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Friday, July 31, 2009
Lots going on today, as you've surely noticed, and not all of the details are out yet. I'll try to spin everything with what we've got and makes changes later on as more details become available.
Today saw several big trades, one of which being Indians C Victor Martinez for Red Sox P Justin Masterson and prospects P Nick Hagadone and P Bryan Price. Pretty good trade for both sides. The Red Sox got their man without giving up Clay Buchholz, and the Tribe got the MLB-ready arm they were looking for and a couple of intriguing prospects.
Masterson gets the biggest boost in value as he should slide right into the Cleveland rotation and could do pretty well for himself. I'd expect an ERA in the low 4.00s and a WHIP in the 1.35 area. He's got pretty good skills to begin with and Jacobs Field boosts Ks by 9.1% and GBs by 2.9% over Fenway. It also boosts walks by 6.8%, but the net impact is well in positive territory. He can be considered in deep 12-team mixed leagues and should be owned in all AL-only and deep mixed leagues.
Victor Martinez's value won't change much. He'll split time at catcher with Jason Varitek and play some games at first and DH, like he did in Cleveland. His power numbers may drop a little, especially from the left side, but he will be hitting in a very potent lineup for RBI and runs and Fenway will be much better for his batting average.
The two prospects in the deal are still at least a couple years away from the majors.
Indirectly affected are Varitek and Tribe C Kelly Shoppach. Varitek's value drops considerably, while Shoppach sees his value rise since he won't have to split time anymore (at least until the team decides to recall top prospect C Carlos Santana, though that may not come until 2010). Feel free to pick him up in medium-sized mixed leagues if you need power and can take the batting average hit.
The addition of Masterson will push someone out of the Cleveland rotation. My guess would be David Huff, though Aaron Laffey or Jeremy Sowers could be the choice. Fausto Carmona deserves it, but just coming back from the DL, they'll give him one more shot. This also makes it somewhat unlikely that recently-acquired Carlos Carrasco will get to face major league hitters this season.
Posted by Derek Carty at 3:37pm
Thursday, July 30, 2009
RP George Sherrill has been traded to the LA Dodgers. If Jim Johnson is still available, scoop him up quickly. He should be expected to close in Baltimore now. Sherrill loses most of his mixed league value.
Posted by Derek Carty at 2:07pm
OF Josh Anderson seems to have been traded to the Royals for cash considerations (h/t Rotoworld). With Willie Bloomquist the primary centerfield for KC and RF Mark Teahen rumored to be traded, Anderson may have just seen his value spike. He won't do a whole lot more than steal bases and post an average (or slightly below average) BA, but I'm sure some AL-only teams could stand to add 15 or so steals. If he was dropped recently, he's worth considering. OF Jose Guillen is on the DL, but it's unclear how long he'll be out for.
Posted by Derek Carty at 11:48am
The Marlins appear to be closing in on Heath Bell, likely for a top pitching prospect or two. If you didn't grab Mike Adams this morning, go get him now. If you have the room, grabbing Luke Gregerson or Greg Burke couldn't hurt (probably in that order).
And if you own Matt Lindstrom or Leo Nunez, you might want to see if you can trade either one for any closer you can get your hands on... like now.
It also looks like the Yankees might be working on a trade for a Blue Jays reliever like Scott Downs or Jason Frasor. There are rumors that Colorado could be in on Downs as well. The Jays have said in the past that Downs probably wouldn't be traded, but with his struggles recently and the dreaded vote of confidence he was given, they might be more willing. Frasor should be stashed, and Downs could be shopped. He'd lose most of his mixed league value if traded to the Yanks.
Posted by Derek Carty at 11:26am
Analysts everywhere have been treating the Padres bullpen situation as pretty clear-cut; if Heath Bell is traded, Edward Mujica would be next in line to close. As Eriq Gardner mentioned on Tuesday, though, this situation bears closer scrutiny. Last night, however, the team announced that Mujica would be moving to the rotation. So much for all that talk. It really didn't make much sense anyway, for several reasons:
1) The Pads have several quality relievers, including Mujica, Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson, and Greg Burke.
2) Gregerson leads the gmLI game at 1.35 while the other three all come in around 1.10.
3) Mujica's surface numbers and peripherals are worse than Adams's and Gregerson's.
4) Mujica has been used most recently in earlier innings than the other three.
5) Recently, Adams has pitched the eighth on days when Heath Bell pitches (though Burke has pitched later innings as well)
Now that he's officially out of the picture and the Padres may be too tempted to hold onto closer Heath Bell, it's looking more and more like stashing Mike Adams for the next 30 hours or so is a smart move. Not only does he appear to be next in line, but he has terrific skills and would make an excellent closer.
As far as Mujica goes, he only posted a league average-ish strikeout rate in the bullpen and is an extreme flyball pitcher, so he won't be dominant in the rotation. In an NL-only league, though, he does deserve to be owned. It's kind of a shame since he'll be taking the place of Josh Geer, who has shown real improvement this year and has simply been a victim of bad luck.
