A couple of days ago there wasn’t much to see on this front. But I did discuss a few happenings two days ago here in this space. Here is the short version, though, to catch you up:
Jake Diekman is now a member of the Athletics alongside Homer Bailey. Sergio Romo is now a Minnesota Twin, and I advocated holding onto him for this week if you’re desperate for saves. Lastly, Romo’s vacated spot in Miami seems to belong to Nick Anderson, so long as Anderson doesn’t get traded himself.
All right, now we can get down to figuring out just what in the heck the Mets are doing...right?!?
Marcus Stroman to the Mets
Discerning the motives of this organization is an exercise in futility. And luckily, that doesn’t really matter for fake baseball. The part of me that loves narratives is really excited for Stroman, a Long Island native returning home. The Mets are currently 50-55 and seem to be playing for 2020. And it appears that they are listening to offers for Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler. However, this is one hell of a rotation, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Mets play this thing out to see if they can make some noise in 2019. And for all the worries of the long-term fit for Stroman based on the Mets’ infield defense, the Mets actually rate slightly less terrible than the Blue Jays so far in 2019. Given the run-suppressing environs of Citi Field, this move is a win for fantasy owners of Stroman. Stroman should get the starting nod this Saturday against the Pirates, in what would have been a Jason Vargas start. Except...
Jason Vargas to the Phillies
This one is a bit sketchy to me. Vargas was already a guy that we preferred to stream, and now he’s moving from the comfy confines of Citi Field to the hitter’s haven known as Citizens Bank Park. The Mets were able to land Double-A catcher Austin Bossart in return, which to me is a victory. Bossart is a defense-first guy with no stick, but you got an actual MLB ballplayer for Vargas so you have to be happy about that if you’re a Met, at least.
Eric Sogard to the Rays
The Rays have about eleventy billion infielders, and I’m not making that up. Bilbo Baggins would be impressed. Anyway, Sogard seems like Brandon Lowe insurance to me. Lowe remains out after suffering a shin injury on July 2, which feels like two forevers ago. Sogard is having a career year, and I suppose you can continue counting on him if you were already doing so. He takes his .363 OBP to the Rays, where one would think he could wrestle leadoff duties away from Ji-Man Choi. Sogard is a contact guy, as his 4.0% swinging strike rates illustrates. He’s up to 10 homers and six steals, and easily pacing for the best year of his career. Not a huge shakeup for fantasy purposes, and consider yourself forewarned in the event that Lowe returns and there is a (further) roster crunch in Tampa.
As for the Blue Jays, Bo Bichette FINALLY got the call, and even hit leadoff on Tuesday against lefty Mike Montgomery. Better act fast.
Jordan Lyles to the Brewers
The Brewers have needed pitching help for the last two years, and they finally land...Jordan Lyles? Lyles’ 24.9% strikeout rate is actually pretty solid, but his rise in K-rate is accompanied by a rise in walk rate, which sits at 9.1%. Lyles is actually a tolerable (but homer-prone) pitcher against right-handed bats, allowing a .311 wOBA, and .237 batting average in that split this year. However, lefty bats are crushing him, slashing .311/.403/.603 with a .416 wOBA. Call me crazy, but that seems like a dicey proposition at Miller Park. Tread carefully here (or just plain avoid).
Chris Martin to the Braves
YES SIR! About time we made a move. The Braves send lefty Kolby Allard to Texas in return. Martin is 33 years young, but has severely beefed up his strikeout rate this year, up to 29.3%. He pairs that with a minuscule 2.7% walk rate and a healthy 49.0% ground ball rate. As a real life move, this one fills a big need for Atlanta. I won’t speculate on saves in Atlanta, but this move should take some pressure off of Luke Jackson, at least. Martin is definitely worth an add if you are speculating for saves.