Trade Deadline Dust Settles: A Look at the American League West
Well, the MLB trade deadline for 2021 has passed. The Houston Astros’ trades and moves says that they were happy with the state of the team beyond the need to improve the bullpen. They went out and confidently grabbed a couple of arms to hold those high-leverage innings.
As for the rest of the American League West, there certainly wasn’t a lack of moves to discuss from divisional rivals. So, while we aren’t necessarily grading each trade, we are going to take a look at the trades from a players-exchanged perspective to see how AL West did at the trade deadline to discuss how it impacts the Astros down the final stretch in 2021.
With the Astros adding arms, what other AL West teams bolstered their rosters at the trade deadline?
- Andrew Chafin – LHP
- Starling Marte – OF
- Yan Gomes – C
- Josh Harrison – 2B
Players Given Up:
- Greg Deichmann – 1B (prospect)
- Daniel Palencia – RHP (prospect)
- Jesus Luzardo – RHP
- Richard Guasch – RHP (prospect)
- Seth Shuman – RHP (prospect)
- Drew Millas – C (prospect)
The Oakland Athletics seemed to have had two big objectives prior to the deadline. In order to make strides in catching the Astros and/or create separation between the Mariners, they needed to secure bullpen help and add a productive outfield bat to the lineup.
That’s exactly what they did. The A’s kicked off their moves with a trade for Andrew Chafin, left-handed reliever from the Chicago Cubs. After losing Trevor Rosenthal for the season due to a hip surgery, it was imperative that the A’s find a way to add someone to compliment Yusmeiro Petit, as backups to Lou Trevino and Jake Diekman. Chafin can do just that. He was having a solid season with the Cubs sporting an ERA of 2.04 over 39.3 innings prior to being traded, per Baseball Reference.
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The biggest wave made by the Oakland Athletics was their exchange of Jesús Luzardo for one of the best rental players on the market, Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins. Now if you ask Astros fans on Twitter, they would probably try to convince you the A’s made the move simply to block the Astros from acquiring Marte.
However, the realty is that the A’s paid a hefty price to add a much-needed offense bat to their outfield. Per Baseball Reference, Marte has accumulated a slash line of .306/.407/.453 in Miami. When compared to A’s team slash line .233/.312/.402, Marte is going to be a much welcomed addition. So much so that Ramón Laureano volunteered to slide over to right field to make room for Marte, per Matt Kawahara of The San Francisco Chronicle.
The Oakland A’s were already a solid team. However, they had to make some serious moves to keep playoff hopes alive with Astros and Mariners surging. With the addition of Chafin, Marte, two-time All-Star, Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes, I do think we will see the Athletics creep up higher in the standings. While on paper the Astros have the better team, in terms of talent top to bottom, the Athletics will prove to be a feisty competitor down the stretch.