How San Diego Padres' A.J. Preller, other MLB GMs decide when to go for it

Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

The Aug. 31 MLB trade deadline was exhilarating if you were a San Diego Padres fan, and some version of frustrating or anticlimactic if you were an Atlanta Braves fan. While the short-term takes about deadline winners and losers have come and gone, it might be more instructive to take a step back and consider from a 30,000-foot view of what each team's general manager is trying to accomplish.

That might seem a little high-minded -- the vast majority of GMs are just trying to win, right? -- and you're correct to think that, but there are some important stylistic and strategic variations under that "win some games" umbrella. We'll chart out the different approaches, slot each team based on where it fits and draw some conclusions about the pros and cons of each strategy.