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Opportunity Knocks: MLB fantasy transaction analysis July 20 - 27

Summarizing the notable transactions and trends from the past week.

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Scott Kazmir in his new duds
Scott Kazmir in his new duds
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Injuries, Trades, Promotions, Demotions from July 20 - July 27...

AL East:

  • Blue Jays claimed 2B Ty Kelly off waivers from the Cardinals and optioned him to AAA. Blue Jays also activated RHP Aaron Sanchez from the DL.
  • Orioles recalled RHP Kevin Gausman from AAA and placed 1B/OF Steve Pearce on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique.
  • Rays activated RF Steven Souza, Jr. from the DL and optioned OF Grady Sizemore to AAA.
  • Red Sox optioned Top 100 prospect LHP Brian Johnson back to the minors and recalled RHP Joe Kelly.
  • Red Sox activated C Blake Swihart and DFA'd C Sandy Leon.
  • Red Sox also activated OF Daniel Nava and optioned INF Devin Marrero to AAA.
  • Red Sox placed 2B Dustin Pedroia on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring and called up 2B Jemile Weeks. Weeks was batting just .207/.307/.310 at AAA.
  • Yankees

AL Central:

  • Indians recalled 1B Jesus Aguilar, who was batting .255/.318/.410 with 13 HR in 402 PA at AAA.
  • Twins
  • Royals made headlines Sunday by acquiring Reds ace RHP Johnny Cueto.
  • Royals recalled RHP Yordano Ventura after placing LHP Jason Vargas back on the DL.
  • Royals also called up 3B Cheslor Cuthbert and optioned INF Dusty Coleman to AAA.
  • Tigers optioned 1B Marc Krauss to AAA and recalled LHP Kyle Ryan, who has pitched to an unimpressive 5.64 ERA (5.11 SIERA) in 30.1 IP for the Tigers this season.
  • White Sox activated UTL Emilio Bonifacio and optioned INF Leury Garcia to the minors.

AL West:

  • Angels acquired 3B Conor Gillaspie from the White Sox for cash. Gillaspie had been DFA'd earlier in the week.
  • Astros acquired LHP Scott Kazmir from the Athletics in exchange for minor leaguers C Jacob Nottingham and RHP Daniel MengdenHere's analysis of the prospects involved courtesy of Quinn Barry. Astros also DFA'd OF Alex Presley.
  • Athletics called up RHP Chris Bassit, who will take over the rotation spot vacated by Kazmir.
  • Mariners returned LHP J.A. Happ to the rotation and optioned 1B/DH Jesus Montero back to AAA.
  • Rangers optioned RHP Anthony Ranaudo to AAA and recalled RHP Nick Martinez.

NL East:

  • Braves activated 1B Freddie Freeman and optioned OF Joey Terdoslavich to AAA.
  • Braves traded UTL Kelly Johnson and 3B Juan Uribe to the Mets for minor league right-handers John Gant and Rob WhalenHere's an overview of the prospects coming back to Atlanta.
  • Braves called up 30-year old rookie 3B Adonis Garcia and 22-year old SS Daniel Castro to replace Uribe and Johnson on the roster. Garcia was a Cuban signee of the Yankees back in 2012 for $400,000 who has posted a career .285/.324/.411 line in three minor league seasons albeit without much power for a third baseman. Castro's glove is his calling card as he's a little light on the bat.
  • Marlins called up RHP Andre Rienzo, former White Sox starting pitcher, who is expected to take over the bullpen spot vacated by the trade of RHP Steve Cishek. Rienzo pitched to a 3.01 ERA over 77.1 IP down at AAA with meh strikeout and walk rates of 17.5% and 10%.
  • Mets placed OF Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day DL, opening the door for top prospect OF Michael Conforto to get the call to the show!
  • Mets cleared room for Johnson and Uribe by DFA'ing OF John Mayberry, Jr. and optioning INF Danny Muno to AAA.
  • Nationals activated 2B Anthony Rendon, optioned INF Wilmer Difo, and recalled stud young RHP Joe Ross, who's off to an excellent start in his young career (2.57 ERA in 26.1 IP, 9.11 K/9, 0.68 BB/9, 54.8% groundball rate).
  • Phillies placed RHP Chad Billingsley on the 15-day DL and activated RHP Jerome Williams.
  • Phillies optioned RHP David Buchanan and called up top prospect and former LSU star RHP Aaron Nola.

NL Central:

  • Brewers activated RHP Matt Garza from the DL and optioned RHP Tyler Cravy to AAA. The Brewers also received RHP Yhonathan Barrios from the Pirates in the Aramis Ramirez trade. Analysis on Barrios here.
  • Cardinals optioned OF Tommy Pham to AAA and called up Top 100 prospect OF Stephen Piscotty to join their outfield corps. Piscotty, 24, was batting .272/.366/.475 (.372 wOBA) with 11 HR in 372 PA with a strong 12.4% walk rate and 16.7% strikeout rate.
  • Cardinals bolstered their bullpen by acquiring RHP Steve Cishek from the Marlins.
  • Cubs rookie C Kyle Schwarber has been ripping the ball since his callup on July 17 following Miguel Montero getting placed on the DL.
  • Reds transferred C Devin Mesoraco to the 60-day DL due to left hip surgery, meaning a combination of Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart is likely to remain starting at catcher.
  • Reds dealt ace RHP Johnny Cueto to the Royals and received a trio of lefties in return: Brandon FinneganJohn Lamb, and Cody Reed Instant analysis on those three can be found here.
  • Pirates acquired 3B Aramis Ramirez from the Brewers, bringing A-Ram back to city where it all began for him back in 1998.
    NL West:
  • Giants
  • Dodgers activated OF Carl Crawford from the 60-day DL and optioned RHP Brandon Beachy to AAA.
  • Diamondbacks selected the contract of RHP Zach Godley who had a very impressive MLB debut (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) against the Brewers. This article details his impressive outing and Godley's rise from a single A pitcher to the majors this season. Godley, 25, was acquired this offseason in the Miguel Montero trade and has a low 90's fastball that he can cut and sink, along with a low 80's sinking changeup and low 80's 12-6 curveball. He had all four pitches working effectively for him in his MLB debut. Keep an eye on this kid. Looks like a sleeper in my opinion.
  • Rockies activated OF Corey Dickerson from the DL, adding a formidable presence (career .299/.348/.530 in 828 PA) back to their lineup.
  • Padres recalled OF Abraham Almonte and optioned struggling 3B Will Middlebrooks(.212/.241/.361) to AAA. Almonte is a projected 4th outfielder type who was batting .275/.361/.414 in 282 PA with 4 HR and 11 SB at AAA.