Fantasy Baseball

2016 Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline Review: Hitting

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What a flurry of deals at the trade deadline this year! I guess that extra day really helped some trades get done.

Trade Deadline Review

Credit: Arturo Pardavila III

Perhaps I am a little biased as a Rangers fan, but this was one of the more exciting deadlines I can remember.

If you’re wondering how all these moves impact fantasy, we here at the Six Pack have got you covered. My colleague, Tyler Thompson, has the Pitching covered here. I will be taking a look at the impact on the Hitters.


Trade Deadline Review – Hitting

Infielders

Jonathan Lucroy, Catcher, from Milwaukee Brewers to Texas Rangers

Look, I said I was biased, okay? This deal actually may have more of a fantasy impact on the Rangers’ pitching staff than it does on Lucroy’s outlook. He is regarded as one of the best pitch defensive catchers in baseball.

He moves from one hitter’s park to another where he will benefit from a better lineup (the Rangers have scored 505 runs to the Brewers’ 417). Yet he probably loses at-bats since he’s likely to bat sixth or seventh. He also has to adjust to a new league. I’d say it’s probably an even trade-off.

Martin Maldonado will take his place as the primary catcher in Milwaukee. Robinson Chirinos moves to a reserve role in Texas. Neither is a fantasy consideration except in the deepest of leagues.

Eduardo Nunez, 3B/SS, from Minnesota Twins to San Francisco Giants

Nunez, one of fantasy’s biggest surprises this season, was acquired last week by the Giants, who at the time had established starters at each infield position. However, thanks to the Matt Duffy trade (see below), Nunez now slots comfortably in at third base as the Giants’ leadoff man.

He’s hit 12 HR this year, but considering he only has one homer since July began (none since the break) and AT&T Park is a worse park for right handed batters, I wouldn’t count on too many more dingers. The good news is he stole ten bases in July after nabbing nine in June. The speed should continue.

Eduardo Escobar takes over at short for the Twins. He isn’t a fantasy consideration outside of deep AL-only.

Matt Duffy, 2B/3B, from San Francisco Giants to Tampa Bay Rays

After a solid rookie campaign, Duffy has had a bit of a sophomore slump this season. He has been on the DL with an Achilles injury since June. Prior to being dealt, he was due to begin a rehab assignment soon and should be back later this month.

His fantasy outlook worsens a bit with the move. Both AT&T Park and Tropicana Field are pitcher’s parks, but the Giants have a significantly better offense than the Rays. However, he will play shortstop when he gets back, adding to his already nice positional flexibility.

The Rays traded a couple hitters away at the deadline, and they like to platoon guys anyway, so my guess is Duffy’s arrival doesn’t affect anyone’s playing time in Tampa much. Brad Miller has played short in all 89 of his games this year, so he’ll likely move to second or outfield, where he is already eligible.

Outfielders

Jay Bruce, from Cincinnati Reds to New York Mets

The Mets acquisition of the NL’s RBI leader in Bruce means he moves to both a worse park and lineup (the Mets are the third-worst offense in baseball). The move hurts him a bit, but he should still get plenty of HR and RBI.

It doesn’t help the value of the Mets’ pitchers or outfielders either, as Bruce isn’t a great defender, and it also means similarly not-great defenders Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson have to split centerfield duties. Maybe one of those guys will learn to play first, which would be great for the value of all of those outfielders, but definitely not good for the pitchers.

The trade does help several Reds. Adam Duvall should bat cleanup and Eugenio Suarez will move up to sixth or perhaps fifth. (No one knows why Brandon Phillips would bat fifth. Nevertheless, he’s been batting sixth in front of Suarez, recently.)

Speedy prospect Jose Peraza now has an everyday role in left field. Peraza has 10 steals in just 88 AB and qualifies at 2B and OF. He is an immediate add in 14 team leagues and is a worthy upside play in smaller leagues or if you need speed.

Carlos Beltran, from New York Yankees to Texas Rangers

Beltran moves to a much better lineup but likely a spot or two down in the order. The park tradeoff is probably negligible. Overall, the trade helps his fantasy value and that of the rest of the Rangers’ regulars.

It negatively impacts Joey Gallo, the Rangers’ top prospect. He had been called up in the last few days and had been serving as the DH. The Rangers sent him back down after the trade. Deep leaguers wishing for a Delino DeShields revival also had their hopes dashed.

For the Yankees, it means top prospects Gary Sanchez (catcher/DH) and Aaron Judge (OF) could get called up very soon to push out the likes of Aaron Hicks and Rob Refsnyder, who weren’t fantasy contributors anyway.

Josh Reddick, from Oakland A’s to Los Angeles Dodgers

Reddick moves to a better park and lineup, where he could be a significant fantasy contributor if he can stay healthy. The real news on the hitting side is the demotion of Yasiel Puig, whom Reddick will replace in the Dodgers’ lineup. If you haven’t cut Puig yet, well now you have absolutely no excuse outside of dynasty leagues.

Reddick’s departure opens up playing time for Danny Valencia, who recently lost his starting gig as the A’s regular third baseman. Jake Smolinski should see more time as well and is worthy of deep-league speculation.

 

Matt Kemp, from San Diego Padres to Atlanta Braves

Believe it or not, Kemp is going to a worse park for power than he had in San Diego, and MLB’s worst offense. His numbers almost definitely take a hit. Perhaps his presence boosts Freddie Freeman’s a little bit.

 


While no one else of note is impacted in Atlanta, Kemp leaving creates a void in San Diego. Outfielder Alex Dickerson is battling a hip contusion, but prior to that, he had homered in four consecutive games. Yangervis Solarte (1B/2B/3B) just came back off the medical emergency leave list and batted cleanup last night.

Like Dickerson and Solarte, 2B/3B Ryan Schimpf has also been on a power tear over the past month, and all three players should bat in the heart of the order for the Padres. Wil Myers dropped from second to third in the order.

About David Phillips

David Phillips is originally from Austin, Texas and has been playing fantasy sports for over twenty years. His favorite teams are all from the Dallas area, with the possible exception of the San Antonio Spurs. Feel free to hit him up with a question on Twitter: @davidinperu

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