These MLB stars will all benefit from finding themselves on a new team after the trade deadline.
As the MLB trade deadline comes and goes, the baseball world naturally turns its mind toward analyzing which teams made out best by upgrading their roster or farm system on July 31. It makes sense that most of the focus should be on how all of the trade deadline action will impact the playoff race and World Series fight. That’s what most fans care about the most, but it isn’t the only thing we should be thinking about as the dust settles and the playoff races really heat up.
The trade deadline can often mean big changes for the players involved in the deals. It isn’t always easy being traded. Players have to pick up on a dime and move. Being traded can also take a player away from a city he really loved, like Scooter Gennett, who was born in Cincinnati and was hopeful of spending the rest of his career there. It’s one of the few downsides that comes with being paid handsomely to play a game for a living — barring a contractual no-trade clause, players have little control over their fate once the trade machine starts heating up.
While it can be difficult for players to leave a team and move to a new city, being traded can sometimes have a positive impact on a player’s career. Just look at Jake Arrieta, whose career was saved by a trade, or even Sonny Gray, who looks better than ever after struggling to cope with the pressure of pitching for the New York Yankees. Justin Verlander was probably a Hall of Famer before being dealt to the Houston Astros three years ago, but he’s made himself a shoo-in by going 35-13 with a 2.48 ERA in the regular season and 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA in the playoffs since landing with the Astros.
Getting traded can be the shot in the arm that a player needs for his career and a chance to improve his value for free agency when the time comes. These five players stand to gain the most after being traded this week.
5. Aaron Sanchez
Every serious MLB fan is familiar with the story of Jake Arrieta, who struggled to establish himself with the Baltimore Orioles but finally lived up to his elite prospect status after a trade to the Chicago Cubs. Arrieta went on to win the NL Cy Young and World Series with the Cubs and parlayed that success into a huge free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, there’s another struggling pitcher who could join Arrieta among the ranks of hurlers who figured it all out after being traded — Aaron Sanchez.
The Toronto Blue Jays decided to cut bait on the talented 27-year-old starter who showed huge promise early in his career but had been plagued by injuries and control issues the last three seasons. After winning 15 games and recording a 3.00 ERA in 30 starts in 2016, Sanchez was just 8-23 in 51 starts since the start of the 2017 season. Through 23 starts this year, he is 3-14 with a 6.07 ERA and has allowed 131 hits, 15 home runs and has walked 59 in 112.2 innings.
Sanchez has been hampered by continued struggles with blisters and an inability to locate his power sinker. There may something more at play, especially if Major League Baseball is messing with the seams on its balls. Sanchez is not the only pitcher to deal with blister issues, but he has been affected the most. In Houston, he will have a chance to start over with a team that has used analytics to improve all of its pitchers. Sanchez could follow in the steps of Charlie Morton, another pitcher with a power sinker who is 41-13 with a 3.18 ERA and two All-Star appearances since signing with the Astros.