Which Fantasy Players were most affected by the recent deals?
The 2018 MLB non-waiver trade deadline has passed. There was a flurry of activity leading up to the deadline which makes one wonder, who in the Fantasy world benefitted from a deal, and who didn’t? That’s what this column will be about. My Top 5 players that you should be happy about and those five players that might have gotten you screwed. The is certainly a reactionary list as the sample size is as small as it can get, but still should be fun to look at. There can still be trades in August, but now players need to pass through waivers, which makes things much more difficult. Here’s hoping the trade deadline in your league works out for you better than it may have for some others.
- Ian Kinsler, Boston Red Sox: Kinsler won’t get additional playing time playing for the Red Sox as he was already a full-time player with the Angels, but he will get to play his home games at Fenway Park and in that Sox lineup. Kinsler only had 13 HRs, 32 RBI, and was batting .240 this season. but those numbers figure to go up now that he has been traded. Remember, we don’t care what a player has done in the past, in Fantasy it really only matters what we forecast him to do from this point forward. Kinsler could be a nice addition to your middle infield spot if you can acquire him.
- Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers: We all knew Moustakas would be traded before the deadline, it was just a matter of when and where. Milwaukee is a nice landing spot. It’s one of the better hitter’s parks in the majors, certainly much better than Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Throw in that he will be part of a lineup that is built to slug their opponents to death and Fantasy owners have to be thrilled about this move.
- Chris Archer, Pittsburgh Pirates: Archer’s name had been on the rumor mill for most of the season, but most didn’t figure a trade would ever come to pass, and certainly not to the Pirates. The move has to be a plus for Archer and his Fantasy owners. He moves to the National League, a weaker league as far as lineups are concerned. More importantly, he moves away from the American League East and their unforgiving lineups and hitter’s ballparks.
- Cole Hamels, Chicago Cubs: Every starting pitcher moving from the AL to the NL should get a boost in their Fantasy value and Hamels is no exception. His home/road splits just go to prove how difficult it was for him to pitch in Texas, especially when his velocity has dipped and he’s not throwing as many strikes as in years past. People may think that Wrigley Field is a hitter’s park but with the wind blowing in, it’s actually a pitcher’s park, and the wind blows in more often than it blows out.
- Brandon Drury, Toronto Blue Jays: Drury’s career with the Yankees really never got off the ground. He was hurt early this season, which allowed the team to call up Miguel Andujar and once Andujar got his chance, he wasn’t about to give it back. Drury will get another shot to prove he’s a starter for the Blue Jays and valuable for Fantasy leaguers once again.
- Eduardo Nunez, Boston Red Sox: The addition of Kinsler will mean that someone will have to lose playing time. Dustin Pedroia is out for the season so really nothing has changed with his playing status. It’s Nunez that will see less and less playing time, especially when Rafael Devers comes back from the disabled list and third base is no longer an option. The problem for Nunez is defense. He’s just not reliable as a defender anywhere on the field. The Red Sox will still find a way to start him once or twice a week in a utility role but overall his biggest value to the team may be as a pinch runner.
- Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves: The Braves acquired Adam Duvall on Monday. There is no designated hitter in the NL, so where does he fit in? Nick Markakis is having a revival season and Ronald Acuna is in the running for Rookie of the Year. That leaves Inciarte and his .668 OPS looking at a platoon. Granted, Inciarte will be on the better end of that platoon as he will start against right-handers, but he will no longer be an everyday player.
- Travis Shaw, Milwaukee Brewers: I’m not sure what the Brewers were thinking this trade deadline. They acquired Moustakas, which forced Shaw to move over to second base, a position he is not suited for. Then they acquired Jonathan Schoop, a second baseman. Schoop could play some shortstop in a pinch but certainly not every day. This trade either makes Shaw a role player or hurts the value of Shaw, Moustakas, and Schoop, as one will have to sit each game, or the team will just play all three and throw defense out the window.
- Brian Dozier, Los Angeles Dodgers: This was also not a surprise, as the Dodgers have been in on Dozier for over a year, but like with the Brewers, who sits when everyone is healthy? Justin Turner is on the DL but when healthy enough to return he plays third base, with Manny Machado at shortstop, and Chris Taylor at second base. Sure, Taylor could play some outfield, but that unit is also crowded. Throw in that manager Dave Roberts stated after the trade that Dozier wouldn’t necessarily be an everyday player and you have a mess for Fantasy owners.
- Pick a former closer: July was a rough one for Fantasy owners who were relying on saves from certain closers. Keone Kela, Zach Britton, Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera, Jeurys Familia, and Brad Hand all will no longer close for their new teams. That’s 20 percent of the league that lost their closer this month via trade. Granted, what is destroyed is born again as it also means there were six new closers which could help Fantasy teams in need, but once again this trade deadline proved what a volatile position closer is.
Brian Dozier Featured Image: (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)