Scooter puts skin in the game, acquiring three of the players he discusses here. So if he's wrong, it hurts.
I acquired two of the six AL-only players and one of the six NL-only players featured in this week’s Deep League Report in my home leagues. I don’t just talk the deep-league game, I live it. If you want to know which players I picked up and what I paid for them, ask me in the comments. On with the show.
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Nicky Delmonico might get some ribbies with the White Sox, Matt Belisle might be saves for the Twins, and Drew Butera will get all of the playing time (for now) with the Royals.
The passing of the trade deadline means that the Deep League Report won’t be featuring many solid, well-established major leaguers for the rest of the year. Besides waiver trades, the best sources of production in the free agent pool in deep AL-only and NL-only leagues are late-season call-ups and newly minted closers. We have both in the column this week. Let’s get going.
Let's find out if the Phillies like the taste of Rhys' big cuts.
The Situation: The Phillies, as you might know, are not great at baseball. They’ve held overripe first base prospect Rhys Hoskins down at Triple-A all season in favor of so-so 26-year-old incumbent first baseman Tommy Joseph, a move right on the border of defensibility for a rebuilding club. Hoskins started taking reps in left field earlier this week after Aaron Altherr went on the DL, temporarily opening a spot in a previously crowded young outfield. It’s Hoskins’ first playing time in the outfield since he was a semi-regular in left as a college freshman, but it’s not like the next six weeks of Phillies outfield defense matters too much except to the back of Aaron Nola’s baseball card.
Thanks to the trade deadline, the players in this week’s Deep League Report are a lot better than the usual crop of utility infielders and middle relievers. This week is when a disproportionately large amount of FAAB will and should be spent since players this good won’t end up in the free agent pool in deep AL-only and NL-only leagues again this year. If you’ve been saving your FAAB dollars, this is the week and these are the players you’ve been saving for. Go big and get the guys you want.
Leagues offering daily transactions, instead of weekly, open themselves up to losing owners.
A few weeks ago, there was some talk on the message board in one of my leagues about moving from weekly transactions and lineups to daily. I’m firmly on Team Weekly because I prioritize sustainability.
Get a load of how many lefties that Cleveland's Brandon Guyer is slated to see next week.
Big thanks to Mike Gianella for putting together last week’s Deep League Report while I was on vacation in Ireland. I’m well rested and ready to go, so let’s get started and see if I still have my fastball.
Jose Quintana moving from the AL to the NL is the rare case when players in an -only league discover "found money" in FAAB free agency. Those who saved can prosper. All-too-frequently however, it can be shrewder to use FAAB money earlier, incrementally, because "big-fish" free agents simply never come.
Taking a deep dive to check out Ji-Man Choi, Alex Presley, Miguel Montero, Anibal Sanchez, Steve Cishek, Trevor Hildenberger, Miguel Gomez, Tommy La Stella, Chris Heisey, Jhoulys Chacin, Nick Wittgren, George Kontos.
It’s a short week in roto, with no games for four straight days. I suggest that you take advantage of the break and spend a few days thinking about things other baseball, reconnecting with friends and family and getting a little rest so you can come back to the game refreshed in a few days.
Sam Dyson and Clint Frazier deserve much of your attention, along with your FAAB dollars.
Happy belated Fourth of July, everyone. America’s birthday also marks the halfway point of the fantasy baseball season, or close enough to it, anyway. The midway point is a good time to take a long look at your roster and figure out what you can feasibly do to improve your team. The dramatic additions will usually come from trades with other owners, but newly minted closers, players switching leagues and promoted prospects picked up from the free agent pool can make a huge impact, too. It’s not all about the big moves, though. You’re not going to win a deep AL-only league or a deep NL-only league if you make a few big moves but don’t put in the weekly work of managing your entire roster, including the back end of it. The Deep League Report mostly spends its time on players that will occupy the back end of deep-league rosters. There’s plenty of that this week, too, but there are also three guys worth a substantial chunk of your FAAB dollars. Big week for America, big week for the Deep League Report.
Allow me to set a scene. In my deep NL-only league (a fairly standard 5x5 NL-only roto league with 12 teams, 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, a $260 auction budget and weekly transactions) we had a bit of an incident over the weekend. On Sunday June 4, Randal Grichuk’s owner (let’s call him Chris) released him to acquire Atlanta Braves utility infielder Danny Santana with a $0 bid in our FAAB processing. The context for this move was that the Cardinals had demoted Grichuk on May 29 to work on his approach after a rough month in the majors. Chris was trying to fill a dead spot in his lineup with a warm body who might actually get some plate appearances the following week. If you read my weekly column, the Deep League Report, you know how slim the pickings can be in the free-agent pool in deep NL-only leagues. Sometimes, Danny Santana is the best you can do.
The last piece of the Yankees' Tyler Voltron has arrived.
The Situation: Starlin Castro tweaked a hamstring, so the Yankees have called on their swiss army prospect, Tyler Wade, to give them some additional flexibility in the infield.
The Background: The Yankees selected Wade in the fourth round of the 2013 draft as a SoCal prep shortstop, signing him for a little over $370,000. He got a somewhat aggressive assignment to Charleston in his first full pro season, considering he wasn’t a highly-touted prep pick, and both his raw athleticism and his general rawness showed up there. He progressed to Tampa in 2015 and prospect team member Jeff Moore saw a future big leaguer whose “contact skills, left-handed bat and ability to play two up-the-middle positions [gave] him a chance to play a nice role on a big-league roster.” I got eyes on him in 2016 in Trenton and saw much of the same, although I thought his athleticism was starting to show up more in the baseball skills now. He faded a bit down the stretch in Trenton, but overall put together a solid performance for a 21-year-old in Double-A. With the acquisition of Gleyber Torres at the trade deadline, the Yankees sent Wade to the AFL for the second straight season, this time to get some reps in the outfield. This year in Scranton he has played all three outfield positions in addition to shortstop, second, and third. He’s in the midst of a bit of a breakout season, adding a bit of pop to the profile and improving his efficiency on the bases.
A few weeks ago, we finished a month-long market-research project here at Deep League Report headquarters. We figured out that the people love Yankees named Tyler and Cincinnati Reds starting pitchers, so we covered the hell out of those two beats. Pretty confident that we’ll triple our readership numbers this week working those angles. Plus, a no-name Angels reliever, since this column just isn’t itself without a no-name Angels reliever. Can’t ignore the regular readers while trying to draw in new ones. The Deep League Report: something for everyone, as long as “everyone” means “people in AL-only and NL-only leagues deep enough that non-closing relievers and guys on the bad side of a platoon are valuable.”