The trade deadline is finally starting to have its effect on fantasy rosters, as the Atlanta Braves have acquired relief pitcher Chris Martin from the Texas Rangers for pitching prospect Kolby Allard.
The main impact from this trade is that Jose Leclerc becomes a must-own in all leagues for the time being. Shawn Kelley is still on the injured list, which means Leclerc will take over the closer’s role. If this sounds familiar for Leclerc, a similar situation happened last year. Leclerc took over the closer’s role after last year’s trade deadline and ended the season with 18 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, and posting a 29:6 K:BB ratio. Leclerc is a must add in all formats and despite his struggles this season still has a chance to be one of the best closers in baseball.
From the Braves perspective, they acquire an interesting reliever in Chris Martin. Martin had posted largely pedestrian numbers for his career, but has always shown signs of being a dominant reliever. This season he’s been extremely solid, posting a 3.08 ERA with one of the best K:BB ratios in baseball at a 43:4 rate. Similar to current Braves closer Luke Jackson, his biggest flaw is that he gives up a ton of home runs, with eight home runs surrendered in 38 innings so far in 2019. He becomes a candidate for saves in Atlanta if they elect to move away from Jackson.
From the Rangers perspective, they received pitching prospect Kolby Allard. Allard had fallen a bit behind some of the other top pitching prospects in the Braves organization, but the left-hander still offers an intriguing repertoire. His fastball sits around 91 mph, but with really good control and he combines that with a plus changeup and a really good curveball. He’s still super young at just 21, he’s struggled with home runs this season, and his numbers in Triple-A aren’t great—but he profiles similarly to somebody like early-career Drew Smyly. It would have been preferred for Allard to end up in a better environment than Texas, but from a dynasty perspective this is an increase in Allard’s value, as he will get a chance to join the Rangers’ rotation by the start of next season, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get a chance by the end of this season.