Trade Deadline Update: A look at the moves
The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone, and many impact players have switched teams. Our Al Melchior takes a look at the most recent transactions.
For over a week now, teams have been getting their deals done in anticipation of the trade deadline. The vast majority of them are likely to have an impact on Fantasy value, not just for the players switching teams, but also for those whose playing time is being affected by the transactions.
Here's a rundown of the most impactful trades from the last eight days, including an assessment of the Fantasy impact for the rest of this season as well as a look at some of the more notable prospects changing hands and what they could contribute in long-term keeper leagues.
Cubs get: Christian Villanueva , 3B, and Kyle Hendricks, SP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Dempster gets to play for a contender and should enjoy better run support in Texas. He remains someone whom standard mixed league owners can trust on a weekly basis. The Cubs have recalled Casey Coleman to replace Dempster, but given his struggles both in the majors and at Triple-A, he should be considered only as a last-resort option in deep NL-only leagues.
Prospect outlook: Villanueva moves out of the shadow of Mike Olt in the Texas system and has a chance to be the Cubs' regular third baseman within a couple of years. He is not a top-tier prospect, but he has some allure in deep long-term keeper leagues. Hendricks has a lower ceiling and can be ignored in those formats.
Royals get: J.C. Sulbaran, SP, and Donnie Joseph , RP.
2012 Fantasy impact: This is a huge blow to Broxton's owners, as he goes from being a closer to part of the set-up crew for Aroldis Chapman . He can be dropped in nearly all mixed leagues. Greg Holland takes over as the ninth-inning man in Kansas City, and he is worth picking up in standard mixed leagues formats, given his proven ability to get strikeouts and avoid home runs.
Prospect outlook: Joseph could be a closer himself someday, though it won't be this year. However, he could come up with the big club before the end of the season, and he could have some value in deep leagues that use middle relievers. Sulbaran has to work on his control, but he's been a good strikeout pitcher in the minors and could be targeted in deep long-term keeper leagues.
Pirates get: Chad Qualls , RP.
2012 Fantasy impact: McGehee's main role with the Yankees will be as a platoon partner for Eric Chavez at third base while Alex Rodriguez (hand) is out. That means McGehee will lose some playing time, making him a low-end option in AL-only leagues. Not much is likely to change in Pittsburgh in McGehee's absence, as Garrett Jones has a new platoon partner in Gaby Sanchez , acquired from the Marlins in a deadline deal.
Prospect outlook: None.
Phillies get: Nate Schierholtz , OF, Tommy Joseph , C, and Seth Rosin , RP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Pence will give the Giants some stability in right field, but the move is not a good one for him for Fantasy purposes, as AT&T Park will rob him of some of his home run power. With a potential decline in runs and RBI as well, Pence becomes a low-end No. 3 OF as a Giant.
Schierholtz will take over for Pence in the Phillies' outfield, and he stands to gain more playing time as a result. He is more of a doubles hitter than a home run threat, so the move to Philadelphia should not enhance his power numbers much. Schierholtz is still mainly an NL-only option.
Prospect outlook: Joseph has good power for a catcher, and he could be the Phillies' regular catcher within a couple of years, thus giving him value in long-term keeper leagues. Rosin has been used as a starter and as a closer in the minors. He is still a ways off from the majors, playing in Advanced Class A, but if he is groomed as a starter, he will also have appeal in leagues that roster prospects.
Phillies get: Josh Lindblom , RP, and Ethan Martin , SP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Victorino should take over as the Dodgers' everyday left fielder. He hasn't been much of a power threat this year, so leaving Citizens Bank Park shouldn't impact his Fantasy production much, if at all. Juan Rivera and James Loney will be the biggest losers in terms of playing time, but neither had been a factor outside of NL-only leagues in any event.
Domonic Brown will replace Victorino in the Phillies' lineup. He still has the potential to be a power/speed threat, but he has been hampered by injuries this season, and his production has been disappointing. That should relegate him to NL-only status in Fantasy for now. Lindblom should continue to get holds now that he is in the Phillies' bullpen, and he will still have value in leagues that use middle relievers.
