This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
The Edwin Encarnacion trade in mid-June may have been too early to count as a deadline move, but Andrew Cashner's move to Boston on Saturday feels like the start of the deadline season. There's nothing terribly exciting about the move – Cashner is far from a franchise-altering player – but it's an incremental improvement that slightly helps a contender's chances of winning a title. While we could be in for a splash or two, most of the trades we're about to see likely will be of a similar variety.
Likewise, there's plenty of room for fantasy owners to take advantage of the deadline to make their own incremental improvements. Anyone who made a small move for Cashner in the last few weeks under the assumption that he was bound to get traded and that anywhere was better than Baltimore can expect to make a small profit. Likewise, owners might be wise to speculate on some of the players whose names have been most heavily involved in rumors, either to make a profit before prices rise or to cut future losses.
Here are just a few examples worth considering:
- Will the Giants flip franchise icon Madison Bumgarner with just a few months left on his deal? If so, his chances for wins might increase, but we might get to see just how much his pitcher-friendly home park has propped up his numbers despite his declining skills.
- Will Smith has been the closer most frequently named in trade rumors, with Ken