Another day closer to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline and another day of deals done in the books. Tuesday didn’t seem as big or action-packed, but maybe that’s just being de-sensitized from the action from the day before. Because while maybe the deals weren’t as involved (or player-heavy, I should say), there were still some big names changing teams and the impact, both in reality and in fantasy, could be huge. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got…
Arizona Diamondbacks trade INF Ryan Roberts to Tampa Bay Rays for 2B Tyler Bortnick.
When the D-Backs designated Roberts for assignment on Tuesday afternoon, the handwriting was already on the wall. His time had come and the team was frustrated enough with his lack of performance that they needed to make a change. On the grand scale, this is a fairly minor deal and the impact for fantasy leagues is pretty limited. Roberts joins Tampa and fills in the gap at third base until Evan Longoria returns from injury while the Diamondbacks bring up Ryan Wheeler from Triple-A Reno to take over the hot corner in Arizona. Neither player, though, is going to have some huge impact moving forward. Roberts had a career year in 2011 but was obviously playing over his head, while Wheeler may have shown some power, but numbers out of the Pacific Coast League are usually taken with a grain of salt. Some serious hitters parks out there. As for Bortnick, he’s a middling prospect who was hitting .253 for Double-A Montgomery and the chance of him even making an appearance in the majors is slim, at best.
Houston Astros trade RHP Wandy Rodriguez and cash considerations to Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Rudy Owens, LHP Colton Cain and OF Robbie Grossman.
Always nice to see the Pirates as buyers in the trade market, isn’t it? When a team has been as crappy as they’ve been for so long, it just sort of warms the hearts of real baseball fans everywhere to see a franchise get turned around as they have. That being said, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Wandy Rodriguez, but the Buccos got him on the cheap and perhaps the move to a more pitcher-friendly ballpark will help Wandy along a little better this year. His K/9 might be down a little, but so are his walks and home runs and he’s pushing a ground-ball rate just over 50% right now. The defense between Pittsburgh and Houston tips slightly towards the Pirates but not really by much so the difference is relatively negligible. The key here is the fact that his ERA and FIP are right next to each other, so all things being relatively equal, he should do about the same. Maybe a little better now that he’s on the side of a decent offense as opposed to always pitching against it. As for the prospects going back, there is little or no fantasy impact with which to be concerned. None of the return guys are going to have any sort of immediate value.
Cleveland Indians trade RHP Jose De La Torre to Boston Red Sox for INF/OF Brent Lillibridge.
Strictly a role player move that, truthfully, means nothing in the world of fantasy. Lillibridge goes to be a bench player in Cleveland now, replacing Aaron Cunningham as the primary fourth/fifth outfielder. He doesn’t gain any value nor does he lose any. As for De La Torre, well, maybe we’ll hear about him in some really funny story that revolves around middling relief pitchers that don’t really amount to much.
Miami Marlins trade INF Hanley Ramirez and RHP Randy Choate to Los Angeles Dodges for RHP Nathan Eovaldi and RHP Scott McGough.
Now here’s the big one! I can’t really say that the Marlins pulled in a great haul for Ramirez here, but the organization seemed rather desperate to unload the once prized jewel of the Marlins crown. Between the chronic injuries and the attitude problems, the Marlins are probably just happy to see him go. Personally, I feel like the guy got a bit of a raw deal, but coming to a veteran-heavy team like the Dodgers could be the cure for what ails him.
Hanley was expected to act as the veteran presence/stabilizer for a young team filled with some undisciplined children. But that’s not Hanley’s style and to ask him to help mentor Giancarlo Stanton or to help subdue the mouth of Logan Morrison, the organization was asking the wrong guy. There’s a reason he excelled early on and it had nothing to do with his leadership skills. The veteran presence once felt on the Marlins was strong and helped Hanley through his youth. That doesn’t mean he was capable of the same and when he couldn’t, he was looked down on. Now that Hanley is on a team that’s run by veterans like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera, James Loney and even Bobby Abreu, he will not be asked to take on a role he is not comfortable with. He will simply be asked to play.
Fantasy-wise, I see a boost for Hanley. I think the change of scenery does him good. Does it bring him back up to the elite level he was once at? Probably not. Or at least, I’m not so sure. There might be a slight adjustment period. But moving forward….keeper league owners, I’m looking at you here…I think he can return to a high level of performance and fall in as a great number two hitter between Dee Gordon and Kemp. But that’s for another time. For now, just hope for a quick boost and a move to a weaker division.
For Eovaldi, I’m not so sure we’re looking at the same promising future. I think he’s got decent skills, but I’m not buying into some of the hype. Did someone really say the next Nolan Ryan? Man, I hope they were kidding. Especially with what his K-rate looks like right now. Ballpark –wise, it’s really a lateral move. But division-wise, he’s got a tougher road. The competition and talent level, overall, is stronger in the NL East and that should have an effect on Eovadli. He might be passable for the short run, but overall, I’m not running out to acquire this guy.
I’m sure there will be more trades to report on tomorrow, but for now, let’s just hit the highlights…
|Josh Willingham, OF MIN||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
Who doesn’t love The Hammer? He’s probably one of the most underrated fantasy players around and someone you would love to have on your team. His batting average may hover in the high-.260s/low .270s, but he’s a near lock for 25 home runs no matter what ballpark he calls home. There’s a strong chance he gets moved at the deadline, as he’s just one of those guys that is coveted by contenders and always seems like he’s on the move, but I wouldn’t worry about where he lands. Wherever it is, he’s gonna knock some home runs.
|Adam Dunn, 1B CHW||3-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI|
|Chris Young, OF ARI||2-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB|
|Michael Cuddyer, OF COL||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
|Paul Maholm, SP CHC||W, 1.13 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 7 K|
|Gio Gonzalez, SP WAS||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 4 K|
With games starting up and this piece coming out a little late, I’ll be brief. Shocked beyond belief that Paul Maholm did so well and loving the fact that Adam Dunn was the first to reach 30 HR. Status quo from everywhere else.
|Matt Treanor, C LAD||0-4, 3 K|
|Drew Sutton, SS PIT||0-4, 3K|
|Chris Davis, 1B BAL||0-3, 3 K|
|Francisco Cordero, RP HOU||L, BS, 40.50 ERA, 7.50 WHIP|
|Clayton Kershaw, SP LAD||L, 12.71 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 4 K|
A rarity from Clayton Kershaw but these things do happen. As do blown saves from Francisco Cordero, but with A LOT more frequency. All else is…..well…..all else.
The regular bumps and bruises haven’t changed from the other day, so you can check back there for the day to day stuff. But the big news here is that Alex Rodriguez has a non-displaced fracture in his hand after getting plunked by Felix Hernandez on Tuesday night. It’s estimated at four to six weeks, but more tests are being run as we speak.
Also, there’s Adrian Beltre and his concussion. He’s apparently passed all the initial tests, so it’s just going to be a matter of how he feels after swinging a bat. Consider him day to day for now, but expect him to miss at least the rest of the week here.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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