In what has been a wild and hectic MLB Trade Deadline this far, the Central divisions in both the National League and American League have been the most active in acquiring and letting go of big-name players and pieces.
In the AL Central, the White Sox are clearly in win-now mode judging off the moves they have made, but the teams who trail them by a large margin in the division have decided to flip some of their big names for younger talent.
In the NL Central, the Brewers have continued to stretch out their lead in the division that now sits at 7 games. Because of that, they hit the trade market looking for veteran MLB talent to help them make a push for the pennant. With the Reds also sitting a clear five games above .500, they also made a few moves to improve their MLB roster.
Here is what has transpired thus far in the Central Divisions.
Cubs trade LHP Andrew Chafin to A’s
This trade was one of the first of the week and the first of many on the way for the Cubs, who were expected to hold a full-on fire sale. Chafin is a reliever who has posted a 2.06 ERA on the season, and he will help bolster the back part of the Athletics bullpen.
The Athletics already have solid relievers and a good closer in Lou Trevino, so expect Chafin to play a mid relief type of role.
In return, the Cubs got right-handed pitching prospect Daniel Palencia and outfielder Greg Deichmann. Deichmann is expected to make a trip to the MLB sooner rather than later, but Palencia is an intriguing prospect.
Some metrics had him listed within the top prospects for the A’s, and others will put him outside the top 50, he will be one to watch.
LHP Justin Wilson and RHP Luis Cessa head to the Reds from the Yankees for a player to be named
Luis Cessa was the victim of moves on the Yankees end to try to clear up spots on the 40 man roster and to alleviate any stress on the luxury tax. But for the Reds, they added a solid bullpen arm, one that was the highlight of a struggling Yankees unit so far this year.
Rockies trade RHP Mychal Givens to Reds for RHP Noah Davis and RHP Case Willams
Another relief pitcher is headed to Cincinnati, and this time it is Mychal Givens. The trade is not mind-boggling or eye-catching, but Givens has posted a 2.73 ERA for the Rockies this season, and when you play at Cole’s Field, that is very admirable.
The Reds give up two relief arms from the minors in this deal, but with the acquisition of Cessa from the Yankees and now Givens, the bullpen looks strong for the Reds, something that has been their biggest struggle this season.
Brewers acquire infielder Eduardo Escobar from the Diamondbacks for prospects
Milwaukee added an All-Star in this deal, albeit Escobar made it as the designated All-Star for the Diamondbacks.
Either way, he is still a valuable switch-hitting batter and has some pop in his bat, which can relieve some of the issues the Brewers have had.
This was a simple move in which the Diamondbacks, the worst team in baseball, unload a veteran for prospects. Not much else to see here.
Indians trade second baseman Cesar Hernandez to White Sox for left-handed pitcher Konnor Pilkington
Here is an inter-divisional trade that signals the Indians’ belief that they have little to no shot of catching the White Sox in the AL Central.
The White Sox find a replacement at second base after Nick Madrigal went down early this season, and Cesar Hernandez will more than fill that role. He has 18 home runs on the season, along with 47 RBIs.
In exchange for the capable bat, the Indians acquired minor league arm Konnor Pilkington. He has spent all of his time in Double-A this season, posting a 3.48 ERA. While this isn’t outstanding, this is good value for the Indians and adds depth to their prospect pool.
Royals unload pitcher Danny Duffy in trade to the Dodgers
Before the Dodgers landed Max Scherzer in a deal from the Nationals on Thursday night, Duffy was the biggest piece they had landed.
With Scherzer and Duffy now in the fold, the Dodgers once again have a scary rotation. Gonsolin can head back to more of a relief role while Duffy and Scherzer take on the starts.
For the Royals, this was expected. Duffy is still injured and has not done much to help them this season. With Duffy starting to age and his contract expiring after this season, this is a no-brainer move.
In return, the Royals will get cash and a player to be named later.
Cubs trade long time first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees
It started with Chafin, but now the Cubs have let go of one of the more historic players in their franchise’s history. Rizzo was a huge part in the Cubs’ first World Series in 108 years.
Like Gallo, Rizzo adds another left-handed bat to their righty-heavy lineup. At the age of 31, Rizzo isn’t quite the player he used to be, but he has 14 home runs and 40 RBIs on the season and can be useful for the Yankees lineup. Rizzo will most likely be a rental for the Yankees as his contract expires this season.
Coming to the Cubs will be pitcher Alexander Vizcaino and outfielder Kevin Alcantara. According to MLB.com, the two prospects will slide right into the top of the prospect pool for the Cubs.
Vizcaino possesses a nasty fastball to change-up combo but will need to improve on his slider to be a solid starter.
For Alcantara, he has positives that can be seen everywhere in his game. He is 6’6, nearly 200lbs, and can field well in the outfield. He is projected to have plus power from the plate and has shown great IQ.
While they had to let go of a franchise cornerstone, the Cubs got some solid pieces.
Next up to let go, Kris Bryant.