MLB.com Columnist

Jim Duquette

4 most improved teams after Trade Deadline

4 most improved teams after Trade Deadline

This year's non-waiver Trade Deadline was an absolute whirlwind, with 18 deals made across the Majors -- the highest total since 1995. Now that Aug. 1 has come and gone, here are the four teams that I feel improved the most:

1. Giants
As they seem to do be able to do every year that they are in the playoff hunt, the Giants found a way to fill their needs from a farm system that supposedly does not have the depth that others do.

This year, San Francisco traded for arguably the best starting pitcher available in Matt Moore, who in his past nine starts has posted an impressive 2.39 ERA over 60 1/3 innings. And at age 27, Moore is under team control for the next 3 1/2 seasons if his team options are exercised. Additionally, general manager Bobby Evans added a quality lefty in Will Smith, who effectively fills the void left by the retirement of Jeremy Affeldt a few years ago -- a lefty who manager Bruce Bochy can use against left- and right-handed hitters.

These acquisitions came at a considerable expense, including Matt Duffy, who finished second in the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year Award voting, and righty Phil Bickford, who had been San Francisco's No. 1 prospect, but it should be worth it if the Giants go deep into the postseason.

Will Smith on trade to Giants

2. Dodgers
The Dodgers waited until the last minute to add three players, including making a deal with Oakland for two of the most significant pieces available -- outfielder Josh Reddick and lefty Rich Hill.

Hill has been as one of the top starters in the American League while doing it in limited time due to injuries (most recently a blister). Those injuries prevented Oakland from demanding top talent in return by himself. Reddick, a middle-of-the-lineup hitter who also plays above-average defense, allowed Los Angeles to fill two needs in one timely move. The Dodgers gave up three good prospects, but they held on to lefty Julio Urias and righty Jose De Leon, so that's a win for Los Angeles.

Righty Jesse Chavez -- acquired from Toronto -- will add important versatility in the rotation or bullpen as Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts sees fit.

Gurnick on Reddick, Hill deal

3. Rangers
The Rangers also sat quietly in the days leading up to the Deadline, evaluating the marketplace while trying to improve their pitching. Unable to make a deal that made sense in an inflated marketplace for arms, general manager Jon Daniels and Thad Levine, his top lieutenant, moved quickly just before the Deadline passed, striking deals for two impact hitters to help replace the losses of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo -- Carlos Beltran and two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who they nabbed after he invoked his no-trade protection to veto a deal to Cleveland. (Imagine what an Indians-Rangers AL Championship Series might look like after that?)

Texas had to give up outfielder Lewis Brinson and right-hander Luis Ortiz, two of its top three prospects. But Daniels, just like he did when he swung midseason deals for Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, showed he's not afraid to be bold. That aggressiveness will pay off with a World Series ring sooner or later.

Beltran on trade to Rangers

4. Yankees
In what turned out to be an almost historic Trade Deadline for the Yankees, GM Brian Cashman sold high on two of his major bullpen pieces, dealing Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for a total of eight prospects. The last time we saw the Yankees sell, it was June 1989, when Rickey Henderson was traded for Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk and Luis Polonia.

This time, they restocked their system with valuable pieces like Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, who are now their top two prospects. And then on Monday, in trading Beltran to the Rangers, the Yankees also added righty Dillon Tate -- the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 Draft.

The Yankees now possess the ability to attack this offseason and the next, with a wave of top prospects ready to help get them back atop the AL East a lot sooner than many expected when July began.

Cashman on acquiring prospects

Jim Duquette, who was the Mets' GM in 2004, offers his opinions as a studio analyst and columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.