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MLB trade deadline: Winners, losers include Giants, Yankees on big day

MLB trade deadline: Winners, losers include Giants, Yankees on big day

There was very little in the way of significant action before the MLB trade deadline passed Wednesday. Afterward, though, was quite a different story.

In the 30 minutes after the deadline passed, a flurry of moves was announced, providing the mass chaos that many had expected would occur with so many prominent names said to be available.

Most of those prominent names stayed with their incumbent teams. But a select few stole the headlines, and dictated which teams won the trade deadline, and which ones lost.

Winners

Astros

Houston won the trade deadline. Full stop.

If the Astros weren't the prohibitive favorites entering the deadline, they certainly emerged from it with that designation after acquiring Zack Greinke in a trade with the Diamondbacks. While Houston sent quite a haul of prospects to Arizona, the Astros managed to add Greinke without giving up top prospect Kyle Tucker, and even got the Diamondbacks to send $24 million over as part of the deal to help offset Greinke's massive contract.

Greinke, by the way, is 10-4 so far this season with a 2.87 ERA and 128 strikeouts and 141 innings. He now joins a rotation that includes Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander.

Good luck with that, American League.

Giants

In Farhan, we trust.

How can you not at this point? After making several adjustments to San Francisco's roster over the last few months, many of which have played a critical role in the Giants' recent surge back to relevancy, Zaidi carried that momentum into Wednesday's trade deadline and ran with it. Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith and Tony Watson -- all rumored to be on the move for months -- are still Giants.

Sam Dyson is gone, but for him, Zaidi got three prospects from the Twins, including a 24-year-old outfielder who has batted .331 and hit 15 home runs in 41 games with AAA-Rochester this season.

Zaidi somehow managed to unload the entirety of the $19 million remaining on Mark Melancon's contract to the Braves, and got two players in return, including Atlanta's No. 17 overall prospect.

Drew Pomeranz has been a revelation in San Francisco's bullpen over the last two weeks, and Zaidi convinced the Brewers to trade for him (and quadruple-A reliever Ray Black) for their No. 3 prospect, middle infielder Mauricio Dubon.

Dubon should arrive in the majors sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, Scooter Gennett -- whom San Francisco acquired from Cincinnati for cash considerations -- figures to provide the Giants a boost at second base.

In each situation, Zaidi dealt from a position of strength and managed to improve the team's future outlook, all without ruining its chances in the present. 

Cubs

In a wide-open NL Central, Chicago went for it.

In the waning minutes of the deadline, the Cubs acquired Nick Castellanos from the Tigers for two pitching prospects, including their 2018 first-round pick. Castellanos was well worth that cost, though, as he now slides into what was already a fairly stacked Cubs lineup.

Castellanos, 27, fits Chicago's timeline, can play both the infield and the outfield and also leads all players with 37 doubles this season. Wrigley Field is far more hitter-friendly than Comerica, so expect some of those doubles to turn into homers in the second half. Castellanos absolutely mashes lefties, slashing .347/.415/.611 against southpaws, and he makes the Cubs the favorite to claim the division title.

Losers

Yankees

New York did nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

In dire need of a starting-pitching upgrade, the Yankees elected to stand pat, and now the gap between them and the Astros has grown considerably. They had a tremendous opportunity to compete for a World Series title in a couple of months, and while they still have a decent chance, they likely will be kicking themselves come October.

The Astros got Greinke. In a deadline when frontline starters like Bumgarner, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman and Robbie Ray were said to be available, the Yankees decided, "Nah, we're good."

Nah, they're actually not.

Dodgers

Much like the Yankees, one wonders if the Dodgers' failure to acquire adequate reinforcements at the deadline will cost them a championship.

Los Angeles had an obvious need in the bullpen. The Dodgers did add a reliever -- Adam Kolarek was acquired from the Rays -- but he's not the difference-maker needed, having posted a 3.95 ERA over 43.1 innings so far this season.

Jedd Gyorko? Offense is not Los Angeles' problem, and he doesn't provide much of it anyway.

The Dodgers have talented prospects coming out of their ears. They have the best team in the National League, and one of the two best teams in all of baseball. Maybe they already were so far ahead of the competition that they didn't need to add anything, but come October, they'll deserve all the flack -- and then some -- if the bullpen falters in yet another heartbreaking postseason exit.

[RELATED: MadBum era lives on: Ace stays in SF as deadline passes]

Cardinals

After being .500 at the All-Star break, St. Louis has gone 13-5 since. As a reward for getting back into playoff contention, the front office went out and added ... Tony Cingrani?

Huh?

Cingrani came over in the trade with the Dodgers for Gyorko. He hasn't pitched this year, and is out for the rest of the season recovering from labrum surgery. So, no, he won't be contributing to a Cardinals' postseason run.

