The 2022 MLB trade deadline has come and gone. Numerous teams made big moves as the playoff races begin to take shape and teams decide to either go for it or get new prospects.
It was a very eventful deadline. The Juan Soto blockbuster trade went down, sending him to the playoff-contending San Diego Padres. All-Stars like Luis Castillo, Jorge Lopez and Andrew Benintendi found new teams. Other very good players are heading to new homes as well.
Here are the five teams that did the best at the 2022 MLB trade deadline.
5 biggest winners from the 2022 MLB trade deadline
Although the Reds shamelessly punted on a potential playoff team this offseason, they understand where they are as a team. They made all the losing somewhat worthwhile by commencing a fire sale at the 2022 MLB trade deadline.
Cincinnati traded away five of their key players — Luis Castillo, Brandon Drury, Tyler Mahle, Tommy Pham and Tyler Naquin — and received at least 10 new prospects for their farm system. Among them are Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, both top-100 prospects on MLB.com.
Although Cincinnati could have done a little better by finding new homes for veterans Kyle Farmer (31 years old) and Hunter Strickland (33 years old), neither player is doing too well, so their trade value was probably not very good.
The Reds turned Drury and Pham, both of whom they signed this offseason, into more assets. They also finally traded Castillo and Mahle, both of whom Cincinnati sent to playoff teams. The Reds' rebuild will be a years-long project but they got some new names to help them with it.
The Astros made a few solid moves that netted them first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini and catcher Christian Vazquez. The veteran bats will fortify the AL West favorites.
Mancini has 95 hits and an OPSs of .749 in 93 games this season. He can occupy a corner outfield spot opposite Kyle Tucker and serve as a solid pinch hitter. Vazquez has an OPS of .757 and 83 hits in 85 games, making him a massive upgrade over Martin Maldonado.
The Astros also trimmed their pitching rotation and added a new bullpen arm by swapping Jake Odorizzi for Will Smith of the Atlanta Braves. The veteran has a 4.38 ERA this season.
Although the Astros failed to get the reliable help in center field that they were hoping for, they added two key pieces as they look to return to the World Series. If Smith bounces back, he could be a key piece for Houston in the postseason.
3. Minnesota Twins
In addition to their biggest division rivals not making any serious moves, the Twins got to work at the MLB trade deadline. With three new arms, their pitching staff should be even better as they look to make a deep playoff run.
Perhaps the most surprising move is that they acquired Jorge Lopez from the Baltimore Orioles. Despite being in the playoff race, the O's traded their All-Star closer. His 1.68 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 48.1 innings will make him a terrific addition to the Minnesota bullpen.
Minnesota also picked up Tyler Mahle from the Reds and Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers. Mahle has a 4.40 ERA but, as new teammate Carlos Correa pointed out, still has a ton of red on his Baseball Savant page. Fulmer has a 3.29 ERA this season and should be a key bullpen arm along with Lopez.
The Yankees, owners of the best record in baseball, made several moves to bolster their star-studded roster.
They started by trading for Andrew Benintendi. Acquiring the Kansas City Royals' All-Star upgraded their outfield and gave them an upgrade over Joey Gallo, who eventually got dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Benintendi's ability to rack up hits will make him a great fit next to all the power hitters New York boasts.
To complement Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, the Yankees also landed Frankie Montas. The Oakland Athletics' righty was one of the most coveted players at the MLB trade deadline. New York boosted its bullpen by acquiring Lou Trivino along with Montas and Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs. With closer Clay Holmes struggling as of late, it makes sense to add more arms.
One head-scratching move the Yankees made was to trade Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for Harison Bader. New York's outfield was already good to go and they still needed another pitcher. Bader should still be an excellent backup/defensive option in center field.
Even with the Bader trade, the Yankees added some very good talent to help them in their pursuit of championship No. 28.
1. San Diego Padres
I hope you didn't expect anyone else here. The San Diego Padres could have made just one move and still be the ultimate winners of the 2022 MLB trade deadline.
Trading for Juan Soto instantly makes the team much better now and will make them one of the best teams for years to come. His generational hitting abilities make their lineup scary when Fernando Tatis Jr. comes back and gives the Padres another 23-year-old superstar to build around for the future. Seeing three of their best prospects go will be tough but landing a superstar roughly the same age as them is absolutely worth it.
The Padres made the Soto deal even sweeter by acquiring Josh Bell. By rerouting Eric Hosmer to the Boston Red Sox, they got better hitting at first base. They also got Drury, a utility man in the midst of the best hitting season of his career.
San Diego also pulled off one of the more surprising moves by acquiring star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers. Although he has not been very good this season, returning to his old form (or at least approaching it) would make him a very good addition to the Padres' bullpen.
Padres general manager A.J. Preller lives for making big moves and did just that at the 2022 MLB trade deadline.