Which MLB teams stepped up and made their teams better at the trade deadline? These are the biggest winners.

The MLB trade deadline is in the books for the 2017 season, and the focus of most teams was on pitching. J.D. Martinez was the only impact bat moved, and no hitters on long-term contracts were dealt. That makes sense, as the most important trades that have shaped the past few World Series all involved pitchers.

Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller were integral parts of both World Series teams last year, and were traded at the deadline. In 2015, David Price and Johnny Cueto were instrumental in getting their teams over the hump. With a very congested American League, and an arms race in the National League, the 2017 trade deadline was not short on intrigue.

The dust has settled on this deadline. A few more minor moves may sneak past in August, but by and large, the team you have now is the team you will have to go to battle with the rest of the year. So, which teams came out the biggest winners of the 2017 MLB trade deadline?

5. Washington Nationals

The pettiness of Peter Angelos would not allow the Nationals a legitimate chance to pursue All-Star relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach. No matter, the Nationals were able to build a very solid bullpen at the trade deadline, adding Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle and Brandon Kintzler at the last minute as the clock neared 4 p.m. The Nationals also acquired veteran second baseman/left fielder Howie Kendrick.

Since beginning their efforts to improve their bullpen with Madson and Doolittle, the Nationals have not had one of their trademark first-half meltdowns. Everything is clicking for them right now, and it’s smooth sailing as the playoffs approach. Doolittle has the closing experience they need, while Madson pitched in the 2015 World Series.

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