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The 100 Most Impactful Transactions of 2018

As an eventful 2018 comes to a close and we prepare to welcome the excitement of a new year, I thought it would be fun to look back at the ten most impactful MLB transactions from each month of the 2018 calendar year. After each month, I will briefly explain how the transactions I chose directly or indirectly impacted the results of the 2018 MLB season.

January:

4th:

Chicago White Sox Traded 2B Jake Peter to Los Angeles Dodgers; Los Angeles Dodgers Traded cash, RHP Joakim Soria and LHP Luis Avilan to Chicago White Sox; Los Angeles Dodgers Traded SS Erick Mejia and RHP Trevor Oaks to Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Royals Traded RHP Joakim Soria and LHP Scott Alexander to Los Angeles Dodgers.

6th:

San Diego Padres signed free agent RHP Craig Stammen.

11th:

Pittsburgh Pirates traded RHP Gerrit Cole to Houston Astros for 3B Colin Moran, LF Jason Martin, RHP Joe Musgrove and RHP Michael Feliz.

15th:

Pittsburgh Pirates traded RF Andrew McCutchen and cash to San Francisco Giants for RHP Kyle Crick, CF Bryan Reynolds and Future Considerations.

16th:

New York Mets signed free agent RF Jay Bruce.

19th:

Toronto Blue Jays traded RHP Dominic Leone and RHP Conner Greene to St. Louis Cardinals for LF Randal Grichuk.

25th:

Miami Marlins traded CF Christian Yelich to Milwaukee Brewers for CF Lewis Brinson, 2B Isan Diaz, CF Monte Harrison and RHP Jordan Yamamoto.

26th:

Milwaukee Brewers signed free agent CF Lorenzo Cain.

29th:

Kansas City Royals traded DH Brandon Moss, LHP Ryan Buchter and cash to Oakland Athletics for RHP Heath Fillmyer and RHP Jesse Hahn.

30th:

Cincinnati Reds signed free agent RHP David Hernandez.

RECAP: The Pirates finally traded two of their best players in Gerrit Cole and franchise player Andrew McCutchen and the Brewers landed one of the biggest steals in recent memory as they acquired 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich before signing Lorenzo Cain the next day. Meanwhile, the White Sox landed two relievers that would turn out to be key trade chips.

February:

4th:

Texas Rangers signed free agent RHP Bartolo Colon to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

13th:

San Francisco Giants signed free agent LHP Derek Holland to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

14th:

St. Louis Cardinals signed free agent RHP Bud Norris.

15th:

Baltimore Orioles placed LHP Zach Britton on the 60-day disabled list. Right Achilles surgery.

16th:

Milwaukee Brewers signed free agent LHP Wade Miley to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

17th:

Los Angeles Angels traded 1B C.J. Cron to Tampa Bay Rays for Player To Be Named Later.

18th:

Boston Red Sox signed free agent 2B Eduardo Nunez.

19th:

San Diego Padres signed free agent 1B Eric Hosmer.

22nd:

Tampa Bay Rays traded LF Corey Dickerson to Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Daniel Hudson, 2B Tristan Gray and cash.

26th:

Boston Red Sox signed free agent LF J.D. Martinez.

RECAP: The Orioles’ trainwreck of a season started back in February when they had to place Zach Britton on the 60-day DL. Meanwhile, both the Giants and Brewers scored bargains late in free agency with Derek Holland and Wade Miley respectively, with the latter playing an enormous role down the stretch for the NL Central champion Brewers. The Rays made a questionable move to trade Corey Dickerson to the Pirates, but ended up somewhat compensating for his production by acquiring C.J. Cron who few thought would hit 30 HRs for the Rays this season.

March:

3rd:

Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent RF Carlos Gomez.

10th:

Kansas City Royals signed 3B Mike Moustakas.

12th:

New York Yankees signed free agent 1B Neil Walker.

12th:

Colorado Rockies signed free agent RF Carlos Gonzalez.12th: Minnesota Twins signed free agent RHP Lance Lynn.

16th:

Minnesota Twins traded RHP Luis Gil to New York Yankees for CF Jake Cave.

19th:

Oakland Athletics signed free agent Trevor Cahill.

21st:

Baltimore Orioles signed free agent Alex Cobb.

23rd:

New York Yankees released LHP Wade LeBlanc.

