Eno Sarris

Baseball Daily Dose

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Trade Deadline Daily Dose

Monday, August 01, 2011


Whoah, this one will be a doozy. It's time to recap the trades that went down over the weekend, with recommendations on each. Hopefully you were following along at HardballTalk, but if you missed something, the Daily Dose is here to help.

* Rockies' RHP Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians for LHP Drew Pomeranz, RHP Alex White, RHP Joe Gardner and 1B Matt McBride. The Indians get an ace, but they give up two very good pitching prospects in the lefty Pomeranz and the ground-ball White. Pomeranz will likely head to Double-A, but White has played some for the Indians this year and could step into the major league rotation in Colorado. He's reasonably exciting, but it's the lefty that has the ace-like potential. Much has been made of Jimenez being inconsistent, but other than a two mile per hour drop in fastball velocity, most of his numbers have been the same over his career. He's in the harder league, now, but has the nicer home park. He's a decent buy low and worth as much FAAB as you can throw at him in an AL-only league. Esmil Rogers steps into the rotation in Colorado now, but he's got wonky control and may not have the swinging strikes to make his ground balls work. NL-only for now.

* Astros' OF Hunter Pence to the Phillies for RHP Jarred Cosart, 1B Jonathan Singleton, RHP Josh Zeid and a PTBNL. Pence leaves a nice home park to go to a nice home park, so he won't have much better luck in Philly. He also moves from the top of the lineup to the middle, meaning that any possible boost in runs and RBI will be mitigated. There's very little change in his value, and with the way his batted-ball luck has looked so far this season, he could even regress going forward. Domonic Brown was sent down to make room, and Raul Ibanez celebrated the fact that he kept his job by hitting two home runs in a ten-inning Philly win Sunday. Cosart has the stuff to be a top-end pitcher, but his production has tailed off a little recently. Singleton is a better long-term prospect than Brett Wallace, but he's in High-A ball and is a ways away. There's not much fantasy value in this trade, except to know that Cosart is now closer to the big leagues because of the state of his major league pitching staff.

* Astros' OF Michael Bourn to the Braves for OF Jordan Schafer, LHP Brett Oberholtzer, RHP Paul Clemens and RHP Juan Abreu. Bourn is no big power guy, so the move should only help him in runs and RBI. He's about as ownable as ever. Jason Bourgeois is an immediate pickup in all leagues, even if he's just a speedster. He did hit his first home run Sunday, and added two stolen bases, but speed is his game. The last speed-only guy in Houston turned out to be pretty good. Schafer could be relevant in deeper leagues, but he just doesn't have the profile of a high batting average guy, so his utility is muted. The rest of the arms are not top-shelf talent and should just be wait-and-sees at best.

* Orioles' RHP Koji Uehara to the Rangers for 1B Chris Davis and RHP Tommy Hunter. Padres' RHP Mike Adams to the Rangers for RHP Joe Wieland and LHP Robbie Erlin. The Rangers upgraded their bullpen with a pair of relievers that have both been better than incumbent closer Neftali Feliz. This will be a bullpen to watch, but Uehara's experience closing might nudge him in front of the also-excellent Adams. Manager Ron Washington has recently questioned the competitive fire of Feliz, so it sounds like he's ready to make the change. Pick up Uehara now. Adams was already owned anyway. Don't drop Feliz just yet, though, because his manager said after the trade that the newcomers will pitch the seventh and eighth. Sigh. Chris Davis might actually get a longer shot in Baltimore with Derrek Lee moving to Pittsburgh, so AL-only owners should pick him up if they are looking for power. He'll never have a good batting average, but he's not toast yet. Otherwise the most interesting player in these two deals is lefty Erlin. He has great control, and now that he's going to call PetCo home, his fly-ball ways won't hurt as much. He's an excellent pickup in deeper dynasty leagues.

