Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw break down the moves made at the trade deadline and the implications for your fantasy team.
Reds Trade for Jonathan Broxton
For the Reds, Jonathan Broxton simply provides depth and some closer experience. However, he is destined for a middle relief role with the club in front of Aroldis Chapman. The Royals get two quality arms in return and Greg Holland becomes the closer in Kansas City.
Rangers Acquire Ryan Dempster
With the Angels breathing down their necks, the Rangers had to do something before the trade deadline, especially with Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz lost for the season. Ryan Dempster had already been traded to the Braves but he rejected the move last week. He did, however, welcome a trade to the Rangers mere hours before the trade deadline. This is a move that will help Dempster quite a bit when you consider that he has won just five of his 16 starts despite a 2.25 ERA. His ERA is likely to rise in Texas, but I’m sure fantasy managers will welcome it with the additional wins due to the Rangers run support.
Shane Victorino Traded to the Dodgers
One of the better offensive outfielders in baseball, Shane Victorino ends his career with the Phillies now that he has been traded to the Dodgers. He gets plenty of steals, has some pop and reaches base often. However, in Los Angeles, he will likely lose some of that pop, which could keep his average down a tad. Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 1999, Victorino owns a .357 average at Dodgers Stadium and will benefit from having Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the lineup.
Hunter Pence Traded to the Giants
This is the big surprise, as Hunter Pence is 29 years old and clearly in his prime. Though Pence has lost some of his speed this season, he does have some pop and is a line drive hitter. A move to the Giants could cost him some home runs, but at least he will play some meaningful baseball this fall. Regardless, overall the move hurts Pence’s fantasy value.
Yankees Acquire Casey McGehee
For a second straight season, Casey McGehee has struggled at the plate but he is a fine Ty Wigginton type player who can contribute in big moments. What this acquisition does is hurt the fantasy value of Eric Chavez, as three is now a crowd with Jayson Nix also taking some at-bats away while filling in for the injured Alex Rodriguez.
Pirates Acquire Gaby Sanchez
The Pirates had nothing to lose and now hope that a change of scenery will do some good for Gaby Sanchez. After two straight seasons with 572 at-bats and 19 home runs, Sanchez struggled mightily this season with just three home runs and a .202 average before being relegated to the minor leagues. The 28-year-old moves to a more hitter-friendly ballpark and a surprisingly better lineup to resurrect his career.
Cardinals Acquire Edward Mujica
Last year the Cardinals brought in relief help including Octavio Dotel and it worked out well for them. This year, the Cardinals have a bit more work to do but they will not let the bullpen be the team’s unraveling. On Tuesday, the Cards acquired Edward Mujica, a hard-thrower with solid control. He does surrender some home runs but is another quality arm to help bridge the gap to Jason Motte.
Pirates Acquire Travis Snider
Another cheap pickup for the Pirates, Travis Snider has some serious potential, but it just did not work out in Toronto. On the other hand, Pittsburgh is a fine place for him to establish himself and at 24 years old, he has some time to reach his potential. I see Snider as a potential 30-homer guy with more than 10 steals and a respectable average. He is the big bat that the Pirates would love to team up with Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen.
Blue Jays Trade Steve Delabar for Eric Thames
A feel good story in Seattle, Steve Delabar went from a coach to a player in a little over a year and has averaged well over a strikeout per inning this season. He provides the Blue Jays with the power arm that they expected to have in the injured Sergio Santos. His value takes a minor decline since he moves from the pitcher’s haven Safeco Field to the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre.
Eric Thames makes the reverse move from Toronto to Seattle. There won’t be many complaints from Thames since he will likely get a crack at playing everyday with the Mariners. He has some power but really struggles when it comes to the strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Braves Acquire Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm
A .300 hitter for a second straight year, Reed Johnson is very much a utility player with no fantasy value. On the other hand, Paul Maholm has enjoyed his time in Chicago with a 9-6 record and a solid 3.74 ERA. He has surrendered a run or fewer in each of his last six starts. Maholm also boasts a 1.69 ERA in five career starts at Turner Field. Though the Braves only made this deal since Ryan Dempster rejected the trade to Atlanta, I do think this is a nice fit with Maholm as hot as any pitcher in baseball right now.
