Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Fantasy Extra: Breaking down the deadline deals

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The July 31 trade deadline is a time when Fantasy owners and baseball fans alike gather around their Twitter feeds hoping to see the entire league overhauled in a matter of hours.

But this year, that time would have been better spent on a nap.

Talk about a snooze-fest. What happened to Alex Rios changing leagues? What happened to those closer openings that were sure to arise as contenders restocked their bullpens? What happened to the July 31 blockbuster?

Well, we didn't get it this year. We got a July 30 blockbuster, though. I'll start there in my look at the five deadline deals with the biggest Fantasy implications, backtracking a couple days just to hold everyone's interest.

Fortunately, that one deal has enough Fantasy implications for the rest of them.

The Big Deal

Red Sox get: Jake Peavy and Brayan Villarreal
Tigers get: Jose Iglesias
White Sox get: Avisail Garcia and prospects

When a third team gets involved in a trade, you know it's a serious swap -- the kind destined to have far-reaching effects in Fantasy. This one is no exception.

Though Peavy is the most notable name here, his Fantasy value only marginally improves, mostly because he goes from one of the worst teams in baseball to one of the best. You can't predict wins, no, but that move certainly improves his chances for them. He goes from one small park to another, but at least at Fenway, he'll have a better chance of keeping left-handed hitters at bay.

The real winners here are those in line to replace what the Red Sox gave up. Jose Iglesias had been starting at third base, and though benchwarmer type Brock Holt gets the first crack at replacing him, sooner or later the Red Sox will want offense at the position and turn to either Will Middlebrooks or Xander Bogaerts. I'm thinking Bogaerts. Not only has manager John Farrell hinted that the 20-year-old is in the conversation for a promotion, but the Red Sox shifted him from shortstop to third base about a week ago, possibly in anticipation of this move.

Middlebrooks has already gotten two chances in the majors this year and couldn't capitalize on either. His swing-at-anything approach is a liability at the major-league level, and his .257 batting average at Triple-A Pawtucket suggests he hasn't made the necessary adjustments. Plus, in terms of upside, he's just not on the same level as Bogaerts, who could end up giving the Red Sox what they traded away in Hanley Ramirez eight years ago.

Even if Middlebrooks beats him to the big leagues and claims the third base job forevermore, the Red Sox could simply slot Bogaerts in for Stephen Drew, who's in the last year of his contract and batting only .226. The bottom line is that, before this trade, Iglesias blocked Bogaerts at both third base and shortstop. Now, he blocks him at neither. His time is coming. Iglesias' departure ensures it. I'm scooping him up wherever I can get him.

As for Iglesias, he'll simply step in for Jhonny Peralta in Detroit whenever MLB hands out the Biogenesis suspensions, which is an important sidebar here. If the Tigers thought Peralta had any chance of avoiding or even delaying a suspension, they might not have pursued this deal, which leads me to believe the evidence against the Biogenesis players is so overwhelming that, like Braun, the majority of them will just accept their punishment rather than try to appeal. Time to take what you can get for Everth Cabrera and Nelson Cruz.

Garcia is the other notable name here for Fantasy owners, and his value certainly improves with this move. Going from a contender to a rebuilder, his .374 batting average at Triple-A will earn him a promotion sooner than later, and the move to a smaller park can only improve the startling lack of power he has demonstrated in the majors so far. Still, I see him as more of an AL-only option at this stage of his career.

Best of the Rest

Tigers get: Jose Veras
Astros get: Danry Vasquez and player to be named later

Like the Jake Peavy deal, this one didn't happen on deadline day, but it's still worth dissecting here, especially since we have yet to learn all the Fantasy implications. And we won't learn them until the next time the Astros have a save opportunity.

They traded their closer, you see, and they traded him to a team that doesn't really need a closer. No, Joaquin Benoit isn't exactly proven in the role, but his track record in middle relief gives him a better chance of holding up in it than Veras' does.

Of course, that's no consolation for the owners who have relied on Veras' 19 saves to this point. While it's possible a meltdown for Benoit could open the door for Veras to reclaim ninth-inning duties, the better bet for saves going forward is to gamble on whomever he Astros ultimately choose to replace him.

Right now, they plan to go closer-by-committee, but that arrangement never lasts long. Ultimately, someone always emerges as the preferred option, and in this case, my guess is Jose Cisnero, who has strikeout-per-inning stuff and a 2.67 ERA over his last 19 appearances. But Travis Blackley is also in the mix, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Josh Fields and Wesley Wright get looks as well.

