As is tradition immediately after the trade deadline, the Touts were asked:
What is an under-the-radar repercussion of the trade deadline shuffling that shouldn’t be overlooked?
Garion Thorne (DraftKings, @GarionThorne): Let us all celebrate the merciful end of hunting saves in the desert. With the Diamondbacks acquisition of Paul Sewald there is now an undisputed hierarchy in the backend of Arizona’s bullpen. Congratulations to those among us — myself included — who have continued to roster the likes of Andrew Chafin or Miguel Castro in hopes of vulturing a couple precious saves. Neither even had the decency to provide in other categories. Chafin’s 1.43 WHIP was a drain on your ratios, while Castro’s 20.0% strikeout rate sits in just the 27th percentile of pitchers. We are now free.
Eric Samulski (Rotoballer, @SamskiNYC): I think park factors can sometimes be overlooked. People look at lineup or rotation spots and gravitate towards players who are in a bigger role, and that’s valuable but we also need to keep an eye on the environment the players are moving from or too. For example, Jake Burger is moving from a park that ranked 6th for right-handed pull power and is going to a park that’s 28th for right-handed pull power. Considering Burger’s main value in fantasy is HRs, that could be a big deal. Also, we gloss over motivation. If a team sells off player and waives the white flag, you can often see older players on those teams have worse ends to the season. It’s a grind to get up and compete every day when you know your team is not a contender, especially when you’ve been in the league a while.
Brad Johnson (Patreon BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): From what I’ve observed in my dynasty leagues, the deadline serves as a bottleneck to trading. Folks start saying “hey, the deadline is coming. I think certain of my guys could really gain value. I better wait.” The bottleneck opens a little before the actual deadline – managers try to sell their Carlos Hernandez before the Scott Barlow trade in order to lock in *some* profit. In that case, Barlow was traded and Hernandez is worth more today than a week ago. I think we can all imagine the scenario where he was not traded and Hernandez becomes a cut. The bottleneck bursts open post-deadline when real teams give us information like “the Cardinals seemingly really like Saggese, I should grab him too.” A rival of mine traded for him just the other day. I doubt Saggese was anywhere on his radar before the deadline.
Justin Mason (Friends With Fantasy Benefits, @JustinMasonFWFB): Over the next couple of weeks we are going to begin to see a number of minor leaguers get the call up to fill vacancies that were made by trades. Kyle Manzardo and Masyn Winn should both debut mid-August.
Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): Masyn Winn isn’t up right away, but the Cardinals SS prospect was the International League July Player of the Month. He should get at least the last month of the season to break in with St. Louis. With Brendan Donovan out, hitter at-bats are going to LHB Alec Burleson, who is starting to get into a groove. On the other hand, Dylan Carlson, who was not traded as many expected, has become a reserve.
CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS): Cardinals are going to give veterans like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado way more off-days than normal down the stretch which will make Alec Burleson a de-facto full time player. Other teams will certainly do similar but Burleson has more talent than most players getting the PT boost.
Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): The Royals trading away Ryan Yarbrough opened the door for Cole Ragans to get regular starts for the Royals. He flashed 97/98 mph heaters earlier in the year as a starter and could flirt with that velocity with a solid cutter and changeup.
Vlad Sedler (FTN Fantasy, @rotogut): Jean Segura’s playing career. Traded away by the Marlins, cut by Guardians immediately. Feels like one of those traps in 50-round Draft-and-Holds next season, a la Nelson Cruz this season.
Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): In deeper AL/NL-only leagues, the focus is usually on the big names changing leagues. But the scrub players on their former teams who will step into bigger roles warrant consideration as well. In deeper leagues, the most valuable commodity is simple playing time. It may not be fun rostering someone like Gabriel Arias, who has started 7 of 8 games for Cleveland since Amed Rosario was dealt, but he’s going to have more value than a large number of players who are already rostered in leagues this size simply because he’s actually on the field. In Tout NL, I just added Rafael Ortega from the Mets. It’s not sexy, but he’s become a near-everyday player that would be worth $5 or so at auction who I acquired for 1% of my FAAB.
