We may not know who will compete in this year’s World Series, now that the MLB trade deadline has come and gone, but we will know which players teams are going to use to reach the Promised Land.
Nearly 90 players have changed jerseys in the month of July as teams scrambled to fill in the voids in their rosters for the stretch run.
Among those players getting acclimated to new clubhouses are reigning Cy Young winners, ex-batting crown champs and plenty of former all-stars.
The swap frenzy also saw two brothers (Scott and Jerry Hairston Jr.), two former high school teammates (Chris Duncan and Brian Anderson), as well as two guys named Betancourt (Rafael and Yuniesky) join new teams.
Duncan and Anderson, teammates at Canyon Del Oro High School in Tucson, Ariz. reunite in Boston—although both will likely spend most of their stint with the BoSox in Pawtucket (Triple-A).
Boston was among many active teams. While the Red Sox added depth and power, other squads such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians built toward the future by mortgaging their present. By trading Cliff Lee, the Tribe has unloaded two Cy Young award winners at the trade deadline in as many years. Last summer, they dealt C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers.
This year’s trades didn’t see many power-hitters hopping a train out of town—it was more of a singles hitters market. Many teams, instead, chose to diversify their rosters with utility players—think Hairston Jr., Jack Wilson, and Felipe Lopez.
The wheeling-and-dealing wasn’t without its share of blockbusters, though.
Whether or not the likes of Lee, Jake Peavy, Victor Martinez, or Matt Holliday will have an impact on the pennant race remains to be seen.
Here’s the best-of-the-best of those players getting new nameplates on the back of their jerseys this August; the all-stars of the trade deadline.