Tag: Octavio Dotel

Relief Options Still Exist for New York Yankees

With David Robertson heading to the disabled list and an already young and inexperienced bullpen, the New York Yankees must explore the several relief options that still remain on the free agent market in an attempt to upgrade their roster.

While the likes of David Phelps, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances and Vidal Nuno have held their own through the start of this young season, the Yankees lack relievers with both veteran leadership and closing experience. Even when Robertson returns, manager Joe Girardi may sleep easier with a more established setup man in his pen than Kelley. He could probably use an experienced arm in the middle innings of games. 

The players mentioned here are by no means All-Stars, at least not anymore, otherwise they would have found a team by now. Instead, they could provide veteran leadership and a safety net should Robertson and his fellow young relievers hit a skid along the way.


All stats were obtained via Baseball Reference. 

Question or comments? Feel free to follow me on Twitter @GPhillips2727 to talk New York Yankees and Major League Baseball. 


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Toronto Blue Jays 2011 Preview: Are They a Better Team Than Last Year?

At first glance, it would appear as if the Toronto Blue Jays have had a quiet offseason.

There were no big contracts, no major deals, no guys named Greinke or Ramirez. 

In fact, they seemed to lose more players than they acquired: Scott Downs, Brian Tallet, Kevin Gregg, All-Star catcher John Buck and first baseman Lyle Overbay have all signed elsewhere. 

Oh, and they traded Shaun Marcum, their Opening Day starter, for prospect Brett Lawrie.

Some have suggested that the Jays will actually field a weaker team than they did in 2010, one that’ll be unable to capitalize on the Crawford-less Rays and an aging New York Yankees. 

But in reality, GM Alex Anthopoulos has been flying under the radar, bolstering the club’s already impressive farm system with several low-risk acquisitions, such as outfielder Corey Patterson and reliever Wil Ledezma. The Jays will have a competitive spring training in which many players will be competing for few jobs, particularly in the bullpen. 

They signed former closers Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel and Chad Cordero, who will battle it out with Jason Frasor to be the everyday closer. The fifth spot in the rotation is also up for grabs, with Marc Rzepczynski, Jesse Litsch, Brad Mills and newcomer Zach Stewart all vying for the position. And if Dustin McGowan somehow manages to get healthy, you can throw his name into the mix, too. 

Whether the Jays brass will admit it publicly or not, the club is not realistically looking to contend for the AL East title until 2012. Having said that, there’s plenty to be excited about in 2011. Let’s take a closer look at the changes made over the offseason.

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Octavio Dotel the Latest Toronto Blue Jays Closer

Do you realize that Billy Koch was the last pitcher to lead the Toronto Blue Jays in saves in back-to-back seasons? That was all the way back during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

Since then, the Blue Jays have had a different pitcher lead the team in saves each year. That’s nine years and eight different closers. Only B.J. Ryan lead the team in saves twice during that stretch.

And with last year’s closer, Kevin Gregg, departing via free agency, the Blue Jays will have their ninth closer in 10 years.

That ninth closer will be Octavio Dotel. The Blue Jays signed Dotel last week to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with a club option for 2012. The club option is worth $3.75 million or they can buyout Dotel for $750,000, according to Enrique Rojas.

Dotel has been well traveled throughout his 12-year career. He has played on 10 teams during that span and last year, he played on three different teams. Dotel pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Colorado Rockies last season and had a 4.08 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 10.5 K’s/9, and 4.5 BB’s/9 in 64 total innings.

Dotel is far removed from the guy who used to throw in the mid-to-upper-90s with the Houston Astros. He can still strike guys out, but his velocity on his fastball dropped to 91.7 mph, which was the lowest of his career and he is more a Maalox Moment for a manager than anything else these days.

Dotel is the type of closer these days that will walk two, strike out one, give up an infield single, but yet will somehow find a way to get out of the inning. And if he comes into the game with a three-run lead, he is sure to give up two and make it interesting.

He is like John Franco at the end of his career or Fernando Rodney now.

