I love a good trade, both in fantasy baseball and in real life. The time is coming for players to be finding new teams. Let’s talk about a few players who are likely to be traded and speculate as to what it might mean for their fantasy baseball value.
Let’s be honest, there are several teams out there that should be sellers – the Twins, Astros, Dodgers, Rockies, Chicago Cubs, and the Oakland A’s (always). Plus, the Phillies should be a surprising seller in the month ahead.
So let’s think who might be leaving these teams to find a home with a contender before the July 31 deadline.
Carlos Lee, 1B – Houston Astros
The Astros have little need for veterans with high salaries. A notorious creature of habit, it’s likely that Carlos Lee will exercise his no-trade clause, but a deal might still get done.
Speaking of done, the word doesn’t quite describe El Caballo. He won’t be a 30 HR hitter anymore, but he’s always been excellent at driving in runs and he’s held a .300 AVG in 2012.
He’s due to become a free agent so he’d be acquired as a rental only and Houston would likely have to eat a large portion of his salary, but he’d a a great asset for an AL team looking atone more bat for a playoff run.
Lee going to a contender would boost his fantasy value. As I said, he’s always ben a run producer. A contending team would likely have more guys on base for Lee to knock in while his average remains solid.
Jake Peavy, SP – Chicago White Sox
Jake Peavy has a $22 million option for 2013. Yeah, I don’t see the rebuilding Chicago White Sox exercising that. Look for them to spin him off to a contender, while we cross our fingers that it’s a National League club (remember when he one to 2007 NL Cy Young?).
Peavy has been almost ace like in 2012, still punching out a little over 8 per 9. Expect his fantasy baseball value to remain high even if traded.
Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino, SP and CF – Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies don’t seem too anxious about resigning 28-year-old Cole Hamels. Perhaps that means they are looking to move him to grad a couple prospects, while not taking on another huge contract? He’s been dominate again in 2012, but it just might come down to finances and the fact that they have hefty contracts already in place to players like Ryan Howard, who has yet to play an inning.
So if trading Cole Hamels to get some depth (and not to take on another big, long contract) makes sense for the Phillies, then you have to think that Shane Victorino would be in on that conversation as well. He’s not getting any younger, but he still has great value for a contender. I think they move.
But what does i mean for fantasy. Playas are gonna play and pitchers are gonna pitch. Hamels will be lights out wherever he lands, so if you can take advantage of uncertainty around him and get him for cheap on your fantasy team, then jump on that like a june bug on a duck’s back.
It’s still roses for Victorino, but slightly less so. His future fantasy value if traded will be predicated upon his position in the lineup, but you have to think that a contender will surround him with better bats than the Phillies have this year.
Carl Pavano and pretty much every Twin, UTIL – Minnesota Twins
Being in the last year of his contract, you have to think that Carl Pavano is done as a Twin. The Twins need absolutely everything, except for an aging innings eater. A contending team, however, would be tickled pink to pick up Pavano and his magnificent mustache. Pavano unfortunately has little to no fantasy value above an occasional spot start.
Denard Span is also likely to be moved. Heaven only knows who the Twins will claim off waivers to play outfield for them, but with so few assets you have to think that Span is a likely trade target. He could rack up some hefty runs, plus help with AVG and steals if traded to a contender.
Let’s close this section by mentioning pretty much every Twin, minus Joe Mauer. Justin Morneau (longshot), Matt Capps (very likely), Josh Willingham (it would be a shame), and Fransisco Liriano (please) could very well be traded.
Every Closer, RP – Really Every Team
In the previous paragraph we mentioned Matt Capps. He could be traded to any number of teams that need bullpen help: the Marlins, KC, Seattle, Red Sox, Rays, Jays, Diamondbacks, Astros, back to the Twins. Is there a team in the league that hasn’t had issues in the bullpen this year.
This means that we’ll see a shake up as the trade deadline approaches.
What this means for fantasy baeball owners is that you really want to play close attention to bullpen free agents as the trades start happening. There could be middle relievers who are traded to teams that will cement them into the 9th inning. Closers (like Capps) could be traded, but will serve as set-up men on their new teams. Be quick to take advantage of this and you’ll be able to rack up a lot of second half saves.
We’re talking a lot of potential trades here. It’s all speculation. Who knows what will happen?!? But this is a fun part of midseason fantasy baseball. Keep your eyes open and look for ways to find value of of players who might be finding new teams. It might be just what you need to give your fantasy baseball team a second half push.