Welcome to Trade Deadline Week! I have a feeling it's going to be a wild one. We've already seen the likes of Nelson Cruz, Adam Frazier and Rich Hill dealt with much more to come. Rumors are currently swirling on Whit Merrifield, Max Scherzer, Trevor Story, all of the Chicago Cubs, and many more.
Let's talk about what actually happened on the field this weekend. Of course, Patrick Sandoval stole the show. You can read more about him below but he wasn't the only one with double-digit strikeouts. Enter Touki Toussaint and Braxton Garrett. Toussaint struck out 10 Phillies across seven innings on Sunday, which was backed up by 16 swinging strikes. Toussaint has always had talent. He just lacked consistency. With just two walks through his first two starts, he's definitely a pitcher you should be adding. Garrett is a tougher situation because, despite his 10-strikeout performance against the Padres, he was demoted after the start. There's a good chance he returns given the Marlins' injuries. The skillset just doesn't support Garrett being an intriguing Fantasy option. He's a name to watch, though he doesn't need to be added yet.
Frazier joins the Padres
2B Adam Frazier has been one of the pleasant Fantasy Baseball surprises from an otherwise disappointing Pirates team and now he is on the move to one of baseball's biggest contenders. The Padres acquired Frazier from the Pirates in exchange for prospects Tucupita Marcano, Jack Suwinski, and Michell Miliano.
Chris Towers immediately reacted to the Frazier trade and delivered a complete breakdown of his Fantasy value, who might lose playing time on the Padres and all of the prospects headed back to the Pirates. You can find that here. Frazier joins a lineup where he should be able to find more runs and RBI opportunities. This excerpt stood out to me from Towers' analysis:
"Frazier is having the best season of his career, hitting .324/.388/.448 through 428 plate appearances. He cut his strikeout rate from an already low 13.1% career mark down to 10.7%, while matching his career-best walk rate. He's been a solid contributor for Fantasy, though his .359 BABIP suggests there's been more than a bit of good luck. A .338 expected wOBA based on Statcast data from BaseballSavant.com compared to his .368 mark back that suspicion up."
Chris sees Frazier as a "most days" player for San Diego. The idea behind the Frazier trade is that they're stockpiling talent in their infield -- at least in the corners, outfield and middle infield. They're one of the most versatile times. Look for Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer to be the players most likely to lose playing time. Tommy Pham could also sit occasionally given his age and injury history.
Other trades and rumors
The Mets acquired the never-aging Rich Hill from the Rays in exchange for Tommy Hunter and Matt Dyer. In his debut with his new team, Hill allowed three earned, five hits, and two walks in five innings against the Blue Jays. He only struck out one batter but has otherwise been an above-average starter, for the most part, this season. Hill is 74% rostered and gets the Reds this week.
Scott finds it curious the Rays -- who have a pitching shortage and likely have a better chance to win it all than the Mets -- traded him away. This gives you a good idea of what the Rays think of Hill. Scott argues that June 5th was Hill's last good start of 2021 and the wheels could start falling off fast. Moving from the AL to NL should favor Hill, but he hasn't shown that he can miss bats like he used to. He won't be pitching deep enough into games either to be worthwhile in Fantasy.
Also, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports the Mariners are making a push to acquire Royals 2B Whit Merrifield. If that move goes down, the Royals are likely to call up top infield prospect Bobby Witt. That's the big news that could come out of it and here's the actionable advice we have -- search your waiver wire for Witt now.
Witt has been crushing it in the minors and if Merrifield gets dealt, it's likely we'll see Witt come up. If you can still get Witt in your leagues, stash him now. He's the next big impact prospect to potentially come up. Scott feels like he is the lat waiver wire rush prospect that could come in 2021.
Scoop up Sandoval now
The Fantasy community has been sleeping a bit on Angels SP Patrick Sandoval who has been a darling of the underlying advance metrics and is now showing off dominant stretches in the box score. On Saturday, Sandoval took a no-hitter into the ninth inning. He finished the outing having pitches 8 2/3 with 13 strikeouts. This was a breakout game for Sandoval -- the best outing of his career. He generated 13 swing and miss strikes with a wild 72 percent whiff rate when he used his changeup.
The 24-year-old lefty has been steadily improving as of late and both Scott and Chris called him the must-roster pitcher from the weekend. Both have confidence moving him into lineups and the under-the-hood numbers suggest he's in store for a really strong second half. Sandoval has now dropped his ERA to 3.52 with a 1.10 WHIP over 71 1/3 innings with 81 strikeouts on the season.
More news and notes
- Angels manager Joe Maddon said OF Mike Trout has been "feeling something" in his strained right calf while running recently and will return to Los Angeles on Monday to be evaluated by a doctor. Including this season, Trout has now missed 26% of his games since the start of 2017.
- Mets SP Jacob deGrom threw off a mound Sunday. He still doesn't have an official timetable.
- White Sox OF Eloy Jimenez will join the White Sox on Monday and is in line for 7 games this week (though he'll probably rest for one or two).
- Mets SP Carlos Carrasco looked better in his most recent start at Triple-A: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 32 of 38 pitches for strikes.
- Red Sox SP Chris Sale was not as good as his last one in his most recent start at Double-A: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB. The good news is that he struck out nine batters and got up to 64 pitches.
- Nationals SP Max Scherzer was scratched from his start this weekend with right triceps discomfort. Scherzer threw off flat ground Sunday and is expected to throw a bullpen session early this week before the Nationals determine whether he's fit to make his next start Thursday against the Phillies.
- Nationals SP Joe Ross will return Monday, which means he'll have two starts against the Phillies and Cubs. He's 52% rostered.
- Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg experienced neck discomfort again in his most recent bullpen. He'll visit a specialist Monday.
- We finally had some confirmation on Brewers SP Freddy Peralta's workload. He went just four innings Friday and then manager Craig Counsel said the Brewers will continue to deploy tandem pairings to pitch games for the rest of the season in order to keep starting pitchers fresh.
- Astros 3B Alex Bregman will report to Triple-A Sugar Land to begin a rehab assignment Monday.
- Cardinals SP Jack Flaherty will finally begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Memphis.
- Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session Saturday and will pitch in a simulated game Tuesday
- Dodgers SS Corey Seager has been swinging and moving around. Manager Dave Roberts said Sunday that Seager will most likely require a rehab assignment before being reinstated.
- Blue Jays SP Alek Manoah will not return Monday, which was previously reported. Instead he'll throw a 60-75 pitch simulated game.
- Yankees SP Luis Severino tossed two simulated innings and totaled 38 pitches at Fenway Park on Saturday.
- Yankees 1B Luke Voit is doing significantly better with his knee injury and could return the first week of August.
- Reds RP Lucas Sims' first rehab outing is coming Tuesday. He could hop right back into the closer role for the Reds.
- The Padres are targeting an early August return for SP Dinelson Lamet. He's most likely to work out of the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever upon being activated.
- Rangers OF Nick Solak was demoted to Triple-A after batting just .192 this season.
- SP Michael Fulmer could return to the Tigers Monday
- The follower players went to the IL:
- Dodgers OF Mookie Betts finally with that right hip inflammation. He's not eligible to return until August 3.
- Reds OF Nick Castellanos with that microfracture in his right wrist.
- Marlins SP Trevor Rogers with lower-back muscle spasms.
- Diamondbacks 2B Josh Rojas dislocated left pinky.
- Twins 2B Luis Arraez with right knee discomfort.
- Rays SP Collin McHugh with arm fatigue.