RotoWire Partners

NL FAAB Factor: Trades Open Opportunities

Jan Levine

Levine covers baseball, basketball and hockey for RotoWire. In addition to his column writing, he's the master of the MLB and NHL cheatsheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets.

Note: the column was posted just before 2pm, leaving three hours until the trading deadline. We will cover the fantasy impact of the later deals in the comments section.

Some other rumors - The Padres are likely to deal either Heath Bell or Mike Adams. Bell has been rumored to be going for a while with the Rangers heavily involved in the mix for him. Names such as Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland have been mentioned but Texas, who just got Koji Uehara, is balking at that price. The Cardinals and Yankees are rumored to be in the mix. If Bell is dealt, Adams would likely take over as closer, though he too has been mentioned in trade rumors.

The Nationals are deep in talks with the Twins to get Denard Span. Minnesota is asking for Drew Storen, Roger Bernadina and Steve Lombardozzi, while Washington may be balking on dealing Lombardozzi and want to include an Desmond instead. If Span, who should be back from his concussion Tuesday, does come to the NL, he will move into the leadoff role in Washington, while if Storen goes, bump up Tyler Clippard since he should take over as closer with Sean Burnett seeing some action there as well.

Starting Pitching

Trevor Bauer - Bauer, the third overall pick in this year's draft by Arizona, came to terms with the D-Backs this week on a major-league deal, meaning he is on the 40-man roster. The D-Backs are planning on giving Bauer 30-35 innings over the rest of the season and haven't ruled out the possibility of seeing him in the big leagues this season in a bullpen role. Bauer struck out 200 batters at UCLA this year and has drawn comparisons to Tim Lincecum. While it's very likely that he won't suit up for Arizona this year, he a legitimate chance to open the 2012 campaign in the rotation. In any case, owners in keeper leagues where he's now eligible to be picked up and stashed away on the cheap should proceed accordingly as Bauer is a special talent capable of making an impact at the big league level in the very near future. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (speculative bid, up more if long-term keeper league.)

Edwin Jackson - Jackson had been on a nice run since the end of May, posting a sub-3.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP after a rough start to the year. His strikeout rate is down from last year's mark of 9.24 K/9, but is still respectable at 7.18, while his walk rate was a tick above last season at 2.88 per nine innings in 121.2 innings. In addition, he was generating more groundballs, which was a key to success at U.S. Cellular Field. Jackson, a free agent at season's end, now gets the benefit of working with Dave Duncan as he was dealt to St. Louis via Toronto as part of the Colby Rasmus deal. Jackson made his Cardinals debut a successful one, allowing just one run (earned) on seven hits, walking two and striking out four over seven innings to get the victory and improve his record to 8-7. Jackson should benefit from the move to the National League and should put up solid numbers the last two months of the season. Mixed: $15.

Wade LeBlanc - LeBlanc will be called up from Triple-A Tucson to start in place of Dustin Moseley on Sunday. Moseley suffered a slightly dislocated left shoulder while batting Tuesday against Arizona; the second time in seven weeks that he suffered the injury. LeBlanc was a candidate to be called up in early-July when Clayton Richard landed on the DL, but that start went to Aaron Harang. LeBlanc was bombed in his two outings for SD earlier in the year, but was 9-1 with a 4.30 ERA, 1.280 WHIP and 92K in 106.2 innings with a 3.27 FIP for Tucson and pitched well for the Padres last year before a imploding in August. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

James McDonald - Very quietly, prior to Saturday's start, McDonald held a 2.69 ERA (in 90.2 innings) since April 21, and he extended his scoreless innings streak to 11.2 with another 5.1 shutout frames against the Braves on Monday. McDonald fell back to earth a bit Saturday, allowing five runs on 10 hits and two walks. Despite this poor outing, as seen by his overall numbers, McDonald had been very solid after a disastrous April (7.66 ERA in 5 starts), and his slow start might have been due to his battle with an oblique injury in spring training. McDonald has been a very good source for strikeouts this season with 99 in 114.1 innings pitched, but the 54 walks he has issued offset that. In addition, he has a lousy 1.545 WHIP, so while his ERA and K are nice, if he is available in your league, balance that against the WHIP and 4.56 FIP. Mixed: $7.