Scott White (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CBSScottWhite): Jonathan Aranda and Michael Busch are both 25 and, if the numbers are any indication, have clearly overstayed their welcome in the minors. Unfortunately, their parent clubs, both among the best in baseball, can’t seem to make room for them. My biggest hope going into the deadline was that they’d be cashed in as trade chips and immediately take over as starters for their new teams. It didn’t happen for either, and we all lose because of it.
Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I agree with those who say the effect is in PT, particularly understudies on lesser teams who step into FT roles when the leads go to new teams.
Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): While the focus is on the potential rest of season value changes of the players switching teams, there are also domino effects on the players in the organizations involved. Players sometimes get new or increased playing time opportunities, while others lose out or suffer reduce fantasy roles, like shifting into middle relief from the closer role.
Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Some really good streaming opportunities against teams that have sold and are just playing out the string (looking at you, Pirates, White Sox, Nationals, Mets, etc.)
Michael Govier (FTN Fantasy, @mjgovier): Defense matters in real-life baseball. We could care less in fantasy baseball, but don’t assume every new acquisition or call-up will be heir apparent going forward. Pitchers need defense now more than ever to close out playoff spots. Take the defensive profile of the players you’re looking to add into consideration not just individually, but within the context of the team defensive alignment. Boring for some, but definitely something to pay attention to.
Glenn Colton (SiriusXM, @GlennColton1): Luis Urias. Sent down but now called up. Yes, he was bad in MLB and AAA this year but 2b/ss/3b eligibility is super valuable and is just 26 coming off age 24-25 seasons in which he hit 39 HR in under 900 AB. Plus .179 BABIP will improve
Dave Adler (BaseballHQ, @daveadler01): Shohei Ohtani and the Angels. Even as a rental, two months of Ohtani would have brought tremendous prospect value to LAA, and allowed a rebuild. But how do you trade the second-coming of Babe Ruth? The off-season question will be whether Ohtani appreciates the effort to compete and re-signs…or if it’s not enough to keep him from signing elsewhere. If he leaves, LAA will likely be bad for a long time.
Sara Sanchez (bleedcubbieblue.com, @BCB_Sara): I agree with everyone who said playing time and would just add that evaluating playing time across team context, i.e., how to compare the value of a player who is playing every day on a struggling team v. a guy who just lost playing time to a strong-side platoon situation on a better team. I find that it’s useful to use 14-day/30-day comparisons a lot at this time of year to get a better idea of counting stats over 75% of ABs v. 90% of ABs in a different situation because it can vary a lot by team context. Additionally, if you’re holding a guy who is newly part of a strong-side platoon, making sure you check that with schedules week-by-week is important.
Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): Playing time is the key metric here. The decision for Shohei Ohtani to remain with the Angels for the remainder of the season. I think they will resign him in the off season. There are a handful of key prospects who can help teams in the second half that I would love to see get called up and that can help fantasy baseball teams during the home stretch. Some of those names on my radar include Michael Busch (2B LAD), Brandon Pfaadt (P ARI), and Matt Wallner (OF MIN).
Chris Blessing (BaseballHQ, @C_Blessing): There’s always a call up or two, August 15th or later, we’re all surprised about. Do we dare say it’s Jackson Chourio? If he keeps hitting the way he has since the All-Star break, the Brewers would be fools not to trot him out in CF over Sal Frelick in this Pennett Race. Last time we saw a 19-year-old in a similar spot it was Juan Soto.
Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): There are always injuries and moves by teams after the deadline. Make sure you leave yourself some ability to fill your stretch-run gaps or to take advantage of those roster changes, if you can.
