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MLB Trade Deadline: Recapping the Excitement From the Final Day of Deals

From the Cubs being huge sellers to the Dodgers and Yankees making splashy acquisitions, the 2021 trade deadline had plenty of action.

This year's trade deadline was an absolute blast, with a former MVP, Cy Young winner and plenty of All-Stars changing teams. There was suspense, intrigue and double-crossing. The NL West arms race did not disappoint, with the Dodgers swindling the Padres out of Max Scherzer and Trea Turner on Thursday night. Then, the Giants completed a last-minute deal for Kris Bryant on Friday.

Two of the past five World Series winners (the Nationals and Cubs) tore down their former championship rosters and began their rebuilds. Chicago traded away core players Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez, who joins his longtime friend Francisco Lindor with the Mets. Then, the Cubs also made a major cross-town trade Friday, sending closer Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox. Kimbrel and Liam Hendriks are set to form one of the best bullpens in baseball.

The AL East was also busy. The Yankees loaded up on left-handed power hitters, with Rizzo and Joey Gallo earlier in the week. The Blue Jays responded Friday with a big trade for the Twins' José Berríos. It took a major package of prospects to get him, though. Toronto sent Austin Martin, the No. 16 prospect in all of baseball per MLB Pipeline, and Seimone Woods-Richardson, ranked No. 68.

So many other moves went down Friday. Relive the excitement and chaos of the most entertaining trade deadline in years with Emma Baccellieri and Matt Martell in SI's live blog.

Welcome to Sports Illustrated's MLB Trade Deadline Live Blog, where Emma Baccellieri and Matt Martell will keep you updated throughout one of the wildest baseball days of the year. All time stamps are ET.

April 26, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) reacts after hitting a grand slam home run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Truist Park.

Matt Martell (10:00 a.m.) Hi, everyone! Thanks for joining us. Emma and I will be here all day talking baseball and breaking down all the latest trade deadline deals and rumors. We’ll make predictions, offer some analysis and pretty much just have an ongoing conversation that’s both insightful and entertaining.

Welcome, Emma! Hope you’re still alive after that wild USWNT game.

Emma Baccellieri (10:00 a.m.) Only barely (Alyssa Naeher has some serious ice-in-her veins closer energy).

What are you keeping an eye out for today? There’s obviously Kris Bryant (will the Mets make their move?) but I’m intrigued to see if the Giants and Padres answer the Dodgers’ big splash last night.

MM (10:02 a.m.) Penn State legend Alyssa Naeher*

And yes! I think Kris Bryant will be the NL West response. KB makes a ton of sense for the Giants, because of his versatility and they have the financial flexibility to re-sign or extend him. Could they swing a package deal for Zach Davies? That’d make things interesting for sure. Where do you think Bryant ends up?

EB (10:04 a.m.) I still think it might be the Mets — those rumors have obviously been around for quite some time, even if they haven't been quite as heated in the last few days, but I think it just makes too much sense for them to be able to get that upgrade at third base. Yes, their playoff spot looks fairly secure in the messy NL East (though I wouldn't entirely count out the Phillies just yet) but if they're looking to make a deeper run in their first season under Steve Cohen, which it sounds like they might be, I think they need a pick-up like Bryant.

MM (10:11 a.m.) First trade of the day!

Elite pitcher name Shawn Armstrong goes from the Orioles to the Rays for cash, according to multiple reports. This is confusing. He's got an 8.55 ERA this year. What do the Rays know?

EB (10:14) Saying that feels like it's setting you up for a jump-cut to him on the mound absolutely dealing in some kind of highly particular role in October, ha. I was intrigued by the Diego Castillo move yesterday—sure, this bullpen is deep enough that they can deal from it, but with some of the injuries they've had, it felt surprising to see them move one of their best options for so relatively little?—and I'm guessing there might be more to come than just Armstrong.

MM (10:18 a.m.) Maybe they’re making room for Kimbrel.

Can you imagine?!

EB (10:23 a.m.) Where do you think he's going? I can see the Red Sox, though it would be fun to get a bit of crosstown action if it's the White Sox

MM (10:27 a.m.) I think he’s going to the Phillies. This makes too much sense for how bad their bullpen has been. Dave Dombrowski has already acquired Kimbrel once when he was with the Red Sox. They won a World Series together in ’18. I think Kimbrel would make the Phillies the favorite in the NL East.

