Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most important fantasy impact.
Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP - acquired from Colorado for RHPs Alex White and Joe Gardner, 1B/OF Matt McBride and a player to be named
David Huff, LHP - optioned to Triple-A Columbus
Impact: Jimenez has finally been freed from Coors Field and will now get a chance to take on American League hitters. The hitter-friendly park in Colorado didn't seem to hinder Jimenez at all over the last few seasons, as his numbers were just as impressive at home as they were on the road. A loss of velocity in 2011 has hurt his numbers, and he finally fell victim to the Coors Field effect, pitching much better on the road than at home. The strikeouts are still there, as he struck out 118 batters in 123 innings this year for the Rockies, and his fastball is still faster than the majority of major league starters. Huff pitched extremely well for the Indians, giving up just one earned run in 17.2 innings over three starts.
Erik Bedard, LHP - acquired from Seattle in a three-team trade
Drew Sutton, IF - optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket
Impact: With Clay Buchholz likely done for the season with a stress fracture in his lower back, the Red Sox made it a priority to acquire another quality arm for their rotation. They did just that when they acquired the left-handed Bedard in a three-team deal with the Mariners and the Dodgers. Boston sent a trio of minor leaguers (C Tim Federowicz, RHP Juan Rodriguez and RHP Stephen Fife) to the Dodgers in exchange for minor league OF's Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang. They then shipped Robinson and Chiang to Seattle in exchange for Bedard and minor league pitcher Josh Fields. Bedard has pitched very well this season, but has missed significant time due to injuries the last few seasons. If he can stay healthy, he should be a real asset to both the Red Sox and his fantasy owners, as his 4-7 record can only improve with Boston's offense backing him up. Charlie Furbush was acquired by the Mariners in a separate deal with the Tigers and will fill out their rotation. He's a youngster who's probably not worth the fantasy risk until he proves himself at the major league level.
Denard Span, CF - activated from the 15-day DL
Luke Hughes, IF - optioned to Triple-A Rochester
Impact: Things seem to be improving in Minnesota. Joe Mauer's bat has finally come to life with a great July, and now the Twins' leadoff hitter and center fielder, Span, has returned after two months on the disabled list with a concussion. Span stole just five bases in 57 games before the injury, which didn't help his fantasy value. Nevertheless, he hit for a healthy .294 average, and if he starts to run again, he'll be a real fantasy asset. Hughes hit just .233 in 61 games for the Twins and had been getting decent playing time at first base. Michael Cuddyer appears to be the favorite to get the majority of playing time at first base until Justin Morneau returns, as Ben Revere continues to receive regular playing time in the outfield.
Michael Bourn, CF - acquired from Houston for OF Jordan Schafer, RHP Juan Abreu, RHP Paul Clemens and LHP Brett Oberholtzer
Scott Linebrink, RHP - placed on the 15-day DL (lower back)
Impact: The Braves made a big move to help them in their hunt for the playoffs as they picked up Bourn from the Astros. Bourn is a speedster who averaged 58 stolen bases per 162 games played in three-and-a-half seasons with Houston. He was on pace for his best season to date when the Braves picked him up, as he hit .303 and was getting on base at a .363 clip before the trade. Schafer is another speedster who, at 24, probably has yet to show what he's truly capable of at the major league level. He's on the DL with a fractured middle finger, but should get plenty of playing time with the Astros when he returns. Linebrink has pitched well in relief, but will miss some time due to a strained lower back.
Rafael Furcal, SS - acquired from the Dodgers with cash for OF Alex Castellanos
Tyler Greene, IF - optioned to Triple-A Memphis
Impact: Furcal has been a steady performer throughout his career, as he usually hits for a good average while scoring a lot of runs and stealing some bases. This season with the Dodgers, however, was a different story. The 33-year-old shortstop hit just .197 with only five extra-base hits and five stolen bases in 37 games. He has missed significant time the last few years due to injuries, and he's already made two trips to the DL this year with a broken thumb and a strained oblique. If he can return to his pre-2011 form, he'll be a nice fantasy asset, but he's probably not worth the risk until he shows that his slump is behind him. Greene hit just .196 in 51 games with the Cards.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B - contract selected from Double-A Mobile
Brandon Allen, 1B - traded to Oakland with LHP Jordan Norberto for RHP Brad Ziegler
Impact: Goldschmidt is just 23 and had never played above Double-A before his promotion to Arizona. Nevertheless, he has legitimate power, as he's hit 83 home runs over his 315 career minor league games, while hitting .317 over that span. He is likely to experience some growing pains as most young hitters do, but he'll have the advantage of playing in a hitter's park in Arizona. With the D-Backs' options at first base limited, expect Goldschmidt to receive ample playing time. Allen joins the A's Triple-A club in Sacramento, while Ziegler adds a dependable arm to Arizona's rotation. Norberto is a lefty who has suffered from wildness throughout his professional career.
Jonathan Sanchez, LHP - activated from the 15-day DL
Barry Zito, LHP - placed on the 15-day DL (foot)
Impact: Sanchez has easily been a better pitcher than Zito in recent seasons, so the Giants have to be glad they're swapping places. Sanchez has battled wildness throughout his career, and this year his walk rate has reached an almost obscene 5.92 per nine innings. Nevertheless, he continues to succeed by not giving up many base hits, and his strikeout rate of more than one per inning is useful in any fantasy league. Zito is on DL for the second time this season and had been replaced in the rotation by Ryan Vogelsong when he hit the DL the first time in mid-April. Vogelsong has since emerged as perhaps the Giants' best starter, and the rest of their starting staff have been solid. Zito's injury conveniently buys the Giants some time to figure out what to do with the struggling lefty, as there's simply no room in the rotation for him as long as everyone else is healthy.
Orlando Cabrera, SS - acquired from Cleveland for OF Thomas Neal
Brandon Crawford, SS - optioned to Triple-A Fresno
Impact: Cabrera has never really been known for his offensive abilities, though his speed and durability usually allow him to score a decent amount of runs while reaching double-digits in stolen bases. Unfortunately, he was able to cross the plate just 35 times in 91 games with the Indians this season, and his six stolen bases and .244 average did little to help fantasy teams. He'll get regular playing time with the Giants as they make a push for the playoffs, but his fantasy value isn't likely to improve much. The 24-year-old Crawford hit just .190 in 50 games and had been playing semi-regularly at short for the Giants.
Derrek Lee, 1B - acquired from Baltimore for 1B Aaron Baker
Lyle Overbay, 1B - designated for assignment
Impact: The Pirates made a move to try to keep themselves in playoff contention as they upgraded their offence at first base. Overbay was awful at the plate this season, so they cut him loose and replaced him with the 35-year-old Lee. Lee's numbers have been on the decline the last couple years, though he still managed to hit 12 long balls in 85 games with the O's this season. He had an impressive debut with the Pirates, as he hit two home runs and drove in all three of their runs in a 5-3 loss to the Cubs on Monday night.