With the ink now dry on the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, we set out in search of those players whose fantasy values have been impacted by the moves of the last few days. And rather than spread this out among all of the various Transaction Analyses handled by the BP team writ large, we’ve decided to save you some clicks (against all of our better judgement) and just dump them all here. Happy reading, and hope your mono league isn’t doctranarian on crossovers.
A.J. Ramos (arrow down)
With Addison Reed off to the Red Sox, Ramos will close…for now. Jeurys Familia has started a throwing program at the Mets spring training complex at Port St. Lucie and could be back in August. Hang on to Ramos in all formats but if you were expecting another 10-12 saves from Ramos you may want to downgrade those expectations.
Brad Ziegler (arrow up)
Ziegler was named the closer for the Marlins and even though his 2017 numbers have been terrible he should be picked up just about everywhere. The only reason you should pass is if you have more to lose in strikeouts than you do to gain in saves. Otherwise, Ziegler is worth the risk, particularly if you can reserve him. —Mike Gianella
New York Mets trade Addison Reed to the Boston Red Sox
Addison Reed (arrow down)
Reed will no longer be closing games in 2017.
A.J. Ramos (arrow up)
Ramos will once again be closing games in 2017.
Francisco Liriano (arrow down)
A starter in Toronto, the Astros plan to use Liriano as a reliever down the stretch. Liriano did not have much value this year to begin with, but moving to Houston’s bullpen as a probable lefty-specialist makes him worthless in fantasy.
Derek Fisher (arrow up)
The biggest beneficiary in fantasy was not even involved in the trade. Fisher had received two cups of coffee with the Astros, but playing time had been very unclear thanks to the presence of Nori Aoki, Jake Marisnick, and Josh Reddick on the roster. Barring a waiver acquisition in August by the ‘Stros, Fisher should play nearly every day down the stretch and give his fantasy managers a decent amount of power with some stolen bases in a stacked Astros lineup. Fisher was grabbed this week in LABR Mixed (15-team league) and he should be snatched up in all redraft leagues where he is still available.
Nori Aoki (arrow down)
Aoki was a marginal AL-only play whose value mostly rested in a semi-regular role in Houston. Unless the Jays make another deal Aoki’s playing time will slip. It is doubtful the Blue Jays will platoon him with Steve Pearce.
Hyun Soo Kim (arrow sideways)
Kim deserved better in Baltimore, but even a trade to the lowly Phillies won’t mean a bump in playing time. It’s a shame he won’t get a real opportunity, but with Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams locked in at left and right field, Kim will remain a fourth outfielder.
Jake Thompson (arrow up)
Thompson is the short-term beneficiary of the Hellickson deal, moving into the rotation and drawing another assignment on Wednesday against the Angels. Thompson’s 5.36 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley does not inspire confidence, but perhaps he can be a useful matchup play in NL-only.
Jeremy Hellickson (arrow down)
He wasn’t anything more than an NL-only name to begin with, but Hellickson moves to a worse park and will face the DH regularly. The Orioles said Hellickson was acquired to save innings for the rest of the staff, so this acquisition could negatively impact the rest of the rotation as well.
Melky Cabrera (arrow sideways)
He might lose some at bats here and there, but the Melkman should play nearly every day for the Royals down the stretch. He gets a slight bump in runs and RBI moving to a better team but he remains what he was: a backend option in deeper mixed league outfields and a mainstay in AL-only.
Brandon Moss/Alex Gordon (arrow down)
Moss did have a good July, but he and Gordon seem like the most logical playing time losers based on their 2017 performances year-to-date. If you don’t play in AL-only, you might not even be aware of how bad Moss and Gordon have been. Moss has at least provided some power, while even Gordon’s AL-only value has been severely hampered by an awful batting average.
