The New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals confirmed that their disappointing seasons thus far will end the same way after being major sellers at the trade deadline.
There’s no denying that the Mets have been quite a disappointment this season, as they’ve been double-digit games out of the NL East lead for weeks.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that they began selling far before the final hours of the trade deadline.
That primarily came in the form of their pitching staff, which is also what made them one of the highest payrolls in the MLB.
New York traded two Hall-of-Fame starters in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.
The former went to the Texas Rangers to reunite with former Met Jacob deGrom and the latter went to rejoin the Houston Astros, where he won two World Series.
Remaining on the pitching side of things, the Mets also traded away David Robertson, who was helping complete the bullpen after New York lost All-Star closer Edwin Diaz to a knee injury prior to the season.
Along with all those pitching moves, they also traded away key utility players in Tommy Pham and Mark Canha.
Perhaps the best illustration of the Mets' disappointing season is their World Series odds. After opening as one of the favorites at +1100 odds, they now sit at +20000 and are +825 just to make the playoffs.
After winning the NL Central, the Cardinals are another team whose odds have changed significantly over the course of the season.
St. Louis was expected to win the division yet again, but they now sit at the bottom, even below the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Despite having reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt and a perennial gold glover in Nolan Arenado, they were major sellers at the deadline.
Again beginning with the pitching side of things, the Cards traded away Jordan Montgomery - a lefty they traded with the New York Yankees to acquire just last season.
Starter Jack Flaherty has been fighting through injuries the last few seasons and St. Louis decided they’d rather focus on their future, rather than trust him to come back to form.
That sent Flaherty to the surging Baltimore Orioles as one of the last deals ahead of the deadline. Alongside trading away shortstop Paul DeJong, it’s no surprise that St. Louis is +2000 to make the playoffs.
It’s the other New York team that many fans are disappointed with in terms of moves made at the trade deadline.
The more accurate phrase would be the lack of moves. It’s not so much that they got worse, but that they didn’t make any acquisitions to make them better.
The Yankees lost their season series with the Baltimore Orioles for the first time since 2016 after losing on Sunday Night Baseball and sitting in last place in the AL East is unacceptable for the Bronx Bombers.
That is certainly in part due to Aaron Judge’s injury, but a single hitter cannot win a World Series.
Their lineup needs more depth, as does their starting pitching.
Their relief staff is still strong, but Luis Severino has been up-and-down after starting the season on the injured list, and Domingo German has his slumps as well.
Fans may see that they made deals over the last week, but nothing significant enough to make noise.
Each of the three teams above are the franchises that would be considered losers at the trade deadline.
The Mets and Cardinals were expected, but the Yankees were a team that many hoped would bolster their roster.
Another NL Central team - the Pirates - were also major sellers at the trade deadline.
Pittsburgh greatly exceeded expectations to begin the season, but have since regressed to the mean and are now even behind the Cards in terms of odds to win the NL Central (+40000).
The AL Central has been arguably the worst division in baseball since the first week of the season, but the Minnesota Twins did not jump at the opportunity to get better.
Like the Yankees, it isn’t that they got significantly worse, but that they didn’t make any significant acquisitions. Despite that, the weak division still has them as -375 favorites to win it.