Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Top 10 Fantasy Players Who Might Get Traded

posted by Pauly
The MLB trade deadline is July 31, and with that in mind, here are the top 10 fantasy-relevant players who may be moved by then. Fantasy owners in “only” leagues should be playing close attention, because you definitely don’t want to be blindsided by a player changing leagues on you as we head into the home stretch. Luckily for Cliff Lee owners, that didn’t happen.

So here they are, in my own order of likeliness to be moved, with the potential fantasy impact of being traded:

1. Roy Oswalt – Rumors are swirling all around Oswalt right now, and thankfully for his owners, most of the talk surrounds the Philadelphia Phillies. If Oswalt is moved to Philly, you can expect his mostly stellar season to continue – he obviously gets a better offensive and defensive squad behind him; and the ballpark change should have little effect, considering that neither park is pitcher-friendly. The only other team rumored to be in the hunt for Oswalt are the Yankees, the only team that can truly afford to take on Oswalt’s big contract (see Jayson Werth below). A move to the Big Apple would be fine for mixed league owners, but "only" leaguers would pay a huge price if it happened. I have also read that the Dodgers are contemplating making a run at Roy, but that’s hard to believe considering their financial situation.

2. Jayson Werth – In order for the Phillies to take on a contract like Oswalt’s, they must move Werth to free up some money. Werth has been largely off his game this season and has resided in Charlie Manuel’s doghouse for quite a while now. The latest rumor has the Phillies in negotiations with Tampa Bay – which could definitely use Werth’s services. NL-only Werth owners are sitting on pins and needles, and for just reason. In related news, if Werth is traded, hot prospect Domonic Brown will be getting the call.

3. Octavio Dotel – Dotel owners better be rushing to the wire to add Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan, just as insurance, because every day, Octavio looks more and more like a deadline deal candidate. And the worst part is that there is a 98-percent chance that whatever team acquires him will move him into a middle relief role. This is pretty much an emergency situation for fantasy owners, and you MUST try to deal him NOW to someone who may not be quite as much in-the-know as someone who, say, reads Advanced Fantasy Baseball. The Mets are the latest to be rumored to be first in line for Dotel, and there is zero chance he takes the closer role from K-Rod – but you already knew that.

4. Ted Lilly – The Cubs are out of it, and the Mets are trying all roads to land a starting pitcher – which is good for Lilly owners. A change of scenery and a pitcher-friendly home ballpark could be just what the doctor ordered for Lilly, who is 3-8 in 16 starts this year. The Yankees, however, fresh off the Andy Pettitte injury, may be throwing their hat into the Lilly mix as well. The Tigers, Twins and Dodgers are also in the mix, and the rumor is that the Cubs want a catching prospect in return. The Twins and Yankees definitely have the prospects to make them happy. A league change may be imminent here.

5. David Aardsma – ESPN reported on July 21 that Aardsma will be traded between now and the deadline. First of all, if you own Aardsma, you absolutely hate him and have been cursing yourself for ever believing that his 2009 season with 38 saves was “for real.” His trade – likely coming soon to the Detroit Tigers – would be the cherry on top of his 2010 fantasy stink pie, as he will lose any of the very little fantasy value he already has. The Twins and Red Sox are also reportedly interested in Aardsma, but none of the teams he will go to will install him as the closer.

6. Jake Westbrook – Westbrook is certainly available for the right price, but there is an escalator clause in his contract that, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, gives Westbrook a $2 million lump sum and a pro-rated $1 million salary increase if he is traded. Of course, that probably doesn’t mean squat to teams like the Yankees and Mets, and the same teams in the bidding for Lilly are in on Westbrook (although St. Louis is also in the mix). The pitcher has been “just OK” for the Indians this season, with a 4.67 ERA in 114 innings with just 5 K/9; however, all his suitors are contenders, so that should help.

7. Alberto Callaspo – All indications are that Callaspo will be dealt soon to the Anaheim Angels of Los, I mean the California Ang....nope errr, the LA Angels of middle California...uhh, errr...well you know which team I mean. ESPN’s Mark Saxon recently reported that the Angels “are believed to have offered” Sean O’Sullivan and a fringe prospect for Callaspo, only to have Royals GM Dayton Moore turn the offer down. Callaspo could play second or third for the Angels, and I think it’s only a matter of time before this deal goes down. It should definitely help Callaspo’s numbers when it happens.