MM (10:34 a.m.) Speaking of the NL East, what do the Mets do? And are the Braves done? I’ve seen reports that the Braves are still buying despite their struggles this season and Acuña’s injury. They’re only 4 games out.

EB (10:39 a.m.) Yeah, I've been curious about those reports! Even with Acuña out, I think they're still clearly the better team over the Phillies, at least as of right now. (The run differential here is pretty striking: Philly is -23 while Atlanta is +47, the best in the division.) I still don't think it makes sense for them to go in on rentals. But if they can figure out some pick-ups who would also be under contract for next year (some pitching? Kyle Gibson?) I can see a pathway here.

MM (10:41 a.m.) Gibson would make a lot of sense, because of their infield defense, with Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies up the middle. Let him pitch to contact and then roll with it.

Also, I could see Kimbrel going back to Atlanta. That would make the Braves dangerous, especially if they get into the postseason.

MM (10:48 a.m.) Are you concerned at all about Trevor Story? Ken Rosenthal had a report earlier this week about Story’s throwing, and that he could be hurt. He missed time on the IL earlier this year with right-elbow inflammation. Rosenthal said his average velocity on the top-10 percent of his throws this year (78.1 mph) are down from his average over the previous four seasons (85.4 mph). He’s making more errors than ever. I thought Story would be a great fit for the Phillies, which would shore up their dreadful defense, in a deal that included Daniel Bard to help their bullpen. But if Story isn’t healthy, that changes things, because he’s a rental.

EB (10:52 a.m.) It's baffling to me that the Rockies didn't trade Story over the winter once they moved Arenado. (Then again, "it's baffling to me" can start a lot of sentences about the Rockies, so...) That would have made so much sense, and now, they're looking at a seriously diminished potential return because of his health and his performance this year. But particularly if he's packaged with Bard (or maybe even Jon Gray?) I think there can still be something serious here. Now that the Yankees are out, I agree that the Phillies would be a great fit.

EB (10:53 a.m.) Wow, deadline-changing deal here, someone everyone had their EYES on

MM (10:54 a.m.) Should I know who Braeden Ogle is?

EB (10:56 a.m.) In all seriousness, I am interested to see how the Phillies approach this, and while adding a Triple-A pitcher from the Pirates with a 6.5 walk rate obviously doesn't preclude you from making plenty of other moves later in the day... it's a curious way to start!

And no I had to google lol. He did not make FanGraphs' top 50 pirates prospects and was listed as an honorable mention.

MM (11:00 a.m.) If the Phillies don’t upgrade their defense, I feel like they should avoid the contact/groundball pitchers Kyle Gibson and Zach Davies. That said, maybe a package deal with the Cubs for Javy Báez and either Davies or Kimbrel would be the way to handle this problem. The Cubs are focusing on quantity over top-tier guys when it comes to prospects. If the Phillies cover the salaries of the players, maybe this could work.

MM (11:08 a.m.) Just walked over to get some more coffee and saw my dad was following along with our live blog. Hi, Dad!

EB (11:08 a.m.) Hahahah omg that's sweet!

MM (11:09 a.m.) In honor of my dad, a big Cardinals fan, do you think they’ll do anything at all before the deadline?

EB (11:12 a.m.) I don't think so. Given that a wild-card spot is pretty much entirely out of reach for a .500 team in the NL, there's no point in any right-now move, and it doesn't seem as if they're linked to any sort of bigger picture strategizing at this point.

MM (11:14 a.m.) I agree with you. Their biggest acquisition the rest of the way is going to be Jack Flaherty, who is on a rehab assignment now. Remember when he started the season 8–0?

EB (11:15 a.m.) Man. This spring is as distant to me as the burning of Rome.

EB (11:17 a.m.) Sounds like the Dodgers-Nationals deal is almost finalized—but that last note from Jon Heyman there is fun to think about. Can you even imagine the chaos?

MM (11:18 a.m.) I would love it! Give me chaos!

Although it would pretty much reverse your excellent Opener column from this morning, found here. (Yes, I'm also using this as an excuse to plug your work. But, for everyone reading, you should definitely check out Emma’s piece!)

MM (11:25 a.m.) Prediction: The Rockies are not going to make a single trade today

EB (11:26 a.m.) That would be very silly of them (if not Story, at least Bard!) and yet completely in character.

MM (11:27 a.m.) Do you know the last time a contending team traded away the league’s reigning HR champ? Because I think the Yankees are going to trade Luke Voit for some relief pitching after getting Anthony Rizzo.

