This article is part of our Regan's Rumblings series.
Things got a bit crazy as the MLB trade deadline approached on Monday, though we didn't exactly see a ton of big-name guys change uniforms. The Padres went nuts and didn't lose their top-shelf guys, though did they do enough to overtake the Dodgers? In this week's piece, I'll look at 10 players positively impacted by the deadline, whether it be through heading to a better situation or by having one of their traded teammates opening up an opportunity.
Junior Guerra, RP, ARI
With closer Archie Bradley shipped over to the Reds to (seemingly) act as a setup man to closer Raisel Iglesias, the Diamondbacks are now searching for a new closer. No one really stands out here, but with Hector Rondon and Kevin Ginkel both being awful lately, the job could default to Guerra, at least in the near term. Guerra has a respectable 3.21 ERA and so-so 1.21 WHIP, but his 12:9 K:BB in 14 innings is hardly inspiring. On the flip side, his 82.4 mph exit velocity (per Baseball Savant) ranks fourth in the league, and a 3.3 barrels/PA percent is also excellent. Rondon's 92 career saves could have him in the mix at some point, but it seems unlikely the Diamondbacks will turn over that rare save opportunity to a guy with a 9.00 ERA and 2.17 WHIP in 12 innings. Maybe Taylor Widener factors in at some point as well, but Widener has a 6.39 ERA in his last seven appearances. Throw some money at Guerra in your FAAB bids this week but be prepared to pivot to other guys the rest of the year.
Tony Gonsolin, SP, LAD
With Ross Stripling headed to Toronto, this would seemingly open up a rotation spot for Gonsolin. The Dodgers do have Walker Buehler and Alex Wood returning from injury shortly, but Wood hasn't been effective since 2018, and Gonsolin has allowed just one run in 17.2 innings this year and has a career 2.18 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 57.2 innings. The Dodgers were connected to Lance Lynn and Mike Clevinger at the trade deadline, but those deals failed to materialize, and it's not a stretch to say that the deals may have fell through due to the Dodgers' lack of willingness to include Gonsolin (and others) in those potential deals. He should remain in the rotation the rest of the year.
Josh Naylor, OF, CLE
Blocked in San Diego, Naylor heads to the Indians where assumedly, he will be the team's starting left fielder for the balance of the season. With the Indians struggling to get production out of their outfield bats, Naylor should see regular playing time as they look to balance competing this year with looking forward. A left-handed hitter, Naylor has in his brief career (279 plate appearances), hit much better against LHP (.314/.340/.431) than RHP (.239/.311/.399). The power hasn't developed as quickly as many had hoped, but Naylor did exhibit solid contact skills in the minors (8.5 BB percentage, 14.4 K percentage) and he's struck out just four times in 38 plate appearances so far in 2020. I have seen some reports of a 70 grade on his power tool, so there's certainly a chance Naylor develops into a power hitter as he matures.
Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE
With Mike Clevinger now a Padre, this should open the door for McKenzie to stick in the rotation for the rest of 2020 and beyond. With three walks in four innings, he wasn't very efficient in start No. 2, but McKenzie still has a 2.70 ERA and 13:4 K:BB in two starts covering 10 innings. The 23-year-old remains a bit of an enigma, having not pitched at all last year (back) while missing two months in 2018 with a forearm injury. The 329 pro innings he has prior to this year, however, did shows some promise – 2.68 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9. Baseball America once tagged him as having "frontline starter" potential, with injuries seemingly the only barrier to his climbing the ladder. He doesn't have a huge fastball (93.9 mph), but if he can add some weight (listed at just 175) to his 6'5" frame, there's no reason why he can't eventually sit in the mid-90s.
Jurickson Profar, OF, SD
It's a bit surprising to see Profar atop the Padres' depth chart in left field, but with Josh Naylor off to Cleveland, that leaves Profar and perhaps Greg Allen fighting for at-bats in left. Profar is hitting just .206/.305/.363 in 119 plate appearances, but he does have five homers and three stolen bases, and in his last 22 games, Profar is batting a more respectable .277/.342/.477. With Allen hitting just .160, he would seem not be much of a threat to Profar's playing time, at least for the time being. Tommy Pham remains on the IL with a broken hand, and could miss most, if not all, of the rest of the season. Profar has seemingly been disappointing fantasy owners since the dawn of time after being a prized international signing by the Rangers back in 2009, hitting just .232/.315/.392 in parts of seven big league seasons. At 27, perhaps there's still time for a breakout, and we've seen him reach 20 homers in each of the past two years, and since 2017, Profar has put up pretty solid ratios, including a 9.3 BB percentage and 14.5 K percentage. He should have plenty of RBI opportunities in an improved Padres lineup.
