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TDG Roundtable: The One Where We Analyze a Bunch of Trade Deadline Moves

This year’s trade deadline was filled with excitement, and that’s not just because it coincided with the release of Tenet. Moves were made, and these moves of course have dynasty league implications. In this collaborative article, we at The Dynasty Guru make it our business to analyze said implications. Note: trade data was collected from the ever-reliable, ever-informative MLB Trade Rumors.

Indians send to Padres: RHP Mike Clevinger and OF Greg Allen 

Padres send Indians: OF Josh Naylor, RHP Cal Quantrill, C Austin Hedges, INF Gabriel Arias, LHP Joey Cantillo, and INF Owen Miller

Mike Clevinger

Mike Clevinger is one of the best young pitchers in baseball, plain and simple. San Diego gave up a significant number of upper-tier prospects to obtain unquestionable talent, joined by some recently questionable character. By this point, everyone knows the story of Clevinger and fellow pitcher Zach Plesac breaking protocol during a night out on the town during a series in Chicago in early August. He openly defended Plesac when he was sent home from the team to quarantine, and traveled home on the team plane as he lied about his whereabouts that night. Once the truth came out he too was sent home, and eventually demoted to the team’s alternate site. Clevinger’s actions showed that he either didn’t grasp the severity of the situation at hand, or simply just did not care to, and quickly fell out of favor with teammates and others in the organization. He now enters a new clubhouse in San Diego, full of new teammates with their own predispositions of his recent actions and high expectations to help them push towards a spot in the 2020 expanded playoffs. I fully expect Clevinger to continue performing as one of the top pitchers in the league with his new team, let’s just hope there are no further mental lapses or distractions moving forward. (Bob Cyphers)

Josh Naylor 

Josh Naylor moves from a crowded outfield situation in San Diego to an equally crowded situation in Cleveland, although it is one that he is more likely to find regular playing time. The current Cleveland outfield, not including designated hitter Franmil Reyes, boasts a combined .188 BA and contains only one individual with more than one home run. Naylor this season has put up a slash line of .270/.405/.713 in a limited 39 plate appearances. He is slated to start for the Indians on Tuesday, and early reports are that he will see regular playing time in left field through the end of the season. He has long been thought of a prospect who can hit for both power and average, and he has also carried a low strikeout rate and high walk rate through all levels. In his limited time in the majors, his batted ball profile has been impressive with several above-average marks including exit velocity and hard-hit rate. His launch angle in 2020 has also greatly increased which should help his power numbers reach the potential promised by his high raw power ratings. Consistent playing time in Cleveland may be just what Naylor needs to put everything together and reward those with him on their dynasty rosters. (Bob Cyphers)

Joey Cantillo

Joey Cantillo is a 2017 draft pick for San Diego that has shown flashes of promise in his young career. He spent most of 2019 at Low-A Fort Wayne where he pitched to an impressive 9-3 record with a 1.93 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 11.76 K/9. His fastball currently only sits in the low-90s, but he has a plus change-up that plays very well off of his modest fastball. He is projected as someone who could rise quickly through a minor league system and eventually slot in as a back-of-the-rotation arm. The 20-year-old may be able to even better these projections if he can add some velocity to his fastball and add a breaking ball to go along with his change-up. He may have also just landed in the right system to make these improvements based on Cleveland’s history of producing numerous above-average pitchers. (Bob Cyphers)

D-backs send to Marlins: OF Starling Marté

Marlins send to D-backs: LHP Caleb Smith, RHP Humberto Mejia, and a player to be named later (reportedly LHP Julio Frias)

Starling Marté

Stolen bases have always been a big part of Marte’s fantasy appeal, and at age 31, dynasty players have to worry about how much longer he’ll keep running. Good news – the Marlins lead MLB in stolen base attempts per game. Jonathan Villar alone attempted 14 steals before being dealt to Toronto, and Marte will likely be given the same green light. Miami is also surprisingly scoring more runs per game (4.23) than Arizona (4.19) and has a few extra games left due to early postponements. This isn’t a major upgrade for Marte, but I do think it’s a slight improvement. (Ben Sanders)