30th:

Milwaukee Brewers transferred RHP Jimmy Nelson from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Right shoulder inflammation.

RECAP: The Royals surprisingly re-signed Mike Moustakas while several starting pitchers signed very late in the free agency process. Meanwhile, the Yankees signed Neil Walker, but let go of two players in Jake Cave and Wade LeBlanc that would go on to have very productive seasons in Minnesota and Seattle respectively.

April:

1st:

New York Yankees recalled 3B Miguel Andujar from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

11th:

San Francisco Giants transferred LHP Madison Bumgarner from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Fractured fifth metacarpal.

11th:

Washington Nationals placed LF Adam Eaton on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 9, 2018. Bone bruise on left ankle.

13th:

New York Mets recalled CF Brandon Nimmo from Las Vegas 51s.

13th:

Toronto Blue Jays placed 3B Josh Donaldson on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 11, 2018. Right shoulder inflammation.

13th:

Pittsburgh Pirates recalled RHP Kyle Crick from Indianapolis Indians.

24th:

Oakland Athletics recalled RHP Lou Trivino from Nashville Sounds.

25th:

Milwaukee Brewers placed 1B Eric Thames on the 10-day disabled list. Torn UCL in left thumb.

25th:

Atlanta Braves selected the contract of LF Ronald Acuna Jr. from Gwinnett Stripers.

29th:

St. Louis Cardinals optioned RHP Jack Flaherty to Memphis Redbirds.

RECAP: The hopes of the Giants took a massive blow when Madison Bumgarner was transferred to the 60-day DL, while Eric Thames’s injury created an opening for Jesus Aguilar to step in and eventually take over the starting job. Meanwhile, both the NL Rookie of the Year and AL Rookie of the Year runner-up made their MLB debuts and the A’s and Pirates recalled relievers that would go on to have outstanding seasons.

May:

4th:

Los Angeles Dodgers recalled RHP Walker Buehler from Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

11th:

Washington Nationals transferred LF Adam Eaton from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Bone bruise on left ankle.

15th:

Seattle Mariners placed 2B Robinson Cano on the restricted list.

15th:

St. Louis Cardinals recalled RHP Jack Flaherty from Memphis Redbirds.

16th:

New York Mets placed LF Yoenis Cespedes on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to May 14, 2018. Mild strain of right hip flexor.

18th:

Pittsburgh Pirates recalled Austin Meadows from Indianapolis Indians.

20th:

Washington Nationals selected the contract of LF Juan Soto from Harrisburg Senators.

25th:

New York Yankees traded C Erik Kratz to Milwaukee Brewers for Future Considerations.

26th:

Chicago Cubs placed RHP Yu Darvish on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to May 23, 2018. Right triceps tendinitis.

28th:

San Francisco Giants selected the contract of RHP Dereck Rodriguez from Sacramento River Cats.

RECAP: May saw a swarm of dynamic young players, including NL Rookie of the Year runner-up, Juan Soto, make their Major League debuts while four veteran players in Adam Eaton, Robinson Cano, Yoenis Cespedes, and Yu Darvish were forced out of action for extended periods of time. Erik Kratz’s acquisition was not given much attention at the time, but he had some big moments for the Brewers down the stretch.

June:

2nd:

Los Angeles Dodgers transferred LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Left groin strain.

6th:

Oakland Athletics signed free agent RHP Edwin Jackson to a minor league contract.

7th:

Tampa Bay Rays recalled 1B Jake Bauers from Durham Bulls.

10th:

Tampa Bay Rays traded cash and 1B Brad Miller to Milwaukee Brewers for 1B Ji-Man Choi.

11th:

St. Louis Cardinals selected the contract of Daniel Poncedeleon from Memphis Redbirds.

14th:

Minnesota Twins optioned 3B Miguel Sano to Fort Myers Miracle.

17th:

Cleveland Indians recalled Shane Bieber from Columbus Clippers.

26th:

Chicago Cubs recalled David Bote from Iowa Cubs.

29th:

St. Louis Cardinals transferred RHP Alex Reyes from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Right latissimus strain.

30th:

Colorado Rockies optioned RHP Jon Gray to Albuquerque Isotopes.

RECAP: After a terrific start to the season, Hyun-Jin Ryu was forced to the 60-day DL which was a huge blow for the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Daniel Poncedeleon of the Cardinals made one of the most emotional, noteworthy Major League debuts in MLB history.

