by Will Overton
The MLB trade deadline is today at 4 PM EST and there should be plenty of wheeling and dealing to discuss throughout the day today. But last night yielded a few smaller trades that might still have some fantasy significance.
The Cubs made a pair of deals as did the Blue Jays and the Mariners were also involved in two different deals. Here is the rundown of last night’s movement and it’s fantasy implications.
The Cubs Trade Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers for Jacob Brigham
The Cubs apparently have had enough of Soto and his sub .200 hitting. While Soto does have power still he hasn’t been hitting for average at all lately and it’s been taking a toll on fantasy owners. Going to Texas should only help his power numbers considering the park he’ll play in, but the Rangers will still make Mike Napoli is in the lineup every day, often times at catcher so I wouldn’t expect too much. What this does do is completely negate any value Yorvit Torrealba has.
In return the Cubs got Brigham who is pitching at AA ball currently and has a 4.50 ERA and a solid K/9 rate of 8.79. Most scouts consider Brigham a fringe type prospect, but the K numbers make him at least interesting to keep an eye on.
The Cubs Trade Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Atlanta Braves for Jaye Chapman and Arodys Vizciano
Maholm wasn’t the Cubs pitcher the Braves wanted, but he was the one they settled for. He’ll come in and occupy the rotation spot just created by the moving of Jair Jurrjens to the bullpen. I wouldn’t expect much change in value for Maholm as he should continue to have a decent season, but only marginal K numbers. I also wouldn’t expect much value change for Reed Johnson who will probably be a platoon player in Atlanta to play against LHP who he hits an impressive .313 against lifetime. Johnson is a very deep league and NL only option.
The Cubs took a gamble on Vizciano who had Tommy John Surgery before the season, but before that was one of the Braves top prospects and on the brink of making the big league team. It’s tough to know what he’ll be like when he comes back from this, but it’s certainly worth following next spring. Chapman is a high K rate reliever who is still a couple years away from the big leagues.
The Blue Jays Trade Travis Snider to the Pirates for Brad Lincoln
This is a fresh start for both of these guys who were once highly touted prospects. For Lincoln he may get a shot to get into the Jays rotation and stay there. He’s pitched well this season with a 2.73 ERA and 9.3 K/9 rate, but he’s done most of it out of the pen. Toronto’s rotation is weak at the back end and I can Lincoln getting one of those spots.
Meanwhile Snider could see regular AB’s in Pittsburgh in right field barring them making another trade. Snider has always exhibited real big league power, but never the consistency with his batting average at the big league level. Snider probably won’t play every day, but he should play enough to warrant consideration if he’s hitting the ball.
The Blue Jays Trade Eric Thames to the Mariners for Steve Delabar
Toronto’s crowded OF picture is starting to uncrowd itself a bit with these moves. Thames struggled earlier this season and was eventually demoted to AAA where he has been crushing the ball for a .335 BA. Thames has decent power with 27 HR’s in 2010 in the minors and 12 HR’s in the bigs last year in limited time. Thames should join the Mariners big league team and be part of a platoon to fill the AB’s vacated by Ichiro Suzuki after last week’s trade.
Steve Delabar has big time K numbers with K/9 rates close to 11.0. But unless he sniffs the closer job in Toronto his fantasy value won’t be real high.
The Mariners Trade Brandon Legaue to the Dodgers for Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom
While League has closer experience this isn’t the move to spark a return to a closer position as LA is more than set at the spot. League will likely be a middle reliever and setup man and not have a ton of value unless your league counts holds.
The Mariners got back Bawcom who is a flamethrowing reliever who is a few years away from the bigs. If he keeps up the K rates he could one day factor in as a potential closer, but it’s unpredictable and a ways away still. Landry is an OF who is showing some promise at A ball this year with a .328 BA, 8 HR and 20 SB. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mariners started moving him up the ranks a bit and started him out in AA ball. Still he’s at least two years away from the major leagues.