Hey, baseball teams, let's leave some trades for the deadline, huh?
The deadline is coming up Tuesday at 6 pm., but as Scott White said on Twitter Sunday evening, "I wonder what's going to be left for Tuesday." We have already seen Lucas Giolito moved to the Angels last week, and the Angels weren't finished – and they weren't alone, as we had a whole bunch of deals go down over the weekend.
And none bigger than Max Scherzer being shipped to the Rangers, a complicated deal that required Scherzer to agree to waive his no-trade clause and opt into his contract for 2024 to get done. That was the headline, , it was far from the only move.
In today's newsletter, we'll recap everything you need to know from the trades, including the prospect names you might need to know about, plus take a quick look at the top waiver targets from this weekend's action, plus all the other news from this weekend. Before we get to that, though, make sure you tune in to Monday's episode of Fantasy Baseball Today for more. And, obviously, make sure you've got the right lineup set for Week 19 with Scott White's and , as well as his .
Let's start with the trades:
Trade deadline updates
Let's go through the biggest trades from the weekend, with some of Scott's thoughts on each deal, plus very brief thoughts on the notable prospects involved:
Max Scherzer to the Rangers
"The strikeouts have begun to trend up at least. Over his past eight starts, he has 10.8 K/9 but also a modest 3.53 ERA thanks to 13 home runs during that stretch. The long ball has been his biggest issue this year, and it's not likely to get any better at his new home. He will have the best offense in baseball backing him now, but it's not like wins have been a problem to this point, judging by his 9-4 record. His stock remains the same, more or less.
"How does this move change the rotation picture for the Rangers and Mets? Dunning has some relief experience and may be better served as a long man. It would effectively destroy his Fantasy Baseball value, but any one injury would likely welcome him back into the rotation. While the Mets have some interesting up-and-coming arms, the rotation opening would likely be filled by either David Peterson or Tylor Megill, both of whom are of minimal interest."
Prospect to know: Luisangel Acuña – Yeah, that's Ronald's brother. Acuña the Younger isn't the same power hitter his brother is, but he's hit .315/.377/.453 with 42 steals in 84 games at Double-A this season, so you'll want to keep him on your radar in Roto leagues. He's a middle infielder primarily, though he has played a bit of center field this season.
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Jordan Montgomery to the Rangers
"Montgomery has been his usual steady-but-unspectacular self since coming over to the Cardinals when they were buyers at last year's deadline, but it hasn't translated as well to their losing ways this year, hence the 6-9 record. Going to an offensive juggernaut like the Rangers should help with run support at least, and since wins are the single most valuable pitching statistic in most scoring formats, that's reason to elevate him in Fantasy. It helps that he's done a better job working deep into games this year, going six-plus innings in eight of his last nine starts."
Prospects to know: Thomas Saggese, Tekoah Roby – Saggese is hitting .313/.379/.512 with 15 homers in 93 games at Double-A, with a manageable 23% strikeout rate as a 21-year-old. There's a bit of speed here, and enough positional versatility to think he'll play a role in 2024.
Lance Lynn to the Dodgers
"As much as can be said for any organization, the Dodgers know what they're doing, so the very fact they traded for Lynn serves as validation for a Fantasy writer who has continued to hold out hope during a career-worst season, one that includes a 16-strikeout effort, a one-hit, 11-strikeout effort and, hmm ... not much else. Even I must admit I had mostly soured on Lynn after seeing him allow 13 earned runs over 11 1/3 innings in his past two starts, but this trade does rekindle mild optimism. It's been difficult to pinpoint what exactly has gone wrong for Lynn this year. Sure, he's 36, but usually age-related decline is reflected in the stuff itself. Lynn has the best swinging-strike rate of his career, and his 26.9 percent strikeout rate ranks 15th among qualifiers, ahead of Shane McClanahan and Corbin Burnes.
