On a wild trade deadline day, the Yankees made their move.
Big transactions marked the annual trade deadline of Major League Baseball, but all the teams that garnered the headlines were the ones with big leagues in their divisions. Except the New York Yankees.
The Bronx Bombers solidified a pitching rotation to go with their lights-out bullpen and big bashing lineup and emerged the odds-on favorite to run away with the American League East. The Tampa Bay Rays did nothing and the Red Sox did not do enough, and both will have trouble keeping up with the Yanks.
The Dodgers, well on their way to clinching the National League West, traded for Yu Darvish of the Rangers and the Washington Nationals got closer Brandon Kintzler from the Twins to shore up the team’s only weakness. With the Cubs hot enough to give fan Steve Bartman, villain of the 2003 playoffs, a World Series ring, they’ll be in the NL mix for sure.
The Houston Astros are 16 games up in the American League West but the other two divisions are in dog fights right now.
The Yankees proved they are most serious about getting back into the playoffs and to the World Series for the first time in nearly 10 years. In the last week, they have traded for third baseman Todd Frazier, a home run hitter to join Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and the other Bombers, then obtained starter Jaime Garcia from the Twins and, right on the trading deadline, completed negotiations with the A’s to get quasi-ace Sonny Gray to right a rotation that was their only weakness.
The Red Sox, preseason favorites in the American League, made a decent trade to land utility man Eduardo Nunez from the Giants and Mets’ reliever Addison Reed, who they hope will help their struggling middle-innings bullpen. Compared to the Yankees and with 13 more games between the arch rivals, Boston will be lucky to stay in the race for a wild-card berth.
Guess the Yankees were tired of being the forgotten team in the American League. They are no longer.
(Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)