He will certainly get his opportunities in Toronto to close games. The Blue Jays won 85 games last year and are expected to be just as good in 2011.

My guess is Dotel will finish the year with 30 to 35 saves and an ERA around 4.15.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Blue Jays Add Veteran Reliever Octavio Dotel to 2011 Bullpen

After the idea of the Blue Jays adding Octavio Dotel had been kicked around by everyone with an interest in baseball or the Jays on twitter off and on for the last month, it finally went down today. The deal is another inexpensive move by GM Alex Anthopoulos following on the heals of signing Edwin Encarnacion, trading for and releasing Miquel Olivo, and sending Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee for a prospect. Dotel is guaranteed, according to Fox Sports, 3.5 million dollars between a 2011 salary of 2.75 million and another 750,000 if his 3.75 million 2012 option is declined.

Unlike a good deal of Anthopoulos’ moves this year, in season and off, this one brought in a player well past the age of thirty, Dotel will be thirty-seven on Opening Day. But like all of his moves it does have implications for the future should Dotel pitch well enough to bring draft pick compensation upon becoming a free agent. Hopefully, and surely, there is more to it than that because counting on any reliever approaching forty years of age to do anything is always a big question mark, except for that guy the Yankees have. The Jays might be better off getting compensation for him by spinning him at the trade deadline instead of waiting to see if he holds up all season.

Something should be said about the state of player movement in baseball when newly signed players having their exit from the club discussed before they even put on a uniform. Dotel will certainly pitch for the Jays for some length of time in 2011 turning the question to what should be expected of him. First off, he has the over glorified title of being a proven closer, proven and former are quickly becoming interchangeable when talking about relievers who’ve made lots of appearances in the ninth inning of baseball games when his team is leading.

Dotel has just one season with more than thirty saves and three overall with ten or more. That does include last season when he saved 22 games in 28 chances while pitching for no less than three clubs. Turning to numbers of more importance Dotel pitched 64 innings in 72 appearances last year, his third consecutive year logging over 60 innings. That of course followed three straight years of pitching no more than 30 innings.

In those 64 innings he set down 10.55 batters per nine innings and issued 4.50 walks per nine. The walk rate was an improvement, if you can call it that, from 2009’s 5.20 BB/9 but both marks came in well above his career rate of 4.09 and 2008’s 3.90. It’s unlikely to expect much improvement moving forward. The impressive strikeout rate will need to stay impressive to mitigate the free passes, making his ability to miss bats more of a necessity than a luxury.

His three year average ERA, from 2008-2010, is 3.72 with a FIP of 4.11 in that same time. Last season his ERA was 4.09 with a FIP of 4.20, not great numbers for a reliever but good enough, if repeatable, to help shore up the bullpen for 2011. Dotel instantly becomes the favorite to close games for the Jays and should serve as a decent place holder until someone substantially younger comes through and pushes Dotel out of the role.

However superficial the title of closer or the burdens of being labelled as such may be it can cause confidence issues with young relievers thrust into the role. Many closers have started off their careers setting up someone just like Dotel as a ways of easing them into a future closing role. Between his actual pitching, potential future value to other teams, and, in theory, being perfectly fine with the closer tag Dotel’s services should be worth the price paid. Since that price isn’t all that large, especially compared to other releivers’ deals this off season, if he can’t stay healthy or pitches horribly the Jays won’t be on the hook for any amount of money worth getting upset about.  

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Pittsburgh Pirates: Would Bringing Back Octavio Dotel Be a Good Fit?

There hasn’t been much to the Pittsburgh Pirates offseason so far. The signings of pitchers Kevin Correia and Scott Olsen, along with inking first baseman Lyle Overbay and outfielder Matt Diaz, likely make the Pirates a marginally better team than in 2010.

Then again, when you finish the season 57-105, anything you do in December likely makes you a better team.

The four newcomers aren’t flashy signings, and while other teams in the division are acquiring the likes of Zach Grienke, the Pirates have been awful quiet the past few weeks. 

