The non-waiver trade deadline is the closest Major League Baseball gets to emulating fantasy sports: Owners with playoff aspirations swoop in to grab the biggest names on the market, creating rosters loaded with talent. (Exhibit A: Yu Darvish and the Los Angeles Dodgers.)
That’s fitting because the trade deadline also has an impact on the fantasy landscape. As players find new homes and rosters get settled, new opportunities open up, either for those guys or the teammates they left behind.
So, which five players are worth targeting with the deadline in the books? Let’s have a look.
Lucas Duda, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays (13 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues)
Maybe there’s a reason why Curtis Granderson didn’t want him to go. Duda has three home runs in four games with the Rays since being traded from the New York Mets, giving him 20 on the season. Sometimes a change in scenery is all you need to give your season a jolt, and Duda could give your squad a similar power boost.
Shane Greene, SP/RP, Detroit Tigers (42 percent owned)
The loss of Justin Wilson was Greene’s gain, as manager Brad Ausmus named Greene the team’s new closer with Wilson headed to the Chicago Cubs. There’s a reason the right-hander got the closer nod — he owns a 2.74 ERA and didn’t allow a single earned run in July. Scoop him up now if you need saves.
Blake Treinen, RP, Oakland Athletics (17 percent owned)
If Greene already is off the market, dig a little deeper and check out Treinen. After losing out on the Washington Nationals’ closer gig, the right-hander gets a shot at redemption in Oakland, where he’s already 1-for-1 in save opportunities at pitcher-friendly Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox (47 percent owned)
One of Boston’s biggest deadline “moves” was calling up its stud third base prospect, and Devers is living up to the hype. The baby-faced 20-year-old is batting .417 (10-for-26) through six games, already has clubbed two home runs and is fresh off a 4-for-4 performance on national TV. He’s an everyday starter who’s worth adding if you need third base help.
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland Indians (41 percent owned)
Another rookie doing big things at the big league level, Zimmer has worked his way into the leadoff spot in Cleveland’s potent lineup. That means some stat-stuffing offensive performances, and the 24-year-old has delivered with a solid blend of pop (eight homers, 37 RBIs) and speed (13 steals) through 66 games.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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