The MLB trade deadline is eight days away. Depending on how your league is setup, your league trade deadline is approaching as well. Not only is it a time for MLB playoff contenders to acquire help, but it is also a time for fantasy owners, with playoff aspirations, to solidify positions of need. It’s a given both MLB teams and fantasy owners will be looking to acquire pitching, but both will be looking for a power bat as well. One of the names that I feel could help both sides of the baseball spectrum is Trey Mancini. He’s solidified himself as an offensive force, and if he’s dealt at the MLB deadline, he could be in store for even better numbers down the stretch. This week, I want to focus on the Baltimore slugger in “That’s Amore!” Need Help? Look No Further Than Trey Mancini.
What can be said about Baltimore? They’re at the bottom of the American League East division, they’re on pace for a second-straight 100 loss season, and they’re one game ahead of Detroit for the worst record in Major League Baseball. Only the White Sox, Marlins, and Tigers have scored less runs that the Orioles. Factor in being 22nd in hits, 24th in home runs and batting average, and 27th in on-base percentage and it’s easy to see why there isn’t much ray of sunlight for the Baltimore organization. One bright spot is slugging right-hander Trey Mancini. He’s on pace for a third consecutive season with 24 home runs, and looks destined to see personal bests in home runs, OBP, slugging, and OPS. He’s easily a diamond in the rough, and could provide tremendous depth for MLB and fantasy teams down the stretch.
Looking at Mancini’s three-years splits, he’s been about as consistent as it gets in terms of Pre All-Star and Post All-Star numbers. Two numbers that immediately stick out are his increase in batting average and slugging percentage. He’s seen a dip in Post All-Star walk percentage, but I like the fact his strikeout percentage has gone down Post All-Star. Assuming he’s dealt to a contender, I could see positive trends in relation to his home runs, RBI, and slugging percentages. We are talking about a player who has yet to play on a winning team, and if he’s moved to a contender, the opportunities seem better for him to drive in runs as well as score them.
What teams could be in the mix? I could see the Yankees, Cubs, Twins, Indians, Rays, and Phillies making a play for Mancini. Given his ability to play left field and first base, Mancini would be an upgrade to Cleveland and Philadelphia’s outfield, and at first base for New York, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay. While I believe the Cubs possess Major League-ready talent Baltimore would entertain in a deal, Mancini seems more of a backup plan if they can’t land Detroit’s Nick Castellanos amid rumors. Realistically, I think the teams (New York, Minnesota, Tampa Bay) looking for an upgrade at first base would be the more ideal fit for a trade scenario. New York and Minnesota have better minor league prospects of the list of teams, and both could be looking to upgrade at first base. Given the fact Mancini isn’t eligible for free agency until 2023 (arbitration eligible in 2020), he possesses the control that teams want when acquiring players.
What would the cost be in fantasy baseball? Depending on an owner’s surplus, I could easily see a young pitcher, hitter, and picks involved. If an owner of Mancini is looking to rebuild, I could see mid-level pick(s) being dealt for Mancini. And, if you yourself are a Mancini owner looking to move the slugger, you could easily land some solid pieces in return. If you’re looking to acquire, pick the Mancini owner’s brain and see what they’re looking for. If you’re selling, why not make him available on the message board, and see what the best offer could be?
Even if Mancini isn’t dealt, I like what I’ve seen throughout the season, and in season’s past. It’s amazing what he’s done for a Baltimore team that is anything less than competitive. He’s still getting on base, hitting the long ball, and doing everything in his power to produce. While I’d prefer Mancini’s production while on a competitive team, I still think he’s worth acquiring regardless if he’s dealt or stuck in Baltimore.