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FAAB Factor - AL: Trade Deadline Reactions

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire.com and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

STARTING PITCHERS

Justin Germano - The Indians still have a vacancy for Tuesday's start at the Red Sox, and our best guess is that Germano will get the nod. Germano is capable of both relieving or starting, and of course this isn't his first go-around at the major league level. He's a bit of a change-up compared the usual Cleveland starter - instead of being a soft-tossing lefty, Germano is a soft-tossing righty. He pitched in middle relief on Friday, so even if he does start, chances are he won't be able to go more than four or five innings. Mixed and AL: No.

Jeanmar Gomez - Gomez was called up to fill the roster spot vacated by Kerry Wood's trade to the Yankees, and he started on Sunday against the Jays. He went five innings, holding them to two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out two. Gomez had a one-off start the last time he was called up. Perhaps now that Mitch Talbot and Aaron Laffey are on the DL and Jake Westbrook is in St. Louis, Gomez might get a longer leash. Gomez pitched himself onto the 40-man roster last year but has backslid a little at Triple-A Columbus this year, posting a 5.18 ERA and 78:42 K:BB in 116.1 innings. Gomez doesn't throw especially hard, which actually makes him a good fit with the other pitchers in the Cleveland organization.

Jeremy Hellickson - Hellickson is going to get a one-time start for the Rays on Monday, giving the rest of the Rays' rotation an extra day of rest. Joe Maddon suggested that the Rays have a plan for Hellickson after this start, so it's possible that he'll get used in the same fashion that David Price was used in 2008 - occasionally pitching in middle-to-late relief, picking up the odd spot start here and there, until he's given the reigns in 2010. If you have to wait until a player is called up before you can grab him, here's your chance - though check to see when the Rays make it official. Mixed: $5; AL: $15.

Edwin Jackson - The White Sox purportedly were going to swap Jackson to the Nats as part of an Adam Dunn trade, but that fell through and left the White Sox without a big bat to improve their lineup. Now, they clearly can't talk about that failure, and instead have to talk about how they can fix Jackson. It's been pointed out in plenty of places how poorly Jackson has performed since his 148-pitch no-hitter, so I won't belabor that point. But Jackson won't be dealt any favors by going from Chase Field to the Cell, but perhaps the influence of pitching coach Don Cooper can at least cut down his walk rate, which has spiked to over 4.0 per nine innings. He's worth a gamble if you need strikeouts, but if you're protecting a narrow position in WHIP, he's toxic. Bid accordingly. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.

Josh Tomlin - Tomlin has had quite a week, beating the Yankees in his major league debut on Tuesday and then holding the Jays to one run over 5.1 innings on Saturday in short rest. He's an extreme control guy, usually averaging less than two walks per nine innings throughout his minor league career, though he's given up a few more at this level. He had a 2.68 ERA at Triple-A Columbus, with a 80:33 K:BB in 107.1 innings. He was one of three Indians minor leaguers charged initially of assaulting a man in a nightclub back in June, though that charged was reduced to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Don't be overly swayed by his good start - it'll keep him in the rotation, but a correction should come once opposing teams get more of a scouting report on him. Think John Ely. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Carlos Torres - Last year Torres had five starts thanks to injuries to the rest of the White Sox rotation. This time he's going to get a one-off, to allow the South Siders' staff an extra day of rest, much like Jeremy Hellickson is for the Rays. In 129.1 Triple-A innings this season, he has 122 strikeouts and 57 walks. Unlike Hellickson, Torres isn't much of a keeper pickup, but this should be a pretty good spot start, at Detroit. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

RELIEF PITCHERS

Matt Capps - The Twins surprised a few by trading for Capps and installing him over Jon Rauch as the closer. It's hard to see how they viewed Capps as an upgrade over Rauch - if anything, he's fairly neutral in the comparison. But debating that decision doesn't matter if you're a fantasy owner. If you need saves, of course you should invest heavily. I think Chris Perez might be a smidge safer in job security, but that's counterbalanced by the notion that the Twins probably will provide more save chances. AL: $40 (the number is basically irrelevant - you just have to make sure you win the bid compared to what your leaguemates have left).

