Unless you play in a fantasy league where the trade deadline coincides with the actual MLB trade deadline, you're probably better off waiting until next week before making any significant swaps. As we all know, most real-life trades carry fantasy implications, either for the players directly involved in the exchange or for other players who could be indirectly affected. So, rushing to make a trade now, just days before we will learn about potential value changes, is not a very smart idea.
As the unfortunate owner of Hector Rondon in one league, thanks to the Aroldis Chapman trade, I'm now left with only two closers. And since one of those closers, Jim Johnson, will more than likely be dealt to a team that will use him as a middle reliever, I'm getting ready to trade for a second saves source, and a good one. I've already contacted the Mark Melancon owner, who is enjoying a comfortable lead in the saves category. But before parting with a valuable asset in order to secure Melancon's services, I need to wait a few more days. With Melancon also reportedly on the trade block, I must make sure that he will be closing next week. In all likelihood, he will still be handling the ninth inning, whether it be for the Pirates or for some other team. Still, I need to be 100 percent certain.
On that note, let's take a fantasy-angled look at the notable trades that were made over the past week.
Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs
As mentioned above, this is terrible news for Hector Rondon owners, who now lose a high-end stopper in exchange for absolutely nothing. Chapman's status as arguably the top closer in baseball remains the same while former Yankees closer Andrew Miller becomes the new Yankees closer. Outside of shallow mixed leagues, there's little chance that Miller ever made it to the waiver wire. Even without the saves, the lanky lefty was posting dominant enough numbers to warrant a place on most mixed league rosters. His owners now receive a top-tier closer for free.
Melvin Upton Jr. to the Blue Jays
When I took a chance on Upton Jr. in the 34th round of my NFBC Draft Champions draft back in February, I didn't quite know what to expect. But as my eighth outfielder, the elder Upton would not need to do much to earn his price tag. Well, he's looking a lot like the player who went by the name of B.J. and played for the Rays, hitting for power and swiping bags at a steady rate. On the surface, moving from San Diego to Toronto might seem like a good thing due to the superior supporting cast. But playing time could become an issue and the artificial turf factor might result in fewer stolen base attempts. I'm not too happy about this, but seriously, asking for anything more from Melvin this season would be greedy.
Eduardo Nunez to the Giants
Who saw this coming? And no, I'm not talking about the trade. A career-long part-time player, Nunez is in the midst of a career year this season, batting .296 with 12 homers, 47 RBI and 49 runs scored through 92 games while ranking 4th in the Majors in steals (27). He will initially serve as the starting third baseman for the Giants, though with Matt Duffy due to come off the DL soon, Nunez may shift to another position. The good news is that he can play several other positions, so he should continue to see regular at-bats as long as he continues to stuff the stat sheet.
Andrew Cashner to the Marlins
Since posting a 2.55 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in a 19-start 2014 campaign, Cashner has been a disappointment, barely worth a roster spot even in a deep mixed league. And this season has been no exception. But he's been pitching very well of late, registering a 2.55 ERA and 0.79 WHIP over his last three starts with 23 strikeouts across 17 2/3 innings. Maybe playing for a team in postseason contention will inspire him to be more consistent. Or maybe not. At this point, I'm not overly optimistic.
Editor's Note: Since Zach's diary entry, Melancon was indeed traded to the Washington Nationals where he'll close, pushing Jonathan Papelbon to set-up. Rumor has it Zach is trying to get the jump on another closer since the Papelbon owner, as well as Cody Allen's owner are now also in the market for more saves.