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Fantasy Baseball Offseason Tracker: Justin Turner lands with Blue Jays; Mariners commerce for Jorge Polanco

Spring training has started, and we’re still waiting for the last free agent dominoes to fall. You’ll want to stay plugged in here for all the Fantasy Baseball fallout. Here’s what to make of what’s happened so far … Tim Anderson signs with Marlins The Marlins desperately needed a shortstop, and Anderson desperately needed a

Fantasy Baseball Offseason Tracker: Justin Turner lands with Blue Jays; Mariners commerce for Jorge Polanco

Spring coaching has began, and we’re nonetheless ready for the final free agent dominoes to fall. You will need to keep plugged in right here for all of the Fantasy Baseball fallout.

Here is what to make of what is occurred to date …

Tim Anderson indicators with Marlins

The Marlins desperately wanted a shortstop, and Anderson desperately wanted a group, making this signing an act of desperation twice over. Drafting Anderson in Fantasy could be a lot the identical. You are principally hoping he recaptures his type from 2019-2022, when he hit .318 with a .820 OPS and a 162-game tempo of 22 homers and 23 steals, however his 2023 was a far cry from these numbers.

He is all the time been an undisciplined hitter and figured to crash laborious at any time when he did crash, besides, age 30 is on the early aspect for such a crash. It is potential a sprained knee in April merely blew up his season. He appeared extra like typical Tim Anderson in his 11 video games earlier than then, amassing 5 of his 13 stolen bases on the yr. Even trying on the full-season information, his plate self-discipline and exit velocity readings have been according to profession norms. An offseason of relaxation could also be sufficient to resume him, however realizing the draw back threat, it is laborious to justify greater than a late-round gamble on Anderson — and solely in leagues that require a 3rd center infielder. If nothing else, although, the Marlins are giving him an opportunity, and with out that, he’d don’t have any worth in any respect.

Whit Merrifield indicators with Phillies

Merrifield was nonetheless fairly helpful for Fantasy functions final yr and even represented the Blue Jays within the All-Star recreation, however at 35, the pursuit of a championship could also be extra necessary to him than the pursuit of constant at-bats. He would not appear to be in line for the latter with the Phillies, who’re in fact settled at second base with Bryson Stott. Merrifield can also be able to enjoying the outfield, and it is potential he is insurance coverage there in case Johan Rojas falls flat on his face offensively. Granted, an damage may change Merrifield’s outlook, however for now, his projected function as a part-time utility participant with some pace limits his enchantment to NL-only leagues.

Jorge Soler indicators with Giants

With this three-year deal, Soler goes from one dangerous park to a different and from one suspect lineup to a different. In actual fact, you could not ask for a extra comparable state of affairs than the one he is leaving in Miami, so in a sure respect, we all know precisely what to anticipate from him with the Giants. However in one other respect, we do not in any respect as a result of Soler is much less a product of his setting than how he is feeling and the way he is swinging the bat. He is coming off most likely the second-best season of his profession, however notably, it got here throughout a contract yr. The exit velocity readings are constantly excessive and counsel he ought to be an impactful energy hitter yearly, however the monitor file tells one other story. The reward most likely matches up with the chance at about thirty fifth within the outfield rankings, but when this signing elevates him past that, I would be cautious.

Corbin Burnes traded to Orioles

He was already my No. 5 beginning pitcher, however this commerce could also be sufficient to maneuver Burnes forward of Zack Wheeler and Kevin Gausman, making for a transparent No. 3 at a place that lacked one. Not solely does he go from a fringe NL contender to what could be the AL favorites however he’ll additionally take pleasure in a venue improve. Camden Yards has grow to be one of many majors’ most pitcher-friendly parks following the modifications to the left subject fence two years in the past, and Burnes’ profession ERA at American Household Discipline is about 75 factors increased than in all places else. Menawhile, Statcast estimates that he would have allowed seven fewer house runs if he had performed each recreation at Camden Yards final yr. That is vital. For extra on this transfer for Burnes and the gamers the Brewers received in return, see my full-length article.