July:

19th:

Texas Rangers traded RHP Jesse Chavez to Chicago Cubs for LHP Tyler Thomas.

19th:

San Diego Padres traded LHP Brad Hand and RHP Adam Cimber to Cleveland Indians for C Francisco Mejia.

25th:

Tampa Bay Rays traded RHP Nathan Eovaldi to Boston Red Sox for LHP Jalen Beeks.

26th:

Toronto Blue Jays traded J.A. Happ to New York Yankees for LF Billy McKinney and 3B Brandon Drury.

27th:

Kansas City Royals traded 3B Mike Moustakas to Milwaukee Brewers for CF Brett Phillips and RHP Jorge Lopez.

27th:

Texas Rangers traded LHP Cole Hamels and cash to Chicago Cubs for Eddie Butler, RHP Rollie Lacy and Player To Be Named Later.

29th:

New York Yankees traded LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP Giovanny Gallegos to St. Louis Cardinals for 1B Luke Voit and Future Considerations.

30th:

Toronto Blue Jays traded RHP Roberto Osuna to Houston Astros for RHP David Paulino, RHP Hector Perez and RHP Ken Giles.

31st:

Tampa Bay Rays traded RHP Chris Archer to Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Tyler Glasnow, CF Austin Meadows and Player To Be Named Later.

31st:

Baltimore Orioles traded RHP Kevin Gausman and RHP Darren O’Day to Atlanta Braves for RHP Evan Phillips, 3B Jean Carlos Encarnacion, C Brett Cumberland, LHP Bruce Zimmermann and Future Considerations.

RECAP: Several playoff teams fortified their rosters with mid-season trade, including the eventual World Champion Boston Red Sox, who would not have had such an easy path to victory without the dominating postseason performances by Nathan Eovaldi.

August:

3rd:

Oakland Athletics recalled RF Ramon Laureano from Nashville Sounds.

6th:

Detroit Tigers traded RHP Mike Fiers to Oakland Athletics for Future Considerations.

12th:

Cleveland Indians recalled 3B Yandy Diaz from Columbus Clippers.

14th:

Seattle Mariners activated 2B Robinson Cano from the restricted list.

18th:

Boston Red Sox placed LHP Chris Sale on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to August 15, 2018. Mild left shoulder inflammation.

21st:

Washington Nationals traded 2B Daniel Murphy to Chicago Cubs for 2B Andruw Monasterio and Player To Be Named Later.

28th:

St. Louis Cardinals recalled 3B Patrick Wisdom from Memphis Redbirds.

31st:

Toronto Blue Jays traded 3B Josh Donaldson to Cleveland Indians for Player To Be Named Later.

31st:

Pittsburgh Pirates traded 3B David Freese to Los Angeles Dodgers for SS Jesus Valdez.

31st:

San Francisco Giants traded RF Andrew McCutchen and cash to New York Yankees for 2B Abiatal Avelino and RHP Juan De Paula.

RECAP: Even after the non-waiver trade deadline, several key trades were completed in August including former elite players Josh Donaldson and Andrew McCutchen, as well as former postseason hero David Freese who, once again, played very well in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the A’s received a much needed boost both to their lineup and their rotation as Ramon Laureano was called up and Mike Fiers was traded for.

September:

4th:

Tampa Bay Rays transferred 2B Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Left thumb sprain.

4th:

Colorado Rockies recalled 2B Garrett Hampson from Albuquerque Isotopes.

4th:

Toronto Blue Jays recalled 1B Rowdy Tellez from Buffalo Bisons.

6th:

Toronto Blue Jays recalled C Reese McGuire from Buffalo Bisons.

8th:

Chicago White Sox placed RHP Michael Kopech on the 60-day disabled list. Ulnar collateral ligament sprain in right elbow.

9th:

Oakland Athletics recalled Nick Martini from Nashville Sounds.

11th:

Cleveland Indians activated 3B Josh Donaldson from the 10-day disabled list.

11th:

Boston Red Sox activated LHP Chris Sale from the 10-day disabled list.

14th:

New York Yankees activated RF Aaron Judge from the 10-day disabled list.

21st:

Cleveland Indians activated RHP Trevor Bauer from the 10-day disabled list.

