The MLB trade deadline is at 4 pm on Monday, August 1st, and with players such as Aroldis Chapman, Eduardo Nunez and Andrew Cashner already playing for new teams, Saturday saw a plethora of completed deals; with closer Mark Melancon going from Pittsburgh to Washington and the Padres and Braves completing a swap of bad contracts highlighting the activity. Here is the recap of the three completed deals, with more likely to come on Sunday:

– The Nationals finally got the closer they have been pining for all season without having to part with any of their top prospects, as they trade lefty reliever Felipe Rivero and Single-A lefty Taylor Hearn to the Pirates for Melancon and $500,000. Melancon has saved 120 games over the last four seasons, with a league-leading 50 last season and 30 in 45 appearances this year. This will push struggling close Jonathon Papelbon into an eighth inning role.

For the Pirates, Tony Watson and Neftali Feliz figure to split closing duties, while Rivero figures to be involved in the seventh or eighth innings if he can deliver on his potential. On the surface, he fits the bill of the type of pitcher Pittsburgh has become famous for turning into a dominant reliever, like they once did with Melancon. While this is more of a ‘look to the future’ trade for the Pirates, its not one that totally takes them out of a playoff hunt this season.

– The Oakland A’s traded speedy outfielder Billy Burns to the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Brett Eibner. Burns, 26, fits the mold of the type of player that has thrived in KC over recent seasons, as he is a solid fielder with plenty of speed who has a high contact rate and has only struck out in 13 percent of his total major league plate appearances. He has struggled this season, but stole 26 bases with a .294 batting average while finishing fifth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting last season. This could be a steal for the Royals if they can get Burns back on the right track.

As for the A’s they get a player in Eibner who has been a top-20 prospect for the Royals the last two seasons, but at age 27 seems a little old to still be considered a ‘prospect.’ He has mashed in the minor leagues, hitting 37 homers with a .280 average in parts of three seasons at Triple-A.

– The Padres continued their rebuilding ways, as Matt Kemp became the latest player traded this season, joining Drew Pomeranz, James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea, Fernando Rodney, and Melvin Upton, Jr among those from their opening day roster who are no longer in San Diego. In a straight salary dump, the Padres send Kemp and $10.5 million to the Braves for third baseman Hector Olivera, who they promptly designated for assignment. Olivera, currently serving a suspension through Aug. 1 under MLB’s domestic violence policy after being arrested and charged with assault of a woman at a Washington D.C.-area hotel back in early April, was acquired by the Braves in a 13-player deal last season after signing with the Dodgers for six years in May of 2015. He is owed over $46 million over the next four years, while Kemp is owed $64.5 million over the next three seasons, which means the Padres will save about $25.5 million due to the trade.

Neither the Braves nor Padres wanted any part of Olivera, who hasn’t produced at the plate in either the minors or Majors since signing a six-year deal with the Dodgers in 2015 and also comes with a very poor defensive reputation. The Braves can only hope that Kemp, whose defensive ability has gone south and has difficulty getting on base (24 home runs despite a .262 average and .285 OBP this season), can regain some of his past ability to make him look viable in a trade next season.

The trade market is heating up in advance of the Monday trade deadline, and with Jonathan Lucroy, Jay Bruce, Vince Velasquez and others still available, the action should continue through the weekend.

Related Posts:




You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment