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Fantasy Baseball Today

Trade deadline should pique awareness of all implications for Fantasy owners

By Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Fantasy owners should be aware that Tommy Milone could be an odd man out in Oakland. (USATSI)
Fantasy owners should be aware that Tommy Milone could be an odd man out in Oakland. (USATSI)

The term "Fantasy sports" is a bit of a misnomer in that it really reflects reality. Every move made by a professional franchise has a ripple effect that Fantasy owners must grasp to be successful.

Such is the case as the trading deadline approaches in major league baseball. Each deal - particularly those involving major talent - can have wide-ranging Fantasy implications.

Take the rather stunning Friday night trade that sent right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the continuously rebuilding Cubs to the Athletics. Fantasy owners should be aware that pitchers such as Chris Rusin and a current minor leaguer will likely now join the Chicago rotation. They should be examined closer than ever before, but it must also be understood that they will not be pitching for a team with a lineup akin to the '27 Bronx Bombers.

Which brings us to Samardzija and Hammel. Despite their fine performances this season, Fantasy owners gave them second thoughts when determining starting lineups previous to the trade. The former has been in about two-thirds of all Fantasy lineups and the latter barely more than a half, greatly because of the lack of offensive support. They have now become virtually automatic starts for an Oakland team that has scored exactly 100 runs more than the Cubs heading into Saturday action.

And what about Fantasy owners of Athletics starters Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone, one of whom appears doomed for a switch to the bullpen despite solid seasons?

The point here is that every trade - and there should be plenty more to come before July 31 - has Fantasy implications. Traded hitters are less affected because they generally start elsewhere, but their arrivals push other hitters out of lineups. Traded closers often become setup men as teams with established closers attempt to bolster their late-inning relief corps. That, in turn, allows a short reliever to step up and assume a closer job.

Being aware about possible moves that could affect your team positively or negatively is critical for Fantasy owners this time of year. Being proactive and even using a bit of your gut feeling about how to turn trade deadling moves into your advantage might make the difference between a successful second half and an unsuccessful one.

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