Scott Kazmir and Aramis Ramirez were moved on Thursday as teams tried to get a jump on the MLB trade market. Friday, July 31st is the official Trade Deadline in Major League Baseball. Over the next week teams will look to upgrade as they make a run at a playoff spot. Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, Ben Zobrist and Jonathan Papelbon are all names that could be moved in the coming days.
The Houston Astros acquired Scott Kazmir today from division foe, Oakland Athletics. This is a homecoming for Kazmir, who is from the Houston area. In joining the Astros he gets a chance to get into another playoff race.
Kazmir has been solid this season with a 5-5 record in 18 starts. He has a 2.38 ERA and a 3 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. Unfortunately for Kazmir owners, a majority of his success has come at home. He is 4-2 with a 1.36 ERA this season in Oakland. On the road this season his ERA balloons to 3.92. His strikeout rate remains the same both at home and on road, which is a good sign.
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In Houston, I would expect Kazmir’s ERA to inflate to the low to mid threes. He is likely to give up more home runs with the Astros as well. Per ESPN’s Park Factor, Minute Maid Park is seventh in home runs where Oakland’s “O.co Coliseum” is 23rd. . He has a lineup behind him that has the ability to produce more runs and ideally help him get a few more wins. He is currently inside the top 35 on ESPN’s Player Rater and I would expect that to be closer to top 50. If you have an owner in your league who wants to give you a top 30-ish starter, or a bat that fills a need, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
The Pittsburgh Pirates brought back a familiar face today when they sent right-hander Yhonathan Barrios to the Brewers in exchange for third baseman Aramis Ramirez. He spent the first five and half seasons of his career in Pittsburgh.
While on the season Ramirez is hitting .247 with 11 homers and 42 RBI, he has started to heat up as of late. He is hitting .352 with two home runs and nine RBI in the month of July. Over the last three seasons at PNC Park, Ramirez is hitting .270 with four homers and 18 RBI.
While he is far from widely owned (27% in ESPN and 45% in Yahoo), he would be a nice corner infield option that is going to be in a solid line up. I would look to add him if one of the corner infield spots was a need and move on if or when he cools down.
Stay tuned to Fakepigskin.com for all of the moves as the deadline approaches and how they will impact your fantasy baseball team.