8. Dan Haren – He is arguably the unluckiest pitcher in baseball, so a change of scenery should do wonders for Haren – and the Cardinals are the lead pony in this show. Haren’s owners would absolutely welcome the move, as the Cards provide more offensive pop, a batter home ballpark, a better defense – shoot a better anything – than Arizona has to offer these days. Haren can veto deals to 12 teams, thanks to a clause in his contract, and said recently that he wants to stay on the West Coast. That’s bad news for the other team rumored to be pursuing him, Philadelphia; and I guess you have to include the Yankees as potential buyers – if only for the fact that they buy everyone and everything that they want and that’s how they have done it for decades.

9. Matt Capps – A fantastic April and May have turned the Nationals’ closer into a hot commodity, and it is unlikely that Washington will want to keep him because he is arbitration-eligible and figures to get a big raise next year. With Drew Storen waiting in the wings and the Nats out of the hunt, a trade makes sense from both the financial and baseball standpoints. And there are loads of teams that are looking for relief pitching. All that said, Washington management is being very tight-lipped about their trade efforts, and Capps himself has asked to stay in D.C.

10. Jose Bautista – The Blue Jays are rumored to be asking for an elite prospect in exchange for Bautista, which says to me that a deal probably isn’t going to materialize. The Major League Home Run leader is arbitration-eligible, and his contract next season is expected to take quite the hefty bounce. That said, rumor has it that the Braves wanted to include Bautista in the recent Alex Gonzalez-Yunel Escobar deal. If Nate McLouth – who is returning from injury tonight – can’t find his stroke, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Atlanta make another deal with the Jays. That’s big, huge bad news for his AL-only owners. Still, it’s unlikely.

One extra tidbit: Ty Wigginton has been linked to interest from the New York Yankees. If he is traded to the Bronx, he will likely lose his full-time job and his fantasy status will obviously take a major hit. Just an FYI for ya!

Have some fun and post your comments below.



Blogger Jon Williams said...

Very useful stuff, Paul. I wonder if a Callaspo deal would bring Alex Gordon back to the majors. I can't figure out what the Royals are doing. If they aren't going to promote him back to the majors they should just trade him. Gordon has nothing left to prove in the minors.

Also interesting, the nationals have become a team players actually want to play for. A long way from the old Expo days. The fact that Adam Dunn isn't on this list is testament to that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 5:14:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Greg said...

Nice article, Paul. Last I heard, the Nationals were leaning away from trading Capps, Dunn, etc. It will be interesting to see if anything happens there or not. Also, it's probably a long shot, but the White Sox might make a big move for Fielder.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 12:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger maxter said...

Dunn's value will lower if he is traded becuse he will have no protection. He has Willingham now. Check out leave comments ask qs and tell me what you think.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 10:34:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jon Williams said...

Maxter, that's actually a ridiculous comment. It has been firmly established that batters needing protection is a myth. In addition to the silly idea that a team without a batter the equal of Willingham will be trading for Adam Dunn? Which contender would that be?

If you want to promote your site in my comment section, that's cool. However try not to say such stupid stuff or the regular readers here will just laugh at you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 11:16:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Pauly said...

Well it looks like I should have put Callaspo #1 lol.

News from CBS Sports: The Royals traded 3B Alberto Callaspo on Thursday to the Angels for SP Sean O'Sullivan and minor-league pitcher Will M. Smith. "He'll be a boost," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He can definitely play third base every day. We'll see how some of the pieces fit. The work he does in the batter's box is special. He can hit. He'll help fill the void Kendry Morales' departure created." Callaspo was in the starting lineup on Thursday against the Yankees before being traded. Wilson Betemit replaced Callaspo in the Royals' starting lineup.

This is also probably the end of Brandon Wood, if anyone but his mom cares.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 7:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger 3FingersBrown said...

Nice work Pauly. You see Prince and/or Hart getting moved? I think one of them will go. Recent rumors have Prince going to the ChiSox and Hart to TB. Either will cost a boatload of prospects.

Dunn will hit where ever he goes. I've heard talk of him being shipped to the Halos.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 3:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jon Williams said...

I would love to see Fielder on the White Sox. He could doserious damage in the AL.I just wonder what the Sox would have to part with. Huge salary or no, the Brewers are going to demand an equally huge return.

@Pauly - I'll miss Brandon Wood, after so many years of waiting for him to get an extended shot he just failed miserably. It is a sad ending for this part of his career. Now he enters the change of scenery phase.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 4:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Pauly said...

Update: Haren has indeed stayed on the West Coast, as he was just traded to the Angels for Joe Saunders and RP Rafael Rodriguez, minor league pitcher Patrick Corbin and a player to be named later on Sunday.

Looks like the Angels are serious about winning now.

Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 8:13:00 PM EDT  

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