Closing Time: Wrapping up the trade deadline

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Closing Time: Wrapping up the trade deadline
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While the David Price deal was earth-shattering from a real baseball perspective, there's no need for an extensive fantasy breakdown. Not too much changes in the here and now. 

Price was valuable in Tampa, and he'll be plenty valuable in Detroit. Austin Jackson gets a change of scenery at the right time. Drew Smyly is a nice addition for the Rays, and maybe they can find a role for Nick Franklin shortly. 

Shortstop prospect Willy Adames? The bird dogs love him, but settle down a second. He's 18 years old, playing in Single-A. He's years away from helping the Rays, and can't be seen as more than a lottery ticket. 

I was shocked Tampa Bay couldn't get a sweeter haul for Price - and if they didn't love the deals offered, why bother trading him at all? He's under contract through 2015. The Rays could have rebooted trade talks over the winter, or into next year - or simply kept Price and tried to make a run with him. Durable left-handed aces, and pitchers good enough to legitimately lead off a playoff series - they don't grow on trees. 

Now that the primary trade deadline has come and gone (don't forget, waiver deals will happen in August), let's take a broader look at the majors and try to figure out which way stocks are headed. The goal in this blog is to look at any player of consequence who had his value affected (or protected) from Deadline Day, be it from a trade he was in, a trade his team made, or a trade his team didn't make. 

To the tote board:


John Lackey, SP, Cardinals: Pitchers moving from the AL to the NL, that's fantasy catnip. And at least Lackey already has a working relationship with catcher A.J. Pierzynski, though obviously everyone wants to see Yadier Molina back as soon as possible. I had Lackey as an $11 option in last week's Shuffle Up; I'd go to $14-15 today. 

Jon Lester, SP, Athletics: While Fenway Park never spooked him, we love trading that tidy yard for the forgiving expanses of Oakland. The A's should give him better defense, too. 

Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals: He can finally relax a little in right field, as the departure of Allen Craig opens up a solidified job. So far, so good: Taveras clocked a homer Thursday at San Diego. Taveras started the day 22-percent owned in Yahoo, but that number should spike quickly.

Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Red Sox: It will be interesting to see how he handles this deal emotionally; it probably came without warning, and he moves from a World Series contender to a team playing out the string. Cespedes also was far more productive in Oakland, as strange as that seems. But Fenway Park is a glorious place for most hitters. 

J.D. Martinez, OF, Tigers: With Jackson gone, the Tigers have a hole in center field - and that probably means Martinez will have left field to himself. Rajai Davis is the likely starter in center field most of the time, albeit he's a poor defender (and a good reminder that speed does not equal quality defense). Freshly-recalled Ezequiel Carrera could also get some CF time, and maybe Andy Dirks will make a late-season contribution. But more often than not, Martinez will be in the lineup.

Allen Craig, 1B/OF, Red Sox: I don't take his 2014 numbers seriously, he's obviously hurt. His defense is a concern but left field in Fenway is a postage stamp. If Craig is healthy next spring, I'm interested. And the Red Sox have spots to hide him than the Cardinals did.

Andrew Miller, RP, Orioles: I don't expect Miller to pitch much better (or worse) with the Orioles, but he might be seen as a possible stand-in closer when Zach Britton needs a rest. Miller has no trouble handling right-handed batters (in addition to wiping out lefties), and obviously the Orioles don't mind using a southpaw in the ninth.

Nick Franklin, Utility, Rays: He was never going to play in Seattle, but the Rays will eventually find a spot for him. Franklin's stock slipped a lot in one year, but he's still just 23 - and he was on the prospect clipboards earlier this decade.

Drew Smyly, SP, Rays: He moves to a better pitcher park and he'll have better defense, too. Hopefully he doesn't mind the lousy attendance.

Jarret Cosart, SP, Marlins: The standard AL-to-NL upgrade applies, and the NL East in particular is the place to go. He's more thrower than pitcher, but you can say that about a lot of 24-year-olds. Maybe it seems strange that the Astros gave up on him so quickly, but they were wrong on Martinez, too. They make mistakes, like everyone else.

Tommy Milone, SP, Twins: He's never going to be an ace, but he's good enough to be in someone's rotation. The Twins figure to call him up before the season ends. Milone was overly lucky with the A's earlier this year, and it's come crashing down in the minors - but he can still be a respectable back-fill, in the Jamie Moyer mold.


Khris Davis, OF, Brewers: Milwaukee added the perennially-underrated Gerardo Parra, a solid left-handed bat and outstanding defender. He'll probably enter a platoon with Davis, who hasn't hit righties much in 2014.

