Fantasy Baseball: Saltalamacchia owners win big at trade deadline Print
Written by Admin   
Thursday, 02 August 2007 08:42
MLB Headline News

 For fantasy owners, the trade deadline isn't as much about big names like Mark Teixeira changing teams. It's more about the new jobs that open up because of those trades, and the players who will fill them.
Unless you're in an AL or NL-only league, Teixeira isn't available on any waiver wires. Since most fantasy leagues also have trade deadlines, it's not too meaningful in terms of Teixeira, who will probably hit about the same in Atlanta as he did in Texas.
For Jarrod Saltalamacchia and his fantasy owners, however, it's very meaningful. The former Braves prospect now has an everyday job in Texas, and you can count on him taking advantage.
In terms of fantasy value, Saltalamacchia is among the winners on trade deadline. Scott Thorman, the Braves first baseman who was already struggling mightily, is the biggest loser.
WINNERS
Saltalamacchia, C/1B, Rangers
Perhaps no other player will benefit more from a fantasy perspective than this rookie, a very good hitter who was stuck behind Brian McCann in Atlanta. The Braves liked his bat so much that they moved him to first to get him playing time. He struggled defensively, but hit .284 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 141 at-bats. He'll continue to play first in Texas, but can also DH and play catcher occasionally, and the bottom line is he'll see full-time at-bats. He's a future star and may be an immediate help for fantasy owners in mixed leagues.
Danny Richar, 2B, White Sox
The White Sox appear to be out of the pennant race, and no one will benefit more than Richar, who will get an extended look at second now that Chicago has traded Tadahito Iguchi to the Philadelphia Phillies. Richar, along with third baseman Josh Fields and outfielder Jerry Owens, will play every day as the White Sox see what they have with their young players. With Richar, it appears they have a sweet-hitting prospect with a decent speed-power combination for a middle infielder. The 24-year-old hit .305 with 13 homers and eight steals this year for two Triple-A teams, and will get every chance to earn a starting job next year. He's no mixed-league starter yet, but he's worth keeping an eye on.
Alexi Casilla, Twins
at Triple-A Rochester. He may not immediately hit .300 like the slap-hitting Castillo, but in a pinch, Casilla should be fantasy worthy right away. In keeper leagues, he's a must since in a few years he could be a better hitter than Castillo ever was.
LOSERS
Thorman, 1B, Braves
The news that Teixeira would be joining the Braves was great for fans and the team's pennant hopes, but not so much for those fantasy owners waiting for Thorman to break out. Granted, smart owners had long ago realized Thorman wasn't ready for prime time. His nine homers were nice, but not nearly enough to counteract his .215 average. The guy had already lost playing time to Julio Franco, and that's about as unimpressive as it gets in baseball. With Teixeira on board, Thorman will be deep on the bench the rest of the way.
Ruben Gotay, 2B, Mets
If you have Gotay on your mixed-league fantasy team, you were stretching your credibility to begin with. Gotay has been better than expected as a replacement for Jose Valentin, hitting .333 in 114 at-bats, but he doesn't really do anything else to help a fantasy team. Now that Castillo is in town, he'll do less. Time to drop Gotay and find another solution at second base. Even for NL-only owners, he's simply not going to get enough at-bats to do you any good.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, Padres
The young slugger hasn't lost his job, but it's not exactly a vote of confidence when your team brings in another slugger who plays exclusively at your position. General manager Kevin Towers said newly acquired Morgan Ensberg would be a role player in San Diego, but let's face it: he's not going to be a utility infielder. He'll pinch hit and play occasionally at third. And if the former 30-homer guy gets on track, do you think Kouzmanoff (.234-11-44) is really going to hold him off? The ice just got a lot thinner for this young third baseman.
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QUICK HITS: Colorado's Yorvit Torrealba is officially a strong play at catcher. After hitting .391 in July, he's hitting .281 with six homers and 31 RBIs. He's shown glimpses in the past, but finally appears to be the force the Rockies thought he could be. ... Ramon Castro is another catcher to watch. All the Met does is get big hits. Dating back to June 16, he's 22-for-56 (.393) with five homers and 15 RBIs. ... Don't underestimate the ability of OF Rob Mackowiak to make a big splash with the Padres. Mackowiak hit. 391 with 17 RBIs in July and he's playing behind the brittle Milton Bradley and the streaky Mike Cameron for a San Diego team that's starved for offense. He could get some chances.
 

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