It was a wild MLB trade deadline culminating on Tuesday evening with more stars on the move. As a friendly heads up, the Fantasy Baseball Today Newsletter will be scaling down to three times per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) starting today as we head into the stretch run of the post trade deadline months. As usual, the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast will go on as always. That will remain a five times per week show with occasional bonus content.
Now, let's dive right into some of the biggest takeaways from the final hours of the trade deadline. But first, we have to talk about the biggest development from Tuesday's action -- a no-hitter! Let's start there:
Valdez throws a no-hitter
In a remarkable display of skill and efficiency, Framber Valdez turned in the 16th no-hitter in franchise history for the Houston Astros. This achievement marked a special moment as Valdez became the first left-handed pitcher in Astros history to achieve a no-hitter. What's even more astonishing is that he accomplished this feat with only 93 pitches, making it the third-fewest pitches used for a no-hitter since tracking began in 1988. Valdez's performance included one walk and seven strikeouts, with an impressive 34% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs) rate.
Valdez showcased a dominant curveball throughout the game, with a 45% usage rate (up from 25% in his previous starts). He recorded 12 whiffs and a 36% CSW on his curveball alone. Notably, his curveball's average speed increased by 0.8 MPH, and his cutter saw a boost of 1.1 MPH in this standout start.
With a 3.07 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 141 strikeouts over 135 innings pitched, Valdez has proven his prowess on the mound this season. He was described as a safe pick all draft season, but Valdez is proving to have a much higher ceiling than he was credited for.
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Offensive standouts from Tuesday
The offensive action didn't disappoint either, with several players delivering noteworthy performances:
- Dansby Swanson: Swanson's double dong and five RBI contributed to his impressive recent form. Since returning from the IL, he's batting .333 with five home runs.
- Cody Bellinger: Bellinger's 3-for-6 performance included his 16th home run and 13th stolen base of the season.
- Mike Tauchman: Tauchman went 2-for-3 with two walks, hitting his sixth home run and securing his fourth stolen base in 58 games. Keep an eye on his playing time, as he's only started two of the past five games.
- Jeimer Candelario: In his debut, Candelario went 4 for 5 with a double and two runs scored, making an impactful entrance.
The trade market was buzzing on Tuesday, bringing several notable moves:
- Astros acquired Justin Verlander, bringing back a familiar face to bolster their rotation. Verlander's performance has been a mix of ups and downs this season, but his recent stretch shows promise.
- In return for Verlander, the Mets received outfield prospects Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford from the Astros. Gilbert's performance has been a bit uneven, while Clifford has been excelling with a .291 batting average and 18 home runs.
- Phillies acquired Michael Lorenzen from the Tigers, adding to their pitching depth. Lorenzen's strong season could be a valuable asset down the stretch.
- Orioles acquired Jack Flaherty from the Cardinals, hoping for a change of scenery to help him regain control. Flaherty's struggles have been attributed to his command issues this season.
The Marlins made moves to strengthen their lineup: Josh Bell was acquired from the Guardians, with a potential impact on both power and run production for the Marlins. Also, Jake Burger joined the Marlins from the White Sox. Despite a .214 batting average, his impressive power metrics make him an intriguing addition to Miami's lineup.
News and notes
- Aaron Judge was at DH Tuesday because he's managing soreness in his toe. Is there a chance the Yankees shut down Judge early if they completely fall out of contention?
- Bo Bichette's MRI revealed inflammation in his right knee and is listed as day-to-day.
- Cedric Mullins is expected to rejoin the Orioles in 10-14 days.
- Brendan Donovan will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn flexor in his right arm. Tommy Edman was reinstated as the corresponding move.
- Derrick Goold, who covers the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed our suspicions on top prospect Masyn Winn. It sounds like the Cardinals will wait until late August to promote Winn in order to preserve his rookie status for 2024.
- Max Scherzer will make his Rangers debut Thursday against the White Sox.
- Jordan Montgomery will make his Rangers debut Friday against the Marlins.
- Michael Lorenzen will make his Phillies debut Thursday at the Marlins.
- Aaron Civale will make his Rays debut Saturday against the Tigers; all four with pretty soft landings with their new teams.
- Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated Tuesday that Trevor Story isn't a lock to be reinstated from the IL this weekend. He didn't appear to have any setbacks, so it sounds like they're just being cautious.
- Josh Naylor was scratched from the lineup due to right side tightness. David Fry started at first base with Oscar Gonzalez at DH.
- Justin Turner was out of the lineup due to a left heel contusion.
- JT Realmuto was held out due to a cut on his right hand.
- JD Martinez was out of the lineup due to left hamstring tightness.
- Brandon Nimmo also scratched with quad tightness.
- Mets manager Buck Showalter said Starling Marte could be activated Wednesday. Marte participated in a full round of pregame batting practice Tuesday and is finally symptom-free following a string of migraine headaches.
- Griffin Canning was placed on the IL with right calf tightness, retroactive to July 29.
- Ke'Bryan Hayes was reinstated but not in the Pirates lineup Tuesday. Kind of weird.
- Ji Hwan Bae began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tuesday. He's been out since July 2 with a left ankle injury.
- Tylor Megill and David Peterson are likely to rejoin the Mets' rotation to replace Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
- The Mariners wasted no time getting their new additions in the lineup: Dominic Canzone started in RF and hit fifth in the lineup while Josh Rojas started at 2B and hit eighth. Kolten Wong was DFA'd as a result.
- AJ Pollock was activated by the Giants, Marco Luciano optioned back to Triple-A.