Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Eric Chavez, Ryan Wheeler, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 25, 2012 @ 14:30:01 PDT

 


KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Eric Chavez, 3B, New York Yankees

New Tampa Bay Rays 2B/3B Ryan Roberts
Tatman rises

The Yanks placed Alex Rodriguez (fractured left hand) on the disabled list today after he was hit by a heater from Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez Tuesday night. A-Rod is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Chavez is the obvious candidate to take the majority of the starts at the hot corner in A-Rod's absence. GM Brian Cashman seemed to indicate that Chavez will receive the lion's share of playing time over Jayson Nix and recently recalled utility man Ramiro Pena, which is not a surprise.

Though possible, it seems unlikely they'll make a trade for an available third baseman, too, which bodes even better for Chavez's fantasy value in the next six to eight weeks. If he falters, however, Nix or Pena could see more work. Don't rule out the team recalling Eduardo Nunez from the minors, either; he was just recently promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as he works to improve his defense, among other things.

Chavez, 34, will at least face right-handers in this arrangement. The aging vet has a slash line of .269/.324/.474 with eight home runs in 173 plate appearances this year. Eight homers in limited time this year looks good, but he's been helped by a fortunate HR/FB rate (16 percent). He's not the 25-plus home run guy he was in his prime with the Oakland A's, obviously, but he can provide occasional flashes of pop every now and then. Hitting in a potent New York lineup doesn't hurt, either.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Watch
15-tm mixed:
Consider
AL-only:
Acquire

Ryan Wheeler, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

More PT has opened up for Wheeler in the desert with the club trading Ryan Roberts to the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday. The deal shows that the Snakes are serious about finding out what they have in Wheeler, who was dominating at Triple-A Reno (.351/.388/.572 with 15 long balls and 90 RBIs). Keep in mind, the Pacific Coast League heavily favors hitters.

Willie Bloomquist will also see time at the hot corner, but Wheeler is the main man, for now at least. Plus, Bloomquist could be asked to return to an everyday player at shortstop should the club decide to move Stephen Drew by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Wheeler, 24, has more offensive upside than Bloomquist or previous third base inhabitant Roberts. Bloomquist started against a lefty arm Tuesday, but skipper Kirk Gibson said Wheeler will face lefties eventually. If Wheeler's hitting doesn't impress, his below-average defensive skills won't keep him in the lineup regularly. He's worth a look in deep formats to see if his recent minor league strides will play well in Chase Field, another hitter's paradise.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Watch
15-tm mixed:
Consider
NL-only:
Acquire

Ryan Roberts, 2B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays were rumored to be interested in the third base trade market due to the slow recovery of Evan Longoria (partial tear of left hamstring). Roberts is their man, and he's expected to fill in as the short-term starting third sacker until Longoria resurfaces.

Longoria has made good progress in recent days, and he could begin a short minor league rehab assignment shortly, though. The team will be cautious with Longoria and will likely have him serve as the DH initially to ensure that he won't suffer any setbacks. This will bide a little extra time for Roberts. When Longo returns, Roberts will likely go back to a utility role similar to what he was serving with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tatman took advantage of his opportunity last year, hitting .249 with 19 homers and 65 RBIs in 143 games with the D-backs last season. His hitter-friendly home digs and 12.1 percent HR/FB rate aided in his power spike. Roberts still has decent pop, but his continued struggles against right-handers this year thrust him back into more of a utility role.

He also has eligibility at the keystone, so he makes for a decent short-term depth piece for your middle or corner infield now that he'll be playing with regularity again. Just don't expect him to help you in the BA department.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Watch
15-tm mixed:
Consider
AL-only:
Acquire

Donovan Solano and Donnie Murphy, 3B, Miami Marlins

The Marlins have a gaping hole to fill at third base after they shipped embattled third baseman Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers late Tuesday night. The Fish recalled Donnie Murphy from Triple-A New Orleans today and he, along with Donovan Solano and Greg Dobbs, will share duties at third for the time being.

Dobbs easily has the most major league experience, but he's likely to be used the least, at least as a starter; Ozzie Guillen prefers to use the lefty stick as a bat off the bench in late-game situations. That leaves Solano, 24, and Murphy, 29, to fight for PT. Both hit from the right side, but Solano is the better option to garner the majority of starts.

Solano started today and hit second in the order behind Jose Reyes, and the Columbian native went 0-for-1 with a run scored, three walks and two stolen bases. He has 19 hits in 58 at-bats after hitting .262 with no homers, 14 RBIs and four thefts at New Orleans.

Judging from their minor league totals, neither Solano nor Murphy will hit much, especially if the combination of the two split time with each other and Dobbs. Solano offers more upside because of his age and ability to steal a bag here and there.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
NL-only:
Consider

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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