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Week 18 Waiver Wire: Trade Deadline Impact

Week 18 Waiver Wire: Trade Deadline Impact
Photo Credit: Samuel Globus

Trades are integral part of the essence of baseball.

The best trades help both teams. Either in the short term as teams play for the pennant or in the long term, as teams try to build a solid foundation for their organization.

Good trades help build franchises, while bad trades possibly ruin franchises and get General Managers fired.

The Trade Deadline just passed on July 31 and we had tons of drama and intrigue. Will Yu Darvish help the Dodgers capture their first pennant since 1988? Will Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia help carry the Yankees to a American League Pennant?

The pennant chases will be full of excitement and the newly added players will play a huge part in the outcomes of all of the races.

We are also heading toward the end of the Fantasy Baseball regular season. What players can you add to your team that will make an impact in getting you to the promise land?  Let’s take a ride to the Week 18 Waiver Wire.

Week 18 Waiver Wire


 James McCann, Detroit Tigers

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After fellow backstop Alex Avila was traded to the Cubs on July 31, McCann looks bound to see regular duties behind the plate for the final two months of the season.

James McCann just extended his career-long hitting streak to 10 games on Monday which contributes to his season line of .246/.321/.460 with 10 homers and 31 RBI.

He has elevated his production since the All-Star break, going 14-for-40 (.400 average) with six extra-base hits including two home runs and 10 RBI.

McCann was splitting catching duties with Alex Avila. He was primarily doing his damage against left-handed pitchers this season. He is batting .286 against southpaws so far this season and was hitting well and getting more at-bats against right-handers even before the trade.

With his playing time looking to increase the rest of the way, McCann is a must-add in two-catcher formats. While he was primarily valuable in streaming or in DFS when facing a left-hander while splitting duties, McCann now with more of full-time job, looks to be a solid option in deeper mixed leagues.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Manny Pina, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Tyler Flowers, Atlanta Braves

First Base

Lucas Duda, Tampa Bay Rays

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Lucas Duda was going to leave the New York Mets in free agency at the end of the season, so the Mets decided to make a sensible move and get something for him. They traded Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Drew Smith.

Duda provides a power boost to a Rays team that is just 4.5 games behind AL East-leading Yankees. It is likely that he will DH for the Rays, as the Rays’ everyday first baseman Logan Morrison is having a solid season. Duda has not played anywhere besides first base since 2014.

The 31-year-old is hitting .250/.354/.557 with 20 home runs and 40 RBI with an .911 OPS on the season.

Duda has hit safely in each game thus far with the Rays, and he closed out July with his best monthly home run total (seven) of the season. He is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with three home runs and four RBI since his arrival in Tampa.

He is as streaky as they come and has only topped 125 games played twice in seven seasons. His OPS each month from 2014-2016 never dropped below .759.

A healthy Duda should be owned and started in all AL-Only formats. His power and on-base skills makes him worth owning in all mixed leagues.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Dominick Smith, New York Mets
  • Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates

Second Base

Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies

Cesar Hernandez was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained oblique on June 11. He was batting .277 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 58 games for Philadelphia.

Hernandez started off smoking hot to start this season and was living up to his predicted breakout season. Through his first 29 games this season, the switch-hitter was hitting .339 with a .892 OPS.  Unfortunately, the next 29 games before he landed on the disabled list he hit .211 and posted a miserable .566 OPS.

The Phillies rely on Hernandez’s production as their lead off hitter. This season, however, he has shown much more power than previous seasons. He has already matched his previous career-high of six home runs in only 71 games played this season.

Since his return from the disabled list, he is hitting .333 (18-for-54) with 11 runs scored and four stolen bases. Phillies love to see that type of production from top of their lineup.

Fantasy owners in roto leagues who are in search of a decent average, runs and stolen bases should add Hernandez to their lineups. He would look great in MI spots in those leagues. Hernandez should be started in deep mixed leagues as well.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Corey Spangenberg, San Diego Padres
  • Wilmer Dilfo, New York Mets

Third Base

Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox

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Rafael Devers looks like he is up to stay in the Red Sox and primed for a productive stretch run. He is off to a 10-for-24 (.417) start with two homers and four RBI along with an 1.231 OPS in his first six games of his major-league career.

He was hitting .311/.377/.578 with 20 homers and 60 RBI in 86 games between Double-A and Triple-A prior to his call-up on July 24.

The young star has already made an immediate impact on the Red Sox’s lineup with his ability to hit the ball to all fields. The 20-year-old top prospect should get a chance to hold the third base position for the remainder of the season.

It is important not to get too carried away about Devers, as he more than likely will experience normal growing pains that nearly all new big leaguers go through.

Manager John Farrell will likely keep the top prospect in the lineup whenever he can. Anything short of everyday play would limit his Fantasy appeal.

