Remember last year’s trade deadline spectacular? It was more entertaining than about 90% of the baseball games I watched this year or last. There was drama, there was betrayal and there was probably some families displaced from their homes but it sure was a lot of fun to watch unfold. Last year’s deadline fell on a Friday so maybe that’s why but it seemed more suspenseful. It’s still early sure, but all had been quiet, dot dot dot…(you know I’m gonna say something good cause I used the past participle!) until late Friday night the Seattle Mariners swung their Ds back in Astros general direction acquiring Ace flamethrower Luis Castillo from the Ms for an impressive package of prospects including Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Edwin Arroyo and Andrew Moore. I’ll leave the prospect gushing to The Itch but I know Marte and Arroyo are tippy-top talents with the Noelvi (.270/.360/.46, 15 HR, 55 RBI and 12 SB at High-A) considered one of the top 50 in the country. It’s the first big (sorry Benny) trade of the deadline and who many thought was the best pitcher available for trade. That’s because Castillo and his 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 90/28 K/BB would be a number one starter on any team. He’s been especially flames lately with a 1.93 ERA in July and batters hitting just .176 against him. The Mariners haven’t made the playoffs in over 20 years, and they’re hoping adding Luis to a rotation that includes Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert will give them one of the more formidable staffs in the league. As for Castillo’s fantasy value, he moves to a better team and a pitcher-friendly park so LC should be able to improve upon the measly four wins he was able to muster in Cincinnati. With a postseason drought like Seattle’s I think we’re all rooting for the Ms, but only time will tell if this move will do anything to stave off the Astros. Now if only Kyle Lewis could stay healthy! Good luck with that!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Justin Verlander – 7.2 IP, 5 hits, ER, BB, 5 K, 14th win. Astros see your Luis Castillo and want to remind you they still have Justin Verlander, whose family looks like movie stars, basically. Yeah, I’m not sure you’re gonna top that.

Robbie Ray – 2.2 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 8th L. That’s 10 ER surrendered to Houston in his past two starts. You should have never left Canada but I feel ya, Robbie, and don’t be so hard on yourself, literally no one can beat the Astros right now. Except the A’s for some reason. Irony, I guess? Luckily for the rest of the league every one of the A’s players is available via trade.

Aledmys Diaz – 3-for-5, 2 HR (8). When you have to deal with Altuve, Bregman, Alvarez, Tucker and Pena you’re not even thinking about Aledmys. That’s when he strikes! When you’re least suspecting it!

Yordan Alvarez – 3-for-3, HR (30), 2 RBI. My 2022 pick for MVP has been great but unfortunately this Judge guy has been considerably better. Put Yordan in Yankee Stadium then we’ll see who gets to 50 homers quicker. Still Judge? Eh, whatever.

Mauricio Dubon – 2-for-3, HR (4), 2 RBI. The Astros will take your trash and turn them into role players.

Kyle Wright – 6.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5K, 13th win, ERA at 2.93. K-Dubs got All The Wright Moves! I told you to grab Kyle back in April and he’s held up better than most of the drafted pitchers on my roster! 13 wins!? That’s three times as many as Luis Castillo! That was pretty good advice I gave that one time!

Kenley Jansen – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, SV (24). Well, he did not make it easy. He’s got to be one of the more stressful closers in the league, no wonder he has heart problems.

Austin Riley – 3-for-4, HR (29), 3 RBI. How good has Austin Riley been? He’s hitting .500 with two bombs in the past week alone, but I ain’t done yet! He’s been arguably the MLB’s best player in the month of July, slashing .427/.466/.906 with 24 extra base hits, 11 dingers and 24 RBIs. The sweetest of sassy molassys! Did you just become a top 10 hitter!? Will be interesting to see how Riley is ranked next year if he keeps proving them haters wrong!

Shane Bieber – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 5th win. Biebs gets his peaches out in Georgia, and stops in St P. while he’s in the area to grab a quick W from the Rays. Not sure why else you’d go to St. P.

Steven Kwan – 3-for-5, 2 runs, SB (8). Extends his hitting streak to 12 games, hitting close to .400 over the past week with 7 runs, a home run and two steals! You know who else hit .400!? Don’t say it!

Jose Ramirez – 2-for-4, HR (21), 3 RBI. “I feel like we never talk about how good Jose Ramirez is!” — people that always talk about how good Jose Ramirez is

Matt Chapman – 1-for-3, HR (19). He is a hot little potato right now, covered in curds, hitting almost .500 with 6 RBI in the past week and three bombs in the past two days! There may be no hotter hitter in the league than this Chap, man.

