Wednesday was dominated by trades but hey, we had some games, too! What is happening with Joey Votto? The guy has turned back the clocks and is on an absolute heater. He now has back-to-back multi-homer games with seven total home runs over his last five contests. While he's sacrificed some of the batting average, the power is very welcome from Votto. It always felt like he could flip that switch if he wanted to and we're seeing the full extent of that right now.
On the pitching side, Blake Snell is broken. He gave up seven more runs on Wednesday and in 241.1 innings since 2019, he has a 4.48 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Snell's always had bad control but when you marry that with a lack of swinging strikes and a ton of hard contact, bad things are going to happen. He's fallen outside my top-60 starting pitchers and is even droppable in shallower leagues. Please, for the sake of your Fantasy team, at least get Snell out of your lineup.
Gallo heads to Yankee Stadium
The Yankees were rumored to be major players in the Trevor Story sweepstakes -- even going as far as having made an offer to the Rockies -- but instead they landed another slugger. On Wednesday, the Yankees traded for OF Joey Gallo. The Yankees also received reliever Joely Rodriguez from the Rangers. In return, the Yankees sent Texas pitcher Glenn Otto, 2B Ezekeli Duran, SS Josh Smith and 2B/OF Trevor Hauver.
Gallo is currently the 16th-best OF in Roto scoring formats (50th-best hitter overall). He's averaging 3.1 fantasy points per game (T-OF22). The raw numbers: .223 batting average, 25 homers, six bags.
According to Statcast data, Yankee Stadium is No. 6 in home run park factors this season -- Texas was No. 22. More fun with stats: Gallo's 19% walk rate is first in baseball and his barrel rate is in the 97th percentile. Gallo's arrival provides a slight boost for Yankee hitters across the board.
On the flip side, Texas go some strong depth in the form of prospects but also no superstars. Duran has a nice power/speed profile and he put it on paper but only at the High A level. Otto has combined for a 3.33 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 115 strikeouts in 75.2 innings pitched across Double-A and Triple-A.
Marte for Luzardo has the feel of a preseason Fantasy trade
If I told you two teams in your league swapped SP Jesus Luzardo and OF Starling Marte before the start of the 2021 season, you'd probably tell me why didn't the team getting Luzardo get a little bit more, but you wouldn't be stunned. This Fantasy-esque trade become a reality on Wednesday when the A's sent Luzardo to Miami for Marte.
Marte is off to arguably one of the best Fantasy seasons of his career in his age-32 season. He's batting .305 with seven homers and 22 bags (a 51-steal pace of 150 games). He's averaging 3.7 fantasy points per game in H2H leagues which is tied for third-most among all outfielders. He's also the OF22 in Roto formats despite missing 37 games with injury.
So how does his value change now? Well, Oakland ranks 18th in home run park factors and Miami ranks 25th. Oakland also ranks 15th in runs per game while Miami ranks 27th. These are very good factors for Marte's value moving forward. Of course, Marte has played and hit against NL pitchers for quite some time now and could struggle to adjust to AL pitching -- but there's not enough hard data to back that up on more than a case-by-case basis.
Chris feels like this is a downgrade for Marte because the A's are nowhere near the Marlins when it comes to letting their hitters run. He's running at a pace he hasn't since 2017 and the Marlins really let him run. Oakland won't provide that, but he can settle on this being a wash because Marte will have more run-producing opportunities with Mark Canha behind him in the lineup -- and with the AL DH. In my mind, Oakland not running this year is more based on their personnel -- he may not run as much, but they'll run him.
As for Luzardo, he has 6.87 ERA this season at the MLB level and a 6.52 ERA at the Triple-A level. But he's also a former 23-year-old top pitching prospect who we were really, really excited about just as recently as this past offseason. Luzardo is under team control through the 2026 season and ultimately that could make this an absolutely incredible value for the Marlins who are giving up a rental player in Marte.
Luzardo was arguably one of the best prospects in baseball last year and Chris sees this as an excellent buy-low opportunity for Dynasty managers.
All of the sudden the Marlins pitching staff for the future looks promising so let's hope Miami's management doesn't mess this thing up. In addition to Luzardo, Miami has Trevor Rogers, Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez, Pablo Lopez and Edward Cabrera. From a pure talent standpoint, it's one of the best young staffs in the MLB.
The Brewers grab... no not Trevor Story but Eduardo Escobar!
The Brewers were also supposedly in the mix for Trevor Story -- and named as one of the two favorites with the Yankees -- acquired another infielder on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks sent 3B Eduardo Escobar to the Brewers in exchange for 18-year-old prospect Alberot Ciprian and OF Cooper Hummel.
Escobar has a .246 batting average with 22 homers and 65 RBIs this season. He's the No. 8 3B in Roto scoring (and the 65th-best hitter overall). He has racked up 2.9 fantasy points per game -- tied for ninth-best at the position. Moving over to Milwaukee should be a great thing for Escobar as the Brewers rank 14th in home run park factors vs. Arizona who was 28th in home run park factors. More specifically, Milwaukee's home stadium plays really well for left-handed batters -- so this is great news for Escobar.
Towers agrees this is a big arrow up for Escobar this season -- his RBIs should specifically tick up.
- Astros acquired Yimi Garcia from the Marlins in exchange for OF Bryan De La Cruz and pitcher Austin Pruitt.
- Mychal Givens was traded from the Rockies to the Reds in exchange for right-handers Case Williams and Noah Davis.
More news and notes
- The Nationals and Phillies game was postponed due to 12 positive COVID tests -- four players and eight staff members.
- Angels 1B Jared Walsh was placed on the IL with a right intercostal strain.
- Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers left the game and was seen rubbing his hamstring.
- White Sox OF Eloy Jimenez left Wednesday with right groin tightness.
- Blue Jays 2B/OF Lourdes Gurriel exited after a HBP on his elbow.
- Giants C Buster Posey was removed after taking a foul ball off the mask.
- Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado was removed Wednesday after getting hit by a pitch. He was diagnosed with a bruised forearm.
- Cubs 2B Nico Hoerner left the game with side soreness.
- Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw will continue rehab Sunday
- Dodgers OF Mookie Betts is expected back Sunday.
- Dodgers SS Corey Seager targeting a return this weekend.
- Giants SS Brandon Crawford is expected back Thursday.
- Yankees SP Luis Severino will throw a simulated game Thursday. If all goes well, the next move could be a rehab start.
- Twins DH Nelson Cruz was scratched Wednesday due to a foot contusion but was available off the bench.
- Twins C Mitch Garver was held out after getting hit by a pitch in his hand Tuesday.
- White Sox OF Luis Robert moved his rehab to Triple-A on Tuesday, inching closer to a return.