EB (11:28 a.m.) Oooooh, that's a great trivia question.

(Also, Luke Voit fits right in on the list of 2020 MLB stat leaders I am going to forget on Sporcle quizzes for years to come.)

But I definitely agree that they're going to move Voit—after picking up Rizzo, there's no reason to keep him around.

MM (11:30 a.m.) Not unless they’re serious about throwing Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield, but seems unlikely they’ll do that on an everyday basis. If they did that, Voit could DH.

MM (11:40 a.m.) The last reigning MLB HR leader traded during the following season was Mark McGwire, who went from the A’s to the Cardinals in 1997 after hitting 52 HRs in ’96. The difference here is Oakland was not a contender in either ’96 or ’97

MM (11:41 a.m.) The last MLB HR leader traded after the season of his HR crown was Giancarlo Stanton after he hit 59 dingers in 2017. Again, the Marlins were not contenders.

MM (11:42 a.m.) In 2003 Alex Rodriguez and Jim Home led the majors with 47 HR. After the season, the Rangers traded ARod to the Yankees, and in 2004, the Rangers won 89 games. They missed the playoffs, but finished only 3 games out of first place. That counts as contending IMO. But, this wasn’t a deadline deal

EB (11:42 a.m.) Stathead Martell for the win

MM (11:44 a.m.) Still working on my initial question. Stay tuned!

MM (11:48 a.m.) Meanwhile, a report on Story from Mark Feinsand: 

Where would he play with the Blue Jays? They're already set at SS, 2B and CF.

EB (11:49 a.m.) Yeah, that's an interesting one. I've definitely wondered if Bo Bichette is going to stick at short long-term, but it seems a little premature to move him off right now for Story? Perhaps not.

And as you said, they're set in enough other positions that there's not a natural next move there. Odd!

MM (11:50 a.m.) Then Bichette would play third, right? Where would Cavan Biggio go?

EB (11:50 a.m.) Yeah, it creates a conundrum for sure

MM (11:51 a.m.) I know he plays everywhere, but their outfield is kinda set with George Springer, Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernández. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. did just get hit by a pitch in the elbow and could go on the IL. But still.

EB (11:52 a.m.) I was expecting them to go after pitching more. They're reportedly in the running for José Berríos, but as I wrote earlier this week, I'd still be a little surprised if the Twins move him! But it sounds like the offers they've been getting are enticing enough to make them consider it more seriously, and given the base of young talent on the Blue Jays, I think they'd be really smart to add Berríos in the rotation.

MM (11:55 a.m.) I agree. They could reinforce their rotation by adding to their bullpen. But either way, I don’t think they need more hitting.

Also, Joel Sherman just said IF the Rockies trade Story, he thinks it’s between the Blue Jays and the Rays.

Tampa going for it by adding another rental would be wild.

EB (11:57 a.m.) It's pretty un-Rays-y, but I'd love to see it! They're only a game and a half back of the Red Sox—it makes sense that they'd want to step up with the recent push from the Yankees, and this would be a fun way to try it.

EB (12 p.m.) Noon ET! Four hours to go—it's been pretty quiet so far, but I'm thinking that we see, at the very least, moves for Bryant and Kimbrel. I'm less sure on Story (they should, but... the Rockies...) and on Berríos, whom I think the Twins would be wise to hold onto to make another run next year, unless the offers are truly exceptional.

And I fully expect to see the Nationals continue their sell-off with Yan Gomes, too.

MM (12:05 p.m.) The MLB Network folks are having a TON of fun with all the Italians going to the Yanks!

They’re doing a Goodfellas bit now, and I love it.

EB (12:06 p.m.) Ha, I stand by my Pinstripe Paisans, perfect nickname, in my opinion!!

MM (12:06 p.m.) Tino “Soprano” Martinez! My first favorite player growing up, btw. Tino and then Jorge Posada.

EB (12:07 p.m.) My background viewing is the NBCSN replay of the Team USA Olympic baseball game that happened overnight. Pretty fun mix of Remember-Some-Guys and prospects on this team, and if you haven't seen them, the bullpen carts are amazing.

MM (12:09 p.m.) Welp, the Rockies!

EB (12:10 p.m.) Man, I know Jeff Bridich's departure from the front office was supposed to allow them to start making some more logical changes but... I see no proof of that yet!

MM (12:11 p.m.) Is there a reason why Colorado shouldn’t deal Story?