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By R.J. Anderson //
A day after the Florida Marlins traded Andrew Miller to the Boston Red Sox, the Fish shipped out the other big name from their ill-fated Miguel Cabrera trade, by sending Cameron Maybin to the San Diego Padres. (That leaves only Burke Badenhop remaining in the organization from that package and that’s probably a good thing, given how the others have played during their time in Florida.) The Marlins received two right-handed relievers in return for Maybin – Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica. Both could be in line for some save opportunities if Florida decides to trade closer Leo Nunez.
Webb stands 6’6″ and features a mid-90s fastball. The prototypical closer image with a fierce slider that translates into wicked groundball rates (over 60% for his career), Webb is more than projection, as the arithmetic matches the physiology. Webb’s ERA sits at 3.19 through more than 80 career innings, while his peripherals remain steady with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 2-to-1. Part of Webb’s shine can be attributed to a microscopic home run rate in 2010 (0.15 per nine innings; or one in 59 innings). That will not continue in 2011, but a sub-4.00 ERA would not be out of line.
Meanwhile, Mujica’s inability to keep the ball in the park remains the only aspect separating him from prominence. Since the 2009 season started — coinciding with Mujica becoming a Friar — he has accumulated 163 innings, a 3.80 ERA, 148 strikeouts, 21 unintentional walks…and 28 home runs. His stuff misses bats and he controls it well. Whether the home runs are a short-term blemish or a permanent flaw is to be determined. Having the gopherball bug through more than 200 career innings (with most of that time coming in pitcher-friendly San Diego) suggests it’s probably not going away. Still, his numbers are not too different from those of the incumbent closer, Nunez:
For the Padres to part with two quality relievers with years of cost control left, they required a player with the potential of Maybin. The one attribute about Maybin that will continue to be repeated until the season gets underway is his age. He is only 23 years old despite having more than 600 career plate appearances in the bigs (and a .246/.313/.380 line). That in itself is pretty rare for center fielders. Take the top 10 center fielders during the 2010 season (as determined by FanGraphs’ WAR) and track them at age 23. Here’s what you’ll find:
Josh Hamilton – Not playing baseball due to substance abuse issues.
Andres Torres – In Double-A hitting .294/.391/.393 line.
Carlos Gonzalez – In his second season in the bigs, hitting .284/.353/.525 for Colorado.
Brett Gardner – Hitting .281/.369/.378 between the upper minors.
Angel Pagan – Hitting .271/.333/.395 in his first full season in Triple-A.
Chris Young – Hitting .237/.295/.467 in his first full season in the majors.
Michal Bourn – Getting his first cup of coffee after hitting .277/.356/.385 in the upper minors.
Marlon Byrd – In Double-A hitting .316/.386/.555.
Vernon Wells – First full season in the majors, hitting .275/.305/.457.
Austin Jackson – This season, first full in the majors, hitting .293/.345/.400
With that kind of history, Maybin has some cause for optimism. There is reason to believe he still possesses the tools that made prospect analysts go wild over his potential just three years ago, it’s just a matter of tapping into those tools. Regardless of his immense physical skills, though, Maybin must cut down on his whiffing. The driving force behind his awful line is not a lack of walks (nearly 8%) or success on balls in play (.334 batting average on batted balls) but rather, strikeouts. It’s hard for any player to fare well while striking out in nearly one-third of his career at-bats; particularly when that player hits the ball on the ground a lot, rather than hitting for a lot of power.
There’s an outside chance that the two relievers are more productive in fantasy than Maybin in 2011. There’s even an outside chance that Maybin is relegated to a bench role. It’s hard to see him not breaking camp with the Padres, though, as he is out of options (meaning he cannot be sent to the minors without passing through waivers) and the acquisition cost suggests there was a demand for Maybin on the trade market. At the very least, Maybin is the more intriguing long-term keeper if you’re in a perpetual league.