Biggest trade deadline gains
Ranking the dozen deals that shifted teams' playoff odds the most
Baseball's trade deadline passed Monday afternoon, not with a bang but with a whimper as 4 p.m. ET quietly passed and many of the biggest names floating in rumors stayed in their current uniforms. But even though Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, Justin Upton and Matt Garza, among others, may have remained right where they were, a handful of teams still managed to make significant additions in recent weeks.
Looking at it through the lens of this year's pennant race, who did the best? To get an idea, I ran simulations of a million seasons using the ZiPS projection system and a Monte Carlo simulator, both to get an idea of how each trade in isolation likely affects each team's playoff odds, and to get an overall estimation on how the pennant race has changed (if at all).
The following dozen trades are ranked by the projected change in playoff odds in percentage points, with all trades involving an improvement of 1 percentage point or better.
1. Zack Greinke to Los Angeles Angels (+10.8 percent)
The Angels may eventually regret the loss of shortstop/second baseman Jean Segura, arguably the team's top prospect now that Mike Trout devotes his days to humiliating AL pitchers. But if you have to trade a top prospect, this is the way to do it, as the Angels had an obvious need standing at three games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West and possessing only two starting pitchers clearly better than league average this season.
Greinke was the best player who was realistically acquirable (looking at you, King Felix), so there's not much to complain about here. If the Angels' desire to retain Greinke is real -- and reports indicate that it is -- they have the financial firepower to make it happen.
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