Deadline Deals: A Dozen Value Gainers

Just to be clear, the following players are far from the best players involved. I’m focusing on the guys moving up in value. Some might not even be in play in most leagues (e.g. Reds outfield) but have the biggest up arrows attached to them.

1. Félix Bautista (BAL): Of the bullpen changes, Bautista seems the most likely to get the bulk of the Saves with Jorge López gone even though others releivers could be involved.

I see the other being treated like Bautista was before the trade when he got three Saves.

On the season, Bautista has been great with a 1.66 ERA (2.77 xFIP), 11.6 K/9, and 0.88 WHIP. Looking across various shallow platforms (12-teams or fewer), he seems to be about 50% available.

2. José Quijada (LAA): With Raisel Iglesias now on the Braves, the bullpen was wide open and Quijada converted the team’s Save chance on Tuesday night. While he has a 4.04 ERA, his ERA estimators are in the 3.00 range. In 35 IP, he’s been damn good with a 12.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. He will though give up a few home runs because of a 30% GB%.

The only issue is that he might not be the guy and keep an eye on the usage of Ryan Tepera (4.26 ERA, 7.6 K/9, and 1.16 WHIP) and Aaron Loup (4.71 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and 1.35 WHIP).

3. Jake Odorizzi (ATL): It looked like in Houston that Odorizzi was headed to the bullpen. Now with Atlanta, he will remain in the rotation.

Odorizzi has been serviceable with a 3.75 ERA (4.61 xFIP), 6.9 K/9, and 1.15 WHIP.

4. Devin Williams/Taylor Rogers (MIL): It’s not clear right now who will get the bulk of the Saves. Williams (15.0 K/9, 1.59 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) is obviously the best pitcher but the team might want to limit the Saves he gets and therefore amount they need to pay him. Also, Rogers (10.5 K/9, 1.11 WHIP, 4.35 ERA) is left-handed so a handedness platoon might develop.

5. Tyler Mahle (MIN): Mahle finally gets out of Cincinnati where he had a career 5.02 ERA at home and a 3.74 ERA on the road. Besides continuing to allow runs at home (4.76 ERA), he’s been a decent pitcher this season with a 3.96 xFIP, 9.8 K/9, and 1.25 WHIP.

He now gets to pitch in a major league home ballpark, with a contending team, and in a weak division. Perfect.

6. José Quintana (STL): The trade to St. Louis is about as good as it could be for Quintana. He goes to a winning team with a great defense.

On the season, he has a 7.8 K/9, 1.27 WHIP, and 3.50 ERA (3.79 xFIP). He’s been getting his walks under control with his monthly rate going from 3.8 BB/9 to 3.0 to 2.4 to 2.0. While he was a waiver wire streamer, he’s now a must roster in about all formats.

7. Rowan Wick (CHC): I didn’t think the Cubs were going to empty their entire bullpen (Robertson, Givens, Effross, Martin), so by default, Wick now seems to be the closer. Wick has never been a good reliever because he struggles with walks (4.2 BB/9 in 2022, career 4.1 BB/9). While he does strike out a decent number of batters (9.1 K/9), the walks have both his ERA (4.36) and WHIP (1.73) at unacceptable levels. In leagues where every closer is rostered, Wick will be added as a last-ditch choice.

8. Jake McCarthy (ARI): Since David Peralta was traded to Tampa, McCarthy has started every while batting sixth. McCarthy has been good by hitting .266/.324/.422 with 3 HR and 5 SB in 140 MLB PA. In 165 AAA PA, he hit .369/.457/.596 with 5 HR and 11 SB. He just needs to continue at this level to be a solid contributor

9. Mickey Moniak (LAA): With the Angels trading away Brandon Marsh, it looks like Moniak will get a chance to be the centerfielder until Trout returns. Moniak has been a disappointment since he was the first overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Strikeouts (39% career K%) are the issue with Moniak with the league feeding him non-fastballs at a 62% clip. He’s been better in the minors by hitting .277/.341/.518 with 5 HR and 5 SB. There seems to be the potential for a balanced profile.

Besides the chance that he continues to struggle, this pick could be a huge miss since I haven’t seen with which club Moniak is being assigned.

10. JP Sears (OAK): Sears looks like he’ll be thrown right into the A’s rotation. A .213 BABIP is suppressing his 2.05 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. His 6.1 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 point to him being more of a low 4.00’s ERA pitcher.

11. Aristides Aquino/Matt Reynolds/Albert Almora Jr./Jake Fraley/Donovan Solano (CIN): Two outfield spots have opened up with Tommy Pham, Brandon Drury, and Tyler Naquin getting traded away. There are several options so here are the five with their listed Depth Chart OPS projection and career OPS splits.

Reds Outfield Options
Name DC Proj vsLHP vsRHP
Aristides Aquino .709 .701 .764
Matt Reynolds .675 .715 .607
Albert Almora Jr. .663 .707 .676
Jake Fraley .750 .443 .740
Donovan Solano .734 .703 .702

It’s clear that Fraley will likely remain on the strong side of a platoon. It’s unclear how the rest will play out and maybe it will end up being a mess. If I was to pick one, it would be Donovan Solano because he’s hitting the best this season (.299/.350/.430) and started in three straight games.

12. Josh Bell (SDP): I expect Josh Bell to hit right behind the big three in San Diego and just clean up with a ton of RBI. Also, he’ll see a boost in plate appearances as San Diego’s lineup will turn over more times than Washington’s lineup.

Bell has been having a great season hitting .301/.384/.493 with 14 HR.

Up but missed the cut: Kevin Plawecki (BOS), Kyle Isbel (KCR), Seth Beer (ARI), Mitch White (TOR), Juan Soto (SDP), C.J. Abrams (WAS), Emmanuel Rivera (ARI), Tucker Davidson (LAA), Oakland’s closer

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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1 year ago

I agree that Bautista is the logical beneficiary of Jorge Lopez’s departure, but I worry that the O’s will do the same thing to him that you are worried the Brewers will do to Devin Williams — suppress his saves to keep his arbitration leverage down.

1 year ago
Reply to  LenFuego

Perhaps saves shouldn’t be valuable to the arbitration.

1 year ago
Reply to  airforce21one

Perhaps. But they are.

Radhames Liz
1 year ago
Reply to  LenFuego

Maybe, but Bautista is first arb eligible in 2025. Seeing how fast the O’s churn through relievers, I doubt they’re too worried about what he might command then.