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An Extremely Scientific Look at the Winners and Losers of the 2016 MLB Trade Deadline

Grading the winners and losers of the MLB trade deadline.

by Dave Brown
Aug 1 2016, 11:03pm

Every smart fan knows that it often takes years to determine who won and who lost any given trade, which is why there's no time like the present to determine the winners and losers of the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. Let's dive right in.

Deal: Giants trade infielder Matt Duffy, along with prospects Michael Santos and Lucius Fox, to the Rays for left-hander Matt Moore.

Details: The Giants paid highly for Moore, who's always had a "great arm" but has yet to actually "pitch great" with any consistency, other than in 2013. He's got a 101+ career ERA with a history of wildness, and he had Tommy John surgery in 2014. He's also signed below market value and is under team control through 2019, so if you're into contracts, and you have to be no matter how distasteful, you know it makes him worth more.

Duffy, 25, helped the Giants win a World Series as a reserve in 2014, was second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2015, and has been battling injuries this season. A fan favorite in part because of his fat pet cat, Duffy also has been a valuable top-of-the-order piece for Bruce Bochy. The trade invoked this response from Duffy's mother:

In addition to Duffy, the Rays get prospects; Santos is said to be better than Fox, though isn't Lucius Fox one of Batman's greatest helpers?

Who wins? If the Giants win the World Series like they're supposed to in this, an even-numbered season, and Moore helps, then the Giants win the trade. But if they fail miserably because the even-year'd thing is bullshit, the Rays win.

So who wins, dammit? Rays. Giants ain't gonna win the Series again.

Deal: Brewers send catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress to Rangers for prospects not including Joey Gallo.

Details: Lucroy used his right of refusal to block a trade to the Indians, but he had no such power with a deal to the Rangers. With Texas in just as good of a position as Cleveland to reach the World Series, it's hard to say if Lucroy will regret his action from a "winning" perspective.

The prospects going to the Brewers, including outfielder Lewis Brinson and right-hander Luis Ortiz, are a strong return for Lucroy, who is under team control for 2017, and for Jeffress, who gives Texas a sturdy bullpen, and isn't a free agent until 2020.

Who wins? The Rangers didn't have to give up Gallo and improved their catching situation by a ton. By also adding Carlos Beltran from the Yankees in another trade for prospect pitcher Dillon Tate, they're obviously going for it now. The Brewers needed to make something happen after the fiasco with Lucroy and the Indians. It's just too bad they had to break up their Fresh Prince and D.J. Jazzy Jeff bullpen combo of Will Smith (who was traded to the Giants) and Jeffress.

So who wins, dammit? If the Rangers win the World Series this year or next, they win. It's all about winning, even for a year.

Answer the question, jerk!

Rangers—because they'll win the World Series next year.

Deal: Reds trade Jay Bruce to Mets for infield prospect Dilson Herrera and left-handed minor-leaguer Max Wotell.

Details: As we published earlier, Jay Bruce gives the Mets a big stick, a $13 million slugger under team control for next season, and, most importantly, lots of Bruce Springsteen pun possibilities. Herrera is a better player than Brandon Nimmo, whom the Reds originally were going to get before demanding the deal be re-worked because of "medicals."

Who wins?: The Mets because of Bruuuuuuuce, but the Reds because Herrera looks like a keeper at second base for the next several years.

Pick ONE winner: Make me.

Deal: Athletics send outfielder Josh Reddick and left-hander Rich Hill to the Dodgers for prospects Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton.

Details: The Dodgers were desperate to add depth after injuries have torn them up. Reddick should play left and help as a lefty bat, and Hill, once his damn blister clears up, should be a huge lift. The downside to Hill is that he'll be a free agent after this season, as will Reddick.

Grant Holmes is the best prospect heading to Oakland, but Montas and Cotton also are expected to contribute in the majors. Montas reputedly has closer stuff. The A's did well to tread water, in light of their inability to keep anybody expensive long term.

Who wins?: The Dodgers did fine, but the A's replenished their pitching staff at the cost of players who were not coming back.

So, the A's win?: Yes, stop asking me to repeat myself.

Deal: Pirates trade left-hander Francisco Liriano and two prospects to the Blue Jays for right-hander Drew Hutchison.

Details: Smells like a salary dump! Liriano had blossomed into one of the better left-handers in the NL under the tutelage of coach Ray Searage, but he regressed this season. He's under contract in 2017 for about $13 million. Hutchison has always been a bag of potential. Well, let's see what Searage can do with him! Catcher Reese McGuire is said to be the Pirates' No. 8 prospect. A secondary prospect heading to Toronto is Class AA outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Who wins?: Jays. Pirates selling is kind of disappointing after the playoff runs they made recently. They missed a mini window for the World Series. There will be another, as long as Andrew McCutchen bounces back.

Deal: Twins deal right-hander Ricky Nolasco to Angels for Hector Santiago in four-player swap.

Details: Gory. Both big ("big") names are controllable through the 2017 season, though Santiago has pitched much better and is five years younger than Nolasco. Alex Meyer, also heading to the Angels, used to be a top-50 prospect, but he's had shoulder issues. Alan Busenitz who pitched well at Double-A, goes to the Twins.

Who wins?: Seems like the Twins win easily, but Angels GM Billy Eppler must have faith in Meyer, and think that Nolasco getting closer his home in southern California will be a plus. It did work out for Nolasco with the Dodgers for a while in 2013, but it all fell apart going into the playoffs. That's also the last time he pitched particularly well.

Can't you give a straight answer?: TWINS, jeepers!

Deal: Marlins return injured pitcher Colin Rea to the Padres for prospect Luis Castillo

Details: This is a strange one. The Marlins reportedly were "livid" at getting what they believed was damaged goods in Rea for Andrew Cashner, so the Padres took back Rea and gave Castillo back to the Fish. This comes not long after the Padres discovered that right-hander Chris Paddack needs Tommy John surgery after he came over from the Marlins for Fernando Rodney. So, did the Marlins think Rea was some kind of agent of revenge for Paddack blowing out? No matter what the truth is, the Padres are doing the right thing by altering the deal Rea-Castillo part of the deal.

Who wins?: Marlins, obviously. It's nice to see the Marlins not being the bad guy for once! Not that the Padres are bad or shady (on purpose), of course.