Caleb Smith 

Smith has a 51.5% career flyball rate. That hasn’t been a huge issue at spacious Marlins Park, where he has a career 3.42 ERA and allows 1.1 home runs per nine innings. The flyballs have been more problematic on the road, to the tune of a 5.27 ERA and 2.3 HR/9. Chase Field isn’t the hitter’s haven it was pre-humidor, and Miami did move some of its fences in slightly this season, but overall Smith is still going to a worse environment. He has some knack for strikeouts, but he’s thrown just three innings in 2020 and has spent time on the COVID-19 IL. The change in a park only adds to the uncertainty (Ben Sanders)

Marlins send to Blue Jays: INF/OF Jonathan Villar

Blue Jays send to Marlins: OF Griffin Conine (reportedly)

Jonathan Villar

A versatile player who should eventually play all over the field for the Jays, Villar figures to get quite a few starts at shortstop until Bo Bichette returns. Villar has a bit of pop that could play up now that he’s back in the smaller AL East parks. The Jays as a team don’t steal as many bases as the Marlins, but they have attempted the 7th most steals in baseball this season, suggesting manager Montoyo could give Villar the green light. A free agent at the end of the year, I don’t believe this move changes his value much in a dynasty league, but it should ensure he contributes to your fantasy team for the rest of the season. (Ken Balderston)

Ostensibly Griffin Conine 

Conine had moderate success in 2019 swatting, 22 home runs in 348 plate appearances, albeit at 21 years old in low-A ball. While there is power in the bat, there is also plenty of swing and miss and some trouble against lefties. A 2nd round pick in the 2018 First Year Player Draft, and son of Mr. Marlin Jeff Conine, Griffin was also a 31st rd pick by the Marlins in 2015. While he did not sign at the time, this leads me to believe the Marlins have had an eye on him for a while, and are likely happy with this trade. That said, I’m not sure this deal puts Conine on your radar in dynasty leagues unless you roster over 500 prospects or it’s NL only. (Ken Balderston)

D-backs send to Blue Jays: LHP Robbie Ray

Blue Jays send to D-backs: LHP Travis Bergen

Robbie Ray 

When I first heard about Robbie Ray moving to Toronto, I thought…well…meh. Let’s get one thing straight: if you’ve rostered Ray for any portion of this season, there’s a good chance his performance destroyed your team’s fantasy production for that week. If the 7.84 ERA going into his first game in Toronto wasn’t bad enough, he also carried a league-high 20.1% walk rate across the board. He only walked one batter across 3.1 innings in his first relief appearance for the Blue Jays on Tuesday, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction. And I guess if he continues to piggyback an opener and proves he can throw consistent strikes, I may, in a perfect matchup scenario, decide the roll the dice if I absolutely need to chase wins and strikeouts and put him in my starting lineup. Otherwise, there are undoubtedly better fantasy options available. (Taylor Case)

Dodgers send to Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling

Blue Jays send to Dodgers: two players to be named later

Ross Stripling  

It has been a strange thing to witness the Dodgers trying hard to trade the typically reliable and affordable Stripling this past year–he has not even hit his arbitration years yet. They finally got their wish, and even though I think they probably could have gotten a better trade–pending PTBNLs–they of course have ridiculous starting pitching depth. Stripling has not been as effective as usual this year: his ERA is a career-high (5.61), to go along with his career-high walks and homers-per-nine, and his strikeouts are a career-low. However, his fastball velocity is right at his career average, and up over 1 MPH over last year even though he’s spent 2020 exclusively as a starter. His pitch mix and spin rates are also not meaningfully changed from last year. His stuff appears to be intact, so I expect the old reliable Stripling will mostly return in Toronto: the upside here is a 4-ish ERA with excellent control and solid strikeout and ground ball rates. He’s a perfect trade target in fantasy leagues as he should be easy to acquire given how bad he’s been. (Jordan Rosenblum)

