Trevor Cahill Traded, But The Biggest Winners Could Be Archie Bradley & Dioner Navarro?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Deal:
The Arizona Diamondbacks have traded RHP Trevor Cahill & Cash to the Atlanta Braves for OF Josh Elander


The Braves Fallout:
It’s pretty easy, as Cahill should slide into the Braves rotation replacing either Wandy Rodriguez or Eric Stults.  This could be viewed as a buy low scenario for a rebuilding Atlanta team, even though that may be a tough sell.

As it is Cahill’s posted an ERA below 3.78 just once in his career, though he certainly is better than last season’s 5.61 ERA.  A groundball pitcher (54.6% for his career), a strong Atlanta defense led by Andrelton Simmons should help him produce.  The Diamondbacks also altered his delivery, as described by Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic (click here for the article):

Much of his command issues stem from inconsistency with his arm slot, so this spring the team has worked on altering his delivery so his arm swings from more over the top. He has displayed better command, and recently felt things click in his last outing, which was in a Triple-A game.

“My misses aren’t as bad,” he said. “If I miss, it’s down in the zone. We’ll see. It’s still a small sample size. I’ve got a long ways to go.”

It will be interesting to see if Cahill can rediscover any value, but at this point he’s nothing more than a player worth owning in NL-Only formats.  All others can monitor him off the waiver wire and see if anything changes.

Waiver Wire Guidelines – Trevor Cahill:

  • Redraft Leagues (10 teams) – Not worth owning
  • Redraft Leagues (12 teams) – Not worth owning
  • Redraft Leagues (14+ teams) – Consider, but more of a waiver wire option
  • NL-Only – Back-end Option
  • Keeper Leagues – Not worth owning
  • Dynasty Leagues – Not worth owning


The Diamondbacks Fallout:
The trade has nothing to do with the player they acquired, who hit .219 with 2 HR and 6 SB over 137 AB in 2014.  Instead, there are two obvious ramifications:

  1. It opens a rotation spot for Archie Bradley
  2. It saves money (which you have to wonder if the savings will be used to acquire a catcher, such as the Blue Jays’ Dioner Navarro making him a player worth buying just in case)

The second thing is pure speculation, though it wouldn’t be surprising.  Bradley is a player we’ve talked about before, and one that I’ve consistently been down on.  The last time we looked at him was just after the 2014 season (which you can read by clicking here), where I concluded:

Given his complete lack of control as well as a strikeout rate that hasn’t necessarily been there at the upper levels, this type of groundball rate simply won’t get it done (especially pitching half his games in Arizona). That’s not to say that the injury didn’t play a role in his disappointing campaign, but there were signs even during his time at Double-A in 2013.

Obviously Bradley does have the potential to develop, but as of right now it’s hard to get that excited about him. Chances are he needs more time in the minor leagues to develop and, even when he does get his shot, he is going to be a risk.”

Bradley did post impressive spring numbers, with a 1.61 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 22.1 IP.  While the strikeouts weren’t there (14), he didn’t allow a home run and yielded just 6 BB.  Is that enough to convince us that he’s figured it out?  Not quite, but it does give a little bit more hope.

Outside of the shallowest of formats there’s enough upside to take the gamble (think 10 teams or less), but don’t assume that he’s going to be a fixture in your fantasy rotation (or Arizona’s in general).  The team has ample pitching prospects, so if Bradley struggles he could easily be replaced.

Waiver Wire Guidelines – Archie Bradley:

  • Redraft Leagues (10 teams) – A little too shallow
  • Redraft Leagues (12 teams) – Enough upside to consider (depending on alternatives)
  • Redraft Leagues (14+ teams) – Must own
  • NL-Only – Must own
  • Keeper Leagues – Must own
  • Dynasty Leagues – Must own

Sources –,, Fangraphs, Arizona Republic

Make sure to check out all of our 2015 rankings:

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  1. Adam says:

    Is Bradley worth a roster spot over Jimmy Nelson, James Paxton, or Jesse Hahn? It’s a 12-team H2H points league. My thought is no over Nelson and Hahn due lower upside in my opinion, but I could see the argument for Bradley over Paxton. I ask because I’m going to be without Sale, Cobb, Homer, and Ryu for maybe the first couple of weeks of the season and I’ll need a few spot starters.

    T.J House is also available, and I noticed he’s #68 among starters in your 3-16-15 draft guide. Would you add House over any of the guys listed above?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m not the biggest fan of Hahn, but he’s usable for sure and Nelson is worth the gamble. I’d probably go with House as the third, but if you are simply mixing and matching just stream them based on matchups. If there are no keeper ramifications you are just looking to piece it together for 2-3 weeks anyways

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