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Acquired RHP Luis Madero from Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP David Hernandez. [7/31]

Relying more on grit than stuff, Madero features a lean, projectable body, and has age on his side. Featuring a fastball in the low 90s, it's his primary offering and he is not afraid to throw it, but lacks the fine command necessary to get by even low-level bats. The curve flashes average, and there is a changeup, but this is more a project than even a lottery ticket. —Steve Givarz

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Acquired RHP Joe Smith from Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for LHP Thomas Pannone and INF-R Samad Taylor. [7/31]

In a move almost as under the radar as his name, the side-arming Smith comes back to Cleveland, where he pitched from 2009-2013. It's an acquisition as much for the postseason as for the stretch drive, and it adds another weapon that can be deployed by Terry Francona in the late innings to keep opposing hitters off balance. Smith is in the middle of what may be his best season at age 33, seemingly learning what he needs to do to be effective against left-handed batters.

As his sinker and slider have been less effective, Smith has begun to rely a bit more on his four-seam fastball and it's become a formidable pitch, even against lefties. Smith has posted a career high 12.87 K/9 this season and his numbers would look even more dominant if not for some bad luck with BABIP. Under the radar or not, the importance of another trustworthy reliever at the back end for the Indians cannot be overstated. Francona has already shown a mastery of using the arms available to him in his bullpen and the acquisition of Smith alleviates some of the burden on Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen. —Scott Delp

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Acquired LHP Thomas Pannone and INF-R Samad Taylor from Cleveland Indians in exchange for RHP Joe Smith. [7/31]

Pannone is your standard-issue “interesting” Double-A southpaw. The Indians' ninth-round pick in 2013 out of Southern Nevada, the 23-year-old has cruised through Double-A this year despite lacking overwhelming stuff. He’s an undersized lefty with a bit of funk and effort in his delivery, and works primarily off of an upper-80s fastball that touched 92 in my look. The delivery limits the ultimate command profile, but it’s average at present, and he can hit all four quadrants with the heater. The fastball plays up some due to the deception in Pannone's mechanics. He hides the ball well and his delivery has a bit of drop and drive and crossfire to it.

He’ll also feature a two-seamer with some arm-side movement. He casts his low-70s curve a bit, and it can be a bit of a slurvy 1-8 breaker that lacks true depth. However, Pannone commands the pitch well, can spot or bury it, and it will flash above average with a tighter shape. He uses his changeup sparingly but he has some feel for the offering, and if it continues to develop he might have a future as a fifth starter/swingman type. His most likely path to the majors is as a second lefty in the pen. —Jeffrey Paternostro

Signed for $125,000 in the 10th round in 2016 out of a California high school, Taylor has some intrigue. He's a plus runner with enough arm to profile anywhere in the infield, although second base is his most likely (and current) home due to his size. While small, he does have some pop and quick hands to turn on velocity. The ceiling is a bat-first leadoff-type hitter, but he is still in short-season ball, so there is a wide range of possibilities here. —Steve Givarz

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Acquired RHP David Hernandez from Los Angeles Angels in exchange for RHP Luis Madero. [7/31]

After spending two years away from each other, the Diamondbacks and Hernandez are reunited. While the Diamondbacks aren’t going to chase down the Dodgers to win the division, they could potentially run into them in the NLDS. Before that, however, they have to get there. Adding to the bullpen is one of the best ways to do it. When Hernandez left the desert, his 4.76 ERA and 5.42 DRA weren’t missed. He had this problem where he gave up a ton of home runs. So, what did he do about it? Like we all must do from time to time, he spent some time in Philadelphia. He spent some time in Los Angeles. He thought, "How on earth am I going to make it back to the desert?" And then, bam, it hit him!

“I’ll add a cutter, they’ll have to take me back then!” said Hernandez, probably. Miraculously, it worked. His ground-ball rate rose from 40 to 49 percent. This season, Hernandez hasn’t allowed a homer in 36 1/3 innings. That streak extends to 141 batters if you include last season. In fact, the last homer Hernandez surrendered was to James Loney on the second-to-last day of the 2016 season. It’s remarkable, really. His shiny 3.42 DRA will be tested in the Diamondbacks' bullpen, but you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Hernandez for having the guts to do what he had to do to get back to Arizona. Good for you, David. You go enjoy that blistering heat and, I suppose, the playoffs. —Shawn Brody

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Acquired OF-R Scott Van Slyke and C/1B-R Hendrik Clementina from Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for LHP Tony Cingrani. [7/31]

Van Slyke comes to the Reds in the midst of a multi-season decline in performance. In 2013 and 2014, he provided the Dodgers with above-average production at the plate in a limited role. However, he’s seen his numbers decline every season since 2015. Van Slyke hit .122/.250/.293 in 29 major-league games this season, and he hit .242/.332/.390 over 55 games at Triple-A. The 31-year-old will have two arbitration-eligible seasons remaining after this year, if he bounces back enough for them to matter.

The Reds' outfield situation is already crowded, and it will be difficult for Van Slyke to break through. Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, and Scott Schebler have the regular roster spots locked up. Jesse Winker looks to be next in line for one of those jobs if the Reds are looking to make a change. Van Slyke’s ceiling is a bench bat in Cincinnati, and with the way he’s been hitting there’s no guarantee that he’ll see much time in the majors. —Eric Roseberry

There's not a ton of info on the young backstop, but Clementina has a shot to stick behind the plate. At the dish, he's a physical presence with a chance for power projection. —Craig Goldstein

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Acquired LHP Tony Watson from Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Angel German and INF-R Oneil Cruz. [7/31]

Acquired LHP Tony Cingrani from Cincinnati Reds in exchange for OF-R Scott Van Slyke and C/1B-R Hendrik Clementina. [7/31]

Left-handed depth isn’t just for the rotation any more in Los Angeles. On the cusp of Monday’s deadline, the Dodgers didn’t just add a front-of-the-rotation starter, they also shored up a bullpen. Did they need to shore up the ‘pen? Maybe not. As of today, the Dodgers have a bullpen ERA of 2.87, which is the best mark of any team in baseball. Of course, much of that value comes from two incredible performers: Kenley Jansen and Brandon Morrow. And while Luis Avilan has been pretty good as the team’s primary left-handed weapon, when it comes time for matchups in October, you can always use another worthwhile lefty. The Dodgers went and got two one zero? two one better-than-competent left-hander, and a guy who’s something of a question mark.

