The blockbuster moves at the MLB trade deadline get all the love, but the smaller trades can have just as much impact on the playoff race.
The big trades get all the love. We know Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers is a big deal. Same for Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs and Sonny Gray to the New York Yankees. Thing is, not every contender has the right mix of young prospects to make an earth-shattering move.
Sometimes, the best moves that are made are for less explosive impact and more steady production for two months of a playoff race. Some contenders only need a mid-rotation starter to help carry the load, or maybe they’re looking for a veteran reliever or corner outfielder. This is why Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe were always in high demand at the trade deadline every year at the ends of their careers.
A good baseball trade does not have to include an All-Star, and that is the case of all the trades we will look at here. These were the five best under-the-radar moves that went down at the MLB trade deadline this year.
5. Tim Beckham to the Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles made two relatively minor moves at the deadline, getting starter Jeremy Hellickson from the Philadelphia Phillies and Tim Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays. Both have had an immediate impact on the Birds. Hellickson threw seven shutout innings in his debut while Beckham has recorded four multi-hit games in a row to start his Orioles career. The shortstop is hitting .688/.688/1.375 with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. Obviously a small sample size, but that’s the type of impact potential that made Beckham a top pick.
In Beckham, the Orioles believe they may have found their shortstop for the future. The former number-one overall pick for the Rays never lived up to the hype but was having the best year of his career in 2017. Beckham is still only 27 years old and still has potential if the right team can figure out his approach at the plate. This looks like a good move whether or not the Orioles find a way to claw back into the playoffs this year.