Baseball Trade Deadline 2011 and the Impact on Fantasy Baseball

Pence Photo taken from Google Images

Although it wasn’t one of the most intense trading deadlines in memory, July 31, 2011 came and went with a few trades of note. The baseball players that landed on new teams no doubt want to do everything they can to prove their worth to a new team which valued their services enough to trade away assets (read: young prospects). Of more importance to fantasy baseball owners is the direct fantasy impact these trades may have on the players switching teams. In addition, it is important to also consider the indirect fantasy impact these trades may have on the new players around them or others left behind in the deals. Some trades of note include:


Ubaldo Jimenez Trade –

The Cleveland Indians acquired RHP Jimenez  in exchange for RHP Alex White, RHPJoseph Gardner, Utility player  Matt McBride and a player to be named later from the Colorado Rockies.


Direct Fantasy Impact:

Jimenez goes from pitching in the batter’s haven of Coors Field directly into a pennant race in the unlikeliest of places. Leaving the Rockies home park can only help but this will be offset by the DH and the smaller ball parks in the AL. Jimenez pitched very well in the first half of 2010 but has been average ever since. He may see an additional win or two down the stretch but his peripheral stats will not inspire much awe.


Indirect Fantasy Impact:

If Jimenez can eat up some innings it may mean a few more save chances for Chris Perez. Back in Colorado, perhaps a young pitcher like Juan Nicasio may get a chance to prove himself at the big league level.


Colby Rasmus Trade –

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired CF Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals in a 3-team deal (with the Chicago White Sox).


Direct Fantasy Impact:

Rasmus is young (24) and clearly was not a fit in Tony La Russa’s clubhouse. Perhaps under the tutelage of Jose Bautista he will see the light and break out offensively. However, don’t look for any big numbers right away. 2011 is more realistic for a slight bump in both power and average.


Indirect Fantasy Impact:

This trade leaves the Blue Jays with a very crowded outfield. Look for Rajai Davis to receive even less playing time as he is relegated to a bench role (mostly pinch-running). In addition, the Travis Snider center field experiment will come to an end as well as possibly some of his playing time.


Hunter Pence Trade –

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired RF Pence and cash from the Houston Astros in exchange for 1B Jonathan Singleton, RHP Jarred Cosart, RHP Josh Zeid and a player to be named later.


Direct Fantasy Impact:

Pence will hit 5th in the Phillies line up between Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez which lends itself to more protection and should produce better counting stats than his place in the Astros line up between Jose Altuve and Carlos Lee.


Indirect Fantasy Impact:

In Houston, Jason Bourgeois should see more starts in RF and may even move into the leadoff spot in the Astros order with an opportunity to show off his blazing speed on the base paths. Expect more steals from Bourgeois for sure. In Philly, expect Shane Victorino to move to the #2 hole and play the running game a little more effectively by adding more steals to your team. Domonic Brown becomes a non-factor with his demotion to Triple-A.


Michael Bourn Trade –

The Atlanta Braves get CF Bourn and cash for OF Jordan Schafer, RHP Juan Abreu, RHP Paul Clemens and LHP Brett Oberholtzer.


Direct Fantasy Impact:

Bourn will continue his base stealing ways atop the Braves line up but should see a few more runs scored with a much more competent batting order behind him. The batters in the middle of the Braves order (including Brian McCann upon his return) will be in a position to see an increase in RBI opportunities as a result of Bourn hitting leadoff and getting into scoring position.


Indirect Fantasy Impact:

Back in Houston, Bourgeois (as mentioned) should see some time in the leadoff spot and be a steals machine in the final 2 months.


Rafael Furcal Trade –

The Los Angeles Dodgers traded SS Rafael Furcal and cash considerations to St. Louis for OF Alex Castellanos.


Direct Fantasy Impact:

With Furcal leading off in a potent Cardinals offense, expect a rise in steals as well as runs scored.


Indirect Fantasy Impact:

With Furcal’s arrival in St. Louis, expect a reduction in playing time for Ryan Theriot, Skip Schumaker and Daniel Descalso. Back in L.A., Dee Gordon may get the call to the big club and get a chance to steal his way into fantasy owners’ hearts.


Big trades can have a big impact both for the teams on the field as well as fantasy baseball teams on paper. Keeping an eye on the impact these trades can create may just help you out in the final 2 months of the season. Good luck!

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