While the non-waiver trade deadline failed to live up to the hype, there were many who suspected that August could be quite busy with a number of players expected to be placed on waivers. With that, fantasy owners were going to have to brace themselves for the impending fallout. A month left to wheel and deal was plenty of time to re-shape the landscape of many a fantasy roster and upset the balance of a few league standings. Alex Rios moved from the South Side of Chicago to Texas and it looked as if we were just getting the ball rolling. But the team that has been most active thus far has been those surprising and surging Royals and with a pair of moves to bolster their suddenly struggling infield, fantasy owners are….bored. After a deal with the Twins and a trade with the Blue Jays, there are nothing but yawns in reality and even less for fantasy owners to get excited about.
When the Royals lost veteran utility infielder Miguel Tejada, they ran out and immediately swung a deal with Minnesota that sent cash and future considerations in exchange for journeyman infielder Jamey Carroll. With third baseman Mike Moustakas dinged up and still a glaring hole at second base, someone, somehow, thought Carroll, the man with one more career home run (13) than number of years of major league service would be the answer. We’re supposed to be stat-centric here, but is it even worth mentioning that Carroll’s incredibly innocuous numbers have also been in decline over the last few seasons? And is that even possible? Even in AL-only play, Carroll was barely relevant and now in even more of a reserve role, that miniscule value has turned microscopic.
But in the spirit of wheeling and dealing, the Royals weren’t finished and when someone woke up to realize that maybe Carroll alone couldn’t plug the holes that have been glaring all season, they took action once again. In exchange for cash or a player to be named, the Royals picked up Emilio Bonifacio from the Blue Jays. Now, had this move been made prior to the start of the season, this would have been big news in the fantasy community. After all, Bonifacio had eligibility at both second and in the outfield and swiped 70 bases over the last two seasons, including 30 in an injury-plagued, down year last year.
But we’re talking about right now, and as of today, Bonifacio himself is nothing more than a part-time player and full-time disappointment, incapable of beating out the likes of Maicer Izturis for full-time work. His walk rate has nearly vanished, his strikeout rate has spiked to 23.4-percent (his highest in the majors since 2008), he’s got below-average contact rates, no power, no average, and no on-base skills. He doesn’t even have half the stolen bases this year that he had last season but already has a dozen more plate appearances. He’s been nothing but waiver wire material all season long and it doesn’t look to be getting any better as Chris Getz continues to see the playing time.
So while the Royals may be the most active team on the trade front these days, the fantasy community remains untouched. About the only thing affected by these deals is the playing time of Rajai Davis and while that may be helpful to some degree, the call-up of Anthony Gose keeps it in check. No, this trade deadline is fixing to be one of the most boring we’ve seen in a very long time. There are probably a number of fantasy owners who are relieved by the lack of impact, but in truth, it’s taking away a lot of the excitement and putting most of us to sleep.
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