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Fantasy Baseball Winners and Losers from the MLB Trade Deadline

lou trivino fantasy baseball rankings closers saves draft sleepers waiver wire pickups

The trade deadline has come and gone, leaving fantasy managers wondering how some of their rostered players' values have changed.

While it's obvious for players like Juan Soto joining a powerhouse offense, that's not the case for many and even some who didn't change teams may see their rest of season value go up or down.

Here, we take a look at five winners who have become fantasy relevant and five losers with diminished value following the trade deadline and what to expect from them during the final two months of the season.

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Post-Deadline Fantasy Baseball Risers

As mentioned in the introduction, there are some obvious winners, like Juan Soto and Josh Bell. But we'll be focusing on some of the under-the-radar players who will have seen a change in their fantasy value.

Felix Bautista - RP, Baltimore Orioles - 46% rostered

The departure of Jorge Lopez to the Twins means the Orioles had a vacancy for their closer role. Manager Brandon Hyde named Bautista, Cionel Perez, and Dillon Tate as candidates to close, but with a four-run lead in the ninth yesterday, Bautista got the call.

Bautista began warming up in the eighth inning when the Orioles were only leading by two runs, so it was a save situation before the Orioles added two runs in the ninth. Bautista did give up a solo home run to Marcus Semien but struck out the other three batters he faced to avoid any drama.

If we compare the trio, Bautista certainly appears to be the best of the group and even if the Orioles only play ~.500 baseball the rest of the season, there should still be enough saves to make Bautista a very popular pick-up this week.

Bautista 44.2 1.81 2.75 2.64 2.32 35.7% 8.3%
Perez 37.1 1.21 4.11 3.80 3.68 23.2% 9.9%
Tate 50.2 2.31 3.29 3.31 2.95 21.3% 5.0%

Jose Quintana - SP/RP, St Louis Cardinals - 33% rostered

Between 2012 - 2016, Quintana compiled a 3.41 ERA (951.0 IP), establishing himself as one of the best and most reliable starting pitchers in baseball. Then, between 2017 - 2021, he had a 4.51 ERA (607.0 IP), and due to injury, had managed only 73.0 IP over the last two seasons prior to 2022.

He's been back to his best this year with a 3-5 W-L record, 3.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 89 Ks (103.0 IP). And now gets to pitch with an elite defense behind him and a more pitcher-friendly ballpark. According to ESPN's Ballpark Factors, PNC Park ranks as the sixth most hitter-friendly park for runs this year, while Busch Stadium ranks 21st.

Quintana is predominately a groundball pitcher (45.0% GB% ranks 27th among the 73 pitchers with 100.0+ IP). The Cardinals' infield collectively ranks first in Outs Above Average (OAA) while the Pirates rank tied-17th (-3 OAA).

There's no doubting Quintana is now in a much better situation for his fantasy value, and that's without mentioning the improved offense he should get more run support from. The Cardinals rank 10th in runs scored (477) while the Pirates rank 28th (376). Everything has trended up for the veteran lefty.

Domingo German - SP, New York Yankees - 24% rostered

One of the stranger trades at the deadline was the Yankees sending Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals in exchange for Harrison Bader. I speculated earlier in the week that the Yankees may look to move German in a deal for starting pitching given he is out of Minor League options. How wrong I was.

Instead, it now looks like German will be a part of the Yankees rotation for the next few weeks, given Luis Severino is sidelined until mid-September. German didn't make his season debut until July 21st and had a rough start, giving up five earned runs in three innings. In his last two starts, he's allowed two earned runs in each (totaling 9.2 IP).

German has a career of 4.60 ERA, 4.18 xFIP, and 3.98 SIERA, so he isn't exactly a "must-add" on fantasy teams. But he's an interesting deeper league option and a solid streamer who should be able to pick up some wins too now he's stretched out enough.

Rowan Wick - RP, Chicago Cubs - 11% rostered

Following the trade deadline, I managed to get exclusive footage of Wick in the Cubs' bullpen.

Ok, maybe that was a cheap shot. But after the Cubs traded away David Robertson, Mychal Givens, and Scott Effross, Wick is the last man standing and set to be the Cubs closer for the remainder of the season.

It's been a disappointing year for Wick so far, with a 2-5 W-L record, 4.36 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 44 Ks, and four saves (43.1 IP). But Wick is the only man left in the Cubs bullpen to have registered a save for the team this year and there's no reason to believe he won't continue to be.