Posted by Derek Carty at 9:30am
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
It appears as though Pirates IF Freddy Sanchez has finally been dealt to the San Francisco Giants for SP prospect Tim Alderson. This is a terrific haul for the Pirates. I may have said this before, but I've really grown to love GM Neil Huntington. If only my Mets could find a guy with a good head on his shoulders. At least we don't have Brian Sabean running our team, though.
Alderson isn't major league ready yet, but he's a great prospect and someone to keep an eye on, especially if he can begin to strike more batters out. In keeper leagues, he's probably owned, but depending on the depth of the league, maybe not.
Sanchez should play everyday for the Giants, and Juan Uribe looks like the biggest loser here. He'll play 20% of the time at SS, at most, and spell Sanchez and 3B Pablo Sandoval occasionally. It's tough to say what the Giants will do, but we'll probably see Sanchez hitting in the top half of the order. They sure seem to like him enough. His other stats shouldn't be affected very much.
It is important to note, however, that Sanchez's 2009 batting average is being propped up by a too-high .343 BABIP. His K% has risen to 17% after being around 11-12% the past two season and around 8-9% the two before that. Now makes for a good time to trade Sanchez yourself since he is likely due for a regression here, and without much power or speed, his value will be extremely limited.
In Pittsburgh, the new double-play tandem could be Ramon Vazquez and Delwyn Young. Neither are mixed league worthy but each receives a big boost in NL-only value. This seems to clear an OF spot for a Lastings Milledge call-up, which will finally reduce Brandon Moss to fourth outfielder status. It's a shame because he was finally showing signs of life this month. Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones will be the other two outfielders.
Posted by Derek Carty at 7:51pm
Lots of activity today with the MLB trade deadline approaching, the biggest trade taking place between the Phillies and Indians. The Tribe sent SP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco to the Phils for four prospects: SP Jason Knapp, SP Carlos Carrasco, C Lou Marson, and IF Jason Donald.
Lee's value receives a small uptick, moving to the easier National League with a terrific offense in front of him and an improved defense. His home park is less friendly in terms of Ks (-0.8%), HRs (+22.8%), and hits (+1%-ish), but it does reduce walks by 6%. The home runs are what we'd need to worry the most about (that's a huge increase), but the easier league, better defense, and additional wins should help recoup most of that value, if not more.
Francisco's value takes a huge dive. He was an undervalued source of both power and speed but will no longer be playing full-time with OF Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, and Jayson Werth blocking the way in Philly. He can safely be dropped in most mixed leagues for as long as those three are healthy. NL-only leaguers can make a modest bid if you're playing someone like Frank Catalanotto or Drew Macias in your outfield.
As far as the prospects go, Carrasco is the most likely to have 2009 value. Fausto Carmona will likely take Lee's place in the rotation for now, but Carmona kind of sucks and the back end of the rotation is far from stable. SP Jason Westbrook is also working his way back from injury, but there is a chance Carrasco gets the call at some point over the next couple months. Those in deep AL-only leagues might want to stash him. His control has been a problem at times in the past, but he could end up being pretty good immediately.
Although C Victor Martinez is likely to be traded, the Indians have C Kelly Shoppach, so Marson probably won't get called up (plus, he also has super-prospect C Carlos Santana to compete with now). Donald is just coming back from surgery, so it would make sense for the team to keep him in the minors the rest of the year. Knapp is still playing in A-Ball and is at least a year or two away.
With Francisco and Ryan Garko gone, there is a chance Matt LaPorta receives the call soon. He'd be 12-team mixed league worthy (though might make better trade bait than anything else) if he does get recalled, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. This is merely speculation. If he isn't recalled, the Tribe could play Chris Giménez most days. That'd make him AL-only worthy, but not much else. He does have decent power, but that's about it.
Posted by Derek Carty at 5:31pm
The Pirates and Mariners completed a deal today, sending Ian Snell and Jack Wilson to the Mariners for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno and a trio of minor league pitching prospects.
A solid fantasy option in 2007, Snell struggled throughout most of 2008 and 2009 and was sent down to Triple-A after repeated threats from the GM to improve his performance. In Triple-A Snell was dominant through 37.1 innings of work, allowing just 28 hits and striking out 47 batters compared to walking 13. For those who believe in changes of scenery, Snell now makes a nice add in most formats because of his clear upside. Looking at the messy Mariner rotation, it is clear Snell will be starting in the majors for Seattle.
Long term, Jeff Clement also figures to benefit from this trade. The now 25 year old catcher/first baseman was not crushing Triple-A pitching he was last year, but was still hitting well enough to prove that more time in the minors would not accomplish anything. Now with a team much more likely to give him playing time, Clement has a good chance of becoming the Pirates starting first baseman in 2010.
A lot of Clements' future fantasy value hinges on him retaining his catcher eligibility, but in Pittsburgh with Ryan Doumit behind the plate, I am not sure if that can happen.
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