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Transaction Analysis: Big Names Coming, Going

Ryan Arbour

Ryan Arbour writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Here's a look at the transactions this week that had the most significant fantasy impact.

Blue Jays

Jose Bautista, OF -
placed on the 15-day DL (left wrist)
Anthony Gose, OF - contract purchased from Triple-A Las Vegas

Impact: The man who leads the majors in home runs since the start of the 2010 season will miss some time with inflammation in his left wrist. Bautista crushed 97 long balls between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and started off strong this year, homering 27 times in 90 games. The news is not all bad for Blue Jays fans, however, as an MRI revealed no structural damage to Bautista's wrist. That means that he could be ready to return to the field when he's eligible Aug. 1. His injury gives the Jays a chance to get a look at speedy outfielder Anthony Gose. The 21-year-old Gose hit .292 with 29 stolen bases in 92 games at Triple-A this year after combining for 191 steals over his previous three seasons in the minors. He will man right field while batting out of the leadoff position but is expected to be shipped back to Triple-A when Bautista returns.


Chad Billingsley, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right elbow)
Stephen Fife, RHP - recalled from (and then optioned to) Triple-A Albuquerque
Javy Guerra, RHP - reinstated from bereavement list

Impact: Billingsley has not been putting up his usual numbers this season, as he owns a 4.30 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and a 4-9 record. However, he has managed to post his best strikeout rate since 2008, making his other numbers a little easier for fantasy owners to swallow. He is now out of action due to inflammation in his right elbow, but with the move retroactive to July 8, he can return as early as July 23. Stephen Fife made a spot start in Billingsley's place Tuesday and pitched fairly well, giving up just a run on four hits and three walks over six innings. He did not factor into the decision. Guerra was away from the club for just a few days and returns to a setup role.


Jason Hammel, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right knee)
Steve Johnson, RHP - recalled from (and then optioned to) Triple-A Norfolk
Chris Tillman, RHP - recalled from Double-A Bowie

Impact: Hammel was on pace for the best season of his career as he returned to the American League after three seasons of pitching for Colorado. In 18 starts for Baltimore, he is 8-6 with a 3.54 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 109.1 innings. He's hoping to be out for just three to four weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee, though the team's more realistic expectations would have him returning sometime in September. Chris Tillman gets another shot in the rotation after he pitched 8.1 strong innings in his first start of the year July 4. Unfortunately his second start was a disaster, as he lasted just two-thirds of an inning Monday against the Twins. His career numbers have been lousy, so fantasy teams will want to look for better options. Johnson made just one relief appearance for the O's and gave up a run in two innings.


Roy Halladay, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Brian Sanches, RHP - sent outright to Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Impact: Halladay missed about seven weeks with a strained right lat muscle. The 35-year-old righty has not looked like himself this year, as he returns to a 3.98 ERA of 3.98 and a 4-5 record through eleven starts. He had posted ERA's below 3 in each of the last four seasons and had emerged as one of baseball's top starting pitchers, so he should be able to turn his season around. He looked decent Tuesday as he held the Dodgers to two earned runs on five hits and no walks through five innings, while striking out six batters. Kyle Kendrick now returns to the bullpen and can be ignored in pretty much all fantasy formats. Sanches posted an ugly 9.95 ERA and 2.37 WHIP in six appearances with Philadelphia this season.


Colby Lewis, RHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Martin Perez, LHP - optioned to Triple-A Round Rock

Impact: Lewis has been a valuable fantasy asset this season, as he returns from the DL sporting a nifty 3.51 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 100 innings. He missed almost a month due to tightness in his right forearm, and he experienced more of the same during his start Wednesday. He was removed from the game after pitching just five innings, so fantasy owners will want to keep an eye on his health. Perez made two starts and two relief appearances for Texas, posting a 5.54 ERA.