EB (12:13 p.m.) I don't see one. While they could have gotten a much better return had they traded him this winter, they should still be able to get something now, and I don't understand why you wouldn't move both him and Daniel Bard.

(Bard especially! There's such demand for relievers that it should be obvious)

MM (12:15 p.m.) Now we’re talking! This move makes too much sense for both teams. The Blue Jays have good higher-level prospects that the Twins wouldn’t be going into a long-term rebuild. And Berríos is the best available starting pitcher remaining.

EB (12:17 p.m.) Yeah, I think this is probably the best possible option for the Twins if they're committed to moving him. I still think their core is strong enough that they should be able to shake off this year's struggles, and if you can get talent that's sufficiently close to major-league-level, there's a case for doing it by selling Berríos.

EB (12:18 p.m.) I also love that the Blue Jays are moving here! The AL East conversation in the last 24 hours has focused almost exclusively on whether the Yankees can catch the Red Sox and Rays, but the Jays are only a game behind the Yankees, and I certainly wouldn't write them off.

What a great wild-card race this could end up being—add in Oakland, who currently has the second WC berth and made a splash of their own this week by getting Starling Marte, and you're looking at some fun competition.

MM (12:20 p.m.) If the Blue Jays get Berríos, I still think we’ve got a four-team AL East race! I am still not in love with Boston’s rotation. And if the Red Sox fall, I don’t think the Rays are their only competition considering the moves the Yankees have made and the Blue Jays could still make.

Also, let’s not overlook the Brad Hand deal Toronto made yesterday.

EB (12:31 p.m.) Berríos to the Blue Jays. Like we talked about earlier—smart for both sides (assuming the return features some higher-level prospect talent) and a fun twist for the AL East.

MM (12:31 p.m) Looks like Simeon Woods Richardson is going back to Minnesota.

EB (12:32 p.m.) Olympic talent!

For more on Woods Richardson—this interview with FanGraphs' David Laurila from this spring is a great look at how he view pitching.

EB (12:34 p.m.) YES! Bring the AL East chaos.

MM (12:34 p.m.) The Rays have entered the chat!

Austin Martin, a shortstop and center fielder is also going back to the Twins. He was the No. 5 pick in the 2020 draft. 

EB (12:37 p.m.) That's a hell of a haul. I was admittedly on the fence about the need to move Berríos, but if this is what was on the table, 100%, it's smart.

MM (12:38 p.m.) Martin is the No. 16 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline and Woods-Richardson is No. 68. This is an incredible return. Wow.

EB (12:48 p.m.) Oooh, that would be fun.

Speaking of the NL West—I'm a little surprised the Giants have been so quiet today!

MM (12:49 p.m.) Me too. I think they’re going to do something. I still think Kris Bryant makes a lot of sense.

EB (12:50 p.m.) I'd imagine they have to move Michael Pineda at a minimum.

Maybe Kenta Maeda, too?

MM (12:50 p.m.) Josh Donaldson?

EB (12:51 p.m.) With his contract, that might be tough... but I'd be intrigued to see it.

MM (12:53 p.m.) Byron Buxton?! If they could get two top prospects for Berríos, what do you think they get for Buxton? I know he’s hurt now, but he’s so good when he’s healthy that he’s worth trading for even if you assume he’ll get injured again before his contract is up after next season.

Just saw this from Dan Hayes, who covers the Twins for The Athletic.

EB (12:55 p.m.) Wowwww, yeah, I had assumed they weren't going to move him, but if this is the market for Berríos... the upside on Buxton is high enough that I can see them getting quite a bit.

MM (12:56 p.m.) Mark DeRosa just said this on MLB Central. Buxton would be a great fit for Atlanta. That makes a ton of sense.

EB (12:57 p.m.) Now THAT would be fun. And if they package him with a pitcher? The Braves' chances would look meaningfully better—especially if there's still no action from the Mets.

MM (12:58 p.m.) Yes! Would love to see the prospect return to Minnesota. William Contreras and Cristian Pache? It would have to be a haul.

EB (1:02 p.m.) Oh, yeah, it would need to be big. I don't think Minnesota would be entertaining dealing him otherwise. But I can see the Braves trying it in hopes of bolstering their chances both this year and next.

Elsewhere in the NL East:

Adding pitching seems smart for the Phillies, adding Kyle Gibson with their infield defense..... does not.

MM (1:04 p.m.) If would make far more sense if they traded for Javy Báez or Trevor Story. So, uh, stay tuned.

MM (1:11 p.m.) This came out of nowhere!

