MLB Transactions and FAAB Targets for June 24-30

As we get into the summer and our lives get even busier, it is easy to miss a few goings-on in the MLB. This article is intended to review (and breakdown) of some of the most fantasy relevant transactions from the MLB this week.

A few notes to consider:

1) This list focuses only on MLB transactions. For other targets, check out Ben Pernick’s Buy/Sell article each week.

2) For starting pitchers, please be sure to check out Max Freeze’s weekly starting pitcher start/sit breakdown for the upcoming week.

3) Ownership percentages are from Fantasy Pros’ consensus ownership.

4) Rehab Assignments: The length of rehab assignments can vary greatly. They are presented on this list as a reminder that these players may be returning to MLB action from an IL visit or are taking steps towards their return. If you can stash these players now, their FAAB cost may be significantly less than their cost when they are activated and return to the lineup. I will generally avoid discussing these players because rehab times are so variable, but they may still be worth a pick-up depending on your team/league circumstance.

5) Not all players have been included. I have tried to focus on the main fantasy contributors but league depths vary and some deeper players may have been excluded.

6) The goal of this article is to aid in FAAB bidding. Players will be added up until the time of publication, but cannot include all Sunday transactions.

7) FAAB Units: It is extremely difficult to pinpoint how much FAAB to spend. FAAB bidding is much more an art than a science. Bidding is league dependent. The unit percentage that I have presented is a guide and should be adjusted to fit your budget, team need, and league dynamic.

8) I have not written up star players who are more than 90% owned. They should have been stashed.

I have included, below, a detailed write-up on 15 notable players that may be FAAB targets in your league.

 

MLB Transactions (June 24-June 30)

 

Recalls/Selected Rehab Assignments Activated
Kyle Wright* Adam Haseley* Collin McHugh
Nestor Cortes* Caleb Smith George Springer
Garrett Hampson Steven Duggar Jon Jay
Bryse Wilson Anthony Banda Tony Barnette
Daniel Ponce de Leon Harrison Musgrave Fernando Rodney
Stephen Tarpley Nate Karns Johnny Venters
Mike Tauchman DJ Stewart Joey Gallo
Dominic Leone Noah Syndergaard Neil Walker
Jaime Barria Trevor Story Taylor Motter
Daniel Mengden Joe Smith Steven Wright
Tony Gonsolin* Ryan Borucki Trevor Cahill
Jeimer Candelario Erik Gonzalez Jake Lamb
Zach Rosscup Jeurys Familia Yandy Diaz
Brendan McKay Adalberto Mondesi Andrelton Simmons
Sam Travis Hector Velasquez
Corbin Burnes Justin Smoak
Tyler Saladino Alex Avila
Keston Hiura Ehire Adrianza
Tyler O’Neill Ryan Zimmerman
Thairo Estrada Daniel Palka
Sam Travis Jorge Alfaro
Chance Adams Jose Alvarado
John Means
Scooter Gennett
Steven Duggar
Jordan Lyles
Byron Buxton
Marwin Gonzalez

* Indicates that the player has also been optioned to the minors

 

Brendan McKay

 

Why Target? Brendan McKay will likely be the top FAAB target in leagues this week as his promotion was, somewhat, unexpected. The two-way player made his MLB-debut on Saturday and threw a clean and efficient six innings (81 pitches) striking out three, while only allowing one hit and one walk en route to picking up his first win. As a two-way player and top-10 pitching prospect, McKay should give the Rays a strong end-of-the-rotation pitcher while adding bench depth. McKay is much more valuable on hosting sites that have him as multi-eligible and less valuable when split into batter and pitcher. His future in Tampa is unclear, but we do know that the plan is to give him one additional start before that All-Star break especially after his stellar debut. McKay, however, will likely be on an innings limit this year as he threw 78.1 last year and has already thrown 72.2 in 2019. The Rays also have been frustrating to fantasy owners because they have a penchant for promoting and demoting players to limit service time (see Nate Lowe, Brent Honeywell, Jose de Leon). If you are planning to win McKay this week, know that you may have to drop (or stash) him if he is sent back to AAA.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Baltimore and New York (Yankees)
Eligibility: SP, DH
Ownership: 10%
League: 12, 15+, AL
Budget: 15-20%

