Before I give you my thoughts on the winners and losers, from a fantasy perspective, from the July 31st trade deadline deals, I want to give a big thanks to both Jason Hunt and Daniel Kelley for their efforts this week while I was on vacation. I am still on vacation, but it's a cloudy day here in Ocean City, NJ, so everyone is just relaxing today.
Jason took on the daily Roto Roundups and Streamer Reports in my absence, giving you his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers and newsy items on a daily basis. He also provided you with some streaming pitcher options every day, and most likely, his picks performed better than mine have over the last few weeks.
Daniel offered the fantasy impact on all of the July 31st trade deadline deals yesterday, and they came fast and furious. He took a scheduled day off from work to address the trade deadline deals, and i appreciate him doing that in my absence.
i wish I had more time yesterday to offer my take on the deadline deals but the weather was beautiful and the kids wanted to boogie board in the ocean, so my time was limited.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on some of the fantasy winners and losers from yesterday's trade madness:
As I said on Twitter yesterday, I think Dave Dombrowski should be given the GM of the year award now, as I think he stole David Price from the Rays. The Rays got Drew Smyly to replace Price in the Ray's rotation, along with Nick Franklin from the Mariners , with the Mariners receiving Austin Jackson from the Tigers in the three team deal.
The Tigers got one of the best pitchers in the game for a #3-4 starter and a league average center fielder who doesn't walk much, hit for power, or steal bases.
Nick Franklin, Rays
Franklin should slot in as the Rays starting second baseman for the foreseeable future. He offers fantasy owners some power at the middle infield position, and he knows how to take a walk. He has struggled in his 52 plate appearances at the big league level this season, as he is striking out at a 40% clip in the small sample size of at bats. He's just 23 years old, and the Rays have a habit of turning guys like him into legitimate major league regulars.
Yoenis Cespedes, Red Sox
Cespedes had a fantastic rookie season, but has failed to repeat .292 batting average and 16 stolen bases. But, what he does provide fantasy owners is power, and the move from whatever they call the Oakland ball park to Fenway Park is a positive for his fantasy value for the rest of this season and next. He could be a 30 home run hitter in Boston in 2015, and it is his walk year, as he is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season.
Jarred Cosart, Marlins
Cosart is not the most dominating starting pitcher in the Astros rotation, as his K-BB rate is just 1.47, so not dominating. But, what he does do he induce ground balls at an elite level, and he is moving from Minute Maid Park to Marlins Park, one of the better pitchers parks in baseball. Plus, another pitcher who Cosart resembles from a bit, Henderson Alvarez, has had great success moving from Toronto to Miami, so Cosart's fantasy value improves with this trade.
Jake Marisnick, Astros
Marisnick has now been traded two times since being drafted by the Blue Jays back in 2010. He will man center field for the Astros until Dexter Fowler returns from the disabled list. With the Astros looking to stay young, Fowler could be a trade candidate this offseason if Marisnick can prove he can hit at the major league level.
Oscar Taveras, Cardinals
No, Taveras was not traded, but teammate Allen Craig was. Craig, and starter Joe Kelly, were shipped to Boston for starter John Lackey yesterday. As a result, Taveras finally gets a regular starting job in the Cardinals outfield. He has failed to impress in his limited number of plate appearances, but that should change as he gets to play every day. He homered in yesterday's game, and he should give us a solid glimpse into what he can provide fantasy owners over the last two months of the season.
Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox
Now that the Red Sox have traded light-hitting shortstop Stephen Drew, the Red Sox can now move their top young hitter Xander Bogaerts back to shortstop. The move to shortstop opens up third base for Will Middlebrooks, who was called up on Friday. Middlebrooks has shown he can hit for power at the big league level, but has trouble making contact. Middlebrooks will have to hit better than in prior opportunities to keep the third base job in 2015.
Javier Baez, Cubs
With the Cubs recent deals involving Darwin Barney and Emilio Bonifacio, the Cubs have an opening at second base. Well, Arismendy Alcantera can play the position, but he can also play center field, so there is a chance we may see top hitting prospect Javier Baez manning second base before the September call ups. Baez is finally hitting after a horrendous start to the 2014 season in AAA. He has his average up to .259 with 21 home runs, 60 runs scored, 78 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 101 games, but he is striking out in 30% of his at bats at the moment.
Francisco Lindor, Indians
The Indians finally traded shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera which should open the door for Francisco Lindor to open the 2015 season as the Indians starting shortstop. In 88 AA games this season, Lindor hit .278-.352-.389 with 6 home runs, 51 runs scored, 48 RBI and 25 stolen bases. Recently promoted to AAA, Lindor could be called up to the big leagues in early September.
Gerardo Parra, Brewers
Parra was traded to the Brewers, with Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda heading to Arizona. Parra, known for his glove more than his bat, will probably platoon with Khris Davis and be used as a late inning defensive replacement over the last two months of the season. Parra was a regular in Arizona, so his limited fantasy value falls a bit further with this trade.
Austin Jackson, Mariners
Jackson was traded from the team (Tigers) that ranks 5th in runs scored to a team (Mariners) that ranks 25th in runs scored this season. With all the outfielders in Seattle now, who knows if he will be playing every day, but more than likely he will. I expect his offensive production to drop some with the move the the run-starved Mariners.
Ken Giles, Phillies
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was rumored to be available, along with many other Phillies, at the trade deadline, but when he stated he wanted to be traded to a team where he can remain a closer, that may have limited the number of options for GM Ruben Amaro Jr. The fact that the trade deadline came and went and Papelbon is still in Philly means that closer-in-waiting Ken Giles won't be closing any time soon. But, keep the faith dynasty and NL only keeper league owners, Giles could be closing in 2015, as he is striking out 40.5% of the 74 batters he has faced in the big leagues. There is still a chance Papelbon clears waivers (the Phillies waived all of their players on Friday), and if he does the Phillies are free to trade him to any team they want. Then again, a team like the Dodgers could put in a claim and work out a trade within 48 hours of placing the claim.
Carlos Martinez, Cardinals
With the Cardinals adding Justin Masterson and John Lackey to their rotation over the last few days, Martinez lost his job in the Cardinals rotation and was sent down to AAA on Friday to make room for Lackey. Martinez has struggled with his control this season, but owns a 3.56 FIP so all was not bad in his first taste in a major league rotation. He could be a consideration for a rotation spot in 2015.