Happy Wednesday, Razzball faithful! The good news is we lucked out this week with the trade deadline falling on a Tuesday! The bad news is … there wasn’t much to be excited about as far as blockbuster deals were concerned.
But, fear not! We’ve got any and all deals that might have some sort of impact in the land of steals for the rest of the season! We’ll have a look at players involved, see if any have improved their playing time situations, and compare some current stat lines to those predictions from the pre-season. Did some teams secure that final SAGNOF piece for the playoff push? Did other teams deal away a guy to make room for an up and/or in-coming SAGNOF play? Is there enough trade deadline runoff from SAGNOF mountain to keep us satiated? The good news is yes, yes, and yes.
Finally, we’ll apply the most important, trusted, and true assessment (a.k.a. I just made it up).
Harkening back to the King of the SAGNOF hill, Mr. Rajai Davis, we’ll rank each move on the Rajai-scale. 1 Rajai means it’s not looking too good for SAGNOF purposes. 5 Rajais means it’s time to go out and secure said burner for your redraft (or keeper) squads.
So, for example, the CJ Cron and Randall Grichuk trade to LAA brings us a total of 2 SB on the year. Combined. The trade might pay off for the Angels in real life, but for our SAGNOF needs…?
One Rajai out of five.
Are you ready? Let’s get to it!
Enrique Hernandez – Traded to the Dodgers for two relief prospects (Red Sox). Kiké returns to Hollywood with a grand total of 3 SB. It’s a nice reunion, and Hernandez certainly has enjoyed success at Dodger Stadium, but we’re not going to get much speed out of the soon-to-be 32-year-old utility man. I guess the good news is that he’s already tripled the preseason SB prediction of one SB. I’d be tempted to give him an extra half a Rajai on the scale if it wasn’t for the next guy on our list too. Rajai scale – One.
Amed Rosario – Traded to the Dodgers for Noah Syndergaard (Guardians). Now we’re cookin’ with gas! Amed Rosario was a guy we looked at in the preseason (March 1st) for our prime aged SAGNOF breakouts. Pairing the 60-grade speed with a middle infielder headed into his age 27 season with full-time playing time seemed to be a solid plan. Rosario hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, though. His 9 SB through 417 PA aren’t even halfway to the preseason prediction of 20 SB. Add in that his path to playing time isn’t as clear in Los Angeles with Enrique Hernandez, Miguel Rojas, and even Chris Taylor looking for ABs and it seems like it’ll take a hot start for Rosario to get those wheels going. But if he can take that SS job and…er…run with it?
Carlos Santana – Traded to Milwaukee for Jhonny Severino (Pirates). Oye como vamanos. Let’s go! (says my Razzslam team). I mention the Santana trade mostly to bring attention to the fact that (A) Carlos has landed in the heart of a pretty solid offensive lineup, (B) he was traded for a guy that spells his first name like Peralta did, (which drives me crazy), and (C) … well, we know where that’s going.
Luisangel Acuña – Traded to the Mets for Max Scherzer (Rangers). I nearly went with Trayce Thompson’s return to the South side of Chicago here, but instead opted for another guy with a pretty famous brother. To say that Acuña was tearing up Texas’s AA affiliate might be an understatement. His triple slash line at the time of the deal was .315/.377/453. The 9.2 BB% and 18.3 K% come in as slightly above average. But does he have his brother’s wheels?! A cool 42 SB in 47 attempts means that, at least in dynasty leagues, this guy scores some serious Rajai points. Depending on what the Mets do with the 21-year-old, he may not be useful in redraft leagues, but you’ll want to lock him up in those keepers.
