Holy that was a busy MLB trade deadline!
There were too many names traded to even try to cover them all. With every player going to a contender, a vacancy is created for a new player on a non-contending team and sometimes a player is blocked on the contending team with their new addition.
I do not intend to bother with trades like Zach Duke for Chase De Jong and Ryan Costello because the deal is too insignificant compared to the many bigger deals that went down. As the dust is settling, let’s see how the fantasy baseball landscape has changed as a result of the MLB trade deadline.
MLB Trade Deadline Deals
Manny Machado to the Dodgers
The biggest trade of all went down two weeks ago when Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Manny Machado. This guy will help any team’s offense, but his overall production could take a little bit of a dip going from the Baltimore Orioles bandbox to the pitcher’s haven at Chavez Ravine. But this guy is a stud and he will still put up good numbers anywhere.
Roberto Osuna to the Astros
Houston and Toronto traded closers with a bit of a tarnish. Houston grabbed Roberto Osuna right before he comes off suspension. The Astros are taking a bit of a public relations hit by adding a guy who was suspended for domestic abuse, but that won’t have any effect on your fantasy team. He is a relief ace and well worth adding if you can get him.
In return, Toronto acquired Ken Giles who was a darling closer before a mental meltdown lead him to a demotion to triple-A. The Blue Jays say he is going to be their closer as soon as he is promoted but unless your fantasy league collects points from minor league players, you are left to wait until Giles is promoted to Toronto to capitalize on that promise.
Asdrubal Cabrera to Phillies
In moving to Philadelphia, Asdrubal Cabrera’s value will remain stable, with maybe a few more runs scored. The most important value for Cabrera is that he is likely to pick up shortstop eligibility with the Phillies.
J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn to the Yankees
The Yanks added two starters to their starting rotation in different deals. Pitchers either thrive or wither when they end up in New York and I would bet on Happ to thrive. Count on wins and K’s as this veteran has pitched in the Big Apple many times as a visitor and should fit in quite nicely.
As for Lynn, there is no telling how he will do. He has had an off year and the unforgiving Bleacher Creatures might not take too well to him if he struggles out of the gate.
Zach Britton to New York Yankees, Jeurys Familia to Oakland, Brad Hand to Cleveland, Brad Brach to Atlanta, Keone Kela to Pittsburgh and Joakim Soria to Milwaukee
All six are out of their closer roles and into setup roles with their new teams. Their stats should remain steady except they will be trading their saves for holds.
Francisco Mejia to Padres
Mejia is a top-10 prospect and is the real deal. He’s an excellent contact hitter, developing power and will be an impact player. The San Diego Padres did very well here and have their catcher of the future for a couple of relievers that wouldn’t help a losing team win.
Mike Moustakas to Brewers
This was looking like a very solid move as the Milwaukee Brewers were adding a power bat to their lineup, but the move displaced Travis Shaw off of 3B to 2B, adding to his position flexibility. But then the Brewers made another deal…
Jonathan Schoop to Brewers
If Schoop plays his usual 2B, then a big logjam has blocked the Milwaukee River since the outfield and 1B are stacked up already. But Schoop could play shortstop, which is an offensive upgrade for the Brewers. I’m a big fan of Luis Ortiz, who was the most intriguing player going to Baltimore in the deal.
Chris Archer to Pirates
Archer is in desperate need of new scenery. I think a better team will inspire him to find his true self. The Pittsburgh Pirates had to send Austin Meadows to Tampa in the deal. The Pirates didn’t have room in their outfield for Meadows right now, but he will be a real asset for the Rays over time. A fair deal for both teams that should lead to an acceleration in production for both big names in the deal.
Wilson Ramos to Phillies
Ramos was having a good season for the Rays. Philadelphia couldn’t get consistency from their catchers so they had to spend on a backstop that will hopefully help them win a division crown. Ramos might see a slight uptick in RBI, but the other stats should remain steady.
Tommy Pham to Rays
I don’t get the Rays motivation here. Pham played well above his abilities in 2017 and this season was saw him come back down to earth. With the trade of Ramos, Archer and several other pitchers, the acquisition of a 30-year old who is not as good as his previous season makes me scratch my head. At any rate, don’t look for Pham to channel his 2017 season ever again.
Ian Kinsler to Red Sox
Kinsler is showing his age. Going to Boston won’t do a lot for his stats, since most of his good stuff is all used up. I would expect him to continue to struggle through this season even in a different uniform on a top team.
Cole Hamels to Cubs
Hamels is always a gamer. He’ll give you his best stuff, even if his best days are behind him… which they are. He’s still serviceable, but not spectacular any longer. He ought to give you slightly better ratios playing in the NL and more wins with a better offense, but this is not vintage Cole Hamels.
Eduardo Escobar to Diamondbacks
Escobar was hitting well for Minnesota Twins and gets the chance to do the same in Arizona because Jake Lamb couldn’t. I think the humidor will have minimum effects on Escobar’s value. Expect similar or slightly better numbers for Escobar in the desert.
Brian Dozier to Dodgers
Dozier is having a down year by his standards. There is no telling what the Dodgers just bought, but they are hoping to surround him with talent and re-ignite his power output. Dozier will get the bulk of the starts but will likely have to do a time-share.
Kevin Gausman to Braves
Atlanta Braves grabbed a lottery ticket for a handful of prospects. Gausman has great potential and frustratingly inconsistent results to show for his MLB time. He could become a stud or he might end up making fantasy owners continue pulling out their hair.
As I said off the top – that was a very active MLB trade deadline! None of this discussion mentions opportunities created by the trade for the vacancies. I hope to address this in the near future to see who was moved in each trade and see which player benefitted due to the newly created opening.