largely a mix of injured arms and rookies, the Astros sat on their hands leading up to the deadline. One can argue that the Astros’ current contending window is gradually closing, so a bit more urgency was in order — especially since they trail the A’s in the AL West standings. Grade: C On the one hand, getting something back on a reclamation project like Trevor Rosenthal is commendable. On the other hand, the Royals, despite being in a state of rebuilding, continue to resist the urge to trade Whit Merrifield. As well, an injury to Ian Kennedy, who’s found new life in the bullpen, eliminated any possibility of his being moved in a deadline deal. Grade: C The Halos sort of sold off, as they dealt away Tommy La Stella, Jason Castro, and Brian Goodwin. However, they didn’t trade away Dylan Bundy or Andrelton Simmons, who could’ve landed them stronger returns. In Simmons’ case, he’s in his walk year anyway. Grade: B-/incomplete/whatever Nothing to see. Thy shipped off Ross Stripling. You can argue for some depth plays at margins, but this is a team winning at a .722 clip and running a plus-90 run differential through 36 games. If there’s any team that can justify standing pat, it’s a team that’s the best team in baseball that also added Mookie Betts over the offseason. Grade: A- The addition of Starling Marte at modest cost significantly upgrades the Marlins’ outfield situation. Also, they were able to flip the veteran Jonathan Villar without hurting the current roster. That’s because Isan Diaz, who originally opted out of the 2020 season, is reportedly looking to be reinstated. Should that come to pass, he’ll take over as the Marlins’ second baseman as they attempt to make good on a Cinderella postseason bid. Grade: D The Brewers are presumably chasing a playoff spot, but all they did was trade away a highly useful reliever in David Phelps. Meantime, an offense that ranks 12th in the NL in runs scored and 14th in OPS goes unaddressed. Grade: B- It’s fine that they did nothing. Call it a respectable B-. The Twins could perhaps use additional outfield depth, but the front office wisely has faith that the current roster will find its level in the weeks to come. Grade: C+ Coming into Monday’s slates, the Mets according to the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) have just a one in three chance of making the playoffs, roughly speaking. Despite the somewhat long odds, they added pieces designed to improve the current roster. Catcher Robinson Chirinos improves the situation at his position, and Old Friend Todd Frazier gives them some thump from the right side and a beloved clubhouse figure. Miguel Castro gives them some much-needed bullpen depth. It’s not enough to truly change the Mets’ outlook, but it’s at least something resembling an effort to that end. Grade: F The Yankees are beset by injuries — many of those injuries of the concerning variety — to a number of core contributors, but they accomplished nothing of note at the deadline. Grade: A- The first-place A’s didn’t swing any blockbusters in advance of Monday’s deadline, but they didn’t really need to. Instead, they added useful complementary pieces like lefty Mike Minor, who now pins down the back end of the rotation, and slugging second baseman Tommy La Stella, who’s now the dominant half of a platoon at the keystone. The La Stella addition in particular is a nice get for Oakland, as Chad Pinder and Tony Kemp had been unable to get it done at the position. Grade: B The Phillies have been saddled with one of the worst bullpens in baseball this season, and leading up to the deadline they attacked that weakness in numbers. New to the Philly relief corps are a quartet of right-handers: Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, David Phelps, and David Hale. With the additions of Workman and Hembree via trade with Boston, you can argue the cost was a bit steep. However, the Phillies are heavily committed to winning now, and the bullpen was crying out for help. Grade: A+ After years in the hinterlands, the Padres are squarely contenders in 2020. And darned if they didn’t act like it prior to the deadline. They’ve most notably added to the fold right-hander Mike Clevinger, catchers Jason Castro and Austin Nola, 1B/DH Mitch Moreland, and high-leverage reliever Trevor Rosenthal. Obviously, you don’t acquire needle-moving talent like that without giving up a haul of prospects, and the Padres indeed did that. Still, the system is loaded to the extent that they were running up against an eventual 40-man roster crunch. And one of the points of assembling stores of young talent is to be able to use them in trade when the contending iron is hot. San Diego was able to hang on to the prospects they most highly value internally. Also worth noting is that the biggest addition — Clevinger — is an ace when healthy who’s under team control through the 2022 season. Great, bold work by the San Diego front office. Grade: C The most boring NL deadline performance? Give it to San Fran. The Giants are within range of the final NL playoff spots at the moment, but their only roster-fortifying trade with the addition of infielder Daniel Robertson. The case can certainly be made that the Giants should stick to the plan and deal away veteran contributors, but they retained Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly. They get passing marks, though, because the uncertain position of the 2020 Giants means that effectively doing nothing is justifiable, if decidedly dull. Grade: B¬†They dealt away Taijuan Walker, Daniel Vogelbach, Taylor Williams, Austin Nola, Austin Adams, and Dan Altavilla. As part of all that churn, they landed outfielder Taylor Trammell, the best prospect moved leading up to the 2020 deadline. Grade: F The first-place Rays right now have 11 pitchers on the IL, and of those 11 arms five are out for the year. So what did they do prior to the deadline? They dealt away DH Jose Martinez for two players to be named and added outfielder Brett Phillips. The only thing good about the Rays’ deadline performance is that the Yankees showed a similar lack of commitment. Grade: D It’s hard to find a path to contention for Texas this season or next, but despite trading Mike Minor to the A’s they didn’t commit fully to a pivot at the deadline. By dealing Lance Lynn and Joey Gallo, the Rangers could’ve significantly bolstered the farm system. Instead, they stood pat on those two. They also waited too long on Minor (they got just two players to be named from Oakland), as the veteran left-hander somewhat predictably regressed this season. Grade: A The Jays are in playoff position at the moment, and they responded accordingly. They fortified the rotation with the additions of Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray, and Ross Stripling, and they improved the infield depth by dealing for Jonathan Villar. In the case of Villar, his defensive flexibility means he’ll be a useful piece even after shortstop Bo Bichette gets healthy. Those are nice, targeted moves that didn’t put a noticeable dent in the farm system.

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