Ross Ohlendorf - I profiled Ohlendorf, who has been out since April 8 with a strained right shoulder, when he began a rehab assignment with Class-A Bradenton. He made his fourth rehab start Friday, threw 73 pitches - 42 for strikes - in five innings for Triple-A Indianapolis. Ohlendorf could be activated this week now that has been stretched out a bit, though there is the possibility that Pittsburgh would like him to make one more start and throw 85-90 pitches before he is activated. When he does return, the question is what role he will fill, which may end up having him work out of the bullpen. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Brad Peacock - Peacock blossomed in 2010, ripping through High-A with a K/9IP rate north of 10.0 and establishing himself as a very intriguing arm. He continued that rise this year, posting a 2.35 ERA and 144:30 K:BB in 115 innings between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse. However, he is still getting his footing in Triple-A, with a 4.41 ERA and 15:7 K:BB ratio in three starts after tearing through Double-A with a 2.01 ERA and 129:23 K:BB ratio in just 98.2 innings. Earlier in the week, Nationals manager Davey Johnson mentioned Peacock as a potential call-up once the Nationals need to fill a hole in their rotation. That hole was created on Saturday when Washington dealt Jason Marquis to Arizona. Peacock has a mid-90s fastball, good curveball and developing change-up, so while he is not Stephen Strasburg, he still has a lot that he brings to the table and should be up before too long. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (speculative bid.)

Esmil Rogers - Rogers opened the year in the Rockies' rotation with two excellent starts, only to get bombed in his next two and moved to the bullpen. After one appearance there, he suffered a lat injury that sidelined him from early-May until this past week. When he returned, Rogers was working out of the pen, but will now head back to the rotation following the trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians. Rogers' stuff and stamina project him as a better reliever than starter, but he will take his fastball, curveball and changeup, as well as developing slider, into the Rockies' rotation. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Chien-Ming Wang - Wang, who has not pitched in the majors since early-2009 due to a shoulder injury - pay attention Johan Santana owners - was promoted to the majors and made his season debut Friday against the Mets after making eight minor-league rehab starts. Wang last pitched in the majors for the Yankees in July of 2009, before suffering a torn capsule in his rotator cuff that sidelined him all of last year. Wang allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out two in four innings Friday. His fastball was in the low-to-mid 90s, around where it was before he was hurt, but he struggled with his command and breaking pitches, so there is a silver lining as those are areas that he could improve on the more innings he throws. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Relief Pitchers

Jason Isringhausen - When Francisco Rodriguez was dealt to the Brewers; the expectation was that the Mets' closer role would be shared amongst Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell with Pedro Beato getting the occasional chance. That may still be the case, but with Izzy aiming for save #300, he has been the main man out of the bullpen. Isringhausen only seems to be growing stronger -- since June 16, he has struck out 13 batters with six walks in 14 innings with a 2.08 ERA. Izzy has five saves since K-Rod was dealt, giving him 297 for his career. Once he gets number 300, a shift in the pecking order may occur, but with Parnell up-and-down, the Mets may opt to keep Isringhausen in the role. Mixed: $8; NL: $21.

J.J. Putz - Putz, out since July 1 with elbow tendinitis, was activated off the disabled list Tuesday. Putz did not have any loose bodies in the elbow and was treated with a cortisone injection shortly after landing on the DL. He made four minor-league appearances, including back-to-back ones at Triple-A Reno without incident. Putz notched saves in his first two games back and is firmly entrenched as the Arizona closer with David Hernandez moving back to a set-up role. Mixed: $13; NL: $35 (but should still be owned in all formats.)