Alek Manoah – 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, 4 K and left game after getting hit on the elbow by a comebacker. No word yet on if he’ll miss his next start but X-Rays were negative so sounds like he avoided anything serious, besides the xrays being negative doing a number on his self-esteem. Try saying something nice for once, x-rays!

Miles Mikolas – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, BB, 4 K, 8th win, ERA at 2.86. I can see for Miles and Miles and Miles and I still don’t have a starter as reliable as Mikolas. 14 quality starts! The guy’s got standards!

Nolan Gorman – 1-for-4, HR (11), 2 RBI. Psycho Gorman is doing his darndest not to get traded to the Nats at the deadline. Keep hitting, NoGo!

Juan Soto – 1-for-4. Nats say they’ll make one more offer to Soto before they deal him to a much better team. This better be good. Juan won’t consider anything under half a billion dollars.

Tyler O’Neill – 0-for-3, run, 2 Ks. Half a billion sounds crazy when you say it and type it but that’s for really what this dude is asking for and will probably get from some team. You could buy the Oakland A’s for that kind of chooch.

Chris Bassitt – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. Bassitt had been great in July and had hit QS streak snapped at six straight last night but–seriously 500 million dollars sounds like a crazy number Dr. Evil might spit out, doesn’t it?

Starling Marte – 3-for-5, HR (11), 3 RBI. Brandon Nimmo was 2-for-5, HR (10), 3 RBI. Oh Starling! Please believe me when I tell you this has been Marte’s best season in years. He’s hitting .400 with two bombs in the past week and that .835 OPS makes me want to hit the dance floor and twerk–HARD. I haven’t even finished listening to Beyonce’s Renaissance yet, but I already know I’m an Alien Superstar.

Sandy Alcantara – 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. The 11 (ELEVEN) base runners is quite out of character for Sandy, who’s the front runner for the NL Cy Young at the moment, and this was arguably his worst outing of the year, in a year with very few bad outings. I feel like this says more about the Mets than anything. The way they handled the Yankees. About to add deGrom. They might be the best team in the MLB right now, and I say this after gushing about the Astros for five blurbs.

Edwin Diaz – 1.0 IP, 3 K, SV (23), 10 pitches. This is what I’m talking about. One pitch away from the Immaculate Inning and he knew it, too. We can’t all be perfect, but the Mets are close. I swear if they add Shohei Ohtani and are trotting out a Scherzer, deGrom, Ohtani trio in October then, well, honestly I would actually very much like to see that.

Joey Votto – 1-for-4, HR (9), 2 RBI. Where the Tiktoks at JV? The team could use a dubya!

Kyle Bradish – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K as lowered his ERA from 7.38 to 7.01. And the O’s keep winning! I’m not really sure how they’re doing it either!

Anthony Santander – 3-for-4, HR (18), 2 RBI. If I’m the O’s GM do you sell off all these assets or do you go for it this year? IDK! But this team is sure making it hard on an imaginary GM like me to decide!

Brandon Woodruff – 6.1 IP, 4 hits, ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 9th win. I’m fairly confident most pitchers could strike out nine of these sad sack Red Sox players right now, but good on you, Woody!

Rhys Hoskins – 4-for-4, HR (20), 3 RBI. Rhys is always good for a couple of stretches where he gets insanely hot for a week so you forget that he was batting close to .150 for the previous two weeks.

Bailey Falter – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, BB, 8 K. Bailey needed to not falter in this start to prove he can stick in the rotation and not-falter Falter did! He lines up to gets the Nats next week if the Phills don’t make a trade for someone better.

Jose Quintana – 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Hoping he gets traded at the deadline so he might be a more useable streamer over the final two months, but signs indicate Yankees have Frankie Montas in their sites so Quinto might have to settle for Minnesota.

Ke’Bryan Hayes – 1-for-4, HR (5). If we could combine Ke’Bryan’s contact skills with Oneil Cruz’s (0-for-4) power, the Bucs might have one pretty good fantasy player.

Seth Brown – 2-for-4, 2 HR (14). Grey told you to BUY! Stephen Piscotty and Elvis Andrus also homered. Seth Brown fresh from the paternity list coming at ‘cha with that Proud Dad energy! That one was for sonny!

James Kaprielian – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, ER, BB, 4 K, 2nd win. Hard to believe it’s just his second win but I feel like I’m saying that a lot. The Red Sox have gone all of July without a win from a starting pitcher so who are the A’s to complain? JK gets the Angels next weeks and I’m not kidding 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!

Lance Lynn  – 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, 8 K. Honestly, Lynn was fine, his team is just depressing.