* SS Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals for OF Alex Castellanos. Furcal could use a little shot in the legs to get him going, and now he's guaranteed as much time as he wants. One worry is that he's mostly useful when he's stealing bags, but his athleticism has waned with his age. Also, the Cards steal fewer bags than anyone in baseball. Furcal might be a pickup for those desperate for help on the middle infield, but then again he was probably already owned in those leagues. Dee Gordon is back in Los Angeles and though his batting average might be risky, his speed is safe. He'll be a pickup in deeper leagues for speed-starved owners.

* A couple smaller deals deserve mention. Brad Ziegler went to the Diamondbacks for Brandon Allen and Jordan Noberto, but since he won't figure into the closer's role, it's Allen that's interesting. He joins Vernon Christopher Carter in Oakland to give them two high-powered low-contact sluggers. If one turns out okay, they might finally have a young power hitter in Oakland again. Behind Allen, Paul Goldschmidt finally gets the call. Scouts are suspicious of him, but the numbers are delicious. He's worth a flier pickup in deeper leagues. Erik Bedard went to the Red Sox as the very last deal of the day. He's still a strong enough pitcher that he's useful in most leagues, but you might want to keep him on the bench until he proves his knee is healthy. Trayvon Robinson, who ended up in Seattle as part of the trade, is a toolsy option who can provide some speed without a great batting average while in the Northwest.

Ryan Ludwick ended up on the Pirates in another last minute trade. The park factors for home runs by righties in San Diego (-5%) and Pittsburgh (-17%) suggest that Ludwick is not any more ownable now than he was before. But Kyle Blanks will get more time now and has prodigious power. He's an NL-only pickup. Orlando Cabrera joined the Giants, but he's barely ownable in any league. He might even share time with Mike Fontenot. Pass. Behind him, Jason Kipnis hit the first home run of his career. He'll get most of the starts, with the newly recalled Jason Donald helping out. Jason Marquis is in Arizona! Meh. The added home runs will detract from any possible wins. Mike Aviles was traded to the Red Sox. He won't get any additional playing time. Jerry Hairston, Jr. ended up in Milwaukee, and he could actually get enough time at second and short to be useful in deeper leagues. Doug Fister and Charlie Furbush traded places, meaning that Furbush could be a spot start in the future and Fister is that much less likely to be useful. But for now, it's Blake Beavan moving to the rotation. He's maybe less exciting than Furbush.

* Our performance-based coverage will take a necessary hit today, but let's look at the pitching. Justin Verlander only gave up one hit, but we knew he was amazing. Strangely enough, there will be anger for both Erick Aybar (bunting in the middle of a no-hitter) and Carlos Guillen (admiring his home run) from both sides. Ah, unwritten rules. Brandon McCarthy struck out nine and walked none and gave up three runs in six innings to continue his run of usefulness as a spot-starter at home. Vance Worley struck out seven and walked none, but his four runs in six innings against the Pirates means that he's risky going forward. Juan Nicasio struck out ten in seven innings as he held the Padres to one earned. In the deepest leagues he's worth rostering for the strikeouts. Johnny Cueto threw a shutout against the Giants, but it was the Giants. He struck out six and walked one, but he's also getting lucky on batted balls. If someone wants to pay for him as if he's a fantasy ace, sell. Derek Holland threw a shutout in Toronto on Saturday, which might be his best work in unfriendly confines so far this year. he's a high-upside pick in anything deeper than ten teamers.

The bad starts deserve some attention too. Carl Pavano gave up seven in four to the Athletics and if he can't stop Oakland, who can he stop? Rubby De La Rosa gave up three earned in four innings, with four walks. He also struck out six. Both of these things encapsulate his value: he has strikeout stuff and some control problems. He's also a great long-term keeper because of it. Nick Blackburn gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings Saturday, and it was against the Athletics. Yuck.

