Major League Baseball's trade deadline passed on Tuesday with a number of much-rumored players still on their current squads. The Chicago Cubs kept Matt Garza, Josh Johnson stayed with the Miami Marlins, and Cliff Lee is still in Philadelphia.
Let's take a look at the teams that helped themselves the most at the trade deadline:
The White Sox are a surprise contender in the American League. Chicago currently holds a 2 1/2-game lead over the pre-season favorite Detroit Tigers. White Sox GM Kenny Williams is known for his aggressive moves and this trade deadline was no different. Williams acquired third baseman Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox in late June. Youkilis has posted a .809 OPS in 30 games with the Pale Hose. When the White Sox lost pitcher John Danks to a season-ending injury, Williams countered by dealing for pitchers Brett Myers and Francisco Liriano. The White Sox hope that Williams' maneuvering is enough to hold off the hard-charging Tigers.
The Tigers have been one of baseball's biggest enigmas this season. The team has failed to take command of the AL Central, despite adding Prince Fielder to the defending division champs. Detroit filled two major holes with the additions of Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from the Marlins. Sanchez should be a solid No. 3 starter behind Justin Verlander and Doug Fister. Infante will take over at second base, where Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn provided little offense.
Kansas City Royals
It may seem odd to include a team well under .500 as a deadline winner, but the Royals pulled off an excellent trade with the Cincinnati Reds. Kansas City dealt reliever Jonathon Broxton to Cincinnati in return for minor league pitchers J.C. Sulbaran and Donnie Joseph. The 22-year old Sulbaran has registered 449 strikeouts in 413 2/3 minor league innings. Joseph looks like he may be ready for a shot at the major leagues. The 24-year-old Joesph (LH) has posted a 1.72 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 18 saves in 44 games between Double-A and Triple-A this season. Broxton was having a solid season as the Royals' closer, but he will be a free agent following the season.
Los Angeles Dodgers
No team helped itself more than the Dodgers. The new ownership group has loosened the purse strings in pursuit of a National League West Division crown. The additions of Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino will provide much-needed lineup protection for Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. The Dodgers also added bullpen depth with the acquisitions of Brandon League and Randy Choate. The Dodgers have transformed themselves from a surprise contender to NL West favorite over the past week.
Los Angeles Angels
The Dodgers weren't the only team in Southern California making noise. The Angels traded three prospects to the Milwaukee Brewers to acquire former American League Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. The addition of Greinke coupled with Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson gives the Angels three front-line starters. The Angels have the first-place Texas Rangers in their sights. No one will want to face the Angels and that impressive rotation in October.
*Information provided by http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams.
Dan Soderberg is a freelance baseball writer who hopes to one day retire to the Wrigley Field bleachers.