Joey Votto to the Astros? Manny Machado to the Dodgers? Deals That Can Rock Fantasy Worlds
Here Are Some Potential MLB Trades That Could Shake Fantasy Foundations
One month into the baseball season, there is historically bad baseball being played. Currently there are eight teams on pace to lose at least 100 games this season. The Rangers are on pace to go 62-100, the Marlins, (who are the poster children for tanking), only have the seventh worst record, on pace to go 61-101. The Twins and Padres are playing terrible baseball, on pace to go 58-104; while the White Sox currently won’t even win 50 games. The Orioles and Royals are each playing .276 ball, which will translate to a 45-117 season. And the worst team by far this season has been the Reds; who are pace for a record-breaking 38-124 season.
Even with the extra wild card team in each league, more teams than ever will be out of the playoff chase earlier than ever. This will make for an active trade season; and tons of fireworks with players being traded from team to team, and league to league. You need to stay alert because if you have some of the players being traded, how will a real world MLB trade affect your Fantasy team? For instance, do you have a closer on a team who gets traded to another team that intends to use him as a set-up man? If that happens, he just lost his fantasy value, and you’ve lost a closer. And the classic pitfall: you play in an AL or NL-only league, and your star player gets traded to the opposite league at the trade deadline. In that scenario, you’ve just lost that player.
In researching these seven abysmal teams, there are a handful of players who will most likely be traded between now and July 31st. The moves will shake up MLB races, and could have ramifications in your Fantasy leagues.
Joey Votto: Votto’s talent has been wasted for years in Cincinnati. This will be the season he finally gets moved. He has five years and $125 million remaining on his contract after this season. He’s still one of the premier bats in all of baseball, and a perennial MVP candidate. He’s also one of the most durable players in the game. A perfect landing spot for Votto is the Houston Astros. The Astros addressed their pitching rotation over the past year by trading for Justin Verlander last season, and signing free agent Gerrit Cole this offseason. This season they will bolster their already staunch lineup at the trade deadline by acquiring Votto. The centerpiece player going back to the Reds will be Yulieski Gurriel, who is under contract through 2020. It will save the Reds over 100 million dollars. Envision Votto plugged into the middle of that already potent Astros lineup.
Danny Duffy: The Royals are a bad team. Duffy has three years and 46 million dollars left on his contract. The team doesn’t stand to be competitive in those three years. Duffy is in the midst of his worst season, but the 29 year-old lefty has a career 3.82 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. The most logical landing spot for him is the New York Mets, and a realistic return for the Royals should be outfielder Brandon Nimmo. The 25 year-old can’t crack the everyday lineup for the Mets and would be ideal for the rebuilding Royals.
Manny Machado: This is a no-brainer. He should be a Dodger by Memorial Day. The Dodgers have lost shortstop Corey Seager for the year with a UCL injury. He will be having Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers are on the verge of falling out of the NL playoff picture, and can’t afford to fall further back. An early move will serve two purposes for the Dodgers. First, it may stop the bleeding and generate some momentum for the team desperately in need of it. And second; making a trade for Machado early will give them almost three full months to right the ship, to get back into the playoff picture. If at that time, they are still out of the race, they will have the flexibility to trade Machado off to some other team at the end of July. In addition to Machado, part of the deal could be closer Zach Britton, who’s on the DL until the end of May, and is also in the last year of his contract. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been struggling, and adding Britton will help bolster their bullpen.
With his name again the subject of trade rumors, Manny Machado says he wants to right the ship in Baltimore. "I would like to stay here the whole year....We’ve been together the last seven years and playing together. I want to win with this team." #Orioles https://t.co/EHvEmtL15N pic.twitter.com/tWErHEqHl4
— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) May 2, 2018
Starlin Castro: Castro was disgruntled when the Yankees included him in the deal for Giancarlo Stanton which sent him to the Marlins. He needs a change of scenery. At almost 12 million dollars due him in 2019, Castro will be traded. The most logical landing spot for him is the Toronto Blue Jays. They are surprisingly competitive in the difficult AL East, and seem to be at least in the hunt for a wild card spot. The Blue Jays boast a potent offense around the diamond, except at second base. Castro will fit in nicely in a lineup which already boasts Josh Donaldson, Kendrys Morales, Russell Martin, and Justin Smoak. Ironically, because the Blue Jays will stay competitive, they will be buyers and not sellers. If the team starts to fade that could change, and Donaldson may be peddled. But barring any major dip, they should stay relevant throughout the season.
Cole Hamels: Here is another no-brainer. The Philadelphia Phillies will have Hamels by the Fourth of July. He began his career in Philadelphia. The Phillies are a young and exciting team and are in the playoff picture. They also have money to spend. After this year, Hamels has one year left on his deal worth 20 million dollars. Adding Hamels to a staff that already boasts Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola makes them a legitimate threat to be one of the two wild card teams.
Brian Dozier: Dozier is a free agent at the end of the season, and it’s unlikely the Twins will re-sign him. With the talent on the team, they were expected to compete for back-to-back playoff appearances, but the season hasn’t shaken out that way yet. Byron Buxton has been on the DL for most of the year, with migraines and a fractured toe. And Miguel Sano just landed on the DL. Newly-acquired pitcher Lance Lynn has done nothing, and closer Fernando Rodney hasn’t been good. This is beginning to look like a lost season for the Twins. They would have gladly kept Dozier throughout the season if it were for a playoff run, but if the team is competing for third place, so there’s no reason to hold onto him. A logical landing spot for Dozier is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last season the Diamondbacks traded for J.D. Martinez, which pushed the team into a playoff spot. This year’s acquisition of Dozier will accomplish the same thing. Dozier is a huge upgrade to current second baseman Ketel Marte.
Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machado: If the Dodgers do not get back into the race, and this becomes a lost season, don’t be shocked to see the Dodgers cut bait with Kershaw. He has an opt-out clause and there is zero chance he doesn’t exercise it to become a free agent at season’s end. If the Dodgers acquire Machado and remain out of the playoff picture, I can see a scenario where the Yankees go nuclear and trade for both Kershaw AND Machado. They have the prospects to do it. They have Greg Bird, Gleyber Torres, Jordan Montgomery, and Clint Frazier; not to mention established players who still have years of control. They have Brandon Drury until 2021. They have Masahiro Tanaka until 2020, and Dellin Betances through next season.
The bottom line is there will be a ton of activity this season, with players bouncing from team to team. If you have any of these players who may get moved to the opposite league and you’re in an AL or NL-only league, you’ll be left with nothing. And usually, the players who are moved are difference-makers, so losing a Dozier, Machado, or Votto would have devastating effects. If you have any of these players, you may want to explore trading them now. Now keep in mind, even if these players are all traded, it’s only a 50/50 chance they’ll be traded to a team in the opposite league. That being said, owners of J.D. Martinez last year were pretty sour after he went from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks.
Don’t trade for the sake of trading, and if you can’t get what you need back, don’t make a deal. But, even if you can get 80 cents on the dollar, it’s better than losing an All-Star player for nothing. That is so demoralizing.
Joey Votto Featured Image: (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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