The Trade Deadline Spectacular! Lot’s to unpack here, where do I begin? First, the Chicago Cubs continued to clean house Friday night sending their remaining superstars to opposite coasts. Kris Bryant is headed to San Francisco in exchange for Alexander Canario and Caleb Killian, and Javier Baez was sent to Queens to play shortstop for the Mets. The Mets will send outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong back to Chicago. Look, I’m not going to pretend to know who any of these prospects are, I will leave it to The Itch’s Top 100 Prospects for 2021 Fantasy Baseball to tell you which of these kids are worthy of your 2021 consideration, but I will confirm that Pete Crow-Armstrong is an awesome name, so he must be very good. Anyway, Bryant should gel nicely with this Giants team and they get a “true star” to keep up with the big boys in the NL West. Javier Baez will keep doing the Javier Baez thing he does, now in NYC City, and it should be fun to watch a Javy/Lindo infield combo when Lindor returns in a few weeks. Meanwhile down South, the Braves were so distraught about Acuña (same, Braves, same), they traded for an entirely new outfield. Retail therapy! I get it! Altana acquired Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall all from different teams, all within about an hour of each other, and all of whom are basically the same player. But for real though, how insane was this deadline? Quality and quantity. Twitter Friday afternoon was probably more exciting than most of the MLB games I’ve watched this season. Blockbuster deals! Twists and turns! 10 all-stars traded! Headlines that would make Suni Lee say, “oh, wow that’s a pretty intriguing story.” And she’s not even talking about Trevor Story! For me, it was an exciting, drama-filled 48 hours in sports and I’d love to go on about how fun it is to watch athletes displaced from their homes but there is too much to cover today so will get right to it.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Jose Berrios – The Blue Jays won the Berrios sweepstakes after losing the Scherzer sweepstakes but ended up giving up a pretty penny with pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson in addition to an Aston Martin. Woah nice! Wait, I’m being told that’s Austin Martin, the #5 pick in the 2019 draft, not the luxury automobile. Bummer! Again, I will leave it to The Itch’s Top 100 Prospects for 2021 Fantasy Baseball to tell you which of these prospects traded this week are worthy of your attention, but pretty sure Martin and Woods are two very good ones.
Craig Kimbrel – Kimbrel was traded to the White Sox for Nick Madrigal and pitcher Codi Heuer. Grey told you to BUY Rex Brothers for saves on North Side. As for the South Side, remains to be seen if Kimbrel is there to set up Liam Hendricks (1.0 IP, 2 K, SV (26) Friday night) or to close games. OoOoooh! Such drama! Much intrigue!
Kyle Gibson – Also, headed to Philadelphia along with Ian Kennedy. I liked Gibson’s chances for a bit of a resurgence, but not in Philly. He could start as soon as Sunday and I’d let someone else deal with that. The assumption is Kennedy will take over as closer right away for the Phils. Spencer Howard and his heads to Texas along with two other pitchers whose names I forgot as soon as I read them. Spence could find his way into the Texas rotation immediately despite his 5.72 ERA. He could end up on my streaming radar if he can shake off the Philadelphia stank.
Michael Chavis – Sent to Pittsburgh in exchange for Austin Davis. Poor Michael Chavis heads from a first-place team to, well, the Pirates. He should get a chance for everyday at-bats. Pick him up if you hate yourself.
Randy Arozarena – 2-for-5, HR (14). Maybe Randy’s just a late-season kind of guy? He’s got 4 homers in the past two weeks and is hitting .350 over the past week! With the Rays set for a big weekend series with first-place Boston, now’s the time to get hot, Randy!
Martin Perez – 4.0 IP, 7 hits, 6 ER, BB, 3 K. Something tells me the Red Sox should have traded for a starter at the deadline, and not just Hansel Robles. I guess they’ll have to settle for Chris Sale.
Wade LeBlanc – 5.2 IP, 6 hits, ER, 2 BB, 3 K. Wade to go, Leblanc! He very well may have secured his rotation spot with yesterday’s outing. Jon Lester was sent to the Cardinals Friday evening for Lane Thomas. The Birds also acquired J.A. Happ from the Twins for John Gant. For whatever reason, I could see both these guys possibly having some value in St. Louis despite how bad they’ve been to date. Something about the restorative power of the Arch? It worked for Beltran!