That begs the question. Are the Pirates done this offseason?

The answer to that is a definite no.  Will they acquire a major talent like Grienke?  That answer is also no, but they still have a chance to add some parts.

While I covered the Winter Meetings, I heard the Pirates linked to many names. Most of that talk has fizzled, but there are still some possibilities.

They are still looking at some starting pitching. Brandon Webb’s name keeps coming up, but that’s not going to happen. One name that has popped up lately though is Carl Pavano, the best remaining arm on the open market.

Pavano has been very good the past two seasons, but I’d be very hesitant on offering him more than two or three years. He’s likely out of the Pirates’ price range anyway.

One possibility though is Jeff Francis, who is coming off of injury, but has had success under new Pirates manager Clint Hurdle while in Colorado.  Francis is very talented, and if he’s healthy, would likely be the most talented pitcher currently on the Pirates roster.

That’s a big if, though, when it comes to Francis.

Still, Francis is the type of arm the Pirates would be wise to take a long look at.

Another name that looks like it could end up in Pittsburgh is a familiar one in Octavio Dotel.

Jon Paul Morosi from FOX Sports reports that the Pirates are one of three teams showing serious interest in the right-handed reliever, with the Rays and Blue Jays being the other two. Consequently, those are the three teams that would likely be able to offer Dotel a chance at closing.

Would it be a bad move to bring Dotel back? Not at all. Despite the 2010 record, the back end of the Pirates bullpen actually performed pretty well. Dotel would give you a veteran arm that can get outs late in a game.

Sure, he can be a bit erratic at times, but the Pirates could do much worse than Dotel.  Having defined roles in innings seven through nine would be a good thing to have. Sure, it’s easy to say that Evan Meek or Joel Hanrahan will assume the closer role, but there is no guarantee they can hold up in the ninth inning.

Even if they could, the Pirates bullpen is much thinner than it was a season ago, and adding another arm would be big.

I’m all for signing Dotel, if you get him on a one-year deal. That would allow Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington to flip him at the deadline again. If he could even come close to matching last season’s return of Andrew Lambo and James McDonald, it would be amazing.

While signing Dotel is another move that wouldn’t be flashy and do much for the casual fan, it would be another small piece in making the Pirates a somewhat better team in 2011.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Anthony Jackson After Surrendering Three Players

The deal is finally complete, and for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it turned out to be quite a mess.

On Monday, the Dodgers acquired outfielder Anthony Jackson from the Colorado Rockies in return for Octavio Dotel, which finalized the trade made last September.

Not only did Jackson cost the Dodgers Dotel, but Los Angeles also sacrificed starting pitcher James McDonald and prospect Andrew Lambo to the Pittsburgh Pirates in order to land Dotel last July.

According to Baseball America, Jackson isn’t listed as one of the Rockies’ top 30 prospects, and hasn’t elevated past the Double-A level in five minor league seasons.

Jackson, 26, is primarily known for his quickness and speed. In his five years with the Rockies organization, he played all three outfield positions as well as seeing limited time at second base and shortstop.

In 2010, Jackson appeared in 122 games for the Tulsa Drillers, hitting .251 with 67 runs scored, 109 hits, two home runs, 40 RBI and 33 stolen bases.

It’s speculated that Jackson will report to either the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes or the Great Lakes Loons—both Single-A affiliates in the Dodgers’ farm system—in early spring.

The Dodgers made the deal for Dotel just before the 2010 trade deadline in an effort to strengthen the bullpen with hopes of a possible run at the playoffs.

Needless to say, in terms of improvement, the trade was far from beneficial, as the Dodgers quickly found themselves falling from contention not long after the trade deadline passed.

During his brief stint with Los Angeles, Dotel appeared in 19 games and posted a 1-1 record with a 3.38 ERA. He logged just over 18 innings, and surrendered 11 hits, 11 walks, three home runs and was responsible for one blown save.

With the Rockies, Dotel was 0-1 with a 5.06 earned-run average in eight games and five innings of work.