Devers is a worthwhile investment in all Fantasy leagues given the lineup and ballpark. It is hard not to get excited about the Red Sox young third baseman.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Chase Headley, New York Yankees
  • Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox


Amed Rosario, New York Mets

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Amed Rosario, the shortstop of the future is finally the shortstop of today. In a long-awaited move, the New York Mets promoted infielder Amed Rosario to the major league roster. He will make his first start on Tuesday when the Mets take on the Rockies at Coors Field.

Rosario, 21, was recently ranked the second-best prospect in baseball by’s Keith Law has said he is currently the best prospect in baseball.

The elite prospect has played 94 games in Triple-A this season, during which he hit .328 with a .367 OBP, seven home runs, seven triples, 19 doubles and 19 stolen bases.

He has little left to prove in the minors. Growing pains can be expected for Rosario but he offers scintillating upside.

The Mets’ top-rated prospect is definitely a worth an add in all formats.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Marcus Semien, Oakland A’s
  • Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks


Nick Williams, Philadelphia Phillies

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Nick Willams was called up on June 30 so they could take a look at his potential in the bigs.

In a small sample size, Williams has shown his upside in the bigs. He is hitting .277 with a .831 OPS, adding 11 extra-base hits including four home runs.

Due to his impressive showing, the Phillies are hitting Williams in the middle of the order and will do so in the foreseeable future. He does have decent power and speed. He has been hitting righties better-.301/.354/.493 with a .385 BABIP.

Nick Williams does have plate discipline issues but he does have a high ceiling. He is a definite factor in all NL-Only leagues and deeper mixed formats.

Bradley Zimmer, Cleveland Indians

Bradley Zimmer is an enticing talent with his power/speed combo.

He has come in at .281/.365/.509 with three homers, 12 RBI and four steals in 17 games in the second half, including hitting .448 over his last nine games.

His stolen base ability is what makes his Fantasy value attractive. He has a good chance to develop into an all-around Fantasy contributor with power and speed as he matures.

Somehow he is still readily available on the waiver wire. Zimmer is keeper gold. His cross-category production is valuable in all formats and being on top of the Indians’ solid lineup only helps Zimmer’s Fantasy floor and ceiling alike.

Manuel Margot, San Diego Padres

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The 22-year-old Manuel Margot was activated from the disabled list June 27 and has played well since returning from injury.

He went 12-for-24 with two doubles, a triple and three home runs last week. He became the first Padre to be named NL Player of the Week this season.

Also, Margot has two or more hits in six of his past seven games to raise his average from .258 to .281 just since July 23.

As is the case with most rookies, Manuel Margot has endured his share of growing pains. Overall, he has posted a .281 average with eight home runs, 23 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 288 at-bats.

In addiiton, his speed is his biggest asset but he is now making a name for himself with his complete skill set.

As a result, Manuel Margot should be owned in all Fantasy formats.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Gerardo Parra, Colorado Rockies
  • Ben Gamel, Seattle Mariners
  • Randal Grichuk, St. Louis Cardinals

Starting Pitcher

Jaime Garcia, New York Yankees

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Jaime Garcia was acquired by the New York Yankees to provide much needed rotation depth after losing Michael Pineda to a season-ending elbow injury, and the inconsistency of Masahiro Tanaka. In addition, rookie Jordan Montgomery is likely facing an innings cap.

He has a career 3.65 ERA in 176 games, including 165 starts with the Cardinals and Braves, but he has never pitched in the American League until this season.

He has recorded a 4.29 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 92/44 K/BB ratio across 119.2 innings with the Braves and Twins this season.

The southpaw has now won three straight games and he is a must add in AL-Only formats and should be used as a streamer in deep mixed leagues.

Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles

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Kevin Gausman has had an up-and-down season in 2017. He started downward with a ugly 6.30 ERA in his first 20 starts. It was mentioned that Gausman would possibly be demoted to the minors. I guess that’s all the right-hander needed to hear.

In his last three starts, he is 3-0 with an 0.44 ERA. Over 20.2 IP, he has allowed 16 hits and one run with eight walks and 24 strikeouts.

Gausman is finally starting to look ace-like after his horrendous start to the season. He has now pitched into the sixth inning while allowing one run or less in five of his last seven starts. He hasn’t lost since June 21.

After the dismal start, Fantasy owners probably let him go to waivers. His latest outings are showing what he is capable of, and that type of production should not be available on the waiver wire. He is a must-add in all formats.

Parker Bridwell, Los Angeles Angels

The rookie right-hander is sporting an 5-1 record with an impressive 2.83 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 34/13 K/BB ration in 54 innings.

He has held opponents to two runs or fewer in each of his four starts this month. In addition, he has posted quality starts in five of his first seven major-league starts.

Bridwell should be owned and started in Al-Only formats and is worth streaming in deep mixed leagues.

