It’s that time of year– the MLB Trade Deadline. Our very own Ray Flowers is on the case this deadline day, as he will update every deal that comes down as teams attempt to prepare their rosters for the stretch run to the playoffs. Ray will touch on every relevant deal throughout the day, and he will also hit on the rumors that you need to know about through the day.
**In the past, teams could continue to add players post deadline in deals. However, that is not possible this season. After July 30th, the only ways to change your roster will be by a free agent pickup of claiming a player off waivers.
***PTBNL = Player To Be Named Later.
****TIMES LISTED ARE EST
- Never seen anything like it. Just astoundingly wild.
- LOSER: Rockies who kept Jon Gray and Trevor Story.
- LOSER: The Padres who didnt keep up with the Giants/Dodgers.
- METS: The added Javier Baez to pair with Francisco Lindor. Pootentially dynamic.
- LOSER: Those people who insist on supporting the continue use of saves. We just had the AL leader in saves likely lose his job at the trade deadline (Hendiks). Don’t know what else I need to say.
- LOSER: Andrew Heaney pitching in New York.
- LOSER: Jarren Duran? The addition of Schwarber has his PT in doubt, unless Kyle plays first base or catches.
- WINNER: Ian Kennedy who doesnt lose his closing gig going to the Phillies.
- LOSER: Outlook of Braves’ outfielders: Pederson/Rosario/Soler/Duvall. There is no rover in baseball.
- LOSER: Cardinals adding Happ/Lester. They need a time machine.
- LOSER: The Nationals who lost Scherzer, Turner, Schwarber, Hand, Hudson, Lester, Harrison, Gomes.
- LOSER: Baseball. Is it great for the game that the Dodgers and Yankees simply dominated this thing?
- WINNER: Blue Jays paid a high price, but they added Berrios. Also added Soria for bullpen help.
- Here is a PODCAST discussion of some of the moves as well.
ALL THE MOVES
|Giants||1B/3B/OF Kris Bryant|
|Cubs||RHP Caleb Killian, OF Alexander Canario|
There was a report that Joey Bart was involved that was all over social media and was even mentioned on MLB Network. Thankfully for Giants’ fans, that is not true.
The Giants waited and waited, but finally made their move. A free agent at the end of the year, the Giants will likely look to sign him when the season is over. As for today, what did the Giants get? They got a player who can play three spots – Kris Bryant. His performance has been up and down this season, but overall he has a .861 OPS and has made everyone forget about the struggles he had last season. He will play every day for the Giants and the park in S.F. is not the death of offense like it used to be. He joins a Giants team that is tied for second in baseball in homers (151) and fifth in baseball in wOBA (.327). Yes, he’s entering a better lineup, even if it is devoid of the big names that Bryant left behind in Chicago (well, there is no talent left there anymore, or something like that).
5:22: Trevor Story quote on the trade deadline: “I’m confused and I don’t have really anything good to say about the situation and how it unfolded.”
Chavis has a nice bat in terms of pop, but he struggles with contact. He could establish himself at first base and there is not reason to think that he won’t get a lot of run the rest of the way as the Pirates try to see what they’ve got.
A solid addition to the Jays pen and he gives them a veteran to turn to in the 9th inning if Brad Hand continues to struggle. The D’backs situation in the 9th is now – a mess. See this report.
|Braves||RHP Richard Rodriguez|
|Pirates||RHP Bryse Wilson, RHP Ricky DeVio|
Richard Rodriguez has been terrif this season with a 0.83 WHIP while holding batters to a .194 average. He’s been nearly unhittable, and just fantastic. It is possible he sees some save chances, Will Smith is a lefty so they could play the matchup game, but the deal out of Pittsburgh does diminish his outlook. As for Smith, he takes a ding too, though not as big of one as RR.
Bryse Wilson should get a chance to establish himself with the Pirates. He doesn’t miss many bats with a 17 percent career K-rate, and his 1.62 K/BB ratio isn’t pretty. To be fair he has less than 80 innings pitched over four years, so it is far too early to draw any lasting conclusions. A potential back of the rotation arm for the Pirates.
|Braves||OF Jorge Soler|
|Royals||RHP Kasey Kalich|
Check out this data from Jorge Soler.
Further, Soler has destroyed the ball lately with four homers in four game and six homers in seven games. He’s a great addition given the batted ball data and the fact that the performance has finally started to turn around. Now the doom and gloom.
The Braves have added Jorge Pederson, Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario this season. Obviously with Freddie Freeman at first base, it is impossible to play all these each day. Further, they are all really corner infielders which makes this situation even more problematic. Do they give up defense and stuff the outfield with offense? Even if they do, again, one of these guys is on the bench to start every single game. Acuna/Ozuna are both done for the year and Pache/Waters will be nothing other than potential bench options late in the year.
|Phillies||SS Freddy Galvis|
|Orioles||RHP Tyler Burch|
Freddy Galvis is dealing with a quad issue, but he’s expected to be activated soon. He had nine homers and a .720 OPS this season in 72 games. He figures to offer depth in Philly but no fantasy value unless someone goes down.
A nearly 24 year old righty, Tyler Burch is a reliever with a massive total of 49 punchouts in 29.1 innings at High-A ball.
Jon Lester and J.A. Happ to join Adam Wainwright in St. Louis. If it was only 2015. The Cardinals adding two lefties who are well past their prime (they clearly have no faith in Miles Mikolas returning to muc of anything). They can have solid outings, but neither is anything at this point of their careers and neither is anything other than a desperation add in NL-only leagues.
A strong addition to the Giants bullpen, and he returns to a Giants team where he had a lot of success in the past. No fantasy implications unless you are in a holds or Solds league.