The good news is Wick has been better in recent weeks, with a 2.19 ERA (12.1 IP) in July, and has gone seven straight appearances without allowing an earned run. The Cubs kept hold of Willson Contreras and Ian Happ so at least their offense has some chance of putting up runs and Wick could still pick up a decent number of saves over the next two months.

Lars Nootbaar - OF, St Loius Cardinals - 1% rostered

This one might seem a stretch, but with Bader now in New York, a permanent spot in the Cardinals outfield opened up. Since Bader has been on the IL, Dylon Carlson has predominantly filled in at center field while Nootbaar has been the main right fielder.

While the season-long numbers aren't great, Nootbaar has been showing signs of life at the plate recently. On the year, he is hitting .230/.321/.407 with five homers, 17 RBI, 19 runs, and one stolen base (50 games). But since July 1st, he's hitting .364/.463/.636 with three homers, 10 RBI, 10 runs, and no steals (19 games). Regular playing time seems to be helping him.

Most impressively has been Nootbaar's plate discipline improvements with an 18.5% K% and 16.7% BB% since July 1st. He's been bumped up to sixth in the lineup this last week and as I'm writing, has hit a walk-off single against the Cubs after tying the game in the seventh inning with a sac fly.

He's not someone I'm paying attention to in shallower leagues but I'd certainly be considering taking a flyer on Nootbaar in deeper leagues to see if these gains will hold and he could end up being a big contributor on your fantasy teams until the end of the season.


Post-Deadline Fantasy Baseball Fallers

Before I begin, I'm not calling any of these players losers personally. They're just guys who have lost fantasy value due to trades so are therefore losers. But not actual losers. Ok? Let's just get on with it.

Raisel Iglesias - RP, Atlanta Braves - 89% rostered

One of the final trades before the deadline saw the Braves move for Iglesias, thus ending his role as a closer. Braves manager Brian Snitker has come out and said that Kenley Jansen is the team's primary closer while Iglesias is the secondary closer. That sounds like manager talk for "Iglesias is next in line".

Iglesias hasn't been great for the Angels this year, putting up a 2-6 W-L record, 4.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 48 Ks, and 16 saves (35.2 IP). But his underlying numbers suggest he's been unlucky as he has a 3.41 xERA, 3.06 xFIP, and 2.44 SIERA. And his Statcast profile doesn't look like one for someone with an ERA over 4.00.

If we look at the breakdown of saves for Braves relievers so far this year, Jansen has 24 while 12 have been split between A.J. Minter, Will Smith (now with the Astros), and Jackson Stephens. So, Jansen has two-thirds of the team saves with a third being available potentially to Iglesias moving forward.

Yes, this is rough maths but if we say there have been nine saves a month so far, that leaves 18 over the remainder of 2022. If Jansen has two-thirds of them, Iglesias could realistically pick up six saves the rest of the season. Of course, Jansen could miss time, be ineffective, etc and this is very rough math, but the point remains.

Iglesias is only going to be picking up the scraps left by Jansen and unless you are in desperate need of saves or have big a bench allowing you to stash him, Iglesias' fantasy value took a huge hit this past week.

Jonathan India - 2B, Cincinnati Reds - 84% rostered

I am in no way suggesting you drop India. In fact, regular contributors to The Cut List article (which runs every Sunday) will know I have been imploring people to hold on to India in all but the shallowest leagues. And he's certainly been solid in recent weeks.

Since July 1st, India is hitting .271/.339/.477 with five homers, 14 RBI, 17 runs, and one stolen base (28 games). And he's led off in every game in which he's started. Unfortunately, he just so happens to play for a Reds team who just traded away two of their better offensive players in Brandon Drury and Tommy Pham.

The reason this is such a loss for India is that Drury and Pham have been the Reds' number two and three hitters in almost every game since May 1st. Following the trade deadline, the Reds have hit Nick Senzel and Kyle Farmer second and third (against a left-handed pitcher), then Jake Fraley and Mike Moustakas against a right-handed pitcher. We can see from the below how big of a downgrade that is.