Jean Boscan/David Ross - Boscan was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday to back up Ross behind the plate with Brian McCann (oblique) headed to the disabled list. Boscan hit .200 in 170 at-bats for Gwinnett, and he should only catch a game or two per week for the duration of McCann's injury. Ross, a former starting catcher for the Reds, is the primary beneficiary of McCann's injury, as he stands to get some significant playing time in the next few weeks. If Ross can keep hitting like he had been in more limited at-bats (.800 OPS and four homers in 92 at-bats), he could also hold a favorable spot in the order like he received Wednesday, hitting in the five-hole. Boscan - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Ross - Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Luis Martinez - The Padres called up Martinez from Triple-A Tucson with Nick Hundley still recovering from elbow surgery and Kyle Phillips optioned down. Martinez was hitting .327 at Triple-A Tucson, but had a 36:11 K:BB ratio along with one home run in 156 at-bats. He was up earlier in the month, but with just Rob Johnson at catcher in San Diego, it looks like Martinez could see a decent share of playing time. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Michael Nickeas - The Mets recalled Nickeas from Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday to fill the roster spot vacated by the Carlos Beltran trade. He's the Mets' third catcher on the active roster, so his playing time while up will probably be sparse. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Willin Rosario - Rosario likely will be promoted and join the Rockies before the end of August. Rosario's breakout season at Double-A Tulsa, during which he hit .285/.342/.552 with 19 homers in 270 at-bats, was derailed by a torn ACL that required surgery in August. He has put that disappointment behind him, hitting .249/.288/.444 with 16 homers for Tulsa. As seen by his numbers, Rosario struggles with plate discipline, regressing there this year, which could impact his ability to succeed with the move to the majors. In addition, he is very solid defensively, which would add the Colorado pitching staff. Chris Iannetta, the current starting catcher in Colorado, has struggled a bit at the plate and is rumored to be on the block. He is signed through 2012 with a $5 million club option for 203, which could make him an attractive trade piece for another team. Even if Iannetta is not dealt, with the Rockies dealing Jimenez and likely out of the race, Rosario should see plenty of time behind the plate. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (speculative bid.)

First Basemen

Yonder Alonso - The Reds traded Jonny Gomes to Washington, opening up a spot for Alonso, who was promoted Tuesday. Alonso, the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft, was hitting .296/.374/.486 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI for Triple-A Louisville and should see time in left field for Cincinnati. His defense in the outfield has been described as "adequate," but his bat is ready, so he could force Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis to the bench. Alonso has a good approach at the plate, as he uses the whole field and is able to adjust to what he is being thrown but may lack the foot speed needed to play left. With first base manned by Joey Votto, Alonso will have to show he can handle left field defensively and/or the Reds to fall out of the race to earn a lion's share of playing time, but for now, he has been limited to pinch-hitting duty. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Paul Goldschmidt - Like for Collin Cowgill, Arizona GM Kevin Towers said that the team was more likely to call up its top prospects -- including Goldschmidt -- closer to the All-Star break. All Goldschmidt has done in his career from college forward is rake, and this year is no different. Goldschmidt's impressive season with Double-A Mobile has continued through four months of the 2011 campaign as he's hitting .306/.435/.626 with 30 homers and 94 RBI through 103 games in the pitcher-friendly league. The knocks on Goldschmidt heading into the year were his strikeouts and subpar defense, but he has made solid strides on resolving the former, seen in his 92:82 K:BB ratio, and latter is likely passable. One thing to keep in mind is that while the power has remained good, he posted his first sub-1.000 OPS in July and seen his average drop nearly 40 points the past six weeks. Arizona dealt Brandon Allen to Oakland as part of the Brad Ziegler, leaving first base to Xavier Nady and likely opening the door for Goldschmidt to be promoted. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Derrek Lee - The Pirates acquired Lee from the Orioles in exchange for minor league first baseman Aaron Baker and a small amount of cash. Lee was hitting .248/.306/.409 with 12 HR's and 41 RBI's in 330 AB's for the Orioles in 2011 but he had been on fire of late after a lousy first half. Since the All-Star break, Lee is hitting .321 (17-for-53) with three home runs and 13 RBI. He brings a veteran presence and is still one of the best defensive first basemen in the league; so this is a huge upgrade over what Pittsburgh had been rolling out daily at first. Mixed: $25.

Paul Goldschmidt - Arizona GM Kevin Towers said that the team was more likely to call up its top prospects -- including Goldschmidt -- closer to the All-Star break. All Goldschmidt has done in his career, from college forward, is rake and this year is no different. Goldschmidt's impressive season with Double-A Mobile has continued through four months of the 2011 campaign as he's hitting .306/.435/.626 with 30 homers and 94 RBI through 103 games in the pitcher-friendly league. The knocks on Goldschmidt heading into the year were his strikeouts and subpar defense, but he has made solid strides on resolving the former, seen in his 92:82 K:BB ratio, and latter is likely passable. One thing to keep in mind is that while the power has remained good, he posted his first sub-1.000 OPS in July and seen his average drop nearly 40 points the past six weeks. Arizona dealt Brandon Allen to Oakland as part of the Brad Ziegler deal, leaving first base to Xavier Nady and likely opening the door for Goldschmidt to be promoted. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Second Base

