MLB Trades 2020: Breaking Down Teams Who Netted Biggest Deadline Gains

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Tommy La Stella is headed from one AL West club to another.
Tommy La Stella is headed from one AL West club to another.Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Although the list of completed deals is relatively small, teams and executives are racing to beat the 2020 MLB trade deadline that arrives Monday afternoon.

In this exceptionally cost-conscious market, even a minor acquisition can feel like an important addition. And since the number of trades is expected to be much lower than usual, the players dealt will hold a greater share of the spotlight.

And at least one big name is swapping jerseys.


Padres Pick Up Rosenthal

After a horrible 2019, Trevor Rosenthal has enjoyed a terrific month on the Kansas City Royals. Signed on a minor league contract, the closer has taken full advantage of his chance to rebound.

Rosenthal has pitched in 14 games, collecting 21 strikeouts in 13.2 innings this season. While his most recent appearance was roughthree runs in 1.1 inningsthe veteran had surrendered only two earned runs in all other games combined.

And now he's on the move.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The San Diego Padres are in agreement on a deal to acquire reliever Trevor Rosenthal from Kansas City, sources tell ESPN. Arguably the best reliever on the market is headed to the Padres, whose beleaguered bullpen will get a huge boost from a revitalized Rosenthal.

This season, according to FanGraphs, the San Diego Padres have the league's seventh-worst bullpen ERA. Losing All-Star closer Kirby Yates to elbow surgery didn't help, and top reliever Drew Pomeranz is soon returning from the injured list.

Rosenthal will be expected to help steady the group as the franchise nears its first playoff berth in 14 seasons.

Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported that 24-year-old outfielder Edward Olivares is headed to Kansas City. A low-level reliever to be named later will also be included in the deal, per Passan,.


A's Bring In La Stella

The Oakland Athletics are eyeing the postseason, so any upgrade is valuable.

Already holding a 22-12 record atop the AL West, the Athletics bolstered the lineup with Tommy La Stella. They acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels in a rare intra-division trade, sending back 24-year-old infielder Franklin Barreto.

Oakland A's @Athletics

Town Tommy. We've acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Franklin Barreto. https://t.co/TY8NnsVbfo

La Stella is a rentalhis contract expires after the seasonbut is an expensive add, especially given his potential value.

Though an injury shortened his All-Star 2019 campaign, La Stella has recovered nicely. He's hitting .273 with a .371 on-base percentage and has 15 walks to seven strikeouts. La Stella should be in the A's lineup against right-handed pitching.

Barreto has made scattered appearances for Oakland over the past four seasons and has mustered a .180 average. In 2020, he's struck out seven times in 10 at-bats.

The risk of losing La Stella in free agency is worth the price.


Blue Jays Bolster the Rotation

Taijuan Walker
Taijuan WalkerAdrian Kraus/Associated Press

The overall view of this trade is similar. One team is a playoff contender, and one team is seeking value for an expiring deal.

Over the past few weeks, the Toronto Blue Jays have placed three pitchersNate Pearson, Matt Shoemaker and Trent Thorntonon the injured list. All three had struggled anyway, so the Blue Jays hit the market for an improvement.

They are hoping Taijuan Walker is the answer.

Now recovered from Tommy John surgery, the right-hander has 25 strikeouts over 27 innings this season. He allowed 12 earned runs in five starts with the Mariners and threw six shutout innings in his Blue Jays debut on Saturday.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Seattle is acquiring a player to be named who is not included in Toronto's 60-man player pool. The return could be decent, but Walker's expiring deal means it's likely a mid-tier prospect.

Overall, this is a worthwhile trade for the Jays.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.