Trade Impacts: Walker, Phillips, and Dyson

The Seattle Mariners traded Taijuan Walker to the Toronto Blue Jays for a PTBNL

With the Mariners, Walker (49% owned in CBS leagues) was riding a .225 BABIP (.282 for his career) to a lower than expected ERA (4.00) and WHIP (1.07). So even before the trade, some regression was expected with his rate stats. Now, he’s going to go pitch in a tougher home park and division. The results could be straight up ugly.

On Toronto, his projected rest-of-season ERA is at 4.85 and WHIP at 1.40. Not good. He was able to suppress his ERA because of his flyball nature (37% GB%) while pitching in Seattle. That advantage is gone but there is hope. His sinker has a better swinging-strike rate than his four-seamer (8% vs 5%) and a better groundball rate (46% vs 30%). He’s going to have to improve in several small ways to maintain anything close to his production so far this season.

I think the range of possible outcomes could be from more of the same production to being completely unrosterable. It might be tempting to use him in his upcoming two-step at Miami and at Boston, but if I rostered him, I’d bench him to see if he can adjust to his new team and then see if he’s worth starting.

No starter in Toronto loses fantasy value since, with the exception of Hyun Jin Ryu 류현진, they are unrosterable and/or hurt.

With Seattle, it means Nick Margevicius (6% owned) could permanently join the rotation and just yesterday I wrote the following about him.

Nick Magevicius: Again, he’s following a simple plan for improvement. First, he’s walking almost no one (1.4 BB/9). He’s gained 2 mph on his fastball (88.3 mph to 90.3 mph) and is posting a reasonable 8% SwStr%. And his overall 39% GB% is hiding a dual-nature batted ball profile. His fastball has a 33% GB% while his slider (80% GB%) and curve (71% GB%) are worm killers.

I’m sure some analysts will mark his 1.02 WHIP and 4.12 ERA for regression, but if he can keep the results going he could be a nice sleeper over the rest of the season.

I’m very interested to see if he can keep the results going.

As for the PTBNL, a complete stud and needs to be rostered in all formats, but don’t be surprised if he’s traded again before Monday.

The Kansas City Royals traded Brett Phillips to the Toronto Blue Jays for a Lucius Fox

I think nothing changes in 2020 fantasy value for anyone involved in the trade. Phillips was barely playing with the Royals (18 games, 34 PA). In five of those games, he was added as a pinch hitter or runner. Phillips has a decent career platoon split but he can barely hit right-handed pitchers (.658 OPS) and completely useless against lefties (.485) OPS. He has decent speed (95th percentile in sprint speed) and passable centerfield. He’s a defensive replacement at best for Tampa, but more likely he’s end-of-season waiver wire fodder.

As for the Royals, nothing changes. It seems like Bubba Starling should get a boost but it’s only as a pinch-runner or backup outfielder. With everyone healthy, the Royals have moved Whit Merrifield to center-field and are playing Nicky Lopez at second base every day. Ryan McBroom is getting the outfield nod when a corner spot opens up. Bubba is just riding-the-pine-for-nine.

As for Fox, I’m only interested if the 21-year-old gets promoted to the major. With Lopez struggling (.587 OPS), the Royals could see how Fox hits major league pitchers. It’s not a secret that Fox has struggled to make contact while advancing through the minors (31 K% in AAA last season). He did steal a combined 39 bases in AA and AAA. If he gets the promotion, owners in need of stolen bases should buy immediately.

The Pittsburgh Pirates trade Jarrod Dyson to the Chicago White Sox for international bonus pool space.

Dyson has hit like sh …. not well over the past three seasons (.212/.296/.288). The White Sox are getting a useful glove. What they are adding is a late-inning pinch-runner sine Dyson can still run.

Over the past three seasons, he’s stolen 50 bases in 57 attempts (87% success rate). The steals continue to come even though his Sprint Speed has been declining over the past few seasons. His Sprint Speed percentile rank has gone from 92% to 83% to 55%. Even at 55%, he’s four-for-four in stolen bases this season.

Besides in maybe in AL-only leagues, Dyson remains completely unrosterable.

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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3 years ago

Philips is actually somewhere between good and excellent in center, based on both DRS and UZR, so I’m not sure why you called him passable there.

I don’t think it really changes how much he plays, but it seems an odd statement.