Sandoval is beloved in the Braves clubhouse. His panda helmet after every HR!

EB (1:11 p.m.) A... salary dump of Eddie Rosario where they couldn't even dump his entire salary? Yeesh.

MM (1:12 p.m.) Woah, two outfielders right away. Does this take the Braves out for Buxton then?

EB (1:12 p.m.) It's like the Braves saw the Buxton discourse and leveled up by getting two different outfielders immediately.

I mean, Rosario is injured right now and is still expected to be out for a few weeks, so I wouldn't have expected that alone to rule them out for Buxton... but Rosario and Duvall seems like a pretty curious maneuver if you're still in the race for Buxton. I think that might take them out.

MM (1:15 p.m.) I really like Duvall for the Braves. I was surprised when they non-tendered him in the offseason. Hit 22 HRs in the shortened season last year.

MM (1:18 p.m.) The Kimbrel nugget here is interesting.

EB (1:19 p.m.) Oooh, yeah. I'm surprised we haven't heard more on him this morning! Phillies? Giants? Red Sox?

MM (1:20 p.m.) Or the Rays! They’ve reportedly been in on him.

EB (1:21 p.m.) Oh, yes! How could I forget? That would actually be the most interesting spot, I think—I'd love to see the Rays, Yankees and Blue Jays all putting pressure on the Red Sox.

MM (1:24 p.m.) Any chance he goes to the Mariners? They’re built on winning one-run games. Kimbrel’s controllable for another year. They traded Graveman.

EB (1:25 p.m.) I think Diego Castillo is going to fill the closer's role for them now. But I would love to see Jerry Dipoto live up to his statement from the Graveman trade that there was still plenty more to come!

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MM (1:27 p.m.) Back to the Dodgers. Is there any chance the Kimbrel push is in the event the Scherzer/Turner deal falls through? It’s still not official, and that’s kind of concerning.

EB (1:29 p.m.) I would be truly shocked if that falls through at this point—there are a lot of little moving pieces there and it makes sense that it could take a while to finalize—but it does seem a little notable that we've heard so little on this front for the last few hours.

On another potential landing spot for Kimbrel—I would LOVE to see him sharing a bullpen with Liam Hendriks. The intensity!

MM (1:30 p.m.) This would be super fun. The White Sox in general are super fun.

MM (1:38 p.m.) This, like the Armstrong trade, is quite intriguing. Daniel Norris has a 5.89 ERA in 38 games this season. What are the Brewers seeing?

EB (1:39 p.m.) I'm guessing it's just taking a random flier since there's always a need for bullpen depth? But yeah, it's not one I was expecting.

He does have a pretty meaning gap between his ERA and his 3.78 FIP—still not good but not totally shocked they'd guess there's a chance for improvement there.

MM (1:40 p.m.) The Brewers are a good defensive team, so that does make sense.

MM (1:42 p.m.) Now this would be fun. Buxton, Harper and McCutchen! And it would really improve their rough defense.

EB (1:42 p.m.) That would be GREAT.

The Mets seem a little too comfortable in first place—they've been so quiet today, and between a potential move here with Buxton and the Phillies and the outfield upgrades for the Braves, they should be thinking about some action of their own.

MM (1:45 p.m.) I mean, the Mets are no strangers to crumbling after having a comfortable division lead. (See the epic collapse of 2007.) 

And this year they don’t even have a comfortable lead in the division—this division is quite close! The Phillies are 3.5 games back, and the Braves are four out.

It would be such a failure for the Mets not to do anything at Steve Cohen’s first deadline.

EB (1:46 p.m.) After he tried to crowdsource ideas through Twitter, too!

MM (1:51 p.m.) Kennedy would be a good fit for the Phillies, especially if he’s included in a deal with Kyle Gibson, since they’re reportedly interested in him. They’d still need to improve their defense, but getting Kennedy and Gibson is better than nothing.

EB (1:53 p.m.) Yes, I think Kennedy would be a smart pick up for them—the bullpen could definitely use some help.

MM (1:53 p.m.) Understatement of the year, re: their bullpen.

MM (1:56 p.m.) The relief market starting to heat up. If Iglesias is available, that makes things really interesting. He’s the second best RP name mentioned in talks.

EB (1:59 p.m.) Wow, yes! A bit of a bummer to see the Angels selling, but it's smart, since they have no real chance to turn things around anymore—they would have needed to start making progress before Trout returned from the IL. This is going to be a fun relief market for sure.

