The non-waiver trade deadline is rapidly approaching and many of the players featured on The Stash List could have their values quickly change should they be on the move before Friday at 4 p.m. ET, as #HugWatch2015 sweeps the nation…
Monday’s trade of Shane Victorino to the Angels paved the way for the Red Sox to take a look at what they have in Castillo over the rest of the season. Castillo was struggling with the bat at the time of his promotion (.580 OPS in 60 July at-bats), but he did steal 10 bases over the course of his 40 games in Pawtucket and should be a nice source of speed over the rest of the season in Boston. He only added three home runs in 172 plate appearances during his time in the minors this season, so expecting more out of Castillo in the power department than he showed earlier with the Red Sox (one HR in 82 PA) is probably not prudent. Castillo should see regular at-bats over the last two months, something that eluded him in a crowded outfield earlier in the season.
Conforto got the call to Queens on Friday, got four knocks on Saturday, and was moved up to fifth in the Mets order on Wednesday against Tyson Ross and the Padres. Conforto started each of Mets five games since his recall, and looks entrenched in the Mets lineup—even as the Mets look for the elusive ‘big bat’ to add to their order.
Lee went 4 2/3 innings in his first big league start against the Mets on Saturday, giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits and striking out three in his big-league debut. The Dodgers trade-deadline exploits will dictate whether or not Lee gets another turn in the rotation.
The Dropouts: (24) Evan Scribner
Oakland predictably traded Tyler Clippard prior to the trade deadline, sending him to the Mets on Monday, which left an opening at closer for the A’s. The A’s look as though they will turn to Edward Mujica for now, but things could change if he is dealt before the deadline, which could put Scribner back into the mix along with Drew Pomeranz and Eric O’Flaherty.
Information regarding the status of Olivera’s hamstring injury is scant, with Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi giving earth-shattering quotes such as “he got hurt” and classifying the injury as “a re-aggravation.”
Olivera hasn’t seen rehab action at the complex level in over two weeks since the tightness in his hamstring recurred. Andrew Friedman saying “in a lot of ways the Olivera signing was about ’16 and beyond as much as anything” doesn’t give the impression that the Dodgers are counting on Olivera to make an impact over the last two months of the season.
Olivera hasn’t played in a full-season minor-league game since June 20th in Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was hitting .387 in seven games. With no timetable given for a return, it’s unclear if Olivera will make his major-league debut at any point before rosters expand this season.
After starting five consecutive games at third base before suffering a finger injury that kept him sidelined for a month-and-a-half, Baez got the start at his natural position of shortstop in two of his three games in the field while rehabbing in Arizona. He returned to Triple-A Iowa with a bang on Tuesday, hitting two home runs in five at-bats while getting the start at shortstop and conveniently displaying his talents as he continues to be mentioned in trade rumors.
Strikeouts are always going to be part of the package with Baez, but he has lowered his strikeout rate to a more manageable 25.2 percent (in 163 PA) this season in Iowa, down from his 30 percent mark in 434 plate appearances at the level last season. He hasn’t stopped running in his second taste of Triple-A action, stealing seven bases in 38 games this season after stealing 16 in 104 games last year, and his numbers are better in virtually every offensive category. His jump in wRC+, from 108 last season to a 154 mark this season, gives hope that Baez has made the adjustments necessary to keep his head above water in his next big-league trial.
A trade to a team with an opening at an up-the-middle position would make for a very enticing mixed-league option over the rest of the season, as Baez’s potential combination of power and speed at either shortstop or second base is unrivaled by anybody currently in the minors.
Vizcaino is still only owned in 2.8 percent of ESPN leagues and is slated to take over the closer role in Atlanta if (when) Jim Johnson is dealt. If you need saves down the stretch, grab Vizcaino, as there likely isn’t a more readily available reliever who will step into the ninth inning over the last couple of months.
4) Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 2)
Jimmy Rollins (remarkably) has shown signs of life over the last week, hitting three home runs, giving him four on the month. While his batting average is still only .221 for the month of July, his OPS is at .749, by far his highest output of any month. That should be enough to keep Seager in the minors for the time being and most likely until September—barring a last-minute deadline deal of some sort.