Colleague Nando Di Fino keeps hyping recent call-up Chia-Jen Lo as a closer candidate, and frankly, nothing would surprise me at this point. But if the Astros really thought he had the potential to do that, why is he only now in the majors? Seems like a long shot to me. I'm going Cisnero.

Padres get: Ian Kennedy
Diamondbacks get: Joe Thatcher, Matthew Stites and a draft pick

As a general rule, good players are good players regardless of where they play, so I try not to put too much emphasis on park factors when assessing trades.

But when the player in question is a former Cy Young contender who has fallen on hard times lately and the place he's going is San Diego, I just can't help myself.

I'm referring, of course, to Kennedy, who has known mostly misery since going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 2011. He had a minor resurgence in the second half last year but has so thoroughly bombed this year, compiling a 5.23 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, that he's now virtually unusable in Fantasy. And stashing him has gone out of style as well, his ownership rate dropping to 68 percent.

Maybe this deal changes that.

Granted, it won't fix what's wrong with him, but it may hide it pretty well. Petco Park has a history of making the unusable usable (see Eric Stults), thanks to its larger dimensions. Kennedy has fared better there than anywhere else in his career, compiling a 2.27 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings in six starts, so if he's unowned in your league, I'd take a flier on him just to see what happens.

And if I already own him, I'd consider shopping him now just to see if anyone else buys into that theory. Hey, if you can get all of the benefit with none of the risk, why not? And if you play your cards right, you really could get all of the benefit. Kennedy's numbers figure to improve with this move, but I doubt he'll get back to being Cy Young-caliber.

As for the opening his departure creates in the Diamondbacks rotation, I don't think it matters in Fantasy with Brandon McCarthy (shoulder) on Trevor Cahill (hip) on the verge of returning from the DL. Maybe it improves Tyler Skaggs' chances of contributing down the line, but he's been shaky in his previous opportunities anyway.

Orioles get: Bud Norris
Astros get: L.J. Hoes, Josh Hader and a draft pick

Now begins the snooze-fest. I could pretend that Norris' move to an actual contender where his starts will actually matter will propel him to new heights or that his move out of Minute Maid Park (where his career ERA is two runs lower than on the road, mind you) will have a favorable impact on his numbers -- and I'll certainly keep an eye out for any change in production -- but I don't have enough evidence for either of those theories to act on them.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Remember how I said good players are good players regardless of where they play? Well, mediocre ones are mediocre regardless of where they play, and that's the stance I'm taking with Norris until he shows otherwise.

The ripple effect of the Astros' side of the deal probably won't reach Fantasy owners. The candidates to replace Norris are Lucas Harrell, who was the definition of the bottom-feeder in his earlier stint in the rotation, and Brett Oberholtzer, a non-prospect whose greatest claim to fame is being part of the deal that sent Michael Bourn to Atlanta two years ago. Even in AL-only leagues, I'd try my best to avoid them.

With Justin Maxwell shipped out in a separate deal, Hoes will probably get a look on the major-league roster, but he's a fourth-tier prospect -- one on about the same level as Robbie Grossman -- and profiles as more of a reserve in the long run.

Angels get: Grant Green
Athletics get: Alberto Callaspo

This trade raised eyebrows if for no other reason than because Baseball America rated Green the Athletics' top prospect just two years ago. He had plate discipline problems back then and hasn't really improved on them since. Still, a player who hits .325 with an .879 OPS at Triple-A and can play any position but pitcher and catcher should have some measure of long-term appeal, walks or no walks.

Of course, to have traded him for someone as assuredly low-end as Callaspo, the Athletics must have felt that Green is a lost cause, which means they must think his success at Triple-A is either a product of his advanced age -- at 25, he's certainly old by prospect standards -- or the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He didn't make a strong case for himself by going 0 for 15 in a stint with he big club earlier this season.

Maybe they're right -- hey, they'd know better than I would -- but because the Angels moved their starting third baseman in this deal, I think Green will get another chance to show what he can do after getting a refresher at third base in the minors. In a deep AL-only league, I'd take a flier on him.

With the trade, Callaspo will apparently move back to second base -- a position he hasn't played with any regularity since 2009 -- which will slightly improve his nearly insignificant Fantasy value. But in the long run, this deal will be a bigger deal for Green.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Braves starter Shelby Miller stays hot for third straight win
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:46 pm ET) Braves right-hander Shelby Miller continued to fly under the radar as one of the hottest pitchers in baseball Saturday night.

Miller managed his fourth straight strong start and third consecutive victory by going his typical six innings and giving up two runs on three hits in Philadelphia. He walked two and struck out three.

All was not peachy in the fourth inning when Miller yielded a two-run homer to Ryan Howard that broke a scoreless tie. But his teammates scored three in the seventh to give him the win.

