Now that the dust has settled and the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, let's take a look back at some of the biggest moves that took place and what they mean for fantasy baseball managers.
At first glance, it might seem odd for the Brewers to add another infielder not designed to play shortstop, but hey, if Schoop adds new eligibility for this year and perhaps next, we will take it. Schoop has been one of baseball's better hitters of late, finally hitting for the power and average he was supposed to as a sixth-round choice in ESPN ADP. I don't think moving leagues and potentially to a new position should alter the momentum. I will be interested to see where Schoop bats in the new lineup, because it has to be lower than where it was in Baltimore, but fifth or sixth should not be a major problem. The Orioles get Jonathan Villar back but I am not falling for that guy again.
The Cardinals just keep recycling through their young outfielders as Pham switches leagues. In a way this feels like a good move for his fantasy value. Pham has established himself and the Rays should give him a top-4 spot in the lineup regularly, which is always nice. The problem with Pham is statistical inconsistency without warning. In leagues that are not head-to-head, it might not be a big deal. Perhaps Pham just needed a new start. It seems an odd move for the Cardinals, and initially I was going to add Harrison Bader in my leagues, but then word came out that he will share outfield time with Tyler O'Neill and since each hits right-handed, it does not seem like I need to add Bader anymore. I don't think O'Neill, boasting power but little discipline, will be fantasy worthy. Bader could be, but who knows what the Cardinals are really thinking.
I don't think a lot changes for either team involved in the deal -- other than the obvious that the Minnesota Twins' offense suffers somewhat from losing him and "the rich get richer" as far as the Dodgers' offense, which I'd now call a clear top-five offense in the majors, is concerned -- and the quick overreaction everyone seems to have to it are Dodgers manager Dave Roberts' comments immediately afterwards that Dozier won't be an "every day" player for his new team. Panic! No, wait, don't, because that's the Dodgers' game, as they like to play the nightly matchups as often as any team in baseball. Roberts is merely hinting that Max Muncy or even Chase Utley could draw the occasional start in Dozier's stead against tough righties, which isn't a crazy thought considering Dozier's somewhat wide lefty/righty platoon split. I'd consider sitting Dozier against Zack Greinke, too. And if that means a potential bargain on the NL-only FAAB front -- Dozier should not fetch a lower bid than fellow second base league-changer Jonathan Schoop -- then sign me up!
I'm going to approach this one from the assumption that Ramos returns from the DL around Aug. 15, because my updated rankings should give you enough of a sense of how I'm calculating the injury risk inherent in his remaining two months. It should not be glossed over. Ramos gets a huge gain in terms of park factors on the power side, as Citizens Bank Park is a great power venue, and Tropicana Field is one of the worst. The problem is that, especially accounting for his injury risk, he's not going to play close to as often as he did during the first half for the Tampa Bay Rays, perhaps in a 60/40 split of the chores with Jorge Alfaro, perhaps evenly. Ramos' fantasy value therefore spins its wheels -- he gains on a per-game basis, but loses quantity -- and the real impact here is that two of the better choices at the weak position for fantasy are now on the same roster, diminishing both of their value due to lesser playing time, while less-attractive backstops like Jesus Sucre and Michael Perez are the ones who gain playing time. The overall talent pool at catcher just got weaker.
Going from Tampa Bay to the Pirates, Archer should see an uptick in fantasy value. His career ERA in 21 games against NL clubs is 3.29, with a 10.5 K/9. That bodes well for the rest of 2018, when compared to his career numbers in those categories (3.69 ERA, 9.7 K/9). Given that a large part of his struggles this season were either injury-related (abdominal strain) or as a result of facing the Yankees and Red Sox, I expect very strong results from this ace the rest of the way.
As for the Rays' return, Austin Meadows was assigned to Triple-A, lowering his value for the rest of this season. At a minimum, I'd expect him to be called up once rosters expand in September, but there's no reason to get too excited with him in redraft leagues. Tyler Glasnow has been in the Bucs' bullpen all season and while he'll be initially used as an "opener" and get stretched out to where he can work 5-6 innings per outing, there's no reason to rely on him this season, especially against the AL East.
In the 19 games prior to getting sent to Boston, Ian Kinsler hit .353, raising his sad .213 batting average by 26 points. He's the No. 5 2B in points leagues during the past 15 days and still available in 44.6 percent of ESPN leagues as of Wednesday morning. He's a huge upgrade defensively over Eduardo Nunez, so he'll play every day. Plus, given the move to the league's highest-scoring offense, his fantasy value almost has to improve simply by osmosis.
Oh, and anybody still holding on to Dustin Pedroia in their DL spot can feel free to set the veteran loose. There's now zero incentive for him to rush back from his knee injury. Meanwhile, back in Anaheim, Kaleb Cowart was recalled from Triple-A to fill the void left by Kinsler's departure. There's absolutely no reason for fantasy managers to look at a .193 hitter over four seasons.
Gausman has teased us before, but I'm willing to roll the dice here if I am in the middle of the standings. There is no real need if you are protecting a lead, but in a swing-for-the-fences sort of way, I'll co-sign adding Gausman. SunTrust Park ranks dead last in our Park HR Factor this season, making it reasonable that Gausman's struggles with keeping the ball in the yard aren't as much of an issue as they were in Camden Yards (fifth-most friendly HR park this season). I also expect more run support, something Gausman could certainly use, as he has allowed three or fewer ER in seven of his past nine starts but has a mere two victories during that stretch.
There is a lack of clarity surrounding Osuna's eligibility moving forward, but the Astros have to be confident in his ability to save games should he become eligible to return sooner or later. Osuna was the fourth RP off the board this draft season thanks to his 75 saves during the past two seasons, and I have no real reason to think he wouldn't return at least top-10 value for a team on pace to win over 100 games.