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Prospects Report: Evaluating the deadline deals

Eric Mack
Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

This is Christmas in July, especially in AL- and NL-only leagues where aces like Dan Haren suddenly become available in the annual early August bazaar. The trade deadline is as potentially fruitful in Fantasy as it is fascinating in baseball.

But it isn't always about the big deals of Haren and Roy Oswalt. It can be more about the news (or well-kept secrets) behind the trades. Like burgeoning prospect Jared Goedert, for instance.

Talk about a best-kept secret, even Baseball America left the Indians infield prospect Goedert out of their Prospect Handbook this winter. Usually, if a name doesn't even appear in there, the player doesn't matter.

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Goedert certainly matters now and not just because he is hitting .297 with 17 homers, 36 RBI, 34 runs, one steal, a .376 OBP and a .654 SLUG in 185 Triple-A at-bats (.310-24-68-60-3 (.379-.601) combined in the minors).

"We wanted to take a look at some of our internal alternatives at third base for next year," GM Mark Shapiro said after dealing Jhonny Peralta to the rival Tigers on Wednesday night.

Goedert looks to be the Indians' go-to third baseman in the second half now. They picked up a nice prospect in Giovanni Soto, a Class A Dominican left-hander, sure. But they also opened up the third-base position in Cleveland for some talent that could really make a difference long term.

Remember when the Indians dealt third baseman Casey Blake to the Dodgers at the deadline, picking up catcher Carlos Santana? That deal looks great for the Indians' future. Soto won't even have to pitch in the majors for this Peralta deal to work out. Goedert, or former first-round pick Lonnie Chisenhall no longer have a disappointing veteran blocking their path to the major leagues and Fantasy viability.

Pick up Goedert as a flier in AL-only formats right now for some potential stretch-run rewards. The Indians will give a look to the likes of retreads Andy Marte, Luis Valbuena and Jayson Nix at third for the short term, but we have seen plenty of those guys to know they won't have the Fantasy juice a guy like Goedert could provide.

We will break down all the trade-deadline deals in this column through Saturday, so check back frequently to get the skinny on what the Fantasy deals behind the baseball deals are, focusing on the immediately ramifications below. We will also rank the prospects flipped in deals, ranking them for long-term keeper stashee purposes right here:

  1. Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros ... changing leagues
    • His acquisition signals a likely deal of Lance Berkman before the deadline. He is a potential masher.
  2. Daniel Hudson, SP, D-Backs ... changing leagues
    • The D-Backs have decided to stockpile young pitching and he could be their ace next year, if not this one.
  3. Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays ... changing leagues
    • This 19-year-old burner reminds us of a Carlos Gomez, which isn't as much of a criticism as it sounds.
  4. Lucas May, C, Royals ... changing leagues
    • He could be the Royals' starting catcher in 2011, sharing time with Jason Kendall in September.
  5. Wilson Ramos, C, WAS ... changing leagues
    • The Nationals pick up a strong catch-and-throw backstop to team with their young pitching long term.
  6. Pat Corbin, SP, D-Backs ... changing leagues
    • The lefty has handled the famously hitter-friendly California League; could arrive midseason 2011.
  7. Brett Wallach, RH SP, Cubs
    • Tim Wallach's son has great numbers in low Class A, but he still has a ways to go to be projectable.
  8. Wynn Pelzer, SP, Orioles ... changing leagues
    • We expect he'll be yet another good organizational arm that won't impact Fantasy because it's the O's.
  9. Corey Kluber, SP, Indians ... changing leagues
    • He better be pretty good, because the Indians gave up a steady veteran in Westbrook for him.
  10. Jonathan Villar, SS, Astros
    • To reference another Brewer burner, Villar is a 19-year-old Dominican similar to Alcides Escobar.
  11. Andrew Lambo, OF, Pirates
    • His star has really fallen in the Dodgers' system in recent years, not displaying much power any more.
  12. Giovanni Soto, SP, Indians
    • His numbers apparently much better than his stuff, but he is just a 19-year-old Puerto Rican lefty.
  13. Omar Poveda, SP, Marlins
    • The Venezuelan is currently on the 60-day DL after season-ending Tommy John surgery in February.
  14. David Holmberg, SP, D-Backs ... changing leagues
    • The 2009 second-round pick is yet another lefty starter they have added to their organization this year.
  15. Jimmy Paredes, 2B, Astros ... changing leagues
    • He isn't quite the talent Villar is, but the Astros pick up some strength in numbers.
  16. Tim Collins, RP, Royals ... changing leagues
    • He goes from the Blue Jays to the Braves in the Alex Gonzalez deal and then flips to the Royals now.
  17. Elisaul Pimentel, SP, Royals ... changing leagues
    • Dominican right-hander, 22, is a bit old for low Class A, so he could move up quicker than others.
  18. Nick Greenwood, SP, Cardinals
    • He will probably slot more as a middle reliever or long reliever down the road.
  19. Rafael Rodriguez, RP, D-Backs ... changing leagues
    • A mess of a bullpen could use this arm in the second half, but he doesn't look like a potential closer.
  20. Evan Reed, RP, Marlins ... changing leagues
    • Speaking of teams that need a new bullpen -- Reed could develop into a solid major-league reliever.
  21. Ryan Tatusko, SP, Nationals ... changing leagues
    • Reliever pitched so well, he was given a chance to start and could be a solid swing man long term.
  22. Tanner Roark, SP, Nationals ... changing leagues
    • His Double-A numbers make us believe he will be a bad back-end starter in a system ripe with prospects.
  23. Kyle Smit, RH RP, Cubs
    • He is organizational depth who was closer in high Class A, but probably merely a reliever long term.
  24. Joe Testa, RP, Nationals ... changing leagues
    • He doesn't yet project to be a major-leaguer reliever, but his left-handedness gives him a chance.