RECAP: Amidst the swarm of September call-ups, Garrett Hampson, Rowdy Tellez, Reese McGuire, and Nick Martini all impressed. Elsewhere, the White Sox received a devastating blow when news broke that Michael Kopech would miss the rest of the 2018 season as well as all of 2019. In other news, the Red Sox, Yankees, and Indians all got star players back from injury as they prepared for their playoff pushes.

October:

29th:

RF Bryce Harper elected free agency.

29th:

SS Manny Machado elected free agency.

29th:

C Yasmani Grandal elected free agency.

29th:

RHP Craig Kimbrel elected free agency.

29th:

CF A.J. Pollock elected free agency.

29th:

RHP Nathan Eovaldi elected free agency.

29th:

LHP Zach Britton elected free agency.

29th:

LHP Dallas Keuchel elected free agency.

29th:

3B Josh Donaldson elected free agency.

29th:

LF Michael Brantley elected free agency.

RECAP: In a year notably rich in free agents, only three of these ten elite players have signed a contract since declaring for free agency over two months ago.

November:

2nd:

Chicago Cubs traded Player To Be Named Later and LHP Drew Smyly to Texas Rangers for Player To Be Named Later.

8th:

Seattle Mariners traded C Mike Zunino, LF Guillermo Heredia and LHP Michael Plassmeyer to Tampa Bay Rays for CF Mallex Smith and CF Jake Fraley.

16th:

Boston Red Sox signed free agent 1B Steve Pearce.

19th:

Seattle Mariners traded LHP James Paxton to New York Yankees for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson and CF Dom Thompson-Williams.

20th:

Tampa Bay Rays designated 1B C.J. Cron for assignment.

26th:

Atlanta Braves signed free agent 3B Josh Donaldson.

26th:

Minnesota Twins claimed 1B C.J. Cron off waivers from Tampa Bay Rays

29th:

Cincinnati Reds claimed 1B Jordan Patterson off waivers from New York Mets.

30th:

Cleveland Indians traded C Yan Gomes to Washington Nationals for RHP Jefry Rodriguez, RF Daniel Johnson and Player To Be Named Later.

30th:

Seattle Mariners traded RHP Alex Colome to Chicago White Sox for C Omar Narvaez..

RECAP: The Mariners stole the show in November with three key trades selling off valuable players. Meanwhile, the Cubs cleared room to pick up their option on Cole Hamels and the Braves landed one of the elite free agents on the market in Josh Donaldson.

December:

3rd:

Seattle Mariners traded SS Jean Segura, RHP Juan Nicasio and LHP James Pazos to Philadelphia Philliesfor 1B Carlos Santana and SS J.P. Crawford.

3rd:

Seattle Mariners traded 2B Robinson Cano, RHP Edwin Diaz and cash to New York Mets for RF Jay Bruce, RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Gerson Bautista, CF Jarred Kelenic and RHP Justin Dunn.

5th:

Arizona Diamondbacks traded 1B Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis Cardinals for C Carson Kelly, RHP Luke Weaver, 2B Andy Young and Future Considerations.

6th:

Boston Red Sox signed free agent RHP Nathan Eovaldi.

7th:

Washington Nationals signed free agent LHP Patrick Corbin.

12th:

Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent RF Andrew McCutchen.

13th:

Cleveland Indians Traded DH Edwin Encarnacion and Future Considerations to Seattle Mariners; Tampa Bay Rays Traded 1B Jake Bauers to Cleveland Indians; Seattle Mariners Traded 1B Carlos Santana to Cleveland Indians; Cleveland Indians Traded 3B Yandy Diaz and RHP Cole Sulser to Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Rays Traded cash to Seattle Mariners.

18th:

New York Mets signed free agent C Wilson Ramos.

19th:

Houston Astros signed free agent LF Michael Brantley.

21st:

Los Angeles Dodgers traded RF Yasiel Puig, LF Matt Kemp, LHP Alex Wood, C Kyle Farmer and cash to Cincinnati Reds for RHP Homer Bailey, SS Jeter Downs and RHP Josiah Gray.

RECAP: Jerry DiPoto did not stop with the wheeling and dealing as he completed another three trades, including the massive blockbuster with the Mets involving the MLB saves leader from last season, Edwin Diaz. In other news, the Cardinals finally landed the elite player via trade that had eluded them in past seasons as they acquired Paul Goldschmidt from Arizona. Several key free agents signed as well in December including arguably the best starting pitcher on the market in Patrick Corbin.

Featured Photo: The Boston Globe

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