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August 6, 2012

Resident Fantasy Genius

Winners, Losers of Trades That Didn't Happen

by Derek Carty

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I’ve spent the last week and a half breaking down the fantasy ramifications of every deal that was made at this year’s non-waiver trade deadline, but lost in this shuffle were the players who figured to benefit from (or be hurt by) a trade that never happened.  Today, I’m going to shine some light on a few of these guys.

 Ramon Hernandez | Colorado Rockies | C

Hernandez began the year as the starting catcher for the Rockies, but upon his return from the disabled list, he found himself the new backup to rising star Wilin Rosario.  There were rumors of a trade, but they never came to fruition.  I was really hoping for him to land in Tampa Bay, but the Rays surprisingly declined to acquire a catcher at the deadline. It seems likely Hernandez will pass through waivers, so a trade this month is still possible; he’s been linked to Oakland already.  Until a trade happens, however, he takes a value hit.

 Ryan Lavarnway | Boston Red Sox | C

There were rumblings of a trade of either Kelly Shoppach or Lavarnway himself, but neither happened. Lavarnway was called up this week anyway and got a start behind the plate, but he figures to go back down once Jarrod Saltalamacchia can catch again or when David Ortiz is activated from the DL.  He would have been a decent enough AL-only option if Shoppach was shipped out and potentially mixed-league worthy if he found himself starting for a club outside of Boston, but for now, he’s just another talented Triple-A bat waiting for an opportunity.

 Ryan Ludwick and Drew Stubbs | Cincinnati Reds | OF

Rumors were incessant that the Reds were looking for a leadoff-hitting outfielder, and they were seemingly connected with everyone, but no dice.  With Jay Bruce firmly entrenched in right field, it would have been either Ludwick or Stubbs losing a lot of playing time.  My love for Ludwick is well-documented, so count me among those very happy that the team held fast.

 Chase Headley | San Diego Padres | 3B

If there’s one thing we learned at this deadline, “all but sure to be dealt” doesn’t mean much until a deal actually happens.  Headley figured to get a bump in value no matter where he was traded, as long as it was out of Petco Park and the pathetic San Diego lineup.  Unfortunately, the team will now wait until the offseason to revisit such possibilities.

 Jedd Gyorko | San Diego Padres | 2B/3B

In the week before the deadline, Gyorko seemed all but assured of finding regular major league playing time once the calendar flipped to August.  Despite suitors numbering in double digits, incumbent third baseman Headley wasn’t traded, keeping Gyorko blocked and toiling away at Triple-A.  Logan Forsythe and Alexi Amarista have been surprisingly good for the club at second base, so unless the Padres shift Amarista to short and Forsythe into a utility role, Gyorko doesn’t figure to hold much value in redraft leagues over the remainder of the season.

 Aaron Cook | Boston Red Sox | SP

Yes, if you’re one of the unlucky owners of Aaron Cook, rejoice!  The Red Sox didn’t go out and get a starting pitcher, as they were rumored to be interested in, which means Cook will have to put in a little effort if he wants to lose his rotation spot.

 Dan Straily | Oakland A’s | SP

Bartolo Colon was one of several starters on the trade block who weren't traded last month, and such a deal would have cleared a spot in the rotation for the minor league leader in strikeouts, Dan Straily.  But wait, Derek, Straily was recalled and is in Oakland’s rotation now! Yes, yes, I know.  But A.J. Griffin is on the DL, Brandon McCarthy is coming back from the DL this week, and Brett Anderson is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and could be back soon.  Depending how these things coincide, there figures to be a rotation crunch, and Straily will be much more vulnerable to demotion than he would have been if Colon wasn’t taking up a spot. He’ll need to pitch well to keep his spot.

 Juan Pierre | Philadelphia Phillies | OF

A veteran on a cheap one-year deal playing for a non-contender are usually shoe-ins to get traded, but that wasn’t the case for Pierre.  Instead, he’ll remain in Philadelphia where, despite starting 68 games for the team whilst putting up a .276 TAv, he’ll be a mere bench player going forward. Philly wants to analyze whether outfielders Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., and Nate Schierholtz have a place in the team’s future.  This is devastating news for fantasy owners, who were likely heavily depending on Pierre’s speed.

 Eric Chavez | New York Yankees | 3B

The Yankees did go out and get Casey McGehee, but he’ll hardly be the competition that someone like Headley would have been for Chavez.  With Alex Rodriguez out for most of the remainder of the regular season, Chavez should continue seeing at-bats, which will prop up his AL-only value for owners who need cheap power.

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