Let’s take a look at the fantasy implications for all the major trades this deadline.
To OAK: Tommy La Stella
To LAA: Franklin Barreto
Up: La Stella joins a much better lineup and should slot into the #2 hole in between Marcus Semien and Stephen Piscotty. He could lose some starts against lefties, but that might be a net positive given his .185/.303/.259 line against them this year. That said, he was at .265/.315/.398 a year ago and has a career .262/.340/.373 line v. southpaws. Either way, this is still a win.
Neutral: Barreto goes from not playing in one part of California to not playing in a further south part of California as David Fletcher just slots into the 2B role with Andrelton Simmons and Anthony Rendon back in the lineup.
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One issue I’ve had with pick up articles in the past is that so few ever recommend anyone to cut so which is arguably tougher than recommending who to pick. Sure, a player in question should probably be on a roster, but should it be your roster? I have a group of interesting free agents but also a player at each of those positions who you can consider cutting as well.
This article is designed mostly for 10- and 12-team leagues as a lot of these guys aren’t available in 15+ teamers and the recommended cuts are likely worth giving a bit more time to in deeper formats as well. I’m using ESPN’s roster rate for guidance.
Available Under 40% | Cuttable at 60%+
Sisco is hitting so well that the O’s are getting him and Pedro Severino into the lineup regularly with one DH’ing. Sisco has a 163 wRC+ and 4 HR in 64 PA so far. He is striking out 38% of the time, though it’s slightly counterbalanced by his 19% BB rate.
Sanchez has been a disaster and I just don’t think he’s a necessary hold at this point. The 5 HR can’t overcome the damage of a horrific .139/.253/.361 line in 83 PA. He did have three straight homers back in mid-August and looked like he might be coming out of it, but he’s hitting .188 since in 20 PA.
The trade deadline is Monday so let’s try to identify some of the guys who could be on the move. It will be an interesting deadline as we don’t know if teams will be willing to pony up for high impact players for a month of work. Meanwhile, the new playoff format has a lot of teams in spitting distance of a spot so they may be less inclined to deal even their impending free agents as the returns will likely be scant so why not just go for it? I wanted to get this out earlier in the week, but time prevented that so my sweet call on Taijuan Walker getting dealt and including TOR as one of the potential spots goes by the wayside.
Jeff and I will be writing up the deals over the weekend and on Monday starting with a piece from him tomorrow covering the Walker and Brandon Workman deals.
They are 2 games under .500, but their playoff odds have them at just 11% due in large part to the overall difficulty of the American League so they should consider moving some players.
Tommy Milone – 3.99 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 21% K-BB in 29.3 IP – The 33-year old lefty will definitely draw some interest as he’s shown himself to be a useful 4th-5th starter type who can play up a bit in short samples as we’ve seen so far this year. Potentially interested teams: ATL, CHW, HOU, (back to) OAK, TOR
Alex Cobb – 3.73 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 9% K-BB in 31.3 IP – He’s still owed $15 million for 2021 and 31.3 innings of solid work might not be enough for a team to take a chance on that, but perhaps the O’s can pay some of that down to get a better return. He’s probably somehow amp his K rate to 29% and post 170 IP of a sub-3.00 ERA if he went to Houston. Potentially interested teams: ATL, CHW, HOU
Pat Valaika – 89 wRC+, 5 HR in 78 PA – The 27-year old utilityman has a bit of pop and could be a fill-in or bench piece for some clubs. Potentially interested teams: NYY, MIN, CHC, MIA
Transcript is below!
Paul Sporer: Hello everyone! Welcome to the chat, let’s talk some baseball!
Gio: Randy Dobnak – sell high or ride things out?
Paul Sporer: I’m riding it out as I doubt anyone is really going to give you a mint for him. Most probably think he’s going to collapse. There will be some regression, but I don’t see collapse
Scott: How worried should I be about a staff with Scherzer, Carrasco and Montas?
Paul Sporer: A bit bc it seems Montas’ back is bothering him. Two duds after being scratched screams that he’s not right and might require a 10-day. The tough part though is that there’s nothing particularly actionable w/these three. Benching Max & Carrasco isn’t possible IMO and without any real news on Montas, I’m keeping him in under the assumption that he’s getting better and they trust he’s healthy enough to keep pitching
Bart Simpson: Time for me to drop Stripling in 12 tm mixed roto. Options are Brett Anderson, L. Weaver, Dakota Hudson, Gonsolin and Pineda. What order should I prioritize? Thanks Paul!
When you hear – or in this case read – the word “slapdick”, you likely put the word “prospect” on the end of it and think about Blake Snell’s raw and real reaction to the Tommy Pham trade to San Diego. From there, you likely think about the prospect in question, Xavier Edwards, and then the main return for the Rays, Hunter Renfroe. It takes a while for you to consider Jake Cronenworth, if you even associate him with that deal at all.
The 26-year old super-duper (you get the “duper” added when pitching is part of your skillset) utilityman got some run in the analysis of the trade, but more because he hit and pitched for the Rays Triple-A squad last year than anything else. He had his believers to be sure with our own Alex Chamberlain and Brad Johnson being among them in their Peripheral Prospects series, though he was unquestionably under the radar in this deal. He enjoyed the rabbit ball in the minors last year as it aided him to a 147 wRC+ with 10 HR and 12 SB in 406 PA. He struck out just 15% of the time and walked at a 12% clip.
Only 6, what gives?! I know, I know, but this article would’ve gotten a bit out of hand in terms of length if I included four more. We’ll be back at 10 next week. By the way, if there’s someone you want me to cover in this piece, please include them in the comments and I’ll gladly take a look.
Robbie Grossman is Raking
Grossman smacked his 4th HR on Monday night, pushing his line to .288/.447/.627 and chipping in 4 SBs with those home runs. He’s always had a strong plate profile with a 13% BB rate and 21% K rate heading into this year, but it yielded essentially a league average line at a 102 wRC+. He’s still walking a ton – a career-high 18% in fact – and he’s actually striking out less than ever at 16% so what’s the difference? He’s attacking a lot more in hitter and even counts.
Grossman has dialed up his swing rate in hitter counts and the results are flowing in. He’s making contact at a 93% clip, tied for 7th-best in the league and only Daniel Murphy is swinging more (62%) than Grossman’s 46% rate in those situations. The attack-heavy approach has delivered a 1.484 OPS in hitter’s counts, well above the 1.164 league average.