Tagged: tradespin

Tradespin deadline roundup: Lilly in L.A., new closers in Cleveland, Pittsburgh

By Ian Kay
Pencils down, people — he non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed.
Here are the CliffsNotes: Grab Chris Perez and Joel Hanrahan. Trade for Ted Lilly. Drop Kerry Wood and Octavio Dotel. Keep an eye on James McDonald
Read on for the full rundown.
Dodgers acquire SP Ted Lilly and SS/2B Ryan Theriot from Cubs for 2B Blake DeWitt and two prospects:
  • This is a major win for Lilly owners. The left-hander has pitched well this season (3.69 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 6.8 K/9) but has just 3-8 thanks to the third-worst run support of any NL starter. The Dodgers offense should provide a boost and Dodger Stadium is a much better fit for his flyball tendencies than Wrigley Field. Consider Lilly a top 40 SP the rest of the way.
  • Theriot’s value should remain roughly the unchanged as Joe Torre starts him regularly at second base. Extra playing time for Ronnie Belliard or Jamey Carroll could complicate things. The new ballpark is more pitcher-friendly, but a stronger lineup and a more frequent green light on the bases is a plus. 
  • The 24-year-old DeWitt flashed promising power for a keystone in the Minors but it hasn’t translated to the big leagues yet. While a change of scenery could help, he’s not mixed-league relevant at this point.
Yankees acquire RP Kerry Wood from Indians for PTBNL: 
  • 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.
Dodgers acquire RP Octavio Dotel from Pirates for SP James McDonald and a prospect:
  • 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. 

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Tradespin: Berkman to the Bronx

(By Dave)


The Yankees are on the verge of acquiring Lance Berkman from the Astros. This is good news for the Big Puma. 

Should this deal go down, and indications are that it will, two people’s value will increase somewhat dramatically: Berman’s and Astros new first baseman Brett Wallace’s.  

The lowdown on Berkman:

  • 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 lowdown on Wallace:

  • 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
    Thursday’s swap.
  • 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. 

Tradespin: Christian Guzman — Kinsler insurance or Kinsler replacement?

By Ian Kay

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.

Mixed leagues: Owners in mixers with 12 or fewer teams only to worry about this deal for one reason: It may mean Ian Kinsler isn’t coming back from that groin strain any time soon. Sure, it’s possible Texas just wanted a better backup middle infielder than Joaquin Arias. But with an 8.5 game lead in the AL West, would they really trade for Guzman if they expected Kinsler back by mid-August? Owners invested in the All-Star keystone should make sure they have a backup they’d be comfortable using for most of August and possibly September, too — preferably one more productive than Guzman.
Ian Desmond and Adam Kennedy should each receive a playing time boost in Washington as a result of the move. Desmond is the more valuable of that pair. His approach at the plate is still a little raw (66K, 15 BB), but he has the talent to hit four or five homers and swipe as many bases down the stretch.
AL-only: A .280-plus average at a middle infield slot — even without much power or speed — certainly holds value in these formats. The Rangers’ stacked lineup and Arlington’s August heat figure to increase Guzman’s run and RBI totals, and the 32-year-old’s versatility (20-plus games at 2B, SS; 8 at OF this season) could earn him a few starts per week even after Kinsler returns. If you’re starting Maicer Izturis, Mike Aviles or Mark Ellis, Guzman will likely be an upgrade over the season’s final two months.

Tradespin: Capps sent to Twins for catching prospect Ramos


(By Dave)

The Twins joined the Trade Deadline bonanza late Thursday night, acquiring Nationals closer Matt Capps in exchange for highly regarded catching prospect Wilson Ramos.

As I post this I have no idea if Capps will become the Twins closer or if the job will remain with Jon Rauch. My gut tells me the Twins won’t want to mess with a good thing and will keep Rauch in the ninth-inning role. My gut also tells me gorditas from the taco truck was a good idea a couple hours ago. (Editor’s note: Capps is reportedly the favorite to close in the Twin Cities). 
Anyway, whoever becomes the closer has fantasy value. Whoever becomes the setup man loses fantasy value — it’s that easy.
Another question emerges in the nation’s capital as either Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard will take the reigns as the club’s stopper. Storen, widely considered the team’s closer of the future after being selected in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft last season, owns a 2.73 ERA with a 26/14 K/BB ratio over 29 2/3 frames with the big club. The veteran Clippard has a 3.26 ERA with a 69/28 K/BB ratio. My money is on the young’en who throws heat  — Storen.
Ramos is a nice return for the Nats. Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 58 overall prospect in the game heading into the season, Ramos is a stellar defensive catcher but has had trouble staying on the field and has been scuffling at the plate all season long. Over 71 games with Triple-A Rochester, the soon-to-be 23-year-old sports a .241 average with five homers, 30 RBIs and a .345 slugging over 75 games. He did manage to turn in a combined .317-.339-.496 triple-slash across a couple Minor League stints last year. Expect him to start behind the plate next season on Opening Day for the Nats. 