Jesse Chavez - Chavez replaces Kyle Farnsworth in the bullpen, and with the injury to Robinson Tejeda, his spot on the roster has at least a little bit of short-term security. He's not going to morph into a fantasy-friendly reliever anytime soon, however. Mixed and AL: No.

Troy Patton - Patton hasn't really been the same since the shoulder injury that cost him the 2008 season. At one point, he could miss enough bats to be interesting as a possible fourth or fifth starter, but now he's more of a soft-tosser and will work in middle relief with the O's. That sort of role in that division is a recipe for using asbestos gloves before handling in fantasy leagues. Mixed and AL: No.

Chad Qualls - Here is your big trade deadline pickup, Rays fans. It's unfair to judge Qualls on that, of course - the idea to pick him up on the cheap and see if the Rays can fix him is good on its merits, and with the injury to Grant Balfour, it's almost necessary to try. I heard one analyst (forget who, sorry) suggest that closing caused Qualls' problems, which is patently ridiculous. He pitched just fine as the closer last year - moreover, his struggles have come in every role for the Diamondbacks this year. No, it's more of a case that he was slow to recover from his knee injury and hasn't had his command. Can the Rays fix him, in time? Not on my watch, right now, but it's a worthy gamble for the team. Mixed and AL: No.

Rick VandenHurk - VandenHurk isn't a bad return for Will Ohman. The O's are going to have him work at Triple-A Norfolk now as a starter, but I'd be intrigued to see what he can do if he goes to the bullpen eventually, a la David Hernandez. Mixed and AL: No.

Kerry Wood - Wood could take over Joba Chamberlain's set-up duties with the Yankees, but he won't sniff a save situation unless the unthinkable happens and Mariano Rivera goes down with an injury. He pitched an inning in relief on Sunday and demonstrated the good and the bad that comes with him - three strikeouts, but also a hit and two walks. Only 12 of his 26 pitches were thrown for strikes. All-in-all, this is a downgrade for him. Mixed: No; AL: $1.

CATCHERS

Jose Morales - Morales' future as the backup catcher just got a little more solidified, thanks to Wilson Ramos going to the Nats in the Capps trade. But the short-term hasn't changed much, at least not yet - it was Drew Butera that got the start behind the plate with Joe Mauer getting a day off. However, Mauer had a cortisone shot for his aching shoulder this weekend, and if that doesn't take, a DL trip is possible. I think if they do put him on the DL, the Twins are more likely to play Morales regularly than they are Butera. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia - Saltalamacchia won't join the Red Sox right away, instead reporting to Triple-A Pawtucket. This is more of a future-minded acquisition, especially with Victor Martinez back from the DL. Mixed: No; AL: $0 on the hope that he comes up in September.

CORNER INFIELDERS

Josh Bell - With Miguel Tejada gone, Bell will take over the starting duties at third base for the rest of the season, beginning on Sunday. While the O's weren't able to sell off all of their superfluous parts (Luke Scott should have gotten dealt somewhere - the market was there), at least they cleared the decks for Bell. After a slow start at Triple-A Norfolk, Bell recovered to put up respectable if not great numbers, hitting .275/.326/.478 with 15 homers there. We expected more following his Double-A campaign last year, and it might still come, but be aware that it could be choppy for him in 2010. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Lance Berkman - Berkman goes into a better ballpark for lefties and clearly a better lineup, but his playing time might actually get hurt a little bit, as the Yankees will be less-inclined to play him against all lefties, against whom he's hitting just .188/.278/.281 in 64 at-bats. Right now he's hitting second in the lineup, too, which could mean that he'll score a metric ton of runs. He's the best bat that came over at the deadline, given that Adam Dunn never made it. AL: $65.