4:19: The Braves added Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler. Impossible to get all those guys in there on a daily basis. More to come.
|Yankees||LHP Andrew Heaney|
|Angels||RHP Janson Junk, RHP Elvis Peguero|
Andrew Heaney is tremendously talented. When on, he can dominate any opponent with well above a punchout per frame (10.00 per nine since the star of the 2016 season). However, he is frustratingly incapable of anything resembling consistency. As concerning as that is, the even bigger worry is the home run. Dude throws batting practice at times, he has a 1.67 HR/9 rate the last six years, and now he moves to Yankee Stadium? That seems like a disastrous combination. Does he start only until Luis Severino is ready? Does the move signal that the Yanks are concerned about Severino contributing?
|Astros||RHP Phil Maton|
|Indians||OF Myles Straw|
Looks like the reports were accurate as the Astros get another pen arm. A five year vet. Phil Maton has a bloated 4.57 ERA his last 61 outings. He also has a 1.34 WHIP in that time. Still, he misses a ton of bats with a 13.3 K/9 rate in those 61 outings. He’s a fine setup man who sometimes struggles with control.
Myles Straw has 17 thefts making him an important fantasy piece. He’s only hitting .262, but if you are in an OBP league he’s at least as interesting with a .339 OBP. Further, since the start of June he has a .371 OBP while batting .289. Ostensibly, he will replace Eddie Rosario in the lineup and it certainly is conceivable that he will be asked to hit leadoff. That’s a potentially exciting development if it comes to that. The ability to get on base, to run and to hit at the top of a big-league order… let’s all hope. Who knows, maybe he even sees some time at shortstop.
Looks like the reports were accurate as the Astros get another pen arm. A five year vet. Phil Maton has a bloated 4.57 ERA his last 61 outings. He also has a 1.34 WHIP in that time. Still, he misses a ton of bats with a 13.3 K/9 rate in those 61 outings. He’s a fine setup man who sometimes struggles with control.
3:43: The Giants still have not made a move.
3:29: The Giants still have not done… anything. They lead the NL West by three games.
|Rangers||RHP Spencer Howard, RHP Kevin Gowdy, RHP Josh Gessner|
|Phillies||RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Kyle Gibson, LHP Hans Crouse|
Ian Kennedy was always gonna be dealt. We ALL worried he would be dealt into a setup role. Well, lookie here. He’s dealt to a spot — where he figures to remain the closer. Kennedy is 16-for-17 in closing out games with a 28 percent K-rate, a six percent walk rate and an elite 5.00 K/BB ratio. His only issue is the home run. Still, with the mess the Phillies have dealt with for a couple years now in that bullpen, Kennedy is a welcome addition and it maintains his fantasy value as well.
Kyle Gibson will enter the Phils’ rotation with lots of concerns. He’s pitched over his head all year long, everyone knows that. He threw a quality start last time out, but he walked eight batters. He’s been a mess his last three outings as the evening out, the regression, has started to occur: 6.75 K/9, 6.23 BB/9, 7.79 ERA, 1.96 WHIP. Been great overall, but I’ve been warning for a long while that Gibson could turn into a pumpkin.
Spencer Howard is a high end pitching prospect, the top prospect in the Phillies’ organization coming into the year according to Baseball America. He’s got a near elite fastball/slider combo. He commands the mid to high 90’s fastball and the slider has sharp, late break. His change and curveball also flash, and he throws everything from a smooth delivery. His big-league work to date has been poor – 2.00 K/BB, 1.56 WHIP over 17 outings – but there is still a lot to like here long-term, though the move to the AL isn’t ideal. He’s not someone to trust this year, even if the Rangers slot him into the rotation, but the future is bright
|Twins||RHP John Gant, LHP Evan Sisk|
|Cardinals||LHP J.A. Happ|
John Gant has made 14 starts, 25 games, with a 3.42 ERA this season. However, he has a 1.57 WHIP with a 1.00 K/BB ratio. Do I really need to write more? Nice arm, love the grounders, but his overall performance says – no thanks in fantasy.
I could write… ditto… for J.A. Happ. The nearly 39 year old lefty allowed nine runs last time out. He’s allowed 20 runs his last three outings (16 IP). On the year he has a 6.77 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP. He’s just a guy. Not a fantasy target though.
|Athletics||INF Josh Harrison, C Yan Gomes|
|Nationals||C Drew Millas, RHP Seth Shuman, RHP Richard Guasch|
So much for the earlier reports of Josh Harrison staying put. He will be joined by teammate Yan Gomes in Oakland.
Harrison can literally play everywhere on the diamond, ok not catcher, but you get the point. He’s an ideal addition for the Athletics who love this type of player. He’s been very effective this season (.294/.366/.434) and will help the A’s out. Jed Lowrie is always an injury risk, so it is great to have some support there. Still, hard to see how Harrison plays as much in Oakland as he did in Washington.
Gomes addition is a power move giving the Athletics one of the best catching duo’s in the game. His addition diminishes his outlook and that of Sean Murphy as there figures to be a lot of playing time sharing in Oakland now. Both guys will lose playing time and production, though they could see some time at DH as well given that Mitch Moreland needs to be platooned and given the fact that his OPS is in the .680’s right now. Still, no way around it. The fantasy catcher market got more difficult to navigate with two top-25 catchers now with the same club.
|Mets||SS Javier Baez, RHP Trevor Williams|
|Cubs||OF Pete Crow-Armstrong|
Javier Baez is a hell of player and there will not be a more exciting middle infield duo in baseball once Francisco Lindor returns. Wow, what talent. Lindor has underperformed in his first year with the Mets. As for Baez, he will be a free agent at years end, but the guess is that the Mets would like to keep him around. As to what he brings this season… Baez is on pace to go 30/20 as he’s at .248-22-65-48-13. He has a vomit inducing 0.11 BB/K ratio, swings at everything, and can fall into maddening slumps. He’s simply unrefined. That said, the power/speed combo is impressive, and when he’s locked in he can carry fantasy clubs. Expect more of the same from Baez – frustration that is eventually overcome by his talent/production.