Justin Turner indicators with Blue Jays

Turner will get a one-year deal to be the Blue Jays’ major DH after exhibiting he had one thing left within the tank with the Pink Sox final yr, however seeing as he is now 39, that yr in Boston could show to be a blip. For one factor, Fenway Park did him some favors, as is usually true for right-handed hitters.He hit .258 with a .764 OPS on the highway final yr. And whereas enjoying principally DH ought to assist to maintain him wholesome, there is no denying his damage historical past. A bone bruise in his heel final yr had him hobbled for a lot of the second half. Nonetheless, these considerations about his age and well being ought to make him pretty inexpensive in deeper leagues, the place you are much less inclined to promote out for upside. He’ll occupy a premium spot within the coronary heart of the Blue Jays batting order, probably batting behind George Springer, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero, and will put up helpful numbers for nevertheless lengthy he is accessible. In case you’re in want of a serviceable nook infield possibility late, do not overlook him.

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Jorge Polanco traded to Mariners

The Mariners gave up a fairly good outfield prospect in Gabriel Gonzalez, a fairly good reliever in Justin Topa, a viable starter in Anthony DeSclafani, in addition to a minor-league pitcher, and all they received again is an injury-prone second baseman nearing the tip of his contract. However whereas the real-world deserves of this deal are debatable, it is fairly clearly a win for Fantasy, if solely by decreasing the second base muddle for the Twins. Polanco appeared like he might need to play extra of a brilliant utility function with the emergence of Edouard Julien final yr, which made full-time at-bats much less of a certainty, however we all know precisely what the Mariners intend to do with him. Whereas T-Cell Park is not an awesome place to hit, Goal Discipline is not significantly better, and Statcast truly estimates that if Polanco had performed each recreation on the Mariners’ house final yr, he would have hit 19 house runs slightly than 15.

These 15, by the way in which, got here in simply 80 video games, which might counsel that Polanco nonetheless has the 33-homer potential he confirmed in 2021. He will not be drafted prefer it, in fact, due to on a regular basis he is misplaced to again, knee and hamstring points the previous two years, however this commerce offers him one much less impediment to assembly his potential and strikes him up a tier in my second base rankings in consequence. In the meantime, it is a vote of confidence for Julien, who usually needed to sit towards left-handers final yr however is extra prone to play day-after-day now. it additionally hastens prospect Brooks Lee’s arrival to the majors.

Rhys Hoskins indicators with Brewers

Hoskins missed all of 2023 with a torn ACL — an damage that requires a prolonged restoration however is not anticipated to hamper him as a hitter transferring ahead. He was a dependable mid-range slugger for the Phillies, constantly hitting about .245 with about 30 house runs, and is headed to a different venue nicely fitted to his ability set. In actual fact, in 9 profession video games at American Household Discipline, Hoskins has hit 5 house runs. His new lineup is not as robust however should not be a significant legal responsibility both and has the additional benefit of truly needing him, which wasn’t essentially true for a few of his different suitors. Now that his vacation spot is safe, he is a part of a loaded center tier at first base and can probably be one of many prime 15 gamers drafted on the place.

James Paxton indicators with Dodgers

In keeping with one beat author, Andy McCullough of The Athletic, the Dodgers will functionally have a six-man rotation this yr even when they do not formally, and so they’ll want further arms to make that occur. Paxton offers them one — and with some upside in addition. The 35-year-old left-hander regained the sizzle on his fastball after a two-year restoration from Tommy John surgical procedure and had a 2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 11.0 Okay/9 via 9 begins final yr.

That is in regards to the time when studies of his bum knee first surfaced. His fastball misplaced a few of its sizzle as he tried to pitch via it earlier than ultimately shutting issues down in September. So he is no mannequin of well being, however that matches proper in with Tyler Glasnow and two-time Tommy John recoveree Walker Buehler. Paxton may make a substantial Fantasy influence for the time he is wholesome, significantly with the Dodgers offense backing him, however you continue to should not make investments greater than a late-round decide in him given the sturdiness and consistency considerations.

Joey Gallo indicators with Nationals

The final time Gallo hit even .200 was 2019, and his batting common over the previous two years is .168. He appeared like he might need one thing cooking with the Twins early final season however ultimately slumped his means out of the lineup. Hope springs everlasting, although, along with his newest cope with the Nationals, who don’t have anything to lose by enjoying him and every little thing to achieve by redeeming his commerce worth. Solely 30 years previous, Gallo nonetheless connects with the power of an elite slugger on the uncommon event he connects, and whereas there is no want to take a position draft capital in him, it isn’t loopy to suppose he may get sizzling sufficient in stretches to matter in Fantasy once more. It is most likely his final probability.

Robert Stephenson indicators with Angels

In case you’re confused why a Fantasy Baseball analyst could be writing about Stephenson, why the Angels would supply him a three-year deal, or why there’s motive to suppose he’ll overtake Carlos Estevez for the nearer function, put together to be wowed.

