Mark Feinsand did a piece at MLB.com highlighting a player per position who could be dealt later this month, a good look at the early market that I recommend you read. What I’d like to do is look into the aftermath of those potential trades and highlight some guys who could fall into jobs. If you’re light on FAAB like I am in some leagues, you may consider acting early – especially with those who are almost certainly on the move – and scoop some of these guys in the coming weeks instead of waiting until August 1st.
I’m skipping the pitchers because I don’t really see anyone worth picking up among Giants starters when Madison Bumgarner is traded. Feinsand’s RP pick was also from the Giants – Will Smith – and I think we really have to wait out the deadline to see how many relievers they move from their very appealing pen. Smith, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson, Reyes Moronta, Trevor Gott, and even Mark Melancon could find themselves in new bullpens by August 1st. If you really want to speculate here, I’d go Moronta. They’re less inclined to move him unless they’re overwhelmed and the 26 year old has a 31% K rate, 13% BB rate, 2.66 ERA, and 1.15 WHIP in 108.3 career innings.
Feinsand Pick (FP): Martin Maldonado, KC
Maldonado himself is barely rosterable so his clearing the space for someone like Cam Gallagher (27 wRC+) is meaningless. If it cleared the path for Meibrys Viloria (93 wRC+ at AA), that miiight register in AL-Only leagues with two catchers. Might.
FP: Justin Smoak, TOR
Rowdy Tellez has played in 72 of Toronto’s 86 games, but only started 66 of them. Smoak’s departure would no doubt be a boon for Tellez. He’s a relatively generic power hitter with 14 HR, a .217 ISO, and 29% K rate in his 265 PA. His full season pace of 32 HR is solid enough, but it’s pretty empty with just a .225 AVG and .279 OBP and not much hope for either to sharply improve, even with a full-time role.
FP: Dee Gordon, SEA
Gordon’s departure would open the door for a prospect I only learned about last fall at the AFL: Shed Long. At that point he was part of the Cincinnati Reds organization and coming off his third solid power-speed campaign. He averaged 14 HR and 16 SB per 500 PA in 1509 PA over the three seasons. His 8 HR in 229 PA at Triple-A put him on a 17 pace in 500 PA this year, but the speed has dwindled with just 1 SB in 4 tries.
Now he did go 3-for-4 on the bases in a 79 PA stint with the Mariners so I still think he can add speed to your bottom line. Long can also play OF so even if Gordon isn’t moved, the Mariners will likely do something to open space for the 23-year old.
FP: Freddy Galvis, TOR
In a recent podcast, Justin and I discussed the exploits of Galvis and regular keystone partner, Eric Sogard. Astute listeners mentioned that the arrival of Bo Bichette could significantly impact the playing time of one. Of course, a trade of one or both – neither Galvis (29 years old) nor Sogard (33) is a realistic part of their next successful team – would alleviate those concerns.
Bichette would likely already be up if not for a broken hand suffered back in April. He returned in early June with a quick four-game stop in High-A before reassuming his position in Triple-A and continuing to rake: .338/.408/.515 with 2 HR and 8 SB in 76 PA. He should already be stashed where possible because of his absurd upside and a near-guarantee that at least one of Galvis or Sogard will be dealt.
FP: Anthony Rendon, WAS
The Nats are now a couple games north of .500 and just 1 game out of the wildcard. If they remain there, they won’t be moving Rendon. If they do fall back and start moving pieces, I’m not sure who the prime beneficiary of a Rendon trade would be among third basemen. However, if they are moving Rendon, they are likely making multiple moves meaning they’d open a spot for Carter Kieboom to return.
He did nothing in his 11-game sample back in April/May (.491 OPS), but he got right back to tearing up the minors with a .298/.404/.565 line with 10 HR and 2 SB in 203 PA. Kieboom would certainly cost quite a bit less than he did in late-April, but you might consider re-scooping a week to 10 days head of the deadline if the Nats hit the skids again.
Castellanos is a rental and has no business remaining on a rebuilding Tigers team for the duration of the year so he should 100% be dealt. Daz Cameron is the best outfield prospect in the Tigers system, but he hasn’t really taken off in Triple-A (.728 OPS, 9-for-17 SB rate) so he’s not the automatic call-up here (though he should at least get a September look, regardless of his numbers). Victor Reyes has been a better version of Cameron in Triple-A with an .806 OPS, 9 HR, and 7 SB (though in 12 attempts) and he’s already on the 40-man roster.
Frazier is already on the outside looking in because of the crowded Yankees outfield so his being dealt wouldn’t really create any extra opportunities on the Yanks.
Renfroe could be dealt even if the Padres remain fully in the race because playing time is tight with a group of DHs being crammed into three OF spots. As nice as it is to watch Renfroe and Franmil Reyes obliterate baseballs in the middle of the SD lineup, they are essentially clones. A Renfroe move could help bolster their pitching and create an opportunity for Wil Myers to rebound or open up more time for Josh Naylor. Myers is more of a shallow league potential pickup while Naylor will be more desirable in deep leagues.
FP: Jose Abreu, CWS
Feinsand lists Abreu as his DH pick, but with the DFA of Yonder Alonso, he’s once again the primary first baseman. I only bring that up because I’m not entirely sure who’d assume the 1B role if Abreu is traded. Daniel Palka would still be the beneficiary, assuming a large portion of the DH time, but somebody else would have to play first. Palka is very similar to Tellez. He smacked 27 homers in 449 PA last year with a .240 AVG. He had 16 HR in 265 PA at Triple-A before a recent recall on June 28th.