Trevor Williams is also headed to aid the Cubs rotation with deGrom/Syndergaard out, and Walker struggling. Williams is a fine addition for the Mets, but he nothing to offer in fantasy with a 5.06 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. Note that both those numbers are actually better than what he did last season. Yikes.
Pete Crow-Armstrong was a top-5 prospect with the Mets. He’s an elite defense player who profiles as a potential Gold Glove winner. He’s a top of the rotation bat who lacks power, with the hope that will develop. He has the speed to potentially steal 20 bases, and ideal he’d settle in as a #2 type hitter, though Madrigal/Hoerner seem to have this skill set on lock down in the Cubs lineup. He’s only played six professional games as a 19 year old who was taken in the first round last season. He’s years away.
2:46: Lots of smoke surround Javy Baez to the Mets. Thinking being that he will play SS until Francisco Lindor is back before moving over to second base when Lindor returns. That would slot Jeff McNeil in at third base. Baez is set to become a free agent at the end of the year.
2:44: This is one of the wildest deadlines ever.
Why are some of you still arguing? I Really don’t get it.
|White Sox||RHP Craig Kimbrel|
|Cubs||2B Nick Madrigal, RHP Codi Heuer|
The second Cubs to White Sox deal with a reliever (Ryan Tepera). What is going on?
Does Kimbrel close? This is one of about five teams in baseball where he could have ended up and not be the closer. I cannot see how he takes over the 9th inning completely from Liam Hendriks who has been dynamic. Still, it is possible Kimbrel is named the closer. It is possible that we have 1A and 1B closers. It is also possible the Kimbrel is a straight setup man though he has never been that guy before, whereas Hendriks has. Ugh. We will need to see what the team says officially, but whatever they say initially may not be how it plays out moving forward (for what it is worth… Ken Rosenthal is being told that “both” will get save opportunities). If either guy struggles at all, there is such an obvious pivot. Regardless, the outlooks of Hendriks and Kimbrel have to take a hit with this news and we will see if one man’s value caves.
Nick Madrigal is a potential batting average champion. He’s out this season with a hamstring issue, but the dude is a can’t miss bat. He’s hit .317 over 83 big league games with a .358 OBP. He hasn’t run as expected, just three thefts, but he figures to have a long and successful career as a top of the order bat. Kimbrel has an option on his contract so he can be kept another year by the Sox, but losing years of Madrigal is a high price and he’s a great get for the Cubs. He and Nico Hoerner could give this team a .300 average up the middle, albeit with 10 homers.
Codi Heuer could be in the saves mix with the Cubs who have traded away their top-3 arms out there (Andrew Chafin). He has only one save in his young career, but he’s rocking a 3.90 K/BB ratio with a 1.32 GB/FB ratio.
2:17: Downed two granola bars. Gotta keep pushing.
2:13: Six or seven teams are in the mix for Byron Buxton according to Jon Heyman.
2:11: Kendall Graveman and Yimi Garcia have been added to the Astros bullpen, but according to Ken Rosenthal they are still interested in more.
2:07: The Rangers are fully expected to deal Ian Kennedy and Kyle Gibson. Gibson seems to be the top pitching option that is widely expected to be dealt, and we know that teams are willing to make moves to add bullpen help.
2:05: Rumors still circulating that Yan Gomes to the Blue Jays has legs.
2:02: The Dodgers are said to be in on Craig Kimbrel. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Why? The Dodgers are spending money like a drunken sailor that just found gold on a deserted island somewhere in the middle of the pacific. Let’s leave the “super teams” in the NBA. All these Dodgers moves are certainly going to bring up the possibility of a salary cap in baseball, or at least a salary flow, in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players this offseason. The gap with the have’s and have not’s is growing bigger by the day.
2:00: Looks like the odds of Trevor Story being dealt before the deadline have improved a bit.
1:59: Will be fascinating to see if Byron Buxton is dealt, and if he is, what the return is. His talent is immense, on both sides of the ball. Injuries though have always been as much about his game as, well, his actually “game.” A trade for Buxton could be a difference making move for any team. Same time, with all the questions that are legitimate, the risk at adding him, only to have him crap out, is so high. Again, fascinating.
1:51: Everyone is looking for bullpen help.
1:44: The Phillies are in on the Byron Buxton sweepstakes. Buxton and Bryce Harper in the outfield would be quite the dynamic combo of talent.
|Brewers||LHP Daniel Norris|
|Tigers||RHP Reese Olson|
Daniel Norris has transitioned from starting to the bullpen with decent results. He’s a K-per-inning lefty, and there will always be jobs for guys like that, though his 9.6 percent walk rate this season is a slide backwards that dulls some of the excitement. He’s a real-world solid addition by the Brewers, he can get lefties out, but there’s no fantasy value to be had. Oh, and he’s one interesting cat.
Reese Olson has more than a punchout an inning at High-A this season, but he also has 35 walks in 69 innings. A nice power arm though who at 21 years old is controllable forever. Something like that.
