With less than two weeks remaining until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, wise owners will be looking for discounted players who could benefit from a late-July swap. With the Deadline in mind, the following five players could get a significant boost in fantasy value by Aug. 1.Yonder Alonso, first
With less than two weeks remaining until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, wise owners will be looking for discounted players who could benefit from a late-July swap. With the Deadline in mind, the following five players could get a significant boost in fantasy value by Aug. 1.
Yonder Alonso, first baseman, A's
Alonso has cooled off since a torrid May, producing just seven home runs and 13 RBIs across 138 at-bats since June 1. For many owners, the 30-year-old's unremarkable recent results will combine with his lack of power skills prior to 2017 to form the conclusion that his May success was a one-month aberration. But wise owners will grab Alonso at a discount, hoping that he is dealt at the Deadline to a club with a hitter-friendly home park and productive lineup.
Jose Bautista, outfielder, Blue Jays
Bautista has been a frustrating fantasy asset, producing a batting average below .210 and an OPS south of .700 in three of the four months thus far in 2017. Owners of the 36-year-old are likely struggling to see the upside of a player who offers minimal speed and a low batting average, while also possessing little RBI potential as the leadoff man in a lineup that ranks 28th in baseball with 146 runs scored since June 1. However, the soon-to-be free agent could see his fantasy fortunes change if a Deadline deal puts him in the heart of a contending team's lineup by Aug. 1.
Sonny Gray, starter, A's
One of the game's most rumored trade candidates lately, Gray owns a respectable 3.72 ERA this season with a 1.33 mark across his past four starts. Still, the fantasy ceiling can only get so high for a pitcher on a team that ranks 14th in the American League in winning percentage (.452), 21st in baseball in defensive efficiency ratio (.684) and 23rd in the Majors in runs scored (401). Gray could be a special late-season fantasy asset if he gains an improved supporting cast and maintains his recent effectiveness.
Trevor Cahill, starter, Padres
Cahill has flashed attention-grabbing skills this season, logging an 11.1 K/9 rate and a 59.6 percent ground-ball rate. But like Gray, the right-hander's fantasy ceiling is capped thanks to his supporting cast. The Padres rank 26th in baseball in winning percentage (.435), 24th in defensive efficiency ratio (.682) and last in runs scored (334). Yes, Cahill owns massive home-road splits in 2017 (0.72 ERA at Petco Park, 5.01 ERA on the road), but he has the ability to remain successful if he's dealt to a contending team later this month.
Kyle Barraclough, reliever, Marlins
Closer A.J. Ramos is one of many Marlins who has popped up in trade rumors this month. And if the Marlins deal their bullpen anchor, they may tab Barraclough as their ninth-inning replacement. Although the right-hander lacks the necessary control (career 5.9 BB/9 rate) to be a top-tier stopper, he has the swing-and-miss skills (lifetime 12.2 K/9 rate) to get himself out of trouble and compile saves and whiffs down the stretch.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.