The Rangers added two premium players without giving up top talent like power-hitting Joey Gallo, versatile infielder Jurickson Profar and outfielder Nomar Mazara.

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For the second straight year, the Texas Rangers were the beneficiaries of a player’s no-trade clause. And it helped them become the big winners at the non-waiver trade deadline last week.

Last season, the Rangers acquired All-Star left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels to bolster their beat-up starting rotation. It happened only after Hamels exercised his no-trade clause and vetoed a deal that would have sent him to Houston. He instead approved a trade to the Rangers, saying he was doing what was best for his family.

This season, with their catching decimated by injury, the Rangers appeared to be out of the mix for Brewers All-Star backstop Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers and Indians appeared to have the framework of a deal that would send Lucroy to Cleveland. But he had the Indians on his list of teams in his limited no-trade clause. And with questions about his contract and his playing time in Cleveland, Lucroy nixed the deal.

The Rangers were waiting with open arms, offering a cadre of prospects to Milwaukee in return. With Lucroy not having Texas on his no-trade list, he was sent to the Rangers.

Later on that busy Monday, the Rangers added veteran all-star outfielder Carlos Beltran to solidify their lineup. While divisional titles or postgame series aren’t won with midseason trades — ask the 2014 A’s about that — the Rangers have an outstanding lineup going forward, highlighted by a stretch of hitters that includes Ian Desmond, Adrian Beltre, Beltran, Rougned Odor and Lucroy.

The Rangers added two premium players without giving up top talent like power-hitting Joey Gallo, versatile infielder Jurickson Profar and outfielder Nomar Mazara.

Deadline winners


Even with lefty Rich Hill fighting a blister issue that has delayed him from starting, he will help a rotation that has dealt with injury after injury. The trade also netted Josh Reddick and cost Los Angeles just three relief prospects. Perhaps the most important aspect of the deal was it allowed them to option struggling outfielder Yasiel Puig to Class AAA Oklahoma for a reality check. Reddick is better defensively and provides a positive clubhouse influence in contrast to the childish unpredictability of Puig.


A team that’s selling is a winner? For the Yankees, who never previously were sellers at the deadline, this is a major step forward in revamping an aging roster and adding some young talent in the upper levels of the organization. That general manager Brian Cashman was able to convince team president Randy Levine and the Steinbrenner brothers that this was the smart move is a major coup.

They dealt Aroldis Chapman, who is a free agent after the season, to the Cubs for elite shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres and three others, including outfielder Billy McKinney — a former top prospect who struggled this season. Cashman sent Beltran, who will also be a free agent at the end of the season, to Texas for former first-round pick Dillon Tate and two others.

The biggest haul came when they traded Andrew Miller to the Indians for four players, highlighted by outfielder Clint Frazier. The hard-hitting outfielder is rated as Baseball America’s No. 21 overall prospect and will be a fan favorite in New York with his red hair and charismatic style of play.


They only made one trade, but it was acquiring Pirates closer Mark Melancon for young relievers Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn. A closing situation that featured Jonathan Papelbon was not good for the Nationals or their fans. Melancon isn’t as flashy and doesn’t throw as hard as Aroldis Chapman, but he’s saved 40-plus games four times, including 63 in 2015. He has 30 saves this season with a 1.51 ERA. He has struck out 38 with just nine walks in 382/3  innings. More important, the Nationals didn’t trade away stud left-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito or speedy shortstop/center fielder Trea Turner. Both could be key contributors in the final months of the season.

Honorable mention: Giants, Orioles

Deadline losers


They traded Jay Bruce, which needed to happen for both parties. But in their deal with the Mets, Cincy failed to get Brandon Nimmo — one of the Mets’ best prospects. Instead, the marquee piece was infielder Dilson Herrera, who profiles as a second baseman. One slight problem: They have Brandon Phillips and his no-trade clause entrenched in that spot. So now they have Herrera, Eugenio Suarez and Jose Peraza all with similar capabilities and no real spots to play. Throw in the fact that they didn’t trade shortstop Zack Cozart — a free agent after 2017 — to the Mariners and find playing time for a young infielder and the Reds look like the biggest failure at the break.


They are going nowhere and still managed not to trade right-hander Jeremy Hellickson while his trade value is at its highest point and the starting-pitcher market vastly overpriced. And he’s a free agent next season, which makes it even worse. If they are thinking they might get a draft pick by offering Hellickson a qualifying offer of $17 million in hopes that he won’t take it, they are even more insane.


They made no moves to address their starting pitching depth, despite having plenty of prospects and a chance to overtake the Rangers in the AL West. Sure they added Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gurriel, but he’s likely not to be a contributor this season. While the Rangers got better, the Astros did not.

Honorable mention: Royals, Marlins