Prospect outlook: Martin has shown some improvement this year at Double-A, but he still has major control issues. He can be bypassed in most long-term keeper leagues.
White Sox get:
Twins get: Eduardo Escobar , SS, and Pedro Hernandez , SP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Liriano gets a better lineup to support him but a tougher park to pitch in. All in all, the move is likely a lateral one for the lefty in terms of his Fantasy value. For the time being, Brian Duensing assumes Liriano's spot in the Twins' rotation, but he remains an AL-only option.
Prospect outlook: Escobar and Hernandez were shipped off to Triple-A, though both could be called up as reinforcements later this year. Neither has much upside, and both can be ignored in long-term keeper formats.
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Cubs get: Arodys Vizcaino , SP, and Jaye Chapman , SP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Maholm is the only player in the deal who looks to deliver significant Fantasy value this season. The deal is an upgrade for Maholm, as he will now be supported by a better offense and a better home park. He is unlikely to stay as hot as he has been in recent weeks, but he could still lower his 3.74 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.
Maholm's absence means more job security for Justin Germano , who is currently a fill-in for Matt Garza (triceps). However, should Garza or Ryan Dempster get dealt, the Cubs could add some combination of Randy Wells , Casey Coleman and Chris Volstad to the rotation. All four pitchers are NL-only options, though Germano offers the most promise over the rest of this season.
Prospect outlook: Vizcaino is recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he could be in the mix for a rotation spot in 2013 and is worth protecting in long-term keeper leagues. Chapman is a minor-league reliever who has some potential for a late-inning role, but he can be ignored for now in all Fantasy formats.
Astros get: Bobby Borchering , 1B, and Marc Krauss , OF.
2012 Fantasy impact: Johnson should get more run-producing opportunities in Arizona, but he remains an option for owners in deeper mixed leagues and NL-only formats. His departure from Houston provides Brett Wallace wtih yet another opportunity for regular playing time, but he is still best reserved for deeper NL-only leagues.
Prospect outlook: Krauss' stock has risen this season, as he has shown more power and a better batting eye during his second tour of Double-A, and he is worth targeting in deep long-term keeper leagues. Borchering still has work to do on his contact hitting, and he is a fringier prospect option for Fantasy. The biggest impact on a prospect from this deal is on Ryan Wheeler , who gets supplanted as Arizona's starting third baseman, just a week-and-a-half after his recall. It's not clear what the Diamondbacks' long-term plans are for him, but he is talented enough to hang on to in long-term keeper formats.
Blue Jays get: Brad Lincoln , SP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Snider should continue to get fairly regular at-bats with his move to Pittsburgh, though he may need to give way to Garrett Jones in right field, particularly when the team opposes a lefty starter, and Casey McGehee is in the lineup at first base. Snider's inconsistency makes him something of a performance risk, and his power numbers could also take a hit at PNC Park.
The departure of both Snider and Eric Thames (see below) clears the way for Anthony Gose to see regular at-bats, enhancing his value in deeper Rotisserie leagues. Lincoln will start his tenure in Toronto in the bullpen, though he could be an option to start games if the Blue Jays have a need to fill in the rotaion. For now, though, Lincoln has very little Fantasy value.
Prospect outlook: None.
Blue Jays get: Steve Delabar , RP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Thames should get a shot at something close to regular playing time in the Mariners' outfield, but he could find it a challenge to reproduce his power numbers from Toronto and the minor leagues while playing his home games at Safeco Field. He has shown flashes of some gap power, so he is certainly worth a flier in AL-only leagues. Delabar will provide some depth for the Blue Jays' bullpen, but he is not a threat to take saves away from Casey Janssen .
Prospect outlook: None.
Brewers get: Jean Segura , SS, Johnny Hellweg , SP, and Ariel Pena , SP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Greinke joins a star-studded rotation in Anaheim, where he could arguably be the best of an impressive collection of arms. He hasn't exactly been a slouch with the Brewers, but Greinke could actually see his stats improve with the move. Angel Stadium is much friendlier to pitchers than Miller Park, and Greinke also leaves behind the other NL Central parks, which include three of the most conducive places to homer in the league (Great American Ball Park, Wrigley Field and Minute Maid Park.)
