MLB Transaction Analysis

by Tim Heaney on June 21, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT

 


The following analysis highlights the most notable transactions made by teams in the last week. Fantasy managers that are most informed will benefit from staying on top of the latest transactions.

Disabled List Transactions

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Randy Johnson (back) placed on 15-day disabled list

Status:  Placed on 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  Johnson was initially placed on the disabled list with a sore gluteus maximus. However, an MRI revealed another herniated disc in his back. He started the year on the disabled list due to recovery from surgery to repair the disc. The two injuries appear to be related, and it's unknown how long Johnson will be out.

Houston Astros pitcher Brad Lidge (oblique) placed on 15-day disabled list

Status:  Placed on 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  Lidge wasted no time in restoring the doubt over him being the closer, blowing his first save in his return to the role last Tuesday. So, Houston's pendulum now swings back to Dan Wheeler, who has had mixed results. Who knows what we'll see from Lidge after he gets back from rehabbing his strained oblique. See if Wheeler is available and put Lidge on your DL, but make sure you're the first one to pick him up after screening him while he's on the waiver wire.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jason Schmidt (shoulder) placed on 15-day disabled list

Status:  Placed on 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  This is Schmidt's third trip to the disabled list this season, and he has been a constant headache to fantasy owners this year. He had surgery on the same shoulder that caused him to miss two months of the season, which revealed a torn labrum. Schmidt is out for the season. The team is planning to give young right-hander Chad Billingsley a shot in the rotation. Either way, abandon the Schmidt ship.

Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks (wrist) activated from 15-day disabled list

Status:  Activated off 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  Weeks returns to action after rehabbing from scarred tissue in his right wrist. Early reports have Weeks working his way up the batting order to ease him back into the offense. When healthy, Weeks is at least a 20-20 candidate. He had five home runs and eight steals while hitting atop a potent Brewers lineup. After being activated on Monday, he went 3-for-7 in his first two games back. Weeks can potentially return to his upper-echelon status among second basemen, and managers should rejoice in his return to hitting in front of first baseman Prince Fielder and the rest of the Brew Crew.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Chris Capuano (groin) placed on 15-day disabled list


Status:  Placed on 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  Fantasy managers can hear both bees and cries of pain coming from Milwaukee. Capuano's strained left groin came during a sup-par stretch. After going 5-0 and giving up only 10 runs in his first seven starts, the lefthander had not won in his last six outings, losing five of them including four in a row. He's worthy of a DL roster spot, as he has potential to turn his season around after he rests and has been a valuable fantasy player in the recent past.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds (back) placed on 15-day disabled list

Status:  Placed on 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  Edmonds was already laboring on the field due to recovering from two offseason surgeries. Despite his sharp decline over recent years, Edmonds hit seven home runs with 24 RBI in 56 games, as he was still proving himself relevant to fantasy managers as a lower-tier option. This latest roadblock, however, signals disaster for the rest of the season. It's safe to move on from Edmonds this season, as the injury is likely to stall the run he had. 

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Braden Looper (shoulder) placed on 15-day disabled list

Status:  Placed on 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  The Cardinals' pitching staff was attacked once again by that injury serpent. Looper returned to earth after a promising start, but was still a mediocre option, going 6-6 with a 4.66 ERA. This is his first year in the rotation, however, and the shoulder stiffness comes with little surprise given the transition. It's safe to drop Looper, as he's not worthy of a disabled list spot at this stage: The fact that Looper's arm might not be able to hold up over an entire season as a starter does not give him redeeming value.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Garret Anderson (hip tendon) placed on 15-day disabled list

Status:  Placed on 15-day disabled list

Analysis:  Anderson already missed 34 games after going on the disabled list in late April, and he appears to have aggravated the same injury. He had been struggling this year, compiling only three home runs and 15 RBI in two home runs and four RBI in the month of June. This opens up an everyday starting role for rookie outfielder Reggie Willits, who has already shown that he can contribute heavily on a regular basis with the bat and his feet. He is hitting .329 with a .433 on-base percentage and 16 stolen bases. Willits is ranked in the top two of nearly every rookie offensive category, and should immediately replace Anderson on fantasy rosters. Take a long look at Willits, but turn away from Anderson.

Player Movement Transactions

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo called up from Triple-A

Status:  Called up from Triple-A

Analysis: Fantasy managers can hear both bees and cries of pain coming from Milwaukee. Capuano's strained left groin came during a sup-par stretch. After going 5-0 and giving up only 10 runs in his first seven starts, the lefthander had not won in his last six outings, losing five of them including four in a row. He's worthy of a DL roster spot, as he has potential to turn his season around after he rests, and has been a valuable fantasy player in the recent past. Gallardo, the highest-rated prospect in the high minors before his call-up on Monday, did not nullify the hype in his major league debut. The 21-year-old tossed 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits. If you were able to grab off the wire via breaking news, you probably gained at least a short-term advantage on your competitors. Gallardo's claim to fame in the minors was his other-worldly 110 strikeouts in 77.2 innings at Triple-A Nashville. Gallardo could grab a permanent spot in the rotation if fellow Brewers pitcher Dave Bush continues to struggle. If Gallardo's somehow still available, run to your laptop or cubicle to grab him immediately, and start scouting for some replacement teams for next year's league. 

Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett traded to San Diego Padres

Status:  Traded to Padres

Analysis:  With both violence and fans' tempers raging in the North Side, Barrett became the sacrificial lamb in his trade to San Diego. The trade was justified, however, as manager Lou Piniella felt that Barrett was not efficiently working with the pitching staff, and the Zambrano scuffle supports the fact that he needed a change of scenery. Barrett goes from a hitters' haven to a hitters' Hades, but he could still prove to be a solid catcher. He has been one of the top five offensive catchers in the National League for several years, and could hit cleanup in Southern California. If you have him, keep him. The Padres are rolling.

Kansas City Royals first baseman/outfielder Billy Butler recalled from Triple-A

Status:  Recalled from Triple-A

Analysis:  In his first go-around with the big club this year, he did not get off to the start he'd hoped, hitting just .243 with four RBI in 37 at-bats. The 2004 first-round pick was hitting as high as sixth in the order in mid-May before he was assigned to Triple-A Omaha. There, he hit .291 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI in 57 games. He will be an interesting pickup despite his lack of "wow" power in his first stint. Given Sweeney's recent struggles with health, it's hard-pressed to find a reason to keep him on your roster. Don't be entirely sold on Butler until he puts together a few good efforts over the next week, but he has the pop to potentially hit as much as 15 home runs if he remains in the lineup for the rest of the season.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Anthony Reyes recalled from Triple-A

Status:  Called up from Triple-A

Analysis: With the injury to Looper, the Redbirds are scrambling for starters. In addition to recalling Reyes and adding Ohka, they elevated Brad Thompson and Todd Wellemeyer into the rotation and recalling struggling hurler Reyes. A fantasy sleeper before most 2007 drafts, Reyes had a rough go in his first time up this season with a putrid 0-8 record and 6.34 ERA. Ohka, recently released by the Blue Jays, has been assigned to Triple-A Memphis, where he got rocked Wednesday. Ohka was 2-5 with a 5.79 ERA in 10 starts for Toronto, and is being stashed away by the Cardinals as extended insurance. Barring a need for a spot-starter, wait for the dust to settle on the Cardinals' patchwork rotation before making any decisions.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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