There were lots of trades in MLB in the 2020 calendar year, and some of them are paying off for 2021 squads.
Some teams were more active before the 2020 season started, others made deals in-season, while others waited until the 2020-2021 offseason to pounce.
Here are the two most impactful moves of 2020 as far as trades are concerned.
2. Yu Darvish To The San Diego Padres
The Cubs wanted to cash in on their aging star and got four prospects and a decent pitcher back in Davies.
For Darvish and Caratini, Cubs get RHP Zach Davis plus 4 prospects — SS Reginald Preciado, SS Yeison Santana, OF Ismael Mena and OF Owen Caissie. Preciado, Santana and Mena r teenagers w/high ceiling. @dennistlin @sahadevsharma @PJ_Mooney @Feinsand @sdutKevinAcee @ByRobertMurray
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 29, 2020
The gamble is working out great for the Padres, who are in the thick of the National League West division race, in great part thanks to Darvish and Caratini.
Caratini has been a decent catcher, hitting .223/.322/.376 with six homers and two stolen bases, but the prize of the deal is obviously Darvish.
The right-hander is rocking a 2.50 ERA in 90 innings, striking out 30.6 percent of the hitters he has faced and leading the Padres in pitching WAR with 2.2.
Davies, meanwhile, has been decent for the Cubs, who are also in the race for the NL Central division.
He has a 4.66 ERA, which is nowhere near Darvish’s level, but a solid back-end starter.
At first glance, the deal is paying off dearly for the win-now Padres, who have an ace in Darvish in a very strong rotation that also includes Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, Dinelson Lamet, and Chris Paddack.
1. Lance Lynn To The Chicago White Sox
The Rangers have officially announced the Lance Lynn trade and will receive RHP Dane Dunning and LHP Avery Weems from the White Sox.
— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) December 8, 2020
It’s clear that the White Sox and the Rangers are in different stages of the MLB competitive cycle.
The Pale Hose are contending and look like a candidate to win the 2021 World Series, while the Rangers got rid of their best veterans and are in a rebuilding mode, stockpiling prospects and young pieces.
That is the background of the December 7 trade that the two franchises pulled off: the White Sox got rid of a talented young pitcher, Dunning, and received a veteran ace, Lynn.
Lynn is using his trademark fastball-heavy approach to dominate hitters and is pitching like a Cy Young candidate, making the trade worthwhile for Chicago.
The right-hander has a 2.14 ERA in 75.2 innings, striking out 28.1 percent of the hitters he has faced to this point.
Dunning, meanwhile, is no ace, but he can be a reliable back-end MLB starter for years to come at a cheap price.
In fact, he has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter: he lacks an elite fastball, but he is a sinkerballer with a good slider and pinpoint command.
Right now, he has a 4.71 ERA, but his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is a much better 3.28, and the best part is that he is under cheap team control for at least five more seasons.
The trade has the potential to help both sides in the long run.