News, Analysis & UpdatesJune 26, 2004

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The View From Here IV
Rants, raves and notes from the fantasy baseball world

By Ryan Fay

Breaking down the massive Carlos Beltran trade from a fantasy perspective

The Trade

Houston gets: OF Carlos Beltran
Oakland gets: RP Octavio Dotel
Kansas City gets: SP prospect Mike Wood, 3B prospect Mark Teahen (from Oakland), and C prospect John Buck (from Houston).

Resulting Fantasy Impact

Carlos Beltran will move into center field for the Astros, likely moving Craig Biggio to left field and putting Lance Berkman in right. This is another setback for Jason Lane, a talented young outfielder for the Astros with nowhere to play. When Richard Hidalgo was shipped to the Mets last week, Lane was inserted into the starting lineup. However, this trade places him in a reserve role again.

Beltran should pick up right where he left off in Kansas City and there is a strong likelihood his numbers will improve batting in a much better lineup. His stay in Houston doesn�t figure to be a long one, as he�ll likely bolt as a free agent this winter. Astros fans will enjoy it while it lasts.

Another Astros player affected by the trade is Brad Lidge, who takes over for the departed Octavio Dotel as closer. As long as he stays healthy � and as long as the team resists the temptation to add a veteran closer � Lidge should be a great stopper. He�s fanning almost 14 per nine this season and has held hitters to a minuscule .184 average. Pitching in the ninth is different than in the eighth, but there�s little reason to expect Lidge to have problems making the transition.

Going west to Oakland sees Arthur Rhodes demoted to being a setup man for Dotel, who figures to be the closer the A�s have been missing all season. Rhodes is better suited as a setup man, as are the likes of Chad Bradford & Co. Dotel has whiffed 50 men in only 34 innings and has converted 14 of 17 save chances. Expect more of the same in Oakland.

Kansas City did well in acquiring the three prospects, pitcher Mike Wood, third baseman Mark Teahan, and catcher John Buck.

Wood has been perhaps the top pitcher in the whole Pacific Coast League. He�s 11-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 90 innings for AAA Sacramento, and has walked just 24 while striking out 66. He has a strong sinker and should induce a lot of grounders. Early reports have Wood getting called up on Friday, and he should have an easy time finding a way into the pathetic Royals starting five.

Teahan, also playing for Sacramento, was hitting .275 with 10 RBI in 20 games. He hit .335 in AA earlier this season before being called up. John Buck�s star has re-emerged this year after taking a bit of a hit in 2003. The catcher was hitting .300 with 12 homers and 27 RBI for Houston�s AAA team in New Orleans.

All three prospects should be in Kansas City sometime this season, with Wood likely being the first to be called up.

Ryan Fay has been writing about fantasy sports since 2000. His articles are featured on both Fantasy Baseball Cafe and Fantasy Football Cafe. His Forum ID is RFay8585.

Are you an overjoyed Brad Lidge owner? A frustrated AL-only player who just lost Beltran? How did the fallout from this deal affect you?

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