Fantasy Alarm MLB Trade Tracker
*Post Deadline Update* Greg Jewett breaks down each trade that happened now that MLB Trade Deadline has came and gone.
Post Deadline Update:
Just when it seemed safe to think the trade deadline lapsed, a flurry of big names and deals transpired. Leading the way, Zack Greinke heading to Houston, a team not on his no-trade list for four prospects:
Joining Greinke, Nicholas Castellanos , a bevy of relievers and other hitters all changed teams with one hard trade deadline this season. With so many last second deals, look for the date to be pushed back into August next year. For now, it’s time to sift through all the noise to figure out the fantasy impact of all these moves.
Greinke to the Astros
Pushing in all their chips, without giving up Kyle Tucker , Houston owns a terrific top three for the playoffs with Justin Verlander , Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke . Prior to the trade, Greinke owns a 10-4 record with a 2.87 ERA, 3.68 xFIP and 0.94 WHIP with 128 strikeouts against 18 walks over 141 innings. He fits well with a highly acclaimed analytical team focusing on maximizing talent. If Greinke somehow generates more strikeouts, his fantasy stock could grow with Houston.
For now, here’s a look at his arsenal:
Guessing some elevated fastballs could appear going forward to enhance his strikeout potential but Greinke’s a stud and should be treated as such going forward. Houston’s all in. They also added Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini of the Blue Jays for Derek Fisher . Sanchez could work bulk innings in relief or evolve under the Astros tutelage and emerge as a starter with upside next season. But he will need to rein in his control. Working in the bullpen the rest of this year could unlock his potential. Joe Biagini will add depth to relief corps with Ryan Pressly headed to the injured list. In Toronto, fantasy owners will add Justin Shafer who recorded his first save with Toronto moving most of its bullpen and Ken Giles not available with persisting elbow soreness.
Castellanos to the Cubs
Personally cannot guarantee Nicholas Castellanos will generate more fly balls and he will struggle at times defensively, but from a fantasy perspective, moving from Detroit to the comfortable confines of Wrigley should enhance his production. It feels like every year should be the breakout for Castellanos but he’s been solid, just never reaching what many see as his potential.
Through 100 games, he’s slashing .273/.328/.462 with 57 runs, 11 home runs, 37 RBI and two stolen bases. His home run per fly ball percentage and hard hit rates dropped this year in a robust hitting environment. His rest-of-the-season projections all foresee nine more home runs with between 29-to-33 RBI with an average near .280 over 240 at-bats. Perhaps the move will get him on a hot streak, but these numbers seem like reasonable outcomes.
Atlanta adds a closer
There’s no secret the bullpens in the National League East struggle. Atlanta addressed its season long high leverage adding Shane Greene to close for the stretch run. Greene hasn’t recorded a save since June 29th, but it’s not his fault. Yes, he will regress from his present 1.18 ERA. Using his July numbers of seven innings with a 11:3 K:BB, 2.57 ERA and WHIP of one seems more realistic. But in this bullpen, he’s a steep upgrade due to limiting traffic on the bases. Atlanta also added veteran Mark Melancon to provide depth and stability.
Washington buys all the Seattle relievers, or so it seems
It’s almost a trade deadline ritual with the Nationals adding to the bullpen. They traded for Roenis Elías and Hunter Strickland of the Mariners in two separate deals plus added Daniel Hudson from Toronto. Elias will provide Sean Doolittle with much needed rest being able to handle save chances and match-up with left-handed hitters. Elias converted three saves with two wins in his last five appearances with Seattle. He also recorded 14 saves and a hold with two blown saves this year. Strickland just returned from the injured list but notched 14 saves last year before losing a fight with a door. It will be fun to see him and Bryce Harper in the same division. Hudson pitched well for the Blue Jays with six wins, two saves and eight holds. He’s struggled a bit lately allowing a run in three of his last four outings, but he will be asked to work in a setup role with Washington and should fare well as long as he limits traffic on the bases.
