TRADES AND RUMORS OF TRADES
The MLB trade deadline has come and gone. The Fantasy Baseball trade deadline has come and gone. And while your fantasy team can only upgrade via the waiver wire now (except for those of you who use Fanduel or Draftkings), MLB teams can, through a series of loopholes and sometimes dangerous acts, still make trades. That’s why you keep seeing teams put valuable players on waivers (like the Phillies did with Cliff Lee).
There were notable trades at the actual deadline, though. Some of them are newsworthy in their own right, but many of them served to tell us which teams are throwing in the towel for this season and which are trying to bolster their roster for a run at the postseason. And some of those revelations come as a surprise.
The teams aiming to upgrade their roster this year for the stretch run are mostly teams I wanted to do so. That makes me happy, because I’m a huge egomaniac that loves being right. I mean that literally, not tongue-in-cheek. Ask any of my bandmates.
Those teams include my Braves (who are playing fantastic baseball this year despite Dan Uggla being uggla [get it?] at the plate again this year), the Reds and Pirates (minimal effort by both clubs, but enough to state their intentions), The Giants and Dodgers (in a huge way, holy cow), the Yankees (of course), The White Sox (again, minimal effort) and the Rangers and Angels (in fairly large headline-making trades).
Some teams made it obvious they’ve entered “rebuild” mode already. The Brewers signaled this by trading Greinke to the Angels for prospects and the Marlins did this by trading several key players to anyone that would take them. The Phillies totally seem to have given up on this season and any season in the near future. The Red Sox didn’t make a big deal which probably means they see the writing on the wall and are content to ride this one out.
Maybe the biggest news is that some teams are doing very well without making any significant deals at all. The Nationals continue to amaze; they have the best record in baseball and didn’t even feel the need to upgrade for their first postseason in DC. Everyone is questioning the innings limit they’ll impose on Strasburg and wondering why they didn’t make a plan to keep his innings down throughout the year so he’d be available for the postseason. No one will ever know, apparently.
The Nationals aren’t the only ones surprising everyone with great play and no trade deadline moves: the Athletics are in the thick of the race for the second wild-card spot and they’re two games ahead of the Angels (!). How did this happen? I don’t know but I love it. It’s so easy to root for the underdog and as we all learned from Brad Pitt and his amazing moves on screen, a) the Athletics are underfunded and definitely the underdog, and b) movie stars manage and general manage the team. So they’ve got that going for them.
So let’s wrap with a fantasy focus. I’m happy Pence went to San Francisco and has a reason to try hard for these last two months. Solid player. Good for him. Plus he’s on two of my fantasy teams. Same with Greinke. Hanley Ramirez is a goober, but maybe the west coast will be more to his liking. I doubt it but ya know, I’ve never met the guy. He might be the nicest person on the planet. I haven’t had him on a team of mine since 2009 so I could care less. The acquisition of Ryan Dempster seemed justified for the Rangers until he blew up the other night, but I don’t have him either, so whatevs. Right now there are a ton of rookies being called up that may be worth dropping decent players for. I picked up Machado and so far I’m glad I did. This seems to be the year of the rookie, so if a fantasy “expert” recommends you pick up a fresh call-up, it’s worth at least a look, I say.
Thanks for listening. You’ve been great, as always. Until next time, keep it DJ Jazzy Jeff.
– Seth Hecox / Becoming The Archetype