15 fantasy takeaways from Deadline deals
The 2015 non-waiver Trade Deadline was as wild as any in recent memory. The fantasy fallout was tremendous, and here are the biggest takeaways from the past week's flurry of activity.
1. Cueto set to excel in American League
Don't let the move to the DH league scare you away. Johnny Cueto -- who makes his Royals debut Friday night against the Blue Jays -- relocates from homer-happy Great American Ball Park to Kauffman Stadium, and he will benefit from the support of arguably the best defensive unit and best bullpen in baseball. John Lamb -- one of the three southpaws headed to Cincinnati in the trade -- has a 2.81 ERA in Triple-A this year and is a sleeper pickup.
2. New park, same Tulo
Troy Tulowitzki will miss hitting at Coors Field, but Rogers Centre is also an offense-inducing venue, and the AL East is home to many hitter-friendly parks. Joining a lineup that leads the Majors by a wide margin in runs should help him collect counting stats. Jose Reyes' fantasy value also remains relatively unchanged. He loses the benefits from hitting atop Toronto's stellar starting nine, but the Rockies possess their own above-average offense.
3. Papelbon elite again; Giles relevant
The move to the Nationals should vault Jonathan Papelbon into the top tier of fantasy closers, as he converted all 17 save chances he was afforded for the last-place Phillies. The Papelbon trade will push Drew Storen to a setup role and makes him waiver fodder in most leagues. The biggest beneficiary of this trade is Ken Giles (career 11.9 K/9), who becomes the Phils' stopper.
4. Price now backed by league-leading lineup
David Price should be well-supported by a Blue Jays offense that leads the Majors in runs scored. Rogers Centre is a challenging venue for pitchers, but with a career 3.13 ERA, Price has the elite skills to handle any park. Daniel Norris -- one of three southpaws sent to Detroit in this trade -- joins the Tigers' rotation, but is probably only suitable as a pickup in AL-only leagues.
5. Hamels' fantasy value holds tight
Cole Hamels will now enjoy the benefits of working in front of a respectable defense, but the move to Globe Life Park is unlikely to give Hamels a fantasy boost, and he will now need to face deeper AL lineups. Also, fantasy owners will assume that the 31-year-old's win total will now rise rapidly, but he is going to turn the ball over to a Texas bullpen that ranks last in the Majors with a 4.66 ERA. Overall, this is a lateral move.
6. Busch Stadium unlikely to help Moss' power numbers
With the ability to work at first base or in the outfield, Brandon Moss should remain an everyday player on the postseason-bound Cardinals. The trade is unlikely to enhance the 31-year-old's fantasy value, as spacious Busch Stadium will force the slugger to work for his round-trippers. Hitting .215 with 15 homers, Moss can be used in deep mixed leagues.
7. Wood, Latos gain value in LA; Olivera a sleeper
New Dodgers Alex Wood and Mat Latos will both remain in pitcher-friendly home parks while now being supported by a better lineup. After joining the Dodgers' suddenly deep bullpen, Jim Johnson is unlikely to receive any save chances and can be dropped to waivers in mixed leagues. The same can be said for second-base prospect Jose Peraza, who is unlikely to help mixed-league owners this season now that he is in the Dodgers' deep pool of infielders. The biggest beneficiary of this deal may be infield prospect Hector Olivera, who should be part of Atlanta's regular lineup in the near future.
8. Soria falls to waivers
Now with the contending Bucs, Joakim Soria should work in a setup role in Pittsburgh, which will cause him to fall to waivers in leagues that do not value holds. Back in Detroit, the team may use a committee in the ninth inning for the duration of the season. Bruce Rondon, Al Alburquerque and Neftali Feliz could each garner save chances, and it is possible that no Tigers reliever will produce enough saves to aid mixed-league owners.
9. Leake moves to pitcher-friendly home
One of the less-notable Deadline moves could be among the most significant for fantasy owners. With a career 3.87 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, Mike Leake has maintained fringe status in many mixed leagues. He will now vacate offense-inducing Great American Ball Park and enjoy the benefits of working at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. Joining a surging San Francisco squad that plays excellent defense, Leake could be an asset in shallow leagues down the stretch.
10. Trade benefits Gomez, Fiers, Santana
The powerful and speedy Carlos Gomez gets a fantasy boost with his move to Houston. Mike Fiers, pitching well of late, will accompany Gomez on his move, but Fiers should see relatively little change in his fantasy production. Because of the arrival of Gomez, Astros outfielders Colby Rasmus, Jake Marisnick and Preston Tucker may be squeezed for playing time. (All three were already marginal mixed-league options.) The big fantasy winner in this trade could be Domingo Santana with the Brewers. With solid Minor League stats, he could hold immediate value in mixed leagues if he is soon handed a regular role.
11. Parra's new lineup provides boost
Hitting .328 with nine homers and nine steals across 323 at-bats this season, Gerardo Parra is already enjoying the best year of his career. The 28-year-old could have enhanced value if he is handed a premium lineup spot in an Orioles lineup that ranks eighth in the Majors in runs scored. Hitting directly in front of Adam Jones and Chris Davis may allow Parra to be among the Junior Circuit leaders in runs scored from this point forward. Back in Milwaukee, the absence of Parra clears additional room for the previously mentioned Santana to get his first extended Major League trial.
12. Speedy Revere a steal for Toronto
Ben Revere is good for 30-plus steals a season, which has always made him fantasy relevent, but he's scored just 49 this year due to the Phillies' mediocre lineup. Even if he hits lower in the order, he may cross home plate just as often now that he has a chance to hit in a Blue Jays lineup that leads the Majors in runs.
13. Haren's status unchanged
With a season-to-date 3.42 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, Dan Haren has been a surprisingly effective starter for mixed-league owners this season. The right-hander should retain all of his current fantasy value through a trade from the Marlins to Cubs, as Wrigley Field is fairly pitcher-friendly and the Cubs have a better offense. Haren's 4.59 FIP is notably higher than his ERA, but an ERA correction may occur regardless of the logo on his cap.
14. Cespedes' value takes a hit with trade to Mets
Yoenis Cespedes will be counted on to prop up a lagging Mets lineup, but his counting stats may take a hit while he bats in the heart of a lineup that sits last in baseball with a .664 OPS. The Tigers rank third in the Majors with a .761 OPS, so this is almost as dramatic a lineup switch as a player can undergo at the deadline. Beginning on August 28, the Mets will play just seven of their final 35 games of the season at hitter-friendly venues.
15. Kazmir should continue career year in Houston
Scott Kazmir leads the Junior Circuit with a 2.10, and he should be well-supported on a Houston team that made some shrewd moves this month. The left-hander joins a postseason contender that ranks second in baseball with a .710 defensive efficiency ratio and third in the Majors with a 2.68 bullpen ERA. Fantasy owners who have retained Kazmir during his breakout season will likely be more than pleased with his work down the stretch.