 

Keston Hiura

 

Why Target? The Brewers gave us a glimpse of Keston Hiura earlier in the season. Fantasy owners loved it and spent big FAAB to acquire him. Hiura performed well in 17 games (69 plate appearances) hitting five home runs, eight runs, nine RBI, slashing .281/.333/.531 and building a 122 WRC+, but was optioned back to the minors when Travis Shaw returned. This week, Shaw was demoted to AAA and Hiura returns to the Brewers. If he is available, he should once again command hefty FAAB bids. While Hiura certainly is the Brewers’ second baseman of the future, it is unclear how long this tenure with the big club will last. I expect that Shaw will return (rightly or wrongly) if he gets things turned around, but there is a chance that Hiura sticks for the remainder of the season if he can perform at the plate and can be passable with the glove. Shaw has looked awful in 2019 and it is possible that he is traded before the deadline if the Brewers feel that Hiura can contribute in their playoff push.
Upcoming Matchup(s): @ Cincinnati and @ Pittsburgh
Eligibility: 2B
Ownership: 27%
League: 12, 15, NL
Budget: 15-20%

 

Daniel Mengden

 

Why Target? Frankie Montas was suspended for 80 games and Daniel Mengden performed well in his absence on Wednesday (6 IP, 4 Hit, 1 BBs, 0 ER, 5 Ks). Look for Mengden to remain an option for starts until Oakland’s young pitchers, Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk, return from the IL. Mengden is a scheduled two-starter this week, but a tough matchup against the Twins may temper his cost. Mengden is still a streamer option, at this point, but he has a chance to stick in the rotation with a few more good starts.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Minnesota and @Seattle
Eligibility: SP
Ownership: 1%
League: 15+, AL
FAAB Units: 2-5%

 

Yandy Diaz

 

Why Target? The Rays activated Yandy Diaz from the IL on Thursday. Before his hamstring injury, Diaz slashed .286/.363/.502 and appeared to be in the middle of a swing/approach change upping his FB% from 23.3% to 31.7% and his HR/FB from 4.8% to 18.3%. Jordan Larimore broke Diaz down in mid-May. There is a ton of potential here especially as Diaz will have run and RBI opportunities hitting in the heart of the lineup, but the Rays will not hesitate to platoon. Diaz has 83 plate appearance against lefties (.329/.410/.589) and he has seen righties 177 times (.245/.316/.426), so a non-everyday role is a possibility. The hope is that he can continue to harness his immense power and translate it into fantasy production. Diaz would make a good corner infield option until his playing time and power breakout is confirmed.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Baltimore and New York (Yankees)
Eligibility: 1B, 3B
Ownership: 34%
League: 15+, AL
FAAB Units: 2-5%

 

Andrelton Simmons

 

Why Target? Andrelton Simmons is one of the best defensive players in baseball and, as a result, will play every day. His stats won’t wow you, but he is consistent and is an unflashy middle infield option. Simmons’ recovery from an ankle sprain has been faster than initially expected, so he may be available in your league. Before he was injured, Simmons slashed .298/.323/.415. Though he lacks power, he is an accumulator with a good batting average and should be a runs contributor. Expect him to be eased back slowly in his return from what was expected to be a lengthy IL stint. Target him if you are comfortable in the power categories but need a batting average boost.
Upcoming Matchup(s): @Texas and @Houston
Eligibility: SS
Ownership: 39%
League: 15+, AL
FAAB Units: 5-10%

 

Garrett Hampson

 