On November 3, the Rockies declined Dotel’s team option for 2011, and as a result were forced to buyout his contract for $250,000. Dotel is currently a free agent and will turn 37 on November 25.

On the other side of the country in Pittsburgh, Pirates managers and coaches are pleased with the progress of James McDonald and are looking forward to him maintaining a second or third slot in the starting pitching rotation next season.

While with the Pirates in 2010, McDonald started 11 games and compiled a 4-5 record with a 3.52 ERA. He struck out 61 batters while logging just over 64 innings of work.

In 26 games for the Altoona Curve, the Pirates Double-A affiliate, outfielder Andrew Lambo hit .275 with two home runs and 10 RBI, but once acclimated, hopes to play a more prominent role in 2011.

Fans across Dodgertown can’t help but have sour tastes in their mouths. Only a few weeks ago, they learned that Scott Podsednik, also acquired just before the 2010 trade deadline, won’t be returning to the team, as he declined his 2011 player option.

In order to obtain Podsednik, the Dodgers dealt the best catcher in their farm system, Lucas May, along with pitching prospect Elisaul Pimintel, to the Kansas City Royals.

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Octavio Dotel on the Move Again

Talk about a rarity. We saw a very surprising September trade over the weekend. The reason September trades are usually non-existent is because players traded after August 31st aren’t eligible for the postseason.

In another attempt to shore up their bullpen, the Colorado Rockies acquired reliever Octavio Dotel from the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later. Dotel was traded to the Dodgers from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the July 31st trade deadline for Andrew Lambo and James McDonald—a trade that has looked very good for the Pirates, by the way.

With Manuel Corpas lost for the season because of Tommy John surgery and Manny Delcarmen sucking, the Rockies could use another arm in the pen. Dotel should be able to help the Rockies out over the course of the next two weeks.

In 61 games, Dotel has a 3.97 ERA and is striking out almost 11 batters per innings, which is right near his career average. Dotel has also pitched extremely well in the second half. He has a 2.63 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 24 second-half innings.

Dotel pitched in the seventh inning against the Dodgers yesterday and that is where he will most likely be used down the stretch.

On a side note to this trade, did you know that the Rockies will be Dotel’s 10th team in his 12-year career? For some reason, I find that amazing.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire Chris Snyder; What’s Ryan Doumit’s Future?

The Pirates had another busy trade deadline, but unlike years past, this year there were no salary dumps or accumulation of prospects. The Pirates made three trades today and all appear to be good baseball moves.

The Pirates acquired catcher Chris Snyder and minor league shortstop Pedro Ciriaco from the Arizona Diamondbacks, in exchange for Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby and D.J. Carrasco.

They also sent closer Octavio Dotel to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander James McDonald and minor league outfielder Andrew Lambo.

In addition, Pittsburgh sent Javier Lopez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right hander Joe Martinez and outfielder John Bowker.

Give the Pirates some credit for being able to sign some veteran relievers in the off-season that they were able to turn into young arms.

The biggest move of the day though was acquiring Snyder. It also now leaves a big question on what to do with Ryan Doumit. Snyder has the reputation of being one of the game’s better defensive catchers, something the Pirates desperately need.

He should be able to help the pitching staff out as well, as Snyder is know for being able to handle a staff, something Doumit wasn’t capable of doing.

The Pirates did well with this move. While Snyder doesn’t do much as an average hitter, his offensive numbers are comparable to Doumit’s, who doesn’t offer much of anything.

Snyder is hitting .231 on the year, while Doumit is only hitting .258. Snyder’s hit ten homers and driven in 32 runs, while Doumit has hit eight homers and driven in 32. The improvement though is defensively.

Snyder is known for being a glove man and has a good arm behind the dish, while Doumit is the worst catcher in the game today. Doumit won’t be behind the plate very often (Thank God) anymore and the Pirates young pitchers will benefit from it.

What do you do now with Doumit, though? It’s a shame that his fragile self got hurt again right before the deadline or there is a good chance he would have got dealt.