Solely two pitchers with greater than 50 innings final yr had higher than a 20 p.c swinging-strike fee. One was Felix Bautista at 20.8 p.c. The opposite was Stephenson at an absurd 24.8 p.c. And the breakthrough did not start till the Rays acquired him from the Pirates firstly of June. In typical Rays vogue, they tweaked his arsenal to most impact, introducing a cutter that, by season’s finish, he was throwing almost 75 p.c of the time. With it, Stephenson put collectively a 2.35 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and 14.1 Okay/9 in his 4 months with the Rays. In accordance to MLB Trade Rumors, opposing batters put the ball in play on simply 49.3 p.c of their swings throughout that point, which was greatest within the majors. Second-best (Aroldis Chapman) was means up at 59 p.c.

So Stephenson would possibly simply be the perfect reliever in baseball, nearer or in any other case, and seeing because the incumbent nearer for the Angels, Carlos Estevez, successfully melted down within the second half, struggling to seek out the strike zone en path to a 6.59 ERA, a altering of the guard would appear to be so as. A little bit readability could be sufficient to vault Stephenson into my top 20 at relief pitcher, proper in between Andres Munoz and Tanner Scott, with loads of upside from there. For now, although, we’re left to invest about new supervisor Ron Washington’s plans.

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Josh Hader indicators with Astros

Aside from that one hiccup in the midst of the 2022 season, Hader has been as dominant as closers come since first entering into the function in 2018, and so irrespective of the place he signed, you needed to determine the incumbent nearer could be out of luck. Sadly, that incumbent nearer is himself a superb one in Ryan Pressly, who hasn’t all the time been a mannequin of well being however did ship a 2.94 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 11.1 Okay/9 throughout his three-year stint within the function. This deal makes him not price drafting in customary leagues.

As a result of Hader is the one left-hander in a trio of closer-caliber relievers (right-hander Bryan Abreu), it is at the very least theoretically potential that he may enter previous to the ninth inning typically, which could yield a save probability for one of many different two every so often. However the man’s scheduled to make $95 million over the following 5 years. Suffice it to say it will not occur typically sufficient to shake up the reduction pitcher rankings in a critical means. Hader stays a cinch top-three nearer, alongside Edwin Diaz and former teammate Devin Williams, and is now the No. 1 selection in AL-only leagues.

Marcus Stroman indicators with Yankees

It is a good match for the Yankees as a result of Stroman is a right-hander who usually retains the ball on the bottom, making him much less susceptible than most to the quick porch in proper subject. However this transfer would not make him higher in any significant means, and that is actually the problem for Fantasy. In case you’re assessing him purely on ERA, you will not have too many complaints (once more, due to that ground-ball fee), however he is a non-strikeout pitcher with sturdiness points, which retains him on the fringes in most league. In actual fact, he is struggled a lot with workload over time that the final time he had greater than 10 wins was 2017. It doesn’t suggest he is nugatory, however he is nearer to being a streamer than a must-roster and can probably go undrafted in shallower leagues.

Michael Busch traded to Cubs

For years, the Dodgers appeared content material to maintain Busch on ice, unwilling to commerce him but additionally unwilling to unencumber a spot for him whilst he lit up the minor leagues. However after one other offseason spent blocking his each path, they have been lastly pressured to confess that his abilities have been wasted on them, swapping him and reliever Yency Almonte for a pair lower-urgency prospects. With the Cubs, Busch figures to start out at both third or first base, relying on what different strikes they make, and at 26, he is past prepared for this chance.

You would possibly presume it has been delayed for therefore lengthy as a result of he is not truly pretty much as good as they numbers would counsel, however as cartoonish his .323/.431/.618 slash line at Triple-A Oklahoma Metropolis final yr was, it was backed up by a 91.3 mph common exit velocity. He is all the time identified the right way to take a stroll, however he is disciplined in much more vital methods than that, clocking in with an 89.5 p.c zone-contact fee and seven.7 swinging-strike fee. To place it merely, he is aware of when to swing at and would not miss when he does, which is about as comforting of a hitting profile as you may discover. It is potential he begins slowly and loses some at-bats because of his left-handedness, however no matter alternatives Busch will get with the Cubs might be excess of he was getting with the Dodgers. He’ll be a stylish sleeper on Draft Day, significantly in factors leagues.