Angels send to Athletics: INF Tommy La Stella

Athletics send to Angels: INF Franklin Barreto

Tommy La Stella 

La Stella had settled in nicely to the No. 2 spot in the Angels’ lineup, batting right before Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. He won’t be in front of two superstars in Oakland, and he might lose some playing time against lefties. Still, he’ll likely bat second in a very good A’s lineup, so I don’t expect his production to suffer much, if at all. As long as he keeps walking twice as often as he strikes out, he should be useful. (Ben Sanders)

Franklin Barreto 

Barreto is only 24 and a former top prospect, but he’s struggled badly at the MLB level. He had no hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts in 10 plate appearances for the A’s this season, and couldn’t take playing time at 2B from the likes of Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder. In 219 career PA, he has a 42% K-rate. The trade can only help his dynasty outlook because it clearly wasn’t working out for him in Oakland, but changing uniforms won’t automatically solve his problems. (Ben Sanders)

Rangers send to Athletics: LHP Mike Minor

Athletics send to Rangers: OF Marcus Smith, INF Dustin Harris, and international bonus pool space

Mike Minor 

Mike Minor has not looked the same in 2020 as he did in 2019. He has one quality start in the seven games that he has started. Additionally, the A’s rotation has been pretty consistent this season. Mike has the worst WHIP of his career in this weird, abbreviated season. On top of that, his fastball has dropped a couple of ticks. If Minor is able to be a starter in Oakland, he will more than likely be on a very short leash. The hint of good news for Mike Minor is that his only QS came in his last appearance for Texas at he pitched shutout ball in six innings pitched. The question that is yet to be answered for the A’s and your fantasy team is, “What Minor shows up in this new uniform?” Let’s wait and see! (Brett Cook)

Mariners send to Padres: C Austin Nola, RHP Austin Adams, and RHP Dan Altavilla.

Padres send to Mariners: OF Taylor Trammell, INF Ty France, C Luis Torrens, and RHP Andres Muñoz

Taylor Trammell

Prospect fatigue and some lackluster production in 2019 has tainted Trammell’s dynasty star, but the athletic ability keeps us drooling. We can’t overlook he’s now with his 3rd organization in the last 14 months, something that rarely happens with prospects who are maximizing their potential. There is a saying that if you hit, they’ll find a place for you, but with the Mariners that could be a problem. Seattle already has breakout outfielder Kyle Lewis, also has two of the very best prospects in baseball in Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez- two more outfielders. Not to mention newly promoted Jake Fraley and the eventual return of Mitch Haniger who is under team control for two more years. It’s safe to question where Taylor Trammell will find at-bats. Still, just 22 years old, in no way do you give up on Trammell, but overall I see this move as another knock to his dynasty value. (Ken Balderston)

Austin Nola

Austin Nola is set to be the primary catcher in San Diego moving forward, and I’m sure all the Padres fans out there are crying silent tears of joy into their craft beers. I know I am. Now, I get it – it definitely hurts to lose Taylor Trammell and company. But this is the kind of move that General Manager A.J. Preller needed to execute to fill the massive Austin Hedges-size hole in the lineup. Prior to the trade deadline, Padres catchers were batting .142 as a unit. Nola, however, is batting .307, and leads all catchers with a 146 wRC+. To that end, and in this powerful lineup, I expect a decent batting average and counting stats moving forward this season and beyond, as he is signed with the Padres through 2025. (Taylor Case)

Ty France

Ty France’s dynasty value got a major bump this week as the Mariners have stated their intent to give him everyday at-bats–something San Diego was not offering.  He was incredible in the minor leagues last year, even after adjusting for the Triple-A bouncy ball run environment. He posted a 196 wRC+ in the Pacific Coast League, good for 96% above average. He has been no slouch in the majors either over his first 262 career PA, with an approximately league-average .320 xwOBA, driven by an above-average hard-hit rate (39%), but held in check by mediocre strikeout (24%) and walk (5%) rates. At 26, and with strong power, contact, and plate discipline numbers in the minors, there’s more potential here–he’s worth a roster spot in medium-depth dynasty leagues. (Jordan Rosenblum)

