The Good, Bad and Ugly: Revisiting players dealt during 2022 MLB Trade Deadline
The 2022 MLB Trade deadline is nearly a month old.
It might be too early to evaluate each trade. Players are oftentimes moved to contending teams for prospects — and you and I both know that it’s usually premature to assess how prospects have performed just one month after a trade. It does become worth it, however, if the main player traded exceeds expectations with their new MLB team, especially if that results in a World Series. Then it’s worth it (in my view, for the most part).
That said, unfortunately, we’re not there yet. Today, I’m not here to evaluate the trades itself — but the players involved in such trades. And this doesn’t mean that these good, bad or even ugly player trends will last. It’s just a brief evaluation with roughly a month left in the 2022 MLB season, and a month since the deadline. It’s a decent middle-ground.
Without further ado, let’s jump into it.
Jordan Montgomery, Cardinals
Montgomery, dealt from the Yankees in a surprising move minutes before the deadline’s end, has been dominant for the Cardinals. He had a shaky outing most recently against the Braves, but the southpaw has pitched to a 1.76 ERA in five total starts — the 10th-best in baseball since the trade. Over his first four starts, he allowed just one run across 25.1 innings, including a complete game shutout on the road against division rival Chicago Cubs. Montgomery has certainly looked like the best pitcher traded since the deadline.
JP Sears, Athletics
Sears was the top piece sent back to the Athletics in the Frankie Montas-Yankees trade a day prior to the deadline. He had a cup of coffee at the big-league level but didn’t get a consistent opportunity in pinstripes. Well, now he has — and he’s shined thus far. He’s got a 2.53 ERA in four starts, utilizing a nasty four-seam/slider/changeup combination. He’ll probably have to develop another pitch or two if he wants to become a long-term starter, but Sears, 26, has impressed immensely in Oakland and deserves credit for it.
Luis Castillo, Mariners
This shouldn’t be a surprise to many, as Castillo has been one of the most effective pitchers in MLB this season. But the right-hander sports a 2.84 ERA (and FIP) in five outings with the Mariners, adding to an already good rotation that features Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen — all of whom have sub-4 ERA’s.
Taylor Rogers, Padres
Rogers’ stint in Milwaukee didn’t get off to the prettiest start — surrendering five runs over his first five appearances, including four in 0.2 innings in his fourth versus St. Louis — but he’s tightened the screws since. He has yet to allow a run over his last six appearances (6.1 IP), allowing only two baserunners (one hit, one BB) over that span while fanning eight batters over that stretch.
Andrew Benintendi, Yankees
In his first nine games with New York, Benintendi was two for his first 25 (.080); in the 21 games since, he’s hit .291 with a .780 OPS. He’s moved around the order for New York but has flourished when he’s been at the top of the order, even though the other bats have otherwise struggled to manufacture any promising offense throughout August, for the most part.
Jose Quintana, Cardinals
Quintana was the first — and what presumably looked to be the only — rotation arm St. Louis acquired. Since Montgomery has caught a majority of the buzz — and deservedly so — Quintana has flown under the radar. He has yet to allow three runs in single start, posting a 3.28 ERA with a solid 3.45 FIP in 24.2 frames with the Cards thus far. Like Montgomery, Quintana’s arsenal has been modified to his benefit by throwing more fastballs (sinker and four-seamer) and less off-speed, scrapping his (ineffective) changeup.
Tommy Pham, Red Sox
Amid a wretched Red Sox second-half, Tommy Pham has been one of their bright spots. Pham injects the energy and grit into each moment he’s on the field, something I’m sure Bostonian’s have come to adore. He’s also produced at the dish, slashing .296/.324/.500 (.825 OPS) with eight doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs in 23 games with Boston — a place where he wanted way before the deadline?
Juan Soto, Padres
While the Padres have underperformed since the completing the blockbuster trade for Soto on Aug. 2, the player has done just fine. He has yet to find a consistent power stroke, but he’s still slashed .280/.426/.467 with three doubles and three home runs since the trade, in addition to drawing more walks (19) than strike outs (12). Pitchers are and will probably forever be cautious with Soto because of how talented of a hitter he is, but teams aren’t outright pitching away from him as much in San Diego compared to Washington.
Raisel Iglesias, Braves
Iglesias was looked at as one of the best closers across MLB heading into the 2022 season. It didn’t necessarily pan out that way after his hot start, but the 32-year-old has allowed only one run in 10.2 innings since getting traded to Atlanta. He’s pitching in low-er leverage situations but sports a 2.56 FIP and has allowed a .485 OPS against.
- Eric Hosmer, Red Sox*
- David Robertson, Phillies
- Anthony Bass, Blue Jays
- Joey Gallo, Dodgers
- David Peralta, Rays
*-Currently on injured list.
Noah Syndergaard, Phillies
This one might be a little unfair, because I was deciding whether or not to put Syndergaard in the “The Good” category. But since we’re splitting hairs: Syndergaard has gone up against four poor offenses and has struggled against two of them, the Nationals (two days after Soto trade) and the Pirates, both at home. The Phillies have won four of his previous five outings regardless, so it’s not that big of a deal. And he wasn’t looked at to be a top-of-rotation starter, so maybe this initial evaluation is a little too harsh.
Frankie Montas, Yankees
Montas, meanwhile, has expected to produce as a No. 2/3 starter behind Gerrit Cole, which has not happened yet. He’s allowed fewer than four runs in only two of his first five outings — surrendering six (in three innings) to the Cardinals, six (6 IP) to Toronto and four (6 IP) to the Angels Monday. In all fairness, prior to the trade, Montas was two starts removed after missing three weeks due to shoulder inflammation. With the current state of the Yankee offense, the staff can’t afford to have clunkers. And Montas hasn’t lived up to the billing thus far, even though there’s still time to improve.
Whit Merrifield, Blue Jays
Kansas City moving on from Merrifield was only a matter of time, but I was initially shocked when the Blue Jays were the team. He’s still playing (mostly) every day around the diamond for the Jays, but his performance at the plate has been uninspiring. He’s only slashing .216/.286/.275 in 56 plate appearances with only one home run — his only extra-base hit — since the transaction. Their lineup is already lengthy with a litany of right-handed bats, but it would become even deeper if Merrifield can find his footing.
Jake Diekman, White Sox
Two years removed from being one of the more effective relievers in MLB during the COVID-shortened season, Diekman has struggled in 2022. He was pretty heavily relied upon in high-er leverage situations with Boston, which ultimately didn’t work out; since getting traded to the White Sox, it’s gone even worse. He’s lacked control and has surrendered a run in three of his last five outings — posting a 5.40 ERA and 6.73 FIP with Chicago in all 12 of his appearances.
Trey Mancini, Astros
Mancini is only walking at a 4.1 percent clip, getting on-base 24.3 percent of the time while striking out 31.1 percent of the time. All of those uncharacteristic of Mancini’s play, albeit a small sample. It’s not productive whatsoever. Over half of his 16 hits have been for extra-base hits, though, which is a plus!
Josh Hader, Brewers
I think this category alone should be designated for Hader, who’s been atrocious in San Diego since surprisingly getting moved from Milwaukee. He’s been the worst reliever in MLB of late, allowing three or more runs thrice in eight outings — including 12 runs over his last 2.2 innings. No, that’s not a typo. After he was virtually unhittable for the first three months of the season, he sports a 17.31 ERA in 13 innings (17 outings), allowing at least one earned run in nine of those appearances and multiple in five of them.
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