Tim McCullough (Fantasy Six Pack, @TimsTenz): Not sure this is really under the radar, but I think the trade deadline was a real dud this year because there were so many teams that were neither sellers nor buyers. The expansion of the playoffs, and therefore more teams with a theoretical shot at postseason play, means more teams will stand pat or make fewer trades. Very few top players will be traded at the deadline unless they are due to be free agents at the end of the season, and even then, the return haul on the top players will be smaller because teams are less willing to pay top dollar for a rental that may or may not pan out for them. Even the relief pitching market will shrink because teams will want to hang onto their high leverage and high-quality relievers – something they already need to do since starting pitchers are not pitching deep into games. The lack of player movement in MLB will spill over into fantasy leagues and we’ll likely see fewer fantasy trades around the deadline. The next thing we’ll likely see is the trade deadline being moved later into the season – perhaps mid-August or even later – to give teams more time to see whether their playoff odds are improving or dwindling. If the league doesn’t do this then the trade deadline will continue to see fewer trades overall, fewer blockbusters, and fewer top players moved. Fantasy leagues will follow suit.
Shelly Verougstraete (NBC Sports EDGE Baseball, @ShellyV_643): Keep an eye on minor league players that could be called up a-la Corbin Carroll style. Masyn Winn and Connor Phillips are two that come to mind. If the Brewers and Orioles really want to spice things up down the stretch, the two Jacksons (Chourio and Holliday) could make an appearance.
Clay Link (Rotowire, @claywlink): I think it’s important to remember that these are human beings being completely uprooted, having to adapt to life changes outside of baseball while trying to fit into a new clubhouse. This can be tough on the psyche. “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical,” as Yogi Berra said. Sometimes the pressures can mount and exacerbate struggles in a new situation.
Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): One notice of mine were the amount of teams that essentially did nothing, Yankees come to mind, and will spend the rest of the year in baseball purgatory. Not good enough to win, not bad enough to lose. Its an odd strategy that limited trade deadline excitement.
Ian Kahn (, @IanKahn4): It’s the spots that open up with the trades. The Jakee Alus of the world, who are getting their shots. It really is a fun time, because the teams that are out of it are looking for guys that might work in 2024. When everyone is in Fantasy Football mode, the field is open for pickups that will help you in 2024 and beyond in Dynasty and Keeper Leagues.
Carlos Marcano (Triple Play Fantasy, @camarcano): Playing time, it’s all about it. As an example, Michael Lorenzen has been a gift from heaven for a bunch of teams with struggling aces. He was with an underwhelming Tigers team that limited his W opportunities so him moving to a contender was going to be awesome, right? Well, he landed on the Phillies and is now part of a six man rotation. This kind of things while not too flashy can add on in detriment of your chances. It’s hard to anticipate all the possibilities so sometimes you can only react and wait for the best.
Chris Clegg (Pitcher List, @RotoClegg): Trades always have some sort of fall out for both teams involved. There will be players who lose playing time, but also those who gain playing time. It is important to monitor the trends closely for all teams and see who is gaining and losing playing time. Late season callups will also happen. With the amount of callups that have happened this year, it may not feel like there are many prospects left that could get the call, but I would save a little FAAB because we just might see a top prospect get call this month.
Greg Jewett (The Athletic, @gjewett9): Teams filling innings for the remainder of the season. With injuries compiling for many teams, multiple-inning relievers or win vultures may be very savvy plays for the rest-of-the-season. No pitcher has ever won 10 games while accruing less than 60 innings and two sit on the precipice of this feat. Mike Baumann (BAL) 9 wins over 54.1 innings and Colin Poche (TBR) 9 wins through 40.1 innings. San Francisco has two pitchers in a rotation then “bulk relievers” like Tristan Beck filling in. Streaming them in deeper formats may be an effective streaming strategy over the last seven weeks of the season, especially in head-to-head leagues.
Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): Looking for opportunities given to players on teams that sold off at the trade deadline. When players are traded away from teams out of contention, it is very likely that someone available on the waiver wire is going to suddenly start seeing everyday at bats. It just lends to more opportunities for free agents which is helpful when making waiver wire acquisitions. At this time of the season, it is very rare to find a hidden gem in the middle of the waiver wire.