2018 Major League Baseball August Trade Deadline Recap (Giuseppe)

The August Trade Deadline has officially ended, so here is a quick recap of the deals that were made prior to the Deadline’s conclusion. Up first, Andrew McCutchen.

New York Yankees Acquire Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen was traded for the first time in his career this past offseason to the San Francisco for right-hander Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and cash. Prior to the August Trade Deadline, the 2013 National League’s Most Valuable Player was traded again, this time to the New York Yankees, for infielder Abiatal Avelino, right-hander Juan De Paula, and cash considerations.

The former longtime face of the Pittsburgh Pirates has batted an underwhelming .255 with 15 homers, 55 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases in 130 games this season. McCutchen will be given a good deal of playing time with superstar Aaron Judge out after getting hit by a pitch in July and star slugger Giancarlo Stanton experiencing hamstring tightness.

The Giants received a solid haul for McCutchen, with Abiatal Avelino hitting a combined .287 with 15 homers, 66 RBIs and 25 steals at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes/Barre and Double-A Trenton, while pitcher Juan De Paula was at Class A Staten Island this season, going 2-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 10 pitching appearances (nine starts). The Yankees are clearly getting insurance heading into the Playoffs while the Giants are building for the future.

Colorado Rockies Acquire Drew Butera 

The Kansas City Royals traded Drew Butera to the Colorado Rockies for pitcher Jerry Vasto with the Deadline closing in. Brew Butera has had a very Drew Butera-like season, hitting a slash line of .188/.259/.289 in 166 plate appearances across 51 games. Butera has Salvador Perez’s backup this season and will play alongside Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters in Colorado.

Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson has had the worst season of his Major League career in 2018, posting a 2-5 record with a 5.28 ERA. Despite this, it was not bad enough for the Dodgers to not swoop in and take a chance on Madson, all while giving up a player to be named later in the process.

Milwaukee Brewers Acquire Xavier Cedeno

The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Xavier Cedeno to bolster their already fantastic bullpen prior to the Deadline. Cedeno has been an absolute stud through 33 relief appearances this year, posting a 2.84 ERA. Cedeno has been particularly good against lefties this season, holding them to just a .209 batting average. This was a solid move for Milwaukee even though it is undisclosed as to who will be packing their bags for Chicago in this deal.

Oakland A’s Acquire Cory Gearrin

The Oakland Athletics bolstered their rotation as they prepare for a Playoff run with the acquisition of reliever Cody Gearrin, who has posted a solid 3.51 ERA in 56 appearances with the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers in 2018. The Rangers will receive minor league right-handers Abdiel Mendoza and Teodoro Ortega in the deal.

Milwaukee Brewers Acquire Gio Gonzalez

The Milwaukee Brewers turned heads prior to the Deadline when they traded infield prospects KJ Harrison and Gilbert Lara for pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

Gonzalez had an outstanding 2017 season and was even a candidate for the National League Cy Young Award. Gio Gonzalez has had a far less impressive season, posting a 7-11 record in 27 starts with a 4.57 ERA through 145 2/3 innings in 2018. Gonzalez’s month of August has been even worse with him posting a 7.47 ERA over just 31 1/3 innings as Gonzalez has struggled to make it past the fifth inning in five of his seven August starts. Gonzalez and the Brewers are hoping that a new uniform will make a difference for Gonzalez.

Gio Gonzalez is still owed $2 million of the $12 million club option that was exercised for the 2018 Major League Baseball season and Gonzalez is supposed to be a free agency in the fall, meaning that Gonzalez will need to step up his game big time if he would like to sign a big deal this offseason.

Cleveland Indians Acquire Josh Donaldson 

Josh Donaldson began the 2018 season with an unimpressive .234/.333/.423 batting line through his first 159 plate appearances and after sustaining a calf injury in mid-May, the Toronto Blue Jays have been looking to get rid of the injured 2015 American league Most Valuable Player. Toronto was finally able to do so when Cleveland called prior to the Deadline and offered the Jays a player to be named later. While Donaldson has just begun his rehab stint, it is not totally impossible that he will be playing at some point this month. Donaldson gives the Indians flexibility in their lineup and will likely be playing a good deal of second base with Jason Kipnis moving to the outfield.

Milwaukee Brewers Acquire Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson signed a 1-year, $5 Million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays prior to the 2018 season and Granderson has thus far hit an underwhelming .243/.340/.429 batting line with 11 home runs, and a .769 OPS 348 plate appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018. The Toronto Blue Jays are now done with Granderson and “the Grandyman” will now rep a Milwaukee Brewers jersey for the rest of 2018.

The Toronto Blue Jays will acquire minor leaguer Demi Orimoloye in exchange for Curtis Granderson in the deal. Orimoloye was promoted to High-A Carolina in June of 2018 and has posted a combined .247/.322/.391 with 12 home runs, 22 stolen bases, and a .713 OPS in 522 plate appearances at the Single-A and High-A levels.

Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire David Freese 

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded David Freese to the Los Angeles Dodgers in return for minor league infielder Jesus Manuel Valdez before the Deadline.

David Freese has been one of the most consistent hitters on the Pirates during their surprising Postseason run, hitting .282/.336/.444 with 9 home runs and a .780 OPS through 265 plate appearances. Freese will most likely assume a utility role with Los Angeles behind Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger.

The reason the deal was made, as stated by Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington, stated that the club “made the difficult decision to trade David to give him an opportunity to pursue a World Series Championship.” While this was most likely not the only reason that David Freese is being traded, it is a logical explanation.

Jesus Manuel Valdez had a brief stint in the Dominican Summer League in 2018, hitting .230/.343/.412 with 21 extra-base hits, 16 stolen bases and a .755 OPS in 242 plate appearances.

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