Felipe Lopez/Jerry Hairston Jr. - With Rickie Weeks going down with an ankle injury that will sideline him anywhere from 2-to-6 weeks, Milwaukee made two deals to shore up their infield depth, acquiring Lopez from the Rays and Hairston from the Nationals. Lopez is back for his second stint with the Brewers; he hit .320 for the Brew Crew in the second half of the 2009 season. Lopez, a switch-hitter, had struggled since then, including 97 at-bats with the Rays this year, but hit well in the minors after his demotion, batting .305/.357/.474 with seven home runs and 37 RBI in 190 at-bats with Triple-A Durham. Lopez, like Hairston, has experience all over the infield and should see time at second with Weeks out and third with Casey McGehee struggling. Hairston should fill a utility role with Milwaukee, playing at second, third, short, in place of Yuniesky Betancourt, as well as possibly some outfield in a pinch. Lopez - Mixed: $3, NL: $9; Hairston - Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Daniel Murphy - While Murphy shows that he is best suited to being a DH, all he does is continue to rake at the plate. He has simply been scorching the ball for the last two months, as he's followed a .330 June with a .355 July, and in the last seven games, he's 14-for-29. All that has been good enough to raise his average to .317, just below Joey Votto for third-best in the league. In addition, the hot streak has upped his OPS over .812. Despite the lack of power, the multi-position eligibility - first, second and third base - and solid overall numbers, including 48 RBI, makes Murphy very valuable in pretty much every format. Mixed: $15.

Chris Nelson - The Rockies recalled the hot-hitting Nelson from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday to take the place of Jason Giambi, who was placed on the 15-DL on Tuesday with a quad injury. In 65 games in his two stints at Colorado Springs this year, Nelson hit .341 with nine home runs and 59 RBI, but he had been especially hot lately. In his last 10 games in the minors, Nelson hit .463 with three homers. Manager Jim Tracy will look to get Nelson playing time at second, where he started Saturday, and third base, which might be dependent on what Colorado does with Ty Wigginton. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Dan Uggla - Talk about a massive turnaround. For the first half of the year, Braves fans would have loved to put a tomahawk chop through Uggla's head. Since then, Uggla has turned those boos into seemingly nightly cheers. For the first half of the season, Uggla hit .185 with a pathetic .257 OBP, 84 strikeouts and 15 home runs. Post All-Star Game, Uggla has been a tear, going 19-for-58 with five home runs, six walks and just 11K. Some of the signs of a turnaround were evident just before the break, as Uggla hit in six straight, which he has kept going post-All Star break. In addition, Uggla has just a .221 BABIP, which bodes well for continued success, as that is well below his career mark. Mixed: $25 (likely still owned in all formats, but possible some owner got frustrated with him due to his poor mark the first three months of the year.)


Orlando Cabrera - The Giants acquired Cabrera, who was hitting.244/.277/.321 with four home runs and 38 RBI's in 324 AB, from the Indians for Thomas Neal on Saturday night. Cabrera, got off to a solid start for Cleveland, but slumped and wasn't going to see much time with Jason Kipnis now up. Giants' GM Brian Sabean loves veterans, and with San Francisco in desperate need of infield depth with Mark DeRosa, Freddy Sanchez and Miguel Tejada all on the DL, expect Cabrera to get plenty of action right away as he will take over as the starting shortstop. Mixed: $1; NL: $5.

Dee Gordon - Gordon, who was promoted in early-June when Rafael Furcal was sidelined with an injury, gets another shot and should hold the job for the rest of the year with Furcal traded to St. Louis. After a hot start, Gordon went just 5-for-39, so after Furcal returned for LA in early-July, Gordon was sent back to Triple-A to get back on track at the plate and receive regular playing time. The issues in the past with Gordon were his plate discipline, and while he has made some strides there; he still has a ways to go, as well as his rawness in terms of baseball knowledge and skill, which should be aided by him playing daily. Gordon should be able to provide some runs, steals and a decent average as he begins his reign as the Dodgers' starting shortstop. Mixed: $7; NL: $19.