"Maybe the Dodgers know something. Maybe they've identified some tweak that could click everything back into place. Or maybe just removing Lynn from a stale environment and inserting him into a playoff race will ignite his competitive fire. In any case, he's deserving of a little more patience in Fantasy."
Prospects to know: Nick Nastrini – The Dodgers have about a dozen Nick Nastrinis, but that doesn't mean he's just some throw-in here. He has a big fastball and spins his slider well, and that combo has led to 12.6 K/9 in his minor-league career, albeit with a bunch of walks and an ERA near 4.00 more often than not (including this season). Nastrini could figure into the White Sox rotation plans as early as spring of 2024.
C.J. Cron, Randal Grichuk to the Angels
Scott hasn't written about this trade yet, but that's OK – it's probably the least impactful one here. Cron and Grichuk have been pretty fringe-y Fantasy options this season with the help of Coors Field as their home park, so they'll probably continue to be fringe-y Fantasy options at best without it. This does free up some playing time in Colorado, with Michael Toglia likely to see an extended opportunity after hitting .268/.373/.531 at Triple-A. I don't expect him to be mixed-league relevant, but he will have Coors on his side, so maybe he can hit enough to matter.
Prospect to know: Mason Albright, Jake Madden – Madden was the higher draft pick, but Albright's been better at Class A Inland Empire. Unfortunately, they're going to a team that plays half of its games at Coors Field, so it's hard to get excited even if they might have some appeal in real prospect circles.
Jordan Hicks to the Blue Jays
"The Blue Jays needed some late-inning relief help after recently losing closer Jordan Romano to back inflammation, and they landed one of the most coveted right-handers on the market in Hicks. The 26-year-old has always gotten outsized attention as a closer candidate because he throws exceptionally hard, his fastball peaking at 103 mph, but his numbers are more pedestrian than you'd think considering. Presumably, he'll be the one filling in for Romano just because he has more closing experience than, say, Erik Swanson, but he's no threat to keep the role once Romano is healthy and may actually lose some Fantasy value with this deal. Left-hander JoJo Romero got the first save in Hicks' absence Sunday, but Giovanny Gallegos has closing experience as well. Expect the Cardinals to mix and match until Ryan Helsley (forearm) is set to return."
Prospect to know: Adam Kloffenstein, Sem Robberse – Both have pitched at Double-A this season, but Kloffenstein's been a bit better, with a 3.24 ERA and 10.6 K/9. He doesn't exactly bring the high velo the Cardinals have been missing in the rotation of late, but he could factor into the rotation plans next season.
Weekend waiver targets
Zack Gelof, 2B, Athletics – Gelof enjoyed his time at Coors this weekend, clubbing a couple of homers and stealing a couple of bases. He's hitting just .222 in the majors, but with three homers and five steals in 14 games, I think he's probably a bit under-rostered at 24%.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Rays – Injuries have derailed Lower over the past few seasons, but he's hitting .288 with four homers and a .950 OPS since the All-Star break. It's not clear if he's going to keep playing everyday, especially against lefties, but he looks like himself right now, and that means he looks like one of the most dangerous power hitters in the middle infield ranks.
Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox – Anderson's season has been a disaster, but it's been less of one lately. He went 3 for 5 with his first homer Saturday, and is hitting .344 since the All-Star break. The problem? Only one steal and one homer in that span. Hopefully he turns it up even more.
Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs – Hendricks had just two strikeouts in this one, which is probably why his roster rate remains just 61% – a matchup with the Braves this week surely doesn't help build enthusiasm either. But he has a 3.49 ERA and 1.06 WHIP this season and should be pretty useful against teams that aren't the best offense in baseball, even if he might struggle this week.
Emmet Sheehan, SP, Dodgers – Given his bonkers minor-league numbers this season, we're always going to keep a close eye on Sheehan. He wasn't dominant this weekend, but he wasn't bad at all, limiting the White Sox to just two hits in five shutout innings. His velocity was a bit up in this one, but he still needs to figure out how to mix his secondary pitches in – his 72% fastball usage in this start is simply too high, especially for someone with a changeup and slider he can get whiffs with. I remain interested in chasing the upside here.