MM (2 p.m.) Also, looks like the Tigers are making Michael Fulmer available. He’s been quite good this year coming out of the bullpen when heathy.

About what you said about the Angels selling: I think they would’ve had to start buying earlier this week. But now that the Yankees, Blue Jays and A’s all have made significant upgrades, their chances for a second wild-card look bleak. They could also decide not to do anything. But with Trout still not running and his return looking to be another two or so weeks away, I think it’s probably smart to deal Iglesias, a free agent after the year.

EB (2:04 p.m.) Yeah, I agree, there's just no window for them anymore.

This is definitely in their best interests, and I think they can probably get a decent return for Iglesias.

MM (2:05 p.m.) Definitely. He’s so appealing because of his ability get more than three outs. He has a 0.95 ERA in the 12 games this year when he’s gotten 4+ outs.

There we go. Any Dodgers fans who were concerned can now take a deep breath.

EB (2:09 p.m.) Ah, nice, so we're just looking at standard-issue chaos for the last two hours, not all-out bedlam.

MM (2:10 p.m.) Well, at least not Scherzer-related bedlam.

EB (2:10 p.m) Ha, fair.

MM (2:11 p.m.) What would constitute all-out bedlam the rest of the way? Can you make an all-out bedlam prediction?

EB (2:14 p.m.) Hmm. Let's say we get a full-on sale from the Twins (in addition to the Cubs)... we could see Bryant to Giants, Maeda to Padres, Kimbrel to Rays, Buxton to Phillies? That would seriously jolt all of the competitive divisions.

MM (2:14 p.m.) Josh Donaldson to the Mets, then too.

EB (2:15 p.m.) Oooh, yeah, let's throw that in too!

MM (2:16 p.m.) If we really want bedlam, send Javy Báez to the Reds, given the animosity between he and Amir Garrett.

(I’m kidding, but that would be bedlam! And the Reds do need a shortstop.)

EB (2:19 p.m.) And another one. What a 'pen that's going to be!

MM (2:19 p.m.) They have to be the AL favorites now, right? If they weren’t already.

EB (2:19 p.m.) Yeah, I think so.

The Astros had a case to make, but given their lack of activity, I think it's the White Sox's pennant to lose now.

MM (2:21 p.m.) Yes, Kendall Graveman isn’t going to get it done for the Astros.

MM (2:32 p.m.) Madrigal is a massive get for the Cubs.

EB (2:32 p.m.) Oh my God. That's an absolutely incredible return. He's such a fun player to watch, just a great contact hitter in an era where that's increasingly uncommon.

This is really, really huge. I thought they could get a big return for Kimbrel, I never imagined they could pull young talent like Madrigal.

MM (2:37 p.m.) Realistically, the Cubs might not be down for that long. Maybe they keep Báez and Wilson Contreras, who a free agent after next year. They make a push to re-sign Báez. Get a haul for Kris Bryant. Then extend Contreras. They could be back very quickly with that.

EB (2:40 p.m.) Well, speaking of Báez... I would have imagined the Mets going for Bryant over Báez, but this would be interesting, for sure.

MM (2:43 p.m.) I just don’t know what Javy’s value is with another team… His tools are off the charts, but he doesn’t walk and strikes out a lot, so he can go cold for a while. But when he’s hot (like he is now), there are few better players. He’s so entertaining, and he has some of the best baseball instincts I’ve ever seen. His tags alone have to be super valuable defensively, though I don’t know how to quantify that.

This seems to be happening


EB (2:44 p.m.) I'd think it has to be.

MM (2:45 p.m.) I will say, a middle infield of Lindor and Javy is among the most fun in the game.

EB (2:45 p.m.) Wow. Lindor and Báez sharing a diamond—Lindor should be back soon—would be fun. When they're at their best, they're two of the most electric middle infielders in the game.

[lol u beat me]

MM (2:45 p.m.) Then extend Javy!

EB (2:49 p.m.) One of my favorite deadline traditions is getting to parse tiny, maybe-meaningless scraps like this. Standard conversation? Probably. Báez to Mets????? Let me hear it.

MM (2:52 p.m) So, uhhh, maybe???

EB (2:52 p.m.) Drama!

EB (2:54 p.m.) I like this for the A's! Harrison has been hitting really well lately, and bolstering that lineup even more seems like a smart move.

MM (2:55 p.m.) This is smart for the Mets to get Williams too. They need rotation depth because of their injuries.