The immediate plan is to make him the everyday right fielder and that is just an awful idea.

In six seasons as a pro, Doumit has done absolutely nothing to warrant regular playing time, yet the Pirates keep finding ways to get his “bat” into the lineup. What bat?

Doumit has had one decent year offensively as a pro, in 2008 when he hit .318. That same season, he also set career highs in homers (15) and RBI (69). Still very below average numbers, though.

Yet, the Pirates continue to run him out there and bat him in the middle of the order often when his track record clearly shows he’s not a talented offensive player.

He’s hit over .260 only one other time (.274 in 2007), reached double digits in homers only one other time (10 in 2009) and other than his 69-RBI season of 2008 has never driven in more than 40 runs in a season.

Not to mention he is a huge liability no matter where you put him on the field defensively.

It’s a shame the Pirates are thinking about putting him in right field. You have to feel bad for Lastings Milledge.

First he has to platoon with Ryan Church, who was hitting .180 on the season and now he will lose at-bats to Doumit. Once he started playing everyday again, all Milledge has done is hit.

When guys are on base, Milledge drrives in runs, hitting over .380 with runners in scoring position, something Doumit would know nothing about.

It’s a disgrace to keep giving Doumit at bats. Now that the Pirates have better talent, they should run their best eight guys out there on a nightly basis.

There is nothing wrong with having Doumit as a bench player, getting a spot start every now and then, but he shouldn’t be getting regular playing time.

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Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, Octavio Dotel: Feel Better Fans?

Well the clock has ticked past the magic witching hour when teams have a last chance to cure what ails ’em via non-waiver trade. The Los Angeles Dodgers were very active at the deadline just as GM Ned Coletti promised. Boy oh boy, is the NL West ever in for it now!

If you detect a hint of sarcasm, then you’re far more astute than Ned. Then again, I have old socks that are more astute than Ned.

With the team floundering offensively and their playoff chances dwindling with each passing inning, the Dodgers go forth into the marketplace and snag… hold your breath… Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, and Octavio Dotel.

Let me run that by you again as I doubt the significance of these acquisitions could be fully appreciated in just one passing. Here we go: Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, and Octavio Dotel.

Now that your pulse has slowed down and your giddiness has passed, let’s revel in the moment here and bask in the Coletti Glow.

Look, Ted Lilly is a decent back-of-the-rotation arm, and yes, the Dodgers could use one. On the surface a Blake DeWitt for Lilly deal isn’t a bad move. It’s not a “World Series Here We Come” stroke of genius either. I would have liked this trade a LOT better if it had occured in March. As things are right now, it seems too little, too late.

Ryan Theriot? Uh…OK. I guess. A little more speed at 2B I suppose, but hardly a difference maker. You get the feeling the Cubs wouldn’t let Lilly go unless we took Theriot too. I don’t blame them. Still, it makes losing DeWitt less of an issue, not that he was much of a factor anyway.

The return of Dotel is a real head-scratcher. I understand the bullpen is shaky. By adding Dotel, the end result is… well, a shaky bullpen.

When you consider that the Dodgers just traded Blake DeWitt, Brett Wallach, Kyle Smit, James McDonald and Andrew Lambo for The Big Three of Lilly, Theriot, and Dotel you have to wonder why the same group couldn’t net an Oswalt or Dunn.

The Dodgers took on another $3 million in payroll with these moves so I guess Coletti used all of the $2-3 mil Frank gave him to “play with” and did what he could to address the team’s immediate needs. The sad fact is that this really doesn’t enhance the Dodgers chances at making a run deep into the playoffs. Heck, you have to wonder if it’s even enough to make a run at the Wild Card.

All hope is not lost, however. Coletti still has a pretty big chip to play with in Manny Ramirez. Manny would certainly clear waivers and could possibly bring a bona fide, can’t miss prospect or at the very least a decent mid-level player.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Manny take his hammy to the AL Central for a kid like Dayan Viciedo. I mean, why not? Do we really believe Manny is going to come back and tear it up like he did in ’08? Or even pick up where he left off?

