Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw break down some of the major storylines in baseball as the trade deadline approaches.
Trade Analysis: Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers
The Dodgers made a splash by acquiring former Marlins sensation Hanley Ramirez for Nathan Eovaldi and a willingness to take on Ramirez’s salary. First of all, this is the way it should be for Los Angeles. The Dodgers are supposed to be the West Coast Yankees, so it’s good to see them open the check book to bring in some star potential.
The move also makes baseball sense. The team already has two of the best hitters and pitchers in baseball, so it’s not a bad idea to go for the gold now. Eovaldi is too young to be depended on, while, even at his worst, HanRam is scoring runs and offering some pop and speed. On a side note, of all stadiums where Ramirez has played at least 65 games, his .388 average at Dodgers Stadium is easily the highest.
On the Market: Alfonso Soriano
With 19 home runs and 58 RBI, Alfonso Soriano is once again a solid slugger at the big-league level. He is also due to make $18 million in each of the next two seasons. His high performance provides the Cubbies with a window to trade him. Ken Rosenthal reported that at least one team has interest in the veteran outfielder.
Sellers: Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies are in a very interesting situation right now. They have some very bad contracts, though their huge investment in Cole Hamels is not one of them. He is still young at 28 years old and was developed within the Phillies system. The team is out of contention this season and must rebuild in the next few years. The only way players such as Shane Victorino could be dealt is if the Phillies get back prospects who will be ready to start next year.
Sellers: New York Mets
After a great first half, the Mets have won just one game since the All-Star break and could try to make a move. Johan Santana’s injury hurts them, as he is due so much money andcould have been traded. The Mets would have been happy to deal him in return for prospects.
With Santana injured, if there is a Mets player to be traded, it’s infielder Daniel Murphy. Jordany Valdespin has been incredible this season and offers more versatility and better defense than Murphy. However, the Mets will only make a trade if they get something back which they are really able to use, such as a power arm for the bullpen.
Sellers: Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have been buyers recently, bringing in players such as Zack Greinke and Aramis Ramirez, but it has not worked out. The best case scenario for them is that Greinke decides to stay in Milwaukee, which may not be very realistic. The Brewers were also shopping reliever Francisco Rodriguez and tried to increase his value. K-Rod, however, imploded with blown saves in consecutive appearances against the Phillies, likely costing the Brewers some prospects.
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Koji Uehara to the Rangers
Statistically he is one of the best pitchers in baseball with a stellar 1.69 ERA and even better 0.69 WHIP. In other words it’s rare that someone reaches base and even rarer that someone scores against Uehara. The bad news for his fantasy managers is that he will remain in the setup role while playing in a much more hitter-friendly stadium. Not a major impact, but not one for the better either.
Mike Adams to the Rangers
A lot of fantasy managers picked Adams up in a speculative move with hopes that he would close should Heath Bell get traded. As it turns out, it’s Adams who got traded while Bell stays in San Diego. Adams has been dominant this season with a 1.12 ERA, but again this is a pitcher moving from one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks to a dangerous ballpark. I would drop him since he will remain in middle relief.
Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians
This is a monster move by the Rockies and they scooped up a lot of young talents. What it comes down to is two things. First of all, Is Ubaldo more like the pitcher from last year when he almost won the Cy Young, or this season when his record is 6-9. The second part is whether Ubaldo will thrive now that he is out of Coors. At 27 years old, the Indians believe the gamble was worth taking since they are in need of an ace. I like the chances of this one working out for them as Jimenez boasts a 3.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the road this season.
Erik Bedard to the Red Sox
The Red Sox were not able to come to terms for Rich Harden, so they settled for the next best injury-prone Canadian. Bedard, like Harden, has all of the talent in the world. However, the big question is whether he will be healthy enough for a playoff run. Just 31 years old, Bedard has pitched better on the road this season to the tune of a 2.16 ERA. On the other hand, for his career Bedard boasts a 6.99 ERA at Fenway.
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Carlos Beltran, OF, Giants
The numbers don’t do Carlos Beltran justice this season. Sure, he only has 15 home runs, but he also has 30 doubles. That tells me in a more favorable ballpark he’d have closer to 20 home runs. He may only have 3 steals, but he has scored 61 runs, that tells me he is not lagging on the basepaths. His on base percentage is .391, which is 30 points better than his career mark. His average, slugging, and OPS are all better than his season average as well. Now he is moving to San Francisco, which should have a minor impact on his production. The ballpark remains tough, but worse than that, he does not have Jose Reyes hitting in front of him. This might not be a bad time for fantasy managers to sell high on the veteran All-Star.
Lucas Duda, OF, Mets
In his first game as the Mets regular right-fielder, Lucas Duda sent one over the fence. There should be many more coming. The 6’4, 254 lbs. California native is a slugger. He may only boast two home runs this season, but he has 10 doubles and three triples despite just 123 at bats so far this season. His average is at a healthy .276 and the OBP of .350 is stellar. Duda will have every chance of earning the Mets starting right-field job next season, though honestly, what they should consider is moving him to left and Jason Bay off the roster.
Colby Rasmus, OF, Blue Jays
A former first round pick who simply did not get along with Tony LaRussa, Rasmus is a five-tool talent who still has plenty of room for improvement. After blasting 23 home runs last season with 12 stolen bases, Rasmus has just 11 dingers this season. On that note, his numbers should progress quite well once he leaves St. Louis. He’ll have Jose Bautista instead of Albert Pujols providing protection, and also the Rogers Centre is a very favorable hitting environment. Rasmus is a popular buy-low option.
Edwin Jackson, SP, Cardinals
A winner of three of the last four starts, Edwin Jackson is having a fine season despite the 7-7 record, his ERA is 3.92 and he has surrendered just eight home runs in 121.2 innings of work. The big concern with him is the high WHIP. This season it’s because he’s getting hit a bit too often to the tune of a .283 average. The good news for him is that he will now be under the tutelage of Dave Duncan. One of the best pitching coaches in the game, this can have a great impact on Jackson’s career.
Marc Rzepczynski, RP, Cardinals
Another winner in the big deal between the Blue Jays, White Sox, and Cardinals is Rzepczynski. Just 26 years old, this southpaw boasts a 2.97 ERA and 1.05 WHIP this season. I would also love to see how he handles starting. He was very promising a few years back and he can really miss some bats. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Rzepczynski in the Cardinals starting rotation next season. He has star potential.