Quick Bit: The Yankees and Twins shored up their bullpens, whereas several teams added some key positional pieces.

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The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and winning and losing sides have been drawn.

Some teams, like the Padres, pushed all of their chips in and became buyers. Others, like the Yankees, were measured and meticulous in the moves they made. Still others, like the Red Sox, never fully committed to buying or selling.

In fact, the only team that didn’t make a move at the deadline was the Colorado Rockies.

Several big names got moved. Juan Soto is a Padre. Luis Castillo is a Mariner. Frankie Montas is a Yankee. But perhaps more interesting are the smaller names moved at the deadline. It’s the smaller names, after all, that can win you a World Series. Ask the Atlanta Braves.

The Sporting News has tabbed eight underrated (or, perhaps more accurately, underappreciated) players moved at the deadline who could help their team in a run.

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Brandon Drury (INF, Cincinnati Reds to San Diego Padres)

The Padres actually traded for Drury after trading for Soto, putting a hat on their deadline hat.

What makes this signing so good? By trading C.J. Abrams, they left a bit of a hole in their infield until Fernando Tatis Jr. gets back from injury. Drury is hitting the ball well this year, posting a career-high OPS of .855 to date, and the Padres got him for a rental price as he’s a free agent after the season.

On top of all of this, Drury is bringing a career year in power to the plate. While it must be acknowledged Great American Ball Park is notoriously hitter-friendly, he has 20 homers on the year, already a career-high. If nothing else, he’ll be great protection in a Padres lineup that doesn’t ask for much more.

The move allows the Padres to keep playing Kim Ha-seong at shortstop until Tatis’ return while keeping Manny Machado at third and Josh Bell at first. Drury is a utility guy, and if Soto was the blockbuster move, Drury is the smart contingency.

2022 stats

Player
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS+
HR
RBI
Ks
BBs
Brandon Drury
.274
.335
.520
126
20
59
84
29

Brandon Marsh (OF, Los Angeles Angels to Philadelphia Phillies)

The Phillies came into this deadline knowing centerfield was a priority for them. Odubel Herrera was no longer a viable day-to-day guy for them, and they had to replace him in the outfield somehow.

With that in mind, Philadelphia and Marsh were a match made in heaven. He has a centerfielder’s range and speed but never had a place in Los Angeles. Mike Trout simply takes up too much real estate.

While Marsh hasn’t hit the ball well in the majors, he’s still not even 25 and had a good bat throughout his MiLB career. That doesn’t always translate, but for a player with his control left, it’s a nice addition by subtraction deal for the Phillies.

The Phillies wanted defensive help, and they got it. Marsh seems to fit what manager Rob Thomson wanted to do for Philadelphia, as he took over a team with defensive pits in the outfield in Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber. Want to know if defense still matters? Look at the Orioles for what can happen when it’s good, and look at the July Red Sox for what can happen when it’s bad.

MORE: Juan Soto trade grades: Who won the deal?

2022 stats

Player
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS+
HR
RBI
Ks
BBs
Brandon Marsh
.226
.284
.353
80
8
37
117
22

Jordan Montgomery (LHP, New York Yankees to St. Louis Cardinals)

File this one away under weird deal. The Cardinals had already lefty Jose Quintana from the Pirates, but it appears they weren’t satisfied and wanted another left-handed arm in the rotation for the back half of the season.

Enter Jordan Montgomery, a lefty who has been a mainstay of the back of the New York rotation. The Cardinals acquired him for Harrison Bader, who is currently dealing with plantar fascitis in his foot.

Montgomery may not be a front-end rotational guy, but the Cardinals didn’t trade for him to be. They’ve started 11 different pitchers this year. They want him for his consistency.

Ultimately, the Cardinals getting Montgomery for a player whose best asset is his speed who’s battling a foot injury seems like a good get. They traded for reliability on the rubber. They should get it in Montgomery.

2022 stats

Player
Record
ERA
WHIP
FIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
Jordan Montgomery
3-3
3.69
1.099
3.91
7.6
1.8
104

Anthony Bass (RHP, Miami Marlins to Toronto Blue Jays)

The Blue Jays gave up a good prospect to get Anthony Bass and Zach Pop, but when a guy is having a season like Bass is having, he’s hard to pass up.

Bass has been nothing short of dominant for the Marlins this season, and the Blue Jays traded infield prospect Jordan Groshans for him. With Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman in play, not to mention the club option on Bass after this year, this trade must have been a no-brainer.

