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Comparing the impact of the Atlanta Braves trade deadline acquisitions after four weeks

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A closer look at how much impact the Atlanta Braves trade deadline additions have had in the pennant race compared to other team’s additions.

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
Kevin Gausman
Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

There is no doubt that the trade deadline had some big movers in the last week or so before 7/31. However we are now four weeks out from that date and it is time to start evaluating how the players who moved teams have impacted their new teams playoff hopes.

The main reason I chose to do this is because Kevin Gausman has been a new man since coming over from Baltimore, so I thought it would be fun to look at his impact compared to Manny Machado, Cole Hamels, Chris Archer, and everyone else. It’s no secret that Gausman has been very important in the last four weeks, but this will give us an answer to if he has made the biggest impact across the league.

Note that anyone traded after the 7/31 deadline isn’t being considered as they haven’t had enough time with their new club to be measured accurately against the guys who were dealt before August. I am also excluding anyone dealt before the All Star Game, as guys like Kelvin Herrera, Denard Span, and Alex Colome have had longer to pad their resume.

Important to note that I only included Baseball Reference WAR. This was intentional as FanGraphs WAR isn’t able to be broken down by team/period. EDIT-FanGraphs WAR was added.

The Starters

Cole Hamels, SP, Chicago

5 starts, 34 IP, 4-0, 0.79 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, bWAR 1.8, fWAR 1.2

If there has been one starter who has been better than Gausman, it’s Hamels. Hamels had not been the same guy he was earlier in his career, but this trade seems to have re-energized the veteran with significant postseason experience. All he cost the Cubs was Rollie Lacy, Alexander Ovalles, and Eddie Butler- arguably less than the cost of Gausman because of his big salary figure.

Kevin Gausman, SP, Braves

5 starts, 32 IP, 4-1, 1.69 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, bWAR 1.3, fWAR 0.8

So my comments on Twitter yesterday were slightly off about Gausman being the single most impactful player moved at the deadline...as he came in second for that honor. Either way I don’t think you can say enough great things about the way Gausman has turned his season around since the day he came over. EDIT-In FanGraphs WAR, Gausman ranks as the fourth best starter behind Hamels, Lynn, and Eovaldi.

J.A. Happ, SP, New York

5 starts, 30.1 IP, 5-0, 2.37 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, bWAR 1.1, fWAR 0.6

If Hamels may be outproducing Gausman, then Happ has been Gausman’s equal. Happ had been an All Star this year, but hadn’t fared as well in his last handful of starts with the Blue Jays.

Lance Lynn, SP, New York

4 starts/1 relief appearance, 26 IP, 1-1, 3.81 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, bWAR 0.4, fWAR 1.0

It’s easy to say Lance Lynn hasn’t had a huge impact by looking at his numbers, but for a Yankees team that has a strong lineup and loaded pen that is all they needed.

Nate Eovaldi, SP, Boston

6 starts, 32 IP, 2-2, 3.94 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, bWAR 0.0, fWAR 0.9

Eovaldi has moved within the AL East but hasn’t been very effective. His numbers only tell so much, as he’s allowed seven earned runs in addition to the 14 earned runs he’s given up. Sure some of it can be blamed on the defense, but he’s only been able to go longer than five and third one time- after going at least six innings in five of his last six starts with Tampa.

Chris Archer, SP, Pittsburgh

5 starts, 22.1 IP, 1-2, 6.45 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, bWAR -0.4, fWAR 0.2

Archer is a guy that the Braves were heavily involved in trade talks for, and he just has not been very good in the National League.

The Relievers

Brad Hand, RP, Cleveland

14 games, 15.1 IP, 1.17 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 6 HLD, 5 SV, bWAR 0.9, fWAR 0.5

Brad Hand came along with Adam Cimber and definitely came at a high price of top catching prospect Francisco Mejia, but for a Cleveland pen desperately needing help he has been that. Hand has six holds and five saves in his first 14 games

Seunghwan Oh, RP, Colorado

13 games, 12.1 IP, 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 5 HLD, 2 SV, bWAR 0.8, fWAR 0.2

The Rockies lone upgrade at the deadline, Oh has been excellent despite making eight of his appearances at Coors Field.

