Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Miranda Warnings: Trade Winds Are Blowing!

Welcome to "Miranda Warnings", your weekly guide to what's happening in the world of Major League Baseball, from a fantasy baseball perspective. Every Wednesday, throughout baseball's regular season, "Miranda Warnings" will appear on I'm your host Michael Miranda.

Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline is Thursday, July 31 at 4 p.m. EST. After July 31, any player on a 40-man roster must clear Major League waivers before being traded.

My best fantasy baseball advice regarding MLB's trade deadline is this: pay very close attention to any/all trades leading up to the July 31 deadline as some (sometimes all) trades have a significant impact on a player(s) role on his real-life team, as well as on your fantasy team.

American League East: The New York Yankees stole a quality bat (OF Xavier Nady) and quality reliever (RP Damaso Marte) in a trade with Pittsburgh last week. In the deal, the Yankees only gave up four marginal prospects. Considering the solid seasons Nady and Marte were having prior to the trade, this deal amounts to nothing less than highway robbery! It's no wonder Pittsburgh stinks, year in and year out!... Toronto management insists SP A.J. Burnett will not be traded before the trade deadline. If Burnett does get traded, it wouldn't be the first time in recent memory that Toronto has lied to its players, its fans and the media. Stay tuned!... Baltimore OF Adam Jones exploded versus the Yankees on Monday, going 3-for-6, with a homer, three runs scored and five RBIs! This game speaks to Jones' potential. Although his overall 2008 numbers (.274 BA, 7 HR's, 48 RBI's, 8 SB's) are average, this guy is a star in the making. Don't forget about him on D-Day 2009... Tampa OF Carl Crawford is not having a good season (.271 BA, 8 HR's, 52 RBI's, 23 SB's). Perhaps you can buy-low on him this year and/or get him cheap at D-Day 2009... Boston SP Clay Buchholz (6 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) got kicked around by the LA Angels on Tuesday. July was ugly for Buchholz (6.75 ERA). He, like Crawford, is a good buy-low candidate for the remainder of 2008 and an ideal candidate to get cheap at D-Day 2009.

American League Central: Cleveland C Victor Martinez (elbow) began baseball-related activities Monday. He's not expected back until mid-August, but he's someone to keep on your radar for the final 6-8 weeks of the season... Teams continue to inquire about the availability of Kansas City SP Zack Greinke and KC continues to say: "not available". On Monday versus Oakland, Greinke (7 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 1 BB, 11K) proved why KC considers him untouchable. Greinke improved to 8-7 with this lights-out performance... I've said it before and I'll say it again: "where would Detroit be without SP Armando Galarraga?". Galarraga (5 1/3 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) defeated Cleveland on Tuesday to raise his record to a stunning 9-4... Minnesota SP Livan Hernandez (4 IP, 9 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) has to be looking over his shoulder, as he struggled again on Wednesday, this time in a critical game versus division-leading Chicago. With SP Francisco Liriano throwing lights-out in the minors, it's only a matter of time before Hernandez is replaced... Chicago White Sox SP Gavin Floyd continues to impress. Floyd (7 2/3 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) defeated Minnesota on Wednesday to improve to 11-6. I'm still not sold on Floyd as he doesn't strikeout many hitters, but walks plenty (89/54 K/BB ratio in 131.1 IP).

American League West: One of the best teams in baseball, just got better! After years of standing-pat at the trading deadline, the LA Angels acquired 1B Mark Teixeira from Atlanta on Tuesday for 1B Casey Kotchman and Minor League RP Steve Marek. Teixeira goes from a good lineup to a great lineup. This trade sends a clear message to all teams: the Angels are going to make a run at the World Series... According to, the A's are actively shopping SP Justin Duchscherer, 2B Mark Ellis and closer Huston Street. Stay tuned... Seattle 2B Jose Lopez was 3-for-5, with a homer and three runs run scored versus Texas on Tuesday. Lopez extended his hitting streak to an AL-leading 16 games. Lopez is a decent 2B option in deep fantasy leagues... Texas 1B Chris Davis' offensive assault continued this past Saturday as he went 2-for-4, with a solo home run, an RBI and two runs scored. He has one of the quickest bats through the hitting zone that you will ever see. If he can cut down on his strikeouts, we're looking at the next Ryan Howard.

