We are more than halfway through June and the MLB trade rumors are going to be heating up along with the weather. Trades not only change the look of your favorite baseball teams, but also your fantasy baseball team. Here are a couple of things to pay attention to when an MLB trade is made.
American League vs. National League:
Pitchers each year get traded from the National League to the American League and this could have a big impact on their fantasy value. Jeff Samardzija was a perfect example last season when he was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics. In 17 starts for the Cubs last season he held a 2.83 ERA with only 7 home runs surrendered. He started 16 games for the A’s and had a 3.14 ERA while giving up 13 long balls. Currently, with the Chicago White Sox, he has a 4.84 ERA and has given up 11 home runs in only 13 starts.
The opposite can also happen when an AL pitcher goes to the NL, like Max Scherzer. Scherzer in 13 starts so far for the Washington Nationals has a 1.93 ERA with 113 strikeouts. He is on pace to have the best year of his career, even better than his Cy Young campaign in 2013.
Pitchers to keep an eye on that could be moving to the AL are Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies and Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds. Both of these guys are aces and have played their entire career in the NL. Hamels has been talked about in trades for a couple of years now and the timing seems right for Ruben Amaro Jr. to finally make a trade. Cueto is a free agent at the end of the year so the Reds could decide to deal him and get some prospects for him as they are not likely to be re-sign him for 2016.
The two Wild Card teams have brought more hope for clubs with almost everybody feeling they have some sort of shot at the playoffs when the trade deadline approaches. This will lead to a lot of interest in the aces. If Hamels or Cueto are dealt to an American League team, I’d be looking for some trade offers to see what I can get for them before the fantasy playoffs start.
The ballpark matters:
The trade deadline always brings a couple of blockbuster trades involving a contender for a slugger. Depending on who that contender is, it could either help or hurt your fantasy stud.
A power hitter traded to the San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers or Seattle Mariners, for example, probably isn’t going to hit a lot of home runs, but his run production and doubles could improve on a better club.
If a slugger is traded to the Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees or Texas Rangers, just to name a few, the home run production could increase in a hitter friendly ballpark.
These are some reasons to keep a close eye on who is traded and where because it can make a big difference. The MLB trade could also force you to make a fantasy trade, to either get that guy or trade him away.
A couple of sluggers to watch, that could be traded are Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun and Carlos Gonzalez. Cargo has always battled injuries, but has also hit in a mega hitters park, Coors Field. It will be interesting to watch and see where he could possibly get traded.
Hopefully your favorite team will make a trade that impacts their playoff chances while also helping your fantasy playoff chances!