Why Target? Garrett Hampson was on a lot of sleeper lists and was hoped to be a rare stolen bases contributor. The problem in the early part of the season was that Hampson couldn’t steal bases because he rarely got on-base. He continued to lose playing time only mustering a .194 average and one steal before being demoted. With injuries to both Trevor Story and Brendan Rodgers, Hampson was recalled on June 23 and has since had 22 plate appearance with five runs, and two stolen bases. Story has begun a rehab assignment and is expected to return shortly which could force Hampson to the outfield (he has seven appearances in OF), bench, or back to the minors. If you need steals, however, a low bid on the potential speed here might be warranted especially if the small sample Hampson has shown this week continues.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Houston and @ Arizona
Eligibility: SS, 2B, OF
Ownership: 8%
League: 15+, NL
FAAB Units: 5-10%

 

Collin McHugh

 

Why Target? Collin McHugh was likely dropped when he was demoted to the bullpen and then sent to the IL. He pitched extremely well in the ‘pen in 2018 posting a 1.99 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP with K/9 of 11.7 in 72.1 innings pitched. He was transitioned into the rotation to start the season but put up a 6.04 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP dropping his K/9 to 9.67. It is expected that McHugh will remain in the bullpen, and, if he can come close to replicating his results from last year, he may be a valuable ratios helper.
Upcoming Matchup(s): @Colorado and Los Angeles (Angels)
Eligibility: RP, SP
Ownership: 28%
League: 15+, AL
FAAB Units: 0-2%

 

Scooter Gennett

 

Why Target? The Reds lost Scooter Gennett to the IL with a groin strain just before the season started. Most of your league-mates will have done their best to stash him on their bench, but, if they were hit with a roster crunch, Gennett may have been dropped. Check your free-agent pool and get Gennett on your team if others are napping. Gennett played 154 games in 2018 with 86 runs, 92 RBI, and 23 home runs with a .310 batting average. Who couldn’t use that kind of production? Gennett should take his place as an everyday starter in a Reds lineup that remains in the hunt in the NL Central trailing by only 5.5 games.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Milwaukee and Cleveland
Eligibility: 2B
Ownership: 55%
League: 10, 12, 15+, NL
FAAB Units: 25-40%

 

Justin Smoak

 

Why Target? The Blue Jays are likely looking to showcase Justin Smoak so that they can trade him. He broke out in 2017 hitting 38 home runs but faded in 2018 hitting only 28 while dropping his batting average from .270 to .242. He came off the IL this week and should be the primary first baseman (with Rowdy Tellez) until the Blue Jays ship out his expiring contract. Smoak is an excellent defensive player (and a switch hitter) and should see playing time, even if traded to a contender, but as a 1B/DH, he will likely have to share the role. Hopefully, Smoak won’t slide into your 1B roster spot but is a viable option as a CI in a deep league.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Kansas City, Boston, and Baltimore
Eligibility: 1B
Ownership: 39%
League: 15, AL
Budget: 5-8%

 

Jordan Lyles

 

Why Target? Before Jordan Lyles went to the IL, he put up a 3.64 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP with a 9.23 K/9 in 12 starts (5-3 record). These results have made Lyles a streamable pitcher this year, and, in deep leagues, he should continue to be. No one ever starts Lyles with any confidence, but in a record-setting MLB season for power, a pitcher with these ratios is helpful, especially if Lyles can maintain the 0.98 HR/9 from before his injury. He took the loss in his return start on Saturday but threw a baseline quality start with five hits, two walks, five strikeouts, and one home run allowed in Milwaukee.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Milwaukee
Eligibility: SP
Ownership: 25%
League: 15+, NL
Budget: 2-5%

 

John Means

 

Why Target?: It hurts to try to answer this question considering that the Orioles are the worst teams in baseball. John Means has been the best Oriole this season racking up seven wins on a 2.50 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Those stats jump out for fantasy, but his 3.93 FIP and 5.11 xFIP should profess caution. He threw five innings surrendering just one hit and one walk striking out five and did not allow a run in his return from the IL. While it is unlikely that he will remain on your team all season, he could be a valuable streamer and faces the Rays in Tampa (or Blue Jays in Toronto if pushed back) next week.
Upcoming Matchup(s): @Tampa or @Toronto
Eligibility: SP, RP
Ownership: 42%
League: 15, AL
Budget: 0-2%