Brandon Kintzler (arrow down)
If it’s down, it’s only down slightly, as Kintzler could still be in line for saves in Washington. Having said that, he’s going from a situation where he was the “The Guy” in the ninth to a potential timeshare with fellow recent transplants Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Kintzler’s 5.4 strikeouts per nine innings (among the lowest in the league for closers) could leave the door open for some competition. If you’re searching for saves in an NL-only league, you should obviously make a play for Kintzler. Just don’t be surprised if you hear that dreaded “closer-by-committee” term tossed around.
Sean Doolittle/Ryan Madson (arrow sideways)
Doolittle has seen the bulk of the save opportunities since arriving from the Bay, so he could see a slight downtick in value if Kintzler vultures a few of his ninth inning appearances. His value doesn’t change dramatically enough to move on from the flame-throwing lefty, but you might not be getting as many saves as you hoped for this time last week.
Taylor Rogers/Matt Belisle/Trevor Hildenberger (arrow up)
Well, arrow up for one of these guys anyway. Someone will be closing games in the Twin Cities and job will likely come from this list. Rogers and Belisle lead the team in holds with 24 and 17, respectively, but there are also rumblings that the job could land with Hildenberger, a 26-year-old righty that has shown some promise since his June call up, striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings with a 3.12 ERA and 58 percent groundball rate in his first 17 1/3 innings.
Yu Darvish (arrow up)
It certainly looked as though the staring contest between the Dodgers and Rangers was going to end in a stalemate. Darvish himself even tweeted 10 minutes before the deadline that he was staying put. As the dust was settling after the clock struck 4:00 pm, Ken Rosenthal dropped the bomb. NL-only owners rejoiced. The rich got much richer as the Dodgers picked up their, let’s see…third (?) fourth(?) ace-level starter and Darvish packed his bags for Hollywood.
Despite an ERA over 4.00, Darvish is still one of the best starting pitchers in the game, and his stint in Los Angeles should only accentuate that fact. The 30-year-old will now pitch in a better park, against DH-less lineups, and will be throwing to the league’s second best framer in Yasmani Grandal. He will pitch in front of the league’s best defense (according to BP’s PADE), and will get support from the league’s best offense (according to BP’s VORP). So yeah, it’s safe to say that he’s going to a good situation.
The strikeouts have been down, sure, but Darvish has generally been the same guy this season, sitting at 95 mph with a fastball and dialing it up to 99 mph when necessary. He’s still striking out almost 10 batters per nine innings with an above average 11.9 percent swinging strike rate. Heading to the National League, those numbers should only improve. Nearly two-thirds of the homers he surrendered this season came in Arlington, so Darvish’s migration to a more pitcher-friendly home ballpark should also help his numbers trend back to career norms.
Brandon McCarthy/Hyun-Jin Ryu/Kenta Maeda (arrow down)
With Kershaw, Darvish, Alex Wood and Rich Hill taking up the first four rotation spots in LA when healthy, that leaves the distinct possibility that one or more of these pitchers will have a bullpen role down the stretch. Of course, it’s impossible to discuss the Dodgers rotation without using the “when healthy” qualifier, since none of these pitchers have stellar track records of staying on the mound in the recent past. Even Kershaw, who was long a bastion of health is currently out with a back injury and isn’t expected back until the start of September.
Given how the Dodgers have manipulated the 10-day disabled list and shuffled around their rotation during the course of the season, it’s tough to predict how they’ll actually line these pieces up during August and September. DRA likes McCarthy and Maeda the best of the group, but Ryu has been much better over his last 10 starts, during which he’s registered a 3.17 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. That said, he only only has two wins partially because he averages less than 5.5 innings per start. Maeda has been even better than Ryu since a tough April, but the Dodgers also have financial incentives not to rely on him too much down the stretch (not that they really need to pinch pennies).
In the end, it’s just a slight down for all of them though mostly because the odds of all of the Dodgers starting pitchers being healthy at once is extremely small, but there are worse things to do than be prepared.
