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Post-Trade Opportunities

The fantasy baseball side effect of the trading deadline is very significant and should not be overlooked.  Sure, a few dozen players will change teams, including a couple players of notoriety.  But the important players being traded are typically already owned, and they don't present much of an opportunity for you to move up in the standings.

That's why The Roto Authority is presenting a series called Post-Trade Opportunities.  Here, we'll dive into players who aren't traded but suddenly find themselves with new jobs and opportunities after a teammate is dealt.

Felix Hernandez is the #1 pitching prospect in baseball, and he might finally join Seattle's rotation next week.  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has surmised that an Eddie Guardado trade could open up a spot for Hernandez.  A demotion of Joel Pineiro or Aaron Sele would also open up a spot.  There might be a few factors preventing Hernandez's debut from being at the Doc Gooden level.  First, he's coming off shoulder bursitis and might be broken in in the bullpen.  Second, he is being treated with kid gloves and will have a very conservative pitch count.  Despite that, his numbers will be solid this year and you can't afford to miss the boat on him for 2006 and 2007.

Speaking of Seattle, J.J. Putz figures to move into the closer's role if Guardado is dealt.  Putz has been good enough this year and makes a better closer option than anybody on the Reds, Rockies, or Giants.

Mike Gonzalez has been out for over a month with a sprained knee ligament, and his minor-league rehab should start next week.  The injury is just another thing keeping Gonzalez under the radar.  Jose Mesa is a near-lock to be traded on Sunday, and Gonzalez should slide right into the closer's role.  He should put up excellent numbers across the board.  The only caveat is that Salomon Torres will fill in in the interim, and there's a slight chance he holds onto the closer job even when Gonzalez returns.

There are reports that Colorado will spin Larry Bigbie off to Boston for Kelly Stoppach.  Stoppach is currently hitting .260-21-63 in AAA.  Stoppach is just an OK fantasy baseball prospect, but a move to Coors plus a full-time job makes his stock rise considerably in the always-weak catching market.

Ryan Madson just needs a chance to start to be a solid #4 fantasy starter.  If he's dealt to the Devil Rays for Danys Baez, or to any noncontender, Madson will start.  You can rely on him for an ERA below 4 and a decent WHIP.  He'll also supply a fair amount of Ks, so he makes a nice sleeper if he gets an opportunity.

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