At four o’clock yesterday afternoon, the MLB non-waiver trade deadline hit which means all trades were completed until the off-season after the World Series has been played. Sometimes the trade deadline is boring, other times marquee names are moved to teams who feel they just need that extra push to solidify October runs, this year the later held true as two of the best pitchers in the American League West, Sonny Gray formerly of the Oakland A’s and Yu Darvish formerly of the Texas Rangers both found new homes on contending teams. Gray with his above average 3.43 Earned Run Average was traded for three prospects in the New York Yankees system; Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo, and James Kaprielian. What is interesting about this trade for the Yankees is that Kaprielian and Fowler are both out for the season, Kaprielian with Tommy John elbow surgery and Fowler with a knee injury yet Brian Cashman was still able to get Gray to the Bronx and with two more complete seasons at least of contract control the move looks strange for the A’s and like an absolute fleecing for the Yankees who are chasing their first pennant since 2009.
The trade that Texas made for Yu Darvish is more straightforward, Darvish is a free agent at the end of the season and with concerns about their ability to re-sign him the Ranger sent him to the Major League best 74-31 Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects A.J. Alexy, Willie Calhoun, and Brendon Davis. Darvish also addresses a need in Los Angeles as with ace Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list the Dodgers find themselves momentarily ace-less for the late stages of the pennant race. Enter four-time All-Star Darvish who has struck out an average of 11.0 batters per nine innings in his career and when Kershaw gets healthy could spell a devastating righty-left combo in Los Angeles as they seek to win a title for the first time since 1988. Whether or not any of the six prospects mentioned ever turn into anything special is still in the air but on paper it appears trading for veterans could push these two teams forward.