Zach Davies, Milwaukee Brewers

Zach Davies has established himself as a serviceable Fantasy asset for owners. He has gone at least seven innings in each of his past three outings, posting a 1.25 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP during that span.

The right-hander has posted a 12-5 record with a 4.42 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 6.2 K/9 in 124.1 innings this season.

His peripheral stats are underwhelming and he is blessed with tons of run support as the Brewers average six runs per game in his starts.

Wins are unpredictable and owners should not chase them. While Davies has pitched well lately, his overall stats showcase that type of production will not likely be long-lived. Zach Davies is nothing more than a streaming option in NL-Only leagues.

German Marquez, Colorado Rockies

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The rookie right-hander has been a reliable starter for the Rockies this season. He has really stepped up his game lately.

He has won four straight decisions while allowing three or fewer runs in each of his five July starts. In addition, he has struck out at least nine batters in three straight games. He ended the month of July with 39 strikeouts along with a 3.51 ERA.

Overall, he is 9-4 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP along with an 95/30 K/BB in 97 innings this season.

His ceiling is capped by his hitter-friendly home park and the Rockies looking to manage his workload.

German Marquez should be owned in all NL-Only leagues and streamed only on road starts in mixed leagues.

Adam Conley, Miami Marlins

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Adam Conley appears to have rebounded following a two-month stint in Triple-A, once again displaying the form that produced an 8-6 record with a 3.85 ERA in 25 starts in 2016.

Additionally, the southpaw has pitched a quality start in each of his three outings since being called up from Triple-A on July 18. Since his return, he is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA and a 15/4 K/BB in 20.2 innings.

As a result, Adam Conley is only a streaming option in all Fantasy formats until he can maintain this type of quality production.

Warming Up (Pitchers to consider)

  • Charlie Morton, Houston Astros
  • Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamonbacks
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Brent Suter, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Jhoulys Chacin, San Diego Padres



Relief Pitcher

Brad Hand, San Diego Padres

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Leading up to the trade deadline, he made 19 consecutive scoreless appearances, slicing his ERA to 2.00. In addition, after closer Brandon Maurer was traded to Kansas City, he stepped into the ninth-inning role and saved three games in as many nights.

The non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, and the Padres ended up hanging on to their dominant lefty after not receiving the return they had hoped for.

Hand now owns a 2.00 ERA and 70/14 K/BB rate over 54 innings, including six saves this season.

While Fantasy owners waited to see where Hand would end up, the fact that he stayed with the Padres has increased his Fantasy value. He will be the Padres’ closer for the remainder of the season.

Brad Hand is only owned in 45 percent of ESPN leagues. Now that Hand is confirmed to be staying put with the Padres, that number should increase rapidly. Run, don’t walk to add the dominant southpaw immediately if he is available on waivers.

Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals

Trevor Rosenthal has locked down the ninth-inning role for the Cardinals.

He has now picked up saves in back-to-back appearances to bring his season total to six saves while striking out seven batters across three innings. He is pitching to a 3.43 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 42 innings this season.

His career-high 14.36 K/9 makes Rosenthal one of the league’s most explosive closers now that he’s seemingly surpassed Seung Hwan Oh as the primary Cardinals’ closer.

The closer role was there for the taking and Rosenthal stepped up and took it over. If he can continue this type of dominant streak of success, Cardinals and Fantasy owners would have found a goldmine in the veteran closer.

Trevor Rosenthal is definitely worth an add in all Fantasy formats. He will assist your Fantasy team in saves and strikeouts.

Shane Greene. Detroit Tigers

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Shane Greene has earned the opportunity to take over the closer role, following the trade of Justin Wilson. Greene has posted a 2.74 ERA and 50/25 K/BB rate over 46 innings this season. In his 13 appearances in July, he has yet to be scored upon.

Tigers’ Manager Brad Ausmus has complete trust in Greene. He has been using Greene in the highest-level situations prior to the ninth inning, from the sixth inning through the eighth. And he has been reliable. Furthermore, he has allowed just six of 57 inherited runners to score in the last two seasons.

The promotion of Greene to the closers role was a no-brainer. Greene is having a career season and with saves such a hot commodity, Greene should be scooped up in all formats where available.

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals

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Sean Doolittle has converted each of his four save opportunities with the Nationals since coming over in a July 16 trade with the Oakland A’s. It appears that Doolittle has now locked down the Nationals’ closer role.

The Nationals are 63-42 and leading the NL East by 13 games but have had the worst bullpen in baseball this season. They have had a revolving door at the closer role all season. It seems with the acquisitions of Doolittle and Ryan Madson, it has solidified the bullpen.

If Doolittle is still available in your league, he is a must-own Fantasy asset and should be added in all leagues.

Warming Up (Pitchers to Consider)

  • Alex Claudio, Texas Rangers
  • Blake Treinen, Oakland A’s

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