Latos, Wood Big Fantasy Winners in Trade
Trust me, you’re going to need to take a deep breath when it comes to breaking down the three-team, 13-player hodgepodge of a trade between the Braves, Dodgers and Marlins.
From an immediate impact Fantasy-wise, the Dodgers come out as massive winners. In acquiring starters Mat Latos from Miami and Alex Wood from Atlanta, LA’s biggest hole, the back end of the rotation, is now solved. Latos has the potential to become a must-add in most standard leagues, especially when you consider he has locked down hitters to the tune of a .159 batting average in three starts this month to go along with a 1.80 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 20 innings of work. His numbers while hurling at Dodger Stadium are respectable, as Latos sports a 3.34 ERA in six starts at Chavez Ravine despite a lifetime 1-5 record at the park.
Latos is finding some life in his fastball. After dropping to a career-low 90.7 mph last season, his heater is now at 91.3 mph. He has also used a split-fingered fastball for the first time in his career, one that he uses around 10 percent of the time, a number that should go up as Latos becomes more comfortable with it.
Wood has the makings of becoming the gem of the deal, as the 24-year-old should be entrenched in the rotation for the long haul while also serving as a buffer in the event Zack Greinke bails out of town this winter via free agency. He has, however, been the opposite of Latos this month, with hitters tagging him at a .290 clip. His ERA of 3.54 and 1.45 WHIP is the result of a brutal July that has seen those numbers swell to 4.91 and 1.56.
Despite this month’s numbers, the fact that Wood is pitching in Dodgers Stadium half the time will lead to a run on him in standard leagues. He brings a decent 7.7 K/9 mark, but until he can settle in and keep his control, Wood will remain something of a risky proposition in the eyes of some owners. I’d suggest making a bid for him in keeper/dynasty formats because the change of scenery will make the difference between him being a solid middle-of-the rotation arm or a potential Cole Hamels-like ace in the future.
[caption id="attachment_95880" align="alignright" width="313"] Alex Wood's Fantasy value increases with the move to LA. Photo Credit: Keith Allison[/caption]
The Dodgers clipped 1B/OF Michael Morse, who could end up somewhere and offer minimal Fantasy value. Bronson Arroyo is a non-factor, which will not bring attention even in the deepest of leagues unless someone gets injured. Arroyo is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery.
The Dodgers also hosed the Braves in getting 2B Jose Peraza, who began the season as the top prospect in the Atlanta organization. With Howie Kendrick set to become a free agent this fall, Peraza represents a potential gold mine of stolen bases. Peraza has 203 career swipes in the minors, including 26 this season at Triple-A. Only 21, his other offensive weapons are showing some upside, as he was batting .294 along with a career-high three homers. Peraza is never going to be a reliable source of power (think maybe 6-8 dingers a year tops), yet once he improves his plate discipline, Peraza may become a Dee Gordon-like presence atop the
Dodgers order. It’s not too hard to imagine him and Corey Seager manning the middle of the infield as early as next Opening Day.
Atlanta is banking on 3B Hector Olivera to serve as the key to the trade on their end. The former Cuban star was swatting .385 in 31 ABs in Triple-A, and will be the source of a waiver wire frenzy if/when he arrives to Atlanta for good. Olivera projects to be a .265-20-90 caliber hitter, but the question surrounding his age (30) and injury woes (hamstring, and an elbow that could lead to Tommy John Surgery) reeks of disaster if he is unable to overcome both barriers. Again, he’s entering the bigs at a time when his peak window has about 1-3 years, so the Braves could be stuck with a declining hitter right about the time Wood emerges as a legit Fantasy starter and Peraza is stealing 45-55 bases.
Reliever Paco Rodriguez has an intriguing skill set, as the former first rounder could poke his way into the Braves’ late inning fray, which opened up after Atlanta moved Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan to the Dodgers. While they will lose what Fantasy value they had, Rodriguez has the kind of stuff that can make you envision him as a potential setup/closer for the Braves down the line. Pitcher Zach Bird is a clip and save prospect who is at least two years away from serious consideration for Atlanta.
As for the Marlins, they will wait and see what, if any, value pitchers Jeff Brigham, Kevin Guzman and Victor Arajuo provide.
You may now breathe.
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