MLB’s extended post-season has changed the trade deadline – and maybe not for the better

This is a week of big decisions for nearly every GM in baseball. Ahead of Tuesday’s trading deadline, the front desks need to know exactly where their teams stand in the elimination race and how much risk they’re willing to take in the name of doing this year’s Tour, versus selling talent and reloading. future. These kinds of pitfalls can end up having ripple effects on franchises for years (or even decades) to come – no stress!

This year’s deadline is more interesting than most. For one thing, there’s a giant elephant in the room: Washington’s openness to trading 23-year-old right-hander Juan Soto, an unprecedented hitter who would alter the odds for the world championship and make a massive comeback for both possibilities. An MLB ready talent. Then add another wrinkle: the change to this season’s MLB Elimination format, which adds two extra points after the season and bids farewell to the first round of the top two league titles in each league. These two factors will fundamentally change the calculations about each team’s willingness to stand or move forward in that direction.

While we can’t tell you where Soto is headed, we can provide our annual assessment of which teams should buy and sell by deadline and to what degree. Therefore, we call for what is known as the Doyle number, which represents the amount of future wins for six years over replacement that a team must be willing to deal with to improve its talent by 1 WAR this season. (This ratio—named after former Detroit Tigers pitcher Doyle Alexander, in honor of a fateful 1987 deal in which he featured prominently—is based on a combination of factors, such as Team Elo’s rating, playoff odds and his chance of winning a world championship prize.)

Overall, the top contenders have Doyle’s high numbers – which means they have to make every effort to win right now – while the non-competing teams are closer to zero, meaning there’s no amount of war this season worth adding at the expense of the future. The teams on the fence between buy and sell Doyle have around 1.00, so they may be better served by either tactic, depending on the deals available to them. According to Doyle, here are the top buyers – and sellers – of the 2022 trade fair:

How Our Doyle Number Scale Shows Your 2022 Deal Deadline

Post-season odds (according to FiveThirtyEight prediction model) and Doyle* numbers for the 2022 MLB Buyers And the sellers

Team after, after% WS% file Team after, after% WS% file
Dodgers > 99% 26% 2.13 red socks 22% 1% 0.31
Yankees > 99 21 2.04 giants 22 1 0.22
Astros > 99 13 1.84 Orioles 8 <1 0.10
brave 98 9 1.70 Marlins 3 <1 0.06
mets 99 8 1.66 d- their backs 1 <1 0.01
blue jays 89 5 1.30 Notice 1 <1 0.01
bruer 83 3 1.02 Rocky <1 <1 0.01
parents 83 2 0.90 Angels 1 <1 0.01
rays 55 2 0.75 Cubs 1 <1 0.00
twins 60 2 0.71 reds <1 <1 0.00
sailors 68 1 0.67 tigers <1 <1 0.00
Phyllis 54 2 0.57 Royals <1 <1 0.00
basics 56 1 0.45 pirates <1 <1 0.00
white socks 61 2 0.44 Athletics <1 <1 0.00
guardians 35 1 0.32 Citizens <1 <1 0.00

* Doyle’s number represents the number of wins from future talent the team must replace now for one additional talent win in 2022.

PO% indicates the team’s odds of making the playoffs; WS% indicates the odds of winning the World Championship. Playoff and global competition odds as of July 27.


World Championship favorites Dodgers and Yankees surely have Doyle’s highest numbers; In fact, they are both over 2.00, which means that they should be willing to give up the future war war doubling for this year’s improvement. But there are fewer obvious buyers than in the past, with only seven teams having Doyle’s value above 1.00, compared to nine teams that fit that rating last season. Meanwhile, seven other clubs are crammed between Doyle’s 0.40 and 0.90, suggesting an abundance of teams whose best end tactic isn’t entirely clear.