Willie Calhoun (arrow up)
The 22-year-old has evolved into one of the most divisive prospects in fantasy baseball. As evidenced by his rank (43rd overall) on Bret Sayre and Ben Carsley’s midseason Top 50 dynasty prospects list, there are zero doubts regarding his offensive potential. He’s flat-out destroyed Triple-A pitching in the Pacific Coast League this season, slashing .298/.357/.574 with 52 extra-base hits (23 home runs) and three steals, while striking out in just 49 (11.8 percent) of his 414 plate appearances. There are still some serious defensive question marks in his profile, which could drag down his long-term value. Fortunately, there are fewer obstacles to everyday at-bats in the American League, where the Rangers have the luxury of sticking him at designated hitter if his defense proves unpalatable. If he can fill-in at second base and left field often enough to retain eligibility, that would make him an even more attractive fantasy option. Forecasting a September arrival isn’t unreasonable, which makes Calhoun a savvy stash in deep mixers and AL-only formats.
Jonathan Lucroy (arrow up)
There isn’t a better landing spot for a struggling hitter to bounce-back than Coors Field. Despite a career-low strikeout rate (10.5 percent), the 31-year-old veteran hit just .242/.297/.338 with 19 extra-base hits (four home runs) and one stolen base over 306 plate appearances in Texas this season. Those numbers alone are underwhelming, but even more staggering when juxtaposed by the 11 home runs he smashed in just 168 plate appearances as a Ranger last year. A career-worst .259 BABIP suggests he’s gotten a bit unlucky, but a steep decline in hard contact tells a darker story. After posting a hard contact rate above 35 percent in five consecutive seasons dating back to 2012, that number has plummeted to just 22 percent in 2017.
Relocating to Colorado is enough to re-establish Lucroy as a viable mixed-league starting catcher over the final two months of the season. He’s an even more intriguing proposition in NL-only formats, where he warrants an aggressive FAAB bid. He’s the perfect consolation prize for mono-leaguers that missed out on Jose Quintana, J.D. Martinez, and can’t afford Yu Darvish. There’s no guarantee that Lucroy will turn things around, especially if he continues to make a boatload of weak contact, but it’s important to remember that he was an elite fantasy catcher just a few months ago. Two months of catcher production isn’t enough to be a legitimate game-changer, especially in shallow formats, but this trade has the potential to dramatically re-shape the way we view Lucroy’s offensive upside for 2018 and beyond.
Tony Wolters (arrow down)
After hitting .360/.407/.460 in April, it’s been pretty much a straight line downhill for Wolters, and it resulted in him being demoted on Monday after the Rockies’ acquisition of Lucroy. It’s likely someone was relying on Wolters in either a two-catcher league or an NL-only league—especially if it’s an OBP format—but with a .211 average and no homers or steals since May 1, they probably should not have been anyway.
James McCann (arrow up)
John Hicks was called up to replace Avila on the roster, but McCann should get most of the starts going forward. After an awful start to the season, McCann has quietly raised his average to .242 thanks to a .395 AVG in July. He is still only a two-catcher league option but McCann is a surprising source of power; only five other catchers with 200 or more plate appearances have a higher ISO than McCann. If he is playing he is more than your garden variety second backstop.
Shane Greene (arrow up)
Greene was tabbed as the closer by the Tigers shortly after the trade. Greene’s walk rate is somewhat concerning, but there is no reason he cannot close for Detroit the rest of the season.
Justin Wilson (arrow down)
Wilson might get the odd situational save against a tough lefty, but Wade Davis is the man in Chicago assuming health. Wilson can be dropped in standard mixed formats. He is worth using everywhere else but his value drops considerably.
Alex Avila (arrow down)
Avila was splitting time with McCann in Detroit; he’ll back up Willson Contreras at Wrigley. He is only worth using in NL-only going forward.
