By Ian Kay
Remember when Cliff Lee almost definitely a Yankee? Well, now Roy Oswalt has for sure been traded to the Phillies. Maybe. Unless he doesn’t like Philadelphia.
That deal would be a hearty Trade Season entrée, but nothing is certain until the dotted lines are signed on and the prospects are named later. What we do know is that two other deals went down on Wednesday. They may only be soup-and-salad level, but they are 100 percent guaranteed to actually be real. Analysis awaits:
Detroit has been overwhelmed by injuries of late, so this is more of a depth move than anything else. Peralta will take over at third base until Brandon Inge returns from the DL in mid-to-late August, then move into a time-share arrangement with Danny Worth at shortstop.
Once a valuable 20-homer middle infielder, the 28-year-old’s fantasy value has fallen off a cliff since the end of ’08. He’s now a batting average liability who doesn’t run and isn’t likely to hit more than five home runs the rest of the way. While Detroit’s lineup should produce more runs than Cleveland’s, Peralta’s career numbers at Comerica Park — .243/.293/.365 with five homers in 243 plate appearances — are less than encouraging. Mixed leaguers shouldn’t feel obligated to make a move, and even AL-only owners can consider his value roughly unchanged.
…from the Indians for pitching prospect Giovanni Soto.
A young catcher who can hit? That seems like a lot to give up for… Ohhh. That’s Geovany Soto. This is Giovanni Soto. Well, Giovanni was a 21st round pick in the ’09 Draft and wasn’t listed among Baseball America’s top-10 Tigers prospects before the season. A 2.10 ERA and 113 Ks in 128 1/3 career Minor League innings are impressive, but the left-hander has yet to pitch above Class A. At 19 years old, Soto is a long way from any kind of fantasy relevance.
This one hurts. Podsednik has provided a ton of sneaky value for deep-league and AL-only owners with 30 steals and a .310 average as the Royals’ everyday left-fielder. The situation in Hollywood, however, is far more complicated. Once Manny Ramirez returns from the DL — probably mid-August — Podsednik is likely the odd man out in Joe Torre’s outfield. Even as a backup, he’ll compete with Reed Johnson (also on the DL) and Garrett Anderson (washed up) for at-bats.
The Dodgers run almost as often as the Royals and a better surrounding lineup will mitigate some of Dodger Stadium’s run-suppressing effects, but all that will be moot if Podsednik is only starting once or twice per week. Mixed league owners can hang onto him for now but should start scouring the waiver wire and trade market for alternative speed merchants. The 34-year-old becomes an immediate drop in those formats when Manny returns. Podsednik’s short-term steal potential makes him worth a claim In NL-only leagues, albeit not a top priority one.
MLB.com prospexpert Jonathan Mayo has all the details on Kansas City’s return here. May is 25 years old and could develop into a big league starter, but he’ll head to Triple-A for now. The Royals appear content with Jason Kendall for the rest of 2010. Pimentel has decent numbers at Class A but, like Soto, is probably several years from big league action.