Trade season is upon us in the MLB, and with it brings the dream scenarios that every fan throws around. Wanting to get the best players while at the same time not giving up any talent in return, the trade deadline brings out the best of front offices all across the league, as franchises look to make moves to set themselves up to succeed and make the playoffs.
Blockbuster trades seem to be the most pandered-around transactions in all of the professional sports, but more often than not these are also the same deals that do not get done. With hopes that 2019 marks a changing of the guard in this area, here are five blockbuster deals that would turn the game of baseball absolutely on its head.
Braves help Detroit become World Series champs… in 2023
Braves acquire: SP Matthew Boyd, OF/3B Nicholas Castellanos
Tigers acquire: OF Austin Riley, RHP Kyle Wright, LHP Kolby Allard, 3B C.J. Alexander, PTBNL, international slot money
Coming out of the gates super hard, the Atlanta Braves and the Detroit Tigers link up for what would easily equate to being a blockbuster deal. With the type of superstar farm system that the Braves have developed, they have plenty of weapons to shell out if looking for a top option, which, surprisingly enough, the Tigers own two of.
Both Matthew Boyd and Nicholas Castellanos have been semi-hot names running through the MLB rumor mill, as Boyd constitutes a really good young pitcher who is controllable for a lot of years and Castellanos is the plug-and-play slugger who plays multiple positions and gives you solid defense in the field.
For this deal to work, the Braves have to open up a slot in their outfield, and rookie starlet Austin Riley looks to be the odd man out, as both Ronald Acuna Jr. and Nick Markakis are not going anywhere. Riley, as it looks, is not the headliner of the deal but is the most MLB-ready prospect, currently biding his time as the Braves’ starting left fielder.
For Detroit, their rebuild would be expedited with this deal, as Castellanos is at the end of his deal and will not be returning to the struggling Tigers, while Boyd looks to be their ace of the future. However, if Boyd can fetch a prospect package that looks like something above, then the Tigers would have to be inclined to move the young starter if it meant shoring up other aspects of their team.
Phillies decided to back up the Brinks trucks for their salary sheet
Phillies acquire: SP Zach Greinke, OF Adam Jones
Diamondbacks acquire: SP JoJo Romero, C Rafael Marchan, LHP Manuel Silva
Running out of prospects to give up, the Philadelphia Phillies have put themselves in a hard spot, falling way behind the first-place Braves and even behind the surging Washington Nationals. Fully committed to competing this season, their rumored interest in Zach Greinke comes true, but for a bit of a price.
Currently the only player on the Diamondbacks roster that is owed over $10 million this season, Greinke’s production has been stellar, as the 35-year-old starter continues to hone his craft. But pitching in the desert can take its toll, but so can playing in front of Phillies fans too.
Greinke is a solid option to plug into the starting rotation for the Phillies, pairing him with Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, which would probably move newly-signed starter Drew Smyly or Vince Velasquez to the bullpen for long relief.
In terms of prospects, the Diamondbacks will determine the type of prospects they receive based on how much of Greinke’s bloated $34+ million deal they decide to pay off for this season. In this case, the D-Backs do not budge and hold onto their money, which in turn keeps the Phillies from offering up any top-five prospects in their system.
Arizona received the seventh, 14th, and 29th-best prospects in the Phillies system, but with the flux of prospects that Philadelphia’s system has seen recently, they would most likely be rated no higher than 15th anyways.
Cubs hit full send on securing the NL Central, receive help from their northern neighbor
Cubs acquire: SP Marcus Stroman, SS Freddy Galvis, RP Ken Giles
Blue Jays acquire: OF Kyle Schwarber, C Miguel Amaya, LHP Justin Steele, 2B/SS Trent Giambone, SS/3B Luis Verdugo
In what looks like one of the largest deals involving a number of players, the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays match up on a deal that finally sends starting pitcher Marcus Stroman into the United States, while the Blue Jays jump-start their youthful core and improve their chances of quickening the rebuild.
By acquiring Stroman, the Cubs are betting that he can match up well with Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, and others in the rotation, as Darvish has been an expensive disaster ever since signing with the Cubbies. Freddy Galvis is the team’s utility man, helping shore up a few defensive areas with Ben Zobrist on leave, and Ken Giles is another solid late-inning option for manager Joe Maddon to run out there to help protect a lead.
The Blue Jays get the Cubs’ second, eighth, 20th, and 28th-best prospects as well as Kyle Schwarber, who looks like the best designated hitter in a National League player’s body that we have ever seen. Finally being given a chance to succeed with regular playing time, Schwarber will be a great addition to help power the Blue Jays offense, while the rest of the prospects go to the minors and will help this team later down the road.
Astros steal from the youth of the Reds
Astros acquire: SP Luis Castillo, UT Derek Dietrich
Reds acquire: OF Kyle Tucker, RHP J.B. Bukauskas, OF/1B Seth Beer, RHP Tyler Ivey
Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds has been a sneaky name being floated around the trade circles, and the Reds, while not saying he will not be dealt, has said that it will take an extremely large offer to ship him out.
Enter the Houston Astros.
With the American League West all but wrapped up, the Astros are on their way to shoring up their roster for the playoffs. Needing to add a starting pitcher to the mix, they have the farm pieces to make this work, centralized around prized prospect Kyle Tucker.
Tucker, along with fireballer Forrest Whitley, are some of the top prized prospects in all of baseball, and in order to get Castillo, they will need to give up one. With Whitley holding more value, Tucker is blocked for the time being in the majors and thus he is sent out to the National League Central.
As well as Castillo, the Reds ship out free-spirited utility man Derek Dietrich, who finally brings a sense of positionless baseball back to this team after they let Marwin Gonzalez leave. Along with Tucker, J.B. Bukauskas is a solid get, Seth Beer is a cool name and a solid-looking DH, and Tyler Ivey projects to be a solid arm that leans more MLB bullpen.
The Astros may need to give up more than this to get Castillo, but Tucker’s value is high and he may be enough to keep the ancillary pieces low.
Bumgarner is forced to go clean-shaven – how will he fare not being able to bat?
Yankees acquire: LHP Madison Bumgarner
Giants acquire: RHP Deivi Garcia, C Anthony Seigler, international signing money
As has been a consistent topic for the past few trade deadlines, where will Madison Bumgarner be traded?
In this situation, he will don the pinstripes and lose the facial hair, give up his batting privileges and be forced to live up to countless strong left-handed starters before him for the Yankees. While no situation is too big for him, Bumgarner will be tasked with keeping the Yankees on track, which can be difficult to do as the season wears on.
For the Giants, they finally move on from Bumgarner while getting a decent package in return, highlighted by pitcher Deivi Garcia, who looks to be a solid player and just entered the top 100 prospects ranking with the Milwaukee Brewers’ Keston Hiura graduating due to accumulated service time.
Catcher Anthony Seigler is no slouch either, but he is slated to make his debut a bit farther down the road, so the real prize here is Garcia, who has pitched at the A+, AA, and AAA levels all in 2019 and is on a fast track to the MLB.