Kutter Crawford, SP, Red Sox – Crawford continues to put up interesting results, with a bunch of swings and misses – 14 in this against the Giants. He has a 4.08 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 46 strikeouts in 46.1 innings in 10 starts since returning to the rotation, but I think there's more strikeout upside here to be unlocked.
Injuries, news & notes
Aaron Judge made his return Friday and homered on Saturday before getting Sunday off. It'll be interesting to see how the Yankees manage Judge's playing time moving forward, but he's obviously a must-start player now that he's back. Oswald Peraza was optioned back to the minors.
Corey Seager received a cortisone injection in his sprained right thumb Friday and could start swinging a bat within the next couple days. Maybe we could get a mid-August return.
MRI results on Juan Soto's right middle finger showed progress compared to the scan he had done in January. Apparently he's been playing through this dating back to spring training.
Mookie Betts has missed two straight due to right ankle soreness. We haven't heard much about the injury but it seems like he's day-to-day, and I'm starting him this week.
Clayton Kershaw worked three innings in a simulated game Saturday. Depending how he feels in the coming days, Kershaw could be activated as soon as next week.
Jazz Chisholm began a rehab assignment at Single-A Sunday. He's been out since July 3 with a left oblique strain, but should be back by this weekend if he avoids a setback.
Zach Eflin said he is "good to go" for his scheduled start against the Yankees Tuesday. He left his previous start with a knee issue, and I'm a little wary of trusting him, even against what has been a great matchup of late.
Chris Sale will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tuesday. He's been out since early June with a stress reaction in his left scapula, but could return in the next two to three weeks.
Dodgers catcher Will Smith left Sunday after getting hit by a pitch on his left elbow. X-rays came back negative, and he is just day to day right now. I'd probably start him this week.
Ha-seong Kim left Sunday with a jammed right shoulder and is considered day-to-day. I'd try to avoid using him in shallower leagues, at least.
JD Martinez exited Sunday with that recurring hamstring injury. He'll undergo an MRI, but it does sound like this could cost him time.
Nestor Cortes is set to make one final rehab start Wednesday before rejoining the Yankees.
It sounds like Trevor Story could be activated Friday when the Red Sox begin a homestand against the Blue Jays. He's up to 70% rostered, and that's probably about right until we see how he looks – though, for what it's worth, he has hit .238/.385/.571 in eight games during his rehab assignment.
Brandon Drury is targeting a Thursday return. He was batting .277 with 14 HR before getting hurt, but I'm just not sure he's going to play every day. His positional versatility should keep him worth rostering in Roto leagues, at least.
Hunter Greene has an estimated return date of Aug. 20. He's been out since mid-June with right hip issues.
Greene's teammate Nick Lodolo threw a side session Friday and is now targeting a return in late August. He's 59% rostered, so the time to stash is now!
Kyle Wright threw a bullpen session Friday but all signs seem to indicate he won't be back with the Braves until September.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his season debut Tuesday against the Orioles. The Blue Jays are expected to go with a six-man rotation due to a long stretch with no days off. 25% rostered, and I need to see something from him before I buy in any further.
John Means could begin a rehab assignment in early August. He suffered a back injury in late May while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery he had last year. Sounds like he should be back by September barring any setbacks, though I'm not clear he'll just join the rotation in the middle of a playoff race.
To the IL this weekend
Very scary situation this weekend as Taylor Ward was hit in the face by a pitch and suffered multiple facial fractures. He was shifted to the 60-day IL and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Anthony DeSclafani with a right elbow flexor strain.
Alex Kirilloff with a right shoulder strain.
Julio Teheran with a right hip impingement.
Nick Pratto with a left groin strain.
Tommy Henry with left elbow inflammation.