Tyler Greene - Greene was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to fill in for Nick Punto, who is dealing with a sore elbow and strained oblique. Greene was hitting .317 in 32 Triple-A games this season, and the Cardinals are comfortable with him in a temporary role while Punto recovers. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Paul Janish - Janish was promoted back to Cincinnati last Sunday when his replacement, Zack Cozart landed on the disabled list with a hyperextended elbow. Prior to getting sent down on July 7, Janish was hitting just .227 with no homers and 19 RBI. He struggled after his demotion, going 1-for-22, but rebounded to hit .256 prior to this promotion. Janish will likely share time with Edgar Renteria. Mixed: $0; NL: $4.

Miguel Tejada - Tejada, on the disabled list with a strained lower abdominal muscle, began taking ground balls Thursday and said he expects to be ready next week. That thought was shot down by Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who said that it's going to be a "couple of weeks" before Tejada will be ready to come off the DL. Tejada will likely return as a platoon player, and he may be out of a job due to the Giants' acquisition of Orlando Cabrera. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Third Basemen

Pedro Alvarez - Alvarez was profiled last week, when he was raking in the minors and hoping for a call up. That promotion happened this week with Pittsburgh playing without Alex Presley and in need of a bat. Over his prior 10 games at Triple-A through last Saturday, Alvarez was hitting .405/.488/.676 with three home runs and eight RBI. He is just 3-for-17 since being promoted, but has looked better in the field, which was a knock on him before he was hurt. Alvarez should play third base daily going forward and could put him numbers like he did after his promotion last season, especially when he was NL Rookie of the Month in September. Mixed: $9, NL: $25 (slight upgrade in bid from last week).

Casey Blake - Blake, profiled last week, is profiled again as he was activated off the DL on Saturday to replace the injured Juan Uribe on the Dodgers' roster. Blake was limited to playing catch for the first two weeks he was on the disabled list with an arthritic neck, but started fielding ground balls and took soft-toss batting practice last Tuesday after hitting off a tee Monday. He played just two rehab games, and even though the Dodgers usually like their players to see more rehab at-bats, Blake was activated since he may not play every day with Aaron Miles having filled in well for him. This was Blake's third stint on the DL this year and it will be interesting to see if he will be Dodger much longer with the team out of contention. Mixed: $3; NL: $11.

Chipper Jones - Jones, who had surgery to fix a right knee meniscus tear on July 9, returned on target on July 25. However, on the day he returned, Jones strained his right quad, limiting him to pinch-hit duty for three games and it will likely be a few more games before he's ready to return to the lineup. This is the risk you take with owning Chipper, as he is productive when he plays, but is sidelined often with injuries that have a tendency to nag and linger. Mixed: $5, NL: $14 (in case he was waived when he landed on the DL and if you have a strong stomach.)

Placido Polanco - Polanco, on the 15-day disabled list since July 15 with lower back inflammation caused by a bulging disc, played six innings and went 0-for-2 in his first rehab game Thursday. After the game, he said he felt no numbness in his legs for the first time in about a month and a half, meaning he played almost three weeks with the discomfort before he was sidelined. Polanco, who had an epidural injection two weeks ago to aid his sore back, played another rehab game Friday and joined the Phillies on Saturday. When he does return, despite the absence, Polanco might still be able to top his HR and RBI output of a year ago, his first as a Phillie. Mixed: $11; NL: $27.


Rick Ankiel - The Nationals decided to move on from Roger Bernadina and coupled with the trade of Jerry Hairston Jr., it left Ankiel as the main center fielder in the nation's capitol. Laynce Nix may see some time there, but Ankiel is more of a natural center fielder and he led off Friday and Saturday. That said, Ankiel's hold on the job could end Sunday, as Washington is hot and heavy in talks to get Denard Span. If that does happen, Ankiel will be relegated to fourth or fifth outfield duty. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Brian Bixler - The Nationals recalled Bixler from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. Bixler was called up to replace Jerry Hairston Jr. on the roster, following his trade to Milwaukee. Bixler will likely take on a backup role, but could get a few starts per week as well at either short, third or the outfield. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Jason Bourgeois - This will be the third straight week that I profile Bourgeois, who was on the disabled list from June 29 with a strained right quadriceps, and was finally activated last Friday. The Astros gave Bourgeois some extra time to heal, as this injury was a flare-up of a previous ailment. He played seven games in the Gulf Coast League, Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City, proving that he is 100 percent. Prior to being sidelined, he was hitting .353 with 17 steals in 102 at-bats. When he was activated, Jose Altuve was up and playing at second base and the Astros outfield was basically set, so Bourgeois was limited to pinch-hit and spot duty. Houston cleared up that logjam by dealing Hunter Pence to Philly and Michael Bourn to Atlanta, so even with J.D. Martinez called up; Bourgeois should start just about daily in center field, though Jordan Schafer, acquired in the Bourn deal, will see some time there as well. Mixed: $7, NL: $17.

