The trade deadline was stocked with rumors and, while some of those ultimately failed to come to fruition, there were plenty of moves made. The fallout was tremendous, with the impact affecting many, both short and long term.
Let’s take a look at some of the winners and losers from a fantasy perspective for the remainder of 2011.
Colby Rasmus—If you look at the deals that netted the Toronto Blue Jays’ Colby Rasmus, what did they really give up? A young starting pitcher in Zach Stewart, a spare part in Corey Patterson and a trio of relief pitchers in Jason Frasor, Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel.
In exchange, they received a 24-year-old (he’ll turn 25 in August) centerfielder who could be one of the centerpieces of your lineup for years to come, so does that really seem like a lot?
Sure, the Cardinals could ultimately use Rzepczynski as a starting pitcher, which could change the value of the deal slightly, but it really doesn’t matter. Centerfielders are tough to come by and, when you can get one with the untapped potential of Rasmus, you do what you have to do.
They may not be in contention in 2011, but the Blue Jays made a move to help put them on their way. As for Rasmus, it became clear that he was not going to succeed in St. Louis. Take him out of that messy situation and insert him in a good hitting Blue Jays lineup, in a hitter’s ballpark, and you could get a successful fantasy player.
He showed what was possible yesterday, which is likely just the start.
Chris Davis—It became crystal clear that Davis was not going to be able to succeed in Texas. For whatever reason, despite his success in Triple-A, he fell flat whenever he was given an opportunity in the Major Leagues (.250, 3 HR and 6 RBI in 76 AB in 2011).
Maybe a change of scenery will provide him with a spark to succeed. With the trade of Derrek Lee to Pittsburgh, Davis is going to be the team’s regular first baseman the rest of the way.
If you need power, he’s worth watching.
Charlie Furbush—This may seem like an obscure “winner,” but his trade out of Detroit will likely give him a chance to return to a starting rotation in 2011.
Forget about his struggles in two starts for the Tigers; at Triple-A he posted a 3.17 ERA and 61 K in 54.0 innings. The lefty may settle into being just a reliever, but he should at least get a look (with both Doug Fister and Erik Bedard traded).
While I wouldn’t recommend fantasy owners jumping on board quite yet, there is enough intrigue there to monitor him closely.
Dee Gordon—He wasn’t particularly impressive during his first stint with the Dodgers in 2011 (hitting .232 with 0 HR, 4 RBI, 11 R and 9 SB in 82 AB).
However, with Rafael Furcal sent to St. Louis, he is going to be able to get significantly more experience over the remaining two months of the season. There is no questioning his speed, with 30 SB at Triple-A this season and 126 in the previous two seasons combined.
He has things he needs to work on, most notably drawing walks (2.4-percent walk rate in the Majors; 5.8-percent at Triple-A), but as a source for stolen bases he has become a viable option.
Paul Goldschmidt—When the Diamondbacks opted to promote Brandon Allen to platoon with Xavier Nady, there had been rumors that it would actually be Goldschmidt who got the call. Now, with Allen in Oakland, Goldschmidt should be primed to make his Major League debut and could easily emerge as the team’s regular 1B. In 366 AB at Double-A, he was hitting .306 with 30 HR and 94 RBI.
Domonic Brown—He has a ton of potential, but he failed to live up to it and, with the Phillies’ acquisition of Hunter Pence, has been sent back down to Triple-A.
While we should see him again in September (the only way he will be back sooner is if Raul Ibanez struggles) and as a role player in the playoffs, any chance of him becoming a viable fantasy option has pretty much disappeared in 2011.
Look for him to return in 2012, as the chances of Ibanez coming back are slim to none.
Ben Revere—He may not ultimately lose value, but when the Twins decided not to trade Denard Span, they left themselves with four outfielders for just three spots.
Will it be Revere who loses playing time? Possibly, though it could easily be Delmon Young (.265, 2 HR, 27 RBI in 272 AB entering yesterday) as well. They could also give Jim Thome time off, using one of them as the DH.
Maybe Revere will manage to force his way into the lineup on a regular basis, but right now we are just going to have to wait and see.
Carlos Lee—He has not been a source of runs scored for the past few seasons, and now you have to wonder how many runs he will even be able to drive in.
The other two “big” pieces of the lineup, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, were sent packing in separate deals (not to mention the under-the-radar demotions of Brett Wallace and Chris Johnson).
Now, Lee finds himself surrounded by a lineup full of youngsters. Jimmy Paredes, Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez were playing in Double-A a few weeks ago. Jason Michaels, who batted fifth yesterday, is a career journeyman who is hitting .202 this season. Jason Bourgeois hitting third?
Counting stats are going to be extremely tough to come by for Lee—or any other member of the Astros’ lineup.
Kyle McClellan – He has pitched fairly well in the rotation, with a 4.22 ERA and 1.32 WHIP through Saturday. Of course, he failed to bring any strikeout ability (4.46 K/9), but he was at least usable in deeper formats. The acquisition of Edwin Jackson, however, sends him to a middle relief role, thus killing any fantasy appeal.
These are just a few of the winners and losers. Who else do you see that gained or lost value?
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