Winners and losers from the 2022 MLB trade deadline

·4 min read

Winners and losers from the 2022 MLB trade deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2022 MLB trade deadline did not disappoint.

Stars were on the move, contenders strengthened their rosters and there was a mad dash to the 6 p.m. ET cutoff. Still, one move stands above the rest.

Which teams are on the rise after the deadline, and which ones left fans feeling disappointed?

Here are three winners and three losers from the last week of chaos across baseball.

Winner: San Diego stardom

The San Diego Padres stole the spotlight at the trade deadline.

They made the blockbuster of all blockbusters, acquiring Washington Nationals phenom Juan Soto, along with first baseman Josh Bell, in exchange for six prospects. Soto has put together a historic start to his career at just 23 years old, and now he moves from a struggling franchise to one with October aspirations. As if that wasn’t good enough, the Padres also reeled in star reliever Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

Now, Soto does not have a long-term deal yet, so the amount of time he will spend in San Diego is undetermined. But if Soto can bolster a roster that already features Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, the Padres could win something much bigger than the trade deadline.

Loser: DMV baseball fans

Both teams in the Battle of the Beltways said goodbye to a beloved player.

Losing Soto is a major blow for Nationals fans, but it’s one they’ve become increasingly accustomed to in recent years. Washington has failed to hang onto five major contributors from their 2019 World Series squad: Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and now Soto. Going back to the year before, the team also let Bryce Harper join the division rival Philadelphia Phillies. As NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes put it, Nationals fans deserve much better.

About 40 miles northeast, the Baltimore Orioles also dealt a pair of key contributors. They sent Trey Mancini, the team’s longest-tenured player, to Houston and dealt All-Star closer Jorge López to Minnesota. Even as the squad turned its season around and entered the AL Wild Card hunt, the Orioles ultimately decided to sell once again.

Winner: AL’s top teams

The New York Yankees and Houston Astros are trying to one-up each other in the standings, and they also went toe-to-toe at the deadline.

The Yankees got the early start by bringing in All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals. They proceeded to add a much-needed starter in Frankie Montas, along with reliever Lou Trivino, from the Oakland Athletics. On Tuesday, they capped things off by adding former St. Louis Cardinal Harrison Bader to their outfield.

Houston didn’t make nearly as many moves as New York, but it made some effective ones. The Astros reeled in Mancini from the Orioles and added another Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez. They also brought in reliever Will Smith from the Atlanta Braves for Jake Odorizzi, though Smith has struggled this season.

The Yankees and Astros are potentially on a collision course in October, and both sides made moves to brace for that battle.

Loser: NL’s top team

The Los Angeles Dodgers entered deadline day with a four-game lead over any other NL club. Things have clearly been working in L.A., but the team’s quiet deadline allowed some other contenders to close the gap.

As mentioned before, the Padres put the league on notice by adding Soto, Bell and Hader. The NL East-leading New York Mets also added a handful of pieces to round out their roster. 

The Dodgers’ only notable addition was Joey Gallo. The former Yankees outfielder owns a .159 and has 106 strikeouts in 233 at-bats this season. He mentioned how he was desperately seeking a change of scenery, so maybe the palm trees in L.A. will help him get back on track in Dodger blue.

Winner: Minnesota Twins

Circling back to López, he was one of three key pitchers the AL Central-leading Twins brought in. Minnesota also reeled in reliever Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers and starter Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds

The Twins still have a ways to go to get to the level of the other two AL division leaders, but their deadline moves show they want to compete in October.

Loser: Boston Red Sox' planning

Just like their record, the Red Sox seemed split at the trade deadline.

When they moved off from their starting catcher in Vazquez, it seemed like the 52-52 Sox were going to be sellers at the deadline. Instead, they teetered back into buyer’s territory by acquiring Eric Hosmer, Tommy Pham and Reese McGuire.

The team held onto All-Star J.D. Martinez through the deadline. He is a free agent after this season, though, and the Red Sox haven’t made progress at keeping its other two All-Stars, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, for years to come.

Despite making additions at the deadline, Red Sox fans could still see a Nationals-esque departure of key players in the near future.