Jan and Erik will have their respective FAAB columns Sunday, but for those of you that don’t want / can’t wait that long, here’s a quick-and-dirty set of rankings of players traded before yesterday’s deadline. These are for “Only” leagues – players going from the NL to the AL, and vice versa. Obviously, your mileage may vary depending on your league’s parameters and your league’s needs. But here’s my quick opinion.
Going to the AL:
I’m presuming you’ve already had a bite at the apple that includes Manny Machado, Brad Hand, Mike Moustakas, Cole Hamels and Eduardo Escobar, plus anyone else traded before the traditional Sunday FAAB period.
This list improved from where I was on Monday night, at least. But it’s still underwhelming, especially if you don’t have the hammer and can’t pick up Tommy Pham.
- Tommy Pham (STL→TB): This one surprised me, in multiple ways. I think that the Cardinals still have a chance to win a WC spot, if not the NL Central, and Pham is really good, if not lower than last year. But apparently he’s a pain in the ass to deal with (Cardinals version of the story) or has been wronged too much by the Cards’ front office (his version) to bridge a fractured relationship. As Michael Waldo pointed out first (to my knowledge), his hard-hit rate is just fine. Go get him. I get that clubhouse relationships matter, as well as just getting along matters, but the skills are so real, and he’s probably motivated to prove the Cards wrong, so the “intangibles” category skews in favor. Remind me to rant about how a TV commentator will compare two players and then lists “intangibles” as a category, and then gives the preference to one player/coach/GM over another for that category. If it’s truly intangible, how are you, the observer, able to discern such an advantage. Such a bullshit dump.
- Austin Meadows (PIT→TB): Meadows is a polished prospect and will play every day instead as part of a four-man rotation that he had in Pittsburgh. The down side is that he won’t run, the upside is that the power eventually comes. It’s pretty ironic that he’s essentially switching spots with Corey Dickerson, four months into the season later.
- Jonathan Villar (MIL→BAL): Gets a new lease on life, and probably unfettered playing time when healthy. On the downside, the O’s don’t run very often under Buck Showalter. Will they give him the green light?
- Cameron Maybin (MIA→SEA): Once Robinson Cano returns, I don’t see Maybin playing much. At least he saved the Mariners the shame of trading for Leonys Martin after they previously let him walk.
- Logan Forsythe (LAD→MIN): As boring as it gets, but at least he’s going to play more now.
- Tyler Glasnow (PIT→TB): Hopefully the Rays can polish him off to the next level. He might be hopeless in terms of holding runners, but he also might end up being so good that it doesn’t matter.
- Taylor Hearn (PIT→TEX)
- Luke Voit (STL→NYY)
Going to the NL:
- Chris Archer (TB→PIT): Feel free to insert a sloppy “big fish in a little pond” analogy here. I don’t think Archer is an ace / SP1 or anything close to what he was made up to be prior to the trade deadline, but he’ll almost certainly benefit from getting the hell out of the AL East and into Pittsburgh. The question is how much? My guess is that he falls short of the first two tiers but comfortably at the top of the SP3 tier. That’s good enough to spend the rest of your FAAB in an NL-only league.
- Jonathan Schoop (BAL→MIL): Really, what the hell are the Brewers doing? Is there some super-secret nefarious plan where one of Schoop, Moustakas, Shaw, Aguilar, Thames or Braun nets them a starting pitcher? If not … I just don’t see it. In David Stearn We Trust, I guess. Schoop at least should play regularly.
- Brian Dozier (MIN→LAD): If you wanted to apply a “Last Year’s Bums” but apply it to this year and put Dozier above Schoop and even Archer, I really wouldn’t put up much of a fight. He clearly was the highest-rated player of the three going in. But according to Baseball Savant, his hard-hit rate is *way* down from last year, from 34.5% down to 26.8%. A bet on Dozier is a bet on faith, not science. Or, at the very least, a bet on the Dodgers’ personnel to fix whatever ails him. Given their track record with Matt Kemp and Max Muncy (not to mention plenty of other players from previous seasons), that’s not such a bad bet.
- Kevin Gausman (BAL→ATL): Full disclosure – I fully bought into Gausmania when he was called up, and before he was considered a Gascan. I still think there’s something good to be harvested here, and moving to the NL certainly can’t hurt.
- Wilson Ramos (TB→PHI): Hurt now, but how many catchers have actually been good this year? If you can add him now when he’ll be cheap before coming off the DL, do so.
- Brad Brach (BAL→ATL): Brach has a puncher’s chance at closing with the Braves so long as Arodys Vizcaino is out. A.J. Minter could suffer the typical anti-LHP bias when it comes to closing.
- Keone Kela (TEX→PIT): He’s really good, but he won’t close for the Pirates absent an injury to Vasquez.
- Jake Diekman (TEX→AZ): See also Kela, but with fewer paths to closing.
- John Axford (TOR→LA): It wouldn’t be a stretch for the Dodgers to find a way to make Axford useful as a setup guy.
- Joakim Soria (CHW→MIL) Having a great year, but no way he closes.
- Jonny Venters (TB→ATL)
- Aaron Loup (TOR→PHI): AL-only owners weren’t out of the loop on this one – he took a step back this year.
- Matt Andriese (TB→AZ)
- Darren O’Day (BAL→ATL)