Potential MLB Trade Deadline Moves and Fantasy Implications

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2010

CINCINNATI - JULY 22:  Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals is pictured during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 22, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Ever watch a row of dominoes fall, one after the other. It all starts with an ever-slight nudge on the first domino, and suddenly the chain reaction begins. Domino knocks down domino until there are no more dominoes left standing.

With the recent Dan Haren trade to the Angels, expect the dominoes to fall one-by-one up until the nearing trade deadline. As usual, there will be some interesting players on the move. There will likely be a lot of big-name guys who don’t get traded despite numerous hot-stove reports. Who will move and what does it mean for fantasy production? Let’s discuss:

1. Prince Fielder, MIL. Perhaps the biggest name on the list, Fielder’s slow start to 2010 has dropped his stock and perhaps his ultimate chances for a deal. Brewers fans don’t want to see Fielder go, and the organization knows that they’d need to net some serious talent to justify losing one of their premier power hitters. They’re unlikely to get that at this point. Rumors have Fielder going potentially to a number of teams, most notably the Chicago White Sox. The Brewers have a pretty nice young lineup already, and it is hard to think Fielder will gain or lose much fantasy value no matter where he goes.

2. Adam Dunn, WAS. Contract issues have put Dunn’s name on the list, and considering how solid Dunn has played this season, there is little doubt he could help a contending team right away. Surrounded by mediocre talent, Dunn continues to whack homers and has even this season improved his typically abysmal batting average. On a team with more protection, logically, Dunn should see even more opportunity to produce. Some suggest the Yankees have shown interest in Dunn, and Dunn’s value would skyrocket surrounded by the talent already in pinstripes, but it seems more likely that the White Sox would look at Dunn as a cheaper alternative to Prince Fielder.

3. Lance Berkman, HOU. Another slugger on a bad team, Berkman’s skill set has declined and his no-trade clause and impending free agency seem to indicate that he’ll balk at any potential trade scenario that doesn’t place him on a bona fide contending team. No squad, even the Yankees, would look to shell out tons of money for a declining Berkman for what could be half a season. It isn’t likely Berkman gets dealt, although a change in venue and stronger supporting cast would help his fantasy value.

4. Adam LaRoche, ARI. The Diamondbacks brass has mentioned that moving Dan Haren isn’t the last piece of their mid-season trade efforts, and LaRoche could be the next name to fall. Already one of my personal second-half buy-low candidates , he’s typically a late-season bloomer, doesn’t come with too steep of a price tag and could produce well for seasons to come. It is much more likely that LaRoche gets dealt than others on this list, and again, a change in venue will most likely help his value as long as he gains more lineup support in the process. The Angels have been mentioned as a destination, along with numerous other spots.

5. Chad Qualls, ARI. Like LaRoche, Qualls’ chances of being dealt seem higher than others because the Diamondbacks are looking to 2011 and beyond. Qualls has struggled this season, but could provide some nice middle relief assistance to a contender, with potential to fill in at closer if the team gets in a pinch. Expect Qualls to be moved, just expect more holds than saves wherever he winds up.

6. Jose Bautista, TOR. A banner season for Bautista may land him on another team. The third baseman could be an outfielder for any potential suitors and his power numbers have superseded anyone’s wildest imaginations for him. According to sources at Yahoo sports, the Giants, White Sox, Tigers and Braves have asked about Bautista’s services. Considering the Blue Jays will have to shell out $6 or $7 million to him next season before free agency, it is likely he’ll move elsewhere.

For more MLB baseball players potentially on the move and the fantasy impact, check out the full story .

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