With the waiver deadline about to pass on August 31st, there are some teams who have made some noise with their transactions. In my opinion, there are some clear winners and losers so far. We will be discussing the three teams who, in my opinion, have taken advantage of the opportunity presented to them. Here are three teams who did not miss their opportunity.
Chicago Cubs- Yes, Cole Hamels looked like shit (holding him to higher standards than most) this year. Yes, he looked mediocre in 2017 and was trending downwards this season. Yes, the Chicago Cubs revived him.
When you know a pitcher is throwing well, but can’t seem to get the results he is looking for, sometimes a change of scenery really is all a player needs. With Hamels it has paid off. Over six outings with the Cubs, Hamels has a WHIP of exactly 1.00 and a beautiful .69 ERA . Anytime a player has a number like that, you have to respect it. Is there more love inside the Chicago Cubs clubhouse than the Texas Rangers? Lots of valid questions being asked here. Either way, his performance has been an awesome thing to watch, especially if you’re a Cubs fan. With Darvish out for the season, the Cubs will rely heavily on Hamels through the rest of the year, including the playoffs.
The Nationals became bold by putting most of their players on waivers for them to be claimed. Besides Scherzer, Strasberg, and Rendon, the rest of their high-profile players were put through waivers only to be pulled back, yes that includes Bryce Harper. Except one man let loose. Baseballs best dad, Daniel Murphy. If you have ever seen Daniel Murphy, he has the typical dad bod. Wears his pants almost to his belly button, runs a little goofy, but he does one thing better than most, and that’s hit the shit out of that tiny, white, round, baseball. To me, it’s crazy that Murphy was passed up by every other National League team. Through a small sample size, Murphy has made his presence known on the north side of Chicago. Through 36 at bats, Murphy has hit .407/.448/.704 –1.152 OPS– with 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s. With the Cubs already hosting a powerful lineup, adding Murphy to it only makes them more dangerous. The Cubs are up on the Pirates by 4 games right now in the NL Central. Look for Murphy and Hamels to play a big role in their postseason run.
Philadelphia Phillies- The Phillies showed that they were all in this year by building an underrated roster starting in the off-season. Scott Kingery hasn’t worked out as planned, batting .229/.271/.341 with 7 home runs and 10 steals through 121 games, but to his defense, I’m punny, he has played every position except catcher and first base. Even pitching an inning and a third for the Phils. Not to mention the Phillies signing him to a 6 year $24 contract before he even played a single Major League inning. Another man who hasn’t panned out is their big off-season signing of Carlos Santana. Signed to a 3 year, $60 contract, Santana has repaid the Phils by batting .220/.348/.406. With 19 home runs and 72 RBI’s he hasn’t been completely useless, and has been walking at his usual high rate, even exceeding his 2017 total by four already. With the emergence of Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta pitching like his normal self, the Phillies pitching has kept them in it.
The Phillies were in desperate need production out of the 2nd base position, so they went out and got Asdrubal Cabrera. Although he hasn’t been the best with the Phillies, .221/.257/.356 line with 2 home runs and 9 RBI’s through 104 at bats along with literally only walking 4 times and been hit by a pitch once, he is still a threat to be reckoned with on a day-to-day basis. I’m sure he just has to get comfortable hitting south of Queens New York and eventually, the trade will pay off.
With major catching problems, starting off the year with Jorge Alfaro, who hasn’t been horrible, and Andrew Knapp who also has been just as useful/useless, the Phillies were in need of an upgrade. So they went out and got one of the few good catchers in the league; Wilson Ramos. Ramos is a beast. Dude can hit. In a league with such few good hitting catchers, Ramos stands out. Through a small sample size of only 29 at bats, Ramos has hit to the tune of .448/.443/.793 with one home run and 8 RBI’s . With the young catchers the Phillies posses, Ramos brings a veteran presence PLUS the ability to hit the shit out of the ball in a lineup that could use another threat. Speaking of threat, the Phillies went out and got Miami Marlin product Justin Bour for next to nothing, giving up a High-A pitcher, Mckenzie Mills. Bour has a track record of being a force in the lineup. Although he hasn’t hit for average in 2017 or 2018, Bour can still rake with the best of them. With Carlos Santana holding down first, Bour should be coming off the bench as a pinch hitter making a random start against a righty here and there. With the Phillies pitching not being the problem, they went out and addressed their main issue with some veterans who can make an impact when called upon.
Oakland A’s- Shout out to Billy Beane man. The dude is an animal. Slowly putting together a team that is more than competitive while doing it under the radar now for two seasons. I’m sure other GM’s see him scheming in Oakland, but with a stadium like theirs, i’m sure they weren’t worried; Until they started winning. In a race for the AL West with the Astros, I know crazy statement, but true, they could either take home the division or make it as a wild card. As evidence by their deadline moves, they are ready to do the damn thing in 2018. Addressing their main need, bullpen help, Beane made it a priority. Acquiring Jeurys Familia of the Mets, who has picked up where he left off with the Mets, pitching to a tune of 2.55 ERA and a WHIP of 1.019. Fernando Rodney, who happens to be a former Ray Great, has not been scored upon through 8 innings to go along with 7 strike outs. Shawn Kelley, who was dumped by the Nationals after throwing a temper tantrum after getting ripped one game, is also unscored upon through 7 innings while allowing only 2 hits in those 7 innings. Can’t forget about Michael Fiers, who was pitching really well with the Detroit Tigers this season and has only continued his success over in Oakland. Through four starts, Fiers has put up an ERA of 1.50 and WHIP of .792 through 24 innings so far. With Sean Manea getting put on the D.L. for left rotator cuff tendonitis, and likely not to make it back this season, the A’s will need Fiers to step it up the rest of the season.
To go along with those 3 studs that Billy Beane plucked from three different organizations, the A’s boast the leagues 10th best ERA. Thanks to the help of All-Star closer Blake Treinen, who has an ERA UNDER 1.00 sitting at .97 and a WHIP at .954 with 88 strike outs through 65 innings. Besides Edwin Diaz of the Mariners, he has been the best closer in baseball this season. Lou Trivino, in his first big league season, has put up a spectacular ERA of 2.29 with a WHIP of 1.079 and striking out 67 batters through 63 innings. Not to mention lefty specialist and great reliever Ryan Butcher, who Beane also got in the off-season, has an ERA of 3.07 through 29.1 innings while also striking out 32. With a lineup that consists of Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie, Matt Olsen, Stephen Piscotty, and new comers Nick Martini and Ramon Laureano, the A’s looked poised to make the postseason this year for the first time since 2014.
Of course, there are honorable mentions for the Tampa Bay Rays, stealing Tyler Glasnow, Tommy Pham, and Austin Meadows from the Pirates for Chris Archer. The Brewers Acquiring Jonathan Schoop, Mike Moustakas, and Joakim Soria. As well as the Dodgers getting Manny Machado and Brain Dozier. The three teams I mentioned above, in my opinion, will be most impacted by the players they acquired from the deadline.
With two more days to go before the waiver wire deadline is up, look for a few more teams to try to improve their rosters for the postseason and beyond. Josh Donaldson is still on the Blue Jays, somehow. If he can prove healthy within the next two days, look for that move to finally happen. If that doesn’t happen look for shooting stars in the sky as that is a nice activity to do when you’re bored at night. Or Fortnite. Or read the shit that I’m posting.
Thank you by the way to anyone reading the stuff I’m typing/writing. It does mean a lot.