Jesse Chavez, RP, Chicago

15 games, 20.1 IP, 1.33 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 1 HLD, 1 SV, bWAR 0.8, fWAR 0.5

Chavez came cheap, and while he hasn’t been asked to pitch in many high leverage roles he has done very well when called upon. Part of why Chavez has more games and innings than everyone else is the fact he was dealt about 10 days before the deadline, giving him a bit more time with the Cubs.

Keone Kela, RP, Pittsburgh

12 games, 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 2 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR 0.6, fWAR 0.2

For as much as Chris Archer has struggled in the black and yellow, Kela has been at the top of his game after moving into a setup role.

Jonny Venters, RP, Braves

11 games, 9.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 3 HLD, 1 SV, bWAR 0.5, fWAR 0.2

Since coming over for a minimal amount of international bonus slot money, Venters has been excellent. In terms of WAR he is the fifth most valuable reliever moved at the deadline, out of the 18 who changed teams. EDIT-With FanGraphs WAR Venters is in a four-way tie for the sixth most valuable reliever moved at the deadline.

Ryan Pressly, RP, Houston

11 games, 10.2 IP, 1.69 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 4 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR 0.4, fWAR 0.3

The Astros quietly paid a decent price to land Pressly from the Twins, but he’s been more than worth what they paid. Pressly’s first 11 game have been more than Jeff Luhnow could have even expected.

Adam Warren, RP, Seattle

11 games, 10.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 2 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR 0.4, fWAR -0.2

Warren has been solid in 11 games with the Mariners, providing a cheap upgrade as a Yankee castoff. It’s definitely strange to see him rank ahead of Osuna and Familia in terms of WAR, because you can’t argue that those other two guys have had more success with their new teams.

Roberto Osuna, RP, Houston

9 games, 9 IP, 2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2 HLD, 2 SV, bWAR 0.3, fWAR 0.2

Osuna has moved over from Toronto and pitched well, but the bigger questions with him come off the field as he could be causing issues in the clubhouse. However it’s hard to argue with what he’s done on the mound.

Jeurys Familia, RP, Oakland

15 games, 17.2 IP, 2.55 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 3 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR 0.3, fWAR 0.6

Familia came to the A’s at a bargain rate as the Mets sold too soon, and he’s already nearing 20 strong innings of work in Oakland.

Joakim Soria, RP, Milwaukee

9 games, 7.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 5 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR 0.2 fWAR 0.1

The Brewers have done well to add Soria at a low price, and he’s pitched well without being asked to close.

Brad Brach, RP, Braves

13 games, 12.1 IP, 0.73 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR 0.2, fWAR 0.3

Brach was bad in Baltimore this year, in part due to an awful defense. Similar to Gausman he has quickly turned things around since leaving Camden Yards. Similar to Venters he came for a minimal amount of international bonus slot money, yet he’s outpitched higher priced trade acquisitions like former teammate Zach Britton and Adam Cimber. EDIT-With FanGraphs WAR Brach is tied for the fourth highest WAR among the 18 relievers moved.

Zach Britton, RP, New York

13 games, 13 IP, 4.85 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4 HLD, 1 SV, bWAR 0.0, fWAR -0.1

For a guy who came at a premium price, Britton certainly hasn’t been lights out for the Yankees. He came with some questions about if he was the same guy he was from 2015-2017 because of injury, and he’s left those questions unanswered as we head into September. The Braves were smart to stay away from paying a premium price on a rental with those questions.

Brad Ziegler, RP, Arizona

12 games, 8.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 1 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR -0.1, fWAR 0.1

Ziegler hasn’t been at the top of his game yet in Arizona, but he’s been able to hold his own.

