Wow! What a trade deadline day! I can't remember a busier day of trading since I've been watching baseball. I hope you all enjoyed the smorgasbord of trade rumors, tweets, and reactions. I'm here to help you sort out the fantasy implications of all those trades with some quick insights about some of the players affected by the moves. Let's get started.
Martin Prado - Now a New York Yankee, he will probably play RF instead of his usual 3B because the Yankees already have Chase Headley to man third. He also may not play everyday anymore because the Yanks have Gardner, Ellsbury, Suzuki, and Almonte already in the OF. But, he may get to platoon with Stephen Drew at 2B because Drew can't hit lefties. Yankee stadium is a hitter's park, but so was Chase Field, where Prado came from. The lineup in New York is probably better than the one in Arizona, but Prado batted high in the order a lot in 'Zona and may not do so in New York. Overall, I think Prado's fantasy value remains about constant with this trade. Who knows, maybe all Prado needed was a change of scenery to get back to his usual ways and out of his season-long slump. Oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering, Peter O'Brien, the catching/1b prospect traded from New York to Arizona for Prado, is not someone you want to stash. Don't be fooled by the homers he has racked up this year in AA (31). He has no plate discipline and may bust before he gets much of a chance in the Show. He won't even taste the majors until 2016 anyway, so he's not worth your trouble.
Gerardo Parra - Parra moved from Arizona to Milwaukee, where he will be a 4th outfielder and possible platoon partner for Khris Davis. He was likely not on too many fantasy teams, but his value definitely takes a hit with a loss in playing time. His stock is way down today.
David Price - Price is awesome whether he is in Tampa or Detroit, so there isn't much to say. He's still amazeballs and just enjoy the ride!
Joe Kelly - Kelly's got a mid-90s fastball and not much else and moving from the NL Central to the AL East (Boston) is not good. His FIP and xFIP show that he was due for a little positive regression, but only to a league average ERA of about 3.7 or so. He isn't really striking anyone out and while he gets good grounder rates, he just doesn't have enough of an out pitch to keep himself out of trouble. Scouts are saying he doesn't have enough deception on his offspeed pitches (his arm rotation and movement to the plate is too slow) and his fastball doesn't have much movement. I don't like this move for him, stock down. He doesn't belong on most fantasy rosters right now.
Andrew Miller - This whiff-inducing lefty reliever moved from Boston to Baltimore. He was used as a set-up man in Boston and will settle into a very similar role in Baltimore, but could possibly (don't get too excited here) take over the closer job if Britton really struggles. He has elite strikeout stuff (4th best K rate in baseball!), so he would be great if he ever did become a closer.
Eduardo Rodriguez - Who? Is what you might be asking yourself. Rodriguez was ranked as the Orioles 3rd best prospect going into this season and hasn't struggled this year (but hasn't dominated either). He is a starting pitcher with good velocity (mid-90s), a good change-up and a third pitch in development. Some experts have already put him as the second best pitching prospect in his new organization, the Boston Red Sox. Rodriguez was the prize for trading away Miller. Rodriguez has a 2nd or 3rd starter upside and may have an opportunity early next year in the Sox rotation with their trades of two starters today. This trade likely speeds up his advancement, provided he can develop the rest of this year. Keith Law believes Rodriguez was the best prospect traded today.
Austin Jackson - The former Tiger centerfielder, now Mariner was having a mediocre season and disappointing many of his fantasy owners. Only 4 homers and 9 steals! C'mon Austin! His .330 OBP and 52 runs are helpful, but that's not great. The bad news is that Seattle is not a hitter's park, even though Comerica is also a pitcher's park. Jackson will continue to struggle to hit dingers in Seattle and the lineup around him will take a significant step down, reducing his runs scored. Stock down for Jackson.
Nick Franklin - Traded from Seattle, where he was a part-time player, to Tampa, where he will play almost every day. Franklin's value takes a step up today. He will probably play 2B or even SS in Tampa Bay and might improve with more consistent playing time. If you need middle infield help, you could do worse than taking a flyer on Franklin. He has struggled this year in the majors, but has excelled in AAA the last two years. Stock up for Franklin.
Drew Smyly - Moving to Tampa from Detroit keeps Smyly's value about even. He will still have a rotation spot and Tampa's ballpark is about as pitcher-friendly as Detroit's. The AL East is harder to pitch in than the AL Central though, because Baltimore, New York, and Toronto are extreme hitter's parks. I'll ding Smyly's value a little for that so I'll say stock slightly down for Smyly.
Jon Lester - Lester moves from the AL East to Oakland and the AL West. This is great news for his owners. He was already great in Boston and now he should see a further reduction in both his WHIP and ERA and a sharp increase in wins, since Oakland is a much better team than Boston this year. Stock way up for Lester! Lester owners should be smiling today.