Reds send to D-backs: INF Josh VanMeter and OF Stuart Fairchild

D-backs send to Reds: RHP Archie Bradley

Archie Bradley

Bradley takes a hit from a fantasy perspective as Raisel Iglesias will continue to be used as a closer in Cincinnati. Archie can be dropped in saves leagues, while in saves plus holds leagues his value is unchanged. Raisel has some ugly surface-level stats (5.06 ERA) but the Reds are smart enough to look beneath the surface. Raisel is posting a career-best K%, BB%, GB%, xFIP, and SIERA. His home run per fly ball rate is also better than league average. He’s simply had horrible luck in 2020, with an atrocious 38% left on base rate. His career left on base rate is 79%, his 2020 “problems” stranding runners are simply a fortune-induced mirage. (Jordan Rosenblum)

Orioles send to Rockies: RHP Mychal Givens 

Rockies send to Orioles: IF Tyler Nevin, IF Terrin Vavra and a player to be named later

Mychal Givens

It is fairly uncontroversial to claim Mychal Givens instantly became the Rockies best reliever the moment they traded for him. It is not without controversy, however, to claim he will hastily seize the closer role. The Rockies have discussed using him at the back-end of games, but have not clarified their plans further. Wade Davis is well past his prime and, like Scott Oberg, is hurt. Givens’ main competition is inspirational comeback story subject Daniel Bard. Givens has a sub 3.5 SIERA since the beginning of 2019 and gets a ton of strikeouts (13.15 K/9 this year) without a ton of walks. He has a recent track record Bard lacks (by default). Rockies closers are always stressful to own, especially if they’re fly ball prone like Givens, but if you need saves, Givens is worth a roster spot. (Jordan Rosenblum)

Royals give Padres: RHP Trevor Rosenthal

Padres give Royals: OF Edward Olivares and a player to be named later

Trevor Rosenthal 

Moving into 2020, it was hard to imagine Trevor Rosenthal regaining his dominant stuff, but he sure has looked like a man in his prime. What’s been especially impressive is his .172  xBA against, which is good for top 3% in the league. However, perhaps what is more important to Rosenthal’s success is his rediscovered command. He’s bounced back with an 11.7% walk rate, and while it’s not elite, I’d say it’s a considerable improvement over his 30.6% walk rate in 2019. Unfortunately, we could be looking at a closer-by-committee approach as Drew Pomeranz has also shined this year, but if Rosenthal is eventually named the outright closer he could have top-12 fantasy upside at the position for the rest of the season. It’s also worth noting that Rosenthal is only signed with the Padres through 2020 so while rostering him this season should have standalone value, it’s difficult to know what his dynasty outlook is moving forward. (Taylor Case)

Edward Olivares

In what could be considered a lateral move for Olivares, he was already pushing for playing time in San Diego, though not productive in his first major league stint. Now in Kansas City he’ll have a similar opportunity with Alex Gordon struggling. At thirty-six years of age and in the final year of his deal, Gordon shouldn’t be a major roadblock to a younger player, and the Royals will likely want to see what Olivares can do. As a player with a bit of power and above-average speed, Olivares has shown the ability to produce both skills at the minor league level, and given he’s considered a good athlete; he strikes me as a bit underrated as a prospect. If you’re in a deeper dynasty league or have an open minors slot, you might want to go see about adding Olivares to your team. (Ken Balderston)

Orioles send to Braves: LHP Tommy Milone

Braves send to Orioles: two players to be named later.

Tommy Milone

I’m going to guess adding Tommy Milone was not the deadline ‘splash’ Braves fans were hoping for, especially seeing they’re in first place. Tommy made a bad first impression as well, allowing 7 runs in two and one-third innings of his Braves debut, which also happened to be the day he was acquired. I’m not going to make him out to be a star, or even a reliable starter in a dynasty league unless you’re really really (really) struggling, but this is a slight improvement to his situation. According to ESPN, Truist Park plays slightly better for pitchers than Camden Yards, and the Braves are a better team, so a better chance of netting wins, in theory.  Again, this is not an endorsement, merely pointing out this is a better spot for him. (Ken Balderston)