Blake Snell – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, ER, BB, 7 K, 2nd win. Take out the start at Coors and Snell is 3-0 in July, allowing just 3 ER in 22.0 IP and a 34/9 K/BB. Too bad he can’t skip Coors in real life!

Luke Voit – 2-for-4, HR (13), 3 RBI. Manny Machado hit his 17th and Eric Hosmer, Jorge Alfaro and Ha-Seong Kim also homered as the ‘Dres won 10-1. This certainly looks like a team that needs to add FTJ and Juan Soto for the stretch, yes.

Joe Ryan – 4.2 IP, 8 hits, 10 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 4th L, 5 home runs. Woof. Well, it was fun while it lasted (I’m miserable) folks but you officially killed my season last night, Joe. Put a fork in ‘er, she is done-zo! I honestly think I deserve a Will Smith style apology from Ryan after this one. “I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.” Well, you should be.

Will Smith – 2-for-3, HR (15), 2 RBI. Speaking of, he slapped this one into the seats! I know that was expert segue! Thank you very much!

Julio Urias – 7.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 4 K, 10th. Is Urias in that select group that you blindly start at Coors no questions asked? He’s rocking a 1.35 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, with three wins and 17/2 K/BB over the past two weeks and if wasn’t in that group before, he is now.

Trayce Thompson – 2-for-5, HR (4), 2 RBI. He’s a platoon player who’s been so hot he’s forcing Roberts hand and been playing daily. Dodgers will almost certainly make a move before the deadline but not sure they need to, Trayce has been great, hitting .348 over the past week with 2 bombs and 6 RBI.

Craig Kimbrel – 1.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, BB, K, SV (18), ERA at 4.37. Again, can’t imagine the Dodgers don’t make a trade to beef up their pen, it’s what they do, and they can’t feel too comfortable with Kimbrel being the guy right now. Unless they get comfort from high blood pressure.

Martin Perez – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 9th win. His ERA is at 2.52 and the WHIP is a sparkling 1.15. I am done doubting Perez! He seems like a good candidate to get moved at the deadline and get absolutely owned wherever he ends up. What do you think @yankees?

Patrick Sandoval – 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. OK, sure, fine. Nice rebound after getting rocked in Atlanta last week but five straight losses? He hasn’t won since late May. Your team is bad and they should feel bad. He gets a nice home start vs. the A’s next week but I don’t expect much to change here.

Marcus Stroman – 6.0 IP, 8 hits, 0 ER, BB, 3 K, 3rd win. Stroman was one of the first starters I drafted off the board and yes I have been having a very bad summer why do you ask?

Alex Cobb – 6.1 IP, 3 hits, ER, BB, 11 K. Another starter I drafted and own everywhere. Probably the best start of the season for AC and not a moment too soon! What? I’m just enjoying the breeze on this crumbling ledge here, nothing to be alarmed about. Cobby may never win another game but the 22/3 K/BB and sub-1 WHIP over the past two weeks is good enough for me to continue this charade. If only for another Alex Cobb start.

Patrick Wisdom – 2-for-3, HR (19). Homers in back to back days and hitting .300 over the past week. I especially like how he admires his tank here. I wish I could take that kind of pride in my work. Sometimes when I read back my recaps I feel like shit posting just to get ahead of the game. No one can troll me harder than I troll myself.

Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, 9 K. Don’t let the line fool you, Cole was dominant, posting a 37 CSW%. The 3.30 ERA and 1.03 WHIP may not be worth the 36 million but it certainly will do!

Salvador Perez – 1-for-4, HR (12). Sally P with a ding dong straight off the IL! Are you ready to go on a tear and save my season, Salvador!? I can’t hear youuuuu? Seriously, though, I need this.

Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-4, HR (24). HR-to the Rizzo! Rizzo must have downloaded the Beyonce album leak pre-Friday cause he’s having himself a Renaissance!

Aaron Judge – 3-for-5, 2 HR (41), including a Grand Slam, 6 RBI. He also robbed a lead off home run. His 40th was this 440 foot bomb and his 41st was a grand salami cause that’s how 99 does it in 2022, I guess. He’s now slashing .297/.378/.668 with 89 RBI, and he’s the first player to 40 homers pre-August since Bonds did it way back in the 90s. He also now has the most multi-homer games of any player pre-August with nine, and tied Babe Ruth (a very good fantasy player I’ve been told) for the most home runs pre-August with 41. Yeah, well, what else you got? This is all impressive, sure, but if we’re getting into Ruth territory, how many hot dogs can you eat?

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!