Milwaukee adds a left-handed reliever from the Giants, but not that one
Trolling Twitter, an announcement about a trade between the Giants and Brewers caused a ripple. However, Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black headed to Milwaukee for Mauricio Dubon quickly disappointed Brew Crew fans. Adding a top flight closer to help Josh Hader made sense, but Pomeranz will help limit his innings working against tough left-handed hitters in high leverage leading up to Hader. Moving to the bullpen enhances Pomeranz velocity as evidenced by the chart below:
Milwaukee also sent Jesús Aguilar to the Rays for Jake Faria . Needing pitching depth, this makes sense. It hurts Aguilar and Brandon Lowe who could get optioned as a result. Aguilar will try to recapture his power in Tampa Bay and provide a much needed right-handed bat to their lineup. Aguilar’s actually improved his walk rate and cut down on strikeouts but with a collapse in his power as a result. Perhaps he can hit eight home runs over his last 125 at-bats, but he will have to fight for them. Here’s his spray chart since the start of last year with the Rays field as the backdrop:
Miami trades Gallen to Arizona
With an eye on the future, Miami traded Zac Gallen after only seven major league starts for shortstop prospect Jazz Chisolm. Gallen went 1-3 with the Marlins working 36 innings with a 43:18 K:BB, 2.72 ERA, 4.46 xFIP and 1.18 WHIP. He did not carry over his elite strikeout to walk rates from Triple-A, but he’s gaining his footing as a major league pitcher. Heading to Arizona enhances his chances to win games so his owners will not be too upset. It appears the Marlins feel they were dealing from a strength with Pablo Lopez working his way back in rehab outings and this trade could translate to Sixto Sanchez joining the rotation soon in Miami. Stay tuned.
Roark to the A’s
Keeping with its modus operandi, Oakland added a veteran pitcher to absorb innings for a playoff push. Tanner Roark will finish the year as a part of the rotation. He’s not sexy, but keep in mind no one showed excitement about Mike Fiers last year either. Roark brings his 4.24 ERA and six wins in 13 decisions out west. Not sure of his impact for fantasy, but he will eat innings on a team with playoff aspirations.
Corey Dickerson to the Phillies
Defense be darned, Corey Dickerson will play a platoon role in Philadelphia. In only 43 games this season, Dickerson’s slashing .317/.376/.556 and homered twice in his last game with the Pirates. Moving to this ballpark could enhance his power numbers as seen in his spray chart since 2018 with Philadelphia as the overlay:
Houston changes catchers
Newest @Astros C Martín Maldonado is a well-rounded defender— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) July 31, 2019
He's the only catcher with at least 4 Defensive Runs Saved for
over the last 2 seasons
He rates well in all 3 areas
As for Kemp, moving to the National League should showcase his ability as a utility player with speed. Stassi will serve as a backup with Jonathan Lucroy on the injured list.
Major moves by the Bay
Giants deadline day summary:— GPT (@giantsprospects) July 31, 2019
RHP Sam Dyson
RHP Mark Melancon
LHP Drew Pomeranz
RHP Ray Black
LHP Jacob Lopez
INF Mauricio Dubon
2B Scooter Gennett
RHP Prelander Berroa
RHP Kai-Wei Teng
OF Jaylin Davis
RHP Tristan Beck
RHP Dan Winkler
1B/LF Joe McCarthy
Adding Scooter Gennett could spark the offense as a pending free agent. No idea if all this will translate into a spot in the postseason, but the future looks brighter for a franchise in transition.
Dyson to the Twins
So, Minnesota did not add a starting pitcher, but they made their bullpen deeper with Sam Dyson . He will slot in with Sergio Romo in high leverage with the ability to provide Taylor Rogers with a day off if necessary. Dyson won two games with two saves and recorded 17 holds with the Giants this season. He’s worked 51 innings with a 47:7 K:BB and 0.90 WHIP in an environment heavily favoring hitters. Armed with a 55 percent ground ball rate, Dyson could be a key cog in the Twins chances in the playoffs.
This concludes the trade tracker, hope this helps sort out all the noise from the trade deadline. For all the prospect coverage, be sure to check out Matt Selz’s piece on the site.
July 31 update:
Bauer outage in Cincinnati
With so many front offices working the phones waiting out the market, Cincinnati jumped the shark working a three-team trade acquiring Trevor Bauer . Adding Bauer to a rotation with Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray for the next one and a half years provides a bright future for the organization. It also leaves teams like the Yankees searching elsewhere for an impact arm for the last two months. Cleveland addresses its needs adding two impact bats, one of which should slot in at designated hitter quite nicely. Relief pitchers also found new homes and the Phillies added a veteran arm to absorb innings. Here’s the latest recap leading up to today’s deadline at four p.m.