Shota Imanaga indicators with Cubs

Imanaga is not the right pitching specimen Yoshinobu Yamamoto is and will not generate the identical type of enthusiasm on Draft Day, however two standout attributes may elevate him past his conventional indicators, as kind of occurred in Japan. One is a fastball with the optimum form for the trendy recreation, producing swings and misses on the prime of the zone. It helps clarify his massive strikeout numbers in Japan and is the principle motive why he led the World Baseball Traditional in Stuff+ final yr, rating forward of Yamamoto and anybody at the moment pitching within the majors.

2023 NPB: 7-5, 2.66 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 159 IP, 24 BB, 188 Okay

The opposite is his management. His 1.4 BB/9 final yr would have ranked fourth amongst major-league starters, and his 8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio would have ranked second. He has some vulnerability to the lengthy ball, which makes Wrigley Discipline not probably the most optimum vacation spot, however you are most likely not drafting him till 60 pitchers or so are off the board, at which level the reward far outstrips the chance.

Teoscar Hernandez indicators with Dodgers

Hernandez will take up the J.D. Martinez mantle for 2024 and would not have as far to go to reclaim his Fantasy worth. His previous two seasons, whereas one thing of a disappointment, have been adequate to make him a starter in three-outfielder leagues nonetheless. How significantly better can it get with the Dodgers? Nicely, with Mookie Betts presumably affixed to the leadoff spot, Hernandez will function the first right-handed counter punch in a lineup additionally headlined by Freddie Freeman, Shohei Ohtani and let’s additionally say Max Muncy for good measure, so the RBI alternatives might be ridiculous. He is additionally going to the second-best house run park for right-handed hitters, in line with Statcast, which itself ought to go a good distance towards redeeming him, particularly when you think about that he hit simply .217 at house final season.

A 30-something with a 30-percent strikeout fee has a fairly deep ground, however this transfer improves Hernandez’s ceiling to the purpose that we should always most likely consider him as a top-30 outfielder once more. It was solely three years in the past that he hit .296 with 32 homers, 12 steals, 116 RBI and 92 runs scored, in any case.

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Harrison Bader indicators with Mets

If there was ever an opportunity for Bader to shine offensively, it could be in a yr break up between Yankee Stadium and Nice American Ball Park. In different phrases, it could be his 2023, and as you possibly can see, the outcomes left one thing to be desired. To be truthful, he missed time with indirect, hamstring and groin accidents, amongst others, and his enjoying time after going to the Reds wasn’t probably the most constant. Signing with the Mets ought to return him to on a regular basis obligation, with this protection probably holding him there. He is begun to faucet into his pace extra in recent times, however you possibly can’t count on rather more than double-digit house runs. Even in deeper Rotisserie leagues, it could be a stretch to name Bader a fifth outfielder on Draft Day.

Luke Raley traded to Mariners for Jose Caballero

Raley was a stunning supply of each energy and pace in 2023, although just about simply towards right-handers. His usefulness for Fantasy was restricted each by his platoon function and a dreadful second half that noticed him hit .219 with a with 4 homers and a .677 OPS. Whereas it is potential he performs extra for a Mariners group that is quick on energy, that would not essentially be for the perfect. His 31.5 p.c strikeout fee made his second-half struggles not so stunning and would probably rise with extra publicity to lefties.

What’s most attention-grabbing about this deal is the Rays’ aspect of it — and never simply Caballero, a speedy on-base risk who is likely to be the brand new favourite to play shortstop. Raley’s departure frees up the DH spot for a number of younger hitters who’re much more attention-grabbing for Fantasy functions. Chief amongst them is uber prospect Junior Caminero, who received a late-season look and will additionally share shortstop duties with Caballero though he is extra appropriate for third base, the place Isaac Paredes is at the moment stationed. Jonathan Aranda is overdue for a major-league job after slashing .339/.449/.613 at Triple-A Durham final season — and with the exit velocity readings to match. There’s additionally 23-year-old Curtis Mead, one other prime prospect with a bat-first profile. Understanding the Rays, they will not commit absolutely to any of these three, however the elimination of Raley presents one fewer impediment.

Robbie Ray traded to Giants for Mitch Haniger

The pitching-rich Mariners determined they may do with out the long-term dedication to Ray, who’s at the moment rehabbing from Tommy John surgical procedure however was the AL Cy Younger winner as not too long ago as 2021. He will be erratic at instances however is an enormous strikeout pitcher when wholesome, and given the Giants’ historical past of rehabilitating veteran pitchers (and never simply from damage), it’s a must to like his possibilities of turning into a Fantasy asset once more. Simply perceive that it will not be any sooner than the center of 2024. In the meantime, Haniger returns to the place he was at his greatest, homering 39 instances for the Mariners in 2021, however he is in his mid-30s now and so injury-prone that he is hardly definitely worth the hassle in Fantasy. The Mariners additionally acquired Anthony DeSclafani within the deal, however given their aforementioned pitching depth, he is probably destined for lengthy reduction.

