Welcome back for round 2 of my trade deadline fantasy impacts report! Last time, we went through just about every player that changed teams on that wild and crazy deadline day Thursday. Today, we will look at some fantasy relevant players that were affected by these deals, besides the guys that actually changed teams. These are the guys that got left behind.
We are going to do this one trade at a time.
John Lackey/Allen Craig/Joe Kelly Trade
This trade changes the landscape for both teams' rotations and lineups. Allen Craig's addition to Boston's lineup along with the addition of Yoenis Cespedes, means the Sox outfield is really crowded. What this means for your fantasy team is that Mookie Betts, Shane Victorino (when healthy, which is almost never), Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, and Jackie Bradley Jr will duke it out for playing time in center field and occasionally right field. Holt can also play third (or second) when Middlebrooks needs a day off or is facing a lefty, so his playing time is the safest of that group. That leaves us with Betts, Victorino, and JBJ for basically one spot (Craig will need the occasional day off, so it's more like 1.5 spots). Since Boston values JBJ's glove so much that they ignore his poor offense and Victorino is a veteran, this means Mookie will probably get sent back to AAA any day now. Furthermore, neither JBJ nor Victorino nor Nava will really see enough playing time with all this rotating in and out to be worth much considering their value was limited to begin with. Really what this trade does is limit the usability of all the Beantown outfielders not named Cespedes. Betts will likely be a full time player next year, but don't count on much this year. Craig will be given opportunities to show that he isn't as bad as he has looked so far this year, and the rest will rotate in and out based on need and matchups.
The removal of Lackey (and Lester) leaves holes in the Boston rotation. Kelly will likely fill one of those holes for the rest of the season. Clay Buchholz is still in there and the AAA youngsters will be given a chance to win some spots. Who are these youngsters? I'm glad you asked. Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, Rubby de la Rosa, and Brandon Workman are their names. My short analysis is that de la Rosa has the best stuff and is the most likely to do well the rest of the year, Ranaudo is second, but there is a gap between him and de la Rosa. Ranaudo isn't as polished and doesn't have the strikeout upside of de la Rosa, but should stay in the rotation the rest of the year, at least. Workman and Webster will get to compete for the last rotation spot, but neither has good control and they both have limited upside, so I would stay away from them both.
If you want a couple of wild cards, Edwin Escobar and Steven Wright (knuckleball master) are your guys. These two are at AAA right now and Escobar just came over from San Francisco last week in the Jake Peavy trade. If Workman and Webster struggle like I think they will and/or one of the other guys gets hurt, one of these two wild cards could get some starts. Both of them have more upside than Workman/Webster. Looking at their minor league stats, I like Wright a little better because his whiff rate is over 11% (average is about 8-8.5%), while Escobar's is a mediocre 8.9% this year. Just some guys to keep your eyes on as this Boston rotation develops.
For St. Louis, this trade means little as far as the rotation goes, with Lackey replacing Kelly. More importantly, Craig's departure opens up a full-time gig for Oscar "the Grouch" Taveras in the outfield. No one calls him "the Grouch", I just threw that in there myself. Despite a very slow start in the majors, I love Oscar long term and would pick him up if someone dropped him.
Jon Lester/Yoenis Cespedes/Johnny Gomes Trade
I've already discussed the Boston side of this deal, but the Oakland side is still out there. Basically, Gomes and another acquisition, Sam Fuld, will take Cespedes' spot in the outfield. Niether one is really fantasy relevant, but Fuld is better than Gomes simply because Gomes will only play against lefties.
Lester's addition to the A's rotation will bump waiver-wire darling "Uncle" Jesse Chavez (I can't remember where I heard this, but it is a great nickname since his name is Jesse and he pitches in the Bay Area. This is a "Full House" reference, for those who are confused). Chavez was on his way out due to an innings limit, anyway, so it's not too big a disappointment. Hopefully, you sold high on him earlier. Otherwise, it's safe to drop him. In a dynasty league, like the one I own him in, I can't decide if he is worth holding onto for next year since he will have a hard time getting a rotation spot with Gray, Kazmir, Samardzija (I hope my spelling is at least close) coming back and Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin possibly returning from injuries. His peripherals look really good this year, so I'm tempted to keep him for next year, but I would understand if you didn't want to burn a roster spot on a 30 year old that might have a rotation spot next year.
This blockbuster has surprisingly little fantasy impact for the other players not involved in the trade. Smyly will take Price's rotation spot, so no new Tampa pitchers will be called up. Austin Jackson will simply kick James Jones and his slumping self back to AAA Tacoma and reduce Dustin Ackley's playing time. Franklin wasn't really playing regularly, so no one really benefits in Seattle from his leaving. Franklin will probably still be a part time player in Tampa, since Zobrist plays 2B and they have a full outfield. However, there is a decent chance that Zobrist moves over to SS and Franklin plays 2B full time. This would hurt Yunel Escobar, but really, who cares besides Yunel?
Jackson leaving Detroit opens up full time (or mostly full time) jobs for J.D. Martinez and Rajai Davis. Davis is having a great year with more power and average than you expected with his usual steals, despite still struggling against lefties, while Martinez has been a great source of cheap power this year. This is a boost to the value of both of them.
Asdrubal Cabrera Trade
Cabrera will kick Danny Espinosa to part-time duty, but he wasn't really fantasy relevant, anyway. Jose Ramirez and Mike Aviles will share time at short for Cleveland until September, when it is likely that top shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor should be called up. This trade opens up more time for him when he gets there. I actually really like Jose Ramirez and wish he had a place to play long term in Cleveland, but for now, in deep leagues, I would pick him up for middle infield help. He is great at drawing walks and doesn't strike out much.
Andrew Miller Trade
I'll keep this short and sweet: Miller becomes a top set up guy for Baltimore and gets in the saves mix if something happens to Zach Britton. Basically, this just hurts Darren O'Day's and Tommy Hunter's chances of getting saves, but they were small anyway, so it's not a big deal.
Martin Prado and Stephen Drew Trades
I lumped these Yankee trades to together to save time, but basically, Prado will kick Ichiro to the bench most of the time and Drew will replace Brendan Ryan in the lineup against righties. Really not much fantasy analysis needed here.
Jarred Cosart/Jake Marisnick Trade
This trade just kicks Robbie Grossman to right field (Marisnick plays center), which means he will eventually play part time when George Springer gets healthy. Cosart's leaving opened up a rotation spot for Jake Buchanan. Who is Jake Buchanan? Exactly. No one. Move on.
Well, that wraps up my trade deadline coverage this year. Message me on Reddit if you have any questions or want to challenge what I wrote. Or, you can just leave a comment below. Look for a post about potential waiver trades coming up soon, so you can prepare your fantasy team for the impacts of August trades. Tschus!