1:34: Objectively speaking, I’m killing this.
|Marlins||C Alex Jackson|
|Braves||OF Adam Duvall|
Just minutes after the Eddie Rosario news, we now get word that Adam Duvall has also been added to the outfield mix for the Braves as they add two legitimate run producers. Duvall was with the Braves last season hitting 16 homers in just 57 games. That’s a .232-38-101-75 effort by Duvall since the start of last season over 148 games. He has holes, his OBP is laughably bad, but he mashes the ball as well as anyone in the game who isn’t an elite player. Maybe I need to reassess the Rosario call. Pederson/Duvall/Rosario work as an outfield, but is there a center fielder there? Maybe Pederson. If all those guys are in the lineup though, this Braves lineup is gonna be damn tough to pitch to. Duvall hasn’t hit lefties this year (.176/.231/.388 with a 36.3 K-rate). Pederson never hits lefties though he has a wee bit this year with a .761 OPS in 83 plate appearances. Rosario has a .808 OPS against righties and .703 against lefties in his career. There could platoon work here for all three of those guys though, so we will need to see the plan with the group before rendering a final fantasy assessment. Adios to Pache/Waters producing in 2021.
Alex Jackson profiles as a backup catcher, moreso than a starter. He has power and his defense is solid enough but he has massive contact woes and his hit-tool just isn’t very good.
|Braves||OF Eddie Rosario|
|Indians||INF/PH Pablo Sandoval|
So interesting. I compared Eddie Rosario to Marcell Ozuna this preseason. This deal signals that the Braves have moved on from Ozuna given his off the field issues. More directly, his addition also helps to cover the loss of Ronald Acuna. Rosario is currently out with an ab-strain that will keep him out a few more weeks. A solid hitter for years, he’s struggled a good deal this season but still represents a solid run producer who comes at, apparently, virtually no cost at all for the Braves. He will slot in to the outfield to alleviate the Braves current pain of having to use Arcia/Adrianza/Almonte/Heredia out there. The addition of Rosario could also block a recall of Christian Pache or the promotion of Drew Waters, so if you are looking for either of those two youngsters to make a mark down the stretch you might have to reassess that thought process. Rosario figures to hit in the middle of the order to extend the lineup for the Braves.
Sandoval may or may not even have a role in Cleveland – maybe not even enough to be an AL-only addition.
1:09: Twins getting mad props on the return for Jose Berrios. Ken Rosenthal says Craig Kimbrel and Raisel Iglesias are in play to be dealt. Jon Heyman still mentioning that Scherzer-to-Dodgers deal still has details being worked on. Still expected to get done, so don’t panic.
1:04: Teams are all in this year… and I love it. Too many times teams have tipped their toes into the deep end of the pool at the trade deadline. Not in 2021 folks. Teams are doing for it. Props.
1:01: We are three hours from the deadline. My Rockstar is gone. My cat is still here. The adrenaline is still pumping.
More potential Rays insanity…
12:55: The Jays have added Corey Dickerson, Trevor Richards, Adam Cimber, Brad Hand and Jose Berrios. That’s pretty impressive. There have been building rumors about Nate Pearson being dealt, but many felt that would be in a deal to get Jose Berrios. Wonder if they would consider moving Pearson still, he’s been an injured mess this season, but let’s not forget that dude pumps 98 mph gas and has long been considered an option to be an SP1 in the big leagues. Even with a down 2022, if he is moved the return will be substantial.
12:51: Padres – lost out on Scherzer and now Berrios. Worse, the Dodgers got Scherzer. There’s no telling what they will get out of Dinelson Lamet the rest of the way. Ryan Weathers has workload concerns. Blake Snell isn’t even league average right now. They really need another starting arm. Could it be Kyle Gibson? Someone else? Whomever it is, looking more like a 4/5 type versus the 2/3 type they were hoping to add. Is that enough to catch the Dodgers or the Giants?
12:46: The Rays are seemingly in on everyone. What is going on in the world? There are so many big names on the move, so many teams getting props, but do you get the feeling that the Rays are just lying in the weeds, ready to strike? They have added already added Nelson Cruz and could be looking to do something as big.
|Twins||SS Austin Martin, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson|
|Blue Jays||RHP Jose Berrios|
The Blue Jays have a dynamic offense. They now get their man on the hill in Jose Berrios. It’s not an easy place to pitch, the AL East, but Berrios is as stable an arm as there could be, once you get past the aces in the game. He’s been on his game this season with more than a punchout an inning with a 1.04 WHIP. He’s increased his ground ball rate to a career best 43.6 percent this season which will serve him well. This is a power move by the Blue Jays that drastically improves their staff, and shuts out others hoping to improve – and they get one more season of Berrios too beyond this season. The Padres have to do something to catch the Dodgers now that they are out on Berrios.
Austin Martin is an elite offensive prospect, top-20 in all of baseball. Hs hit-tool is off the charts, some list it as a 70 on the 20-80 scale, and that is an extremely rare number to see on the hit tool. Elite bat speed, strong understanding of the strike zone and excellent hand eye coordination. He’s an elite offensive talent, did I already say that, who was drafted 5th in the 2020 Entry Draft. Dude will hit. In 55 games at Double-A this season he’s gone .281/.424/.383. He could be starting for the Twins next season with little doubt.
Simeon Woods Richardson is a top-75 overall prospect in baseball. He has an ideal build, 6’3” and 215 lbs., is athletic and he repeats his delivery which leads to impressive control. He has strong control of a fastball that he can throw all over the strike zone and it gets some good carry when he throws it up in the zone. He also throws a slider/curveball/changeup with the change being the best pitch of the three. He’s struggled this year at Double-A (5.76 ERA and 1.50 WHIP) but he has still flashed dominance at times (33.2 K-rate). He’s got a chance to be a #2 or #3 starter in the bigs.
This is a strong return for Berrios by the Twins.
