With the July31st non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching, we’ve been seeing a few deals pop up recently that obviously have some effect on the fantasy baseball world. It’s not like we’ve seen any real big blockbusters that are sending owners into some panicked frenzy, but, rest assured, those will certainly be coming soon. For now though, there are some that are having a bit of an impact that we should probably be taking a look at as they are happening. So let’s just do a quick rundown here and see what’s been going on.
Kansas City Royals trade LHP Jonathan Sanchez to Colorado Rockies for RHP Jeremy Guthrie
If you’re using either one of these guys in your fantasy rotation, then you’ve got a lot more problems than the fact that they’ve just done a league cross-over trade. If you play in either an NL or AL-only league and you own one, then you should probably be looking at this as a blessing in disguise. Neither had performed well this season and neither is likely to perform well in their new home. Maybe Sanchez fares a touch better returning to the NL, but in pitcher-friendly Coors Field, I wouldn’t trust him one bit.
Houston Astros trade RHP Brett Myers and cash to the Chicago White Sox for RHP Matt Heidenreich and LHP Blair Walters and a player to be named.
OK, so a little bit of an impact here. More league cross-over, so those in NL-only leagues using Myers as their closer just got tagged. In a time when the volatility of the closer’s role has been killing fantasy owners left and right, this is, obviously, a blow you didn’t need as it is now time to scramble around looking for bullpen help. Fortunately, the deal below should help you out in your search.
On the other side of this deal, things do get a little complicated for fantasy folk. White Sox manager Robin Ventura has already said that Addison Reed will remain his closer. Bullet dodged for some of you. However, with the presence of a guy like Myers now in the pen, it does, obviously, give the team more options, especially when Reed hasn’t exactly been the most consistent guy you’d like having there in the ninth. He stays for now, though, and that’s really all that matters. However, you should look at this as handwriting on the wall and keep yourself protected. I’m not saying run out there and scoop up Myers immediately, but just keep things in the forefront of your mind and be prepared to act at a moment’s notice.
Toronto Blue Jays trade RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named to Houston Astros for RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP J.A. Happ and RHP David Carpenter from Toronto.
The biggest impact that this deal now has is that Cordero should be closing again. Sure, it’s in Houston, but he’ll be closing nonetheless. With Myers, Lyon and Carpenter all gone, the Houston pen is looking a little short on experienced bullpen arms and Cordero, with his extensive closing experience should slot right in. Francisco might be in line for a boost in value, but that’s really going to depend on how much playing time he actually sees. With Jordan Schafer, J.D. Martinez and Brian Bogusevic logging the most consistent playing time, it’s hard to see Francisco coming in and supplanting one of them. All four of them are pretty mediocre. Maybe Houston has another deal up its sleeve and is going to find one of their outfielders a new home, but until that happens, they’re all pretty low-end.
On the Blue Jays side of this deal, they get some bullpen help in Lyon and Carpenter, but with Casey Janssen in place as the team’s closer (Sergio Santos is headed for season-ending surgery), then it doesn’t seem likely that either guy will take over ninth inning duties. No, the player coming to the Jays that could have some fantasy impact would be Happ, although with word that he will start off in the bullpen, the help is extremely limited right now. Not that I would be trusting Happ if he were a starter anyway. With the power in the AL East, Happ appears to be the type of guy who will just get swallowed up. High strikeout rate, sure, but high ratios as well. Not many can make the transition from NL to AL as a starter and Happ doesn’t exactly have people brimming with confidence either. Perhaps the Jays like how they’ve bolstered their pen, but I’m not seeing much else here.
Now let’s hit the highlights from Saturday…
|Jason Kubel, OF ARI||3-5, 3 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI|
I was actually a big fan of Jason Kubel heading into this year. He was having trouble hitting lefties (.240 over the three seasons leading up to 2012) and the Twins had him stuck in a platoon for the most part. I thought a move to hitter-friendly Chase Field would suit him nicely. He was a perennial 20-home run guy and after two years in dismal Target Field, this move would prove positive in the end. The only concern was whether or not Arizona would try and platoon him as well. Fortunately Kubel hasn’t given them much reason to as his .290 average against southpaws this season, suits the world just fine. Sure, he’s got his usual bumps and bruises, but overall, he has blossomed into quite the full-time player and has easily moved up the ranks in the fantasy world as well. A three-home run night will also do that for you too, huh?
|Juan Uribe, 3B LAD||2-3, 3 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB|
|Buster Posey, C SF||4-5, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI|
|Mike Napoli, C TEX||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Jake Westbrook, SP STL||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 5 K|
|Wade Miley, SP HOU||W, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 9 K|
What’s not to love about Buster Posey? There may have been a few concerns to start the season regarding his injury last year and how he would react overall, but here we are in the early part of the second half and Posey, in my opinion is the best catcher in both fantasy baseball and the major leagues. He’s batting .314 with a dozen home runs and has four multi-hit games in his last seven starts. When he got hurt last year, I was in contention for a top slot in my primary keeper league. I dealt Posey and now that I don’t own him this season, I’m seriously regretting the move even though I finished in second.
