The Biggest Moves in the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline


Image Courtesy of Major League Baseball

By Zachary Lichter

As the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) All Star Game ended in Seattle on July 11, 2023, the conversations about the Player Trade Deadline among baseball fans were about to begin. 

All 30 teams had until 6:00 pm ET on August 1 to decide which players they were going to trade for. Like in any sport, there are always trade deadline rumors, and the biggest story was about who would acquire Los Angeles Angel pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani has been carrying the Angels on the mound and hitting great all season for the Angels. However, he’s been the only consistent player on the team, which is not good for the Angels if they want to earn a spot in the postseason. After the Angels acquired starting pitchers: Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to back up Ohtani, the Angels decided that they were going to keep Ohtani.

Incoming junior political science major and sports management and philosophy minor Matthew Cutrona commented about the Angels pitching situation:

“The Angels were in a very interesting position with the Ohtani factor,” Cutrona said. “With a minimum chance of resigning, the Ohtani show was set to conclude. However, with the unprecedented Wild Card Race for both leagues, the Angels believed that they could go all in. Having said that, I do not think they acquired enough pitching or offense to sustain a playoff run. With Ohtani’s sub-5.00 ERA for July, there is no clear ace. Giolito and Lopez are both middle-of-the-rotation guys, but without a clear ace to back Ohtani, or even a highly competent bullpen, it will be tough for the Angels to win games on that end.”

This year, many teams were looking to acquire starting pitchers. The most successful teams were the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Texas Rangers. The Dodgers were looking for starting pitchers because most of their current starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard, Ryan Pepiot, Walker Buehler, and Dustin May, are on the Injured List (IL). On July 28, the Dodgers acquired pitchers: Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly from the White Sox for pitchers: Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure. The White Sox also acquired centerfielder Trayce Thompson. On July 29, the Rangers acquired starting pitcher Max Scherzer from the New York Mets for shortstop Luisangel Acuna. The following day they acquired pitchers: Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton from the St. Louis Cardinals for shortstop Thomas Saggese and pitchers: Tekoah Roby and John King. Both teams are looking to see if the pitchers they have acquired will help them punch their ticket to the postseason.

With about a month and a half of baseball left, the teams participating in the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline can only hope they have made the best moves. With pitching being the biggest theme of the Trade Deadline, the general managers hope that the pitchers they have just acquired will produce strikeouts and get their money’s worth on how much they’ve spent. Time will tell to see how well the traded players will do on the brand-new teams they are playing for.

Cutrona gave his thoughts about this year’s MLB Trade Deadline:

“I think the MLB Trade Deadline was surprising with how many teams were buyers or barely did anything,” Cutrona said. “With the Wildcard Race really close, not a lot of teams sold, and if they did, there was some inconsistency. With the biggest sellers in the Mets, White Sox, and Cardinals, they continue to make themselves competitive in future years.”

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