Yoshihisa Hirano, RP, SEA
Despite a 5.93 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, Taylor Williams was functioning as the Mariners' closer, and now probably will be behind at least three guys in San Diego. That opens up a spot likely for Hirano, who after batting COVID-19, returned later in August and has tossed four scoreless innings since his return, albeit with a 3:3 K:BB. Hirano took a step back last year, posting a 4.75 ERA and 1.38 WHIP after 2.44 and 1.09 marks the year prior. His velocity has been down noticeably so far, with his fastball averaging a noncloser-like 89.6 mph versus last year's still-low 91.1 mark. At 36, he doesn't exactly profile as an elite closer, making us wonder who is next in line to close for the Mariners. Yohan Ramirez is interesting, as he's a hard thrower, but he's also walked 14 while striking out an impressive 21 in 13 innings. Carlos Marmol anyone? Anthony Misiewicz is somewhat interesting and should be on your AL-only radar, as while his ERA sits at 4.26, he has a 2.41 FIP thanks to a solid 17:3 K:BB in 12.2 innings. Hirano is the guy for now, but this situation could be in flux all year.
Mike Minor, SP, OAK
File this one under: "It has to be a positive getting out of Texas." Minor joins a club where the top three slots in the rotation are set, but he may still have to fight for starts with Chris Bassitt and Mike Fiers. Minor has a 5.60 ERA in seven starts, but he's coming off having tossed six shutout innings against the Dodgers, and his 8.9 K/9 is decent enough. Minor's fastball is down a full two mph over last year, which is concerning, but he's always been more about location than velocity. Since we haven't heard any sort of rumors about an injury, we have to have hope things will improve in a more favorable pitching environment. It's also interesting to note that the A's hit Minor hard (5 IP, 5 ER) back on August 6, so perhaps he'll get some advantage not having to face his new team.
Hunter Harvey, BAL
With Mychal Givens headed to Coors Field, the Orioles could look to the future and see what they have in Harvey as a closer. The Orioles also have Cole Sulser, but he's 30 years old with a 4.70 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and an ugly 14:13 K:BB in 15.1 innings. He does have five saves, but the peripherals aren't exactly enticing. Harvey is just off the IL, but he did average 97.4 mph with his fastball in an uneven debut Sunday, and could eventually (or sooner) work his way into the closer role. Harvey is a former first-round pick, but his career has been ravaged by multiple arm injuries, including Tommy John surgery. A brief 2019 cameo saw Harvey fan 11 big leaguers in 6.1 innings, so the stuff is there to miss a lot of bats. Can he stay healthy and throw strikes? We don't know that, but the Orioles seem like to give him the opportunities this year as they look to the future.
Jose Trevino, C, TEX
Trevino doesn't have much of a track record, but with Robinson Chirinos having been traded to the Mets, it would seem that Trevino is the Rangers' new starting catcher. Through Sunday's action, Trevino was batting a solid .292/.314/.479 with half of his 14 hits having gone for extra bases. He has just a .687 career OPS in the minors, but Trevino does make good contact, and if you look hard enough, there may be the possibility of double-digit power. The Rangers also have veteran Jeff Mathis behind the plate, but at 12-21, it makes little sense to give significant playing time to a guy they know isn't part of their next contender. Trevino may also not play a significant role on the next Rangers' pennant-winning team, but he's young enough that it's at least a small possibility. The Rangers have also have yet to play Isiah Kiner-Falefa at catcher this year, so we have to assume they don't think he's an option there going forward.
Trevor Rosenthal, RP, SD
Rosenthal heads to the Padres, where he joins a better team, but a muddled closer situation. Kirby Yates would normally be "the guy," but he's probably done for the season with an elbow injury. Drew Pomeranz just returned from an IL stint, but he has yet to allow a run in 10 innings with a 12:3 K:BB, so he's an option. Emilio Pagan knocked out a couple saves in recent days, but he has a 5.40 ERA and 13:9 K:BB in 15 innings. This seemingly opens the door for Rosenthal, who has seemingly resurrected his career after missing all of 2018 and posting a 13.50 ERA last year in his 15.1 innings. The right-hander recorded seven saves with the Royals this year, recording a 3.29 ERA and 13.8 K/9, though his 4.6 BB/9 remains in like with his 4.5 career mark. I'm not a huge fan of erratic closers, though the Padres seemingly provide Rosenthal with plenty of save opportunities should he seize the role, which I think he will.