Tony Campana/Tyler Colvin - Campana started in right field and led off for the Cubs on Thursday. The trade of Kosuke Fukudome opens up at-bats against righties and Campana could be part of that solution with the opportunity to lead off for the Cubs down the stretch. If that happens, he may prove to be a nice source of steals during the final two months of the regular season. If Campana isn't starting, Colvin, who had a solid rookie campaign with 20 home runs, could be the beneficiary of Fukudome's departure. Campana opened the year hot at Triple-A Iowa, hitting .342/.483/.442 with nine RBI and eight steals, and was promoted in mid-May to replace Colvin. Campana has seen minimal action since that call up, but his speed would be an asset in the outfield as well as in the leadoff spot for Chicago. Colvin righted the ship a bit in the minors, but posted a 55:5 K:BB ratio in 203 at-bats after striking out 100 times in 358 at-bats for Chicago last season. That lack of plate discipline could doom him again in the go-around with the Cubs. It's possible both of them are just keeping the spot warm this year for Brett Jackson, but that looks to be more likely for 2012. Campana - Mixed: $2, NL: $7; Colvin - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Jose Constanza/Wilkin Ramirez - With Nate McLouth joining Jordan Schafer on the DL on Friday, the Braves purchased the contract of Constanza from Triple-A Gwinnett. Constanza, who was hitting .312 and had 23 stolen bases in 31 attempts in 86 games with Gwinnett this season, signed with the Braves as a six-year minor league free agent from the Indians this past off-season. He was expected to battle Wilkin Ramirez, who currently is back in the minors, for playing time in center field while McLouth and Schafer are out. Ramirez has bounced up-and-down between the majors and Gwinnett this year, but could get a look once Chipper Jones is healthy enough to and the Braves send down a bullpen arm. I wrote Saturday night "of course, all of this may be moot by Sunday afternoon if GM Frank Wren acquires a center fielder, as has been rumored." On Sunday, that acquisition occurred as Wren traded for Michael Bourn, so Constanza and/or Ramirez could stay up to serve as a back up while McLouth is out. Constanza - Mixed: $0, NL: $2; Ramirez - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Colin Cowgill - Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers said in June that the team was more likely to call up its top prospects -- including Cowgill -- closer to the All-Star break. That did not happen, but Cowgill did get a promotion this past with Geoff Blum landing on the DL with a fractured right pinky. Cowgill put up good numbers this season with Triple-A Reno including a .984 OPS, 13 homers, 70 RBI, 95 runs and 30 steals. This performance comes on the heels of him posting career-best numbers last year at Double-A Mobile, though his numbers were markedly better against righties, which is why some believe he may be best suited to fourth outfield duty. In addition, Cowgill has drawn comparisons to Cody Ross and his combination of power, speed and ability to play all three-outfield spots. This year, Cowgill had a .973 OPS against lefties at Reno and could at least carve out starts in left field against southpaws as long as he's with the big club, which would come at the expense of Gerardo Parra. Mixed: $3, NL: $9

Allen Craig - Craig, out since June 7 with a bruised right knee that turned out to be a broken right kneecap, started a rehab assignment Monday but "looked rusty." Manager Tony La Russa indicated Monday that Craig's rehab assignment will be a week or longer, which puts him back with the Cardinals around the first week in August. With Colby Rasmus dealt to Toronto and Corey Patterson the back up in center field to John Jay, Craig's best shot at playing time is if Lance Berkman's shoulder keeps him out of the lineup or St. Louis plays Craig at second base. However, second just got a bit more crowded with Rafael Furcal forcing Ryan Theriot out of shortstop. Mixed: $2; NL: $7. (on assumption he sees time at second base).

