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Transaction Analysis: He's Back

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour

Arbour writes the weekly Transactions article for RotoWire. He also enjoys creating his own projections and statistical analysis each winter for the upcoming season. In his spare time, Arbour roots for the Blue Jays from north of the border.

Here's a look at some of the top moves in baseball this week, as the season heads into it's final month:

MONDAY

Athletics

Josh Reddick, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (right wrist)
Daric Barton, 1B - recalled from Triple-A Sacramento

Impact: Reddick has had a disappointing season at the plate this year, as he's hitting just .213 with 10 home runs in 97 games. He missed a few weeks earlier this season with a sprained right wrist, and he recently aggravated the injury, necessitating a trip to the DL. Brandon Moss and Chris Young should share the right-field duties while Reddick is out. Moss has already been playing regularly, so Reddick's injury shouldn't affect his fantasy value. Young, however, will likely see an increase in playing time, but he isn't likely to be of much help to a fantasy team. His batting average has been below the .200 mark since mid-April, though he does have some power and stolen-base ability. With Moss spending more time in the outfield, Barton should get a fair amount of playing time at first base. Barton hasn't had a productive season since 2010, so he's best avoided in most fantasy leagues.

Mariners

Franklin Gutierrez, OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Aaron Harang, RHP - designated for assignment

Impact: Gutierrez had been limited to just 19 games this season due to issues with his right hamstring, but he was productive at the plate when he was in the lineup. He returns to a .267 average with five home runs and 11 RBI and should get fairly regular playing time over the remainder of the season. His career OPS is below .700, so fantasy owners will want to be realistic with their expectations. Harang was 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA in 22 starts for Seattle, and gives way to rookie Taijuan Walker, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday. The 21-year-old Walker had a 2.93 ERA over 25 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this year, with a strikeout rate of well over one per inning. He has the potential to add fantasy value in most league formats.

Philadelphia

Roy Halladay, RHP -
activated from the 60-day DL
Tyler Cloyd, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Impact: Halladay returned earlier than expected after shoulder surgery, as a result of the Phillies' 18-inning affair on Saturday that required them to use Sunday's projected starter Cloyd in relief. Halladay put in a solid effort, picking up a win while giving up a couple of runs through six innings. His numbers on the year are still pretty ugly after that start (3-4, 7.81 ERA), so fantasy owners shouldn't expect a miraculous return to his pre-2012 form. Still, he could have some value in deeper mixed leagues. Cloyd was 2-3 with a 3.57 ERA over eight appearances (seven starts).

Yankees

Derek Jeter, SS -
activated from the 15-day DL
Preston Claiborne, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Impact: Jeter has returned from his third trip to the DL this year, after being limited to just five games all season. He missed most of the first half with a broken left ankle, and then proceeded to strain his right quad, and then his right calf. The 39-year-old shortstop is coming off a season in which he collected 216 hits en route to a .316 average, so there is no reason to believe that he can't still hit when he's healthy. Unfortunately, his ability to stay in the lineup has now become a major question. Eduardo Nunez returns to a backup role after filling in at shortstop for Jeter. Claiborne has pitched well in relief for the Yankees this year, posting an ERA of 2.78 over 37 appearances. He has most likely earned himself a September call-up.

TUESDAY

Mets

Matt Harvey, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right elbow)
Robert Carson, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas

Impact: Harvey was one of the best starting pitchers in baseball this season, in just his first full year in the major leagues. He is suffering from a partially torn UCL in his right elbow, and there is a possibility that he'll have to undergo Tommy John surgery. If he does go under the knife, he's likely done until 2015, but he has been openly optimistic about his chances of returning next season. Regardless of his recovery time, one thing that's certain is that his 2013 season has come to an early end. He finishes the year with a 9-5 record, a sparkling 2.27 ERA and a great strikeout rate of 9.64 K/9. Carlos Torres will likely fill Harvey's rotation spot and could have some value in deeper leagues. Carson will work in middle relief and shouldn't be fantasy relevant.

Pirates

Marlon Byrd, OF -
acquired along with C John Buck and cash considerations from the Mets in exchange for IF Dilson Herrera and a players to be named later

Impact: The Pirates bolstered their outfield Tuesday as they picked up Byrd from the Mets. After seeing his productivity decline the last two seasons, Byrd has bounced back nicely this year, posting a .285 average, 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 117 games with the Mets. He should man right field for the Bucs, who appear headed to the postseason. Andrew Lambo appears to be the most likely candidate to lose playing time as a result. Buck will serve as Russell Martin's backup after hitting .215 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 101 games for the Mets. Dilson is a top infield prospect who has been playing for the Pirates' Single-A affiliate.

Rays

Jeremy Hellickson, RHP -
optioned to High-A Charlotte
Jeff Beliveau, LHP - recalled from Triple-A Durham

Impact: Hellickson appeared to be well on his way to becoming one of baseball's top starting pitchers coming into this season. He started the year with a career 27-21 reord and a 3.06 ERA and was just shy of his 26th birthday when the season began. Unfortunately, things have gone off track for him this year, as he's lost his last five decisions and has seen his ERA climb from 4.48 to 5.21 since July 26. His demotion is intended to give him some rest before the September stretch run, and he is not expected to pitch in the minors before being recalled early next month. Beliveau gives the Rays a left-handed arm out of their pen and shouldn't be fantasy relevant.

WEDNESDAY

Braves

Dan Uggla, 2B -
activated from the 15-day DL
Todd Cunningham, OF - optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett

Impact: The Braves second baseman missed a couple weeks, as he needed to undergo corrective eye surgery. Uggla has struggled to the tune of a .186 average this year with 146 strikeouts over 388 at-bats. Still, he has managed to slug 21 long balls, and hopefully his surgery can help him to improve his numbers down the stretch. Elliot Johnson had been serving as Atlanta's primary second baseman since he was claimed off of waivers from the Royals last week, and should now be used in a backup capacity. Cunningham went 2-for-8 in eight games with the Braves.

Pirates

Jeff Locke, LHP -
optioned to Double-A Altoona

Impact: Locke owned a 2.15 ERA as recently as July 26, but saw that ERA climb to 3.22 over his next six starts. Over those starts, he went 0-1 while giving up 24 earned runs over 26.2 innings. He also failed to make it through six innings in any of those starts, resulting in his recent demotion. He leaves behind a 9-4 record and should be replaced in the rotation by either Jeanmar Gomez or Brandon Cumpton. Gomez has been effective this year as both a starter and as a reliever, and could have some fantasy value if he earns the rotation spot. Cumpton has been effective in the minors and in four big league starts this year, and could also be worth a look if given the opportunity to hold down a rotation spot.

THURSDAY

Athletics

Bartolo Colon, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Evan Scribner, RHP - optioned to Triple-A Sacramento

Impact: Colon missed a couple weeks with a strained left groin. The 40-year-old right-hander had gotten roughed up in his last two starts before he landed on the DL, but still returns to a 14-5 record and a 2.97 ERA over 24 starts. His strikeout rate of just 4.84 K/9 hinders his fantasy value (especially in leagues with innings limits), but he should still have some value in most leagues. Tommy Milone was demoted on Wednesday to make room in the rotation for Colon, after going 10-9 with a 4.28 ERA over 24 starts. Scribner posted a 5.03 ERA over 13 relief appearances for the A's.