Biggest winners and losers of the 2022 MLB trade deadline

Juan Soto
Jul 29, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) gestures to the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to his at-bat during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the MLB trade deadline has come and gone, it’s time to start making sense of everything by determining the MLB trade deadline winners and losers for 2022.

This was not a boring deadline, as many of the best players available at the trade deadline find themselves with a new team. Of course, a lot of activity makes it harder to assign MLB trade deadline team grades.

MLB trade deadline winners and losers 2022

As always, it’s always best to reserve judgment and assign full MLB trade grades until after the season or even a few years down the road.

That’s when we’ll be able to provide a full MLB trade deadline analysis because even some of the trades that look good today may not work out in the end.

Nevertheless, fans want an instant reaction, and that’s what we have by naming the MLB trade deadline winners and losers in 2022.

Winner: Padres

There should be no question that San Diego made the biggest headline of the deadline. Acquiring both Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Nationals could end up being one of the best trade deadline deals of all time.

Needless to say, the price to make that trade was high and could have some long-term ramifications. But they also got one of the elite sluggers in baseball for the next two and a half years, as well as one of the top rental players in Bell.

Those two alone will transform the shape of San Diego’s lineup, which will also get Fernando Tatis Jr. back from injury at some point. On top of that, the Padres made a late trade for Brandon Drury, giving them another productive hitter.


Plus, San Diego made a bold move to trade for Milwaukee’s Josh Hader to upgrade at the closer position, as the Padres are surely positioning themselves for a deep run in October. Finding a way to get Eric Hosmer’s contract off their books in the process is just the icing on the cake.

Loser: Dodgers

The Dodgers are losers, at least in part, because the Padres are huge winners. While Los Angeles has built a big enough lead atop the NL West to win the division, the Dodgers may have to worry about the revamped Padres in the playoffs.

Also, after the move for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner at last year’s deadline, the Dodgers did no such thing in 2022. Their big move was acquiring Joey Gallo, who’s batting .159, so they did not make a significant improvement to their roster this summer.

Winner: Astros

Even without adding one of the top players available, the Astros made three significant additions by trading for Trey Mancini, Christian Vazquez, and Will Smith. Mancini provides the power bat they needed at first base with Yuli Gurriel having a down year.

Vazquez addresses a clear need at catcher, where Houston has received little offensive production this year. Finally, Smith gives the Astros a much-needed lefty in the bullpen.

Loser: Brewers

One has to wonder if the Brewers know what they’re doing by trading their closer while sitting in first place. While they got a nice haul back from San Diego in the Josh Hader trade, including closer Taylor Rogers, it wasn’t a trade the Brewers needed to make.

Perhaps more importantly, Milwaukee did nothing to boost a lackluster offense at the deadline, which is a decision that could hurt them in September when the Brewers are trying to hold off the Cardinals in the NL Central.

Winner: Twins

Minnesota deserves a ton of credit for making big waves when talking about the MLB trade deadline winners and losers in 2022. The Twins added three quality pitchers to their staff, getting starter Tyler Mahle from the Reds while also acquiring closer Jorge Lopez from the Orioles and relievers Michael Fulmer from the Tigers.

Mahle isn’t a frontline starter but he adds quality depth to an injury-plagued rotation. Lopez, meanwhile, is the biggest addition, giving the Twins a closer who was an all-star earlier this summer. Fulmer also adds quality depth to the Minnesota bullpen and should help the Twins hold off the White Sox and Guardians in the AL Central.

Loser: White Sox and Guardians

With the Twins being big winners, the White Sox and Guardians are considerable losers. Both teams are chasing the Twins but did nothing substantial to improve their position.

The White Sox, in particular, have underperformed this year but did nothing to get better at the deadline. Instead, they will rely on their players getting healthy and hope that’s enough to catch Minnesota or reach a playoff spot.

Winner: Yankees

The Yankees may not have made the biggest splash at the deadline, but they are clear winners. Adding Andrew Benintendi addressed a huge need and gave them one of the best players who was moved at the deadline.

Harrison Bader also adds even more depth to an outfield in need. Meanwhile, the Yankees added Frankie Montas, who is arguably the second-best starting pitcher to be traded.

Montas adds depth to the rotation, even with Jordan Montgomery being traded. He will also be a good option in a playoff series, which is what matters the most. Perhaps most importantly, the Yankees changed the shape of their bullpen by getting Scott Effross and Lou Trivino. The fact that they found somebody to take Joey Gallo off their hands is also a positive move by the Yankees.

Loser: Red Sox

Boston surely had the most confusing deadline, attempting to play both sides by adding and subtracting. That’s a weird strategy for a team that went into deadline day just three games out of a playoff spot.

While adding Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham are positive additions that address areas of need, those moves are somewhat negated by trading away Christian Vazquez and Jake Diekman. Overall, those moves send an odd message for a team that needed to do something substantial at the deadline but ended up potentially losing more than they’re getting.

Winner: Mariners

The Mariners are rarely shy about making trades at any time of year and they did enough to be one of the biggest winners this year.

Luis Castillo was undoubtedly the best starting pitcher available at the deadline and Seattle moved quickly to acquire him prior to deadline day. Castillo will not only help the Mariners to secure a Wild Card spot but he gives them a top-flight starter who can be relied on to make multiple starts in a playoff series.

Even if they didn’t do anything else that’s going to make headlines, trading for Castillo is a sign that the Mariners are finally ready to put some chips in the middle of the table and try to make some noise and get back to the postseason after a two-decade drought.

Loser: Mets and Braves

Even though the Mets and Braves appear locks for the postseason, neither did enough to improve their chances in the playoffs.

For the Mets, adding Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf isn’t a huge upgrade from their previous DH options.

For the Braves, trading for Robbie Grossman doesn’t do much for their offense while Jake Odorizzi doesn’t push the needle much.

Also, the Phillies made some big moves, adding David Robertson, Noah Syndergaard, and Brandon Marsh, which could help keep them within striking distance and make them a team to watch in September and possibly October.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 260 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

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