Just when we thought we could settle in for the stretch run after the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, teams are still throwing curveballs at fantasy owners. In order for teams to trade a player after July 31, the player must pass players through waivers. The Minnesota Twins traded their closer, Fernando Rodney, to the Oakland Athletics Aug. 9, which affects fantasy baseball. Rodney won't be the closer for the A's, so he has lost all of his fantasy value moving forward. But we must now find out who gains fantasy value for the Twins.
It appears it'll be a closer-by-committee approach in Minnesota, so there's no definite answer and fantasy owners must follow this closely. Relievers Addison Reed and Trevor Hildenberger will benefit the most with Rodney gone. Reed has the most experience as a closer, but both pitchers have had their struggles. It's hard to give a firm recommendation as this can go either way, so we must wait and see who the Twins turn to first when they have a lead in the ninth inning.
Tampa Bay Rays Outfielder Mallex Smith - I always stress in fantasy baseball that a waiver-wire addition may be good for a week, a month or even the rest of the season. There's also times a player is a good pickup in May, but you can release him in July, but then want to pick him back up in August. I mention this because Smith fits in the category of a player who I recommended picking up earlier in the season, but he was also a player who could have been dropped a few weeks later.
However, Smith is back to being a potential waiver-wire addition because he's playing well again. The outfielder is hitting .455 with seven runs scored this month, but his seven steals this month are why he is fantasy-relevant. Smith has 25 stolen bases, which ranks sixth in all of baseball. We're now at the point of chasing particular stats and Smith provides steals at an elite level.
Washington Nationals Reliever Ryan Madson - The back end of the Twins' bullpen may be a mystery, but we do have clarity on what should happen in save situations for the Nationals. Washington lost lefty Sean Doolittle and right-hander Kelvin Herrera, their late-inning relievers, to injuries which makes Madson next man up. The veteran does come with risk, as he has pitched to a 4.43 ERA and manager Davey Martinez has said he wants to monitor Madson’s workload. But if you're chasing saves, the right-hander should be able to notch a few until the Nationals get healthy.
San Diego Padres Outfielder Franmil Reyes - The 23-year-old is taking advantage of every opportunity to prove he should get more playing time in the big leagues. The outfielder has nine home runs during 42 games and is batting .269. The power is legit as Reyes hit 16 in the minors this season and finished with 25 last year. I hope the playing time continues as I think Reyes can help fantasy owners in the power department for the remainder of the season.