Commentary

Uncommon Thievery: Deadline speed impact

Updated: August 2, 2007, 10:42 AM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com
Lots of speed news to roll through this week, so we'll get right into the action. The trade deadline has come and gone, and, as usual, there's plenty of fantasy fallout on the speed front.

Trade effects

Kenny Lofton didn't get any slower during his recent move from Texas to Cleveland, but he might as well have. Most guys will look at the stolen base attempts for Texas (76) and Cleveland (79) and automatically assume there will be no change in value for Lofton in terms of stolen bases. The thing is, Lofton had the green light in Texas. He did since Opening Day; that's why he has 21 swipes on the year. I'm not so sure he'll get the same treatment in Cleveland. Sure, he'll still steal some bases, but not as many as he did for the Rangers. Manager Eric Wedge isn't necessarily down on the stolen base, but he's not exactly what we'd call a run-friendly manager, either. Sure, he's sending his runners more often this year, but it's not as though he's suddenly going to turn into a small-ball guy now that he has Lofton's speed at his disposal. I look at it this way, the Indians aren't a speed-based team, and they already have a productive base stealer at the top of their lineup in Grady Sizemore. That said, although I don't see Lofton's stolen bases completely falling off the table, I also don't see Wedge giving Lofton the same freedoms he enjoyed under Ron Washington in Texas.

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Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com and is a two-time Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year, as named by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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