Fantasy implications of the trade deadline
By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - As usual, some players were moved, some stayed put, some teams won and others lost as the clock ticked down to the MLB trade deadline Tuesday afternoon.
Plenty of those transactions and non-moves had fantasy implications, shifting players to new environments for better or worse and opening up spots conducive to fantasy success for others to move into.
Here are the big moves that occurred Tuesday, not including pre-Tuesday deals like Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers, Hanley Ramirez to Los Angeles Dodgers and Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels.
Ryan Dempster, SP, Texas Rangers - The Rangers snagged Dempster right before the deadline passed, beating out the New York Yankees like they did for Cliff Lee in 2010. However, while Los Angeles and Atlanta would have been great spots for Dempster, going to Texas will almost assuredly spoil Dempster's fantasy value. Not only is the American League a tougher environment for pitchers, but Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has a run factor of 1.156, seventh most favorable for hitters in baseball. When Lee came over from Seattle in 2010, he had an ERA of 2.34 in 103 2/3 innings. He went 4-6 with a 3.98 ERA for the Rangers in 108 2/3 innings. Expect much of the same from Dempster, who currently possesses a 2.25 ERA in 104 innings.
Shane Victorino, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers - Victorino was the first of two starting outfielders moved by the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday. Victorino should get a fantasy boost batting leadoff ahead of Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. He's been hot as of late, batting .385 with four doubles, three triples, one homer and five steals in his last 14 games.
Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants - The Phillies also traded Pence, an outfielder who has frustrated fantasy owners with his inconsistency this season. AT&T Park is the worst MLB venue for runs with a factor of 0.647, according to MLB Park Factors, so Pence's numbers will likely take a hit by playing there. However, joining an offense with Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey and eventually Pablo Sandoval should help, as Pence isn't suited to be the lead guy like he was in the first three months of the season with Philadelphia.
Matt Garza, SP, Chicago Cubs - Garza suffered a minor triceps injury in his last start on July 21, which concerned teams just enough that the right-hander wasn't moved.
Jonathan Broxton, RP, Cincinnati Reds - The Reds acquired Broxton to set up for closer Aroldis Chapman, which takes away almost all of his fantasy value.
Greg Holland, RP, Kansas City Royals - The hard-throwing Holland will likely assume the spot vacated by Broxton in Kansas City, giving him value in all fantasy formats.
James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay Rays - Several teams, including the Rangers and Angels, were rumored to be interested in Shields, but the Rays decided to hold onto the right-hander. Shields has been a major disappointment, allowing 156 hits and 17 homers in 137 1/3 innings. He simply needs to pitch better to help fantasy owners this season; a change of scenery wasn't going to improve or hurt his chances of doing that.
Josh Johnson, SP, Miami Marlins - Johnson was never much of a threat to be traded since interested teams weren't likely to match Miami's asking price for the injury-prone ace. Johnson has had a down year, allowing 127 hits and walking 41 batters in 124 2/3 innings, but staying in the National League East is probably the best place for Johnson to get things turned around.
Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres - Headley is another guy who was a long shot to be dealt, since San Diego was looking for a large haul in return. However, unlike Johnson, a move would have had a major impact on Headley's fantasy value, as I wrote Sunday. The Padres third baseman has a career .299 batting average and .817 OPS in 317 road games against .235 and .664 in 315 games at Petco Park. He still has value due to his 12 homers and 12 steals, but nothing close to what he would have had if he made an exodus from San Diego.
Franklin Morales, P, Boston Red Sox - Boston's acquisition of lefty reliever Craig Breslow may prompt the team to move Morales back to the rotation. The left-handed Morales went 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings in five starts earlier this season.
Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies - The 24-year-old Brown's star has lost much of its luster, but he's still considered the Phillies' top prospect. The team recalled Brown after trading Victorino and Pence, and he'll presumably get a ton of playing time in the season's final two months. On potential alone, he should be added in NL-only leagues as there likely are not many better options available right now. However, mixed league owners can hold off on grabbing Brown.
Paul Maholm, SP, Atlanta Braves - After striking out on Ryan Dempster, the Braves shifted their focus to another Cubs hurler -- lefty Paul Maholm. Maholm was actually acquired late Monday night. The lefty has gone 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last six starts and should continue his success with the Braves. However, he's still nothing more than a rotation-filler in mixed leagues due to his low strikeout rate.
Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, Seattle Mariners - Fantasy owners can breath a sigh of relief that Wilhelmsen's main competition for the Mariners' closer role, Brandon League, was dealt to the Dodgers. Wilhelmsen has been brilliant this season, saving 14 games with a 2.52 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings, but he was always a couple of meltdowns away from League taking back the job.
Wil Myers, OF, Kansas City Royals - Myers' path to the majors is still blocked by Jeff Francoeur after the Royals failed to find a suitor for the struggling and well-paid veteran. While Myers (32 HR in 101 minor league games this season) will likely see time with the big league club this season, that time may come too late to help in fantasy leagues.
07/31 17:12:38 ET