Happy Trade Deadline Day and (possibly) Biogenesis Suspension Eve!
After a relativey boring day of minor-ish moves, there remain some spots where teams can improve their Fantasy fortunes. The key here is to think deep, get a little creative, and hope that things turn out for the best. This space is going to focus on the not-so-obvious players involved in the trades, and then two players who may benefit from a couple high-profile Biogenesis-related suspensions.
But enough explaining. Here are the names you need to know for this week's waiver wire, and what they can do to help your team...
Avisail Garcia, OF, White Sox (owned in 7 percent of leagues)
What happened?: Garcia was sent to the White Sox in Tuesday night's Jake Peavy trade.
What does this mean for his value?: It's still a little unclear. The White Sox outfield looks full right now with Alex Rios, Alejandro De Aza, and Dayan Viciedo, but there's still a chance something happens before the waiver deadline on Aug. 31.
Where should I pick him up?: 16-team Roto leagues.
And if they magically make room for him?: 12-team Roto leagues.
So we're going to start this nice column off with an unnecessarily bold statement like that?: Look at what Garcia did last year, in what was essentially a regular stint late in the season with Detroit: a .319 average over 47 at-bats, plus six starts in the postseason. He has underrated speed (averaged 16 over the last three seasons), and is still only 22 years old. He could be great in the smaller Chicago confines.
Anything else I should know? He was hitting .380 in the minors this year, on pace for a 20/20 season if you extrapolate his numbers over 600 at-bats.
Andre Rienzo, SP, White Sox (owned in 4 percent of leagues)
What happened?: Rienzo didn't allow an earned run over seven innings in his major league debut Tuesday. Shortly after the game, Jake Peavy was traded, opening up a rotation spot.
What does this mean for his value?: It's definitely a boost. Rienzo pitched well enough to stick in Peavy's spot for the rest of the season.
Where should I pick him up?: He can be a nice speculative pick in 12-team Roto leagues, with potential in strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.
Anything else I should know? While his minor league numbers didn't look that great this year (4.06 ERA, 1.34 WHIP), Rienzo had been awesome over his last 10 starts, with a 1.64 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, striking out 69 in 66 innings.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (owned in 41 percent of leagues)
What happened?: Jose Iglesias was traded to the Tigers; Brock Holt was called up to play third base for the Red Sox.
What does this mean for his value?: It takes a minor hit.
Where should I pick him up?: 14-team Roto leagues.
Anything else I should know? Middlebrooks hasn't been great in his latest minor league stint, hitting .263 with one home run and a .744 OPS over his last 10 games. With Holt being called up and Xander Bogaerts playing a lot of third base, it appears there's a crunch somewhere. Will the odd man out be Middlebrooks? Probably not now, considering he has to clear waivers (or be claimed by the right team with the right match) in order to be traded. Middlebrooks has legitimate power and average potential, but is little more than a gamble right now for an owner with weak third base options.
Grant Green, OF, Angels (owned in 5 percent of leagues)
What happened?: Green, who has -1 Fantasy points on the season, was traded to the Angels.
What does this mean for his value?: It probably stays the same.
Where should I pick him up?: Dynasty leagues, and possibly AL-only if he has a role.
Anything else I should know? Green is a former first-round pick who has some really nice potential, but teams haven't figured out what to do with him just yet -- he's played outfield, second base, third base, and shortstop in his minor league career. The Angels could stick him in a bunch of places, but he won't have much value in shallower leagues until he settles in at one.
Cody Asche, 3B, Phillies (owned in 7 percent of leagues)
What happened?: Asche was called up by the Phillies and is expected to start the rest of the season, despite the presence of the un-traded Michael Young.
What does this mean for his value?: It sees a nice bump with the regular playing time.
Where should I pick him up?: NL-only and deep (16-team) Roto leagues.
Anything else I should know? Asche could turn out to be Brian Dozier-like, but probably sporting a better average and a little more power. His .287 average and .780 career minor league OPS looks a little low, but a lot of that was dragged down by a lackluster debut season in the New York-Penn League. Over his last two seasons, Asche has hit .311 and averaged 29 doubles, 14 home runs, and 11 steals.
