With the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline approaching, you should be looking into possible MLB trade scenarios that could have a direct impact on your fantasy roster. Maybe you own the player on the move, maybe you own a guy who is about to start losing playing time, or maybe you own a guy who will say bye-bye to a teammate and land some extra PT. Whatever the case may be, your league’s trade deadline is rapidly approaching as well, so staying alert and showing some foresight could help you land some much-need production from a relatively soft position.
Ramon Hernandez, COL — Probably the most likely candidate to be traded between now and July 31st, Hernandez has become quite expendable with the season Wilin Rosario is having. Signed to a very friendly deal that will pay him $3.2M in 2013, Hernandez could easily be dealt to a team in need of a decent veteran presence behind the plate. The Mets certainly come to mid, as well as the Angels, depending on the recovery of Chris Iannetta. And even the Nationals are a possibility depending on their faith in current back-up Jhonatan Solano.
But fantasy owners can probably rest easy as there likely won’t be much change in value for any and all parties involved. It’s not like Hernandez will suddenly revert back to his old Orioles days and start hitting for power again, especially since most potential moves will be to less hitter-friendly parks than his current home. Hernandez will likely platoon at any stop he makes and the majority of teams willing to bring him in already have platoon situations, or close to them, so no one is really losing out much. Both Jesus Flores and Josh Thole could stand to park it a couple days a week. Yes, Solano would lose time, as would Mike Nickeas in New York, but neither had much in the way of value to begin with outside of the deepest of NL-only leagues. As for Colorado, given the fact that Hernandez has been on the DL for as long as he has, Rosario will simply retain the value at which he currently sits which is pretty darn good.
Geovany Soto, CHC — Given the cost of his contract, Soto might strictly be a candidate for a waiver deal later on in August as $4.3M is likely to slip through waivers, despite team control through 2013. Either way, this is a situation that could easily benefit all fantasy owners involved. Soto is definitely in need of a change of scenery, and a full-time opportunity for Steve Clevenger could prove to be quite helpful. He might not have a whole lot of pop in his bat, but with a low strikeout rate and decent walk rate, he’s been an on-base machine at virtually every stop he’s made. His batting average won’t hurt you and you stand the chance of getting a potential boost in runs scored provided they don’t just bat him eighth in front of the pitcher.
For Soto, a potential move helping him out is purely speculative. He’s been a hard guy for fantasy owners to trust in recent years with the declining numbers and the array of injuries that seem to keep him out of the lineup on a regular basis. But there’s still potential for a turnaround here as his .162 ISO and reduced strikeout rate are definitely positive signs. Perhaps it’s a rut he is stuck in playing for the Cubs coupled with a .196 BABIP that seem to be dragging him down right now. A move to a contender would certainly energize any player and if, indeed, he’s been suffering from some bad luck, then what’s a better turnaround than getting to play for a potential winner?