Fantasy Baseball Today

Wrapping up the deadline deals

By Al Melchior | Data Analyst

John Lackey will probably gain Fantasy value as a result of his trade to the Cardinals. (USATSI)
John Lackey will probably gain Fantasy value as a result of his trade to the Cardinals. (USATSI)

If Fantasy owners were hoping for a lot of player movement on Deadline Day 2014, they could not have been disappointed. The day culminated with the three-team blockbuster that landed David Price in the Tigers' rotation, and it did not lack for volume of trades or impact moves.

I broke down the Fantasy implications of the Price deal in an earlier post, but I'll take a look at each of the remaining deals from the last two days that could be difference-makers in Fantasy this season right here. In addition to skipping the Price trade here, I'll also take a pass on the deal that sent Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland, with Yoenis Cespedes going to Boston. Both Lester and Cespedes remain must-start options and shouldn't see much of a change in their value.

I'll begin with the deals that involved players changing leagues. AL- and NL-only owners, it's time to open your FAAB wallets...

Red Sox trade John Lackey, Corey Litrell and cash considerations to the Cardinals for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig: Lackey is the most valuable player to move over to the NL in the last two days. He's been a better pitcher at home the last two seasons, and his splits could get even more lopsided, now that he will pitch home games at Busch Stadium. Especially in home starts, Lackey gains value with this move. Meanwhile, Kelly loses the benefits of Busch, while Craig enters another crowded outfield situation. Neither one is a must-add outside of AL-only leagues. Lackey's replacement in Boston will be Anthony Ranaudo, who is certainly worth a pickup in AL-only formats. Like his predecessor, Ranaudo should be much more trustworthy in his home starts and in pitcher's parks.

Indians trade Asdrubal Cabrera to the Nationals for Zach Walters: Cabrera shouldn't see his value change in mixed leagues, but he's certainly worth adding in NL-only leagues. If you're a little short on FAAB dollars and are well set at shortstop and MI, don't go overboard on a bid. You're better off to save your money for Lackey. Also, there's no reason to get excited about an imminent Francisco Lindor callup in Cleveland, because apparently, it's not happening.

Diamondbacks trade Martin Prado to the Yankees for Pete O'Brien: Prado is not a flyball hitter, so the move to Yankee Stadium won't fix his disappointing power output. More central to Prado's value is a lack of a clear role with the Yankees, but an injury at almost any position would give him an opportunity for regular playing time. That makes him worth a bid in AL-only leagues. Don't be afraid to overbid, as Prado is the most valuable NL-to-AL crossover.

Astros trade Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Wates to the Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran, Frances Martes and a competitive balance pick: The Astros don't get anyone who is likely to help them this year, though Moran remains a worthwhile dynasty league target. Even at Minute Maid Park, Cosart didn't have a problem with home runs, so he won't get much benefit from roomy Marlins Park. The trade could potentially hurt Cosart's value, as the Marlins have allowed the third-highest batting average on grounders in the majors. Hernandez's versatility and strong contact skills should help to keep him in the lineup, so both he and Cosart are worth modest bids in NL-only leagues. Wates is also worth keeping on your radar, as he could emerge as a late-season pinch-running specialist.

Indians trade Justin Masterson to the Cardinals for James Ramsey: Unless Masterson can improve his control, he won't increase his value. He should provide strikeouts, but Masterson remains a potential liability for ERA and WHIP. Also, if the Cardinals don't start scoring more runs, he may not help much with wins either.

And now on to the intra-league deals...

Athletics trade Tommy Milone to the Twins for Sam Fuld: Milone has a better chance to start with the Twins than he would have with the A's, and he will continue to pitch home games in a favorable environment. That's essential for the homer-prone Milone if he is to have mixed league value. There should be some future two-start weeks in which Milone will be a reasonable streaming option for standard mixed league owners. Fuld should see plenty of playing time, especially while Coco Crisp (neck) is out, and he can be of use to owners in deeper leagues who need steals.

Diamondbacks trade Gerardo Parra to the Brewers for Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda: Sorry, Parra owners. He looks like a fourth outfielder now. With a 33 percent ownership rate in CBSSports.com leagues, Parra has suddenly become radically overowned.

Red Sox trade Stephen Drew to the Yankees for Kelly Johnson: Drew was starting to find his power stroke, and a move to Yankee Stadium can't hurt. He is now worth considering as a MI option in Roto leagues. Johnson (groin) could be activated from the DL in about a week, but there is no clear role for him once he is ready to play again.

Cubs trade Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell to the Braves for Victor Caratini: Bonifacio may lose some playing time, but he should get enough reps in the infield and outfield to remain vital as a source of stolen bases. His departure won't open up a spot for Javier Baez, at least not right away, but he is still worth stashing given the possibility of him getting called up later this season.

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