- Wood loses just about all of his value with the move. He’ll be setting up for Mariano Rivera instead of recording his own saves from here on out.
- Chris Perez is the guy to grab. The 25-year-old converted 11 of 14 save opportunities — including each of his last six — while Wood was on the DL and is now entrenched in the stopper role. Barring further control issues (4.7 K/9), he should be good for at least 10 more saves.
- Dotel is basically in the same situation as Wood. He’ll lose his save opportunities — and almost all of his fantasy value — in L.A.
- Either Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek will now assume the Pirates’ closer role. Meek has better numbers on the year but Hanrahan has closing experience and 10 straight scoreless outings. I’d add Hanrahan first, but we won’t know for sure for at least a couple days.
- McDonald will likely slot into the Pirates rotation. He hasn’t impressed in 53 career Major League games (five starts) but was a highly touted prospect as recently as two years ago. The Minor League numbers — 3.49 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 — should entice pitching-needy NL-only owners immediately. Don’t be shocked if he gains spot-start usefulness in mixers late this year.
He got handed a winning lottery ticket on Saturday, however, not only getting a boost from going to a contending team in the National League, but landing in the hands of the magic wizard also know as Dave Duncan. Westbrook will try to follow in the footsteps of fellow right-handers like Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan, Kyle Lohse, Joel Pineiro, and Brad Penny (pre-injury), who rejuvenated their careers under the tutelage of Duncan. Expect Westbrook’s current 4.65 ERA to drop at least a full run for the rest of the season, while he racks up 5-6 victories.
- The 24-year-old Kluber is a mid-level prospect at this point, and is at least a year away from making an impact in Cleveland. The right-hander has racked up a great strikeout rate at Double-A (136 Ks in 122 2/3 innings) but his 6-6 record, 3.46 ERA and 1.31 WHIP screams No. 3 starter at best.
(Guest appearance by Alex Novick)
The Yankees, apparently not fully satiated from nabbing Lance Berkman, plucked Austin Kearns from the Indians late Friday night in exchange for a player to be named later.
- Berkman stumbled out of the gate this season after undergoing offseason knee surgery, as he posted a .227-5-17 line with a .398 slugging through his first 128 at-bats.
- However, the Puma has flashed his All-Star form as of late, hitting .274 with six taters, 14 RBIs and a .613 slugging over his last 61 at-bats, covering a span of 18 games.
- Batting in the heart of the Yankees lineup, Berkman will be hitting in the best lineup he’s ever been placed in, and should thrive with the short right field porch at his disposal.
- Though he’s struggled largely on the year, I’m banking he returns to his dominant mixed-league form that we’ve been accustomed to for the last 11 seasons while starting primarily as New York’s designated hitter.
- The moment the Astros swapped outfielder Anthony Gose for Wallace right after the Roy Oswalt deal, you knew Berkman’s day would be numbered.
- The 24-year-old Wallace was a key cog in the Matt Holliday trade last season and was
sent to Toronto in exchange for Michael Taylor right after the Roy
Halladay trade in December.
- Wallace was hitting .301 with 18 homers, 61
RBIs and a .509 slugging percentage with Triple-A Las Vegas prior to
- He should immediately take over as the Astros’ starting first baseman and could be placed in the heart of the lineup around Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee and Chris Johnson.
- A .285-5-30 line down the stretch is well within reach, making Wallace a borderline mixed-league option.
In a relatively minor deal, the Rangers acquired infielder/outfielder Christian Guzman (.282 AVG, 44 R, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 4 SB) from the Nationals on Friday for a couple of low-level pitching prospects.
The Twins joined the Trade Deadline bonanza late Thursday night, acquiring Nationals closer Matt Capps in exchange for highly regarded catching prospect Wilson Ramos.
The Padres acquired third baseman Miguel Tejada from the Orioles on Thursday in exchange for Minor League pitcher Wynn Pelzer. Tejada didn’t have much fantasy value in Baltimore, and he won’t have much fantasy value in San Diego.
- Though the Padres desperately need to upgrade their shortstop position with Everth Cabrera hitting .201 on the year, Tejada is expected to primarily spell Chase Headley, who has posted an underwhelming .269-7-34 line over 98 games primarily at the hot corner
- Tejada, who posted an almost-identical .269-7-39 in his return to Baltimore this season, hasn’t been a mixed-league factor in ’10 and certainly won’t be one now playing half his games at PETCO Park.
- I have to think Tejada will play more shortstop for San Diego than reports initially indicate, but since he already has shortstop eligiblity after playing 158 games at that position last season with the Astros, this does little for his fantasy prospects.
- For what it’s worth, Tejada owns a lifetime .288/.321/.365 triple-slash over 52 at-bats at PETCO Park.
- Oh, and feel free to erase Pelzer’s name from your memory bank, as the 24-year-old right-hander sported a 4.20 ERA with a .277 average against and 83/56 K/BB ratio over 94 1/3 innings with Double-A Texas. This was pretty much just a salary dump on the O’s part. And I can’t blame them.
- The big winner who emerged from this trade is Orioles top positional prospect and third baseman Josh Bell, who will take over the hot corner in Charm City for the rest of the season. Bell went 5-for-19 (.263) during a cup of coffee earlier this month with B-More, but has hit .273 with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and a .481 slugging percentage over 316 at-bats with Triple-A Norfolk this season. The 23-year-old is projected to be the O’s third baseman of the future and is a must-add in any AL-only format.
The Phillies have reportedly come to an agreement with the Astros to acquire Roy Oswalt in exchange for starter J.A. Happ and a few rumored prospects. The deal apparently all hinges on whether Oswalt waives his no-trade clause and is OK being the second-best Roy on the team.
- The soon-to-be 33-year-old was already in the midst of a quality season, as his 3.42 ERA is his lowest clip since his ’07 campaign and his 1.11 WHIP is his best mark since his rookie year in ’01.
- Despite the friendly hitting confines of Minute Maid Park, Oswalt has been dominant on his home turf throughout his career, posting a 2.89 ERA over 998 1/3 career innings. Combine that with the fact that his new stomping grounds — Citizens Bank Park — favors batters, as well, and a change of home ballparks would likely only have a nominal affect on Oswalt’s performance.
- The one main promising prospect for Oswalt is the hope that jettisoning the second-to-last-place Astros in favor of the contending Phillies will reinvigorate the Houston ace and he can repeat what Cliff Lee did last season for the Phils. Though this remains a possibility, I just don’t see it happening. Oswalt is a fine pitcher but Lee is Lee, and judging by his current 114/7 K/BB ratio, last season’s success with the Phils was really only the tip of the iceberg for the all-world southpaw.
- With that said, outside of a few more wins, expect more of the same from Oswalt should he pitch in Philly. And, frankly, that’s not a bad thing. A mid-to-low ERA in the threes combined with a K/9 rate in the eights still makes him a Top 30 fantasy starter going forward.