Miller, whose ERA rose to 2.03, will try for his fourth win in a row Thursday against Cincinnati.


Plate discipline leads to success for Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:26 pm ET) As cold as Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe was to start the season, that's how hot he's been since.

Plouffe was batting a mere .133 with one RBI through nine games. He is 10-for-23 in six games since with two doubles, one homer, two RBI and an on-base percentage of .480. How does he explain that? Discipline at the plate.

"I think that's a product of laying off borderline pitches and getting myself into better counts," he told MLB.com. "If the pitcher sees you swinging at those borderline pitches, he's just going to continue to throw those and you're not going to have great at-bats. So if you're able to shrink the zone down, that helps. And when I'm going well, that's what I do."

Plouffe led the Twins with 80 RBI last year.


Pirates closer Mark Melancon battles back against critics
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:14 pm ET) Pirates closer Mark Melancon wasn't exactly turning cartwheels over implications that he was losing his grip on the job after a sluggish start to the season.

He blew a two-run lead Tuesday to the Cubs, raising his earned run average to 8.53 and prompting Clint Hurdle and the media to point out that his velocity was down. But after two straight 1-2-3 saves, including one on Friday, he fought back.

"I blew one save - one save," Melancon told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Should anybody lose confidence after one save? That's for them to decide, I guess."

Melancon, whose velocity remains down, had a closed-door meeting with Hurdle in which he was told the closer job was still his.

"I try to put myself in his position," Hurdle said. "What opportunity would I hope to get, based on what I've done for the club. When (his) performance goes the other way, I don't need to be the first one to overreact."

Hurdle also expressed his belief that Melancon can remain effective despite decreased velocity.

"It's about execution and location," he said.


Phillies C Carlos Ruiz working to emerge from slump
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:01 pm ET) Several high-profile Phillies are mired in slumps, including Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, but catcher Carlos Ruiz is also trying to find himself at the plate.

The 36-year-old Ruiz has eight hits - all singles - in 42 at-bats and has scored just once all year. Ryne Sandberg has placed him all over the lineup in an attempt to get him going, but nothing has worked.

"He's working hard in the cage inside as far as finding a comfort zone," Sandberg told philly.com. "It seems like they are pitching him away a lot, so he's got to be patient there and take some swings to right field.

Ruiz has just three hits in his last 29 at-bats.


Blue Jays OF Michael Saunders goes 0 for 2 in return from DL
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:56 pm ET) Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders returned from the disabled list Saturday and went 0 for 2 with a walk.

Saunders had been out since spring training with a knee injury.

Blue Jays SP Daniel Norris allows one run in seven IP in no-decision
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:55 pm ET) Blue Jays starter Daniel Norris yielded one run on five hits and struck out seven in seven innings on Saturday but ended up with a no-decision against the Rays. 

Norris' only hiccup was a first-inning RBI double from Evan Longoria. 

Norris' next start is scheduled for Thursday in Cleveland.


Closer Brad Boxberger nails down save in Rays' comeback victory
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:51 pm ET) Closer Brad Boxberger (S,5) threw a 3-up, 3-down ninth inning on Saturday to earn the save in the Rays' comeback victory over the Blue Jays. 

The Rays trailed 2-1 before scoring three in the bottom of the eighth and turn over the ninth to Boxberger.


Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez allows one run in four IP in spot start
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:47 pm ET) Rays starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez allowed one run on four hits and went just four innings Saturday to take a no-decision against the Blue Jays.

Rays manager Kevin Cash didn't announce Ramirez as Saturday's starter until after Friday's game.

Ramirez's next scheduled start has not been announced as of Saturday night.

Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick may be sidelined until Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:47 pm ET) Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick was able to hit and run Saturday, but the team is considering giving him off until Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"Jake, we'll well monitor him day to day," manager A.J. Hinch said Saturday morning. "He's available but I'm going to try not to use him unless I have to. He's bouncing around fine. I'm hopeful for (Sunday), but if it's not (Sunday) and he needs another day we're going to still be cautious with him."

Marisnick is battling with soreness in his right leg, which has kept him out of action Friday and Saturday. Marisnick is hitting .350 with one home run and six RBI in 40 at-bats.


MRI on Mariners P Hisashi Iwakuma (lat) reveals strain, out 4-6 weeks
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(8:39 pm ET) A second MRI on Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma's right lat muscle revealed a Grade 1 strain, indicating the right hander will miss two to four weeks, per MLB.com. 

The status of Iwakuma's injury had been on hold until a second MRI could be performed. 

Iwakuma (0-1, 6.61 ERA) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to a right lat strain.


 
 
 
Rankings