2010 MLB Trade Deadline Fantasy Baseball Impact

With MLB’s non-waiver Trade Deadline in the rear-view, there were several moving parts which altered the value of players, created a number of opportunities for young players to fill holes at the Big League level – and also reduced the roles of others.  Here is a look at some of the players who stand to be impacted – either positively or negatively – by their team’s moves.

Lance Berkman Yankee Photo by Icon SMI

Lance Berkman

Impact: Positive

Berkman has been having a very poor season by hist standards, yet he was still at a solid .808 OPS by the time he came over to the Yankees.  Moving from Houston to the Bronx will only help “Big Puma” by surrounding him with a better lineup and sticking him in a pennant race.

Justin Smoak

Impact: Negative

This wasn’t quite a deadline deal, but it is still worth mentioning as Smoak has struggled mightily with the adjustment to Seattle.  He wasn’t exactly tearing it up in Texas, but at least he was drawing his walks.  Seattle has sent him to Triple-A to find his groove.

Josh Bell

Impact: Positive

The O’s moved Miguel Tejada to the San Diego Padres opening up the third base job for one of their top prospects.  Tejada’s move to the NL West is pretty neutral – he wasn’t really providing fantasy owners with much anyway.  Bell had 25 doubles and 13 HR while batting .278 at Triple-A.  Those numbers don’t jump out at you, but its probably time that he got a shot at the Big League level.

Brett Wallace Photo by Icon SMI

Brett Wallace

Impact: Positive

A series of trades landed Wallace in Houston – already his fourth organization.  The good news for the former Sun Devil is that he’ll finally get his shot to show what he can do in the Show.

Rick Ankiel, Ryan Theriot, Scott Podsednik

Impact: Neutral

Joining teams with playoff aspirations could help some (although, the playoff hopes of the Dodgers are fading rapidly), but for the most part, I expect the same level of production from these guys.  One of the main guys to keep an eye on is Rafael Furcal.  After acquiring Podsednik and Theriot and placing them in the 1 and 2 holes, the Dodgers moved Furcal to the third spot in the order.  He’ll have more RBI opportunities, but will he be able to deliver?

Dan Hudson

Impact: Positive

The obvious reason for Hudson’s rise in stock is his move to the NL West.  There will be a day when the NL West is not the worst hitting division in baseball, but its not going to be this year and it probably won’t be next year either.  Besides, moving from anywhere in the AL to anywhere in the NL will almost ALWAYS be a good move for a pitcher.

Jake Westbrook

Impact: Positive

He didn’t move to the NL West, but his situation is arguably the best out of any player moved at the deadline.  He and Dave Duncan are a perfect marriage.  If you play in a league that puts an emphasis on rate stats, i.e. K/9, K/BB etc. he still won’t be much use.  Those of you in more traditional type of leagues will want to keep a very close eye on him.

Ted Lilly

Impact: Neutral

Dodger Stadium and the NL West is probably a better place to pitch in than Wrigley Field and the NL Central, but I don’t see Lilly as a guy who is going to get a huge boost by the move.  Certainly, it could work in his favor to face the San Diego Padres in Petco, but his stock remains mostly unchanged.

Edwin Jackson

Impact: Negative

Jackson wasn’t exactly performing well at all, so maybe a new voice and new coaching staff could help him out.  Until we see that happen, we have to treat this move as a negative one for Jackson.  He moves from the NL West back to the AL Central where he will pitch half of his remaining games in a hitter’s park.

Matt Capps

Impact: Neutral

You’re probably thinking “you’re an idiot, he went from the Nats to the Twins, that HAS to be positive”.  Well, you would definitely have a point in theory.  The Twins are going to win more games than the Nats going forward, but if you check the stats Capps had 26 saves in Washington while Jon Rauch had 21 as Minnesota’s closer.  Forecasting saves is not always as easy as counting a teams wins.  Speaking of Rauch, please drop if you haven’t already.  He has minimal value at this point.

Kerry Wood

Impact: Positive/Negative

This depends on the type of league you play in.  If you play in a league where it pays to have a few non-closing relief pitchers with the potential to deliver 10+ K/9 and good ratios then Wood is  a guy you’ll want to keep an eye on.  If you play in a league that places a higher emphasis on saves, you’re SOL.  Wood was not even getting opportunities to pitch in Cleveland, but he should get consistent work as a member of the bridge to Mariano Rivera in New York.  Chad Qualls falls under the same category.  His save chances have been even longer gone, but if he is to deliver any sort of positive production, it could come with Tampa Bay.

Drew Storen, Evan Meek/Joel Hanrahan, Chris Perez, Mark Melancon

Impact: Positive

For starters, don’t get too excited about Melancon.  Don’t forget about him either though because he is in a position where he could factor into some late season saves.  As far as the other guys go, hopefully you were quick to the punch.  Granted, for the most part, saves are going to be the most important – if not the only – thing that fantasy managers are looking for from their relievers.  It will pay dividends though to know how the set-up hierarchy shakes out as well – even on the bad teams.

I know there are probably some situations that I’ve looked over, but these are the main trade impacts that come to mind.  The main ingredient needed for someone to produce is opportunity.  That mostly applies to the young guys trying to break in, but it can also play a role in a vet’s production.  Keep tabs on the guys listed above and be ready to jump on them if their new roles or new environment help create lightning in a bottle.

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