Jeimer Candelario (arrow sideways)
Conventional wisdom would say that any offensive player getting away from the Cubs should improve their fantasy outlook because of just the sheer number of bodies on the North Side. However, for a corner infielder, Detroit might be just as poor of a place to end up. The Tigers will still be trotting the three-headed monster (if the monster's heads were of rapidly varying quality) of Miguel Cabrera, Nick Castellanos and Victor Martinez at first, third and designated hitter. Now. Candelario might be an upgrade over V-Mart offensively as soon as next year, but with the former catcher's contract not up until after 2018, playing time becomes a riskier proposition than expected for longer than expected.
Tim Beckham (arrow up)
It was getting somewhat crowded in the Rays infield but the Orioles will play him every day since J.J. Hardy is out. Beckham has faded of late (he is hitting .160/.250/.280 over the last 30 days) but it is possible a full-time gig will reinvigorate his bat. He is primarily an AL-only option. He is also no longer a walking reminder that the Rays could have drafted Buster Posey, which is a net positive for central Florida as a whole.
Ruben Tejada (arrow down)
Did you know that Ruben Tejada was the Orioles starting shortstop? Neither did we.
Sonny Gray (arrow down)
Gray’s value doesn’t change all that much with the move to New York, but the park change from Oakland to Yankee Stadium is one of the more severe non-Coors move a pitcher can make. Gray’s statistics should not be impacted that much, but it will make a difference. There is a wins benefit to be had, but this is negligible over the course of a couple of months. If you felt comfortable calling him an SP2 before the trade, you shouldn’t consider him to be any less than a strong SP3 after.
Jordan Montgomery (arrow down)
There was some speculation after the Gray deal that the Yankees might tinker with a six-man rotation but Joe Girardi doesn’t sound interested in this idea for an extended period of time. Montgomery is the most likely candidate to be removed from the Yankees rotation after this week. He could stick in the bullpen as a long reliever, but either way, Montgomery’s 2017 value looks to be taking a significant hit.
Jorge Mateo (arrow up)
After a year and a half of disappointing performance, it wasn’t difficult to be down on Mateo’s dynasty league prospects, and even a month-plus of strong numbers in his first taste of Double-A hasn’t reinvigorated some once believers. However, his organization was always just as much of an impediment to his future fantasy value as the struggles with his hit tool were. In Oakland, there are a few places where he can see major league playing time as soon as 2018—namely wherever Franklin Barreto is not, whether it’s second base or center field. And when he does play, even a rough-around-the-edges hit tool won’t prevent him from being at least reasonably valuable with his 80-grade speed. After all, who among us has rostered Jarrod Dyson and/or Delino Deshields this season.
James Kaprielian/Dustin Fowler (arrow up)
The same concept applies here, although much more subtly than with Mateo. Moving from the Yankees to the A’s provides each of these players more of an opportunity to break through in a meaningful way with the big-league club. Kaprielian also gets the advantage of moving to a much nicer park.
Jaime Garcia (arrow sideways)
There’s some marginal fluctuations in the “how” here, though not many: same league (the hard one), ballparks that are both very hitter-friendly, and supporting defenses that rank 22nd and 23rd in defensive efficiency on ground balls. The AL East is a better offensive division, and therefore not as awesome to pitch in. But the Yankees are a better team, with a better offense themselves, and therefore provide more opportunities for fantasy managers to poach Wins. None of this really matters, however, because Garcia is a back-end guy in deep leagues and a streamer in shallower formats. He’s entirely matchup-dependent, though it is worth noting the he has been pitching well of late, so the swath of matchups worthy of consideration is perhaps a bit wider today than it was a few weeks ago.
Dillon Gee, unfortunately (arrow up)
Someone has to take Garcia’s former rotation spot (can you actually call it a rotation spot if it was just one turn?) and that person will be Gee. I’d talk about how he’s outperformed his DRA and FIP substantially this year, but when they’re both over seven, does it really matter?
Kyle Gibson, maybe (arrow up)
He allowed only one baserunner in five innings during his lone Triple-A start following his July demotion. He, uh, might come back up and not be as bad as he was and could be effective enough in AL-only formats.
Luis Cessa (arrow down)
I mean, come on. What did you expect?