I’m sure Boras is telling Manny to take it easy and to protect his legs in hopes of pulling in a couple of million to DH someplace next year. I’d rather get something for Manny while we can than bet on him regaining his form and taking us to the promised land this year.

The bottom line is, with or without Manny the core group of Ethier, Kemp, Loney, and Martin need to start producing. Now. Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda and Padilla need to stay solid and Lilly needs to fit into the rotation without skipping a beat. Time is running out and we can’t wait for Manny to be Manny.

Of course, we have Theriot. Watch out National League.

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MLB Trade Deadline Fantasy Baseball Fallout: Dotel to the Dodgers

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have acquired Octavio Dotel for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo (Lambo’s presence in the deal comes from Jayson Stark via Twitter.).

The Dodgers Get

Dotel helps become the bridge to Jonathan Broxton and could give him a day off from time-to-time.  He brings strikeout ability, with 48 Ks in 40.0 innings, though he does have a 4.28 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.  He’ll hold value for those who play in leagues that value middle relievers, but that’s about it at this point.

The Pirates Get

First of all, they open up their closer’s role.  There has been a lot of speculation as to who will asume the job between Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek.  At this point, I would imagine that both will get a shot at some point, but Hanrahan may get the first opportunity.  

He has a track record, albeit a small one, and has been lights out of late. He’s also just 28 years old, so it is not like he is an “old” relief pitcher as opposed to Meek.  He has struck out 63 batters over 45.2 innings, giving him the characteristics of a potentially dominant closer.  He’s certainly worth taking a flyer on in all formats.


McDonald is a pitching prospect that we’ve heard about for some time.  Baseball America ranked him as the team’s second best prospect heading into 2009, at the time saying, “McDonald can add and subtract velocity from all three of his pitches—fastball, curveball and changeup—and has strong command. His best pitch is his 11-to-5 curve, which ranges from 69-77 mph, and his changeup is a plus offering with sink. When he pitched in relief in the majors, his fastball jumped up to 93-96 mph.”

He’s struggled this year, with a 4.17 ERA over 69.0 innings in the minors and 8.22 ERA over 7.2 IP in the majors.  Clearly he has a ton of potential and could develop into a useful starting pitcher or a dominant arm out of the pen.  If he starts, he could have value in all formats, so keep an eye on him.

The Dodgers No. 1 ranked prospect prior to ‘09?  That’s right, it was Lambo, who is currently at Double-A.  

He has disappointed, with just four HR in 181 AB, having missed time due to a 50-game drug suspension.  Prior to ‘09, however, Baseball America said, “Lambo has plus raw power and bat speed, with an ideal swing path and mechanics. For a big player, he has a short and direct path to the ball, and he’s very consistent with his stroke. He shows mainly gap power now, but he has the big frame to provide leverage for more homers in the future.” 

Certainly sounds worth the gamble.

Seems like the Pirates got a very good return for their closer, but what do you think? Also, who do you think will close games now in Pittsburgh?

Make sure to check out our trade deadline analysis:

Yunel Escober for Alex Gonzalez

Alberto Callaspo traded to the Angels

Dan Haren traded to the Angels

Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers

Scott Podsednik to the Dodgers

Roy Oswalt to the Phillies for J.A. Happ and two minor leaguers

Jorge Cantu to the Rangers

Miguel Tejada to the Padres

Matt Capps to the Twins for Wilson Ramos

Edwin Jackson to the White Sox

Christian Guzman to the Rangers

Lance Berkman to the Yankees

Austin Kearns to the Yankees

Chad Qualls to Tampa Bay

Chris Snyder to Pittsburgh in five-player trade

Ludwick to Padres, Westbrook to Cardinals in three-team trade

Lilly and Theriot to the Cubs

Minor Deadline Deals

Keep checking www.rotoprofessor.com for all the fantasy fallout from the deadline deals as we cover the moves as they happen!


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