Corbin Burnes – 4.0 IP, 9 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Corbin’s struggles make me feel better about that Touki start. Maybe it was just one of those nights, something was in the air in Milwaukee. Probably malt and hops.
Joc Pederson – 3-for-5, run. Woah. Someone just got a whole lot of company in the outfield. Keep hitting, Joc! Like you’re life depends on it! Like you’re not batting .400 over the past week!
Austin Riley – 1-for-3, HR (22). I just know I’m going to own Riley everywhere next year. That’s sucha classic 2022 Dan move. Typical.
Willy Adames – 2-for-4, HR (17), 2 RBI. I’ll admit, Milwaukee trading for Adames was a huge thinking face emoji for me at the time, but man oh man did that GM prove me wrong! Bravo, GM sir. Is it me or did Milwaukee fleece Florida on the Christian Yelich trade, too? Are the Brewers front office folks secret grifters? Is Adames gonna win MVP? IDK! But he’s slashing .301/.390/.548 with 39 runs scored, 12 homers and 41 RBI since joining the Brew Crew and has slowly become their biggest offense weapon. Get that man a Miller High Life!
Zach Thompson – 5.2 IP, 3 hits, ER, 4 BB, 5 K. 2.33 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 41:14 K:BB through 38.2 innings. What more is there to say–the Marlins can make anyone a serviceable starter. They should send pitchers to Miami to cure their yips. Wait till you see what they do with Jesus Luzardo. It’s gonna be dope.
Jameson Taillon – 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 7th win. 1.16 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 4 Ws over the past month. He’s been the Yankees most consistent pitcher over the past month. That’s a big yikes. And says a lot about how bad this staff has been lately. But not Taillon. He’s been fine! Kind of good even! New York also acquired Angels starter Andrew Heaney Friday afternoon. Lol. Yeah, good luck with that.
Joey Gallo – 0-for-4, 2 K. Also looking forward to seeing a lot of this. I love that he’s wearing A-Rod’s number.
Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, ER, BB, 7 K, 3rd win. Atta boy, Sonny! Not going to sugarcoat it, you were this close to the waiver wire. If you could see me you’d see how close my fingers were pinched together. Hasn’t looked the same since returning from IL with a rib injury, but yesterday was an encouraging start against a good offense. I need 2020 Sonny Gray back if I’m going to compete. I need my baby back. That’s a rib injury joke.
Carlos Carrasco – 4.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, BB, 4 K. Carrasco made his long-anticipated Queens debut Friday night and overall I’d say it went pretty well. He gave up a bomb on his first pitch, but settled down considerably after that throwing 58 pitches. He should be stretched out further next week, and gets a much more favorable match-up in Miami. It’s an exciting time to be a Mets fan! Really! I’m being serious! I’m sorry that sounded sarcastic.
Jonathan India – 3-for-4, 2 HR (10), 3 RBI. Ahem. It’s actually Jonathan Guardian now. Have a day, man! Have you been outsourcing your power until now? Two Bombays for India! Jonny have been your lede if half the league didn’t get traded Friday night. A career night for the rookie and one that cements him as a player I’m going to target everywhere for 2022. As for 2021, he’s still available in about a quarter of leagues, and about a quarter of those have been abandoned. So if you’re in one of those 1/8 percentage non-abandoned leagues, India’s batting .309 with 4 homers, 7 RBI and 15 RUNS scored since the all-star break. That’s what you want from your leadoff man. If he steals more bases I promise to make a Youtube tribute video about him.
Joey Votto – 1-for-4, HR (21). AND ANOTHER ONE! That’s seven games straight with a bomb, and 10 in the past 10 days! Sweet sassy molassy! KEEP GOING JOEY! I want to write about this streak again next week!
Ryan Mountcastle – 1-for-4, HR (17). I can’t believe I still own you either. Sometimes worse than being terrible is being just mediocre enough not be able to drop.
Pedro Severino – 2-for-3, 2 HR (8). Hey! Speaking of being terrible…catchers!
