As the clock struck 4:00 p.m. on the east coast Friday afternoon, the flood gates closed as seismic news across major league baseball came to calm. As we look around, we are stunned but in awe, as we grasp the major shift that’s taken place across the league. A trade deadline this electrifying has yet to be seen in baseball’s history.
Many Latino stars were carried throughout the league and landed in their new home with hopes of being the X factor that will navigate their team to October.
Javier Báez is a New York Met.
José Berríos is a Toronto Blue Jay.
Starling Marte was welcomed as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, and Ricard Rodriguez are now on the Atlanta Braves.
Eduardo Escobar to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Nelson Cruz landed in the Trop as a Tampa Bay Ray.
The baseball world also witnessed Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo become New York Yankees, Kris Bryant is a San Francisco Giant, and Max Scherzer and Trea Turner land in the presence of the 2020 World Series champions Los Angeles Dodgers.
Javier Báez and José Berríos, both from the island of Puerto Rico, are both recipients of the longest and most prestigious award given to a Latino player. 28-year-old Báez has hit 21 home runs and 65 RBI this season with a slash line of .248/.292/.484. The Bayamon native and two-time All-Star joins Caguas, Puerto Rico native Francisco Lindor in Flushing. The first-place Mets are 54-47, sitting just ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies by 3.5 games and Atlanta by 4.0 games, hoping to make their 10th playoff appearance in franchise history and first since the 2016 Wild Card.
The Minnesota Twins said goodbye to their star Latino players. “La Makina” aka Berríos and “Boomstick” Nelson Cruz said so-long to the Twin Cities where they helped carry the team to the 2019 and 2020 postseason.
With 20 games under his belt this season, Berríos has accumulated a 3.48 ERA with a 7-5 record, 126 strikeouts in 121.2 innings pitched. As Berríos takes his talents up north to Toronto, the Blue Jays hope the All-Star talent can weigh leverage on a team that has the potential to cause havoc in the American League East with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernández, George Springer, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Cruz has played six games so far with the Rays and has powered two home runs with a .500 slugging percentage. The 41-year-old Dominican is the third oldest active player in the majors, he continues to flourish in the batter’s box and place All-Star numbers (2021: .288 average, 21 home runs, and 52 RBI). He adds an extra fuel tank to a Rays offense that thirsts for postseason success.
With Ronald Acuña Jr. out for the remainder of the 2021 season due to a torn ACL, the Braves have pounced on opportunities to bolster their roster. The first splash was adding Joc Pederson on July 15 but now comes a bulk of young star talent that can assist in making this team a postseason contender.
Soler has struggled through 2021 with 13 home runs and 38 RBI but has progressed in his last seven games with seven home runs and five RBI. The 29-year-old Cuban lead the American League with 48 home runs in 2019. When healthy, Rosario is a notable asset who can add strength in the outfield and stable numbers in the batter’s box.
2021 All-Star Eduardo Escobar went from the bottom of the snakepit to the first-place Brewers who are hoping to clinch the National League Central for the first time since 2018. The Brewers — who are nestled cozily atop the NLC with a 61-42 record and seven games in front of the Cincinnati Reds — welcome the switch-hitter who has launched 22 home runs and 65 RBI this season as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The A’s needed an extra “oomph” factor to show that they have a roster that is committed to going the extra mile for playoff contention. Currently sitting in the second slot for the American League Wild Card, the Oakland ball club got their “oomph” factor with the addition of 10-year veteran Starling Marte. The 32-year-old Santo Domingo native has seven home runs and 25 RBI with a slash line of .305/.406/.449 in 2021 and is eager to stack onto his season totals alongside Matt Olson and Matt Chapman.
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