The trade deadline is fast approaching, and we could see a flurry of activity just before the clock strikes 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 2. Here’s where we’ll break down all of the most notable moves from a Fantasy Baseball perspective.
Christian Vazquez transferred to Astros
The Astros have taken the defensive receiver route the past two years with Martin Maldonado and won’t lose much in that regard with Vazquez. They will, however, get a boost in attack. Vazquez bounced back from a down year to become the eighth-best receiver in both major scoring formats. Perhaps more interesting than his involvement in this deal is prospect Enmanuel Valdez coming the other way. The 5-foot-9 utility player has been surprisingly productive between double- and triple-A this year, slashing .327/.410/.606 with 21 home runs in 327 at-bats. His small size and lack of a defensive home keep him low on traditional ranking lists, but he could surprise in Fantasy if he’s lucky enough to replace an injured Trevor Story at second base.
Tommy Pham traded to the Red Sox
While he certainly didn’t hit his 91st percentile average outbound speed or 84th percentile hard hit rate, Pham made strong enough contributions across the board to rank 40th among outfielders in the leagues of head-to-head points and 35th in Rotisserie. You might assume where he lives has something to do with it, but Pham only has slightly better numbers at Great American Ball Park than on the road. He could do better at Fenway Park, his weird setup known for increasing batters’ BABIPs, but most likely his value remains about the same. Meanwhile, his departure gives players like Nick Senzel and Jake Fraley an easier path to bats, but there’s no standout potential waiting in the wings.
This seemingly low-key deal could actually have an impact in Fantasy given how important the park change is to Mancini’s swing in particular. He shoots the ball in the air more than the average hitter (about 25% of the time, according to FanGraphs), which would normally be a good indicator of power, but the Orioles have of course moved their fences from left field this year. Minute Maid Park, meanwhile, is best known for its small porch in left field. The sites couldn’t be further apart for this stretch of outfield fence – we’re talking tens of feet – and rightly so, Statcast suggests Mancini would have more than twice as many home runs, 22 in total, if he had played all his games in Houston this year.
he won’t play everything his games in Houston even now are worth noting, but he will play enough that he can be a top 40 outfielder in the future.
Stock up for Montas, of course, as he goes from the team with the worst record in the AL to the one with the best. As good as the rest of his stat line looks, it’s his 4-9 record that makes him the 52nd-best starting pitcher in run leagues and 46th-best in 5×5. He could have been 9-4 had he been with the Yankees from the start, and I would expect him to be a top 25 starting pitcher going forward. Of course, there’s also the fact that he’s going from one of the best pitching parks to one of the worst, but that won’t affect him as much as his 5.01 road ERA would have you believe. For a full explanation why as well as a breakdown of the perspectives (namely Ken Waldichuk) going the other way,.
Hader will continue to do his thing, just for a new team. The Padres are just as much in contention as the Brewers, so he’s still just as prolific as a source of backups. The bigger question is who is closing now for the Brewers. Rogers seems like the easy choice, but the Padres had just removed him from his role after a horrible July in which he allowed 10 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings. So the best bet might be Devin Williams, long considered a closer-in-waiting with his airbender change (h/t @PitchingNinja) and career 14.7 K/9.
Because Rogers throws left and Williams throws right, it could become something of a pack, but the Brewers will want to make sure Rogers is right before going that route. We should all encourage Williams to claim the role. He has closer potential in the top three.
To close the talent gap between the two left-handers, the Brewers also got Esteury Ruiz, Dinelson Lamet and prospect Robert Gasser. The most interesting of these names for fantasy purposes is Ruiz, who put up monster underage numbers before his promotion just before the All-Star break, highlighted by 60 stolen bases in 77 games. He hadn’t done much with the big club, and was in fact optioned by the Brewers straight away. However, he could eventually claim the starting center job from Tyrone Taylor.
Castillo will get a significant improvement from the park with this move, which you think makes less of a difference to a pitcher who consistently ranks in the top five in ground ball rate. But Castillo has faded his lead in recent weeks for more than four seams – a change that has yielded generally positive results, with his K/9 dropping from 7.8 before May 31, when he first rose. the use of all four seams, at 10.1 . Still, that has made him less ball-oriented on the ground and, relatedly, he has a 3.64 ERA at home this year compared to 2.09 on the road. So what does this mean, concretely? Probably we should treat Castillo as one of the top 20 starting pitchers in fantasy again. For a more complete analysis of this agreement,.
Peralta had already lost his grip on a day-to-day role with the Diamondbacks, and that certainly won’t change with a team like the Rays. After all, he’s batting .268 with a .823 OPS against right-handers versus .114 with a .462 OPS against left-handers, giving him at least some utility in daily five-outfield leagues. His acquisition means Josh Lowe is back in the minors, not that the former top prospect has contributed anything worthwhile. It also helps pave the way for Diamondbacks prospect Corbin Carroll, however remote his chances of making his debut this year may be.
This trade likely means the Yankees are giving up Joey Gallo as more than a starter, and things could get even tighter once Giancarlo Stanton returns from his battle with Achilles tendonitis. So far, however, Benintendi looks like a daily part of the roster, having already made his debut against a southpaw since his arrival. He’s been useful in Fantasy this year due to his high batting average, but it’s been even more hollow than in years past. It’s possible he’ll try harder to shoot the ball now, aiming for the little porch in right field, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on that.