Lucas Duda - The trade of Carlos Beltran created a crater size hole in right field for the Mets. For the time being, and likely for the foreseeable future this year, that hole is being filled by Duda, who showed in the minors that he has power, slugging 10 home runs in 38 games for Triple-A Buffalo prior to the Mets calling him up this year. Duda homered in his first start in left Wednesday and followed that up with a bases-clearing double Thursday. Adding to Duda's value is that he has first base and outfield eligibility; always a plus in deeper leagues. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Luis Durango -Durango has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Michael Bourn on Houston's 25-man roster. Durango was claimed off waivers from SD on June 29th and was hitting .278 in 25 games at Oklahoma City with 13 stolen bases His stint in the majors should only last as long as Jordan Schafer is on the DL with his fractured finger. Mixed: No, NL: $0.

Jonny Gomes - Gomes, who opened the year as the Reds' starting left fielder but saw his playing time dwindle, was dealt to Washington this week for two minor leaguers. The move to the nation's capitol should help his situation a bit as Gomes could play regularly against lefties while Laynce Nix plays against righties. In addition, if the Nats don't get a center field, when Rick Ankiel is on the bench, Nix could move to center, giving Gomes more playing time. Mixed: $2, NL: $7.

Chris Heisey - Reds manager Dusty Baker said that Heisey would see most of the starts in left field after the trade of Jonny Gomes. This should come as little surprise, as he is lone right-handed threat at the position, although Fred Lewis and Yonder Alonso are still part of the picture in theory. Heisey should hold on to the role for as long as the Reds are in the contention; once they drop out, Alonso should get his chance there as the team looks to the future. Mixed: $4, NL: $11.

Jon Jay/Corey Patterson - Jay was profiled last week as he had been collecting most of the starts in center field when St. Louis faced a lefty due to Colby Rasmus sitting against southpaws. What I wrote last week proved to be prescient, "However, recently, with Rasmus slumping and riding the pine, Jay has been in the lineup nearly every day in center field. In addition, if Rasmus, who has been the subject of trade rumors with the Cardinals receiving a pitcher back, is dealt, Jay would be the beneficiary and become the starter in center field." That proved to be the case this week when the Cardinals sent Rasmus to the Blue Jays for Edwin Jackson and Octavio Dotel, opening the door for Jay to become the everyday center fielder for the rest of the season. He may split some time with Patterson, who the Cardinals also got in trade, but Jay should see most of the playing time in center. While Lance Berkman is out of the lineup with a shoulder injury, Patterson may see some starts in right field, but he's more likely to be used as a fourth outfielder and pinch runner in his time with the Cardinals. Jay - Mixed: $10, NL: $25; Patterson: Mixed: $1; NL: $5.

J.D. Martinez - The trade of Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia opened up a roster spot that was filled with the promotion of Martinez from Double-A Corpus Christi, where he was hitting 338/.414/.546 with 13 homers and 71 RBI. Martinez, a 20th round pick in 2009, has produced since the moment he was drafted. Martinez had a solid rookie year, but added some weight and took a major step forward last year, as he was named Huston's 2010 Player of the Year. The only knocks on him are his below-average speed and average arm for right field, but he has shown that he can hit in the minors, and as of late Saturday, I wrote that at worse, should platoon with Jason Bourgeois in right. I had added that if Houston dealt Michael Bourn or found a taker for Carlos Lee's contract, Martinez would become an every day player. That proved to be the case as Sunday morning, the Braves acquired Bourn and cash from the Astros for Paul Clemens, Brett Oberholtzer, Jordan Schafer and Juan Abreu; a steal of deal as neither Minor, Vizcaino nor Teheran were part of it. That trade opens up right field for Martinez. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Xavier Paul - Paul is seeing increased playing time with injuries sidelining Jose Tabata and Alex Presley. With Presley now on the DL and Chase d'Arnaud now joining him with a fractured pinky, Paul is also seeing time at leadoff, as Pittsburgh doesn't really have a viable option there now that Andrew McCutchen is locked into the three-hole. Paul gives the Pirates a speed dimension like Presley provided, though with both Presley and Tabata out, the Pirates could look to acquire an outfielder prior to the trade deadline. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.