The trade deadline deals are rolling in fast and furious now. There were a number of deals consummated with deadline about 24 hours away and there are still more to come. Be sure to reference the links below for the Fantasy breakdown of all the major deals.
We begin with the deal that sent David Price to the Toronto Blue Jays, with the Detroit Tigers receiving three prospect arms, right-hander Daniel Norris and left-handers Jairo Labourt and Matt Boyd. The Blue Jays are clearly the favorite now in the AL East with the addition of Price, who’s pitched to a 2.53 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP and an 8.51 K/9. Price has been a consistent ace no matter where he pitches and that will continue in Toronto, where he’ll get the run support of the best offense in the game today.
In all likelihood, Price will replace Drew Hutchison in the starting rotation. Hutchison has pitched to a 5.42 ERA this season, and he’s been a disappointment to both the Blue Jays and Fantasy owners. While the strikeouts have been there at a rate of 8.19 K/9, he’s been victimized by the long ball at times and often gets hit hard when he doesn’t have his very best stuff. Overall, he has a .351 BABIP against that isn’t the result of bad luck. His 25.6 percent line drive rate makes that clear. So Hutchison loses any Fantasy value he may have had with the move to the bullpen, while Price gets a nice bump in value because of the increased run support.
Daniel Norris has had a rough start to his major league career, pitching to a 3.86 ERA over his first five starts. While his secondary pitches are considered elite, his fastball has lost velocity this season, clocking in around 90-91 mph after sitting at 94-95 for most of last season. Norris will take Price’s place in the Tigers’ starting rotation. Given his struggles, it’s difficult to recommend him for Fantasy play. He may hold some value in deep AL-only formats, but mixed league managers should probably let him sit on the waiver wire until he puts together some consistent starts.
The southpaws are somewhat lower tier prospects. Matt Boyd was bombed for five homers in his two starts this season, a weakness he’ll need to overcome to be an effective major league starter. Jairo Labourt has been a starter, but his future is likely as a power reliever, as he has just two pitches he can throw for strikes on a consistent basis.
Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers
After the Mets decided they couldn’t make heads or tails of Carlos Gomez’s medical reports, the Brewers turned to the Houston Astros to make a trade involving their centerfielder. Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers were traded to the Astros for a package of four prospects that includes outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana along with right-hander Adrian Houser and left-hander Josh Hader.
The acquisition gives the Astros a legitimate offensive centerfielder and someone they can slot in just about anywhere in their lineup, though he will likely bat leadoff. To date, the Astros have gotten a .224/.282/.366 slash line and just eight home runs from the centerfield position. Regular centerfielder George Springer is on the disabled list with a wrist injury that will likely keep him out through mid-August. So the acquisition of Gomez stabilizes the centerfield position.
Gomez hasn’t been completely healthy this season; his power numbers are down and he’s not really stealing bases these days. Reportedly, he’s been dealing with hip pain for at least a portion of this season, which could be the reason the Mets passed on the trade. Gomez gets a nice positive bump in value with the move to the Astros. He’ll be another cog in what has become a dynamic young team. If he can get completely healthy, there is plenty of potential for Fantasy goodness from Gomez. However, it would be a real surprise if he suddenly started to hit for power and run with any regularity. In truth, his health will impact his Fantasy value more than the move to Houston.
Mike Fiers has a 3.89 ERA after 21 starts for the hapless Brewers. The Astros are now quite deep with starting pitching after acquiring Fiers to go along with Scott Kazmir, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel. They also have Scott Feldman, Roberto Hernandez and Brett Oberholtzer. With such a deep roster of starters, the Astros can control the innings of some of their younger pitchers. They could also use Fiers out of the bullpen, a role he is accustomed to, having done it for the Brewers each year since his debut in 2011 until this season. Fiers is usable as a streaming option in mixed leagues and in all AL-only leagues.
The departure of Fiers means that Taylor Jungmann will stay in the Brewers’ starting rotation at least for the time being. Jungmann is 5-2 with a 2.14 ERA in nine starts this season. Jungmann is also a matchup play since he doesn’t strike out many batters (46 K in 59 IP).
The Brewers received a haul of prospects in this exchange. Both Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana are considered top prospects but Phillips is likely the top prize in the trade. Phillips has worked his way up to the Double-A level this season, where he’s slashing .322/.372/.463 over 145 PA. In all, he’s hit 16 homers and has 15 stolen bases in the minors this season and it appears he’s not far from being ready for the majors.
Domingo Santana is what we’ve come to believe all Astros prospects are like. He has tremendous raw power but difficulty making contact. He too is close to being major league ready, and he has played some in the majors this season for Houston. He is slashing .320/.426/.582 at Triple A this season with 16 HRs in 326 PA. The Brewers could very well elect to insert Santana in the starting lineup right away.
Adrian Houser and Josh Hader are both hard throwers with control issues. Both are working as starters in Double-A ball but their future will likely end up being in bullpen.