Matt Harvey – 6.1 IP, 6 hits, 0 ER, 5 K, 6th win. OK, so when do we start to recognize what the Dark Knight has been doing? Are you that pumped for the new Suicide Squad, Matt? Me too. Sly Stallone as a shark? Sign me up. Harvey hasn’t given up a run since the all-star break, compiling 18.1 scoreless innings three wins, and a 11/1 K/BB during that span. The fact that he’s faced some less than daunting offenses in Kansas City, Washington, and Detroit during that stretch is obviously a concern but let’s give credit where credit is due. James Gunn saved the Suicide Squad, I mean, Harvey. Umm, if he can survive that start at Yankee Stadium next week, I’m in, but for now I’d take a wait-and-see approach.
Jarred Kelenic – 2-for-5, HR (3), 4 RBI. Aww yassss! You want to know what’s sad? Friday’s bomb was his first home run since he hit two homers in a game and I told you to grab him on May 15. Yeesh. We can’t be fantasy guru’s every day of the week. I have my soft spots and one of them is Jared Kelenic. So it sure was nice to see this! The upside is crazy high, like win-your-fantasy-league high, but I understand the hesitation to pick up a .122 hitter. Still, here come the Mariners!
Abraham Toro – 3-for-5, 2 runs. BUY. Speaking of Mariners to BUY, Abraham has done nothing but hit over the past month and had himself a little homer streak that would make Votto blush. He’s hitting .368 with a steal and 4 homers in the past week and he’s available in about 90% of fantasy leagues. Ya I’m being for real go grab him!
Logan Gilbert – 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, BB, 6 K, 5th win. Should I call you Logan, Weapon X? NO? WOLVERINE!
Diego Castillo – 1.0 IP as he pitched the ninth inning in a four-run game. Paul Sewald grabbed the hold with two strikeouts but it certainly looked like Seattle’s intention is to use Castillo as the closer.
Adolis Garcia – 2-for-4, HR (23). I get a lot of questions about whether or not to drop Adolis and I don’t know what to tell you. I like him, but he’s batting in probably the worst offense in the league and has zero protection. No wonder he’s struggling.
Bo Bichette – 2-for-4, 2 runs, HR (19), 2 RBI, SB. As the Blue Jays finally got to play their first “home” game in Toronto! It was a nice moment, in a year filled with not-so-nice moments. As for Bo, he’s hitting .423 over the past week with 3 homers and 3 steals. Is he the top fantasy shortstop for 2022? Is he a top 5 pick? Probably! It’s that flow.
Salvador Perez – 1-for-4, HR (26). He’s got 5 bombs in the past week, hitting .310! Grey joked about how Sally is having the quietest hall of fame career ever, and I have to agree. He’s on pace for career highs in all categories and his .314/.364/.647 is elite. What’s your catcher been doing?
Ross Stripling – 5.1 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, BB, K. Stripling would appear to be the odd man out with Berrios arriving in town, which is a shame because he netted his first win in five starts Friday night. Oh well, to the ‘pen with you!
Jordan Romano – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, ER, K, SV (9). Newly acquired Brad Hand worked the eighth inning, so it looks like, unlike Stripling, Pecorino Romano’s job is safe for now. Don’t drop your cheeses just yet!
Wil Crowe – 6.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 3rd win. Now back-to-back quality starts for the rookie but his 4.2 BB/9 makes me say, “Umm, nah tho.” Dare to pick him up and you’ll be eating Crowe for sure.
Gregory Polanco – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI. Two homers and three steals since the break but I can’t with any conscience recommend this guy. He’s burned me too many times. Not this time, Greg!
Paolo Espino – 5.1 IP, 4 hits, ER, BB, 6 K. Three straight outings pitching five or more innings and gets the Phillies next week who’ve been awful. I might consider the prospect of maybe thinking about mulling over the possibility of contemplating whether or not I should review the option of potentially picking him up. I still don’t know for sure though!
Kyle Finnegan – 1.0 IP, 1 hits, 0 ER, SV (2). BUY. Kyle Finnegan’s Wake! Might be one of the big winner’s from this deadline, and with two saves in two days he’s an instant add wherever you need saves.
Josh Bell – 1-for-3, HR (17). Ding dong dinger for Bell! Perhaps too little too late, Bell is heating up just as the clubhouse is clearing out. He’s got five dingers since the break but everyone who would care is gone. Trea would have high-fived you say hard, Josh!
