A few days ago Zack Greinke hinted that he liked the Angels organization, and praise them, Anaheim made it happen, pulling off perhaps what will be the biggest trade of the season. They acquired the Greinkster for three prospects: shortstop Jean Segura and pitchers Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena. The Catatafish never saw this coming. Admit it Zack, you just can’t get enough of Mike Trout either. We have the same Trout poster on our walls and in our lockers, and you see this as the perfect opportunity to cozy up to the young phenom and maybe, possibly, now perhaps very likely win yourself a World Series ring. Really, what’s not to like? Trout leads one of the most prolific offenses in the game, and Zack Greinke and his 9 wins, 3.44 ERA and 122 Ks will join Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren in what now becomes the best rotation in baseball, but has had its struggles to date. I don’t see the league change affecting Greinke’s numbers. We know he can pitch in the American League, (if you can be an Ace with the Royals, you can be an Ace anywhere) and he’s got some real offensive support with that line up, so his win potential could go up. Yeah, we can pretty much wrap this whole MLB season thing up. Let’s just give them the trophy. Congratulations Angels, that’s how you go for the gold (Olympians take note).
On the other side, the Milwaukee Brewers didn’t trade Greinke just because they love Mike Trout, too (but they do, everybody does.) They receive three MLB-ready prospects that could provide some fantasy value for the rest of the season. The key trade piece for the Brewers, the Angels top prospect Jean Segura, could likely fill the hole at shortstop for Milwaukee almost immediately. In 94 games for Double-A Arkansas, Jean had a .294/.346/.404 line and hit seven bombs, with 40 RBI and 33 SB. Did someone just see a SAGNOF enter the room? If Jean Segura is slotted into Milwaukee’s starting shortstop role, I could see grabbing him in NL-only or deeper mixed leagues if I needed a shortstop, partly because I like the name Jean, but mostly because of the speed. Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena could be MLB-ready as well. Hellweg was the Angels 16th pick in 2008 and has a 3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 88 strikeouts with Double-A Arkansas. Pena has been even more impressive: in 114.1 IP at Double-A, he’s got a 2.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 111 Ks, and 6 wins in 19 starts. Expect both these players to see the Brewers rotation at some point this season, so get them on your radar. The biggest thing to take away from this trade though? Zack Greinke, his BFF Mike Trout, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (California, USA, EARTH) are going to win the World Series. That just happened.
Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:
Ben Sheets — 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 Ks and his 3rd win. Through his first three starts back he’s undefeated with a 0.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 15 Ks. This is such a nice comeback story, it’s gonna be tough when he gets injured again.
Brian McCann — 1-for-4 with a 3-run HR. Big Mac now has 4 homers in his last seven games as he continues to apologize to his fantasy owners for his first half the only way he knows how: hitting dingers.
Joe Mauer — 3-for-5 with 3 runs and 3 RBIs. Oh, hello Twins offense, I see you there. Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham also homered in this one, and Ryan Doumit and Denard Span had 2 hits a piece. Minnesota scored 11 runs on 15 hits as everyone in the Twins lineup collected a hit.
Scott Diamond — 9.0 IP, 3 H, 6 Ks in his first career complete game shutout. I’d make a “diamond in the rough” joke here, but the Twins were on fire tonight. With 9 wins and a 2.88 ERA, Diamond has been quite the gem for Minnesota this year.
Yasmani Grandal — 2-for-4 with 3-run triple and 2 runs scored. Miami and San Diego, talk about an uneventful game fantasy-wise. When did Miami get so bad? Oh yeah. We miss you, Giancarlo! Anyway, Beowulf’s nemesis, Grandal, has a quiet 5-game hitting streak going if you’re hurting at catcher in deeper leagues.
Travis Snider — 1-for-3 with a 2-run HR as the the Blue Jays score 8 runs to beat the Tigers. Snider was in this week’s BUY and look what he goes and does, BAM, homer. Here’s what Grey said about picking up Travis, “you can change your team name to The Travi Fountain and seem all cultured and shizz.” Chicks dig cultured guys. And if that wasn’t enough of a reason, he just hit a home run!
Miguel Cabrera — 2-for-4 with his 25th HR. Miggy and Prince Fielder homered back to back in the first inning in this one. If I was a Tigers fan, I would pretty much expect this to happen every night out. I would also want them to be best friends, and to high five, hug, laugh and compare notes after they did it.