12:28: Fascinating how we are all GM’s, isn’t it? None of us are in the clubhouse or know the full story, but we are all comfortable critiquing every single aspect of every move and non-move. I do love how some teams gets smashed for making moves… when it seems like many don’t understand all the facts. Also, trades of established players for minor leaguers are always dicey the day they are made. Gotta give it time to play out.
12:22: Dan O’Dowd on MLB Network… Rays/Reds/A’s could be in mix on Trevor Story. Rockies could pick up the remaining cash this season, but they would want a big name prospect. Possible.
12:19: Blue Jays are starting to sound like the favorite to land Jose Berrios. Lots of smoke and comments from beat reporters that this could happen. Of course, just suppositions.
12:14: I hate commercials. Never watch them. I purposely record everything and just start 15 minutes late. Sitting here with MLB Network on the TV I’m reminded – why I hate commercials. There is some really dumb s – – t popping on my screen every 30 seconds. How do you put up with it?
12:09: Joel Sherman on MLB Network… mentions potential run-on relievers. Yankees want to deepen their team. Unlikely to make another splash move. Does expect Luke Voit to be dealt. Jose Berrios says the price is extremely high. Padres have pressure to improve and they are in, but so are many contenders. Maeda/Pineda still being asked about as well. Still unclear how many guys Twins will send out. Trevor Story and Jon Gray could not be dealt. Pretty positive that Kris Bryant is dealt.
12:02: A near four-minute blackout on social media updates as no one is reporting anything. Calm before the storm?
12:01: Miguel Cabrera hit two homers last night and has three in three games. He is three homers and nine runs from 500-1,500 in his career. He is also 25 RBI from 1,800 and 61 hits from 3,000. He’s had an amazing career.
12:00: Are you still using saves in your setup? I know the vast majority are. I continue to get push back in some circles when I suggest solds (saves+holds). I still don’t understand why so many folks are so locked in to the guessing game of saves. Really don’t.
11:57: You can also sign up for our NFL Product. Fifty podcasts. Rankings for PPR, Non-PPR. Full Best-Ball section. Complete Dynasty League Coverage. Breakdowns of offensive schemes, coaches and offensive lines. That stuff, in addition to all the “traditional” stuff you are used to seeing covered for a fantasy football season.
11:54: Sign up for our DFS product. Baseball, football etc. It’s all available at EliteFantasy.com.
11:49: After yesterday, the morning has been incredibly boring. We’ve seen this before, dead deadlines. We’ve also seen the deadline pass, think nothing was done, only to find out that like six deals were made that weren’t announced until well after the 4 PM trade deadline. It’s not over at 4 PM as deals can still have been reported by that time, but just not made public, so stick around until at least 5 PM just to make sure.
11:45: Rockstar opened. Yes, it is 8:45 AM PST where I live.
11:37: Nate Pearson could be dealt according to Jayson Stark on MLB Network. It is possible he could be included in a deal to get Jose Berrios. Possible.
11:35: Jon Heyman reports the following on MLB Network… The Dodgers/Nationals deal for Max Scherzer is still being worked out. They are “working on things” right now. Scherzer approved the idea of move to Dodgers, but there are still some moving parts being worked on. Still “extremely likely” to get done were Heyman’s words. Padres are interested in Jose Berrios. There is still a small hope against hope in Padres-land that the deal for Scherzer falls through. Speculated that Javy Baez to the Mets is a possibility. Kris Bryant might end up with the Giants. Craig Kimbrel could even end up with the Dodgers, but many teams are in the mix for the closer. Trevor Story – Yankees out. Market not as good as expected. There is a possibility they hold him, extend a qualifying offer, and then end up with the draft pick when he turns it down and signs with someone else in the offseason. More teams involved on Bryant at this point than Story, cause Bryant has shown ability to play multiple positions on defense. Jose Berrios market is hot. Twins do have another year of control so they could keep him, but it is a seller’s market so they should be able to find a match to send him out before the deadline.
Ken has to be right here. Teams don’t want to overpay for starters, and with the willingness to have relievers throw as many, or even more, innings as starters you gotta think teams will look to hit it rich in the bullpen market. So much volatility with relievers from season to season, so that also drives the price down a bit. Plus, teams often have great bargains financially in the bullpen when guys suddenly emerge leading to lots of trade value. At some point though, don’t the Angels have to decide on who they want to be part of their pitching staff? Seems like they are constantly in flux on that side of the game.
11:22: It’s me and the cat right now. I’m getting ready to rip open a Rockstar. My windshield got broken last week, a rock hit me on the freeway, so that is getting replaced today. Also, have The Fantasy Drive tonight on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (10p-12a). It’s gonna be a hell of a long, and interesting, day (started at 6:30 AM).
11:16: Jesus Aguilar is expected to remain with the Marlins. By the way, he’s on pace to blast past 100 RBI as he is tied for fifth in baseball right now with 75 RBI. HE’s at .268-18-75 on the year but, remarkably, he’s scored 34 runs. He has scored 16 times this season when not driving himself in on a home run even though he has a decent .332 OBP.
11:14: We are all waiting for Luke Voit to be dealt. It is really easy to forget that he led the league last year with 22 homers and that he has an OPS of .852 since the start of 2019. He’s been injured multiple times this season and is rocking a mere .698 OPS, but he’s an impact bat if he can stay healthy.
11:10: Sounds like Michael Pineda could be the target of many teams if indeed the Rockies do hold on to Jon Gray as expected. Not sure why the Rockies would be looking to keep Gray/Daniel Bard. Seems wild to me. They are going nowhere. They need to improve the roster. If they truly are going to keep that duo, will they part with Trevor Story? Makes you wonder.
11:08: Sounds like the one piece that the Nationals will keep is Josh Harrison.