Watson is both the short-term fix and the more effective of the two southpaws, if leveraged correctly. After a couple of effective seasons in 2014 and 2015, Watson took on something of a closer’s role in Pittsburgh after the team’s trade of Mark Melancon—a rarity for a left-handed reliever. Unfortunately, Watson has struggled against right-handed hitters, despite being used against them more often than not, and that split has led to some less-than-inspiring overall numbers, especially this season. In addition, Watson doesn’t have outstanding peripherals in general, and his velocity was down quite a bit to open the season. So that’s the bad news.

On the bright side, his velocity has bounced back and his numbers rebounded in July, making him a candidate to return to the standard of better-than-average lefty he'd settled upon prior to this season. If the Dodgers take the tack of using him primarily against lefties—a move that should help him be more aggressive and limit walks and dingers—one might even expect him to be a very pleasant piece setting up Jansen.

Cingrani is a bit more of a project and a wild card, but he’ll at least remain under team control for two more seasons. The days of Cingrani as a very exciting starter prospect are long gone, but he can still ratchet up the heat and average close to 95 miles per hour on his fastball. On the other hand, there’s little movement on that heater, and batters tend to turn them around with alacrity. While 2016 was a bad season for Cingrani, 2017 has been awful, and he allowed 3.5 homers per nine innings before making his way to L.A. at the deadline. Given his pedigree, the Dodgers might think they can fix him, and the sheer presence of pitching in L.A. should mitigate some of his homer problem. But unless something strange happens very quickly, you’re much more likely to see him working out his issues in Oklahoma City or in low-leverage situations.

Once again, the Dodgers have an abundance of left-handed arms. When paired with Avilan and the eventually-probably-going-to-return Grant Dayton, the proverbial cup runneth over. While none of the bullpen lefties carries the pedigree or raw stuff of an Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller, these new acquisitions will give the Dodgers multiple options in the middle and late innings … and that all-important roster and situational flexibility Friedman and Zaidi seem to value. It’s hard to be disappointed with the Dodgers’ deadline—again, Yu Darvish!—but these two more minor moves might help out a team more than a move for the more hyped Zach Britton would have. —Bryan Grosnick

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Acquired RHP Seth McGarry from Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Joaquin Benoit and cash considerations. [7/31]

Already 23, McGarry has operated as the closer for High-A Bradenton this year, and is a pure relief prospect. Pitching from the stretch only, he delivers mid-90s fastballs from a three-quarters slot, with fringe-average movement. He elicits swings and misses with his curveball, a power breaker in the low 80s. The deuce has depth and bite, and he can drop it in for strikes as well. He's a bit undersized for your typical pitcher, but he compensates with loose arm action, above-average arm speed, and ridiculous worm-burning tendencies (73 percent ground-ball rate this year). Barring any unforeseen circumstances, McGarry has a chance to operate in the middle innings at the major-league level. —Steve Givarz

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Acquired RHP Joaquin Benoit and cash considerations from Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for RHP Seth McGarry. [7/31]

Acquired RHP Angel German and INF-R Oneil Cruz from Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for LHP Tony Watson. [7/31]

The Pirates are in a tough spot, as they sit 8.5 games out of the Wild Card and behind four teams that sure do look like they have better rosters. BP's playoff odds agree that they’re all but dead in the water, giving them a 4.2 percent chance of squeaking into the play-in game. Yet, given the pieces they have to deal, the landscape of the trade market, and the chance to contend next year, they wound up trading one rental reliever to Los Angeles and then acquiring another one from Philadelphia.

Despite the fact that Benoit celebrated his 40th birthday last week, he has remained effective, quietly posting a 3.37 DRA with Philadelphia, holding his mid-90s heat comfortably, and representing a potential upgrade on the departed Tony Watson. So the Pirates sold and bought at the same time, modestly in both directions, perhaps hoping that Benoit improves their playoff chances relative to Watson ever so slightly. If any questions remained about whether Felipe Rivero had the closer job, they are gone. —Nick Schaefer

At 6-foot-4, German is a big kid with a big arm and big risk. The 21-year-old righty sits 96-97 mph out of the bullpen, and will flash a changeup that looks passable at times. His command is poor at present, but he misses a lot of bats thanks to good life on the heater. He is no doubt a reliever, but has a chance to be a decent one if his feel for the cambio develops and he starts to throw strikes. —Emmett Rosenbaum

Cruz is a long-term project, but he provides an intriguing set of tools and high upside. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds, he has spent a good portion of his time at shortstop this season. While he's not going to stick there, he has looked good enough that third base isn’t out of the question. His future defensive home likely hinges on how his body develops. At the plate, Cruz currently boasts plus raw power that could improve as his body fills out, but he has trouble translating that into games, thanks in part to a long swing and poor pitch recognition. He's only 18 and was in the Midwest League, so growing pains are to be expected, but Cruz is a long way off from the majors. —Emmett Rosenbaum

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When the Bucs dealt Melancon Watson became "closer." He was awful. This
season he blew so many leads they made Rivero closer.

Watson is terribly overrated.