Fantasy Baseball

2019 Fantasy Baseball: Trade Deadline Primer– Position Players

The trade deadline is a week away. For regular baseball fans this is the most exciting day on the baseball calendar. For fantasy baseball fans it is not quite as significant, but there are always players that will see their fortunes change one way or another around that time. Contenders and pretenders are always in a state of flux around this time. Names listed are based purely on speculation. We are focusing on teams well out of the wild cad race, but we will see some guys move on teams that are still competing. We will try to find a likely home for each player in addition to talking about possible fantasy impacts on their potential move.

Catcher: Wilson Ramos– New York Mets

Numbers: .261/.338/.385, 9 HR, 35 Runs, 43 RBI

Teams need two competitive catchers to make it through a long grueling season and this is the time when regulars start to fade. You can easily see a team like the Astros or Dodgers seeking a better second catcher to help them get through the season. Ramos has been durable for most of his career and could easily share duties with someone. Of course, that wouldn’t be a great move for fantasy players, but it would be a signficiant move for a contender.

Best Fit: Houston Astros

First Base: Jose Abreu– Chicago White Sox

Numbers: .271/.308/.494, 22 HR, 48 Runs, 72 RBI

The White Sox say they want to keep him long-term, but dealing him at the deadline makes too much sense. Abreu is not a frontline player. Sure, he will average 100+ RBI in his first six seasons and will be a free agent at the end of the season, but he is a guy that could help a contender make their lineup that much deeper. Most contenders have first base covered, so the spots are limited.

Best Fit: Tampa Bay Rays

Second Base: Whit Merrifield– Kansas City Royals

Numbers: .308/.361/.500, 12 HR, 72 Runs, 51 RBI, 15 SB

Merrifield is signed through 2022 with an option for 2023. The Royals can afford to wait for an overwhelming offer. Still, his ability to play second base and the outfield makes him an attractive piece. This doesn’t even mention the fact that he is signed for three more seasons at a base of 14 million that could escalate to 18 million. That’s still a bargain given his current level of production. That makes him a perfect fit for a middle market team.

Best Fit: St. Louis Cardinals

Third Base: Todd Frazier– New York Mets

Numbers: .243/.324/.436, 13 HR, 34 Runs, 37 RBI

Third base is a bit of a black hole in terms of tradeable pieces. If the Giants decide to sell they could deal Pablo Sandoval and make this spot a little deeper. Similarly, there are only a few teams that could really use a decent third baseman. However, the Mets could do well for themselves if they start bartering off their veterans. Some teams are looking to deepen their bench.

Best Fit: Milwaukee Brewers

Shortstop: Elvis Andrus– Texas Rangers

Numbers: .291/.328/.427, 8 HR, 52 Runs, 49 RBI, 22 SB

There are a few teams that could use an obvious upgrade at shortstop. Freddy Galvis is another name that is bound to come up at the trade deadline. The question comes down to how many buyers there will be. Some teams are going to stand pat, so there is no clear destination for a player like Andrus. It isn’t clear that he would even be available, but the Rangers aren’t contenders, so they really should sell as much as they can.

Best Fit: Milwaukee Brewers

Outfield: Hunter Pence– Texas Rangers

Numbers: .289/.346/.573, 15 HR, 45 Runs, 49 RBI, 3 SB

Again, it makes perfect sense for the Rangers to take a relatively inexpensive piece like Pence and flip him for a good prospect or two. They won’t get a great prospect, but Pence is the kind of player that could help a contender down the stretch. He can play either corner outfield spot in a pinch or can serve as a designated hitter for an American League team.

Best Fit: Cleveland Indians

Outfield: Domingo Santana– Seattle Mariners

Numbers: .273/.342/.472, 19 HR, 56 Runs, 65 RBI, 6 SB

Real baseball and fantasy baseball diverge sometimes. Santana is on pace to drive in 100 runs which is pretty darn good considering how bad the Mariners are these days. You’d think a 30 home run, 100 RBI guy would fetch quite a bit on the open market. He is also -16 runs according to advanced fielding metrics. That limits him in terms of value. A few teams are outfield starved, so we could still see him move.

Best Fit: Cleveland Indians

Outfield: Nicholas Castellanos– Detroit Tigers

Numbers: .285/.342/.483, 11 HR, 56 Runs, 37 RBI, 2 SB

Castellanos is one of the few guys here who should see a boost in a trade. The Tigers are terrible. Normally a 30-66 team underperforms to get there. At -192, the Tigers have the worst run differential in the business and their 352 runs scored is horrible. Assuming he plays every day, Castellanos is destined to do better just about anywhere else. A couple of teams have checked in on him, so it is crapshoot as to where he might go, but he seems like a pretty good bet to go somewhere.

Best Fit: Chicago Cubs

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