Mark Rogers has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville, and he will get the first shot to replace Greinke in the Milwaukee rotation. The one-time top prospect has struggled in the minors this season, and he should be considered as a low-end option for NL-only leagues.
Prospect outlook: Segura, Hellweg and Pena will all report to Double-A Huntsville. Segura now becomes the Brewers' shortstop of the future -- and a late-season callup may not be out of the question. All three prospects are worth targeting in long-term keeper leagues and all could make an impact in Fantasy sometime in 2013.
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Marlins get: Nathan Eovaldi , SP, and Scott McGough, RP.
2012 Fantasy impact: Ramirez will begin his Dodgers tenure by filling in for Dee Gordon (thumb) at shortstop. This is great news for Ramirez's keeper league owners, as he is primed to enter 2013 with shortstop eligibility. Eventually, though he will shift back to third base upon Gordon's return. Ramirez is not the stolen base threat he once was, so his steals pace may slow down a tad further, now that he won't be playing under run-happy manager Ozzie Guillen. Overall, though, owners should not expect Ramirez's value to suffer with this move. It is not yet clear who will fill the vacancy created in the rotation by Eovaldi, but the Dodgers could fill their need via another trade.
Eovaldi will start off as the Marlins' fifth starter, as the team opted to keep Wade LeBlanc in the bullpen. It's not a given Eovaldi will stay in the rotation for long, as Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest has indicated that Jacob Turner , just acquired from the Tigers, will likely be given a chance to start sometime this season. The Marlins will probably mix and match their options at third base, but Donovan Solano should get enough of a value boost to be used in NL-only leagues.
Prospect outlook: McGough is currently a reliever in Class A and is a long shot to have any sort of Fantasy impact in the future.
Astros get: Rudy Owens , SP, Robbie Grossman , OF, and Colton Cain, SP.
2012 Fantasy impact: The Pirates have been a little better at scoring runs than the Astros, so Rodriguez could benefit from some more run support with the move, and more important, he gets a more spacious home park in which to pitch. Even so, because he is pitching much more to contact this season, Rodriguez remains a low-end option for owners in standard mixed league formats. There is some good news for owners of Kevin Correia , who would potentially be the odd man out with the addition of Rodriguez. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle may move forward with a six-man rotation.
Prospect outlook: Owens doesn't overpower hitters, but with good control, he has been effective at each level of the minors and could be ready to join the Astros' rotation very soon. Grossman was a sensation in the Arizona Fall League last year, and he has started to pick up steam in Double-A. He is a solid target for owners in long-term keeper leagues, and we could see him in the Astros' outfield by mid-2013. Cain hasn't had a strong year in the Florida State League, but he still has some promise for owners in very deep long-term keeper leagues.
Astros get: Tyler Bortnick , SS.
2012 Fantasy impact: Roberts should get the largest share of playing time at third base until Evan Longoria (hamstring) returns. His versatility should keep him relevant in AL-only leagues for the rest of the season, and for now, he is worth using in deeper mixed leagues as well.
Prospect outlook: Like Grossman, Bortnick played in the Arizona Fall League, but he does not have Grossman's upside. He is versatile and a potential stolen base threat, but he does not need to be on the radar of owners in long-term keeper formats.
Marlins get: Jacob Turner , SP; Rob Brantly , C; Brian Flynn, SP
2012 Fantasy impact: Many might think that Sanchez's move to the AL might signal a tougher challenge, but junior circuit's collective slash line is only marginally more robust (.256/.322/.412) than that of the NL (.254/.318/.401). On the other hand, the Tigers should give Sanchez far more than the 5.5 runs of support per nine innings that the Marlins gave him. Omar Infante should supplant Ramon Santiago as the Tigers' primary second baseman, but he could conceivably have more days off than he did in Miami, so Infante could lose some value with the move.
