In the aftermath of the MLB trade deadline earlier this week, plenty of players saw their circumstances change – and with them, their fantasy value. Here are four players whose outlooks for the remainder of the 2016 season changed as a result of recent moves.
Matt Moore, SP, San Francisco Giants
Moore’s return from Tommy John surgery has been a mixed bag. He has shown improved command, but continued to have trouble with the long ball. While Tropicana Field is pitcher friendly, AT&T Park has been the hardest place to hit a home run every season since 2011, and it hasn’t been particularly close. Moore also moves to the National League, where he’ll no longer have to face designated hitters, and has a much better team backing him offensively and defensively.
Edwin Diaz, RP, Seattle Mariners
Diaz began the year as a starter at Double-A, but after converting him to relief, the Mariners quickly promoted him to the majors. All he’s done since then is blow hitters away. Diaz has struck out an incredible 46 percent of the batters he has faced. Only Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, and Carter Capps have ever posted a higher mark in league history. Diaz hits triple digits with his fastball and throws a filthy slider to boot. It’s little wonder that Seattle made him the closer and pulled the plug on Steve Cishek, who wasn’t actually traded but might as well have been if Diaz continues to dominate like this.
Jay Bruce, OF, New York Mets
After years of being a candidate to be moved at the deadline, the Reds finally dealt Bruce to the Mets on Monday. The veteran is probably happy to be back in a pennant race, but the move to Flushing is likely to hurt his production. For his career, Bruce posted an .828 OPS at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park and a .748 OPS everywhere else. With the exception of this season, Citi Field has routinely ranked as one of the worst parks for hitters since it opened in 2009.
Matt Kemp, OF, Atlanta Braves
Petco Park is routinely cited as a pitcher’s paradise, but it’s actually played friendlier to hitters in the last couple of years. The Padres’ sneakily good group of hitters had something to do with that, naturally, but Turner Field has depressed home runs much more than Petco since last season. That also probably has something to do with the quality of the Braves’ lineup during that time, which can be charitably described as “really bad.” It’s essentially Freddie Freeman and a bunch of stiffs. Given that Kemp contributes nothing outside of his home run and RBI totals, it’s hard to imagine a worse place he could have ended up. Kemp has also admitted to having issues with focus and motivation in recent years, and the Braves’ status as a doormat doesn’t seem like the ideal situation.