10:40: Will the Giants make a big move? Will they value chemistry over pure talent? The MLB Network crew just discussed how things are going in SF and how (A) it is working and (B) they may not do something major today, even with the Dodgers moves and the likelihood that the Padres will do something. On paper, the Giants have no shot at beating the LAD/SD teams. Still, the Giants do lead baseball in victories so what they are doing is working.
10:30: Ken Rosenthal believes Bryant/Kimbrel will be dealt. Baez/Davies also on the block. He thinks that the first two go, likely Davies too, but there is uncertainty with Baez. Rosenthal talked about expiring contracts leading to the decision to send them out. He noted that “some of the guys” have turned down extension offers from the Cubs. He commented how Braves and Phillies have significant holes… and if the Mets do something as expected… how much will the Braves/Philllies reall do? Jon Heyman disagrees.
10:19: It is eerily quiet right now. Calm before the storm? The baseball world is trying to find its footing after the Dodgers and Yankees jumped the gun, got to the front of the line and straight dominated the market on Thursday with power moves. The Red Sox have acted adding Kyle Schwarber, but the Giants/Padres have gotta do something.
|Rays||RHP Shawn Armstrong|
Arbitration eligible for a few more years, it can’t be thought that Shawn Armstrong will be a 9th inning option. He has five career saves, four in 2019, in a career that began in 2015. He has a strikeout an innings this season but he has also allowed a preposterous 20 runs in 20 innings (19 earned).
10:10: Ken Rosenthal report on Jose Berrios. Twins have been uncertain about dealing him until the last week. The offers are basically forcing the Twins hand. Expectations is that Berrios should be dealt. Rosenthal reports that Kenta Maeda and Byron Buxton are also on the block, though the team wants to compete in 2022 so it is uncertain which pieces they would move unless they were blown away.
10:04: Interesting that the Jays are in on Yan Gomes. They already have Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire and Alejandro Kirk. Gomes becomes a free agent next season, so this seems certain to be nothing more than a rental if the deal goes down.
10:03: The Orioles and Rays could do a deal around RHP Shawn Armstrong.
10:00: Can’t help but think that the 5-years, $175M still left on Stephen Strasburg’s deal played a huge part in the Nationals blow up. He hasn’t even thrown 30-innigns the last two years and that contract could go down as one of the worst ever as Strasburg just had thoracic surgery throwing his 2022 outlook up in the air.
|Red Sox||OF Kyle Schwarber|
|Nationals||RHP Aldo Ramirez|
The tear down is basically complete. The Nationals have ripped the soul out of their team. Scherzer/Hand/Hudson and now Kyle Schwarber. Currently on the injured list with a hammy issue, he has started to swing the bat and it seems possible he is back by mid-August, Schwarber had that magical run where he was homering every night. The results is a .900+ OPS with 25 homers in just 72 games. A corner infielder, his addition tightens up the playing time for Jarren Duran and Hunter Renfroe as JDM and Alex Verdugo will play daily. The team could slide Verdugo into CF which could result in the demotion of Duren to the minors which would be too bad givens his batted ball data that includes a 91.2 exit velo and 47.6 percent hard hit rate despite contact issues in his first 11 games. Note that Verdugo has three homers in 47 games while hitting .265 with a .317 wOBA. Maybe Schwarber sees some time at first base and the outfield mix remains that same. That is possible too and it would fill what has been a blackhole of offense at the first base position.
|Padres||RHP Daniel Hudson|
|Nationals||RHP Mason Thompson, INF Jordy Barley|
Daniel Hudson is gone, and so is Brad Hand, so the bullpen is in upheaval with the Nationals. Kyle Finnegan got the save last night, the first of his career. Tanner Rainey (if healthy) and Wander Suero are likely in the mix as potential 9th inning options. Hudson has been dynamic this season. He has 14 holds to go along with a 2.20 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 13.22 K/9 and 1.93 BB/9. Like I said, dynamic. He slots in behind Mark Melancon as one of the best setup men in the NL.
Barley has speed but the switch hitter has contact issues. Thompson could one day fill the role of Hudson in the pen for the Nationals.
9:39: As expected, Yan Gomes name is popping up in rumors after the Nationals trade yesterday for the Keibert Ruiz. The Jays and Athletics are being mentioned.
9:37: There are rumors both ways with Trevor Story. Some sources convinced he will be dealt, others not so much. Daniel Bard is in the same boat as a potential yes/no trade piece.
9:35: Kyle Gibson is gonna be dealt today. He is basically the backup option for teams that miss out on Jose Berrios, or if they aren’t willing to pay as much in the trade. His value has to be down after a couple of really rough outings in July. Berrios will de dealt today, and somene is REALLY gonna pay as he is reportedly the best SP on the market at this point.
|Dodgers||RHP Max Scherzer, SS Trea Turner|
|Nationals||RHP Josiah Gray, C Keibert Ruiz, RHP Gerardo Carrillo and OF Donovan Casey, Cash Considerations|
Gotta admit I had a shot of whiskey after reading this deal.
Holy crap indeed.
Max Scherzer will now form the greatest trio of pitching talent in the history of baseball as he, Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw are that group. A free agent after the season, we will see is Scherzer is long for the Dodgers or not, but this move signals many things. (1) Scherzer’s fantasy value ticks slightly upward due to the expected run support boost he will receive in LA. (2) As I have said many times, the Dodgers just print money in the basement. I don’t know if it is good for baseball to have the Dodgers and Yankees try the NBA superteam thing. I don’t like it, but it is what it is. (3) This move likely signals that Trevor Bauer has thrown his last pitch for the Dodgers, at least for 2021. (4) By the way, Scherzer has never been more dominant than he has been to date as his 35.1 percent K-rate and 0.89 WHIP would be career bests.