Pham 395 .239 .319 .374 .135 .307 91
Drury 389 .275 .337 .527 .252 .370 134
Senzel 280 .248 .305 .320 .072 .281 73
Farmer 352 .248 .322 .370 .122 .307 92
Fraley 60 .200 .267 .345 .145 .272 67
Moustakas 255 .202 .290 .332 .130 .279 72

The only players still on the Reds with a wRC+ better than India are Tyler Stephenson (who is on the IL and likely missing the rest of this season), Donovan Solano, and Joey Votto. There's just a barren wasteland of nothingness behind India for the remainder of this season.

India is good enough to produce by himself, gets to hit in one of the best ballparks for offense, and is still the leadoff hitter. So he'll still be able to contribute to your fantasy teams. But it's likely to be less production than it was before the trade deadline.

Seranthony Dominguez - RP, Philadelphia Phillies - 54% rostered

The Phillies acquiring Robertson was one of the only ways the veteran reliever would be able to continue closing out games if he left the Cubs. Thankfully for teams rostering Robertson, he maintains his value (and probably improves it now) and secured his first save for the Phillies on Wednesday night.

It certainly looks like Robertson will be the main guy in the ninth inning for the Phillies, leaving their previous committee in a set-up role. The reason I'm picking out Dominguez as the main loser of this trade is that he's been the main closer for the Phillies in recent weeks.

Since July 1st, Dominguez has four saves, while Brad Hand has two and Jose Alvarado, Connor Brogdon, and Corey Knebel all have one. Dominguez and his 1.64 ERA will likely still collect the odd save opportunity if Robertson isn't able to pitch or something happens to him. But as of now, he's only a deeper league stash if you're in dire need of saves.

Luke Voit - 1B, Washington Nationals - 35% rostered

I want to put it on record that I really feel for Voit. Besides my personal attachment to him (he's the only player I have a 1-of-1 baseball card of), he's had a rough go of things this year. Injury has limited him to 82 games but he's still been able to demonstrate his power with 13 homers, 48 RBI, 38 runs, and one steal while hitting .225/.317/.416.

I'm sure everyone reading this knows the story and how Eric Hosmer (justifiably and perfectly entitled to do so) enacted his no-trade clause to prevent him from being sent to the Nationals in the Soto deal. But that meant someone had to make the journey from San Diego to the nation's capital. And that turned out to be Voit.

If you thought the Reds lineup is bad since the trade deadline, wait until you see the Nationals. Only Yadiel Hernandez has a wRC+ over 100 (barely at 101) who is on the roster with at least 100 plate appearances. Hernandez is also the only one with a .400+ SLG (419), which only ranks tied-135th among the 397 players with 100+ plate appearances.

Voit does get the benefit of hitting in a better park. According to Statcast, Nationals Park is the fourth friendliest for homers for right-handed hitters, while Petco Park ranks 18th. But he has an expected home run (xHR) total of 16 at Petco Park and 15 at Nationals Park. If we overlay his spray chart onto Nationals Park, we can see there's not a great deal of difference in likely outcomes.

Voit will still hit homers, but they will probably be more of the solo variety. And his 11.3% BB% (88th percentile) will see him get on base a lot still. But there's not much likelihood he'll come round to score many runs. If you need power or in OBP leagues, Voit is still a solid play. But overall, he's only a deeper league option now.

Lou Trivino - RP, New York Yankees - 25% rostered

Trivino had a dreadful start to the season which is why he has a 1-6 W-L record, 6.15 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 46 Ks, and 10 saves (33.2 IP). But he's been much better of late and over the last seven weeks, has a 0-1 W-L record, 3.18 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 20 Ks, and eight saves (17.0 IP).

The WHIP has remained bad but is largely down to a .432 BABIP and his 2.96 xFIP and 2.89 SIERA are things the Yankees would have looked at and believe they can get the best out of Trivino. That being said, you shouldn't expect to see him closing out games in the Bronx.

Clay Holmes has been lights out (until his last outing), while Aroldis Chapman (four straight scoreless innings allowing just one hit and no walks) is starting to look like he can enter the late innings mix again. Jonathan Loaisiga has only allowed one earned run in his last eight appearances too.

What I'm getting at is the Yankees have a lot of options to close out games if and when Holmes is unable to. Trivino will probably have to work his way into that list before he can even be considered as a closing option. Keeping Trivino on our fantasy rosters is the equivalent of BMW employing someone to install blinkers on their cars. An exercise in futility.

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