This week’s question :
What player that wasn’t traded the past week or so benefits the most from his team’s moves? Who is hurt the most?
Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Lots of left-behind reliever who inherit first dibs on vacated closer spots (Jace Fry, Jose LeClerc, Mychal Givens, Kirby Yates). Hurt: MIL infielders.
Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): It is all about the change in PT, right? I don’t even see how Travis Shaw gets through this getting PAs except at the expense of Moustakas and Aguilar (and Thames). If he is at 2B, Schoop at SS I’ll be surprised. Well and truly buried: Domingo Santana and Andrew Toles. Dozier at 2B kills Chris Taylor’s PT, but also Max Muncy’s PT? That seems more like a platoon and with Justin Turner back, doubly so. Dozier himself gets hurt in that PT mix. I think Nick Kingham is out of a job after last night’s performance. Jorge Alfaro lost at least half his PT, but Wilson Ramos may play less than he did in Tampa, too. On the positive side, PD points out the closers, but I also like what the pen pecking order does for guys like Matt Strahm, Tanner Scott, Alex Claudio. Tyler O’Neill should benefit some; Harrison Bader should benefit a lot more. Jonathan Villar should benefit once off the DL. Dust needs to settle some to get a better idea about weekly deployment.
Gene McCaffrey (Wise Guy Baseball, @WiseGuyGene): Hard question, but I think Bryce Harper will benefit the most. He’s not so far off his past form that a rebound is impossible, but a trade would have thrown a monkey wrench into that clever calculation. Who benefits least? Jacob deGrom’s Win total.
Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): Even if he isn’t the closer, Jose Leclerc should get some saves and will pick up some wins by pitching in more high leverage situations. The walks bother me but if he’s available in your league, go get him. Ender Inciarte was already slumping, not running that much and while he still should get most of the at bats, losing him as a a full-time player stings. Jorge Alfaro could be hurt even more than Inciarte if Wilson Ramos beats the timetable and is back later this month.
Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru Elite, @BaseballGuys): Shane Greene/Kirby Yates/Kyle Barraclough. All three guys had the look of someone who would be dealt, lose the closers gig, and see their fantasy value plummet. They could still be moved in August, but for now, a huge win not being dealt. In terms of the pain – everyone with the Brewers? I don’t understand the Moose/Schoop adds which seem to indicate that one of those two, or Shaw, will often see the bench. The Brewers have a 30/15 guy from last season in the minors (Domingo Santana), and they will have either Shaw (.273-31-101 last year), Moose (.272-38-85 last year) or Schoop (.293-32-105 last year) on the bench a good deal of the time if Orlando Arcia continues to see time at shortstop. They’ve had too many bats all season, and added two it at the deadline. They’ve turned their team into a beer league squad.
Fred Zinkie (Rotoworld, Baseball HQ, @FredZinkieMLB): I agree with Ray that the marginal closers on rebuilding teams are the players who benefited the most by staying put. To me, the big losers among non-traded players are a pair of Dodgers infielders — Chris Taylor and Max Muncy. Right now, Manny Machado is actually listed as a backup on the Dodgers’ depth chart. The team is crazy deep in the infield, meaning that Taylor, Muncy, Brian Dozier and Justin Turner will all have to take days off down the stretch.
Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Magneuris Sierra looks to be getting a look in center for the Marlins after dealing Cameron Maybin. WIth steals so bunched in most roto leagues, this could be an under the radar pickup while everyone focuses on the bigger name players. Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neil both benefit in St. Louis. My original answer for player hurt the most was going to be Mallex Smith, and he still may be if Tommy Pham is only out two weeks. Aside from Smith, and Brandon Phillips who I thought was ticketed for the Ian Kinsler role in Boston, I’ll go with Rajai Davis and the steals he provides in AL only formats.
Scott White (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CBSScottWhite): Newly anointed closers (Jose Leclerc, Ken Giles, maybe Mychal Givens and Jace Fry) are always the biggest winners and displaced closers (Keone Kela, Hector Rondon, Zach Britton, Joakim Soria) the biggest losers, but the biggest winner of all is a pitcher who already had the closer role and now is sure to retain it. I’m talking of course about Kirby Yates, who inherited the job from the Brad Hand but didn’t attract as much attention as I felt like he should in Fantasy because of fears he’d be traded as well. I’m not sure he isn’t the better pitcher than Hand, quite honestly. On the other side, I feel like Travis Shaw’s role is up in the air with Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop joining him in Milwaukee, which is a shame because I think he’s still the best of the three despite some bad luck this year. I actually don’t think Max Muncy will be hurt as much for the Dodgers as Matt Kemp and Chris Taylor will. He’s arguably their best hitter (I know there’s Manny Machado, which is I say “arguably”), and now they can easily hide him at first base (shifting Cody Bellinger to the outfield) with the upgrades to the rest of their infield.
Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I’ll go with Bud Norris as the player who benefited the most from the moves (or lack thereof) made by his team – I have my doubts he would have still been a closer if he’d been moved. And on a related note, my vote for biggest value hit goes to Jordan Hicks, who I would loved to have seen get a chance to close for the Cards.
Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @glenncolton1): Closers, closers. Kirby Yates benefits from staying the closer (I was sure he would be dealt). The guys hurt by non-deals are the bridesmaids who did not become brides — Justin Anderson, Jordan Hicks and Joe Jimenez come to mind.
Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): Three pitchers that benefit at least in the short-term are PHI starters Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta. The Phillies chose not to add starting pitching via, and head into final 2 months in first place with an inexperienced back end of the rotation. Each has flashed the skills to be a fantasy contrbutor the rest of the way; I personally “trust” Eflin the most. The one caveat for all … their innings will likely be conservatively managed down the stretch. Pivetta hit 165 total IP in 2017, but neither Eflin nor Velasquez has had a season of 140 IP in their minor/majors career. Expect earlier than normal hooks for these three in August/September.
Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld, @sethroto): This could change quickly if they pass through waivers and are traded in August, but the closers who were supposedly on the block and stayed put are the biggest beneficiaries. That list includes Shane Greene, Kyle Barraclough, Fernando Rodney, and Bud Norris. These pitchers have minimal fantasy value without saves. This hurts the closer handcuffs in these situations: Joe Jimenez, Drew Steckenrider, Addison Reed, and Jordan Hicks. Fantasy owners stashing these “backup” closers have effectively been wasting roster spots for the prospect of saves, though it’s not too late for these closers to be traded this month. Oh, the humanity!