In case you're looking for some scope with these prospects, check out that motley crew from a year ago in our last trade-deadline analysis and the one from 2008. Some might have arrived, but none have really made an impact yet.

As for those that matter right away ...

Heading to the AL

Lance Berkman, 1B, Yankees
Traded to the N.Y. Yankees for Mark Melancon, RP, and Jimmy Paredes, SS
AL FAAB rank: 1
Mixed league Fantasy value: Increasing. It is hard to fathom the Yankees get the biggest piece at the trade deadline and the Astros pay part of Berkman's salary. The Yankees only give up a middle reliever and a 21-year-old middle infielder in low Class A. Berkman is perfect for that short right field porch in Yankee Stadium and gets a massive upgrade of a supporting cast. He should be a big-time run producer down the stretch, even if he sits against some lefties.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Monday, Aug. 2.
Dan Haren, SP, Angels
Traded to the L.A. Angels of Anaheim for Joe Saunders, SP, and minor-leaguers Rafael Rodriguez, RP, Pat Corbin, SP, and a player to be named later (rumored to be minor-leaguer Tyler Skaggs, SP)
AL FAAB rank: 2
Mixed league Fantasy value: The Angels are a better contender, even if their offense isn't as potentially productive as the D-Backs' was. Haren has handled the AL and the AL West before and should be much better in the second half than he was in the first. Consider him more of a must-start ace in all leagues through thick and thin. That is where he started the season before regressing into a bit of a risk amid his and the D-Backs' struggles.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Tuesday, July 27.
Matt Capps, RP, Twins
Traded to Minnesota for minor-leaguers Wilson Ramos, C, and Joe Testa, LH RP
AL FAAB rank: 3
Mixed league Fantasy value: Soaring. Capps gets about as good of a situation as he could have asked for, getting traded to a contender and not only remaining a closer, but closing for a team that famously provides a lot of save chances. His deal forces Jon Rauch to a setup role, but it strengthens a Twins bullpen that should give Capps a better supporting cast than he has ever had. Capps is a must-have closer in all leagues now and a big coup for AL-only owners with available FAAB dollars and need saves.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Sunday, Aug. 1.
Jorge Cantu, 1B, Rangers
Traded to Texas for Omar Poveda, RH SP, and minor-leaguer Evan Reed, RH RP
AL FAAB rank: 4
Mixed league Fantasy value: Increasing. The Rangers are the antithesis of the Marlins. They have a great lineup to support Cantu and a tremendously hitter-friendly park. He could be back to being a big-time run producer for mixed leagues again. He is a must-add, especially with his 1B-3B versatility, in AL-only leagues immediately. There were times Cantu was a must-start in all leagues with the relatively weak Marlins and in a huge football-stadium pitcher's park in South Florida. A move to Texas should restore his luster and should get his season-low active percentage of 54 on CBSSports.com up closer to his season-high of 94 percent.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Saturday, July 30.
Edwin Jackson, SP, White Sox
Traded to the Chicago White Sox for Daniel Hudson, RH SP, and David Holmberg, LH SP
AL FAAB rank: 5
Mixed league Fantasy value: Increasing. Jackson has been a bust in the NL with the D-Backs, but he finds himself back in the AL Central with a contender. He could be a sleeper in mixed leagues when the matchups are right, which he was before, but those matchups will be favorable more often now. He is worth a flier if he is available in your league, because the White Sox have a potentially potent offense that can get him good run support and make him a winner down the stretch. We don't like what the White Sox had to give up, but this deal does help Jackson's supporting cast and wins potential.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Sunday, Aug. 1.
Cristian Guzman, 2B, Rangers
Traded to Texas for minor-leaguers Tanner Roark, RH SP, and Ryan Tatusko, RH SP
AL FAAB rank: 6
Mixed league Fantasy value: Still low. Guzman will play second base every day in a great lineup and home hitter's park, but he will be going to the bench once Ian Kinsler (groin) returns in August. Guzman is a slap hitter who can hover around .300 but he doesn't have pop, nor does he really steal bases consistently. Consider him a fringe option in mixed leagues if he is going well and playing every day, but mostly his value lies in AL-only leagues and with his versatility.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Sunday, Aug. 30.