EB (2:56 p.m) Wow. I love this for them. Really curious to see what the return ends up being like, given how much they were able to command for Kimbrel

MM (2:57 p.m.) Right! Do they get one of the Mets’ top guys? Gotta be SS Ronny Mauricio, right? Now that they’re dealing Báez.

EB (2:58 p.m.) Yeah, he's exactly the type of guy that would make sense here, I think.

MM (3 p.m.) One hour out! Kris Bryant is still on the block. Maybe Trevor Story, maybe not. Buxton? Donaldson? Kyle Gibson? Ian Kennedy? Raisel Iglesias? Let’s have some fun!

EB (3:01 p.m.) I really like Kennedy for them—I do wonder if there's any defensive help on the way to go behind Gibson, as we talked about before.

MM (3:02 p.m.) Trevor Story would be perfect now. Put him at SS to shore up their defense.

Or, maybe, Andrelton Simmons just to help with the defense, now that the Twins are selling EVERYONE.

MM (3:05 p.m.) Live from Citi Field! This is so fun!

Also, shouts to my former Daily Collegian Penn State Baseball beat writing partner Deesha!

EB (3:06 p.m.) Maeda on the move?

Oh! Pineda! I almost forgot about him

MM (3:06 p.m.) BIG MIKE!

MM (3:07 p.m.) Kenta Maeda to the Cards???

MM (3:08 p.m.) Thoughts on Spencer Howard? All kinds of potential but has struggled in the big leagues. I think he’s definitely the right type of player for the Rangers to target because they aren’t close. They can be patient with him.

MM (3:12 p.m.) This is hilarious. Emma, what is happening?!??!?!?!

EB (3:12 p.m.) I started typing a response to Spencer Howard and got so caught up in everything else that I'm just lost now

How are there 45 minutes left???

EB (3:13 p.m.) Anyways—I'm surprised that the Phillies parted with Howard, but that's Dave Dombrowski energy for you, and I'm generally happy to see teams being freer with their prospects to try to go for it in the moment.

MM (3:14 p.m.) I agree with this completely!

Also looks like the Mets didn’t give up Ronny Mauricio.

EB (3:15 p.m.) You know, different situation in a lot of ways, but you can almost copy and paste what I said about the Phillies and Spencer Howard—it kinds of surprises me, Crow Armstrong is a big prospect to lose, but at the same time, I enjoy seeing teams try this, and it's kinda fun after a few years of feeling like teams were hugging prospects harder than ever.

EB (3:19 p.m.) Ok, let's take this quick break in the action to ask about the Rockies—are they seriously going to make it through today without moving anyone?

MM (3:20 p.m.) How high is Colorado’s asking price???

EB (3:20 p.m.) What on earth???

If the Giants were going to add an infielder, I would have gone with Bryant, but given the returns that have been coming back for the Cubs, I get switching gears to focus on Story instead.... but. Wow. That feels like a total misplay by the Rockies.

MM (3:22 p.m.) I think they should trade Joey Bart for Bryant. That’s why they drafted switch-hitting catcher Patrick Bailey in the first round in 2020. The Giants have prospect depth, and they can afford to throw money and try to re-sign KB.

MM (3:25 p.m.) Again—just because I am still kinda stunned—how high is Colorado’s asking price for Story or Bard or Gray considering all the top prospects being dealt for similar players on similar contracts?

Like did they ask the Rays for Wander Franco, and anything else is not enough?

EB (3:27 p.m.) It's been said that Rockies interim GM Bill Schmidt—traditionally a draft guy—values the compensatory draft picks very highly. But even accounting for that and trying to price the return above those picks... no idea. I imagine you're probably talking about top-of-the-system guy(s), and then some, which is wild.

MM (3:30 p.m) Finally!

EB (3:31 p.m.) The last hour had been so chaotic I'd almost forgotten about this one.

MM (3:35 p.m.) OK, 25 minutes to go. Does Kris Bryant get traded???

EB (3:36 p.m.) It seems wild to think that he wouldn't. But the Cubs have gotten such impressive hauls from their other deadline deals that maybe they're refusing to lower their price on him?

MM (3:37 p.m.) I say yes. Someone will make an offer to get a the best hitter on the market. I still see the Giants as the favorites, but the Phillies, Rays and Red Sox could also make a push.

On the other hand, I don’t think the Rockies trade Story—or anyone for that matter.

MM (3:44 p.m.) What is this?!?!

