clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MLB Trade Deadline: Stock Updates for the Players in the Johnny Cueto Trade

Jason Hunt takes a look at how the Johnny Cueto trade affects both the players and the teams involved long term from a fantasy standpoint.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The first of the major starting pitcher trade chips fell yesterday with Johnny Cueto being sent to the Royals. The trade involved four players, with a few more being impacted as well. Let's take a look at how their fantasy value may have changed, both for the rest of this season as well as long-term.

The Royals

Johnny Cueto - Cueto was already going to have high value for the rest of the season regardless because of his potential for low ratios and high strikeout totals, but he goes from a team that is viewed generally as a bottom third team defensively to one that is by most metrics the best in baseball. It is possible that his numbers could actually be better down the stretch, especially with regard to wins. If he goes out and gives the Royals 10+ solid to above-average starts, he should also solidify his spot within the free agent market and get a $100+ million contract.

LONG TERM: Stock Up Slightly

Yordano Ventura - It seemed most likely earlier in the week that Yordano Ventura would be the starter bumped from the rotation, given that he was demoted last week before returning to the majors when Jason Vargas hit the disabled list. However, Ventura went out on Sunday and held the Astros to just one runs on six hits over seven innings, notching the win in the process.

SHORT TERM: Stock Up, Not Related to the Trade Though
LONG TERM: No change

Danny Duffy - Duffy appears to have pitched well this month at first glance (1.73 ERA, 18 H in 22 IP), but with just 8 strikeouts and 8 walks in that same timeframe, along with a 4.47 FIP and 4.86 xFIP, he could also be in danger. Add in that Duffy's next turn is on the same day as Cueto's would be on normal rest, and I could see Duffy being the one pushed out. He's still likely to be in the rotation in 2016, but his value for this year would tank more than it had because of the low strikeout rate if he is moved into relief.

SHORT TERM: Stock Down
LONG TERM: No change

The Reds

Brandon Finnegan - For Finnegan to be the top player in this deal, the Reds have to believe that he can return to being a starting pitcher long-term, and will send him to AAA to stretch him out to do just that. He has been making multi-inning appearances in some of his outings, but I could see him needing four or five starts in the minors before returning to the majors. He didn't have a lot of fantasy value as a reliever except in deeper formats, so the potential for him to be a starter definitely moves him up.

SHORT TERM: No change

John Lamb - It's been a long path toward the majors for Lamb, who was a top 25 prospect before missing most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons due to injuries. Lamb was in his second full go-around at AAA, but finally appears to be getting close to the level he reached back in 2010. If he is, Lamb could be the best player from this group. The Reds will need a starter on Thursday, and Lamb will be on six days rest at that point. Looking to next year's rotation in Cincinnati, there could be at least two spots available, and Lamb could be well placed to get one with him being out of options next year. He's worth a speculative grab in NL-only leagues right now.


Cody Reed - Reed has had a great year between High-A and AA, with 84 strikeouts, 26 walks and a 2.53 ERA in 96 innings pitched. He looks a lot more like at least a back-end rotation starter these days, with the potential for more, and that could be by the end of 2016 at the rate he's going. He's been a high groundball pitcher this year (44% according to MLBFarm), which bodes well for his success in a hitters' park like Great American Ballpark.

SHORT AND LONG TERM: No change due to the trade, Stock Up due to performance

Robert Stephenson - Stephenson was the clear cut loser for me in this case, as he was well placed before today to get a rotation spot in 2016 with the potential to get a call up this year. This trade has added more competition for that spot that Stephenson could have locked in with a reasonable spring. He's still the best prospect amongst the group, and should be fine in the long-term, but we may not see him until mid-season next year as a result. (Of course, a Mike Leake trade this week could change that right back.)

SHORT TERM: No change
LONG TERM: Slight downgrade for 2016, No change beyond