Tradespin: Saved by the Tejada — Bell big winner in trade

(By Dave)

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. 

Here’s what you need to know:
  • 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. 

Tradespin: Rangers cannot afford a new 1B? Cantu!


(By Dave)

According to numerous reports, the Rangers have acquired cornerman Jorge Cantu from the Marlins in exchange for Double-A right-handers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda.
A free-agent-to-be, Cantu is hitting .259 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs and a .408 slugging this season for the Marlins.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, these numbers are still much better than whatever Chris Davis (.188-0-3; 101 AB) has been providing.
Furthermore, with Ian Kinsler on the DL with a strained left groin, Cantu — who has played over 200 games in his career at 1B, 2B and 3B — can provide insurance there, as well.
Shifting to a much better lineup and a much better ballpark should heavily increase Cantu’s fantasy value the rest of the way, and the possibility that he could add second-base eligibility makes him a virtual must-add in any format in which he has been dropped.
Cantu posted a .289-16-100 line last season over 149 with the Fish, and there’s little reason to think he can’t replicate — if not top — those type of numbers the rest of the way in Texas.

Tradespin: Two Roys are Better than One

(By Dave)

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.

Despite the immense real-life baseball ramifications of the deal, a move to the Land of a Thousand Cheesesteaks will likely have little affect on Oswalt’s fantasy value.
Here’s why:
  • 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.

Tradespin: Jhonny Peralta to Detroit; Scott Podsednik to L.A.

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:
Trade 1: The Tigers acquired infielder Jhonny Peralta
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. 
Trade 2: The Dodgers acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik
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.  
…from the Royals for a pair of prospects — catcher Lucas May and right-hander Elisaul Pimentel.

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.

Tradespin: Dan Haren done dealing in the desert

By Ian Kay

The Angels and Diamondbacks got together on a deal Sunday, with right-hander Dan Haren heading to Lala Land in exchange for left-hander Joe Saunders, pitching prospects Rafael Rodriguez and Patrick Corbin and a player to be named later — reportedly pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs.

What the Angels got:

In Dan Haren, the Halos receive…well, that depends. Between ’05 and ’09, the right-hander was one of the baseball’s great under-appreciated assets. Over those five seasons — the first three with the A’s, the last two in Arizona — he averaged 15 wins per season with a 3.53 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 7.8 K/9. His K/BB paced the Majors in each of the past two campaigns.
This year, however, has been a different story. Despite increasing his K-rate once again (he’s done that in each successive season of his career) to 9.00 and keeping his walks at a better-than-respectable 1.9 BB/9, Haren is 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. The difference? Our old friends, BABIP, HR/FB rate and LOB percentage. 
Haren is seeing more balls in play drop for hits (.350 BABIP in ’10, .305 career), more of his flyballs leave the park (13.9 percent in ’10, 11.1 career) and stranding fewer runners on base (70.9 percent in ’10, 73.2 career) than usual. Plain and simple, it’s bad luck. That’s really the only explanation for a 4.86 K/BB ratio producing an ERA worse than the league average.
Sometimes, a change of scenery is the perfect solution to luck-induced mediocrity. Haren moves to a tougher league, but he’ll also toss home turns in a far more pitcher-friendly ballpark and have a much more reliable bullpen protecting potential victories. There’s no guarantee he’ll turn things around this year, but the percentages are in his favor. I liked him as a buy low before and I like him even better now. How does 7 wins with a 3.11 ERA, 84 Ks and a 1.08 WHIP sound? Good? I thought so. Make an offer if his owner isn’t into the whole “advanced stats” thing.
What the Diamondbacks got:

In short, not much fantasy owners need to worry about. This looks more like a salary dump than anything else.
Joe Saunders is what he is at this point: a pitch-to-contact lefty whose ERA is mostly dependent on luck. He posted a 3.41 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in ’08 thanks to a .257 BABIP, but a 4.61 mark in 306 innings since then is probably a better indicator of his true talent level. Chase Field deflates his fantasy value slightly, but Saunders was just spot start material in 12-team mixed leagues anyway.
The other players the D-backs received figure to have even less immediate fantasy value than Saunders. Rafael Rodriguez is a right-handed reliever with 32 2/3 Major League innings under his belt. Arizona’s ‘pen has been a mess all year, but even Raf-Rod isn’t a high-K option and probably won’t factor into the saves picture any time soon.
Neither Patrick Corbin nor Tyler Skaggs has pitched above Class A, but Arizona’s return in this trade will ultimately depend on their development. Skaggs, the 40th overall pick in the ’09 Draft, has a 3.60 ERA and 82 Ks in 82 1/3 innings with Class A Cedar Rapids. Corbin, a second-rounder a year ago, has a 3.88 ERA and 64 whiffs in 60 1/3 innings one level higher at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Both should be on the radar for owners in deep dynasty formats, but they’re still at least two years away from contributing in the Majors.