Trea Turner is slated to play second base for the Dodgers with Corey Seager looking to return from the IL Friday. Turner is currently on the Covid-19 list so he’s gonna be out for a bit, but can’t think the Dodgers make this trade if they are concerned in the least. Turner has been dynamic going .322-18-49-66-21 over 96 games, and his last 155 games back to the start of last season he’s at an astounding 30/30 pace of .321-30-90-112-33. No telling where he will hit in the lineup but I would expect it to be in the top-3, probably right alongside Mookie Betts. His outlook also improves slightly, if that is possible. The Dodgers are also taking on all the salary of Scherzer/Turner.
By the way, with Stephen Strasburg’s 2022 outlook in doubt as well, the Nationals just gutted their team.
Keibert Ruiz is going to be an all-star. Here is from the preseason scouting report. ‘ Of course, he has to deal with the presence of Will Smith and what that means for his playing time outlook. What we do know is his bat-to-ball skills are impressive, given his hand-eye coordination. He rarely swings and misses, and he has just 150 strikeouts in 387 minor league games. His disciplined approach is rare in today’s game, but there are not so quiet whispers he would benefit from some more aggression at the dish. The switch hitter is better from the left side, but he hasn’t shown much power to date, as he’s been satisfied with his ‘take what the pitcher gives me’ approach. His outlook is that of Yadier Molina, offensively.” Note that I meant peak Molina, not the guy we see right now. Might have been undershooting that comp too as Ruiz has destroyed Triple-A pitching with a .311-16-45 effort with a 1.012 OPS over 52 games. Yan Gomes is still there, but it is quite possible that Ruiz is promoted the big leagues soon and that he is splitting reps with Gomes in short order. It is also possible that the Nats send Gomes out in a trade and just turnover catching duties to Ruiz right now.
Josiah Gray made his big-league debut recently, and he has a chance to evolve into an being an all-star as well. For more, check out his Player Profile.
|Mariners||LHP Diego Castillo|
|Rays||RHP J.T. Chargois, 3B, Austin Shenton|
So, the Rays placed Peter Fairbanks on the IL with a shoulder issue, and then hours later dealt Diego Castillo? See how teams don’t even value their own closers anymore? I think we should take that up in the fantasy game. As for the Mariners, they add Castillo to the mix to battle with Paul Sewald and Drew Steckenrider for 9th inning work. As soon as Kendall Graveman was dealt, the situation went full ham in the fantasy space. Now the addition of Castillo makes things even more dicey and could cause all the folks who went out to add Sewald/Steckenrider to be S.O.L. Could we be looking at a shared situation, lefty/righty? Could one take over completely? What a mess.
Oh, and what are the Mariners doing? Graveman is a free agent after the year while Castillo is controllable for through the 2024 season through arbitration.
What do the Rays do now? Nick Anderson is close to a return from an arm injury that has sidelined him all year, but it seems incredibly risky for the Rays to bank on him to work the 9th inning. Perhaps another trade is coming? Craig Kimbrel? The Cubs did pick up the salary of Anthony Rizzo, so might they do the same thing with Kimbrel?
|Yankees||1B Anthony Rizzo, Cash Considerations|
|Cubs||RHP Alexander Vicaino, OF Kevin Alcantara|
The Yankees already added Joey Gallo, and here comes Anthony Rizzo. Let’s play the lineup game. Check out the thunder this team can bring now. Hypothetically, their top-7 could look something like this…
Talk about lefty-righty matchup nightmares.
Rizzo hasn’t been very good since the start of last season, but he still has a .344 OBP in that time, never strikes out, gives professional at-bats every time up and he does have a .808 OPS in July. Further, this is just a crazy stacked lineup, and Yankee Stadium is an amazing place to take hacks. Rizzo’s value improves with this move. Just look at this…
Unlike Gallo, Rizzo becomes a free agent at the end of the year (the Cubs are paying his remaining salary this year).
This move also signals that (A) Luke Voit just isn’t healthy or (B) that Voit will soon be moved to another squad (there are rumors to that effect).
|Dodgers||LHP Danny Duffy|
Danny Duffy is in the IL with a forearm issue and is still 3-4 weeks away according to reports. He’s a nice depth option, but he cannot be trusted as his health seems to be failing a bit. More than that, this guy has made 204 starts out of 234 career appearances. Maybe he will be an Opener? Perhaps had and David Price will tandem up outings? Hard to think the Dodgers will just stick him solely in the bullpen, but they did the same thing with Price. Duffy has one game of five innings pitched since May 15th, and his 26 percent K-rate is well above his career mark of 21 percent, though he does have a career best swinging K-rate (13.6 percent) and in CSW (28.5) as well. He’s pitched to a 2.51 ERA, and there are some decent things going on, but overall, he’s still a guy with a career 3.95 mark who, really, has pitched pretty much to that level this season.
|Yankees||OF Joey Gallo, LHP Joely Rodriguez|
|Rangers||RHP Glenn Otto, 2B Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith and 2B/OF Trevor Hauver|
A huge get for the Yankees that gives them a lineup of Judge/Joey Gallo/Stanton to strike fear into baseball. Legitimately, no team ever has had three players with more raw power than that. Gallo has holes, but he’s a diligent worker, a solid athlete and a Gold Glove defender in the outfield. Over his last 152 games, since the start of last season, Gallo has hit .207 but with a 35-81-80-8 rounding out of the 5×5 line. I’ve noted this before, but in the two seasons in which he’s had 440 plate appearances he has gone 40-80-80. There is volatility with Gallo, and there are so many swings and misses that his average is always going to be pretty awful, but in OBP leagues he’s a better than average option in that category, and when he gets locked in the production comes in bunches. Note that he does have 12 homers his last 23 games even with just one homer in 11 outings. Hitting in that Yankees lineup, at Yankee Stadium… as long as Gallo simply stays within himself, the production in the counting categories should improve making him one of the best power hitters in baseball the rest of the way.
