Acquired RHPs Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa from the Mets in exchange for OF-R Yoenis Cespedes. [7/31]
Fulmer was considered the third-best arm in Oklahoma in the 2011 draft, but when you remember that the two names above him were Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley, that's not such a bad thing. Though the right-hander has battled injuries and consistency issues, he appears to have turned a corner in 2015.
He routinely touches the mid-90s with his fastball, generally sitting 91-94 with good plane from his 6-foot-4 frame. He throws both a slider and curveball, with the slider being the better swing-and-miss pitch thanks to its late bite. The curve is still a solid offering, though, with good spin and 11-5 break. Fulmer also features a changeup that's not a developmental pitch, but there are some arm-speed issues and he's still gaining trust in the offering; this isn't uncommon for young hurlers. Fulmer repeats his delivery well, and there are no issues with the arm action that suggest he needs to be moved to the bullpen.
His upside is a no. 3 starter who can miss plenty of bats, and assuming he stays healthy, he could be a member of the Tigers’ rotation by this point next summer. –Christopher Crawford
The broad-shouldered Cessa pitches from a high-three-quarters arm slot, generating downhill plane on an otherwise straight fastball. His velocity as a starter generally sits 91-94 mph, touching 95, but could see an increase out of the pen. While the changeup and slider are both fringe offerings in the low-to-mid-80s, Cessa provides deception and life on his fastball and displayed pitchability in my viewing earlier this season. The stiff mechanics and the deep stab from his arm slot likely push him to the bullpen. –Tucker Blair
Anthony Gose, Rajai Davis
Gose and Davis both go from being in a platoon to receiving additional playing time and possibly full-time duty. This helps both players, but it especially helps Davis, who was starting against left-handers for the most part and had seen a dip in his 2015 value as a result. Both were already valuable in AL-only, but Davis gets a big bump. He should be rostered in deeper mixed leagues and both should be considered in standard mixed, particularly if your roster can afford a power hit in one slot and you need to make a big speed play down the homestretch.
If the Tigers do decide to keep Gose and Davis in a platoon, the big winner will be Collins. He isn’t the greatest prospect in the long term, but there is enough power in his bat that he could hit at a 15-home-run pace the rest of the way and be a back-end outfielder in deep mixed leagues. –Mike Gianella
Acquired OF-R Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers in exchange for RHPs Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. [7/31]
Barring a deep postseason run, this deadline is going to be remembered around Citi Field for the botched Carlos Gomez trade. Whomever you blame, or whatever you believe happened during that ordeal, don't let it obscure the fact that the Mets made multiple upgrades without giving up Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Michael Conforto, or Kevin Plawecki, a collection of young players who many considered New York's top trade chits entering July.
Instead the Mets used the lesser pieces of their pitching surplus to improve their lineup and bullpen. The biggest of those upgrades came last.
Cespedes offers the Mets that in-his-prime, middle-of-the-order bat they've long desired in the form of a right-handed hitter, an attribute some desired due to the Mets' abundance of lefty bats in the absence of David Wright and Michael Cuddyer. Cespedes doesn't have the patient, disciplined approach associated with a Sandy Alderson-led team—his 4.5 percent walk rate would be a career-worst mark—but he atones for it by hitting the ectoplasm out of the ball, as evidenced by his .213 ISO. He isn't an all-or-nothing hitter either, since he's shown the ability to post respectable averages and use the entire field.
The main negatives in acquiring Cespedes rather than Gomez involve defense and team control. Though both Curtis Granderson and Cespedes have center field experience, neither has played there on a consistent basis in years. Odds are, the Mets will bench Juan Lagares—who, alternatively, might need to undergo elbow surgery—which will leave them with a worse defensive outfield than Mets fans are accustomed to seeing in Citi Field.
Those opposed to such a trade-off should take solace in knowing that Cespedes will become a free agent this winter. Conversely, those who like a little thwack with their Shake Shack may want Cespedes to stick around beyond October. The Mets will need to work quickly if they want the same thing, due to the way Cespedes will earn his free-agency rights. As Ken Rosenthal recently noted, Cespedes has to be released five days after the World Series ends; by rule, that means he can't re-sign with his old team until the following May, and there's no chance he remains on the market until then.
But the future will take care of itself. For now, Mets fans should be happy that their team is in a much better position to make the postseason than it was at this time a week ago. –R.J. Anderson
There shouldn’t be much of a change for Cespedes moving from Detroit to New York, but facing a new set of pitchers in a new division could cause a bit of a drop in the short term. The other factor to consider is that for all of the changes to the Mets’ lineup, it still isn’t the greatest in the world, and there could be a bit of a runs/RBI drop. In truth, Cespedes’ value changes very little, and at most he falls about five slots overall in a mixed-league ranking. His bat still plays in any format. If you are in an NL-only league, Jose Reyes still gets the FAAB edge this weekend because of the steals and the Coors factor but Cespedes is the play if you don’t need the steals and are looking at the home runs only.
Lagares already wasn’t having the best year, but it’s likely that he will go from being an every-day player to only getting one or two starts a week with some work in late innings in left field for Michael Conforto or Michael Cuddyer when the latter comes off the DL. If you were still holding onto Lagares in deeper mixed, he should be dropped, and if you have him in NL-only his value takes a significant hit. –Mike Gianella