But that doesn't mean the trade deadline went off without a splash for Fantasy Baseball. We're still caught in the wake of it right now, trying to make sense of what we just witnessed. I'll begin in the most cursory place, identifying the 11 most notable players to change hands and what it means for them.
You'll notice a number of them are now wearing Padres hats.
CLE Cleveland • #52 • Age: 29
The velocity and command have both declined a tick this year — and he of course committed the clubhouse faux pas of having a night out with friends and lying about it afterward — but Mike Clevinger still has the makings of an ace and two years of control remaining. It's a wonder the Indians settled for a couple mid-grade prospects and some ill-fitting parts in return.
MIA Miami • #6 • Age: 32
Starling Marte's career-best power production in 2019 so far hasn't carried over to this year, but he remains a high-end outfielder (particularly in Rotisserie formats) for his contributions in batting average and stolen bases. It's a rare example of a win-now move for the Marlins, who sent back enigmatic lefty Caleb Smith and a couple other pieces, and while their park is known for suppressing power, Marte successfully navigated a similar environment during all those years in PIttsburgh.
TOR Toronto • #20 • Age: 29
The Marlins were both buyers and sellers at the deadline, apparently deciding Jonathan Villar was a superfluous piece for their playoff push. Or maybe they just really wanted Griffin Conine, son of Mr. Marlin himself, Jeff Conine. To be fair, the bad version of Villar has shown up so far this year, and while that version is still good for stolen bases, he may find himself playing irregularly for the Blue Jays if he doesn't bring back the good version by the time Bo Bichette is healthy.
SD San Diego • #22 • Age: 30
The older brother of Aaron Nola is a recent riser up the Fantasy ranks as one of the few catchers to muster anything at the plate so far this year. Unfortunately, his playing time is cloudier with the Padres, who also acquired Jason Castro over the weekend. Still, Austin Nola should continue to play more often than not between catcher and DH.
LAA L.A. Angels • #9 • Age: 31
The power gains for Tommy La Stella have mostly held from a year ago, making him a startable player in standard leagues and earning him an everyday job (against both righties and lefties) with the Angels. As fruitless as the Athletics have been at second base, he'll presumably play just as regularly for them, and the venue change is close to a lateral one.
SD San Diego • Age: 23
The biggest prospect moved at the deadline was also moved (from the Reds to the Padres) at last year's deadline, which is an indication Taylor Trammell's stock may be slipping. Nonetheless, the prize of the Austin Nola deal has a patient approach and enticing power/speed combo, and he might just beat Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez to the majors.
Robbie Ray SP
TOR Toronto • #38 • Age: 29
Robbie Ray may indeed be a big name, but he has been a big dud this season, his always shaky control becoming completely untenable. He still offers a swing-and-miss profile and might be able to salvage something with a change of scenery. The same goes for the Blue Jays' other big starting pitcher acquisition, Ross Stripling.
Mike Minor SP
TEX Texas • #23 • Age: 32
Mike Minor was already due for some regression after a surprising 2019 — and that was before his fastball lost a couple miles per hour. He has some hangers-on in Fantasy just because useful starting pitchers are so hard to find, but he may ultimately shift to the bullpen for the Athletics once they get some doubleheaders behind them.
CIN Cincinnati • #23 • Age: 28
Archie Bradley goes from being the closer of the Diamondbacks to, at best, the backup closer for the Reds. It's a complete bottoming out of Fantasy value since it's not like the ratios themselves are enough to sustain him. Even in holds leagues, you might want to look elsewhere. It's not so clear who replaces him in Arizona either, with a list of candidates that includes Kevin Ginkel, Junior Guerra and Stefan Crichton.
KC Kansas City • #40 • Age: 30
Just when Trevor Rosenthal appeared to have locked up the closer gig in Kansas City, he gets shipped to San Diego, where the Padres have had their own issues settling on a ninth-inning man. I'm still hopeful Rosenthal emerges as the front-runner there, though. Emilio Pagan hasn't been his lock-down self this year, and Drew Pomeranz's left-handedness makes him better suited for a more versatile role.
SD San Diego • #18 • Age: 35
Now 34 and in his 11th major-league season, Mitch Moreland was doing some unprecedented things that weren't being fully enjoyed in Fantasy because he wasn't playing every day for the Red Sox, having to sit against lefties. Padres manager Jayce Tingler initially said he planned to make Moreland his everyday DH, but that was before the Padres went out and acquired Austin Nola. Pretty sure, given his track record, Moreland is bound to fade anyway, so it's probably best to leave him alone.