Aaron Loup, RP, Philadelphia

4 games, 2 IP, 2.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 1 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR -0.1, fWAR 0.0

Loup was injured quickly after heading to Philly, requiring them to go back out and acquire Luis Avilan as their lefty relief upgrade.

Adam Cimber, RP, Cleveland

14 games, 8.1 IP, 6.48 ERA, 2.04 WHIP, 6 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR -0.1, fWAR -0.3

Cimber has not pitched nearly as well as Hand has, which isn’t completely surprising for an older popup rookie. Cimber looked more like a LOOGY coming over, but he’s struggled against hitters from both sides.

Zach Duke, RP, Seattle

13 games, 6.2 IP, 8.10 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 2 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR -0.2, fWAR -0.2

Another cheap upgrade for the Seattle pen since they didn’t have a lot to trade from, but Duke hasn’t pitched like much of an upgrade.

Jake Diekman, RP, Arizona

8 games, 5.1 IP, 5.06 ERA, 2.06 WHIP, 0 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR -0.3, fWAR -0.1

Diekman has struggled in the desert, but he’s only seen very limited action.

Brandon Kintzler, RP, Chicago

11 games, 7.1 IP, 8.59 ERA, 2.18 WHIP, 4 HLD, 0 SV, bWAR -0.5, fWAR -0.5

Kintzler has struggled since arriving in Chicago, and the inflated numbers show it.

The Bats

Manny Machado, SS, Los Angeles

161 PA, .266/.348/.469, 6 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 17 RBI, bWAR 1.8, fWAR 1.6

Machado cost a ton as a rental, and he’s definitely been helping to make a difference in LA with his .817 OPS plus five steals. Machado has the highest WAR overall, but it is also important to remember he’s had much longer with his new team than most, as he was dealt over the All Star break.

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Milwaukee

104 PA, .261/.337/.467, 7 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, bWAR 0.8, fWAR 0.6

Moustakas wasn’t hitting quite as well as he has throughout his career while in Kansas City, but a trade to a contender seems to have given him new life.

Wilson Ramos, C, Philadelphia

26 PA, .480/.462/.880, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, bWAR 0.7, fWAR 0.7

Ramos came at almost no cost to the Phillies, but after missing some time with an injury he has been red hot with the bat. If he had more plate appearances Ramos’ 1.342 OPS would easily be the highest of any traded player.

Brian Dozier, 2B, Los Angeles

101 PA, .232/.366/.415, 6 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, bWAR 0.7, fWAR 0.4

Dozier’s slugging percentage may be a little lower than you’d expect, but he’s been playing up to expectations so far.

Eduardo Escobar, 3B, Arizona

102 PA, .289/.343/.500, 7 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, bWAR 0.5, fWAR 0.6

Escobar was an under the radar addition for the Dbacks, and he’s been extremely productive. While Machado has a higher WAR in part to 59 more plate appearances, it is actually Escobar that has the highest OPS with his new team among players with at least 30 plate appearances.

Jon Schoop, 2B, Milwaukee

66 PA, .206/.242/.333, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, bWAR 0.0, fWAR -0.2

Schoop was having a tough season in Baltimore, and has struggled even more in Milwaukee as he adjusts to a new role.

Ian Kinsler, 2B, Boston

41 PA, .237/.293/.263, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, bWAR -0.1, fWAR -0.1

Kinsler hasn’t adjusted well to Boston, and has posted just a .556 OPS through his first 41 plate appearances.

Adam Duvall, OF, Braves

36 PA, .121/.194/.121, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, bWAR -0.3, fWAR -0.3

It’s no secret that Adam Duvall has been ineffective since coming over from the Reds, but he has barely played. He’s averaging nine plate appearances per week with the Braves, a big decrease from his time in Cincinnati.

Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B, Philadelphia

105 PA, .220/.257/.360, 8 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, bWAR -0.8, fWAR 0.0

Cabrera moved down the East Coast a bit going from Queens to Philly, and he’s not been producing the way the Phillies have hoped. The good news with him is that he’s had some important hits with his new club.