There’s no question that the biggest move of this season’s trade deadline was the three-team deal sending David Price to the Detroit Tigers, Austin Jackson to the Seattle Mariners, as well as Drew Smyly and Nick Franklin to the Tampa Bay Rays.
When this kind of blockbuster trade goes down, it’s impossible not to consider the fantasy implications it will have on the players involved. Let’s get started.
It’s no surprise to see David Price’s name appear on deadline day. It seems that his name has been shrouded with trade rumors for well over a month.
The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star has been, not surprisingly, pitching extremely well. His record is 11-8 and is capped off by magnificent numbers – an ERA of 3.11, a WHIP of 1.05, and a 10.0 K/9.
Price has been dominant this season and this trade will only increase his fantasy stock. The biggest thing that should change with Price now in Detroit is his chance of winning.
Price compiled a decent record pitching for a subpar team. Now that he is pitching for the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers, those wins should only increase, especially considering that 17 of his 23 games this year have been quality starts.
Austin Jackson moving from Detroit to Seattle is interesting from a fantasy baseball perspective. Jackson, a career .277 hitter, holds more value in roto leagues. His main source of value comes from the number of runs he scores; this season, he’s scored 52 times. He averages scoring right around 100 times a year.
Recently, Jackson has been on a tear. Over the past 14 days, Jackson is batting .352 to go along with one long ball, eight RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Before this recent hot streak, Jackson was having a mediocre season. He is currently owned in 94.9% of ESPN leagues, but in the last week, his ownership has gone up 23.2%. According to ESPN’s Player Rater, Jackson has been the 53rd best outfielder in 2014. The move to Seattle will most likely change that, and not for the better.
As I previously mentioned, the majority of Jackson’s fantasy value comes from his ability to get on base and score runs. He’s bound to hit leadoff in Seattle, but there’s no way that he’ll score as often as he did in Detroit. Seattle is 27th in runs scored in 2014 with 408; the Tigers are ranked fifth with 487.
Jackson’s value doesn’t completely drop off the table though. For owners that have recently picked him up, continue to ride this hot streak. When he does come back to Earth, he’ll still be valuable, but mainly in deeper leagues. He’s on the brink of being owned in a 10 team league, anything deeper than that and he warrants a roster spot.
Drew Smyly was the odd man out of the Detroit Tigers magnificent starting rotation. The 22-year-old starting pitcher was performing inconsistently with a 6-9 record, 3.77 ERA, and 1.31 WHIP.
For example, over his last three starts, Smyly went 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. In the three previous games, Smyly was 1-2 with a 6.62 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.
Another stat that shows his inconsistency is his monthly numbers. In May and July, Smyly posted an ERA of 4.32 and 4.38. In March/April and June his numbers were much better at 3.60 and 2.63 respectively.
Smyly has the stuff needed to be a solid big league starter, however, he has been unable to pitch consistently enough to be a good option in fantasy baseball. Currently, Smyly is sitting at an ownership rate of 52.3%.
Like Jackson, Smyly is a borderline player. He’s someone that should be owned while on a hot streak in shallow leagues, but he’s also someone that must be owned in deeper leagues.
Maybe this change of scenery is what Smyly needs to reverse his fortunes. Now pitching in Tampa Bay, Smyly’s fantasy value should stay about the same, but it may go up just a bit. The reason I say that is due to Tropicana Field being more pitcher friendly than Comerica Park, according to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors.
No matter the league size, keep an eye on Smyly; he has shown that he has what it takes to be a good starter at the MLB level. If he can stay consistent, he’ll be worthy of being owned in all fantasy baseball formats.
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