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Fantasy baseball — Tracking all the biggest moves at the MLB trade deadline

The MLB trade deadline arrives at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean teams aren’t already wheeling and dealing. Several potentially playoff-bound teams are doing their best to fill any gaps on their rosters, while several noncontenders are expected to go “all-in” on the future, sending off stars for a gaggle of future prospects.

Our fantasy experts are following all the moves as they happen and will outline everything you need to know about some of the more interesting moves from a fantasy perspective.


Angels get SP Lucas Giolito, RP Reynaldo Lopez from White Sox in exchange for top prospects

By landing Giolito, the Angels effectively declared their stance on trading Shohei Ohtani — he’ll stick around — while making Giolito himself the prize of the 2023 SP trade market. He came at a considerable cost — Edgar Quero is one of the more promising offensively oriented catching prospects and he and SP Ky Bush represent two of the Angels’ top prospects — but Giolito could thrive with the Angels, who have a better bullpen and a more potent lineup than the White Sox.

Giolito was the No. 26 starting pitcher in terms of fantasy points at the time of the deal, and he should improve by a notch or three on his new team, considering the deal won’t alter his raw skills while granting him a stronger supporting cast. — Cockcroft


Dodgers get SS Amed Rosario from Guardians in exchange for SP Noah Syndergaard

After making do with three different shortstops over the past month — including Mookie Betts, who before this year hadn’t played the position since 2013 in the Arizona Fall League — the Dodgers might have acquired themselves a more formidable starting option. Rosario is in the midst of a miserable year, his fantasy points per game sit 0.15 beneath his 2021-22 combined rate and his minus-15 Defensive Runs Saved at shortstop is worst in the majors. Still, he mashes lefties (.303/.345/.477), has greater potential than Miguel Rojas and allows the team to return Chris Taylor to his prior utility role.

Rosario should play regularly, and moving from the Guardians (4.20 runs per game average, 26th in baseball) to the Dodgers (5.64, second) can only help his runs scored and RBI potential. It’s a boon, especially to those in daily/ESPN standard leagues who can slot him in for every game the team plays against a left-handed starter.

Syndergaard, unfortunately, has lost 5 mph on his four-seam fastball this season compared to pre-2020 Tommy John surgery, making him an entirely volatile fantasy option. He’ll serve as depth on a Guardians team rich in starting pitching and, at best, could help in ideal matchups if he’s called upon to start. — Cockcroft


Marlins get RP David Robertson from Mets for two minor leaguers

With closer A.J. Puk struggling to the tune of a 9.82 ERA, two losses and two blown saves in five opportunities in July, the Marlins upgraded the position with one of the game’s more experienced finishers. Robertson, sixth on the active list for career saves (171), has his most fantasy PPG since 2017 and moving to one of the game’s most pitching-friendly environments can only help the No. 13 scorer among true relief pitchers. He’s more likely to be the singular closer in Miami than he was in New York, where he occasionally shared chances with Adam Ottavino. Robertson’s primary rest-of-season concern in fantasy is that in recent seasons — remember, he’s now 38 — he has struggled to maintain peak stamina into September, struggling in the month in both 2018 and 2022. It’s something to tuck away, or if you’re rich in saves on your team, any excitement generated by his trade might make him a wise sell-high, but the move overall should be a plus for him, as he should be close to a top-15 fantasy closer in his new digs.

Back in New York, Ottavino, who has 11 holds and six saves, both of those second on the team, and limited closer experience from his Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox days, will almost assuredly take over as the Mets’ full-time closer. That assumes, of course, he’s not traded himself, in which case Drew Smith and/or Brooks Raley could get a look in the role. Ottavino’s flaw, is that his repertoire simply isn’t great against left-handed hitters, so expect shakier fantasy numbers from him as a full-time closer but still stats that might make him a top-20 positional option. — Cockcroft


Brewers get 1B Carlos Santana from Pirates in exchange for minor leaguer

The Brewers have gotten the second-worst production from their first basemen this season. Enter Santana, an underrated points-league performer who ranked 16th at his position in that regard despite playing in a poor environment for offense. Now 37 years old and barely a factor in rotisserie formats that use batting average over on-base percentage, Santana should benefit from the move from Pittsburgh’s pitching-oriented home to one of the game’s most homer-friendly environments in American Family Field.

Santana should take over as Milwaukee’s regular first baseman while batting in the upper half of the lineup, keeping him points-league-relevant in leagues with larger lineups than our standard, though it’s possible the team will utilize him in a straight platoon with Owen Miller. Monitor Santana’s initial role, since that will determine his possible path to a top-15 positional fantasy point total. — Cockcroft


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