Kansas City’s trade for Johnny Cueto will keep Medlen in a long-relief role for the time being, but the former Brave could enter the Royals rotation should Yordano Ventura continue his struggles, or if they decide to send Jeremy Guthrie and his 5.53 DRA packing.
John Farrell said that both Johnson and Owens joining the Red Sox rotation is “on the horizon” and with the Red Sox falling further out of contention by the day, it seems reasonable that they will give the lefties a trial at the big-league level soon. Both lefties have pitched at Triple-A Pawtucket this season, posting similar numbers: Johnson has a 2.54 ERA (3.21 FIP) in 17 starts, striking out 8.51 hitters per nine innings; Owens has pitched to a 3.25 ERA (3.74 FIP) across 20 starts, striking out 7.74 hitters per nine. Johnson is roughly a year-a-half older than Owens (who turned 23 this month) and profiles as a safer bet at this point in their careers.
The pair will have trouble making a large fantasy impact in mixed leagues this season, but both should be able to contribute in AL-only leagues over the last two months.
It was thought that a trade involving Troy Tulowitzki would open the door for Story, but with Jose Reyes as a part of the return package from the Blue Jays, the youngster will remain at Triple-A Albuquerque. The Rockies have moved Story around the infield in Albuquerque, giving him 10 starts at short, eight starts at second, and four starts at third. Story, a notoriously slow starter when reaching a new level of the minors, has found the Pacific Coast League to his liking, posting a .902 OPS in his first 98 plate appearances.
11) Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 10)
12) Jose Berrios, P, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 12)
Berrios hasn’t found the Triple-A level any more challenging than Double-A in his first five starts, striking out 30 in 30 2/3 innings and allowing only one home run.
Pompey has rejoined Triple-A Buffalo after hitting .351/.405/.950 in 31 games at Double-A New Hampshire. He has found his second go-around at Buffalo much more to his liking, posting a 1.032 OPS in 13 games this month, on the heels of his demotion to New Hampshire on June 6th to regain his confidence at the plate. Pompey has swiped 15 bases (in 23 attempts) in 67 games across the two levels in the minors this season and could be a nice source of speed should he be recalled to Toronto.
Severino owns a 1.91 ERA over his first 11 starts at the Triple-A level, striking out 50 and walking 17 in 61 1/3 innings. If the Yankees don’t make a splash at the deadline, they could turn to Severino over the last two months. A big-league promotion would have been viewed as an unlikely assignment for the 21-year-old at the beginning of the season, as he only had 25 innings of experience above A-ball prior to the year, but Severino is pitching so well that the Yankees might not be able to hold him down.
16) Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Last week: 15)
17) Rafael Soriano, RHP, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 9)
After working two scoreless appearances to start his 2015 campaign, Soriano has given up four earned runs over his last three games. Soriano allowed two balls to leave the yard over his last 2 2/3 innings of work, including a two-run shot to Carlos Gonzalez on Monday that gave the Rockies the lead in the ninth. Soriano’s being given high-leverage work, but he might not be up to the task at this point.
18) Jon Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Last week: 16)
The Rockies, needing a fifth starter, bypassed Gray for the Yohan Flande experience on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
19) Joe Wieland, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 18)
20) Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers (Last week: 19)
21) Kennys Vargas, DH, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 20)
Vargas has struggled to hit for average (.238) in his demotion to Double-A Chattanooga, but has gotten on base at a .378 clip and has four home runs in 80 plate appearances at the level. Still, Vargas will have to hit much better to force his way back into the Twins plans for the rest of the season.
Morrow went 2 1/3 innings in the first start back during his most recent rehab stint of the year, striking out one, walking one, and giving up two earned runs. More importantly for Morrow, he left unscathed and appears on target for his next rehab start in his quest to join the Padres rotation—which could look vastly different by the time he is able to.
The bottom of this list represents utter speculation on which closers could be moved. If Francisco Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, or Joakim Soria is traded, these could be the guys who step in and save meaningless August and September games for their respective clubs. If you’re battling for every save, these guys are worth grabbing; if not, move along.