Yoan Moncada – 3-for-5, HR (9). Talk about due! The average is still underwhelming but four dingers since the break. I’ll take it, and I’ll shut my mouth and I won’t complain about it anymore.
Franmil Reyes – 3-for-4, HR (2), 3 RBI. Don’t look now but the $12 Salad is batting close to .500 in the past week with 3 bombs. Add some steak and fries to that salad, boy!
Chris Bassitt – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 0 ER, BB, 7 K, 11th win. While my pitching staff is crumbling in the second half, Gausman can’t get through 5 innings, Rodon lost his muchness but Bassitt remains reliable. Yet still, somehow, he remains underrated. I love guys like this!
Josh Harrison – Sent to the A’s for prospects along with Yan Gomes. Harrison seems like the quintessential Oakland A and could see a value bump in what’s starting to look like a pretty stacked lineup.
Patrick Sandoval – 5.2 IP, 4 hits, ER, 6 BB, 6 K. I could tell you how could Sandoval’s been over the past month, with his 2.70 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and his 41/15 K/BB, but I’d rather gush about Reid Detmers, who set to make his MLB debut Sunday versus Athletics and has 106 strikeouts this year. He’s got a 30/4 K/BB in July alone and yes please I would like some of that thank you.
Manny Machado – 3-for-4, 2 HR (20). Manny is doing his best Tatis impression hitting .391 with 4 homers in the past week. But if you’re going to impersonate Tatis you got to have more swag to it, bro. I’d recommend watching more game tape till you get that FTJ swagger down pat.
Ryan McMahon – 3-for-3, 2 runs, Grand Slam HR (17). His first homer since mid-June! I know he’s been serviceable, and he’s got upside, but I can’t believe he’s owned in 95% of leagues and hadn’t homered in over a month.
Fernando Tatis Jr. – 1-for-1. Left game with a shoulder injury. Aggravated the same injury he had earlier this year and could be headed to the IL. He also could be back Sunday because he’s Fernando Tatis and he’s a freak of nature who’s hit 31 homers already this season with a bum shoulder. Pads need him right now to stay in this race, so will be interesting to see what they do.
Brendan Rodgers – 2-for-5, HR (8). BUY. So McMahon is owned everywhere but Rodgers is available in about 85% of leagues? Rodgers who’s hitting .346 with 3 bombs in the past week. DO I really need to explain the protocol here?
Kevin Gausman – 4.1 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. You’re killin’ me, Gaus! I need you right now!
Jose Altuve – 3-for-6, 3 runs, 2 HR (25) including a Grand Slam, 5 RBI. I give the Astros a lot of guff for banging on trash cans and well, u gotta, but Altuve is a stud regardless. The .281/.359/.519 is real nice but the 79 runs, 25 homers and 65 RBI is really unreal. I’m convinced he’s in possession of Hank Pym’s Ant Man suit.
Zac Gallen – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, BB, 8 K. This was exactly what you needed to do to keep from getting dropped. Well done, Zac. It was pretty close there for a second, but you shut down the Dodgers and you have my attention.
Tony Gonsolin – 1.2 IP, 1 hit, 2 ER, 5 BB, K. Tony G. didn’t have it last night and struggled to throw strikes before being pulled in the second. Not what you want to see in such a favorable match up, but ain’t nobody feeling bad for the Dodgers right now.
Chris Taylor – 2-for-5, HR (17), 3 RBI. How great has Taylor been this year? In addition to a .280/.374/.500 slash, dude’s got three homers in the past week batting .308 like he’s playing hard for his job. I wish Cody Bellinger (0-for-5) showed that kind of urgency. Are we at all worried Taylor could lose at-bats to Corey Seager (2-for-5 in his return Friday) or Trea Turner? When is there such a thing as too much talent? The Dodger’s payroll is currently higher than five different teams combined, including the Rays who are actually good. Next thing we’ll hear Russell Westbrook threw such a great first pitch at Dodger Stadium, that LA has decided they want him opening games in September. That’s when we have to take a step back and realize that if Russ can open games, Lebron can probably hit baseballs, too. And now I finally realize what that new Space Jam reboot was missing.
Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!