Jordan Brown - Brown was called up from Triple-A Columbus on Saturday after Austin Kearns was officially dealt to the Yankees. Before the promotion, Brown was hitting .309/.344/.474 with six homers and 63 RBI in 272 at-bats. His season got off to a late start thanks to a torn medial meniscus in his right knee in the early stages of spring training. He's frequently been able to hit for average, if not power, at each of his minor league stops. It's possible that Brown's stay could be short, pending what happens when Michael Brantley comes off the DL. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Jorge Cantu - In a bit of a surprise, Cantu won't play every day for the Rangers. Instead, he'll split time with Mitch Moreland, with Moreland getting most of the starts against right-handers. This actually makes sense, especially from an OBP perspective. Cantu has declined steadily this year, dropping down to .262/.310/.409 with the Marlins before the trade. I would actually prefer to own Moreland at this point, though Cantu's veteran advantage might give him an edge if Moreland slumps. AL: $12.

Jared Goedert - Right now the Indians are using Jayson Nix, Andy Marte and Luis Valbuena at third base following the trade of Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers, but it's possible that they'll give Goedert a look in the near future. I'm not sure what to think about Goedert - he was simply awful last year at Double-A Akron last year, posting a .652 OPS in 308 at-bats. This year he has exploded, first with a .325/.382/.540 line with seven homers in 163 at-bats at Akron before taking it to another level at Triple-A Columbus, where he's hitting .296/.374/.638 with 17 homers in 196 at-bats. While there's a huge sample-size caveat, wouldn't it make sense for the Tribe to at least give him the lion's share of time at third in September? Mixed: No; AL: $0 spec. bid.

Kila Kaaihue - It's about time that the Royals called up Ka'aihue, who was only hitting a mere .322/.465/.601 with 24 homers at Triple-A Omaha this year. I can see why the Royals would think that they have no room for him on the roster. Seriously, though, even though the Royals have traded Scott Podsednik, Alberto Callaspo and Rick Ankiel and lost David DeJesus, the big impediment, Jose Guillen, remains in the DH slot. The first indication is that Ka'aihue amazingly enough will still have to wait for at-bats, though there's a notion that the Royals will still be able to trade Guillen even after the non-waiver deadline. Either way, he can rake - get him now before they find a way to play him. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Mitch Moreland - The Rangers swapped out Chris Davis for Moreland, who was hitting .289/.371/.484 with 12 homers at Triple-A Oklahoma before his promotion. The Rangers intend to give Moreland most of the starting time at first against righties, with Jorge Cantu starting against lefties. Occasionally he might even play outfield, as he did late in the game on Sunday. In a bit of a small upset, he already has two steals - he had all of two steals at Triple-A before his promotion. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Chris Getz - Getz has gotten a handful more starts since the Alberto Callaspo trade. He can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag, but he can run. So if he plays and he can get on-base, he can at least get you some steals, which if you're battling in the SB's category, has some value. Mixed: $0; AL: $4.

Cristian Guzman - Guzman is a one-month rental for the Rangers while Ian Kinsler is out. He's not running like he did in the past, with just four steals this season in six attempts. This is almost a brand-name acquisition than an actual improvement over a healthy Joaquin Arias - and that might be the rub, with Arias going on the DL to make room for Guzman on the roster. He'll hit for average and could score some runs, and from a mere playing time perspective that has value in "only" leagues. Mixed: $1; AL: $8.

Jayson Nix - Nix is the guy getting the vast majority of the at-bats at third base for the Indians, but at some point this isn't going to end well. One hot week has inflated Nix's numbers with the Indians, but even after that, he's still getting on-base at just a .301 clip. There's not a lot of long-term upside for the 27-year old, so there's some chance that he could lose time to someone like Jared Goedert in September. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Trevor Plouffle - The Twins are down two second basemen, with both Orlando Hudson and Nick Punto on the DL. Alexi Casilla is getting the starts at second base, but Plouffle is next in line. Matt Tolbert is also out, creating the roster spot for the light-hitting Plouffle. Mixed and AL: No.