Others heading to the AL: Rick VandenHurk, SP, Orioles; Jesse Chavez, RP, Royals; Chad Qualls, RP, Rays; and Gregor Blanco, OF, Royals.

Heading to the NL

Jake Westbrook, SP, Cardinals
Traded to St. Louis with Nick Greenwood, LHP, for Ryan Ludwick, who is dealt to San Diego for Corey Kluber, RH SP
NL FAAB rank: 1
Mixed league Fantasy value: Increasing. We have seen far less pitchers make a significant impact with pitching guru Dave Duncan. Westbrook is a solid addition in all mixed leagues as a potential winner down the stretch now with a contending Cardinals team. Westbrook is a solid addition in NL-only leagues, of course, maybe even the No. 1 player in the FAAB bidding.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Monday, Aug. 2.
Miguel Tejada, SS, Padres
Traded to San Diego for minor-leaguer Wynn Pelzer, SP
NL FAAB rank: 2
Mixed league Fantasy value: Steady. Tejada was already a so-so regular with the Orioles, an equally weak offensive team but perhaps a more favorable hitter's park than San Diego. Tejada will play every day for the Padres either at shortstop, if capable, or third base -- which would move Chase Headley back to the left again. Either way, he is a fringe mixed-league option that is best slotted at the shortstop position if he is still eligible there in your league. We rank him the best addition to the NL-only player pool more because of his position eligibility than the actual impact on his Fantasy value.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Saturday, July 31.
Scott Podsednik, OF, Dodgers
Traded to the L.A. Dodgers for minor-leaguers Lucas May, C, and Elisaul Pimentel, SP
NL FAAB rank: 3
Mixed league Fantasy value: Declining. The Dodgers already have Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp in their outfield and should get Manny Ramirez (calf) back in August. Podsednik will be a part-time player in Fantasy crunch time now. His value is highest in Rotisserie leagues, though, and he could still be a factor stealing bases off the bench at that point. For now, consider Podsednik a solid option in mixed leagues when he is going well, just don't expect that weekend power surge to continue.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Friday, July 30.
Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros
Traded to Houston for minor-leaguer Anthony Gose, OF
NL FAAB rank: 4
Mixed league Fantasy value: Increasing. Wallace's deal to the Astros has to signal a Lance Berkman trade coming soon, right? Wallace is a slugging corner infielder who has spent his time playing at first base in Triple-A for the Blue Jays this season. A deal to the Astros and a trade of Berkman could get Wallace to the major leagues in the second half. Consider him a potential flier in NL-only formats right away. His power potential is legit and he could be a future Fantasy slugger worth using in all leagues.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Saturday, July 31.
Joe Saunders, SP, Diamondbacks
Traded to Arizona with minor-leaguers Rafael Rodriguez, RP, Pat Corbin, SP and a player to be named later (rumored to be minor-leaguer Tyler Skaggs, SP)
NL FAAB rank: 5
Mixed league Fantasy value: Declining. Sure, the D-Backs have a better offense to get him run support, but they have the worst bullpen in baseball -- perhaps in baseball history -- and are not a team that figures to make Saunders the consistent winner he was in 2008-09 with the contending Angels. Saunders was 33-14 the past two seasons coming into this one, where he has struggled, but only Roy Halladay was a more consistent winner in the AL in that time. Saunders is worth a look in deeper formats, most NL-only leagues, but he figures to remain a pitcher you have to sit when the matchups are unfavorable.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Tuesday, July 27.
Daniel Hudson, SP, White Sox
Traded to Arizona with minor-leaguer David Holmberg, LH SP, for Edwin Jackson, SP
NL FAAB rank: 6
Mixed league Fantasy value: Declining. Sure Hudson will have a rotation spot to be his own. He might even be the D-Backs ace next year, if not this one. But he loses a contender's supporting case he had in Chicago with the White Sox. The D-Backs do have a potentially potent offense, but Hudson is not quite a proven young pitcher, so consider him merely an NL-only Fantasy option now. If he proves effective and Fantasy productive in the next couple of starts, he could be a matchup option in deeper mixed leagues down the stretch, though.
Available via waivers on CBSSports.com: Sunday, Aug. 1.

