Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Each year, in the final week of July, baseball's trade deadline changes the fortunes of many fantasy owners. This year is no different. Lets evaluate the most recent trade deals and see how the will change fantasy values.
Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado to Cleveland - Say what you will about humidor baseballs, but leaving Coors Field for Progressive Field in Ohio can only help Jimenez's ERA and WHIP. If you check the link to the MLB Park Factor, you will see that he's leaving a park that always ranks in the top-three for run production. While Jimenez may never reach the heights we saw leading up to the 2010 All-Star game (15-1, 2.20 ERA, 1.047 WHIP), his fantasy statistics going forward should be better in Cleveland than his current production in Denver (6-9, 4.46 ERA, 1.374 WHIP).
The real question is why would the Rockies give up on a 27-year-old who has No.1 starter stuff?
Hunter Pence, Houston to Philadelphia - Pence batted primarily in the No.3 hole in Houston, but will be the No.5 hitter in Philadelphia. With Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in front of him Pence should get many more RBI opportunities as compared to his days in Houston hitting behind Michael Bourne and Angel Sanchez. He's got an awkward looking swing, but he's a proven professional hitter who should bat close to .300 and knock runs in at a 100 RBI-per-season pace.
Carlos Beltran, New York Mets to San Francisco - The only teams in the majors scoring less runs than the Giants (3.57 rpg) are Seattle (3.28) and San Diego (3.47), so the move from the right coast to the left coast may help the Giants in the playoffs, but won't be good for fantasy owners. Sell! Sell! Sell!
Derrek Lee, Baltimore to Pittsburgh - Lee is not the fantasy star he was from 2002-2005, but he can have value on a short-term basis. He's hit pretty well in July with six homers, 19 RBI and an OPS of 0.805. Lee has always been a second-half hitter (career pre-All Star OPS 0.841 vs. 0.879 after).
Koji Uehara, Baltimore to Texas - Barring injury or complete collapse from Rangers' closer Neftali Feliz, Uehara's role will be that of a setup man. He's got great numbers this season with an ERA of 1.72, WHIP of 0..702 and 62 strikeouts in 47 innings, but without saves, he's a fantasy afterthought, not a fantasy necessity.
Jason Marquis, Washington to Arizona - Marquis' eight wins and solid ERA of 3.95 are balanced by a poor WHIP (1.417) and a low strikeout total (71 in 120.2 IP). Hopefully, the move from the last-place Nationals to a Diamondbacks team in the middle of a pennant race will get his competitive juices flowing, but past history says his numbers are likely to continue at the same level. Only twice in 12 years has he finished a season with an ERA under 4.00 and just four times has he produced a WHIP below 1.40. He's the true definition of a journeyman.
Chris Davis, Texas to Baltimore - Davis came up to the majors in 2008 with a lot of hype and quickly produced solid fantasy numbers as a rookie (.285, 17 HR, 55 RBI, 0.880 OPS in 295 at-bats). Unfortunately, he's never been able to reproduce those statistics and he simply doesn't make enough good contact with the baseball (from 2009 through 2011 he's had 208 K's in 563 at-bats). He's not worth taking up a roster spot at this time.
Mike Aviles, Kansas City to Boston - Aviles is a solid utility infielder who on the few occasions that he's been given a full-time spot has produced solid numbers. In his only two seasons with at least 400 at-bats, he batted over .300 both times. Barring injuries, Aviles won't get enough playing time on a loaded Red Sox roster to have fantasy value.
Doug Fister, Seattle to Detroit - Fister's 3-12 record doesn't tell you how he's pitched in 2011. Check out his solid ERA (3.33) and WHIP (1.171) and you will get a better idea of how Fister has been throwing the ball. It's simply tough to win when your offense averages 3.28 runs-per-game. He'll have much more offensive support in Detroit and could have a solid final two months. Fister is owned in less than 20-percent of all leagues and should be a viable fantasy value for the remainder of the season.
Michael Bourn, Houston to Atlanta - The Braves have been searching for a reliable leadoff hitter since Rafael Furcal left in 2006. They may have finally got their guy in Bourne. For fantasy owners it should be more of the same from Bourn. He'll lead the league in stolen bases, as he has the past two seasons, but will post an OPS under 0.775. He's improved his batting average from .229 in 2008 to around the .300 level this season which is why his fantasy ownership level is near 90-percent in 2011.
As of this moment, we're still waiting to see where San Diego closer Heath Bell lands.