AnalysisFantasy Baseball

Fantasy Impact of the Trade Deadline

With the calendar a week away from turning into August, baseball may be at it’s most exciting point in the regular season. The trade deadline has been extremely exciting the past few years, and will probably be even better this year without the August 31st deadline. While MLB teams are trying to find the right fit for a championship push, fantasy baseball players are trying to do the same. The trade deadline can have a major impact on fantasy baseball, but can open the door for acquiring impact players on the low end. Additionally, in keeper and dynasty leagues, now is the perfect time to maybe sell high on a guy before a monstrous collapse, in order to improve for next year. Below are some rumored trades, and the potential fantasy impact they can have.

Note: Advice will be given on both which players to buy/sell, which players to add/drop, and which players to hold onto.

Matthew Boyd to Philadelphia: Matt Boyd is projected to be moved, and is considered one of the best arms on the market. Philadelphia needs pitching, and has the farm to acquire him. While he has had it rough since June 1st (6.08 ERA and .361 BABIP), now is the perfect time to get him low. During this stretch, he has still managed to post a 2.91 xFIP, 2.89 SIERA, and 35.5% strikeout rate. All of this points to a lot of positive regression. He is certainly capable of bouncing back to ace status, and the new scenery might help. Getting him low now is the kind of move that can win a championship.

Buy Matthew Boyd

Jose Abreu to Tampa: The one position that the Rays haven’t gotten as much production as they would have hoped for is first base. Ji-Man Choi and Yandy Diaz were okay. The call up of Nate Lowe has helped a bit, but he is still splitting time with Choi, Diaz, and even Travis d’Arnaud. Despite the logjam at first, it is not unreasonable for the Rays to still go after a high profile first baseman. Abreu is putting together a strong year, with a .274 AVG, 22 home runs, and a 109 WRC+. Even with Lowe getting off to a hot start and d’Arnaud playing well, Abreu would still be a massive improvement. However, this improvement for the Rays does not mean an improvement for fantasy players. Abreu will be moving from the second most hitter friendly park to number seventeen according to ESPN park factors for runs, and he has struggled away from Guaranteed Field. If you can afford to trade him, now might be a good way to get extra value out of him. Additionally, with d’Arnaud being red hot, a new first baseman may give him more playing time at his natural position, as opposed to a platoon.

Sell Abreu (hold in keeper and dynasty leagues), drop Choi, drop Diaz, hold Lowe, add d’Arnaud

Ken Giles to Boston and Will Smith to Atlanta: It is no question that Atlanta and Boston will be going after closers to solidify their bullpens. While there is a lot of speculation as to who goes where, this scenario has been one of the most rumored. As both are already closers, these trades are as much about Giles and Smith as they are about who they are going to replace/ who is going to replace them. Luke Jackson and Nathan Eovaldi will most likely lose the closer gig. However, Daniel Hudson and Sam Dyson may gain the closer role, and closers always have value, even on a bad team. With both these trade scenarios, Giles and Smith should be presented with more save opportunities. If the Red Sox acquire a new closer, it could push Eovaldi back into the rotation, where he can still maintain some value.

Buy Giles, buy Smith, add Dyson, add Hudson, drop Jackson, sell Eovaldi

Marcus Stroman to New York (AL): Unlike Matthew Boyd, Stroman has had really good numbers for fantasy baseball but not great peripherals. He has a very solid 3.06 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, and while a 4.07 xFIP and 4.41 SIERA are solid, it does point to slight negative regression. However, a trade to the Yankees would mean moving from a hitter friendly park to one of the most pitcher friendly parks in the game, according to ESPN park factors for runs. Additionally, Stroman would have a better offense to back him in New York, which should lead to more wins. Somehow, Stroman is only owned in 68% of Yahoo and 56% of ESPN leagues. Now is a great time to get him while he is still available and cheap.

Add/buy Stroman

Wilson Ramos to Texas: While Texas has fallen out of the playoff race over the past couple of weeks, and may even be sellers at the deadline, the Rangers may still make one last push. One place they could use a major improvement is at catcher, and the Mets may be ready to start giving up a few pieces. Wilson Ramos would not cost that much for Texas, and would represent a major improvement over Jeff Mathis. Ramos was supposed to be the answer to the Mets’ lack of offense from the catcher position, and was drafted in fantasy leagues as such. A change to Texas would represent a move to a much better ballpark for hitting, and Ramos may be worth a speculative add.

Add Ramos

Yasiel Puig to Cleveland: Yasiel Puig has very quietly started to hit recently, and his trade value has mightily increased. Since June 1st, Puig has a .998 OPS, .408 wOBA, and a 151 WRC+. While the Reds just traded for him, the season hasn’t gone quite like they have wanted it to. It looks like the Reds may be on the verge of selling once again, as they are also rumored to be shopping Raisel Iglesias. Like the Reds, the Indians season hasn’t gone as planned either, but they are back on track and are currently the top wild card team. The Indians could dramatically use an improvement in the outfield. Tyler Naquin, Jordan Luplow, and Oscar Mercado have all been solid, but Puig would represent a major improvement, replacing Naquin in right. Puig would also be playing with a better offense, which could lead to more runs and RBIs.

Buy Puig, drop Naquin


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Jonah Keehn

Statistics major at the University of Central Florida. I am covering the Marlins but am a Mets fan at heart. Follow me on Twitter @JonahKeehn

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