* The trainer was still busy this weekend. Derek Jeter was hit by Jake Arrieta, but only came out two innings later. He should be fine. Denard Span will be activated before Tuesday's game, since he wasn't traded to the Nationals. Who knows when Ben Revere gets at-bats now. Paul Konerko was hit in knee, but an X-ray came back negative and he will be day-to-day. Shin-Soo Choo could begin rehab August seventh, which is good news. Lance Berkman's shoulder allowed him to return to the lineup, where he hit a home run. Amazing year for him. Chipper Jones has been doing okay since returning from a knee injury, but now he's dealing with a quad injury. He'll be day-to-day the rest of the year probably. Carlos Gonzalez said Saturday that he wants to be ready to go on August sixth, the first day he's eligible. Casey Blake came back from his neck injury, and the Dodgers placed Juan Uribe on the DL in a corresponding move. Placido Polanco is back from the disabled list, too.

On the pitching side, Clay Buchholz continues to worry his team. Theo Epstein said that there is a high level of concern but the team thinks they know what is wrong. Cryptic. Johan Santana is recovering from the same surgery as Chien-Ming Wang, but his 30-day rehab schedule is due to end at the end of August, and feedback so far has been positive. He's not the worst stash.

National League Quick Hits: Jason Heyward collected two hits and might be heating up … Ramon Hernandez might be an August trade still, as the Giants need a catcher upgrade … Carlos Marmol got back on track with save number 20, so it looks like Sean Marshall is droppable again … Jason Isringhausen and Drew Storen were the big bullpen winner Sunday, as they stayed with their teams and retained their roles … Hiroki Kuroda is another pitcher that must be happy that he didn't move … Ryan Dempster struck out six and walked only one, so it's no surprise that he only gave up three runs in six innings against the Cardinals; He's a decent pickup if he's on your waiver wire … Dan Uggla hit a three-run home run Saturday and is on a good stretch back … Brandon Belt started twice over Aubrey Huff over the weekend, which is intriguing but not definitive … Mike Leake only allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings, but it as against the Giants … Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace were optioned to the minor leagues and are not really good options in even deeper dynasty leagues … Jordan Zimmermann held the Mets scoreless in six innings while striking out six and walking one, but he's so close to his innings limit that he's risky in non-keeper leagues … His opponent, Jon Niese, struck out six and didn't walk a batter while giving up two runs in 5 1/3 innings, and is usable in most leagues but not a must-start in any … Barry Zito was roughed up by the Reds (five runs in five innings) and is not really a good start in any league right now … Josh Collmenter or Micah Owings will head to the bullpen, says their general manager … James McDonald gave up five runs in five innings against the Phillies and is a fly-ball dude with poor control, so his upside is limited.

American League Quick Hits: Jeremy Hellickson held the Mariners to one run in seven innings, but he only struck out two … Coco Crisp wasn't traded and stole three bases Sunday … Brandon Morrow struck out 11 Rangers in seven innings while allowing two runs and is a strikeout-first option in most leagues … Dustin Ackley hit a two-run home run Saturday and is a mixed leaguer for sure … Nick Swisher had three hits and a home run Saturday, which is about par for his course the last month-plus … Joe Girardi said that removing Phil Hughes from the rotation is not really an option … It looks like Mike Trout will be sent down soon, or so says his manager … Bartolo Colon only gave up two runs in five innings against the Orioles Saturday, but he threw 105 pitches and wasn't at his best … Rich Harden was almost traded to the Red Sox, but staying in Oakland retains what little fantasy value he has … Jason Vargas was supposed to be a good spot start at home, but he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Rays at home, so despite his six strikeouts and one walk, he's a wonky start most days … Jake Arrieta walked six, and struck out four, so his two earned runs in five innings against the Yankees was much less impressive than it should be … Sean Rodriguez had three hits (one a homer) and is a good spot-start against lefties … Danny Duffy struck out six in five innings against the Indians, but it was his three walks that was a step in the right direction … Kevin Slowey didn't move, which doesn't make much sense … Andrew Miller struck out eight White Sox and walked just one while allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings, but he's too risky to own in most leagues … Jacob Turner was returned to the minor leagues after a decent start Saturday … Felipe Paulino struck out four, walked two and pitched six shutout innings against the Indians, and he's always had the strikeout ability, so he's still in interesting in deeper leagues … Matt LaPorta hit a walkoff home run to beat the Royals Saturday.


Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
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