Nicky Lopez – Traded to Atlanta for RP Taylor Hearn (Royals). This guy is about as SAGNOF-fy (totally a word) as it gets. The 28-year-old peaked out with steals in 2021 with 22 SB (K.C.). This year? Lopez has just 4 SB in 190 PA, a pretty anemic .213/.323/.281 triple slash line, and profiles as nothing more than infield insurance for the NL East leading Braves. The 55-grade speed score is ok, but…
AJ Pollock – Traded to San Francisco for PTBNL or cash (White Sox). If this was the 2015 Pollock that stole 39 bases with Arizona, we’d be in business…and that PTBNL would be two MLB pieces and two top-10 minor league players. At 35 years of age, and with a lingering hamstring injury, Pollock looks like a bench bat for the Giants. Zero SB in 138 PA on the year means he gets more Rajais than steals.
Josh Rojas – Traded to Seattle for Paul Sewald (Diamondbacks). If you’ve been shaking your head at me and wondering why I’m only listing bench bats, fear not. Rojas was a bit of a sleeper in Razzball circles in the preseason, and a lot of people figured he’d make good on the prediction of 18-20 SB. Unfortunately for Rojas, the bat did not come around. After hitting .228/.292/.298 with just 6 SB, he found himself optioned to AAA Reno at the end of June. As of right now, his main competition for playing time in Seattle comes from Kolten Wong, Jose Caballero, and Dylan Moore. If he can get off to a good start and fend off some less than imposing competition, his speed potential alone should warrant a look.
Sorry. As soon as I saw the name I knew what I had to do. For what it’s worth, Hao-Yu isn’t exactly a sloth. Lee is a ‘baseball rat’ and a contact bat with decent speed. He slots in as the Tigers’ 6th ranked prospect now, and stole 14 bases in 64 games with the Phillies’ A+ team. The Rajai rating is more about potential here for the 20-year-old, even if it’s just for AL only or keeper leagues.
Paul DeJong – Traded to Toronto for RP Matt Svanson (Cardinals). No word if Matt is the Transylvanian brother to the Blue Jays’ current bullpen arm. The DeJong trade is definitely not a SAGNOF move for the Blue Jays. This one is a mid-level prospect moving out for a middle infielder that provides solid defense and some power. Most importantly, it provides the Jays with some insurance if Bo Bichette’s tweaked knee turns into anything other than just a minor scare. Everyone at Razzball holds their breath, fearful of an injury report from the north that takes a turn south…while B-Don dances a jig and shoots Roman candles off into the night sky.
— Razzball (@Razzball) August 1, 2023
We all know who Pham is, both as a baseball player and as a fantasy football player. 10 HR, 11 SB, and a .310 BABIP is a pretty solid line for an experienced outfielder. He’s already hit his preseason prediction of 11 SB. If Pham can carve out an everyday role in the desert, he should be able to put up some good counting stats and at least 8-10 SB the rest of the way.
It’s Burger Time in Miami. It looks like Burger is set to become the Marlins’ everyday 3B. That, coupled with the recall of Garrett Hampson from AAA, should keep guys like Joey Wendle and Jon Berti in bench roles. Will Burger bring some steals to the plate? Um…no. The 25 homers in 88 games are certainly nice to see, but Burger’s 31.6 K% and 1 SB point to a pretty one dimensional player type. No matter how much cheese and hot sauce you throw on this one, there’s no way of dressing it up as anything but…
Mark Canha – traded to Milwaukee for P Justin Jarvis (Mets). Canha’s played 52 games in LF, 13 at 1B, 13 in RF, and even 4 at 3B (good for those low threshold leagues). It might seem counter-productive to mention him here after pointing out the Brewers’ deal for Carlos Santana earlier, but Canha should provide at least an RH bat that can spell a few guys in the field. At the very least, he can be pencilled in at the DH slot until Milwaukee gets some players back from injury. With a respectable 10.6 BB% and 17.2 K%, Canha should fill a role for the Brew crew, and his 7 SB in 303 PA show that there’s still some gas left in the tank.
That’s all, Razzfolks! If you have any ideas of players that you want a deeper look at, drop them in the comments. As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, you can always catch me here or @MarmosDad on Twitter. Good luck with your SAGNOF plays this week!