Fantasy News from the All-Star Break

Gonzalez & Escobar

On the quietest night of the baseball season, we at least have a trade to evaluate between the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Braves sent Yunel Escobar along with Jo-Jo Reyes to Toronto in exchange for Alex Gonzalez and two minor leaguers.

Gonzalez, was batting .259, 17 HRs and 50 RBIs for the Blue Jays this season. In 12 major league seasons, Gonzalez is career .248 hitter with 131 home runs. Escobar is a career .291 hitter, but is struggling this season with a .238 average, no home runs and 19 RBIs. Last season, Escobar hit .299 in 141 games and he had career bests in home runs (14) and RBIs (76).

As Jeff Schultz discusses, trading a 27-year old shortstop is a risk. Granted, Escobar is not having the season that the Braves had hoped, but with three years remaining before Escobar can become a free agent, there is little doubt that the Braves are trying to win now with Gonzalez who is having a career season. If your in a NL-Only league and had Escobar, don’t throw Gonzalez to the free agent wire, but don’t expect the same type of numbers he posted in the first half of the season.

In other fantasy news from the All-Star break…..

  • Jayson Heyward is hopeful to join the Braves on Thursday. Heyward has been out of the Braves lineup with a thumb injury that was clearly effecting him.
  • Expect Prince Fielder to be wearing another uniform by the end of the season. A possible destination for Fielder could be San Francisco.
  • Jose Reyes had to sit out All-Star game due to another injury. Reyes has recently felt pain in his oblique muscle. Stay tuned as the second half of the season begins.
  • Edison Volquez’s return could boost the Reds. Due to the injury with Volquez, he could be available in your league and should be picked up for the stretch run. The Reds are adding an ace without making a trade. The majority of the Reds games in the second half of the season are against teams that are below .500. With the addition of Volquez, the Reds are in a great position to win the NL Central.
  • Felipe Paulino has completed his rehab. He is expected to rejoin the Astros rotation soon. The righthander, on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, threw four scoreless innings in his last rehab start, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out three.