While the 2017 non-waiver Trade Deadline did not have the flurry of last-minute activity present in some past years, the action in recent days still changed the rest-of-season outlook for a handful of players.Most mixed-league waiver wires are now flush with possible save sources, and there are a few intriguing
While the 2017 non-waiver Trade Deadline did not have the flurry of last-minute activity present in some past years, the action in recent days still changed the rest-of-season outlook for a handful of players.
Most mixed-league waiver wires are now flush with possible save sources, and there are a few intriguing hitters waiting for those in deeper formats. Owners who missed out on the moves can get a rundown right here.
Dodgers bring Yu Darvish to Los Angeles
Although Darvish struggled his last time out (10 runs across 3 2/3 innings), he owns an impressive lifetime 11.0 K/9 rate and entered his most recent start with a solid 3.44 ERA on the year. Now on a team with a pitcher-friendly home park and the National League's best record, the right-hander could be stellar down the stretch. And with no clear timetable for the return of injured starters Clayton Kershaw and Brandon McCarthy, the Dodgers (and fantasy owners) are likely far from having to worry about an eventual rotation logjam for the likes of McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda.
Sonny Gray to take a bite out of the Big Apple
Having posted a 1.48 ERA during July, Gray will head to the Yankees in top form. Backed by a deep bullpen and a lineup that ranks fourth in baseball with 550 runs scored, the right-hander could win plenty of games down the stretch. However, Gray may also see a small uptick in his 3.43 ERA due to his new hitter-friendly home park. Meanwhile, his arrival could push rookie Jordan Montgomery (4.15 ERA, 8.5 K/9 rate) to New York's bullpen -- and the waiver wire in mixed leagues.
Jonathan Lucroy gets a fresh start in Colorado
Although Lucroy has been a disappointment this season (.242 average, four homers across 281 at-bats) after ranking as the top fantasy catcher a year ago, he could quickly return to starting lineups in all leagues now that he has hitter-friendly Coors Field as a home park. At the very least, owners in shallow formats should stash the 31-year-old on the bench as a streaming option for his contests in Colorado. Back in Texas, Robinson Chirinos has shown the necessary power (12 homers across 139 at-bats) to warrant attention in some one-catcher formats now that he is set for an expanded role.
Nats add another late-inning option
With 28 saves in 32 chances with the Twins this season, Brandon Kintzler has proven that he can handle ninth-inning duties. However, the right-hander lacks the swing-and-miss skills of a typical closer (career 6.3 K/9 rate) and may work in a setup role in front of Doolittle. For now, mixed-league owners should retain both Doolittle and Kintzler on the expectation that one of the two will compile many saves down the stretch. With Kintzler out of the picture in Minnesota, the Twins could hand their closer's role to Taylor Rogers, who leads the American League with 24 holds and owned a 1.93 ERA on July 21 before hitting a rough patch in recent outings. The club could also consider Trevor Hildenberger, a Minor League stopper who has shown exciting skills (19:3 K:BB ratio) across 17 1/3 career innings in the Majors.
AJ Ramos moves to the Mets
Ramos' fantasy value takes a significant hit with this deal. The right-hander should temporarily grab the closer's role, but he will still likely settle into the eighth inning when Jeurys Familia makes an expected return from the disabled list later this month. For now, Ramos owners can retain the 30-year-old in hopes of receiving a handful of early-August saves. Meanwhile, Brad Ziegler (85 career saves) will take over ninth-inning duties in Miami. The veteran has struggled this season, but he showed the skills to help mixed-league owners when he posted a 2.25 ERA and 22 saves a year ago.
Addison Reed relocates to Beantown
Reed (2.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) should provide helpful ratios for AL-only owners out of a setup role, but he is unlikely to receive the necessary save chances down the stretch to stay on mixed-league rosters. Reed owners who do not have access to Ramos can check waivers for a replacement such as Ziegler, Shane Greene or Sean Doolittle.
Cubs nab two Tigers
Justin Wilson (2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) should provide helpful ratios for NL-only owners out of a setup role, but he is unlikely to receive the necessary save chances down the stretch to stay on mixed-league rosters. Similarly, Alex Avila can fall to waivers in mixed formats now that he is set for a reserve role behind hot-hitting Willson Contreras (1.019 OPS in July). In Detroit, Shane Greene (2.74 ERA) should join mixed-league rosters as the likely ninth-inning replacement for Wilson. Although Greene has struggled with his control this season (4.9 BB/9 rate), he has been arguably the most reliable reliever in a Tigers bullpen that ranks last in baseball with a 5.29 ERA.
The Melk Man returns to Kansas City
Hitting .295 with 13 home runs across 397 at-bats, Cabrera could dent more shallow-league rosters now that he is part of a Royals lineup that has outscored the White Sox by 72 runs since June 1. His arrival creates a crowded outfield picture that makes Jorge Bonifacio (14 homers across 293 at-bats) and Brandon Moss (.854 OPS in second half) less appealing in deep-mixed leagues. Back in Chicago, Leury Garcia possesses plus speed and could join standard-league rosters by replacing Cabrera in left field. Also, the recent injury to Avisail Garcia as well as the departures of Todd Frazier and Cabrera make the White Sox lineup an attractive matchup for those streaming pitchers.
Orioles solidify shortstop with Timothy Beckham
Hitting .259 with 12 homers and five steals across 345 plate appearances, Beckham has already shown the necessary skills to join deep-league rosters. With this trade, the 27-year-old could begin to dent 12-team lineups should he regularly flash his power as the starting shortstop on a team with a hitter-friendly home park. Meanwhile, Brad Miller should handle most of the starts at second base from this point forward with Tampa Bay. Though the slugger has struggled this season (.199 average, four homers across 196 at-bats), he can stay on the deep-league radar behind his success from a year ago (30 home runs, 81 RBIs).
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.