Spencer the Guru: Assessing the MLB trade deadline’s impact on key fantasy baseball contributors

San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto, left, smiles as he sits alongside Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller, during a news conference at Petco Park on Wednesday in San Diego. Soto, the generational superstar whose trade-deadline acquisition instantly made the Padres a strong playoff contender, was introduced at a news conference along with fellow newcomer Josh Bell. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
PHOTOGRAPHER:
San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto, left, smiles as he sits alongside Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller, during a news conference at Petco Park on Wednesday in San Diego. Soto, the generational superstar whose trade-deadline acquisition instantly made the Padres a strong playoff contender, was introduced at a news conference along with fellow newcomer Josh Bell. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The MLB trade deadline has officially passed, but we saw several big names get moved that serve as key pieces for fantasy baseball managers.

Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to break down which players saw their fantasy value benefit from being moved yesterday as well as which players lost value and who stayed the same as we head into a critical stretch for those looking to make a championship push.

We’ll have fantasy football tier rankings by position in the coming days for those itching for the NFL, but for now, let’s take a look at how these baseball stars project to perform in their new homes.

San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto, left, greets third baseman Manny Machado, right, during a news conference at Petco Park Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in San Diego. Soto, the generational superstar whose trade-deadline acquisition instantly made the Padres a strong playoff contender, was introduced at a news conference Wednesday along with fellow newcomer Josh Bell. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

FIVE PLAYERS WHOSE VALUE GOES UP

Juan Soto: Traded to Padres from Nationals (stock up)

Soto got his wish of being traded out of Washington and should see his overall numbers spike now that he’s with a contender in the Padres. He’ll most likely be hit between Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado when all are healthy, so teams won’t be able to pitch around Soto, which should allow his career-low .246 batting average to go back toward the .300 side.

Frankie Montas: Traded from A’s to Yankees (stock up)

Montas is finally free from the dumpster fire in Oakland and heads to a Yankees team that leads MLB in runs scored, so he should see plenty of run support now that he’s with a contender. Yankee Stadium will be a tougher park to pitch in, but the increase in support should allow Montas to rack up more wins even if his ERA sees a slight bump up.

Tyler Mahle: Traded from Reds to Twins (stock up)

Mahle’s fantasy stock is up going to a pitcher friendly park in Target Field and not having to face as many of the powerful American League teams since the Twins are in the weak AL Central. Mahle’s numbers improved in the second half of last season, and he’s on track to do the same this year.

Josh Bell: Traded from Nationals to Padres (stock up)

Bell’s put up quality numbers despite playing for a brutal Nationals team, and his opportunities are set to go through the roof, batting behind a trio of All-Stars in San Diego. Bell’s RBI numbers were already solid, but expect those to go up along with his power since he’ll have plenty of pitches to hit.

Whit Merrifield: Traded from Royals to Blue Jays (stock up)

Merrifield got his wish of being traded to a contender, and it’s great news for his fantasy value considering how loaded the Blue Jays lineup is. While playing time could be somewhat of an issue, Merrifield’s versatility should keep him in the lineup most days, and he offers a solid floor with his speed and could see his power numbers increase.

FIVE PLAYERS WHOSE VALUE GOES DOWN

Luis Castillo: Traded from Reds to Mariners (stock down)

Castillo’s Mariners debut was solid, but he hit some bumps on the road against a stacked Yankees lineup. While Castillo should still serve as a quality pitcher, his numbers could take somewhat of a hit being that he’s now in the American League and will have to face more tough lineups like the Yankees and Astros as opposed to weak lineups like the Cubs and Pirates.

Raisel Iglesias: Traded from Angels to Braves (stock down)

Iglesias surprisingly got traded and lost out on being a closer as a result, so he’ll revert to being a set up man in Atlanta behind Kenley Jansen. This obviously kills his stock and makes him not worth rostering in most leagues unless holds are a category.

Trey Mancini: Traded from Orioles to Astros (stock down)

Mancini went deep in his Astros debut, but going from having a prominent every day spot in the Orioles lineup to the bottom part of the Astros lineup could hurt his fantasy value somewhat. That factored in with the fact that he might not play every day for a deep Astros team has me fading Mancini for fantasy even though it’s a great fit in real life.

Jorge Lopez: Traded from Orioles to Twins (stock down)

Lopez should still operate as the primary closer in Minnesota, but the problem is that Twins have gone with a closer-by-committee approach all season. While Lopez should see save opportunities, he likely won’t have sole possession of the ninth inning like he did in Baltimore since the Twins also acquired Michael Fulmer to go with young flamethrower Jhoan Duran.

Taylor Rogers: Traded from Padres to Brewers (stock down)

Rogers was already trending down, but his fate was sealed when the Padres traded for Josh Hader. Devin Williams should have the ninth inning locked down in Milwaukee, so it’s safe to drop Rogers since he doesn’t record enough strikeouts to offer value if he’s not getting saves.

PLAYERS WHOSE VALUE DOESN’T CHANGE

Josh Hader (traded from Brewers to Padres)

Hader goes from one contender to another, so I don’t see his fantasy value changing all that much. He should still serve as an elite closer with the Padres and see plenty of save opportunities for a team that’s set to be leading more times than not with all of their new additions.

Noah Syndergaard (traded from Angels to Phillies)

Syndergaard’s value shouldn’t change much going from the Angels to the Phillies. He’s been pitching better as of late, but it will be tough for him to improve his numbers pitching in a hitter-friendly ballpark in Philadelphia.

Spencer ‘the Guru’ Urquhart (@spencertheguru) has been a fantasy football analyst since 2014, founding a community of over 6,000 followers on Instagram

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