MLB Transaction Analysis

by Tim Heaney on June 28, 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

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada (wrist) placed on the 15-day disabled list

Status: Placed on 15-day DL

Analysis: Tejada reluctantly went on the disabled list, ending his streak of 1,152 consecutive games played, the fifth-longest in the history of baseball. Tejada's fractured right wrist prevents him from immediately improving on a solid season in which he has seven home runs and 41 RBI. He has been advised to avoid baseball activity until August, and he will wear a splint for the next two weeks. Miggy's injury has a serious domino effect in a slumping Orioles lineup, with his injury opening up the shortstop hole and the cleanup spot in the order. Stash Tejada on your DL spot and try to find help for shortstop outside the Orioles organization.

Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez (knee) activated from the 15-day disabled list

Status: Activated from 15-day DL

Analysis: Ramirez is a welcome sight among both Cubs fans and fantasy managers. He still led the Cubs with 13 home runs upon his return, despite him missing 15 days with tendonitis on his left knee. He was the designated hitter in the series with the White Sox last weekend, getting some time to rest before he returns to the field full-time. He clubbed a home run in his first game back and is 6-for-22 in his first five games back with two RBI. Don't waste your time. Put him back in your lineup.

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Randy Johnson activated from 15-day disabled list

Status: Activated from 15-day DL

Analysis: Johnson returns from the disabled list after missing almost three weeks due to a herniated disk in his back. After a couple of rough starts, Johnson has been stellar on the season. He is 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and 70 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. Johnson should be in your lineup in most leagues.

Toronto Blue Jays starter A.J. Burnett activated from 15-day disabled list

Status: Activated from 15-day DL

Analysis: Burnett returns after missing a couple of weeks due to a sore shoulder. Despite his 5-6 record, Burnett is having a very good year with a 4.00 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 90 innings. Burnett is a must-start in most formats. Get him in your lineups immediately.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster (oblique) placed on the 15-day disabled list

Status: Placed on 15-day DL

Analysis: Dempster vacated the Cubs' closer role for the time being, resting his strained left oblique muscle. That puts Chicago-North on the Waiver Wire Saves Alert. He registered a save in both Saturday and Sunday's contests, but blew the save and got the win Monday. The problem here is, reliever Carlos Marmol could get some looks in the late innings and vulture some saves off Howry. Dempster should get medium priority for DL spots, and this closer situation could get messy. Instead of flipping a coin, avoid it altogether.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (shoulder) placed on 15-day disabled list

Status: Placed on 15-day DL

Analysis: After struggling in two starts, Schilling had an MRI that didn't reveal significant damage, but the Red Sox still encouraged him to go on the disabled list. The Sox said they expect Schilling to be out at most through the All-Star break. Common sense dictates the Sox would not rush Schilling back given the team's success this year, but Schilling does not like to hold himself out of action for too long. Kason Gabbard was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace Schilling in the rotation but struggled Tuesday in his debut (3.1 innings, six hits, four runs, six walks). He might only get one more start as a replacement, so he's not worth going after. Schilling should be stored away for his return.

Baltimore Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez (bruised groin) activated from the 15-day disabled list

Status: Activated from 15-day DL

Analysis: With one valuable Oriole going down, another comes up. Hernandez, who rejoined the Orioles lineup Monday, was one of the top hitting catchers in fantasy last year. He was off to a similar start this year with 27 RBI in 37 games. He is a top-10 offensive catcher, and he will probably hit near the heart of the order to pick up some of the slack from the hobbled Miguel Tejada. He hit cleanup in his first two games back, where he had two hits and two runs. Jump on him if you can, because the Orioles' offense will revolve heavily around Hernandez if he stays healthy.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers activated from 60-day disabled list

Status: Activated from 15-day DL

Analysis: The Roaster sizzled in his first start of the year, in which he threw six shutout innings of two-hit, five-strikeout ball. He had missed the first two-plus months of the season recovering from shoulder surgery. He didn't seem to miss a beat from his 17-win 2006 campaign, as he looked dominant. Feel free to expect at least a fraction of his skill the rest of the season, as aging pitchers are all the rage. This one's not much of a gamble. 

Chicago White Sox outfielder Scott Podsednik activated from 15-day disabled list

Status: Activated from 60-day DL

Analysis: The speedster missed more than two months with a right adductor strain. The White Sox opened up a spot for him by putting his replacement, Darin Erstad, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle. This is Erstad's second trip on the DL in the last month. Podsednik had four stolen bases in 13 games this year, and with the White Sox playing a stagnant offense, he could provide enough of a charge to pique fantasy owners. He's certainly an upgrade from Erstad on the basepaths, and if you need steals, he's probably available. He's not worth much else.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Jake Westbrook activated from 15-day disabled list

Status: Activated from 15-day DL

Analysis: Westbrook had given up three earned runs or less in his last three starts before he went on the disabled list. His first start was a step in the right direction, giving up three runs on seven hits in seven innings. Of course, facing the Nationals in your first start back from injury is a nice way to work your way back to normal. His next start is scheduled for Friday night against Tampa Bay, so his success could continue, if only on a short-term basis. His numbers before his injury weren't encouraging (7.08 ERA). Don't rush to sign him, but certainly keep a watch on the sinkerballer in the long run.

Player Movement Transactions

Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes optioned to Triple-A, placed on temporary inactive list

Status: Optioned to Triple-A, Placed on temporary inactive list

Analysis: The talented but troubled outfielder is out of Tampa's hair for now. The team is hoping that his time off can clear his mind and his troubles. It's safe to cut him loose for now, as keeping a non-active player on your roster is counter-productive.

St. Louis Cardinals acquire pitcher Mike Maroth in trade with Detroit Tigers

Status: Acquired in trade with Detroit

Analysis: Maroth immediately contributed in his first start with the Cardinals. Despite earning a no-decision against the Mets, he went 7.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits, walking two and striking out four. Seven of his last 10 starts this year have lasted at least six innings. Maroth's caveat is that he has 35 walks and 32 strikeouts, but you can consider those stats wiped clean with his introduction to the National League. He could strive against Senior Circuit lineups and could make a valuable addition to the end of your staff. 

Oakland Athletics designate outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment

Status: Designated for assignment

Analysis: With the legendary Jack Cust finally exploding onto the scene in 2007, Bradley became expendable. He would've been traded to Kansas City had he not reportedly failed a physical. The A's have chosen their preference, and you should give Bradley the same treatment until he comes back with Oakland or some other team.

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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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