The 2020 Major League Baseball season is already in the stretch run and the Aug. 31 trade deadline came and went earlier this week. I was pleasantly surprised there was that much activity. I was bracing for a slow deadline amid this unusual season. Now that the deadline has passed, let’s hope the regular season and postseason can be completed safely.

Throughout the season my fellow CBS Sports MLB scribes and I will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we previewed potential trade deadline blockbusters. Now we’re going to discuss contenders who stood pat.

Which contender should have done more at the trade deadline?

Standing pat at the deadline wasn’t a smart move for Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
USATSI

Katherine Acquavella: The Braves, Rays and Astros were all questionably quiet at the deadline. But, the Yankees definitely needed to do more. Right now, New York’s rotation is not enough to get them two or three or four wins in a playoff series. All of us at CBS Sports picked the Yankees to finish ahead of the Rays in the AL East, and two of us had them winning the World Series. But now, the club’s demolished by injuries once again to its core (Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres) and Tampa Bay has crushed New York in head-to-head this year. In a sprint season like this 60-game one, I’m not sure the Yankees are in good enough shape to get away without having added anyone noteworthy at the deadline. No trade deadline moves also just doesn’t match up to their “World Series or bust” attitude after the big Gerrit Cole signing this offseason.

R.J. Anderson: For me, it’s the Braves. The bar for improving their rotation was so low that it’s hard to believe they walked away with Tommy Milone and nothing else. I understand not wanting to part with a touted prospect like Drew Waters (or whomever) for a rental, but it’s not a great development when Mark Shapiro’s team is outbidding you for veteran arms. To be clear: I think the Braves will still win the National League East and get into the postseason; I just fear that they didn’t maximize their chances of having a meaningful October run.

Mike Axisa: It’s one of three teams for me: Astros, Braves, or Yankees. All three have glaring needs on the pitching side and none did anything to address it (with all due respect to Tommy Milone). Since I have to pick one team, I’ll go with the Yankees, who are banking on their injured players (Aaron Judge, James Paxton, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres) getting healthy before the postseason, which is a nice idea, but they haven’t been able to keep them healthy the last two years. This is the second straight year the Yankees did nothing at the deadline and I can’t help but wonder if they’re going to look up in two years, when Judge and Gary Sanchez are nearing free agency and guys like Stanton and Gerrit Cole are leaving their prime, and say, “geez, we really should’ve done more to put this team in the best position to win when this core was at its best.”

Dayn Perry: Going to say the Yankees. They’re riddled with injuries — many of them concerning injuries to core contributors — and the lineup they’re presently trotting out doesn’t suit a contender with their resources. Brian Cashman and company should’ve been much more active leading up to the deadline, especially given the pressures to win a title with this present core. 

Matt Snyder: I keep repeating this but it bears repeating. The Yankees are baseball royalty, and yet, since their last title, the Royals, Cubs, Nationals, Astros and Giants (three times) have won titles. Yet they are standing pat with all these injuries and watching the Rays crush them. If I were a Yankees fan, I’d be pretty livid right now. 

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