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Roto Roundup: Jonathan Lucroy, Andrew Miller, David Dahl

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

A bit of an abbreviated Roundup this morning with the trade deadline looming.

Indians Attempt to Trade for Lucroy, No-Trade Clause Invoked

With the trade deadline on Monday, the most active team on Saturday and into Sunday morning has turned out to be the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians. Brewers’ catcher Jonathan Lucroy was out of the lineup against the Pirates on Saturday, with the speculation that the All-Star would be traded before the end of the game. While the teams had agreed on a deal, Lucroy has the right to veto a trade to the Indians and did so this morning.

Lucroy would have represented a significant upgrade at catcher for this year for the Indians, who have seen Yan Gomes hit just .165/.198/.313 in 71 games. Gomes is also on the disabled list now after suffering a separated shoulder, and it’s not clear whether he would have returned this year either way. The Indians could now look to see whether a trade for another catcher might make sense, but Lucroy was clearly the top option available.

In terms of Lucroy’s possibility of being traded, the Brewers will need to look again to see about whether they still would rather trade Lucroy for the lesser offers received from teams like the Rangers and Mets, or just hold him until the offseason to try again.

Indians Solidify Back End of Bullpen with Andrew Miller

The Indians weren’t done though, as they officially completed a trade with the Yankees this morning to acquire All-Star reliever Andrew Miller for a package headlined by OF prospect Clint Frazier. I would expect that Miller will be the closer for the Indians, moving Cody Allen into the 8th inning and severely diminishing his value to fantasy owners. It also moves Dellin Betances into the closer’s role in New York, and while I’d be shocked if he was available in your league, if he is, go grab him now.

Pirates Send Melancon to Nationals

Miller wasn’t the only elite reliever traded yesterday though, with the Pirates sending Mark Melancon to the Nationals for Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn. Melancon will step in immediately as the closer for the Nationals, who have seen Jonathan Papelbon struggle of late. For the Pirates, they receive a potential future closer in Rivero, along with another controllable pitcher for the remaining two months of Melancon’s season.

The Pirates did not have a save situation yesterday, and so it’s not entirely clear yet who they will deploy in the closer’s role now that Melancon is gone. If I am speculating on a pickup, it’s probably Neftali Feliz, who has 47 strikeouts in his 40 innings so far this year.

Roto Roundup

With the Rays in the cellar of the AL East, their contingent of young starting pitchers could well turn out to be the best available before Monday’s deadline. While Drew Smyly isn’t necessarily their best candidate given his struggles this year, he did show signs of improvement last night against the Yankees. He went 6 innings, striking out 6 and allowing just 2 earned runs and 5 base runners on the way to his third win of the season. I think he’s still worth a speculative add if he’s available in your league, given the potential for those high strikeout outings.

David Dahl has been installed as the left fielder in Colorado, and hit his second home run yesterday off Bartolo Colon. After just six games he has .984 OPS in 23 at bats, and a .348 batting average. While his average should regress toward the .270-.280 level, the power is real and should also provide stolen bases. He’s definitely looking like he’s up to stay, and is worth an add in all leagues if he is.

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