The MLB Trade Deadline is one of my favorite times of the year. Full of constant twitter updates and cursing your GM for not offering a better deal for the piece you wanted. Surprises happen every year, but this year we had some good ones. Like Chris Archer heading to Pittsburgh of all places. Or the Cardinals dumping Tommy Pham to the Rays. I love the Trade Deadline because I love seeing what the teams look like after the smoke clears. And then there is a whole other level of excitement to see the fantasy implications of all the moves. It is like opening a Christmas present only to find TWO gifts inside.
You know what else comes in twos? Socks. Or Sox, if it is Christmas in July. And this Christmas, the Sox coincidentally added two pieces near the deadline that fit their needs. In fact, you might even say that these Sox fit just right!
Nathan Eovaldi was acquired for Boston’s #15 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Jalen Beeks. More like Jalen CHEEKS if you ask me. No, really though. In his debut with the Rays, he allowed 8 earned on 10 hits, 3 walks, and one K through 3 and a third. He now holds a 15.83 ERA and 2.90 WHIP through 9 and 2/3 innings this year. You know, if you look at his WHIP and pretend it is his ERA, he’s not doing too shabby. Okay all jokes aside that is still a really small sample size, and that was his first start with his new ball club.
Back to Eovaldi. In his first start with his new ball club, he pitched 7 scoreless innings against the Twins while letting up 4 hits, walking none and striking out 5. He picked up first first win as a member of the Red Sox, and hopefully the first of many to close out the year. Again, it is just one start, but you can’t help but get excited over this situation fantasy wise. The Res Sox have scored the most runs in the league as well as the most wins in the league. With some fairly simple math, this should hopefully leave Eovaldi with lots of run support and opportunities to pick up wins.
This is an excellent fit for the Red Sox, as they have had some troubles with the back end of their rotation. Chris Sale has joined Eduardo Rodriguez on the DL, so it is great timing that they just brought in Eovaldi. He now sits at 4-4 on the season, with a 3.80 ERA and 0.94 WHIP through 64 innings. He has struck out 58 batters (23.4%) while walking just 8 (3.2%) of them.
As I mentioned above, this is also an excellent fit for the fantasy world. Eovaldi has seen his ownership jump up to 55% since the time of writing this, but go grab him if he is still available. He is someone that has the ability, and run support, to go out there and pick up a win every time he toes the rubber. He was already picking up some steam as a semi-reliable fantasy asset, and this has skyrocketed his value. On the slip side, you could see this as an opportunity to sell him if there is a Sox fan in your league that is really high on him.
Boston also added one of my absolute favorite players all growing up, Ian Kinsler. The grit and determination of Kinsler alone will instantly make him a fan favorite. Though not enjoying his best year to date, Kinsler has been heating up as of late. In the last 30 days Kinsler is slashing .333/.405/.480 through 75 AB, adding 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases, 15 runs scored, and 10 runs batted in. While his season average sits at .240, Kinsler has quietly recorded 13 home runs and 9 stolen bases this year.
This move all but assures that Dustin Pedroia will not be stepping back on the field for the Red Sox this season. In that case, this move makes too much sense for the Red Sox. Brock Holt is not an every day player, and Eduardo Nunez is a straight liability on defense. How bad you may ask? Fangraphs has Nunez with a Defensive Runs Above Average of -16.7. So yeah, that bad. I’m genuinely convinced I could have played the same amount of games as him and have better than a -16.7. Kinsler on the other hand has a Defensive Runs Above Average of 9.3. AKA astronomically better than Nunez. Nunez has a wRC+ of 75, and Kinsler in a “down year” has 96 wRC+. The Red Sox solidified their lineup by acquiring an everyday 2B that is better offensively and defensively than the man he is replacing.
This move may take Kinsler away from hitting in front of Trout, but I have a gut feeling he won’t be complaining about it. Though he may not hit as high in the order as he did with the Angels, he is entering a stacked lineup that should offer him both protection and opportunities to create runs. Kinsler is another guy who was picking up his play before being traded into an ideal scenario. His ownership also jumped up to 55%, so I hope you grabbed him already/snatch him if he is out there. Kinsler won’t be a guy that will win you a championship, but he sure as hell won’t lose it for you. I have always loved him in H2H formats due to his speed-pop combo and ability to create runs. His high average days may be over, but I don’t think he will finish the year at .240. Steamer has him slashing .263/.326/.425 the rest of the way with 6 home runs and 4 stolen bases. Being in such a loaded offense, he should be able to knock in and score plenty of runs to finish the year. He should give you modest production across the board, which is all you could ask for in a H2H format at this stage. I am definitely looking forward to how Kinsler will perform both in real life and on the fantasy diamond.