Tradespin: The one with Yunel Escobar and Alex Gonzalez

By Dave Feldman and Ian Kay
A decently sized trade went down on Wednesday, as the Braves and Blue Jays swapped shortstops. The mind-numbingly frustrating Yunel Escobar heads to Toronto and the over-achieving Alex Gonzalez will take his talents to Atlanta. Additionally, the Braves sent pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes over the border, with Minor Leaguers Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky going the other way. 
What the Jays got …
For owners still holding Escobar after a .238/28/0/19/5 first half, this trade provides a dash of hope on the horizon. 
The 27-year-old was the 10th shortstop and 115th overall player drafted in Yahoo! leagues before the season, but currently ranks outside the position’s top-30. Basically, owners were expecting Elvis Andrus or Alexei Ramirez value but got Nick Punto or Cesar Izturis instead. Ick.
Or rather, owners got that (lack of) production until about mid-May and then dumped Escobar like third period French. He’s currently 45 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
A gander at Escobar’s peripheral stats shows few significant differences between this season and ’09, when he posted a .299/89/14/76/5 line and was fantasy’s eighth-most valuable shortstop. His strikeouts are down slightly, his walks are up and his batted ball rates are roughly the same.
So why the Rey Ordonez-esque numbers all of the sudden? Well for one, Escobar’s BABIP this year is .270, compared to a .316 career mark. For another, none of his fly balls have cleared the fence. His HR/FB percentages the last three years: 10.1, 9.1 and 7.9.
Trade or no trade, this is a man due for a serious luck reversal.
Not that the trade won’t help. The Braves scored two more runs than the Blue Jays in the season’s first half, but Toronto’s lineup blasted 66 more home runs and slugged 51 points higher in that span. Toronto also offers a better home ballpark for hitters, and Escobar will have the luxury of more games at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium and less Nationals Park and Citi Field.
Put together the luck factor and the change of scenery, and, I’m giving Escobar a “cautious buy” rating. For those of you familiar with the Homeland Security Advisory System color scale, Escobar would be Status Yellow: Elevated — significant risk of solid production.
I say he does something around .290 AVG 37 R, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 3 SB the rest of the way and proves more valuable than Gonzalez, Marco Scutaro and Ryan Theriot in the second half.
Jo-Jo Reyes, the other piece going to Toronto in this deal, is far less interesting for mixed leaguers. The left-hander has a career 6.40 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and 128/98 K/BB ratio in 41 Major League appearances (37 starts). His Minor League K numbers are intriguing, but he’ll likely begin the second half in Triple-A and is only a spot-start option in deeper mixers if called up.
What the Braves got …
Leaving Canada and the friendly confines of the Rogers Centre along withthe power-hitting Blue Jays lineup should likely translate into diminished power production for Gonzalez, who was batting .259 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs at the break. But, hey, it’s not like you really expected him to hit 30 home runs this year, anyway. A lifetime .248 hitter, Gonzalez’s .259 average shouldn’t change too much with the change of scenery, but his likely drop in power production should relegate him to the bench or even waiver wire in most mixed-league formats. 
Counterpoint: The trade of poutine for peaches should only help his waistline. 
The big coup in this deal for Atlanta comes in a small package. Tim Collins is just adorable! The five-foot-seven, 155-pound Collins has been one of Toronto’s most eye-opening prospects this season, as the southpaw reliever posted a 2.51 ERA with a jaw-dropping 73/16 K/BB ratio over 43 innings for Double-A New Hampshire. The Braves have a keen eye for young pitching talent,as Collins will now join Arodys Vizcaino, Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado in what is widely regarded as the most formidable collection of Minor League pitching prospects.
The 20-year-old Pastornicky was a fifth-round pick by the Jays in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and was batting 258 with 16 doubles, six home runs and 35 RBI in 77 games for Class A Dunedin. He’s stil a ways away from potentially making a Major League impact. I wish I could tell you more about him, but I can’t.