The single 2019 trade deadline came and went Wednesday with more rumors than actual trades. The big trade was, of course,. Also, on Tuesday night.
On the other side of the coin, several big name players were not traded prior to the 4 p.m. ET deadline despite ample rumors. Chief among them: Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner. The Giants’ recent surge up the standings — they’re 2 1/2 games behind the second wild-card spot — convinced them to keep their impending free agent ace.
Here’s what Bumgarner told reporters, including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, following the deadline:
Asked how he felt about the deadline passing, Bumgarner said, “It’s the same as things were. I never expected to be somewhere else. Nothing changed for me.
“We’ve got a job to do. We’re going to miss a few guys we got rid of. That’s going to be tough, but we’ve got to put our heads down and try to win the wild card.”
Here are 10 other players who were widely rumored to be on the move prior to the trade deadline, only to stay put.
Not surprisingly, the Tigers set a very high asking price for lefty Matthew Boyd — — and stuck to it. And why wouldn’t they? Boyd has one of the highest strikeout rates in baseball and he is under team control through 2022. . No team blew Detroit away with an offer, so Boyd will remain under the team’s employ through at least the end of the season. The Tigers can always revisit trade talks at some point in the future.
Truth be told, an Edwin Diaz trade never seemed all that likely. The Mets closer has struggled big time the last few weeks — he blew a save Tuesday night, right before the trade deadline — and he is under team control another three years beyond this one. Keeping him and letting him rebuild value was the smart move. The Mets could put him back on the market as soon as this winter and perhaps be in better position to cash in. Diaz’s performance and the asking price didn’t line up.
A lingering elbow injury sabotaged Ken Giles‘ trade value. The Blue Jays closer has been lights out this season and was all set to be one of the most in-demand relievers at the deadline, but it never came together. Several teams reportedly maintained interest in case Toronto would sell low, but, with Giles under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next year, they’re going to keep him and let him try to rebuild value.
The crash down the standings led to the Rangers putting staff ace Mike Minor on the trade block. They fielded calls, reportedly from the Yankees and Braves, among others, but couldn’t work out a deal. Minor is excellent and signed affordably through next year, plus Texas is set to open a new ballpark next season, so the Rangers had no reason to trade him unless they received a monster package in return. Keep him they did.
I’m not going to lie, I expected Robbie Ray to be the starter the D-Backs traded at the deadline, not Greinke. Not sure anyone saw that coming. Arizona set a high price for Ray — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says they wanted Clint Frazier and three others from the Yankees — which is exactly what they should’ve done since he is one of the game’s top strikeout pitches and is under team control through next year. The D-Backs could always make him available again over the winter.
Similar to Bumgarner, the Giants held on to closer and impending free agent Will Smith at the trade deadline. He’s had an out-of-this-world good season and would’ve fetched an enormous return had San Francisco truly made him available. The Giants will try to make a run for a postseason spot with Bumgarner and Smith, and I imagine they’ll talk about a contract extension after the season with both players.
. New York had been fielding offers for the talented right-hander since the winter, and following , it sure seemed like they were ready to send Syndergaard elsewhere. Instead, the Mets kept him, and will go into next season with a powerhouse rotation. Assuming they don’t trade Syndergaard (or Stroman) over the winter, that is.
Reportedly, the Dodgers and Pirates haggled and haggled over closer Felipe Vazquez. Pittsburgh pushed for top infield prospect Gavin Lux — understandably, I believe — and the Dodgers wouldn’t relent, so Vazquez remains with the Pirates. Other teams did not meet the asking price either. Vazquez is as good as any reliever in baseball and he’s signed dirt cheap through 2023. If you don’t get what you want, you keep a guy like this, and that’s what the Pirates did.
To me, this is the biggest surprise of the trade deadline. Unlike Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler is an impending free agent, and there were enough contenders were involved (Astros, Braves, Yankees, Rays, etc.) that the Mets could’ve gotten something good in return. Rather than trade him, the Mets will keep Wheeler and presumably make him the qualifying offer after the season, entitling them to draft pick compensation should he sign elsewhere.
The Padres have turned a waiver claim into one of the best closers in baseball, and they had a chance to turn that closer into several quality pieces at the trade deadline. San Diego instead held on to Kirby Yates, who will remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next year, and the team could try to extend him. The Red Sox were said to be among the teams in the mix, but, realistically, Boston didn’t have the prospect capital to seriously entice the Padres.