Well, throwing a ball over the center field fence proved to be the last act performed by Trevor Bauer as a member of the Cleveland Indians. One of the few impact starting pitcher chips landed on the Reds. It will be the task of pitching coach Derek Johnson to reinvigorate Bauer. So far, Bauer’s 2018 looks like the outlier in his career profile but its too early to give up on his potential upside. Bauer owns an arsenal of pitches which could use some refinement.
So far this year, Bauer’s won nine of 17 decisions with a 3.79 ERA, 4.28 xFIP and 1.21 WHIP through 24 starts spanning 156.2 innings. His 27.9 strikeout percentage hints at his talent but he’s also increased his walk percentage to 9.5 percent this year. For an illustration of Bauer’s pitches, check out his plot by pitch courtesy of Statcast:
When evaluating Bauer, it’s remarkable that he does not deploy his slider more. Yes, he owns a vast array of pitches. Check out this video of his slider in action from a game versus Kansas City on July 28th.
Back in 2011, Max Scherzer ditched his sinker moving to a more streamlined approach using his three best pitches most and mixing in two others. This really could benefit Bauer. His owners should be excited if Bauer uses his fastball a bit less along with throwing more curves and sliders. Why? This season, Bauer’s slider ranks fourth among his pitches thrown but has resulted in 50 strikeouts, a .176 batting average against, a .164 expected batting average, a 42.7 strikeout percentage, a 5.1 walk rate and a 44.9 whiff percentage. His curve rates as the second best vertical movement in the majors producing 46 strikeouts, a .162 batting average against, .222 expected batting average, 39.3 strikeout percentage, 0.9 walk rate and 32.8 whiff percentage.
Perusing Bauer’s rest-of-the-season statistics, he’s projected to win five more games with 66-to-71 more innings, at least 77 strikeouts with THE BAT representing the high side seeing 86 more and an ERA in the range of 3.56-to-3.92 across three systems. Shifting to the National League and with a progressive pitching coach, perhaps Bauer will return to his dominant 2018 numbers. Track his usage with the slider and curve to see if he unlocks his arsenal over the last two months.
Cleveland reels in a major return
Cashing in on a market bereft of impact pitching, Cleveland not only addressed its needs in the outfield, but added depth to the farm system:
Starting with Yasiel Puig , last seen in a fracas against the Pirates, he could start his tenure playing under appeal of a suspension. But, Puig could benefit from a move to Cleveland which benefits right handed hitters this year. Puig’s one of five major league players with at least 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases this year: Ronald Acuña Jr. (25 HR, 24 SB), Christian Yelich (36 HR, 23 SB), Trevor Story (22 HR, 14 SB), Puig (22 HR, 14 SB) and Ramón Laureano (21 HR, 12 SB).
Despite this, Puig owners seem disappointed by his .252/.302/.475 slash line with the Reds over 373 at-bats. He’s been even more aggressive this year with a 14.6 swinging strike percentage and 36.6 O-Swing (swings at pitches outside the strike zone) percentage. However, Puig’s also generating a career high fly ball rate (45.1 percent) and in turn a career low ground ball rate (35 percent). A fresh start in Cleveland will come with some adjustment to a new league. But in a lineup with Francisco Lindor , José Ramírez and Carlos Santana , Puig will not be asked to be a centerpiece of the offense. Here’s Puig’s rest-of-the-season projections which would translate to a 30 home run and 20 stolen base season if reached:
ZiPS ROS: 49 games, 169 at-bats, 24 runs, 10 home runs, 28 RBI, six stolen bases; .260/.325/.482
Steamer ROS: 49 games, 186 at-bats, 28 runs, 10 home runs, 32 RBI, six stolen bases; .269/.335/.495
THE BAT ROS: 48 games, 177 at-bats, 31 runs, 11 home runs, 30 RBI, five stolen bases; .276/.342/.529
Puig owners will hope he reaches THE BAT’s slash line and production over the last two months. For a sneak preview, here’s Puig’s spray chart this year with Cleveland as the overlay:
Franmil Reyes also joins Cleveland armed with the 10th best average exit velocity (92.3 MPH) in the majors. According to Statcast, Reyes expected numbers of a .274 average and .554 slugging could benefit with a shift to his new ballpark. Yes, Puig and Reyes will accumulate strikeouts, but the power upside makes it palatable.