EB (3:45 p.m.) That one is real odd—I can see Houston being interested in Maton for a little extra bullpen help (he's a big spin rate guy, which seems right up their alley), but it's definitely not the kind of last-minute splash you'd like to see if they wanted to keep up with the White Sox this week.

MM (3:45 p.m.) I think they needed another lefty starting pitcher to go along with Montgomery. They can use Andrew Heaney in the rotation now and then have him as a long man in the ’pen when Severino and Kluber come back.

EB (3:45 p.m.) Wow. Wasn't expecting that but I think the depth there is nice for the Yankees. And speaking of the Angels—running out of time to trade Iglesias! I think they gotta move him at this point.

EB (3:54 p.m.) Under the wire! I like this for them, though.

It answers the big splash from the Dodgers, they have a chance to re-sign him.... this NL West race is going to be such a blast.

MM (3:55 p.m.) Me too! This is the perfect move for them to keep pace. Their pitching is very good. Adding an impact bat like Bryant who can play almost every position is what they needed.

EB (3:58 p.m.) A.J. Preller's awake!

MM (4 p.m.) The deadline is here! Trades can still trickle in, so keep with us. 

MM (4:02 p.m.) Nice last-minute deal. Galvis helps out Philadelphia's defense.

EB (4:03 p.m.) I'm a little surprised—I figured that if they were going to move Berríos, they'd go with Buxton, too—but given the level of talent they got back from Toronto, I think there's still a case for running it back and seeing what you can make happen next year.

MM (4:05 p.m.) The whole Trevor Story thing is hilariously on-brand for the Rockies.

EB (4:05 p.m.) It's so, so, so silly.

Absolutely no idea what that front office thinks it's trying to do here.

But, uh, that's The Rockies™.

MM (4:07 p.m.) To make matters worse for the Cubs, they now have to face Jon Lester in the division.

Lester has not been good this year. But he’s an innings eater until Flaherty and Mikolas get back. Maybe the Cardinals are hoping to play along the margins and if it works out, great, but if not, they haven't sacrificed their future.

Also, the Old Man Rotation: Wainwright, Lester, Happ.

EB (4:11 p.m.) Biggest surprises of the day for me: The high level of prospects we saw traded across the board (Nick Madrigal, Simeon Woods Richardson, Pete Crow-Armstrong, etc.). Colorado's total lack of action. The Cubs' decision to move Báez. And just the sheer volume—I thought today would be busy but not quite like this!

MM (4:13 p.m.) Interesting consolation prize for not getting Kimbrel.

EB (4:14 p.m.) Hm. I do like that, but given the amount of activity elsewhere in this division, I'm surprised we didn't see more from them.

MM (4:16 p.m.) I’m with you on that one. They got Schwarber, who is hurt and has never played 1B in the majors, and Robles. Doesn’t seem like this is how they drew it up.

MM (4:17 p.m.) Power bats for days in Atlanta!

EB (4:17 p.m.) They... know you can only have so many outfielders, right?

MM (4:18 p.m.) Soler’s numbers are bad this year, but he’s been on a tear recently: .239/.340/.717, 1.057 OPS, 7 HR over his last 14 games.

EB (4:22 p.m.) Luplow was activated from the 60-day IL this morning. After such a long layoff (ankle injury), not quite sure what the Rays are hoping for here, but he'd been solid-if-not-spectacular in the weeks before he was hurt.

MM (4:25 p.m.) Here's the return for Kris Bryant. The Cubs have done well this week in getting both quality and quantity for their farm system. But still, this is excellent for the Giants. Kris Bryant makes them much better, and it's a smart response to what the Dodgers and Padres did.

MM (4:30 p.m.) Watson was good for three seasons with the Giants, from 2018-20. This is a nice bullpen depth piece for them.

EB (4:32 p.m.) I'd been pretty surprised that Rodriguez hadn't been moved yet! This makes a lot of sense, I think—I'm still not sure if the Braves did enough to make a serious drive this year, given the activity ahead of them from the Mets, but Rodriguez adds some great bullpen depth right now and is also under team control until 2024. Nice move.

MM (4:36 p.m.) The Braves went for quantity of moves; the Mets went for quality. The Mets made, what, one move for two players: Báez and Trevor Williams. The Braves made how many? At least 6 — Pederson, Duvall, Soler, Rosario, Vogt and Rodriguez. I think the Braves did enough to catch the Mets. I like the outfield power bats, and I really like Rodriguez to reinforce their bullpen—Plus, he’s controllable through 2023.