With a 162-game schedule, the results of anyone day are largely insignificant. Only at the end of the season can you look back on a handful of games and realize that had a break gone the other way, it could have had a profound impact. But the Trade Deadline only happens once per year (which is actually true this season), and so its singularity makes what happens off the field more interesting, and arguably more important, than what happens on the field near the end of July.

The Blue Jays dominated the Deadline headlines on Sunday dealing Marcus Stroman to New York and Eric Sogard to Tampa Bay. If you weren’t paying attention today, you might assume Stroman was dealt to the Yankees, but it was the Mets who acquired the right-hander. The best guess as to what a non-contending Mets team is doing is adding a pitcher with an extra year of control past this one and dealing one set to be a free agent after this season, Zack Wheeler . It wouldn’t be a shock if the Mets got more back for Wheeler than what they gave up for Stroman, especially since they’ve limited the starting pitching options available by acquiring Stroman themselves. In Sogard, the Rays are getting a utility man who can play several positions and has a solid 123 wRC+ on the season.

Pitching Performance of the Day

While three walks in a start is not ideal, it’s not so bad if you only give up three hits and have a WHIP under 1.00 for the day. Matthew Boyd did just that against the Mariners on Sunday while allowing only one run and striking out 10. In addition to the Ks, he generated a whopping 20 swinging strikes, which easily led all starters for the day. Boyd got his ERA under 4.00 with the start, but he has pitched far better than that indicates with a 3.34 xFIP and an impressive K-BB% of 27.2-percent. Boyd’s name has come up in the trade rumors, but he has three years of team control left. That could convince the Tigers to hold on to him unless someone pays a ransom for him.



Hitting Performance of the Day

This wasn’t difficult to figure out. Kyle Schwarber was one of only two hitters to double dong on Sunday, and his nine total bases were the most by any hitter. He came to the plate four times and scored four times, and he drove in seven runs. Schwarber had his best month of the season in June with a 116 wRC+, and it looked like he was tailing off in July with a 74 wRC+ for the month entering Sunday. Sunday’s results will obviously help, but things were going better than it seems to begin with. His strikeout rate is the lowest it’s been in any month, and his walk rate in double digits. A woefully low .156 BABIP was making the month seem worse than it was. Here are both of Schwarber’s homers, one of which was a crushed pull shot and the other an oppo shot that didn’t look like much off the bat.





Game of the Day

On Saturday, the Blue Jays trailed the Rays by seven runs at the lead’s largest, and their win expectancy was all the way down to only 0.3-percent with two outs and no one on in the eighth as they trailed by six. Because I’m telling you this, you can surmise that the Blue Jays mounted a comeback, and they eventually won the game in 12 innings. Well, today the Rays returned the favor. The Jays led 8-1 after five innings, and their win expectancy peaked at 99-percent in the top of the sixth when Tampa’s leadoff batter was retired. But the Rays got three later that inning, two in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to win by the exact same score they had lost by the day before, 10-9. Here is the game graph courtesy of Fangraphs.

What to Watch for Today

Again, what’s happening off the field is arguably more interesting than the games themselves for the next few days. And what happens before the Deadline can obviously have a massive impact on who wins the title. Just think Justin Verlander to Houston in 2017 (yes, this happened in August, not July). Let me throw a few links at you about what could happen before the deadline. MLB.com’s Richard Justice proposes specific players contending teams should acquire. From Fangraphs, Dan Szymborski takes a look at some under-the-radar names who could get moved.