MLB Trade Deadline Impact: The Big Winners and Even Bigger Losers
Greeting sports fans, and welcome to this special analysis of the trade deadline moves and their impact on fantasy players. There was a flurry of activity leading up to the July 31st non-waiver deadline, with some teams taking advantage and improving their teams, while others stood by idly and didn’t make any moves.
The rampant rumors of Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn et al. being moved did not materialize. In any event, there is plenty of impact to fantasy values that will affect a number of players and teams. Here are a few of them…
BIG, BIG WINNERS
Matt Capps, RP, MIN
The National’s All-Star closer had already racked up 27 saves for the last-place club. He will be in line to improve on that number now that he will be closing for a pennant-contending team. Capps has been a great fantasy contributor providing three wins in addition to his 27 saves. He has posted a 39:9 K:BB ratio thus far, along with a more than respectable 2.68 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. The move to Minnesota is a big plus for owners of Capps where his already high fantasy value will get a boost.
Drew Storen, RP, WAS
The Nationals began the Storen era in Washington by clearing the way to the closers role with the trade of Capps. The word out of Washington was that Storen would share the closing duties with Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett. But smart money would have Storen closing on a regular basis before season’s end. Storen’s season began on May 17 and to date, he has posted a 2.45 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP and a 28:14 K:BB ratio. He has also contributed with three wins out of the ‘pen. Fantasy owners are scrambling to pick up Storen who is number one on the Most Added Players List (ESPN) with a 34.6 percent ownership.
Jake Westbrook, SP, STL
The Cardinals acquired Westbrook in the three team deal which saw Ryan Ludwick get shipped off to San Diego. St. Louis was in desperate need of solidifying the back end of their rotation for a run at the division crown. They have been patching their rotation with an over-the-hill Jeff Suppan and the unimpressive Blake Hawksworth occupying the slots of Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny, both on the DL. Westbrook had been very hittable this season, but began to turn it around after the All-Star Break. In four starts since (25.2 IP) he had a 3.86 ERA and 18:9 K:BB ratio. He gains a good deal of value by moving to a contender and getting to work with Dave Duncan. In his first start for the Cards, he put up the following line: 6 IP/4 H/2ER/1 BB/7 K’s. He’s only owned in 8.3 percent of fantasy leagues (ESPN).
NOT AS BIG, BUT STILL WINNERS
Evan Meek/Joel Hanrahan, RP, PIT – Both will see an increase in value with Dotel off to greener pastures. They will share save opportunities going forward, but Meek has the higher ceiling.
Brett Wallace, 3B, HOU – After Lance Berkman was shipped to the Yankees, Wallace was acquired from Toronto and will be given a shot to be the everyday 1B.
John Jay, OF, STL – Jay seized the OF spot vacated when Ryan Ludwick was traded to SD. He has a .366 BA with 45 hits in 51 games on the season.
BIG, BIG LOSERS
Jon Rauch, RP, MIN
Mr. Rauch lost most of his fantasy value when Mr. Capps was acquired. After Joe Nathan went down for the season, Rauch stepped in and did an admirable job as the closer for the Twins. He converted 21 out of 25 save opportunities. However, his underlying stats were a little less than impressive–29 K/43 H in 39 IP and opponents were batting .277 against him. For his career, Rauch has converted only 26 out of 44 save opportunities, not exactly the kind of numbers that instill confidence for a pennant-chasing team. His ownership has plummeted from 98.8 percent to 66.5 percent (ESPN) in the last seven days and will continue to drop with every save Capps accrues.
Octavio Dotel, RP, LA
Dotel is another closer who lost a great deal of value after he was dealt to Los Angeles to solidify the Dodgers’ bullpen. He was able to compile a respectable number of saves—21 out of 26 opportunities for a terrible Pirates club. In addition, Dotel posted a better than expected 48:18 K:BB ratio with 35 HA in 41 IP. In L.A. he will have almost no chance to add to his saves total with Jonathan Broxton firmly entrenched as the Dodgers stopper. Dotel has seen his value take a nose-dive in the last seven days, dropping from 95.6 percent ownership to 74.1 percent (ESPN).
Jorge Cantu, 1B, TEX
As the everyday 1B for Florida, Cantu’s value was significantly higher before his trade to Texas. With the Rangers, Cantu’s role will be reduced to starting primarily against left-handed pitching and pinch-hitting, according to the team. It was originally thought that Cantu would provide a few starts at 2B to fill in for the injured Ian Kinsler, but that was before Texas acquired Christian Guzman for exactly that purpose. His value surely would have increased with 2B eligibility. However, for now Cantu will not have a major impact on fantasy rosters unless his role changes. His ownership has dropped from 92.4 percent to 85.5 percent (ESPN) and will continue to drop as long as he’s not in the starting lineup on a regular basis.
NOT AS BIG, BUT STILL LOSERS
Kosuke Fukudome, OF, CHI – Desperately needed a change of scenery and to escape Lightnin’ Lou’s doghouse. He’s only seen 37 AB’s in July with 2 HR/2 RBI.
Miguel Tejada, 3B/SS, SD – His offensive skills were eroding before being acquired by SD. Now that he’s playing at the spacious Petco, you can expect even less… three hits so far in 15 AB’s for the Padres.
Kerry Wood, RP, NYY – After his trade to the Yankees, Wood’s chances of winning a ring have significantly increased, but his chances for save opportunities is zilch even if he does stay healthy.
*Written by Rosti Satanovsky exclusively for thefantasyfix.com .
You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter@TheSportsFariah
Who do you think is the BIGGEST WINNER or LOSER?
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