At the trade deadline of 2007, the Red Sox were deemed big winners because it was thought they had landed the reliever who might have the highest impact, Eric Gagne. But as that season played out, Gagne was nothing short of a disaster, struggling badly with his command, and by the end of the year, he had lost any semblance of a meaningful role.
And the Red Sox won the World Series anyway.
By November, we will have a clearer picture of the trade deadline work done by baseball front offices. But for now, here are some quick grades for all 30 teams.
Los Angeles Dodgers: A-plus. Once they landed Manny Machado, they clinched a perfect score here, because he was deemed by front offices everywhere -- from Philadelphia to the Bronx to Arizona to Milwaukee to L.A. -- as the one slam-dunk difference-making player. He's already paying dividends for the Dodgers: With Justin Turner out, Machado has moved to third base and is hitting .304 with a .500 slugging percentage, in keeping with his season-long performance. Even if the Dodgers fail to win the World Series, even if they fail to reach the postseason, the front office can know it turned over every rock to get better during the season, by landing Machado, second baseman Brian Dozier and reliever John Axford.