Seattle Outfielders: With Austin Jackson arriving to take control of center field, there's less at-bats to go around. And Chris Denorfia, another Thursday acquisition, will probably get a fair amount of playing time against lefties. We had a time, James Jones

Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics: I don't think the A's move for Sam Fuld if they weren't worried about Crisp's neck. At worst, Crisp is headed to the DL. At best, he's a high-maintenance player who will need a lot of time off

Koji Uehara, RP, Red Sox: It's a modest downgrade, because Uehara's still as automatic a closer as you'll find. But with the Red Sox jettisoning so much talent, especially on the pitching side, it's logical to project a dip in save chances. (Again, modest is the word here. Mediocre teams can still support a closer, and heck, Boston has been mediocre all year.)

Joe Kelly, SP/RP, Red Sox: If he turns into a No. 5 starter for the Red Sox long-term, they'll probably be thrilled. Kelly has a big-league arm - fastball in the mid-90s - but it hasn't translated to a bunch of strikeouts. And now he trades cushy NL life for a go-round in the AL East.

Brock Holt, Utility, Red Sox: Maybe his playing time isn't as threatened as I initially thought; although Boston added Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig, it also put Shane Victorino on the disabled list. Holt can play the infield, too, though Will Middlebrooks might be ticketed for another 3B trial. As much as I love the Holt story - I gave him a Wiggy, after all - you get the idea he's been playing well over his head.

Danny Espinosa, Utility, Nationals: Not that you were relying on him to begin with, but the Nats clearly didn't want him playing everyday. Now that Asdrubal Cabrera is in town, Espinosa rides the bench.

Jesse Chavez, SP, Athletics: He's been knocked around for a solid month, and probably needs a role reassignment. Chavez only had two career starts before this season, so fatigue is a logical explanation. Jason Hammel is also on notice - he's pitched very poorly for Oakland and Drew Pomeranz is percolating in the minors (behind the team's four aces). 

Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Yankees: New York is on the periphery of playoff contention, and it realizes Suzuki is better off as a reserve these days.

Holding Steady

David Price, SP, Tigers: He'll miss Tampa's defense and cushy park. The Tigers should, in theory, provide him with more runs. Comerica is misunderstood as a park - it's actually helped scoring over the last few years - but Price is going to be an ace anywhere. 

Jon Papelbon, RP, Phillies: Papelbon could have been traded out of the ninth inning, but of course the Phillies didn't get anything done. Ruben Amaro seems to have delusional ideas on what his players are really worth.

Austin Jackson, OF, Mariners: The 2012 season sticks out as the outlier, but at least he's running more often this year - and he's hiked his average up to .270. His defense will keep him in the lineup. Seattle had no immediate need for Franklin; this was a nifty add for them. 

Marlon Byrd, OF, Phillies: I own a few Byrd shares, and I don't mind him staying put. A deep contender might not view him as an everyday staple, or someone to use in the middle of the lineup. The Phillies don't have a choice. 

Martin Prado, 3B/OF, Yankees: Even with the DH, the Yankees are scoring just as often as the Snakes are (they rank 16th and 17th, respectively, in scoring). Prado's not a factor on the bases and his slugging percentage slipped to .370 - he's not an ideal corner outfielder, but he'll be asked to man that spot.

Kike Hernandez, Utility, Marlins: I'm not sure he's good enough to play every day, but he's capable at several different positions. I wanted to see the Astros give him a better lineup spot, something they were reluctant to do.

Joaquin Benoit, RP, Padres: While he's a threat to be moved through the waiver period, at least he's still in San Diego, closing baton in hand. I grabbed some Kevin Quackenbush shares as insurance, and maybe I'll hold The Q for the quality innings he's providing. The Dodgers had interest in Benoit this month, and maybe that will be rekindled through August (though it's more complicated then).

Jonny Gomes, OF, Athletics: Nothing's changing here. Gomes was on the short side of a platoon in Boston, and that's how the A's will use him.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Infield, Nats: Washington was willing to rent Cabrera, looking to get Danny Espinosa off the field, but I hope your mixed-league rosters don't rely on this mediocre option. Cabrera offers a little bit of category juice, but he's batted under .250 the last two years - and his OBP hovers around .300. Washington will probably use him near the bottom of the order. 

Sam Fuld, OF, Athletics: Maybe he'll get a fair amount of playing time if Coco Crisp needs a DL stint. But there's no pop here, and he won't run with reckless abandon.

Stephen Drew, SS, Yankees: New York figures to use him at second base, a position Drew has been reluctant to play in the past. Ah, those smiling Drews. 

Anyone you want to talk about that I didn't mention? Drop a line in the comments.