 

Jose Alvarado

 

Why Target? The closer situation in Tampa has been vexing, but Jose Alvarado should be in the mix for saves. There have been many Alvarado pitches that have featured in Pitcher List’s Nastiest Pitches, so we know Alvarado has the stuff. In his recent ranks of relievers for holds, Rick Graham puts Alvarado at fifth, but the Rays have been fluid with the closer role and could, feasibly, put closer duties in the hands of any of its bullpen arms on any given night. Alvarado should provide strikeouts, but his 3.09 ERA and 1.46 WHIP have disappointed owners this season and he may be available if he was dropped when he left the team for personal leave. It is unlikely that he will remain on the wire, but his price should be reasonable considering he isn’t the “closer”.
Upcoming Matchup(s): Baltimore and New York (Yankees)
Eligibility: RP
Ownership: 52%
League: 15, AL
Budget: 2-5%

 

Jorge Alfaro

 

Why Target? Jorge Alfaro is coming off the 7-day concussion IL and should slot right back into the starting role in Miami: This is the main reason to target him. Miami isn’t a good team, but they will have playing time for young players. As a catcher, we don’t expect a lot out of Alfaro, but he has managed 9 home runs this season and a .256 batting average. In the wasteland that is catcher, that isn’t too bad. Look for Dave Cherman’s weekly catcher streaming article to get the low-down on Alfaro and yield to his advice.
Upcoming Matchup(s): @Washington and @Atlanta
Eligibility: C
Ownership: 25%
League: two-catcher, 15+, NL
Budget: 2-5%

 

Marwin Gonzalez

 

Why Target? Perhaps the best-known utility man in baseball, Marwin Gonzalez, should find regular playing time. The problem is that he plays for the Twins and they have a lot of talent in their lineup. Gonzalez had a terrible start to the season but turned things around before he went on the IL (hamstring strain) hitting .255/.323/.420. While his power hasn’t stood out, he does have nine home runs, 28 runs, and 26 RBI. You likely should grab any bat in a run-producing lineup like the Twins’ and Gonzalez’s eligibility does help when setting a lineup. He shouldn’t be expensive and if he can maintain the hot bat he had before his IL trip, he should provide value.
Upcoming Matchup(s): @Oakland and Texas
Eligibility: 2B, SS, 3B, OF (9 games played at 1B)
Ownership: 34%
League: 15+, AL
Budget: 2-5%

 

Byron Buxton

 

Why Target? It appeared as though Byron Buxton was in the middle of a breakout this season. Buxton’s believers are as passionate about his talents as his detractors are about his failures. It is unlikely that anyone who rostered Buxton dropped him, but he is 32% available according to FantasyPros. Sometimes a roster crunch can prompt a tough drop, so be sure to check your free agent pool and pick Buxton up. He has slashed .266/.324/.527 with 10 stolen bases. His excellent defense will keep him in the lineup, and even though he bats at the bottom of the order, the Twins’ powerful offense should help his counting stats. He has 40 runs and 38 RBI, so if he can stay on the field and continue at this pace, he would produce a very respectable line at the end of the season.
Upcoming Matchup(s): @Oakland and Texas
Eligibility: OF
Ownership: 68%
League: 10, 12, 15+, AL
Budget: 10-15%

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
(Ownership Percentages from Fantasy Pros)

Mark McElroy

When I am not watching baseball or writing about fantasy baseball, I can usually be found cycling in and around Victoria, BC. I contribute at Pitcher List and Creative Sports and can be found on Twitter @markmcelroybb.

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Comments


Doug

I’m don’t think it’s fair to lump Brent Honeywell in w/others that are having their service time manipulated… he’s been injured forever, hasn’t pitched in a game since ’17, and hasn’t pitched a full season at AAA yet.

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