Matt Joyce, OF -
activated from the 15-day DL
Will Rhymes, IF - optioned to Triple-A Durham

Impact: Joyce had been quite productive with the bat before he went down with a strained oblique in mid-June. The 27-year-old outfielder returns to a .279 average, 11 home runs and 34 RBI in 62 games. With a crowded outfield situation in T.B., Ben Zobrist was moved back to second base. As a result, Will Rhymes became expendable. In 45 games at the big-league level this season, Rhymes hit just .233 with one home run and eight RBI.


Joey Votto, 1B -
placed on the 15-day DL (left knee)
Todd Redmond, RHP - recalled from (and then optioned to) Triple-A Louisville
Xavier Paul, OF - contract purchased from Triple-A Louisville

Impact: Votto is expected to miss three to four weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The 28-year-old Canadian has been one of baseball's top hitters in recent years, as he hits the DL sporting a .316 career batting average. In 86 games this season, he has hit .342, while crushing 14 home runs and driving in 49 runs. Todd Frazier should see an increase in playing time as a result of Votto's injury, with Scott Rolen and Miguel Cairo also possibly seeing a boost in at-bats. Frazier is the only player of the three who is likely to have significant fantasy value. Redmond did not get into a game for the Reds before his demotion, and Paul (who began the year in the Nationals organization) had yet to appear in a major league game this season.

Red Sox

Carl Crawford, OF -
activated from the 60-day DL
Brent Lillibridge, UT - designated for assignment

Impact: Crawford finally got into a game on Monday after missing the entire first half of the season with a variety of injuries to his elbow, wrist and groin. The speedy left fielder had an off year in 2011 by his standards, hitting just .255 with 11 home runs, 56 RBI and 18 stolen bases. When healthy, he can generally be counted on for a .300 average, double-digit home runs and 40-plus stolen bases, making him a valuable fantasy asset. Lillibridge was just 2-for-16 in 10 games with the Red Sox and became expendable once both Jacoby Ellsbury and Crawford were activated off the DL.

David Ortiz, DH - placed on the 15-day DL (right heel)
Mauro Gomez, IF - recalled from (and then optioned to) Triple-A Pawtucket
Dustin Pedroia, 2B - activated from the 15-day DL

Impact: Big Papi will have to sit out for at least a couple weeks as he recovers from a sore right Achilles' tendon. The 36-year-old Ortiz was on pace for one of the best seasons of his career before the injury, as he is hitting .316 with 23 home runs and 58 RBI through 89 games. An MRI revealed no tear in the tendon, so he could end up missing just the minimum 15 days. Gomez got into just one game with the BoSox during his most recent stint with the club. Pedroia returns to action after missing a couple weeks with a thumb injury. This season has been an off year for him thus far, as he returns to a .266 average and just six home runs and 33 RBI in 74 games.


Matt Capps, RHP -
placed on the 15-day DL (right shoulder)
Nick Blackburn, RHP - recalled from Triple-A Rochester

Impact: Capps managed to get into just two games before landing right back on the DL with more soreness in his right shoulder. When healthy this season, he's pitched fairly well, as he's converted 14 of 15 save opportunities with a 3.81 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He was apparently being showcased by the Twins for a possible trade before the July 31 deadline, though his failing health may make it harder for Minnesota to get value for him. Glen Perkins and Jared Burton should once again share the closing duties, and both pitchers have performed quite well this season. Of the two, Perkins appears the most likely candidate for saves. Blackburn reclaims his spot in the rotation despite owning an ugly 8.10 ERA through 13 starts. Fantasy owners would be well advised to avoid him at all costs. Brian Duensing returns to the bullpen, where he has been much more effective this season.


CC Sabathia, LHP -
activated from the 15-day DL
Darnell McDonald, OF - designated for assignment

Impact: Sabathia appears fully recovered from his groin injury as he picked up his 10th win of the season against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The 6-foot-7, 290, giant missed three weeks with the injury, but managed to blank Toronto on four hits and one walk through six innings and struck out six hitters. That start improved his ERA to 3.27, and he is 10-3 with 111 strikeouts in 113 innings. He's obviously a safe bet to activate on all fantasy rosters. McDonald went 0-for-4 in four games with the Yankees after being claimed off waivers from Boston.