John Lackey - Moving from Boston to the Cardinals is great for Lackey. He has never pitched in the national league and will enjoy pitching against other pitchers every 9 spots. Additionally, national league hitters haven't seen much of him, so that will help too. Lackey's stock is also up today. Oh, and his wins will almost certainly increase with the Cards too.
Yoenis Cespedes - He heads to Boston from the hitter's wasteland that is Oakland Coliseum. Cespedes is a righty pull hitter that will enjoy pounding doubles off the green monster. I expect increased output from him the rest of this year. Stock up here.
Allen Craig - Craig will get another chance to rebound from his nightmare season (really a full calendar year) in Boston. However, he will have to platoon in Boston and be a part-timer just like he was in St. Louis. Shane Victorino plays RF, Cespedes plays LF, Mike Napoli plays 1st and David Ortiz takes care of DH, leaving Craig with no regular spot to play. He will probably rotate through the corner OF and 1B slots. The ballpark will be much better for hitting and should help his slugging percentage and RBI totals with that monster in right field, along with the other hitter's parks in the AL East that I described above. Having said all that, I think Craig is still injured (he had a Lisfranc foot injury before the season) and is a part-time player still, so his stock is even and you still don't want him.
Chris Denorfia - He moves from San Diego to Seattle, where he may get more playing time than he was getting in San Diego, but he has been pretty bad so far this year and doesn't really offer much, so there's not much to say here. Stock up I guess? There's not much to like here, even in a new location.
Stephen Drew - Drew goes to the Yankees to be their new second baseman. If they keep him next year by re-signing him, he might play SS, but for now he will man second. He has rebounded from his early season slump lately, but still has limited upside. Yankee Stadium will help his left-handed bat play up and may add a couple homers to his total. The lineup is probably a little better in New York too, but he will still bat near the bottom of the order. A minor stock up for Drew in New York. Be aware, as I mentioned above, that he might platoon at second with Prado and won't play everyday (he sits against lefties).
Jarred Cosart - Cosart is probably a fringe or spot starter in most leagues, but I thought I would touch on his trade quickly today. He moves from a slightly hitter's park to a good pitcher's park and his chances for wins probably increase a little too, as the Marlins are better than the 'Stros this year. He is still not a good pitcher (his 4.4 ERA is probably his true talent level right now), but the better park, moving to the national league, and better chance of wins, should make his stock go up a little.
Colin Moran - I thought I would throw this guy in here for dynasty players. He was one of the top 3B prospects coming into this season (behind Miguel Sano and Maikel Franco) and now gets traded to Houston's organization. He was a polished product coming out of college, but has struggled in his second year in the minor leagues at advanced A-ball. He still has good long term potential and we all know third basemen are hard to come by these days, so keep an eye on him. This bad year probably just delays his promotion to the majors another year, so look for him in 2016. His stock really isn't affected much by the trade since he the Marlins promote prospects just as quickly as the 'Stros.
Asdrubal Cabrera - Cabrera's days as a top 10 shortstop are behind him and he moves from the Indians to the Nationals. He moves off short to play 2B and he might platoon with Danny Espinosa (who should only play against LHP), so his stock falls even farther. He should only be used in deep leagues at this point.
Jake Marisnick - This former Marlin outfield prospect heads to Houston's AAA team. Marisnick has struggled in his limited time in the majors and offers only one good tool: speed. He could steal 30 bases in a season if he ever hit well enough to play a full season. His strikeout issues and lack of patience will limit his potential. I don't think you need to keep him on your radar.
Sam Fuld, Emilio Bonifacio - These guys are only for deep leagues and their values really stay about the same with their new teams (Oakland and Atlanta). Fuld may play a little more in Oakland than he did in Minnesota, but that's about it. Minnesota's trade of Fuld opened up a roster spot for...
Kennys Vargas - Despite having an extra s on his first name, this guy offers some intriguing things for fantasy owners to think about. He is slashing .281/.360/.472 in AA with 17 homers and 63 RBI. He is not a top prospect at first base, but those in deeper leagues needing some 1B help might want to use a speculative pick-up on him. He has good power and a good walk rate, so there is room for upside here. He may have limited playing time right now, which is really the biggest concern here other than the fact that he is jumping from AA to the majors for the first time. Keep an eye on him.
That should be just about everyone involved in this crazy day of trades. Check back in a few days for a new post about the waiver trade deadline deals we may still see in August and for more fallout from today's zaniness. As always, direct message me on Reddit (u/WisconsinsWestCoast) with any fantasy questions you have.