Randall Delgado, SP, Diamondbacks (owned in 27 percent of leagues)
What happened?: Arizona traded Ian Kennedy to the Padres, opening up a rotation spot for Delgado.
What does this mean for his value?: It goes up with the rotation stability.
Where should I pick him up?: 12-team Roto leagues
Anything else I should know? Delgado was the centerpiece of this winter's Justin Upton deal. And while he posted a 5.91 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in 13 Triple-A starts this season, the former top prospect has paid off in eight starts this season with Arizona, going 3-3 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Things could still go south, but we've been hearing about Delgado's potential for a while now, and the 23-year-old could be hitting his stride. Don't expect a lot of strikeouts (I feel like I've written that way too much this season with far too many pitchers), but Delgado could continue to do well in ERA and WHIP.
L.J. Hoes, OF, Astros (owned in 1 percent of leagues)
What happened?: Hoes was traded to the Astros for Bud Norris.
What does this mean for his value?: It brings it up a good deal.
Where should I pick him up?: AL-only leagues
Anything else I should know? Hoes is a 23-year-old who should see a good amount of time in Houston's outfield over the next two months, especially with Justin Maxwell moving to Kansas City. Hoes was actually traded from Baltimore to Houston while the teams were playing each other, so he switched locker rooms and was promptly inserted in the second spot of Houston's batting order. Hoes could steal some bases and can be a sneaky source of walks (.406 minor league OBP this season) and doubles (25 in 365 at-bats) for Head-to-Head leaguers in deeper formats.
Alexi Amarista, 2B, Padres (owned in 4 percent of leagues)
The Biogenesis-related player he could be replacing: Everth Cabrera
What does this mean for his value?: If Amarista gets most of the shortstop starts over Logan Forsythe, it could give him multi-position eligibility. Otherwise, he'll eventually be squeezed from the center field job when Cameron Maybin comes back.
Where should I pick him up?: NL-only formats.
Anything else I should know? The Padres have a few options to cover for Cabrera, assuming he misses the rest of the season. Forsythe is the most obvious complication to Amarista getting the job, but he hasn't played shortstop once this year (although Amarista has only played there twice). However, the Padres seem to like Amarista's bat -- he has 64 at-bats in July, mostly coming from the outfield (and he's hitting .281 in July). So getting Amarista in at shortstop would conveniently open up center for Maybin, who's on his way back from the DL.
Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers (owned in 54 percent of leagues)
The Biogenesis-related player he could be replacing: Indirectly, it would be Nelson Cruz.
What does this mean for his value?: With regular playing time at one position, it could mean an increase across the board as far as offensive output. Profar has actually seen some of his worst offensive numbers come from when he was playing in the outfield (.200 average and .450 OPS), but that was only over four games, so it's a small sample size. Additionally, he could slot it at several positions -- it doesn't necessarily have to be a straight replacement of Cruz. With regular playing time -- anywhere -- Profar could see his fortunes (.213 average in July) change, and allow him to have a Fantasy impact.
But wait. How does Profar end up replacing Cruz?: Here are some possible scenarios:
1. Leonys Martin plays center field, David Murphy plays right, Profar plays left.
2. Profar plays second base, Ian Kinsler goes to first, Mitch Moreland takes over in right (where he's made 37 appearances since 2011).
3. Profar becomes the regular DH. ...and then, of course, the Mystery Scenario ...
Whatever the case, it would seem like a good move for the Rangers to give Profar regular at-bats and stop this play-him-everywhere/give-him-a-few-days-off strategy, as opposed to simply bringing Jeff Baker and Craig Gentry (or even Manny Ramirez, who is hitting .267 for Round Rock) in as a platoon to replace Cruz.
Where should I pick him up?: 12-team Roto leagues.
Anything else I should know? Profar was baseball's No. 1 prospect heading into 2013. He is much better than what we've seen, and the constant moving around and not playing every day may have a bigger effect than Fantasy owners realize.