Through 99 games, Reyes accrued 321 at-bats with 43 runs, 27 home runs, 46 RBI and a .255/.314/.536 slash line. This equates to a .280 isolated power and a robust 33.8 home run per fly ball percentage. When perusing Reyes spray chart with Cleveland as the backdrop, it’s not as impactful as Puig’s since when Reyes launches a home run, it goes out of most ballparks, but since it’s ready, here it is:
With Corey Kluber ready to rejoin the rotation soon and Cleveland exploring other deals, they seem serious about making a deep run in the postseason. Plus, adding Logan Allen , Victor Nova and Scott Moss enhances the future as well.
San Diego adds Trammell
Since this will not be the Padres only move at the deadline, perhaps this sets up another trade?
Taylor Trammell , MLB Pipeline's No. 30 overall prospect, is headed back to the Padres in return, per sources. They wanted a lefty bat, particularly a lefty-hitting center fielder. Full trade remains unclear.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) July 31, 2019
Stay tuned as San Diego could trade Kirby Yates .
Martin to Atlanta
With so many names being floated on the trade market, Atlanta dealt from a strength to address its bullpen. Kolby Allard will head to Texas for Chris Martin . Since the Braves relievers tend to allow traffic in high leverage, getting Martin makes sense. He’s only issued one walk over his last 26.2 innings of work dating back to May first and owns a 1.45 ERA his last 19 appearances. Martin’s not a sexy addition, but a savvy one for a team looking for stability and depth without stripping its flush farm system. In 2019, Martin’s recorded four saves and 12 holds with one blown save over 38 innings with a 3.08 ERA, 2.93 xFIP and 1.03 WHIP. His strand rate of 93.5 percent will regress so Martin will need to maintain his tidy 26.6 strikeouts minus walks percentage in an effort to mitigate it. Plus, he could see save chances with Atlanta. Stay tuned and add him below the radar.
Rangers acquire Allard
With Texas in a never ending search for more pitching, taking a chance on Kolby Allard makes total sense. Especially since Martin would be a free agent in two months. Allard fell out of the top-100 prospect list, but represents hope. He’s 7-5 at Triple-A this year with 98 strikeouts in 110 innings along with a 4.17 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Perhaps a change in scenery will help since his path to starting is much clearer with the Rangers than with the Braves.
David Phelps to the Cubs
Another trade for a reliever occurred between the Cubs and the Blue Jays. Veteran arm David Phelps heads to Chicago to add depth. This coincides with Pedro Strop returning to the injured list so Phelps will join Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler in setup roles to Craig Kimbrel .
Vargas traded in division
Trying to figure out the Mets moves requires some head scratching. Jason Vargas heads to Philadelphia helping an in-division opponent fill a glaring need with starting pitcher depth. Vargas does not dazzle with a high velocity fastball, but limits hard contact. He’s won five of his last six decisions spanning eight games with a 2.62 ERA. Not sure how his arsenal will play in a hitter friendly ballpark, but owners will find out soon enough. Tread lightly here.
July 30 update:
Milwaukee adds Jordan Lyles
In an effort to absorb innings, the Brewers traded for Jordan Lyles of the Pirates. It’s been an up and down year for Lyles, so perhaps a change in scenery will invigorate the pitcher. Since his 12-strikeout game versus the Padres on May 17th, here’s his numbers since:
After failing to get out of the 2nd inning tonight Jordan Lyles has allowed 12 home runs and owns a 9.57 ERA in 36 2/3 innings pitched in his last 9 starts. He’s failed to pitch 2 full innings twice during this stretch.— Rum Bunter (@rumbunter) July 24, 2019
Milwaukee will be creative and perhaps use an opener in front of Lyles to bridge his innings and use him only twice against any lineup. Time will tell if he’s a stopgap or a reclamation project.
July 29 update:
Stroman shipped to the Mets
No matter the speculation on how Marcus Stroman reacted behind closed doors, he will join the Mets rotation after New York traded two pitching prospects to Toronto. Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson join the Blue Jays as a result of the deal.
