Fantasy Baseball 2012: Trade Deadline Analysis Part 2

Following up to the previous article I had written to cover the trade deadline; this will cover the rest of the fantasy notable trades that happened at or near the deadline. It was a rather light fantasy altering trade deadline, but there were a few changes as I noted in the previous article and these are the rest of the deals that may make a difference on your fantasy team.


HOUSTON ASTROS GET: IF Bobby Borchering, OF Marc Krauss

Chris Johnson, 3B Arizona Diamondbacks

Chris Johnson is looking to make a bigger fantasy impact as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

While this trade may not have set the real baseball world a fire or altered the odds of winning a World Series, there could be some hidden value in seasonal and weekly fantasy baseball. That value is in Diamondbacks new 3B Chris Johnson. Chris Johnson was a marginally useful player when he was on the Astros. The struggle for him was that when he batted, there was hardly ever anyone on base because the Astros are not a very good baseball team. If Johnson is available on your free agent list, I would not hesitate to pick him up, especially if you are in a seasonal fantasy baseball league that has bench spots available to use. I think you will see an increase in his rate of RBIs, and while he is leaving the friendly band box he was playing in Houston, the park in Arizona is not all that worse. I think he has time to hit another 10 HRs to go along with around 35 RBIs until the end of the season. Playing time for Johnson will not be an issue either. 3B has been a black hole all year for the Diamondbacks and I am sure that is what helped facilitate this trade to acquire Johnson. With players like Justin Upton, Jason Kubel and Miguel Montero on the Diamondbacks already, I look for Chris Johnson’s offensive prowess to pick up while on his new team.


PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES GET: OF Nate Schierholtz, C/1B Tommy Joseph, RP Seth Rosen

This trade was important for both teams to get done baseball wise. Fantasy wise, the only known commodity in this deal is Hunter Pence. Hunter Pence has had an average year so far. He has 17 HRs, 61 RBIs and 5 SBs. While Hunter Pence has been traded to a better team that has a better chance of going to the post season this year, he has not been traded to a better offensive team. Instead of being one of the guys that support an offense that has the likes of Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard; Pence now is one of the leaders of a Giants offense that has Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey and not much else. He is also going to a bigger ballpark not known for power displays since Barry Bonds left years ago. I look for his HR numbers as well as his RBI numbers to suffer because of this. His average may stay about the same. He still will be a good outfielder to have on a weekly fantasy baseball team, it just may be a little less than it was. I think his steals could have a slight uptick because the Giants will play smaller ball then the Phillies will and not wait for the homerun ball. If you have him, you should just stand pat with him. As usual, if someone blows you over with an offer, you can feel free to take it as his value is slightly hurt with this trade to the Giants.


KANSAS CITY ROYALS GET: P Donnie Joseph, P J.C. Sulbaran

Greg Holland, RP Kansas City Royals

Greg Holland is now closing games for the Kansas City Royals.

In one of the more surprise trades of the deadline, the Cincinnati Reds acquired Jonathan Broxton from the Kansas City Royals for a couple of prospects. Cincinnati gets a short term boost to their team while the Royals get a longer term boost to their team. Some say it was a surprise that Cincinnati was even in the market for a relief pitcher since they have one of the best bullpens in the entire National League. Donnie Joseph is a pretty good prospect to give up for a rental. He was pitching really well in AA and AAA for the Reds and will now look to become a player in the future for the Royals. Joseph will be a good player in time, but he is not going to help you at all this season. The big change in value here belongs to Jonathan Broxton. If you have him as one of your closers to help you in saves to win that category and you do not have a backup, you have just been decimated by this trade. If he was traded to a team with a shaky closer or a team with a terrible bullpen, maybe he could sneak in there and become the closer for the team. However, he was dealt to Cincinnati. Barring some unforeseen injury to one Aroldis Chapman, there is just about a 0% chance he becomes the Reds’ closer. He may get a save or two over the rest of season if a save situation pops up and Chapman has been used several days in a row, but that is nothing to hang your hat on. I am not even sure I would waste time trying to trade Broxton, I would just cut him for the next best available free agent that you may need to help your team, especially in daily fantasy baseball leagues. One name you probably can look at is Greg Holland. He was rumored to be in the race to be Kansas City’s closer at the beginning of the year, but that never came to fruition. Now that Broxton is gone, I look for Holland to take over. If he is available, I would not waste time and pick him up right now. If I had Broxton on my team, I would cut Broxton for Holland. Holland has a chance at around 13 saves for the rest of the season. He also averages almost a strikeout and half each inning he pitches. Those are solid numbers for a closer.


CHICAGO CUBS GET: 3B Christian Villanueva, P Kyle Hendricks


Ryan Dempster, SP Texas Rangers

Ryan Dempster is hoping to keep his fantasy value in a hitter friendly park against American League opponents.

For those fantasy teams that had Ryan Dempster have been on a roller coaster for this trading deadline. Ryan Dempster is more than likely someone you have been pleasantly surprised and happy with. Who could have thought at the beginning of the year he would lead the National League in ERA? He also had good strikeout numbers to add to it. The only thing that was a knock on him is that he was pitching for the Chicago Cubs and many times his great pitching performances would not yield him a win because of a terrible offense that supported him along with a shaky bullpen. Those are two ingredients that do not mix for a high win total. He was able to squeeze out 5 wins as a starter for the Cubs this year. Most were still probably happy with everything else he had done and happy to have him on their fantasy pitching staffs. It was a dream to get a number 2 or 3 starter on a fantasy team with a late round pick. Unfortunately, the alarm is going off now and time to wake up from your dream. Dempster was rumored to be going to Atlanta or the Los Angeles Dodgers for the most part. Any fantasy owner would probably be happy to keep him in the National League and benefit from a better offense as well. Well, he was dealt at the last moment to the Texas Rangers. While they do have a great offense that will help Dempster, moving to the American League where there is a DH and also to a real hitter friendly park is just an absolute dagger to his value. He is a decent pitcher for sure. However, you can fully expect his ERA to be around 4.3 while pitching for the Rangers. If you need wins badly, you may still start him as he will benefit from the Rangers offense. But, if you are in an ERA or WHIP fight, I may suggest only playing him on the road or spot starting him against the weaker offenses. Maybe you can trade him to someone that needs wins and think Dempster will be an asset in a weekly fantasy baseball leagues, but I am not sure great offers will come. Dempster is also probably not someone you can trade for since I would believe any owner that has him will want his Chicago Cub value and you should not offer that much.

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