The trade deadline has been a vital time in baseball for years, and it appears to be gaining in importance in recent years.
Two years ago, the Chicago Cubs acquired closer Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees prior to the trade deadline, and the Cubs went on to over come a 108-year dry spell by defeating the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.
The Houston Astros followed in a similar route last year as they traded for starting pitcher Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers, and the Astros won their first World Series in team history.
If that trend is going to continue, it will be difficult for any team to acquire a bigger star than the Los Angeles Dodgers did when they picked up shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles July 18, the day after the All-Star Game.
Machado is a dominating player who is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. Instead of playing shortstop with the Dodgers, he has moved to third base because of the groin injury suffered by Justin Turner. While the former Oriole is quite insistent about playing the rest of his career at shortstop, he has told manager Dave Roberts he is willing to play third base to help the team.
Machado is one of the top impact players in MLB, and the Dodgers clearly can use his services. Los Angeles made it all the way to the seventh game of the World Series last year before losing to the Astros, and Machado can help the Dodgers gets back to the championship and potentially win it.
Machado is a four-time All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove winner, and he has a .314/.390/.564 slash line with 25 home runs and 68 RBI.
Machado is clearly the top acquisition in trade deadline moves, but the Dodgers are not the only team to help themselves.
Here's a link to all trades that have been made through July 29.
The New York Yankees have added starter J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays and reliever Zach Britton from the Orioles. Happ pitched and won in his first start for the Yankees Sunday against the Kansas City Royals, while Britton makes a powerful bullpen even better.
While Britton is basically insurance for the Yankees in case Chapman is not at his best, the Bronx Bombers may have to cash in on that policy. Chapman has had several erratic outings in recent weeks, and his knee problems have been causing quite a bit of concern.
The Milwaukee Brewers are attempting to engage the Chicago Cubs this summer and take the NL Central title from them. The Brewers added to their lineup by acquiring third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals.
Moustakas will give the Brewers an additional power threat who has been quite successful when the Royals won the AL pennant in 2014 and the World Series the following year. His acquisition means Travis Shaw moves from third base to second base, and that's an unusual position switch for a corner infielder.
The Royals got outfielder Brett Phillips and pitcher Jorge Lopez in return, and Phillips showed off his athletic ability Sunday with a home run-robbing catch in New York against the Yankees.
The Cubs have made a move to upgrade their starting pitching by acquiring veteran lefthander Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers. The Cubs have struggled with their starters as Yu Darvish remains on the disabled list and Tyler Chatwood has struggled with an inability to thrown strikes, so the acquisition of Hamels makes sense. However, Hamels has an earned-run average of 10.23 in his last five outings.
The Rangers acquired a pair of minor leaguers in right-handed pitchers Eddie Butler and Rollie Lacy as well as a player to be named later.