6 Potential Beneficiaries from the Trade Deadline by Paul Sporer July 26, 2021 The trade deadline is this Friday and could be an absolute banger. It is shaping up to be a seller’s market with a very clear set of buyers and sellers and the latter having some legitimate players to move that could alter the playoff picture substantially. There is understandable excitement related to the players who will be moved, but I want to focus on the holes their departures will open as that can often create some interesting buying opportunities for us in the fantasy realm, often at a discounted price, too. Here are six hitters who could deliver some fantasy upside if a spot opens for them. Brendan Rodgers/Garrett Hampson | OF/2B, COL – Potential Trade: Trevor Story Story has to get traded, right? RIGHT?! I would say the Rockies can’t possibly botch it, but we know that’s not true. They’ve shown time and again that they are capable of botching anything. His departure would likely change the fate of two guys (assuming they don’t get a shortstop back in return) as the 2B platoon of Rodgers and Hampson could both become full-timers. Both are markedly better against lefties, but the extra volume alone can sometimes be enough to drive value, especially for Rockies given their home park. Speaking of, they have a dead even 28-28 home-road split post deadline. Well, technically that’s not 100% true, but I’m thinking more about weekly leagues and standard Sunday pickups so starting next Monday it’s 28-28. Rodgers has some punch with a decent batting average (5 HR, .263 AVG in 173 PA) while Hampson is a speedster with a bit of pop (13 SB, 6 HR in 330 PA). Rodgers has actually been better on the road (.707 home OPS/.807 road OPS) while Hampson has a devastating split wherein he is unplayable on the road at this point (.873/.490). Rodgers is rostered in about 10% of leagues at Yahoo! and ESPN, Hampson is up around 45%. Neither has much availability in the NFBC at 89% and 97%, respectively, in the 12-team Online Championship and 98% each in the Main Event. Derek Hill/Daz Cameron | OF, DET – Potential Trade: Robbie Grossman The Tigers have been one of the surprise teams after a dreadful April, posting a 39-35 record (85-win pace) since May 1st, but obviously the 8-19 start leaves them playing spoiler this year with designs on possibly contending next year. Grossman is 31 years old, but he is slated to make just $5 million next year so the Tigers don’t have to move him at the deadline. That said, they have four OFs age-27 or younger so it would make sense to at least consider moving the veteran outfielder. Hill has actually played five of six games last week so maybe it would be better to put Victor Reyes as the potential beneficiary, but I chose Hill since he is much more widely available. Cameron is currently on the IL so monitor his status, though I haven’t seen a timetable since he suffered the sprained toe. Hill has 6 SBs in just 43 MLB PA this year and while I’m certain he won’t continue to run at that pace, he could still be a game-changing speedster with a full-time role. It is a tiny sample, but I am also intrigued by the plate skills he is showing with a 19% K rate and 16% BB rate. That veers quite a bit from his minor league marks of 26% K and 8% BB so we will see how real these gains are as he continues to play for the Tigers. I do like his 9% SwStr rate, down from 14% in AAA. Cameron has 3 HR and 4 SB in 63 PA with the Tigers this year, but just a .207 AVG and 30% K rate so there is an open question about how good he would be with a full-time role. Strikeouts have regularly been a part of his game, though he had shaved his K rate down to 18% in 85 PA at AAA so far this year. It is worth pointing out that Reyes has a meager 45 wRC+ in 98 PA so the Tigers might be best off using Hill and Cameron (when healthy) if Grossman is traded out. Both Hill and Cameron are widely available across all formats ranging from the NFBC Main Event to Yahoo!/ESPN. Andrew Young | INF/OF, ARI – Potential Trade: Kole Calhoun, Eduardo Escobar, and/or David Peralta First off, you may have heard of him as Andy Young which is how he was referenced when he came over from St. Louis in the Paul Goldschmidt deal. He quietly debuted last year and took a bunch of walks (15%), but did little else (.192/.382/.385) in a mere 34 PA. I imagine his age (27) depresses the excitement that would normally accompany these gaudy minor league numbers, but also the uneven plate skills tamp down the hype as he posted 31% K and 6% BB rates despite his 148 wRC+ at AAA. The poor plate skills have continued in the majors with 46% K and 7% BB rates in 59 PA with the D’Backs, but 9 of his 12 hits have gone for extra bases including 6 HRs. There are multiple avenues that would afford Young more playing time beyond that of just a short side platoon. If you need power and can afford what might be as low as a .220 AVG, Young can help. He’s available everywhere because he needs some pieces to move to open up real playing time. Leody Taveras | OF, TEX – Potential Trade: Joey Gallo Gallo is far from guaranteed to be dealt, but I wanted to highlight Taveras because he could get called back up regardless as David Dahl is toting a meager 61 wRC+ through 209 PA. The Taveras hype train has been loaded up before, but never left the station, though we are still talking about a 22-year-old with plenty of upside. He has 12 HR and 12 SB at AAA, though only an 87 wRC+ in 289 PA. I love the 25/25 pace, but you can see the flaws with his contact (.239 AVG) and strikeouts (26%). However, he is surging over the last month with a .250/.342/.500 line, 5 HR, 6 SB, and 16% BB rate in 96 PA. All of that despite just a .264 BABIP, too. He still has a 23% K rate in that time, but the trade off is the power that comes from this speedster. I still really like Taveras for the long-term and I will be keeping a close eye on him awaiting for his return to the majors. He has the skills to put up a Hampson-esque September circa 2019 (5 HR, 9 SB, .903 OPS in 95 PA). He is available everywhere but be ready to pounce once he is back.