Not every trade shakes up the Fantasy landscape. Some, of course, feature stars of such staggering brilliance that we have no choice but to dive deep into the implications of them.
And some feature the shell of Zach Britton, or Nate Eovaldi. That's not to say those moves won't have Fantasy implications, but the principals in the deal don't exactly require deep examination. Britton needs about 12 dominoes to fall in exactly the right order to be in line for saves in New York, while Eovaldi loses value with a move to Boston, if anything.
Of course, there's something for Fantasy players to note in these deals: The prospects! The Orioles received Dillon Tate in return for Britton, while the Rays' biggest piece in return for Eovaldi was Jalen Beeks. Let's take a quick look at both young hurlers and see if either is someone Fantasy players need to know about.
Of the two pitchers being discussed here, Beeks has less projectability and pedigree, but he's shown a lot more in games. He broke out in 2017 with a 3.29 ERA and 9.6 K/9 between Double-A and Triple-A, and he's been even better in 2018, dominating hitters in Triple-A with a 2.89 ERA and 12.1 K/9. He hasn't been able to translate that to success against major-league hitters, getting roughed up for nine runs in 6.1 innings in two appearances, and that's the concern here -- Beeks may be a AAAA starter. He's short at 5-foot-11 and lacks plus velocity on his fastball. That might work against guys in Pawtucket, but the margin for error is much smaller in the majors. Still, Tampa is a better place to pitch than Fenway, and he could have a rotation spot in due time. I won't say he's worth stashing until he gets the call, but I'll be interested to see what he does when he is up. I would imagine it won't be long
Tate was once a top-100 prospect, but he's never managed to make it through an entire minor-league season without issue, and his career has been marked by inconsistency. The former No. 4 overall pick shows flashes, but continues to struggle to get deep into games, averaging just 5.5 innings per start in Double-A this season. On the right night, he'll look unhittable, but then he'll follow up a recent 10-strikeout outing with three strikeouts in five innings. Still, if he puts it all together, Tate has the potential to make an impact, although likely in 2019 or later for the Orioles. Don't be surprised if he gets a cup of coffee in September, and he'll be worth watching.
If nothing else, Tanner Roark reminded us why we shouldn't give up on him just yet Wednesday. He overwhelmed a very good Brewers lineup, striking out 11 batters in eight pristine innings, his first outing with more than seven strikeouts since May. This isn't the kind of outing we've come to expect from Roark, and there's no sign that he did anything different Wednesday night that will change his outlook, but it was a good reminder that when he's right, Roark can be very good.
We've talked about it endlessly, but the biggest problem in the Reds' outfield has been overcrowding. They have four Fantasy-relevant outfielders splitting time between three spots, which has limited the appeal of each. Recently, Scott Schebler's shoulder injury has opened everyday playing time for Billy Hamilton and Jesse Winker, both of whom have played like must-start Fantasy options of late. Now, Schebler is nearing a return from his injury, and Winker may go on the DL with a shoulder issue of his own. Given how Winker has swung the bat, that's disappointing. On the other hand, Schebler had an .838 OPS in 20 games before his DL stint, so getting him everyday at-bats isn't a bad thing either. I'll add him and start him if Winker goes on the DL.
We're always on the lookout for saves, and while you should focus on guys like A.J. Minter who have a chance to keep the job long-term, don't ignore the interim guys either. Pedro Strop is a very good reliever, and he's getting saves for the time being with Brandon Morrow on the DL. He's received each of the Cubs' three save chances since Morrow went on the DL, and since Morrow is still dealing with biceps issues and hasn't begun throwing yet, Strop should continue to get opportunities. Every little bit helps, and Strop can help more than a little bit.