Baseball is a game of risks late in the season. When a team makes a big-time deadline deal, it could either go extremely well or terribly. Those that merely play average baseball tend not to be the major deadline deals anyway.
A week after the deadline I took a look at the traded players and came away unimpressed. That is, of course, a small sample size. How do they fare when that sample size is widened to a month?
Some have done well after getting used to their surroundings, but others have mightily struggled.
After a career year with the Cubs, Ryan Dempster needed to step into Texas and contribute immediately. They needed the sub-2.50 ERA he was managing in Chicago.
He is 4-1 in Texas, so he is providing wins. His ERA is only 4.58 though, and while that's not terrible, it's far from what they wanted. Two of his six games were early ones where he allowed eight earned runs, so this may be a rare example of the win-loss record showing a better picture than the ERA.
That being said, 36 strikeouts in those seven games isn't all that bad either.
Zack Greinke had been having a nice year in Milwaukee, but in Los Angeles he was looking to supplement Jered Weaver on the staff rather than lead it.
That doesn't seemed to have helped him, since he's 3-2 with a 4.82 ERA and 40 strikeouts. His past two outings against Boston and Detroit were very good, so after four straight non-quality outings, maybe he has finally found his groove with the Halos; at least they hope so.
The Dodgers made such a huge trade in August to acquire Adrian Gonzalez and others that their trade deadline pickup of Shane Victorino feels like an afterthought, and he hasn't exactly been challenging that impression.
In 26 games, Victorino is hitting .255, with seven stolen bases being the only stat that pops up. He's not playing poorly, and his numbers are about what he put up in Philadelphia this year. Still, it's going to pale a bit in comparison when you share the outfield with Matt Kemp.
Hunter Pence was having another great year with the Phillies, and he was shipped to the Giants, a team that needed some outfield help. Unfortunately, he hasn't exactly been providing it.
In 28 games, Pence is only hitting .229 with two home runs. However, he did hit in his last five games, so it might be too early to write him off as a bad move for San Francisco, especially after Melky Cabrera's suspension.
Staying with the Dodgers, they had a much bigger move than Shane Victorino in their first deadline deal, Hanley Ramirez. The change of scenery from Miami certainly seems to have helped.
In 34 games, Han-Ram is hitting .279 with eight homers and 34 RBI. Averaging an RBI a game is helped somewhat by the Dodgers' offense, but he's clear that he's regained his spark with the Dodgers.
While the Cincinnati Reds found a closing gem in Aroldis Chapman and have a great setup man in Sean Marshall, they further bolstered their bullpen by bringing in Jonathan Broxton.
He played great with the Royals, but hasn't done much in Cincinnati. He's got a 5.00 ERA in 10 appearances, and it feels like he's just not a good fit as a lead-in reliever. It's not a role he's really had in his career, and it's shown so far.
Despite a mostly terrible season, Francisco Liriano had just enough good moments that the White Sox were willing to pick him up. Since arriving in Chicago, he has improved.
In six starts, he's 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA. He's not logging many innings, but he does have 33 strikeouts and he's been having solid enough outings that the White Sox's bats at least have the opportunity to win games.
Wandy Rodriguez was brought in both as veteran rotation depth and as someone who could help lead the Pirates. His consistency with the Astros certainly wasn't helping them.
Well, in seven games, he's 2-4 with a 4.12 ERA. The 16 walks and 21 strikeouts are a bit concerning, but his last outing was a shutout through six innings against the rival Cardinals, so it remains to be seen if he can remain that consistent block in the rotation.
While Kenley Jansen has been great, the Dodgers brought in Brandon League to shore up the bullpen. He hadn't been that great with the Mariners, but perhaps a change in scenery would help.
That has not been the case as he has a 5.40 ERA in 12 games, and while many of the runs came in a loss against Miami, he's only been great in the past week, throwing four straight hitless innings in four games.
Ichiro may now be past his prime, but he has still been able to contribute well for the Yankees in what was a very surprising trade.
In 35 games, Ichiro is hitting .286 to go with three home runs. His hitting touch seems to be back, and even though he only has four stolen bases thus far and was caught three times, he's doing enough that the trade seems like a good one.