It is not uncommon to have a small field of potential buyers; For example, 2019 also saw only seven teams with an international number over 1.00. But in this case, the new postseason format acts as a limiting factor. With more teams in the playoffs, the value of the Frontier Playoff campaign increases…but the value of everything else diminishes. Here is a component of Doyle’s equation – the odds of making the split streak as a function of regular season wins – and how we tweaked that to account for the new format:

The effect is subtle, but the new format suggests that good teams – with at least 90 wins, for example – are unlikely to advance but not so great in the playoffs. This in turn lowers these teams’ Doyle numbers, since the prospect of reloading for next season and beyond looks better if your World Championship odds this season look worse. After all, why waste trading away good prospects for a season with little chance of finishing the championship?

But that doesn’t mean any of those mid-range teams won’t (or shouldn’t) buy if they have the opportunity to add talent this year. Here are the clubs that Doyle thinks could be deadline buyers – which means they should be prepared to part with more future talent than current talent they are taking back – if they are able to add either a typical start (worth 2 WAR), player All-Star Caliber (5 WAR) or MVP Level (8 WAR):

Scaled buyers in the market deadline

MLB trade deadline buyers (according to Doyle’s number), with team weaknesses* and the amount of future war the team must redeem to gain different levels of talent

Team launcher (2 war) All Stars (5 War) MVP (8 war) biggest weakness
Dodgers 4.5 12.0 20.7 3B (22nd)
Yankees 4.3 11.7 20.4 SS (18)
Astros 3.9 11.0 19.6 C (30)
brave 3.7 10.4 19.0 SP (29)
mets 3.6 10.2 18.6 C (27)
blue jays 2.9 8.4 15.8 SS (17)
bruer 2.3 6.9 13.2 CF (25)
parents 2.0 6.1 11.9 SP (24)
rays 1.7 5.2 10.2 C (23rd)
twins 1.6 5.0 9.8 RP (twentieth)
sailors 1.5 4.7 9.4 2B (26)
Phyllis 1.3 4.1 8.0 RF (30)

*Based on the category in which the team ranks lowest in the war compared to all MLB teams. Through the July 27 matches.

Sources:, FanGraphs

For example, the Minnesota Twins probably shouldn’t pursue small acquisitions – adding 2 WARs of talent by the 2022 deadline wouldn’t do much to give up 2 WARs of future prospects. But their predicted tournaments in the short and long term will come out roughly balanced if they add their current 5 WAR of talents for 5 future WAR possibilities, and they can tie in on adding 8 WAR talent even if they give up 9.8 WAR of prospects in return. Even a team like the Phillies, with a 2 percent chance of winning the World Championship and only a 25 percent chance of making the Division Series, could be justified in becoming big on the deadline if the draw improves their World Championship odds enough. (We all know a proper player who might fit this in, though general manager Dave Dombrowski was keen to silence any of those rumours.)

What may be surprising is the difference that it’s not On that list – including Cardinals, White Soxes, Guardians, Red Soxes and Giants, plus Orioles. While some of these clubs have good playoff odds in the FiveThirtyEight predictions, Chicago (34 percent) and St. World Championship odds at all. (White Sox sit at 2 percent; Cardinals at 1 percent.) Given the low likelihood that this season will turn into a championship for those teams, it’s possible that any future talent traded away on the deadline will end up for nothing.

Then again, ask the Atlanta Braves for Doyle’s number last season. The algorithm gave Atlanta a 0.47 Doyle base on the 2021 deadline, with no reasonable, balanced trade to war supporting the Braves being buyers. Of course, GM Alex Anthopoulos bought Atlanta anyway — and all he did was execute one of the greatest deadline streaks of all time, helping to launch the world title. So it’s entirely possible to ignore Doyle’s guidance and have a great deadline anyway.

But unexpected trails like Atlanta are considered special precisely because they are unlikely. Meanwhile, Doyle is completely rooted in cold odds — odds that have changed somewhat under MLB’s expanded post-season preparation. Keep all of that in mind as you watch the suitors and the rest of this year’s dealings. A slew of big names on the block and an unusually large group of teams that aren’t clear buyers or sellers can be a recipe for a wild deadline, no matter what the odds recommend.

Check out the latest MLB . Predictions.

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