Cubs and OF Justin Ruggiano agree to one-year, $2 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
Ruggiano is a 20/20 talent who will drain your batting average. It remains to be seen if he will get full-time work in the Cubs' outfield, but he is certainly worth tossing a reserve round selection to in deep mixed leagues given the potential power/speed combination he can bring to the table.ANALYST: Ray Flowers
Adam Duvall and Keury Mella were traded to the Reds in exchange for Mike Leake
Duvall is a 26-year old who is enjoying 26 home runs in 443 plate appearances at Triple-A with a career-best.269 ISO. Mella is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Giants system. It's a bit of a steep price to pay for a rental, but this is what going for it is all about. Maybe Duvall gets a late-season look in the outfield but he's not supplanting Todd Frazier or Joey Votto anytime soon. Analysis: Howard Bender
Jose Abreu went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run on Thursday night against the Red Sox.
While Abreu is well off his rookie pace of 36 home runs, he is still on line to hit 28, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the hefty slugger to go on a run for a couple of weeks to put him right back on a 35+ pace. Keeping in terms of last season production pace, his .295 average is adequate and his pace of 92 RBI remains a bit below par. Even if the 28-year-old Cuban cant keep up with the 2014 version of himself, still consider it a great season if he finishes with a .295 average, 28 home runs, and 92 RBI (his current 162 game pace). Analysis: Dom Murtha
David Ortiz went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBI on Thursday night against the White Sox.
The average is slowly but surely climbing for ole’ Big Papi, and a 3-for-3 night will certainly help out that cause. After a near disastrous first half of the season, Ortiz seems to have his game back on track, finally justifying his staunchly inflexible fantasy positional status as a DH. His power swing seems to be fully operational, and now he is finally striking the fear of death back into opposing pitchers. Expect a stronger second half from Big Papi. Analysis: Dom Murtha
Mike Leake was traded to the Giants on Thursday.
Coming back to the Reds are minor leaguers Keury Mella and Adam Duvall. Leake has had himself a solid season with nine wins, a 3.56 ERA and 90 strikeouts over 136 2/3 innings (21 starts) and has now tossed seven quality starts in his last eight outings. Before you get too worked up about the move to a much more pitcher-friendly park, keep in mind that he's a ground ball pitcher, so it's all about the defense behind him. Is the move an improvement? Yes. But his numbers are unlikely to be much better than where they are at now. Analysis: Howard Bender
Alfredo Simon went 5 2/3 innings, allowed four runs, on two hits, and three walks, while striking out one in a victory over the Orioles on Thursday night.
Simon did just enough to get the job done on Thursday night, as he managed to pick up his 10th win of the season, despite giving up four runs and five base runners across 5 2/3 innings. He only allowed two hits, which is encouraging, but his three walks almost cost him the game, despite his seven run lead. When all was said and done, Simon somehow came away with the victory, but still did not impress in the fantasy realm due to his low strikeout total and mediocre overall performance. Analysis: Dom Murtha