Others heading to the NL: Rick Ankiel, OF, Braves; Will Ohman, RP, Marlins; Kyle Farnsworth, RP, Braves; Mark Melacon, RP, Astros; Omar Poveda (elbow, 60-day DL, out for the season), SP, Marlins; Wilkin Ramirez, OF, Braves.

Staying in the same league

Roy Oswalt, SP, Phillies
Traded to Philadelphia for J.A. Happ, SP and minor-leaguers Anthony Gose, OF, and Jonathan Villar, SS
Fantasy value: Oswalt gets a huge upgrade in supporting cast and contender with the Phillies. He could perform like a big winner down the stretch, perhaps even as a top 10 Fantasy starter. He was one of those before when the Astros used to be a contender. The key is Oswalt appears to be healthy for the first time in years. Consider him a solid start in all formats for Fantasy Week 18 (Aug. 2-8). He will likely start this weekend at Washington, too. That is a great matchup for him in his Phillies debut. It should set the table for a huge final two months.
Ted Lilly, SP, Dodgers
Traded to the L.A. Dodgers with Ryan Theriot, 2B, for Blake DeWitt, 2B, and minor-leaguers Brett Wallach, RH SP, and Kyle Smit, RH RP
Fantasy value: Lilly doesn't throw hard, but he gets a better contender to help him be a winner for Fantasy owners down the stretch. Dodger Stadium is also one of the original best pitcher parks in baseball, which Wrigley Field still had been known as the friendly confines. The change of scenery should help Lilly restore his status as a solid option in all leagues, regardless of the matchups.
Ryan Ludwick, OF, Padres
Traded to San Diego for minor-leaguer Nick Greenwood, LH SP, and Corey Kluber, RH SP, who was flipped to Cleveland for Jake Westbrook, RH SP
Fantasy value: This deal is a better for the Padres than it is for Ludwick's Fantasy owners. He leaves a decent hitter's park to one of the worst ones in baseball, particularly in relation to homers. At least he won't have to share starts anymore, we suppose. Ludwick is a fringe player in mixed leagues, one we tend to believe won't be productive enough to trust on a regular basis.
J.A. Happ, SP, Astros
Traded to Houston with minor-leaguers Anthony Gose, OF and Jonathan Villar, SS, for Roy Oswalt, SP
Fantasy value: Happ's Fantasy value is a good news/bad news item. Sure, he will be a full-time starter every five days here on out, but he will be doing it for the out-of-contention Astros that have struggled to make superior arms Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez consistent winners for Fantasy owners. He will likely start Friday against the Brewers, a tough matchup for him in his Astros debut. He figures to be a fringe mixed-league option that should be used only when the matchups are right.
Jhonny Peralta, 3B, Tigers
Traded to Detroit for minor-leaguer Giovanni Soto, SP
Fantasy value: Peralta hasn't been a useful, steady option in mixed leagues for years, but perhaps a change of scenery can ignite him. The issue is Cleveland was a more favorable hitter's park than Comerica. The Tigers do have more thump in their supporting cast, though. Peralta will play third base every day in Brandon Inge's (hand) absence. Once Inge is ready in the season's final weeks, Peralta could remain a starter at shortstop even. Consider him a sleeper in deeper leagues if he can get hot with a new team.
Kerry Wood, RP, Yankees
Traded to N.Y. Yankees for a player to be named or $500K
Fantasy value: Wood will no longer be a closer, so his usefulness in Fantasy drops to the deepest of leagues that use true middle men. He can be a candidate for holds as the primary setup man down the stretch, but his ERA and WHIP figure to be a bit inconsistent to trust in most Rotisserie formats.