National League East: Atlanta SP Tim Hudson has significant ligament damage in his elbow. He will, more than likely, need Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2009. Atlanta's pitching staff has been devastated by injuries (John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Hudson, etc.) in 2008... Florida OF Jeremy Hermida went 2-for-4 with one run scored versus the Mets on Wednesday. Hermida has had a decent 2008 (.257 BA, 15 HR's, 47 RBI's), but he's just skimming the surface of his potential. Give him another year or two and he'll be mentioned in the same breath as the better outfielders in baseball... NY Mets 1B Carlos Delgado went 1-for-3, with a two-run homer versus Florida on Tuesday. In mid-June, Mets fans were calling for his head. In July, Delgado has carried the Mets on his back! Delgado had a ten-game hitting streak snapped Wednesday. In his last 11 games, Delgado has five HR's and 14 RBI's!... Washington Nationals OF Willie Harris went 3-for-5, with a home run, against Philadelphia on Wednesday. Harris has been red-hot lately. His greatest asset is his legs (7 SB's), so pick him up if you have the need for speed... Philadelphia has so much fire-power that OF Shane Victorino (.287 BA, 9 HR's, 25 SB's, 69 runs) is often overlooked. Victorino is a underrated stud.

National League Central: Houston SP Wandy Rodriguez (4 2/3 IP, 9 hits, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) got lit-up by Cincinnati on Wednesday to drop to 6-4 in 2008. Rodriguez has shown some glimpses of his potential, but he has yet to put it together for any extended period of time... Milwaukee SP Manny Parra (5 1/3 IP, 8 hits, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K) struggled mightily against the Cubs on Wednesday, dropping to 9-4. Parra has lots of promise. More experience will eventually make him a solid #2 or #3 starting fantasy pitcher... St. Louis announced that Jason Isringhausen will resume closing duties, with interim closer Ryan Franklin moving back into a setup role. Both Izzy and Franklin have been shaky in 2008. Don't be surprised to see St.Louis make a strong push for Colorado closer Brian Fuentes... Cubs closer Kerry Wood (blister) is not close to returning. Wood's blister is not healing properly and preventing him from getting the proper grip on his pitches. In the meantime, Carlos Marmol and Jeff Samardzija are closing... Pittsburgh OF Nate McLouth went 1-for-3, with a homer, two RBI's and two runs scored versus Colorado on Monday. McLouth continues to produce and should be considered a solid #2 or #3 fantasy outfielder... Cincinnati 1B Joey Votto is showing signs of snapping out of his slump. He went 3-for-4, with two RBI's versus Houston on Wednesday. Votto is hitting just .250 since the All-Star break.

National League West: In a move that was long overdue, Arizona optioned SP Micah Owings to Triple-A on Tuesday. In mid-April, Owings was baseball's only 4-0 pitcher. He's now 6-9 with a 5.93 ERA! How far the mighty have fallen. Yusmeiro Petit moves into Arizona's starting rotation and will start Saturday against the Dodgers... LA Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton notched his fifth save against the Giants on Tuesday. Broxton, filling in for the injured Takashi Saito, has a save in each of his last five appearances... San Francisco SP Matt Cain (7 IP, 8 hits, 1 ER, o BB, 8 K) was lights-out against the Dodgers on Tuesday, but was the hard-luck loser, falling to 6-9. If San Francisco can put together a decent offense in 2009, Cain and fellow SP Tim Lincecum will go from being very, very good to being great!... San Diego SP Chris Young (remember him?) made his first start since suffering a broken nose on May 21. Young (5 IP, 2 hits, 2 BB, 8 K) was solid, but took a tough-luck no-decision against Arizona on Tuesday. If Young can remain healthy, he's a good bet to contribute to the Padres and to your fantasy team for the remainder of 2008... Colorado C Chris Iannetta hit a homer versus Pittsburgh Wednesday. Do not forget about Iannetta for the remainder of 2008 and particularly 2009. He's got huge upside.

I'll be vacationing next week. My first vacation in years! "Miranda Warnings" returns Wednesday, August 13th!

Thanks for your continued support and loyalty.

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