On the Marlins' side of the ledger, Nathan Eovaldi will fill the void in the rotation left by Sanchez (see above). With Emilio Bonifacio taking over for Infante at second base, center field looks like it now belongs to Justin Ruggiano . With a secure job even when Giancarlo Stanton returns, Ruggiano is suddenly a safe option in most mixed league formats. In NL-only leagues, Greg Dobbs has some appeal as the short-term solution in right field, though he will likely give way to Austin Kearns when the Fish face lefties.
Prospect outlook: Turner appears to be headed to Triple-A, but if Eovaldi falters or another starter is hurt or traded, he will just be a phone call away. Turner showed flashes of his potential in his most recent start on Sunday against the White Sox, but his impact for Fantasy won't likely come until next year, other than in NL-only leagues. J.T. Realmuto may still be the Marlins' best long-term solution behind the plate amongst their minor leaguers, but at least Brantly is further along in his development. With John Buck entering the final year of his contract in 2013, Brantly could work his way into a semi-regular role sometime next season and be groomed as a regular for 2014. Likewise, Flynn could eventually be a staple of the Marlins' rotation, but he is unlikely to debut anytime before late next year.
Mariners get: D.J. Mitchell , SP; Danny Farquhar , RP
2012 Fantasy impact: Suzuki will certainly get more RBI and run-scoring opportunities with the Yankees, so his move to the Bronx has to count as a plus for him and his Fantasy owners. Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones should be able to maintain their playing time, though they could be spending more of it at DH. That will cut into the playing time for Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix , who suddenly have become less attractive options in AL-only leagues.
Casper Wells stands to gain the most among the remaining Mariners from this trade. His job appeared to be safe for a while anyway, as Franklin Gutierrez (concussion) is still not close to returning, but even when Gutierrez does rejoin the lineup, Wells should have a regular gig. In the shorter term, Carlos Peguero will get a long look in right field.
Prospect outlook: As a minor league starter, Mitchell's numbers haven't been overwhelming, but between some decent ground ball tendencies and the luxury of pitching home games at Safeco Field, he could be a serviceable arm for AL-only leagues. That would only be the case, though, if the Mariners groom him as a starter. It's conceivable that we could see him in the M's rotation later this season. Farquhar does not project to have much Fantasy relevance, if any.
White Sox get:
Astros get: Blair Walters, SP; Matt Heidenreich, SP; plus a player to be named later
2012 Fantasy impact: Myers notched his first hold on Monday, cementing his status as Addison Reed's new setup man in Chicago. Should Reed falter, Myers provides the White Sox with insurance as a backup closer, but there is no particular reason to think he will assume the ninth-inning role anytime soon. Francisco Cordero , acquired by the Astros from the Blue Jays, has taken over as the Astros' new closer (more on this below).
Prospect outlook: Walters is the more highly-regarded of the two starters acquired by Houston, but neither has a clear path to the majors. Both can be ignored in the vast majority of long-term keeper leagues.
Blue Jays get:
Astros get: Francisco Cordero , RP; Ben Francisco , OF; Joe Musgrove, SP; Asher Wojciechowski , SP; David Rollins, SP; Carlos Perez , C; plus a player to be named later
2012 Fantasy impact: For the short term, Happ loses substantial value, as he has gone to the Jays' bullpen, though a return to a starting role could be in his future. Even if Happ does get inserted into the rotation, he would be a risky play, even in AL-only leagues, as his homer-prone ways are a poor match for Rogers Centre and the AL East in general.
As mentioned above, Cordero is the new closer in Houston, but he may not be your best solution for saves over the longer haul. He could get into trouble with walks and homers, something that is not as much of a risk for Wilton Lopez . Don't be surprised if Lopez is the closer within a few weeks. Francisco should have even less Fantasy relevance, as his upside is as a platoon partner for Brian Bogusevic in right field.
Prospect outlook: Carpenter has the goods to be a closer someday, but he is not likely to be Fantasy-relevant this year. He is also not high-end enough to pursue in long-term keeper leagues. None of the minor leaguers acquried by the Astros are in the can't-miss category, but Musgrove, Wojciechowski and Perez are all decent mid-level prospects worthy of drafting and keeping in deep long-term keeper formats.
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