I don’t know if you knew or not, but I have just gotten back from a fairly low-key holiday (I didn’t post about it much) from the US, so my articles have had a little two week break. But I’m back now and just managed to catch a fairly frantic Trade Deadline where finally some big names on the market actually moved. So we look at the Fantasy winners and losers from Monday’s antics.
Yu Darvish, SP – Traded from Texas Rangers to LA Dodgers
Definitely the biggest move of the day went to the Dodgers who decided that having 2 Cy Young candidates wasn’t enough; the Dodgers decided to add another ace; all be it he’s only under contract for this year. A really good move from the Dodgers standpoint as it’s clear they have the ability to finally go all the way this year; and prospect-wise Willie Calhoun was the main piece they gave up. In fantasy terms, this is huge from Darvish’s perspective, as he’s been putting up a 4.01 ERA so far, but that’s whilst pitching in a hitter friendly park in Texas. Now he moves to Dodger stadium which is a much safer environment for Fly Balls, add to that he gets one of the best teams in baseball giving him run support; the Ws should begin to flow in too and build on the 6 he has so far. I’m all-in on this move.
Jonathan Lucroy, C – Traded from Texas Rangers to Colorado Rockies
The other major part of the Rangers’ selling habits at this deadline was dealing away Lucroy, who appeared in my all-disappointment team just a few weeks ago. But he really needed to get away from Texas with Robinson Chirinos encroaching on his playing time; and he couldn’t have landed in a better spot! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Colorado is where hitters in the batting average/HR graveyard come back to life (see Reynolds, Mark 2017). This plus that fact that Lucroy should inherit the starting gig with Tony Wolters and our old friend Ryan Hanigan his not-so-stiff competition. If you’re in a shallow league, or reckon you can buy-low; I would get straight on it.
Brad Hand, RP – Stayed with San Diego Padres
It’s not only the people who were traded that can be significant fantasy beneficiaries at the trade deadline; those who DIDN’T move can also me winners here. Namely Brad Hand, who had been rumoured to several teams, including the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals to help solidify the bridges to their respective closers. But in not changing his Zip code, he stays in the best possible fantasy scenario for him. Locked into a closer’s role after they dealt Brandon Maurer earlier in the month. All be it, it’s only the Padres closer’s role, but he’ll be getting more SVs there than he would have at the Astros and he’ll have a chance to really become a Top 15 RP option the rest of the way with excellent ratios and K/9, plus he calls a friendly pitcher’s environment his home.
Alex Avila, C – Traded from Detroit Tigers to Chicago Cubs
This trade caused one of my favourite tweets of the Trade Deadline (courtesy of Chris Costillo).
I know the Cubs are being aggressive, but Theo Epstein took it to a new level by demanding Al Avila’s first-born son in this trade.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2017
But, this trade also meant a serious hit to Avila’s fantasy value given the Cubs young backstop Willson Contreras is now one of the hottest hitters on the team so there’s no question that he’ll be the primary catcher moving forward for the Cubs. This leaves Avila to pick up the remaining days when Contreras will need a day off; a significant amount less playing time. You’ll remember how he was in my First Half All-Surprise team, as before the trade he had hit .274 with 11 HRs and 32 RBIs. But now he’s playing second fiddle, I would expect much in the way of counting stats, unless Contreras gets hurt at any point. Theo Epstein brought him in to be a David Ross-type veteran presence. Which is a perfectly valid reason to get him in in the real world; but in the fantasy world, that means nada.
Addison Reed, RP – Traded from New York Mets to Boston Red Sox
The relief pitcher trade market giveth (with Brad Hand staying put) and the relief pitcher trade market taketh away. In the case of quite a few moving relievers, they dominate with a lesser team, get traded to a winning team and get shoved in a setup role. Players like Brandon Kintzler, Brandon Maurer and Justin Wilson all left closer’s jobs to go to a contender; but Addison Reed will probably be the man worst affected. This purely due to the road block in his way to the closer’s job, a man by the name of Craig Kimbrel, who’s been pretty lights out this season. And Reed, comes over from New York where he held the closer’s role and was performing admirably to slot into a potential setup role. This means that unless your league counts holds, his value will be minimal, as his ERA and WHIP are hardly worth much without the SVs he was providing at Citi Field. I’d be dropping him fairly quickly.
Jeremy Hellickson, SP – Traded from Philadelphia Phillies to Baltimore Orioles
If it weren’t for the peculiar circumstances that this trade occurred, nobody would’ve blamed you for missing this deal all together. Nobody has quite figured out why the Orioles decided to trade for Hellickson at all; in 4th place in the AL East, and a reasonable amount back in the Wild Card race. But they did, and his fantasy value takes a bit of a beating going from the NL East where barring the Washington Nationals, there’s not much to fear offense-wise; to the AL East where virtually every team right now is a bit of a gauntlet to get through; which includes having to face the DH on a much more regular basis. On top of all of that too, Camden Yards has the reputation of being a bit of a hitters paradise. All in all, it’s time to ship Hellickson off to more gullible owners than yourself. Now.