Have you caught your breath yet? This trade deadline did not disappoint. We waited and waited and waited for movements, and then they came, fast and furious.
Now that the dust has settled on the 2022 trade deadline and I shared my notes for all 30 teamslet’s have fun with finite superlatives.
So, here are my 39 picks for the best, worst and everything in between of this year’s trade season, starting with the historic blockbuster that captivated the sport.
Worst business: The Angels. They traded their closer, Raisel Iglesiaswho they signed to a four-year, $58 million deal last offseason, to the Braves for intermediate journeyman (Jesse Chavez) and a sixth or seventh starting pitcher on a winning team (Tucker Davidson).
Biggest surprise deal: The yankees and Cardinalswho came together in a trade right before the deadline that sent a left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis for a center fielder Harrison Baderwho is on the injured list.
Weirdest business: The Metswho traded JD DavisThomas Szapucki, Carson Seymour and Nick Zwack for There reputation. I’m not sure why they had to give up four players for a platoon power hitter with huge holes at the plate.
Worst job standing: The White Socks. I think they needed to add offense or improve their pitching staff to give this team a jolt.
Best position player traded: Soto This is why.
Best alignment fit: Soto, who will later be sandwiched between Ferando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado in the stacked alignment of the priests, so that teams will not be able to arrange around him as they did when he was with Washington.
A power hitter who will benefit the most from a trade: The right-wing strike Trey Manciniwho left the vast left field at Camden Yards for the comfortable confines in left at Minute Maid Park.
Pitcher that will benefit the most from trade: Castillo, who no longer has to make half of his starts at Great American Small Park.
Teams that improved their defense the most: The Yankees, who acquired Gold Glove outfielders for left field (Andres Benintendi) and center field (Bader), and the Phillies, who added a shortstop Edmund Sosa and center fielder Brandon Marsh.
Teams that improved their rotation and bullpen the most: The Yankees, who acquired Montas for their rotation and Lou Trivino and Effross for their bull church. The Twins who added Tyler Mahle to their rotation and López and Michael Fulmer to their bull church and to the Affiliates (Noah Syndergaard, David Robertson) also did well.
Most creative GM: Padres president of baseball operations AJ Preller, who found a way to move Eric Hosmer to Boston after San Diego had to replace Luke Voit into the trade with the Nationals because Hosmer used his no-trade clause to void the original deal.
GM who did the best job of rebuilding without having to trade Soto: Nick Krall of the Reds. My final hire as Reds GM in 2003 was to hire Nick, who was an intern with the A’s, as a baseball operations assistant. He made me proud this deadline, especially when he executed the significant trades with Seattle and Minnesota that put the Reds on the right path to rebuilding their franchise.
Best use of unlimited texting: Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who made four impact acquisitions that put the Yankees in their best position to win a world championship since their last in 2009.
Best contract add-on: The Braves, who signed a third baseman Austin Riley to a club-friendly 10-year, $212 million deal. Riley is one of the best right-handed power hitters in the game and a complete player. This extension should also help the Red Sox in their ongoing contract negotiations with a third baseman Rafael Devers.
GM who asked for too much in trades: Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and GM Carter Hawkins. They missed an opportunity to cash in when they couldn’t trade an All-Star catcher Willson Contreraswho will be a free agent after this season.
Player who should have been traded but wasn’t: Charles Rodon. Based on the returns the Reds got for Castillo and the A’s for Montas, the Giants may have missed out on significant prospects for a pitcher they likely won’t be able to re-sign after this season if he opts out as expected.
A player who was traded who shouldn’t have been: Christian Vazquez. The Red Sox were caught between buying and selling, but I think they were close enough in the wild card race that they had to keep Vázquez, given his value to their pitching staff and clubhouse.
Best early return: Drury, who hit a grand slam in his first at-bat for the Padres.
Team that did the most damage to the clubhouse: The Red Sox, who had a team leader Xander Bogaerts publicly unsure of what his front office was doing.
Team that improved clubhouse the most: The priests – no further explanation needed.
Best player traded who was on the IL: Bader, who has plantar fasciitis in his right foot and is not close to returning.
The fastest player traded: Joseph Sirithat went from the Astros to the Radios as part of the three-team trade that also involved the Orioles. Siri ranks in the 100th percentile in speed. He can totally fly.
Player most frustrated by the deadline: Eric Hosmer, who was initially part of the Soto package, was headed to the Nationals, but they were on his no-trade list and he declined the move. Then he was traded to the Red Sox. He didn’t want to leave San Diego.
Best Hairstyle Treated: It’s a tie between Syndergaard and Bader.
Fanbase that popped the most champagne: Seattle. For the first time in 21 years, it looks like they’re headed to the postseason after acquiring Castillo, arguably the highest-rated starting pitcher to be traded.
Fan bases that have heard crickets: The White Sox (one trade), Rangers (one) and Rockies (zero).
OK, now I need your help. Please join the fun and add this list of superlatives in the comments section.
(Top photo by Juan Soto: Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)