Red Sox send to Phillies: RHP Heath Hembree and RHP Brandon Workman

Phillies send to Red Sox: RHP Nick Pivetta and RHP Connor Seabold

Brandon Workman

This is a nice boost for Workman as we enter the 2nd half of the season. He’s already slotted into the closer role for Philly and should and is seeing an uptick in save opps — he has 3 Saves in just over a week with Philly and had 4 in the previous 4.5 weeks with Boston. I wouldn’t expect his profile to change much (he’s still going to walk the yard), but at least you’ll get more saves in return for the WHIP torment now. (Joe Drake)

Nick Pivetta

The upside for Pivetta here is that Boston’s pitching staff is so bad that he’s likely going to get another shot at a rotation spot between now and next spring. The former peripheral darling has completely imploded since the start of 2019 and at this point shouldn’t be considered anything more than a lottery ticket type of gamble in the deepest of leagues. He hasn’t been effective out of the bullpen either, so it’s not like he’s even a threat for saves. (Joe Drake)

Connor Seabold

Seabold is the much more exciting of the two players the Red Sox got back for Workman and Hembree, in my opinion. That being said, expectations should be tempered as he’s typically been considered a backend starter. I do want to point your attention to a couple of interesting notes though: 1.) Eric Longenhagen noted that Seabold’s changeup has improved, which would give him a 3rd pitch and 2). He was dominant in the Arizona Fall League last year, which typically showcases the sport’s best prospects. Perhaps there’s a little more here than originally thought. He’ll undoubtedly get a shot to crack Boston’s rotation sooner than later. (Joe Drake)]

Padres send to Red Sox: IF Hudson Potts and OF Jeisson Rosario.

Red Sox send to Padres: 1B Mitch Moreland

Hudson Potts

Hudson Potts is a promising young player, and it’s little wonder why the Red Sox were interested in him and his solid power bat. I see his strikeout and walk rates as potential issues that could prevent him from rising the ranks quickly, but one can hope that he can make the necessary adjustments to improve in both areas this coming offseason. Unfortunately, he’s also blocked for playing time by a few studs in the current Boston infield, but he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on over the next few seasons. (Taylor Case)

Jeisson Rosario

Rosario’s speed, defense, and eye for the strike will almost certainly make him a major leaguer, but the bat will decide whether he’s a regular or defensive replacement. He posted an incredible 16.6% walk rate as a 19-year old in High-A, but his slugging lagged nearly 60 points behind his OBP. He makes contact, but not with any authority, and although center fielders aren’t expected to hit like Mike Trout, teams won’t start a guy day in and day out if he’s getting the bat knocked out of his hands. If the Sox can help adjust his swing to find some pop (he’s 6’1″, 190- there’s some in there), he could be a 5-category contributor at the top of the lineup. If they can’t, he may never crack your fantasy lineup. I think his upside is high enough that he’s worth dreaming on. (Joe Drake)

Mariners send to Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker

Blue Jays send to Mariners: a player to be named later

Taijuan Walker

The Blue Jays were definitely buyers at the trade deadline as they added three pitchers and a position player. One of those players was Taijuan Walker. Walker didn’t pitch much in 2018 due to a Tommy John surgery. In 2019 all he pitched was one inning in the last game of the year. In 2020, Walker has played pretty well. His WHIP is solid thus far. He is averaging almost a strikeout per inning. His hard-hit percentage is in the 89th percentile among the league so he isn’t getting blasted. He was benefitting from a decent offense in Seattle and now he is in a better situation. In my opinion, this is a great move for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have a pretty potent offense so Walker looks to continue his success with his new team. If you don’t have Walker, try to add him to your team. He is already a top 30 fantasy SP this year and could move into the top 20. (Brett Cook)


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The Author

Jordan Rosenblum

Jordan Rosenblum

Jordan is an American living in Finland. In addition to writing for The Dynasty Guru, he's a doctoral candidate at Åbo Akademi researching explanations of income inequality, and a Workforce Strategist at OnWork Oy. His favorite baseball area is quantitative analysis of prospects.

Fun fact about Finland: they play pesäpallo here, which is like a soft-toss version of American baseball, except home runs are somehow outs.

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