The Major League Baseball trade deadline is July 30, and fantasy owners need to follow closely. Depending on your fantasy league rules, players being traded from league to league could be an issue, but overall, there will be a fantasy impact with most trades. Fantasy owners need to react quickly as there are only two months left in the season and every move is critical.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Cincinnati Reds First Baseman Joey Votto — The veteran gets mentioned, but there’s a chance he’s already off the waiver wire as he is the number one option this week. Votto went from less than 30 percent owned in Yahoo! Sports leagues to more than the 50 percent threshold due to a monster week. The first baseman has hit a home run in six straight games and now has 20 on the season. Votto had a batting average of .254 on July 10 and has raised it to .278 with his recent hot streak. I feel like we’re chasing his recent stretch of home runs, but if you need a boost in offense, Votto is your guy.

St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder Harrison Bader — The outfielder has had a strong month of July, batting .364 with five home runs, 16 RBIs and three stolen bases. For the season, Bader is hitting .293 with nine home runs and six stolen bases. Like Votto, Bader is a hitter in the midst of a hot streak and we hope we can capitalize for a few more weeks.

Relievers Taking Over The Closer Role — I’m lumping all of this together as we still don’t have a clear picture on many of these situations. The Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays have all parted ways with their closers in recent days, and there’s a chance a few more teams will acquire other relievers to help bolster the ninth inning. Anthony Bender and Dylan Floro will be in the mix for the Marlins, and Kyle Finnegan could be used in the ninth for the Nationals with Daniel Hudson and Austin Voth on the COVID-19 injured list. Finnegan did get the first opportunity July 29. Look for Jeffrey Springs, Andrew Kittredge, Matt Wisler and Drew Rasmussen to split opportunities in the ninth inning after the Rays traded Diego Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. It’s extremely difficult to nail all of this down as I expect a few more trades to occur. Fantasy owners must follow these situations closely.

Phil Backert

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