Cole Hamels - Texas Rangers
2-1, 3.89 ERA, 6 starts, 0.8 WAR
Hamels hasn’t been quite the ace that the Rangers were hoping when they acquired him, but he’s provided nearly a win over replacement since joining the team. As it is, Hamels is far from being a rental - he has 3 seasons left on his deal. Moving to the more difficult American League has brought his results down a bit, but he’s still probably an ace moving forward as he makes adjustments to his new environment.
Johnny Cueto - Kansas City Royals
2-4, 4.21 ERA, 7 starts, 0.6 WAR
Cueto started off well in his first start, then pitched brilliantly in next three starts before surrendering six earned runs in back to back starts against the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. He gave up 4 runs in his last start against the Tigers and was saddled with the loss as the Royals never tied the game or regained the league after his departure. The rental pitcher was acquired more for the playoff run as the Royals are running away with the American League Central division, and despite his last few starts being bad, he’s still been one of their better pitchers recently. Like Hamels, he moved to the more difficult league and still has some adjustments to make.
Carlos Gomez - Houston Astros
.213/.254./.303, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 32 games, -0.1 WAR
The Astros are probably very glad that Gomez is not a rental, as he still has one year remaining on his contract after being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers for a hefty price. He’s been a replacement level player since joining the Astros. This slump is unlikely to continue, fortunately, and he’s still playing above average defense. Fortunately for the Astros, fellow acquisition pitcher Mike Fiers, has pitched extremely well in 4 starts (5 appearances), adding 1 win above replacement.
Troy Tulowitzki - Toronto Blue Jays
.233/.322/.368, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 33 games, 1.3 WAR
While the batting line looks quite uninspiring, roughly league average offense from a shortstop is more than welcome. It also helps that he’s still an above average defender at a premium defensive position. Like some others on this list, he is not a rental, getting to enjoy 5 more guaranteed seasons (4 of which are at $20 million per year, the last of which is at $14MM), plus a team option. Fellow acquisition reliever LaTroy Hawkins has also been a plus, adding 0.4 WAR in only 11 ⅓ innings!
Meanwhile, former Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes got off to a very slow start with the Rockies, as he didn’t really want to be there. However, he’s rebounded since to be useful, posting 0.3 WAR in 32 games compared to the 0.5 WAR he posted in 69 games with the Jays this season. The trade looks fine for Toronto so far.
Yoenis Cespedes - New York Mets
.295/.347/.619, 11 HR, 28 RBI, 32 games, 1.4 WAR
While Cespedes probably won’t keep slugging over .600, Yoenis has truly been a fantastic addition for the Mets, who certainly needed the offense. He’s also a decent defensive outfielder, as well. He is a rental, sadly, although he would like to resign with the Mets - he will be a free agent after the season and can’t be offered a qualifying offer. Cespedes so far appears to be the best single acquisition of the trade deadline so far.
The Blue Jays probably have “won” the trade deadline so far with Tulo and Hawkins adding almost 2 wins of value to the team. We’ll see how they fare during their respective Septembers.