Since Stroman’s in the majors, his fantasy impact seems to be status quo. Due to his arsenal which generates ground balls, many felt going to the Mets could adversely affect Stroman, but as Eno Sarris pontificates, it should not be an extreme hit to his value:
Blue Jays have a better d than Mets, yes. But Blue Jays have given up a .256 average on ground balls & Mets a .264 average. You’re talking about 50 ground balls, of which 40+ are routine. The impact of Stroman giving up ground balls in front of a bad D is overstated.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) July 29, 2019
So far in 2019, Stroman won six of 17 decisions over 124.2 innings with 99 strikeouts against 35 walks, a 2.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 4.06 xFIP. He’s tweaked his pitch usage this season with positive results reflected in ranking third in American League ERA upon his departure:
Reducing his sinker usage along with throwing more sliders and cutter seems to suit his skillset well. Here’s a look at his pitches as plotted this year courtesy of Statcast:
It’s curious to see how Stroman’s career ERA versus the American League East (3.86) closely resembles his 3.68 ERA against the rest of the MLB. However, Stroman sees his WHIP drop from 1.33 against his former division to 1.24 facing the rest of the league. Stroman’s also fared well in interleague action against the “senior circuit” owning a 10-5 record in 20 games (17 starts) over 116.2 innings with an 88:24 K:BB, 2.93 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.
Stroman’s done well according to Statcast data limiting opponents to an 87.5 MPH average exit velocity against with a .242 expected batting average and his weighted on-base average (wOBA) in direct line with his expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA).
With time running out and the Mets cornering the starting pitcher market, will more moves come as a result of this trade? It seems likely. Stroman should do well with the Mets but heed his career numbers. A major spike in strikeouts does not seem likely with the move and if his ERA migrates towards his xFIP, Stroman will not pay dividends upon big bids in National League only leagues.
Sogard to the Rays
A trade with diversified ramifications. Eric Sogard will join Tampa Bay for the ever-popular player to be named later. Sogard surged with the Blue Jays slashing .300/.363/.477 with 45 runs, 10 home runs, 30 RBI and six stolen bases in 73 contests. His 25.2 line drive rate boosts his average and Sogard’s isolated power of .178 this year represents a career best.
Fueled by an above average ability to generate contact, Sogard’s ridden his 89.6 contact percentage to his current average. He’s also producing more fly balls and home runs than in any point of his career. Sogard does not display any warning signs in his splits hitting .287/.356/.517 in 87 at-bats against southpaws and .305/.365/.460 versus right-handed pitchers with five home runs against each. However, his expected statistics on Statcast do raise some concern. Sogard’s .258 expected average and .346 expected slugging percentage cast some doubt on his breakout. Especially seeing his 84.4 MPH average exit velocity which ranks 179th among major league hitters.
This trade casts doubt on a return by Brandon Lowe so his owners should try to roster Sogard as protection. Also, Sogard can hit lead-off so Austin Meadows can move down in the lineup for more RBI opportunities.
Apparently Sogard’s presence in Toronto kept Bo Bichette in the minor leagues. Bichette did suffer a broken hand earlier this year but owned a .275/.333/.473 slash in 56 games at Triple-A with 34 runs, eight home runs, 32 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He will join the Blue Jays in Kansas City and also gets to face the Orioles staff in his first week of major league action. When looking at his charts from the minors this year, his approach stood out. Bichette prefers hitting the ball to the opposite field which works well for D.J. LeMahieu and former star at shortstop in the American League East, Derek Jeter.
Courtesy of MLBfarm.com, here’s Bichette’s heat map from his time in the minors this year:
Also, here’s Bichette’s spray chart including all hits on fly balls and line drives:
With owners chasing stolen bases, Bichette will be a popular add this week so hop on board if this represents a team need. Representing MLB.com’s eighth overall prospect, it’s time to see how Bo Bichette will do in the majors.
Romo to Minnesota
Looking to add depth to the bullpen, the Twins traded for Sergio Romo to become second in command in their high leverage hierarchy. Romo currently owns a nine-game scoreless streak along with converting his last 10 save chances. In July, Romo’s yet to allow an earned run over 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts and zero walks. His new team hopes his recent hot streak will defray his 5.12 xFIP through 37.2 innings for a strong finish in a pennant race.
Oakland adds Diekman
Attempting to bolster its bullpen, the A’s traded for Jake Diekman adding another southpaw to the mix. Diekman’s lost six games but notched 18 holds for the Royals. He’s recorded a career best 17.4 swinging strike rate but needs to cut down his walk rate to succeed in a chase for the play-offs. Since Diekman will work in a setup role, he’s not really on the fantasy radar.