Mike Fiers — 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 9 Ks and his 4th win. Are you sure that’s not a typo? Are you sure it’s not “Fires,” as in Mike On Fires! He hasn’t given up more than 2 ER in a start since June 9th, and he’s a good bet to keep on burning next week versus Houston.
Aramis Ramirez — 3-for4 with a 2-run HR. His seventh multi-hit game in the last 10 games! Aramis tends to accumulate most of his stats in a short period of time, now is probably that time.
Curtis Granderson — 3-for-5 with a grand slam as the Yankees rout the Red Sox 10-3. Grandy always seems to kill the Sox and this weekends series could be the dagger in the heart. Aaron Cook pitched 4.0 and gave up 6 ER, but c’mon, what’d you expect? With the loss the Red Sox sit in last place in the AL East, 11.5 games in back of the Yankees and 5.5 games out of the wild card.
Dustin Pedroia — 2-for-4 with a HR. Elves never surrender! Carl Crawford homered in this one as well. Sorry guys, you’re about two months too late.
Lance Berkman — 2-for-4 with his 2nd home run of the year. Baseball’s resident superhero, BerkMAN hit his first HR since coming off the DL, he hadn’t hit one since May 18. He got help from his super friends Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter who all also homered as the Cardinals pounded the Cubs in a 9-6 win.
Anthony Rizzo — 2-for-3 with a HR, 3 RBIs. Just finished reading the latest Anthony Rizzo interview. Favorite TV show: Rizzoli and Isles, Favorite food: risotto, Favorite Muppet: Rizzo the Rat, and Favorite past time: hitting dingers.
Seth Smith — 2-for-3 with 5 RBIs in a wild game. The O’s and A’s combined for 31 hits and 23 total runs. Jemile Weeks hit the go-ahead 1-run single in the 9th to put the A’s ahead, but Smith was the real star tonight as the A’s keep winning. Oakland continues to hang with the Angels despite lack of a Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Jered Weaver type player. Money Ball II: What, Are You Kidding, We Could Never Afford Zack Greinke!? Starring Christian Bale as the bat man.
Jim Johnson — 0.1 IP, 6 ER, BS. Since the All Star break Johnson has surrendered 19 hits and 13 ER in 6.1 IP with 2 blown saves. Can’t say I’m shocked, but I am disappointed.
Marco Scutaro — Not to be outdone by the Angels, the Giants acquired Marco Scutaro last night for infielder Charlie Culberson. If anything, the move away from Coors could hurt Scutaro’s already mediocre value, but owners can rest assured he should see plenty of PT at shortstop and second base. Yaaawn.
Nelson Cruz — 2-for-4 with a 3-run homer. The homer was his 14th of the year and his 3rd in the past 5 games. Nelly has been a bit of a disappointment so far, but it looks like it’s getting hot in herrre.
Kevin Youkilis — 1-for-3 with a 2-run homer in his return to the line up. That one was for Bobby V!
Bronson Arroyo — 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Ks. His first career win at Coors. Tried to celebrate post game by whipping out the ol’ guitar and playing a little ditty, but it cleared the locker room quicker than one of Scott Rolen’s old man farts.
Chris B. Young — 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Krispie has started flashing some value again over the past week. His best friend (again, in my mind most baseball team mates are best friends), Justin Upton, added 2 hits, too, as the D-Backs rolled past the Mets 11-5.
Jon Niese — 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Ks. Grey’s second half Cy Young pick. Don’t worry, Grey, I picked Ricky Romero.
Chris Johnson — 3-for-4 with his 8th HR. Grey told you to BUY him and has now homered in back to back games. I’ve seen him get crazy hot in the past, so I might grab him if while he’s a hot schmotato if I needed a starch.
Starling Marte — 0-for-4 with 2 Ks and an RBI. It’s a good thing I picked him up everywhere.
Blake Beavan — 6.2, 1 ER, 6 Ks. One particular player I personally root for and mention because a certain Berry-flavored ESPN fantasy analyst dislikes him so much. The Royals have been just awful lately and Beavan took advantage. No, I probably wouldn’t own him, but let’s go Beav! Can I call you the Beav?
Brandon Belt — 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and a SB. It’s really happening! He’s playing, he’s hitting, he’s stealing bases! Please let it be so.
Hanley Ramirez — 1-for-5 with 2 RBIs as HanRam hit a go-ahead 2-run HR in the 10th inning. Yup, that should go a long way in winning over those Dodger fans.
Dan Haren — 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Ks. Yeah, that’s more like it. I’m ready to buy Haren if I can get the chance, and I think his best has yet to come.
Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap, as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!