Duda’s production per plate appearance is likely to drop with the trade. He’s going to a less prolific offense (4.6 R/g vs 4.8 R/G). Also, his new home park as a tougher park factor especially for home runs. But there is some up side.
His end-of-season production will likely not drop because he’ll get full-time at-bats as the Rays designated hitter. In New York, Duda was going to split time with Jay Bruce at first. Additionally, Dominic Smith would be joining the Mets first base situation at some point. There was just not enough at bats to go around.
So far with the Rays, Duda has played first base with Logan Morrison ailing (heel) but will likely DH once Morrison returns. It seems like Duda will play every day as long as he can stay healthy which could not be said for him as a Met.
The loser in the deal is Brad Miller who will no longer be the team’s designated hitter. The 27-year-old Miller is posting a unique .200/.336/.328 slash line. While a career high 17% BB% is helping him keep his on-base rate respectable, his four home runs are a far cry from the 30 he hit last season. Miller now looks to be droppable in almost all formats.
Drew Smith is a non-factor in 2017.
Like the Eduardo Nunez trade, adding Cabrera gives the Royals a few more roster options by letting the outfielders and designated hitter take a break. This is a good move for the team, bad for everyone’s fantasy value. The key is to figure out who sits and how often.
My money is on Gordon eventually sitting the most as he has struggled offensively (.202/.296/.303). It will be tough for the Royals to sit Gordon since they still owe him $40M over the next two season. But they are trying to win one last championship with this player core. Hopefully, winning takes precedence. I see Cabrera starting most games with Gordon being a late game substitution.
The White Sox have nearly traded off all their valuable assets. I figured one of the kids brought up would be useful but only Yoan Moncada seems fantasy relevant so far. In deep leagues, owners may have to spend for a Adam Engel or Leury Garcia just to the get some needed counting stats.
What a bizarre trade. The Mets are in sell mode, as seen with the Lucas Duda trade, so picking up a reliever with closing experience was completely unexpected. The trade shake-ups both teams’ bullpens.
For the Mets, they have been trying to trade Addison Reed and may do so by the end of the day (sounds like to the Red Sox). If they do, Ramos looks to be the closer until Jeurys Familia returns from the disabled list. Ramos’s time as a closer is nearing its end.
For the Marlins, I could see Junichi Tazawa, Kyle Barraclough, or Brad Ziegler eventually be the closer at some point. Right now, Tazawa has the job while the other two are coming back from injuries. If he can effectively get a handful of Saves before the others get back in the groove, he could have the job until he fails.
The side-arming Ziegler has the important trait of previously being a closer but his 2017 season has been horrible (6.52 ERA, 3% K%-BB%). Barraclough is the more traditional closer with the high velocity (95 mph), strikeouts (> 9 K/9), and 3.30 ERA. The problem with him this season has been the 6 BB/9. Picking the eventual closer is a gamble right now and owners can just hope to come out right. And if they do guess correctly, the production could be sub-par.
The Twins quickly fell out of contention after acquiring Garcia from the Braves on July 24th. They lost five of six and went from .500 to three games under. Garcia gives the Yankees an innings eater who should help to solidify the backend of the Yankees rotation down the stretch.
Garcia will be in line for more Wins than he was with the Twins and Braves but I expect him to get hit around facing mainly AL East opponents down the stretch. If an owner needs some Wins and Strikeouts pick him up. If not, stay away as he will do damage to both ERA and WHIP.
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 three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.