St. Louis had multiple needs, but none bigger than a starter. There were plenty of quality starters to be had, but in the end, the Cardinals stuck with the same rotation that has Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas as its Nos. 1 and 2 starters.

That's not going to cut it in the postseason, and given the moves of the teams they're competing with, they'll be lucky to get there at all.

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski lives out boyhood dream of playing at Fenway Park

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski lives out boyhood dream of playing at Fenway Park

It's difficult to imagine Mike Yastrzemski's first visit to Fenway Park as a major league player going any better.

Not only have the Giants won each of the first two games of the series with the Red Sox, San Francisco's 29-year-old rookie outfielder also managed to hit a home run over the center-field wall in the first one, an act his grandfather Carl performed countless times all those years ago.

Hours before that special moment, Mike took a walk around the field at Fenway with NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez, soaking in the environment in which he learned to love the game of baseball.

"A lot of memories being brought up coming back here," the younger Yastrzemski told Amy G. "Moments that I've had in the stands more than anything. The smell in the air and just the overall visuals of being 10 years old and falling love with baseball and seeing some really cool moments."

Being the grandson of one of the most revered players in Red Sox history had its benefits, no doubt, but it also couldn't have been easy growing up in such a large shadow. However, as Yastrzemski explained, he grew to appreciate that shadow, rather than feel compelled to make his own larger one.

"You grow up with it and you think there's pressure when you're young, but then when you understand the magnitude of the impact that he had on this city, I stopped feeling pressure and started feeling pride," he said. "You start to understand how much of an impact he had and the numbers that he put up and how essentially unattainable they are in today's game.

"There is no pressure. I get to do what I love because I fell in love with the same thing that he did."

As Yastrzemski and Amy G made their way around Fenway, they eventually came upon the famous Green Monster in left field. On the inside of the scoreboard -- an area Yastrzemski admitted he hadn't been in for close to 20 years -- they came across countless signatures all over the internal walls. Yastrzemski revealed that those walls were critical in his ascension to becoming a major league player.

"A staple of my life was baseball and this wall," he told Amy G, "and I felt like I kind of used it as a dream and ambition and a way to kind of push a little further than maybe I even should have."

All that pushing culminated in his first major league call-up at the ripe age of 29 years old. It might have taken longer than he would have preferred. But, Yastrzemski says he's better able to appreciate it now due to the long journey it took to get here.

[RELATED: Yaz to Yaz: Watch Giants rookie catch first pitch from Carl]

"When you're young and you get here, you might feel that pressure and say, 'You know, I have to perform to a certain extent or else I'm going to be back and forth for my whole career. I don't want to be that guy.' Whereas for me, I was looking at it as: I just want one day. And if I get one day to just sit in the dugout and put on the uniform, I'm good.

"Every single extra step is just one more thing that I get to say, 'Wow, that was really cool.'

Hitting a home run in your first game at your Hall of Fame grandfather's old home park? Now that's really cool.

Watch Bruce Bochy's speech to Giants, toast after historic 2,000th win

Watch Bruce Bochy's speech to Giants, toast after historic 2,000th win

Giants manager Bruce Bochy accomplished something Wednesday night at Fenway Park that only 10 others in baseball history had done before.

The 64-year-old won his 2,000th game as a big league manager thanks to San Francisco's 11-3 win over the Boston Red Sox, and celebrated with his club in the visiting clubhouse. Bochy's players and coaching staff toasted him with champagne, and then the veteran skipper thanked his team for helping him reach the milestone. 

Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto documented it all on Instagram, including Bochy's brief shower of bubbly.

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2000 Wins!!! 🎊🎉🎊🎊🍾🍾🍾

A post shared by Johnny Cueto (@johnnycueto47) on

"It's a number, and I don't know what the number means," Bochy told the Giants. "I think a couple things. I've been blessed to be doing this as long as I've been doing it, but it's a number that all of you are a part of, trust me. I'm riding the backs of you guys. I look at the support from ownership, the front office, the players, this coaching staff ... I can't thank you guys enough, and hopefully when you look at this number, you know you're part of it because you are. 

" ... I'm not going to get emotional here, but (2,000 wins) is not what was on my mind -- I swear to you -- this year. It was more us getting (to the playoffs) and for you guys to do what you did in July to get back into this thing and for this to happen, I can't thank you enough. Thank you."

[RELATED: Watch Giants rookie Yastrzemski catch first pitch from grandfather]

Bochy's players couldn't thank him enough, either. Catcher Stephen Vogt is in his first season with the Giants and his only one playing for Bochy, and he said the team's toast to the legendary manager was a fitting tribute. 

"This is something you want to do for a manager who's been around and given so much time to his players over the last 25 years," Vogt told reporters in Boston (H/T San Francisco Chronicle). "If you know anything about this game, it's every day. It's sacrifice. It's giving time away from your family in order to achieve greatness, and he's one of 11 at the top of the list. There's a lot more than just winning baseball games that went into tonight."