By: Nate Leer
The MLB trade deadline is only a couple of days away and there are a handful of moves that could have a fantasy impact worth noting. Fantasy owners will be prepared to react to the obvious outcomes of trades – closers becoming set-up men (Hector Rondon after the Aroldis Chapman trade) or everyday players moving into possible platoon roles (Eduardo Nunez) – but be ready to take advantage of the ripple effects that the trades could cause.
Here are 5 more possible trades and the big-picture impact:
- Tampa Bay starters (Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore are all said to be possible trade chips with at least one of them likely to be moved) – Going to a team such as the Dodgers could help any of the 3 but could hurt the fantasy fortunes of Bud Norris (who I pegged as a potential pick-up for the 2nd half) and uber-prospect Julio Urias. Both are more likely to end up in the bullpen if the Dodgers bring in another starter. As to the players being traded, they would be headed from one good pitcher’s park to another but would also be headed to a much better team. This should help them get more wins even if their other numbers just remain consistent. Lastly, keep an eye on the Tampa rotation if they move one or two of these guys. A trade should cement Blake Snell’s role even if he has some hiccups and could open up starting roles for Matt Andriese and Erasmo Ramirez who have both pitched well at times as starters. Also, prospects such as Brent Honeywell, Jacob Faria and Taylor Guerrieri would be more likely to get starts yet this year and I wonder if they would consider moving Alex Colome back to a starting role that he had throughout his minor league career.
- Wade Davis – The rumor is that the Royals want a lot for Davis and are pushing to include Ian Kennedy’s big contract and middling production in any deal for Davis. So a Davis trade could provide closing opportunities for other Royals relievers, playing time for prospects gained in the trade and a replacement of the closer and a starting pitcher on Davis’s new team. That is a lot of change with one potential move!
- Carlos Beltran – There are a lot of moving parts surrounding a possible trade of Beltran but his excellent production and health this year make him an attractive rental for the rest of the year as he is a free agent after the season. Beltran has a no-trade clause that covers about half the league so there has to be a team with the need for an OF bat that Beltran is willing to go to and that has the players and willingness to get Beltran. If he moves and you are one of the fortunate owners that have benefited from Beltran’s success this year, be careful that he doesn’t go to a lesser left-handed hitters’ park. Beltran can still swing it but his power could take a hit in almost any other park. If Beltran does move, Yankees prospect Aaron Judge could be brought up and given a shot to prove his power at the major league level.
- Jay Bruce – Bruce worries me because he has been such a streaky hitter his whole career. In Cincinnati, he is not in a strong line-up but benefits from the park being very good for power hitters and a lack of pressure that let’s him relax and square up the ball. If Bruce presses under the weight of a pennant race, his production is likely to plummet. Moving Bruce could allow the Reds to give Scott Schebler another chance to show that his excellent numbers in the minors this year can translate to the majors. Keep an eye on him as he could be another Adam Duvall just waiting for a chance.
- Dave Robertson – Robertson is interesting because he could create a mess if he goes to a team such as the Nationals. While he could help a team late in games, he has not been very good this year. Is he better than Jonathan Papelbon or Shawn Kelley in Washington? Or would this create a committee situation in which nobody wins? On the back-end, Nate Jones has been very good for the White Sox and could prosper in the closer role for them.