Luis Valbuena - Valbuena is back up following an earlier miserable campaign. He crushed Triple-A pitching (.313/.427/.604), which may be a cautionary tale for those excited about Jared Goedert. Or, alternatively, it might be a sign that he has some skill remaining, if the Indians give him another chance. Judging by his playing time pattern since getting called up, that chance isn't going to happen anytime soon. Jason Donald has second covered and Jayson Nix is getting the third base time, with Andy Marte behind Nix. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

OUTFIELDERS

Gregor Blanco - Acquired in the Rick Ankiel deal, Blanco is pretty much the opposite player of who he was traded for. He's a pretty good defender in center field in terms of range, has always been good at drawing a walk and getting on-base, but has precious little power. He started in center field on Sunday and batted ninth - behind Yuniesky Betancourt. That's a pretty good representation of his career at the plate. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Peter Bourjos - We're going to throw another speculative player out there even though there's a sea of legitimate options this week. Bourjos got off to a slow start this season, perhaps because he was working his way back from a wrist injury that ended his 2009 season. But after a .426/.471/.766 stretch over the last 10 games, he's now sitting at .312/.362/.490 with 27 stolen bases in 32 attempts. Often the Angels have used Reggie Willits in the outfield whenever they want to give one of their regulars a day off, but don't be surprised if Bourjos gets the call before September. Mixed: No; AL: $0 spec. bid.

Michael Brantley - I've ranted plenty about Brantley's treatment this year, so no more here in this space. The trade of Austin Kearns opens the door for Brantley to play again, should the Indians give him that opportunity. They have to wait until 10 days have passed since his demotion, so he'll be up later this week, barring a DL move to someone like Travis Hafner (who is battling his shoulder injury again). He still has one more chance to fulfill the role of cheap speed, now that virtually everyone has given up on him. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Shelley Duncan - Duncan will be the short-term fill-in in left field until Michael Brantley is up later in the week, and if Travis Hafner's shoulder becomes a lingering issue, Duncan could get most of the DH at-bats. His line with the Tribe this year represents the plus-side and the down-side of Duncan - he's slugging .486 in 105 at-bats, but he also has 44 strikeouts. As long as he provides the walks and homers, those K's are acceptable. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Jeff Frazier - The Tigers are trying to replicate their success with Brennan Boesch by calling up Frazier, but this isn't the same situation. For starters, he's older - 27, turning 28 in August. He was hitting for power at Triple-A Erie, slamming 23 homers in 406 at-bats. Unfortunately, he's not much of an on-base option, with just a .316 OBP. He'll get his chance to be one of the injury replacements for Magglio Ordonez. Look for some power, but also for him to struggle to hit for average. Mixed: $0; AL: $3.

Ryan Kalish - It was a small surprise to see Kalish get called up, only because the Red Sox had to add Kalish to the 40-man roster and designate Jeremy Hermida for assignment, and because Jacoby Ellsbury is about a week away from returning. Kalish is a legitimate prospect, one that could eventually play center field for the Sox, depending upon how much he fills out over the next couple of years. His power hasn't fully come in yet, but that has been delayed some by a broken hamate bone suffered in 2007. He tends to struggle upon arriving at each level, Saturday's 2-for-4 game notwithstanding. He's a better investment for the future than right now. Mixed: $0; AL: $4.

Mitchell Maier - Maier is a rich man's Gregor Blanco - he has just an "nth" more power than Blanco, has a good batting eye and is a pretty good defender. With all of the Royals' outfield changes, he could play a decent amount over the final two months, but he's not someone that they're grooming to be a big part of their future. Mixed: $0; AL: $3.