<
>
Get ESPN+

Re-grading the trade deadline a month later

Cole Hamels has been everything the Cubs could have hoped for and more, filling a big gap in their rotation. Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports

In some respects, it takes years to evaluate deadline deals because that's how long it takes before we know how the prospects involved pan out. But in other respects, we can draw almost immediate conclusions. That's because, for contenders, in-season trades are made for one purpose: to enhance the club's chances of getting to the postseason. When viewed through that short-term lens, it doesn't take long to draw some conclusions.

We're nearly a month past the July 31 deadline for non-waiver trades, though a few waiver deals have trickled in since then. We'll probably have more before Friday, the last day that an organization can add a player from another team and have that player be eligible for the playoffs. Still, we're already at a point where we can make some judgments about the deals that were made with a playoff push in mind.

Let's take a look. We're considering all trades made since the beginning of July that can at least in some fashion be deemed as motivated to improve a team's postseason outlook.