Juan Uribe? Yeah, he’s good for maybe one or two games like this nowadays, but that’s about it. He had a nice run with the White Sox and Giants, but he’s just filler right now. If you’re using him as anything more than a temporary stopgap, I’m sure you’re really looking forward to the fantasy football season.
It’s going to take a lot more than just a two-home run day for Mike Napoli to earn his way back into the good graces of fantasy people who drafted him expecting similar numbers to last season. Alas, that’s not happening. Last year’s .314 average was more of an aberration than it was an improvement. Remember, BABIP doesn’t account for home runs because, technically, a home run is not considered a “ball in play.” Therefore, that .344 BABIP last season is even more outlandish and there was no way he was going to sustain that mark. His power is still there, as evidenced by his 14 home runs, but this .236 average is also here to stay, so don’t think you’re going to see greener pastures on that front.
I feel like I’ve misjudged Wade Miley a bit this season and am certainly not afraid to admit it. Not only has he maintained a fair amount of consistency here as a young starter, but he’s also pitched well enough to improve his FIP which, earlier, was indicating that he may be near a regression. Like any normal starter, he’ll throw in a stinker here or there, but overall, he’s been very impressive for the Diamondbacks this year. Even better is that he threw almost 170 innings last season, so even a slight increase puts him on pace to be able to throw close to 200 this year which means no shutdown from the team and probably no skipped starts.
And give it up for good ol’ Jake Westbrook. He’s not the flashiest guy out there, but as for a middle-of-the-rotation type guy, he’s been a fairly solid choice this season. That 3.60 ERA might jump a bit, but as your fourth or fifth starter, he ain’t so bad.
A few honorable mentions here…
Matt Cain and Cole Hamels trading long balls on Saturday was a pretty funny sight to see.
Jarrod Parker’s ascension continues as he made the Yankees look pretty helpless at the plate.
Mike Trout sets the Angels and AL record for consecutive games with a run scored.
Edwin Encarnacion connected for his 26th home run of the year which ties his career-best from 2008.
Ben Sheets continues to turn some heads.
And last but not least, Bryce Harper does not have a broken ankle.
|Adam LaRoche, 1B WAS||0-7, BB, 5 K|
|Dan Uggla, 2B ATL||0-6, BB, 4 K|
|Justin Smoak, 1B SEA||0-4, 3 K|
|Ervin Santana, SP LAA||L, 32.40 ERA, 4.80 WHIP|
|Dallas Keuchel, SP HOU||L, 16.20 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, K|
Dan Uggla and Justin Smoak are really starting to make a few too many regular appearances in this section. It’s getting a little disconcerting, if you ask me. I can forgive Adam LaRoche for an 0-for-7 double header line, but these other two are really working fantasy owners’ last nerves.
Similarly, Dallas Keuchel can be forgiven here because he’;s a rookie and doesn’t know any better. But Ervin Santana? Oh man, this is ugly.
A few dishonorable mentions…
R.A. Dickey might not be a good relief candidate. Don’t push it, Mets. He can’t pitch every inning of every game for you.
Carlos Zambrano could be finished.
Matt Garza, SP CHC – wrist (questionable for July 27 start)
Wilin Rosario, C COL – ankle (questionable)
Marwin Gonzalez, SS HOU – heel (questionable)
Erick Aybar, SS LAA – foot (questionable)
Hanley Ramirez, 3B MIA – hand (out at least until July 23)
Trevor Plouffe, 3B MIN – thumb (questionable)
Johan Santana, SP NYM – ankle (15-day DL)
Nick Swisher, OF NYY – hip (out until at least July 23)
Cameron Maybin, OF SD – wrist (out until at least July 23)
Ian Desmond, SS WAS – oblique (doubtful)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rounding The Bases - Todd Zola Looks At The First 10 Rounds of a Likely 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft
Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola - Looking Ahead To The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season
Rounding The Bases - Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (20 Prospects for '14)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 24
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (September Call-Ups)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 23
Rounding the Bases: A Day For the Little Man
Rounding The Bases: Morse, Willingham On the Move?
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Roster Expansion)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 22
Rounding the Bases: Five Surging Pitchers & Hitters
Rounding the Bases: Rookies, Veterans & Roster Movement
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Pitching Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 21
Master Notes From Todd Zola - Taking A Look at Starting Pitching In Keeper Leagues
Rounding the Bases: Small Names, Big Production?
Rounding the Bases: A First for Stephen Strasburg and the (Near) Final Round-Up
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Hitting Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week Twenty