The dust has finally settled on the 2021 MLB trade deadline and boy, it was a wild one.
While past trade deadlines have been heavy on rumors but light on actual transactions, this year’s deadline lived up to the hype. All-Star players switched teams at a dizzying rate, with several blockbuster trades involving some of baseball’s marquee franchises such as the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs.
As a result, the baseball landscape looks much different now than it did a week ago. Multiple clubs made significant upgrades while others waved the white flag, causing postseason odds to shift considerably. With rosters more solidified and roughly two-thirds of the regular season in the books, now is a great time to re-evaluate where everyone stands and predict how the rest of the season will shake out.
With that in mind, one of the most intriguing 2021 MLB futures bets to make after the 2021 MLB trade deadline is the Yankees winning the American League pennant (+900). A preseason favorite to win the AL, their odds are much longer now because of their relatively disappointing regular-season performance to date. But after reloading at the deadline, New York appears to have enough talent to make it back to the postseason, where anything can happen in a short series.
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2021 MLB Trade Deadline: Winners, Losers + Highlights
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
Already one of the most talented teams in baseball, the defending World Series champions swooped in at the deadline to acquire Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals in a jaw-dropping trade that bolsters both LA’s lineup and rotation. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner who is still one of the best pitchers in the game at age 37, while Turner is an elite shortstop with another year of team control.
Given how close Los Angeles is to the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres in the standings, this trade could put them over the top in the NL West. Even if they aren’t able to catch the Giants, they have more than enough firepower to survive the postseason and reach their fourth Fall Classic in five years. The Dodgers have MLB’s most complete, star-studded roster and appear poised to go all the way again.
Winner: New York Yankees
After underperforming for the first four months of the season, the Yankees were in clear need of reinforcements, especially for an offense that has struggled to score runs consistently this year. New additions Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo should help in this regard, as they are both power-hitting lefties who can take advantage of Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field. The veteran sluggers are welcome additions to a righty-heavy lineup that has severely lacked left-handed pop this year beyond Rougned Odor.
Gallo and Rizzo — who had 39 home runs between them prior to the deadline — will add some much-needed punch to an injury-riddled offense that has scored the second-fewest runs in the Junior Circuit this year. These additions should enable New York to pick things up down the stretch and at least snag a Wild Card berth. They still have some ground to make up in the AL East, but they could end up overtaking the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox once they get healthy and are worth considering at +1000.
Winner: San Francisco Giants
The first-place Giants reeled in a big fish of their own at the deadline, netting former NL MVP Kris Bryant from the Cubs. Bryant instantly adds a legitimate middle-of-the-order threat to San Francisco’s lineup, which has gotten the bulk of its production from over-performing veterans such as Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, and Brandon Belt.
While the Giants’ offense has been one of the best in baseball this year, Bryant provides depth and should help offset any injuries or regression that might occur down the stretch. If San Francisco does hang on to win the NL West, Bryant will likely be a key reason why. He’s also able to play multiple positions, which will allow him to move off the hot corner when Longoria returns from the IL.
Loser: Colorado Rockies
The Rockies were expected to be major sellers at the deadline after trading Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals during the offseason and falling double-digit games below .500. In particular, it was widely assumed that Colorado would deal star shortstop Trevor Story, especially with him hitting free agency in a few months.
Instead, the Rockies did next to nothing at the deadline. They traded reliever Mychal Givens to the Cincinnati Reds for a pair of prospects, but held onto their more attractive trade chips such as Story, Jon Gray, and Daniel Bard. With Story and Gray unlikely to re-sign this offseason, Colorado missed a major opportunity to get something in return for them before they depart. Another puzzling move (or lack thereof) by a front office that has made plenty of them in recent years.
Loser: San Diego Padres
Not only did the Padres let Scherzer slip through their fingers after engaging in serious trade talks for the Nationals ace, but they watched him go to the division-rival Dodgers at the 11th hour instead. Talk about a gut punch.
The NL West is a three-team race this year, and two of those teams landed superstar talent at the deadline. San Diego did not, and their failure to secure a deal for Scherzer could end up preventing them from catching Los Angeles and San Francisco in the standings. Padres GM A.J. Preller has a long track record of making splashy trades, but he wasn’t able to get it done this time.
Loser: Juan Soto
The young Nationals star has witnessed a mass exodus of talent leave Washington during his four seasons there, from Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon to Scherzer, Turner, and Kyle Schwarber. The current roster is a far cry from the one that won the World Series two years ago and projects to be one of the the NL’s worst teams the rest of the way.
While the Nationals will attempt to rebuild around their 22-year-old superstar, it will probably be a while before he gets another taste of the postseason. In the meantime, he’ll have to make do with a weak supporting cast while serving as the de facto face of a franchise that is trending in the wrong direction.