From MLB Pipeline prior to the start of the season, all prospects were in the Yankees top-30: Duran (15), Pereira (17), Hauver (23), Otto (28).
|D’backs||OF Cooper Hummel, INF Alberto Cirprian|
|Brewers||3B Eduardo Escobar|
Eduard Escobar is top-7 in the NL in homers and RBI. A switch hitter who can play multiple spots defensively, he’s a manager’s wet dream. According to this report, he sounds likely to see a good deal of time at third base against righties and some time at first base while facing lefties. That’s putting a lot on a guy – new team, pressure to lead the offense AND a new position defensively – but teams do this all the time now. “That’s not a position [Escobar has] played before, but it’s something we believe he can do and from my conversation with him earlier this evening, he’s certainly up for it,” GM David Stearns said. It could add another position of flexibility to Escobar’s basket, but it also likely signals a death blow to the 2021 outlook of Keston Hiura if you were holding out hope there. Escobar should play daily, power the baseball, and struggle to get on base (.300) or to produce batting average (.246).
|Blue Jays||LHP Brad Hand|
|Nationals||C Riley Adams|
One would think that Hand immediately enters the 9th inning mix as the leader to take the ball. Jordan Romano has worked two scoreless outings in a row, but he’s been very messy his last six outings allowing three homers and five runs. Hand has also been a mess, seven runs his last four outings (3.2 IP), but he has a history of the 9th, and that is one of the leading indicators of getting save chances – having them in the past. On the year there are also troubling signs. His 9.9 percent walk rate is a five year high while his 3.80 BB/9 rate is the worst it has been since 2012. His 8.86 K/9 rate and 23.1 percent K-rate are horrid falls from his average the previous five years of 12.21 and 33.3 percent. It’s a lot of grit and guile at this point.
As for the Nationals, Daniel Hudson is the natural 9th inning pivot. However, he too could be dealt, and he was just placed on the Covid-19 IL list with the Nationals current breakout. Kyle Finnegan got his first career save Thursday for the Nationals.
|Indians||LHP Konnor Pilkington|
|White Sox||2B Cesar Hernandez|
Once Nick Madrigal went down, the White Sox knew they needed to do something, and it appears that they have added that second sacker just in time as first baseman Andrew Vaughn started at second base Thursday for the club.
Hernandez has 18 homers, already a career best. He’s changed his game a lot as his 11.8 percent launch angle is fifty percent above his career mark. He’s hitting the ball in the air way more than he used to, but is that a good thing for his fantasy value? Maybe. His .231 average is forty-one points below his career mark. His .307 OBP is forty points below his career mark. Both those numbers aren’t league average, and they simply aren’t typical of what we saw from Hernandez for nearly a decade. He’s also stolen zero bases his last 154 games, this from a guy who stole 15 bases each year from 2015-18. So, he no longer runs and doesn’t get hits or get on base at a league average rate. The power is his lone selling card at the moment, and that’s a pretty high price to pay in the fantasy game for 25 homers. His ultimate value rest of the way likely comes down to where he hits in the Sox order. If he hits 1-2, he will continue to score a ton a runs. If, as his overall game suggests, he hits 6-8, well then, you know. He really shouldn’t be at the top of the order, so this one likely comes down to if the White Sox do the old school thing and use him there, or realize that his offensive game is actually limited signaling that he should be down in the order. Regardless, he should play daily and be a part of an impressive offense.
Perhaps Andres Gimenez will return to take over second base for Cleveland, but he’s not the callup right now as it is Owen Miller. Gimenez could still get the call but he’s not yet a U.S. Citizen, and apparently that caused some concern about his ability to play in Toronto next week. Gimenez has been effective at Triple-A with a .274/.335/.492 slash line over 45 games as he’s gone deep nine time with six steals. The speed is legit. The power is not. Likely qualifies at shortstop and could also at second base and shortstop. Expect to see Gimenez soon, and he will enter the middle infield mix in deep mixed leagues when that happens.
|Marlins||OF Bryan De La Cruz, RHP Austin Pruitt|
|Astros||RP Yimi Garcia|
Garcia joins a suddenly remade bullpen for the Astros that also added Kendall Graveman (listen to this podcast). Garcia and Graveman are still solid solds options, but their traditional 5×5 value craters since they will help to setup Ryan Pressly. The Marlins get nothing to bolster anyone’s fantasy teams in 2021 though De La Cruz could get some run in the outfield.
|Rockies||RHP Ashton Goudeau|
|White Sox||RHP Ryan Tepera|
|Cubs||LHP Baily Horn|
That’s Andrew Chafin (Athletics) and now Tepera gonzo, leaving Craig Kimbrel the last domino to fall in the bullpen. What a mess that is gonna leave the Cubs as it can be argued that the top-3 in the Cubs’ pen will be gone. Who closes in Chicago? Lefty Rex Brothers and righty Dan Winkler might be at the top of the list. Brother has a mighty 37 percent K-rate and he did save 19 games back in 2013. Winkler has two career saves in a career that began back in 2015. There’s also Rowan Wick (oblique) if he can get health and back on track (he could be back in early August according to reports).
By the way, Tepera has been dynamic this season with a save, 15 holds and a 0.78 WHIP. He’s a nice addition in AL-only leagues for some bullpen help, though of course, there is no saves upside with Liam Hendriks in Chicago.