As trade season is now officially open, I’ll be examining the fantasy impact of trades from now through the end of July. I’ll talk about the players involved and how their values change with the move to a new club. I won’t get into which team I feel gets the best deal too much, unless I have very strong feelings about it. Oh, and by “strong feelings,” I mean that a player I own got traded into a much less desirable situation, and I feel the need to express my anger about it.
No blockbusters yet, but there have been some deals with worthwhile fantasy implications. Let’s take a look…
Padres get: Michael Barrett
Cubs get: Rob Bowen, Kyler Burke (A+)
Quick Outlook: Barrett loses value. Bowen gains value. Burke is unaffected.
Indirectly Affected: Josh Bard loses value.
Barrett goes from owning a starting job to sharing time with Josh Bard. He was slumping with the Cubs, but they got very little for a guy who I considered a Top 5 Fantasy Catcher preseason. I still expect him to hit .300, but getting to 20 HRs might prove difficult with limited playing time. His RBIs and Runs will also suffer because of this, but batting 5th helps a bit. He has Adrian Gonzalez and Mike Cameron ahead of him and Khalil Greene and Kevin Kouzmanoff behind him. Barrett is better than Bard and will probably get the majority of the starts. If Bard gets traded next month, Barrett would again become a great option as a fantasy catcher.
It’s funny that the worst player affected sees the greatest increase in value. Bowen now becomes the Cubs’ starting catcher, but with a lack of power and an inability to hit for contact, Bowen isn’t someone to lust over. In very deep two-catcher leagues he can be owned simply because he has a starting job, but don’t expect much production out of him. As Burke is still in Single A, he is ignorable for now.
Cardinals get: Mike Maroth
Tigers get: A Player to Be Named
Quick Outlook: Maroth gains a little value as the NL is easier to pitch in than the AL. The Cardinals have several qualified starting options, though, and with some poor outings, he could lose his job.
Indirectly Affected: Kenny Rogers, back from injury, takes Maroth’s spot. Brad Thompson, Todd Wellemeyer, and Anthony Reyes all get less job security. There’s a good chance Reyes will get demoted, again.
I talked about Maroth yesterday. He is a poor play in all but very deep leagues. Despite being a better pitcher, Reyes will have a difficult time staying in the rotation with Maroth aboard, now. Watch this situation carefully, but prepare yourself for Reyes to get demoted.
Royals get: Milton Bradley
A’s get: Leo Nunez
Quick Outlook: Deal was called off due to the news of a Milton Bradley injury.
Indirectly Affected: Nobody.
Bradley won’t be going to the Royals, and now it seems likely he might not get traded at all. If he doesn’t, he’ll become a free agent and will get to choose which team to go to. Assuming the injury isn’t very serious, this is great news for Bradley owners. Bradley won’t choose a team he won’t get to play much on or a team that won’t give him good supporting players, so look for Bradley to bounce back from this nicely. More on this once he joins a new team.