Others changing teams, but not leagues: James McDonald, SP, Pirates; Octavio Dotel, RP, Dodgers; Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Red Sox; Chris Snyder, C, Pirates; Ryan Theriot, 2B, Dodgers; Blake DeWitt, 2B, Cubs; Alberto Callaspo, 3B, Angels; Ryan Church, OF, D-Backs; Javier Lopez, RP, Giants; Joe Martinez, RP, Pirates; John Bowker, OF, Pirates; D.J. Carrasco, RP, D-Backs; and Bobby Crosby, SS, D-Backs.

Opportunity knocks

Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals
Expected to be a full-time player for Cardinals now.
Fantasy value: Jay has been a hitting machine of late, even putting outfielder Colby Rasmus on the bench. But Jay will be a full-timer now and perhaps even a sleeper in deeper mixed leagues. He is a strong starter in NL-only Fantasy formats at least, while he is going this well.
Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett, RP, Nationals
Figure to be the three-pronged time-share at closer for Washington.
Fantasy value: We would be a lot more excited about Storen, of even Clippard, if they were pitching well of late -- or if the Nationals weren't without Stephen Strasburg (shoulder). But this gives Burnett, who is pitching well, a chance to close games in the near future, too. They said Storen, Clippard and Burnett will get chances to save games at this point. We have to assume Storen will eventually rise to the top, but all three are worth being fliers in NL-only formats where you need saves.
Adam Kennedy, 2B, and Ian Desmond, SS, Nationals
Won't be impacted by sharing starts with the Guzman any longer.
Fantasy value: Kennedy and Desmond were basically starters anyway, but Guzman was getting time at both shortstop and second base this season, cutting into relative values in NL-only leagues. Now Kennedy and Desmond should get full looks as every day players down the stretch. They are merely stopgap options in deeper mixed formats when they are going well. There could be some times when they are useful in leagues of that size.
Emilio Bonifacio and Wes Helms, 3B, Marlins
Might pick up starts at third until (if?) Chris Coghlan comes off the DL.
Fantasy value: If you know anything about Bonifacio, you know he can run. That is important in NL-only Rotisserie leagues. With Coghlan on the DL, the Marlins lack a leadoff man and the trade of Cantu made them devoid of a third baseman. Well, Bonifacio kills two birds. Consider him a flier in the deepest of Rotisserie formats for his potential to lead off, get starts at third base and chip in some valuable steals in August. Helms could share time with Bonifacio, but he is a slow, bad-glove infielder who belongs in a reserve role.
Josh Bell, 3B, Orioles
He will get a chance to take over at third full time in Baltimore.
Fantasy value: It took a full calendar year, but one of the key acquisitions at the 2009 trade deadline is now the Orioles' everyday third baseman. That is, at least for now. Bell really hasn't shown enough to be a trustworthy option for the Orioles and Fantasy owners, but there is pop here and the playing time will be given to him. Pick him up in AL-only leagues as a potential impact player down the stretch, but we wouldn't spend a whole lot of those valuable FAAB dollars here. You have to figure he will struggle as he has to date.
Andy Marte, Luis Valbuena and Jayson Nix, 3B, Indians
They figure to get the at-bats at third base in the near future.
Fantasy value: The Indians came out Thursday and called Nix their primary third baseman, much to our dismay. If you merely follow the major-league stats, you likely consider Marte nothing more than a journeyman reserve infielder. We suppose the Indians do. But he is still just 26 years old and was once a highly regarded prospect in the Braves' system. Valbuena and Nix are more of middle infielders and utility-man types, while Marte should get a look before Goedert and Chisenhall get their chances in Cleveland down the line. It should be noted Marte was Goedert a year ago, going .327-18-66-48-3 (.369-.593) in 300 Triple-A at-bats before a midseason callup to the Indians' bench. Those numbers look awfully similar to Goedert, a prospect going in the opposite direction as Marte this season. We would give a look to Marte in deeper AL-only leagues right now, just in case he can get his career started.

Others who could see more time: Sean O'Sullivan, SP, KC.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Prospects/Trades in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

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