60% of the time this mustache works every time.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 28, 2018
On the Agenda:
1. Trade Talks!
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitchers
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) June 28, 2018
deGrom has enjoyed a marvelous season thus far, and when healthy Syndergaard is a top-15 pitcher in the game. Both have multiple seasons of control left on their contracts and would bring in a haul of talent for a struggling Mets team. For fantasy purposes – especially AL/NL Only formats that don’t allow you to keep a player if they switch leagues – this will be something to monitor prior to the deadline.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported that it’s become, “increasingly possible” that Cole Hamels will be traded prior to the Allstar Game.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 29, 2018
The Rangers aren’t going anywhere this season and Hamels is essentially a free agent ($20 million club-option for 2019). He’s also enjoyed a productive season after being left for dead in drafts a few months ago (3.61 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 4.04 SIERA, 4.12 xFIP, 23% K, 9% BB, 1.8 HR/9). Regardless of where Hamels lands, he should remain a back-end starter in 15-team mixed leagues with room for improvement if he gives up less homers.
Per Jon Heyman, the Tigers are not expected to move RHP Michael Fulmer prior to the trade deadline.
Yankees are among teams to check in but rivals suggest no one will pay the price for Fulmer https://t.co/SvbOCRaVvD
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 28, 2018
According to Heyman, the Tigers view Fulmer as a #2 starter and teams are unwilling to, match that price tag. While Fulmer has been mediocre, he’s seeing a big bump in BB% despite having the same F-Strike% that he’s tallied in each of the two seasons prior. He’s giving up career-high levels in HR/9, HR/FB, and FB%, but continues to average 95 mph with his fastball. The stable velocity, in tandem with an increased K/9 (7.8) that’s being supported by an 11% SwSt, gives up hope that we’ll see slightly better results in the second half of the year – even if he stays with the Tigers.
The Phillies and Dodgers are aggressively pursuing Manny Machado according to Jon Heyman.
A couple of favorites for Manny https://t.co/KnNC3fGrcl
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 29, 2018
Per multiple sources the Cubs and Diamondbacks are in the mix as well, but Bob Nightengale said some industry insiders view the Dodgers as the clear frontrunner. The Phillies are willing to part with top prospect Sixto Sanchez in a deal for Machado, but it might not even take that much. If traded to the Dodgers, it would immediately boost a rather meager unit, and give them an amazing shortstop upgrade for this year with Corey Seager out of the mix. The Phillies are an up-and-coming squad that would love to see where their current record team could take them when you add in a superstar like Machado. Either way, a Machado trade to the NL could result in an adjustment period, and he’s currently on pace to post career-highs in HR, RBI, BA, along with other things. Now could be the perfect time to land a top-10 ish asset in fantasy for him.
Various News and Notes
Ronald Acuna has been activated from the 10-day disabled list after missing over a month with an MCL sprain. He’s only 3-for-21 (.143) during his six-game rehab stint, but he should be placed back in all fantasy lineups in all formats.
Christian Yelich exited Thursday’s game against the Reds in the first inning with lower back tightness. Be sure to monitor his progress in the coming days as this could involve a DL stint.
The Red Sox acquired Steve Pearce via trade on Thursday. Boston sent prospect INF Santiago Espinal in return. Pearce will try to help a Red Sox team that’s first in wRC+ against RHP this season (117), but sit in the middle of the pack against LHP (96 wRC+). He also has an .940 OPS against LHB in his career. He’ll receiver part-time at-bats in the outfield, first base, or at DH according to manager Alex Cora.
The Red Sox also signed Brandon Phillips to a minor league deal on Thursday. He’ll begin at Triple-A Pawtucket, playing third base, but will likely be called up once his timing starts to arrive. Like Pearce, Phillips has faired well against LHP throughout his career (.282 BA) and can also be solid insurance for Dustin Pedroia or Eduardo Nunez.
Carlos Correa was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a back injury. The ailment has bothered him the last couple of days and the Astros would rather not push it. He’s eligible to return on July 6th, but could be held out through the Allstar break. Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Bregman will help fill-in at shortstop while Correa is on the shelf.
After an MRI on Thursday morning, Shohei Ohtani saw healing in his sprained UCL in his right elbow and was cleared to start hitting work. If all things work out he could see live pitching in a few days. On the pitching end, he’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks to determine whether he can pitch this season.
Garrett Richards is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Advanced Inland Empire on Friday – going multiple innings. He could be activated from the disabled list by next week if the outing goes well.
Zack Cozart will undergo surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder on Friday and will be out for the season as a result. Luis Valbuena will continue to see the majority of the time at third base for now. The Angels are definitely in the market for an upgrade.
Jorge Bonifacio was reinstated after serving his 80-game suspension. He had a strong minor league assignment and hit 17 HR in 384 AB in 2017. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues.
Stephen Strasburg continued his throwing program he started last week – playing catch and throwing on flat ground on Thursday. He could throw a bullpen session this weekend if things went ok. There’s still no timetable for his return.
Chris Archer threw a 47-pitch simulated game spanning three innings on Thursday. His next step is a minor league game on Tuesday or Wednesday, with a hopeful return to the Rays rotation following that.
Yu Darvish continued to feel pain in his right triceps after throwing a bullpen session on Thursday. He was expected to return this weekend, but we’ll have to wait.
A Pitcher for Today: Nick Pivetta vs WAS (if available)
Pivetta has a 3.04 ERA at home (5.81 on the road). Both of his outings against WAS have come on the road thus far. The Nationals offense is 29th in wRC+ in June (71).
A Pitcher for Today: Joe Musgrove at SD
Hail Mary Option: Marco Gonzales vs KC
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Vincent Velasquez vs WAS
Fantasy Baseball and Tampa Bay Rays enthusiast. Restaurant manager by day, fantasy analyst by night. Contributor to Rotographs, Baseball HQ, Fantasy Pros, and co-owner of Friends with Fantasy Benefits. Follow me @MikeWernerFWFB.