The stats on Bass are, in a word, ridiculous. He has an ERA+ of 290 on the season. A FIP approaching 2.00. And 10 runs allowed on the year.

Bass’ season would be far more talked about if he weren’t in Miami this year. Perhaps finishing out the season with the Blue Jays as they chase down a wild card spot will bring his name to the forefront more often.

SUTELAN: Breaking down the Nationals’ return in the Juan Soto trade

2022 stats

Player
IP
ERA
WHIP
FIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
BAA
Anthony Bass
44 2/3
1.41
0.940
2.06
9.1
2.0
290
.198

Michael Fulmer (RHP, Detroit Tigers to Minnesota Twins)

The Tigers missed their window to deal Fulmer years ago, but they finally did it Tuesday, trading their starter-turned-setup man to the Minnesota Twins.

It’s a good move for Minnesota, who not only managed to secure a good middle reliever/setup man but also got a starter and a closer (more on the latter shortly). Fulmer has enjoyed a good season for a surprisingly decent Tigers bullpen, which is third in MLB in ERA behind the Astros and Yankees despite the team’s bad overall performance.

It must be said the Twins won’t get multiple innings out of Fulmer often — he’s only gotten outs in a second inning three times this year — but he has 18 holds on the season and he’s above average in ERA+.

Fulmer has struggled with control this season, so Minnesota will have to do something to reign him in there. But he’s been a mainstay on the Tigers for a long time, and he’s pitched very well for Detroit in high-leverage situations this season, somewhere the Twins as a team have struggled.

Player
IP
ERA
WHIP
FIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
BAA
Michael Fulmer
39 1/3
3.20
1.246
3.22
8.9
4.6
123
.203

Jorge Lopez (RHP, Baltimore Orioles to Minnesota Twins)

Can an All-Star be underrated?

That’s a hard question to answer, but if they’re on the Orioles, probably.

Jorge Lopez to be clear, wasn’t a representation appearance at the All-Star Game this season. He’s been really, really good. He has 19 saves in 23 attempts on the year and an ERA under 1.70.

Perhaps most importantly, he addressed a need for the Twins, who are tied for third in MLB in blown saves with 19. Jhoan Duran has closer stuff, but he needs to work up to it, and Emilio Pagano isn’t the answer there. If Lopez brings consistency to the role, this trade is unequivocally a win for Minnesota.

Player
Saves/Save attempts
IP
ERA
WHIP
FIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
BAA
Jorge Lopez
19/23
48 1/3
1.68
0.972
2.99
10.1
3.2
241
.174

Lou Trivino (RHP, Oakland Athletics to New York Yankees)

The Yankees may not have made some kind of massive splash at the deadline, but they got a couple of nice additions to their bullpen.

The first of the two almost seemed to be treated as a throw-in to the Frankie Montas trade, with Lou Trivino coming over from the Athletics.

Trivino’s stats this year are, without question, bad. And Yankee fans may be wondering what people see in him. But for a team who has gotten as much out of its pitchers as the Yankees have, Trivino is a great fit. He’s a sinkerball pitcher, which the Yankees love in a vacuum, and he actually misses bats, which a lot of Yankees have struggled with at time this season.

In other words, Trivino is partially a product of his environment. Now that he’ll be able to get out of the closer role, he makes the Yankees bullpen just a little bit deeper. And the Yankees, make no mistake, desperately needed someone to do that.

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Player
IP
ERA
WHIP
FIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
BAA
Lou Trivino
32
6.47
1.875
3.83
12.7
3.9
59
.322

Scott Effross

The Yankees’ other bullpen addition is another name folks may not recognize at first blush.

Scott Effross from the Cubs is a righty with a funky release who was enjoying a breakout season with the Cubs this year. While he doesn’t miss as many bats as Trivino does, he consistently generates weak contact and is among the best in baseball at getting batters to chase.

Effross is a platoon powerhouse, and he actually dominates left-handed hitting despite being a righty. His funky release has lefties hitting .127 this season against him, whereas righties fare a bit better at .268.

Effross will be an effective tool in the Yankees bullpen, even if he’s used more situationally. Regardless, he and Trivino have the potential to make the New York bullpen more effective down the stretch.

Player
IP
ERA
WHIP
FIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
BAA
Scott Effross
44
2.66
1.068
2.18
10.2
2.3
158
.222

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