Chris Sale traded to Braves for Vaughn Grissom

Touchdown a beginning pitcher was the Braves’ prime offseason precedence, and so they took a characteristically unconventional path to assembly it. Sale was on a Corridor of Fame monitor not so way back however noticed his profession derailed in Boston, the place accidents have restricted him to a mixed 151 innings over the previous 4 seasons. Suffice it to say, then, he is removed from a certain factor, and whereas the Braves ought to present him with loads of run help, what issues greater than the place he is pitching is whether or not he can wholesome.

Latest historical past would counsel he cannot, however most of his time misplaced over the previous 4 years was because of Tommy John surgical procedure, which is now nicely behind him. There was additionally a fractured rib cage and fractured wrist, neither of which was arm-related. The time he misplaced to shoulder irritation in 2023 is extra regarding, however Sale confirmed massive strikeout potential each earlier than and after the damage (his 11.0 Okay/9 would have ranked fifth amongst qualifiers and his 13.2 p.c swinging-strike fee would have ranked ninth) and has usually pitched nicely for all his troubles. His inventory has by no means been decrease than proper now, although this commerce could renew enthusiasm to some small diploma.

As for the opposite aspect of this deal, Grissom is already identified to Fantasy Baseballers as a possible 2023 breakout who by no means actually received off the bottom, however whereas the Braves could not abdomen his protection at shortstop, the Pink Sox have a gap at second base. He is the massive winner right here for Fantasy Baseball functions if for no different motive than as a result of he has a job now, however Fenway Park additionally occurs to be the place he debuted with a house run in 2022 (whereas enjoying second base, fittingly sufficient). The Inexperienced Monster ought to assist his modest energy play up and positively will not diminish his pure hitting capability, which yielded a .320 batting common within the minors. A 20-homer, 20-steal final result is extra like his ceiling than his baseline, however he is a worthy center infield possibility for Rotisserie leagues even when he delivers extra like 12-15 of every.

Frankie Montas indicators with Reds

Montas missed virtually the complete 2023 season after having surgical procedure to restore the labrum in his proper shoulder. His velocity was down about 1 mph throughout the board when he returned for one reduction look in September, however then once more, he threw a complete of 26 pitches. The Reds clearly weren’t deterred, providing him $16 million for the prospect to re-establish himself as a No. 3-type starter. He is been even higher than that at instances, relying on how his splitter is working, along with his 2021 season (when he went 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 10.0 Okay/9) standing out particularly, although a guarded method is warranted coming off a significant damage. Given his previous successes, Montas is deserving of a late-round flier, significantly in factors leagues the place you possibly can benefit from his RP eligibility.

Lucas Giolito indicators with Pink Sox

After back-to-back years with an ERA close to 4.90, Giolito’s Fantasy worth is at an all-time low, and going to Fenway Park is not going to do something to salvage it. Specifically, he is struggled to maintain the ball within the park, along with his 2.0 HR/9 fee rating the second highest-among qualifiers in 2023, and he ended the season on the bottom potential word with a 6.96 ERA over his ultimate 12 begins. The 2-year drought has coincided with a dip in velocity, however he is continued to file strikeouts at a pleasant clip, which makes him maybe not completely a misplaced trigger. Nonetheless, it is laborious to make the change-of-scenery case for him after a season break up between three groups (White Sox, Angels and Guardians). In case you’re seeking to gamble late in drafts or are quick on strikeouts particularly, Giolito continues to be a worthwhile decide, however he is not a prime precedence.

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Mitch Garver indicators with Mariners

This transfer is not precisely a headline-grabber, but it surely’s truly a reasonably large deal for Fantasy. In case you did not discover, Garver was a stud catcher down the stretch, batting .283 with 14 homers and a .937 OPS from Aug. 1 on. The important thing was him not truly enjoying catcher, however DH full-time for the Rangers, and that is apparently the Mariners’ plan for him as nicely.

We have lengthy identified he had that type of potential — with the largest tip-off being his 2019 wherein he homered 31 instances with a .995 OPS — however well being and defensive considerations prevented him from delivering on it. The DH function helps to mitigate each. In fact, not each group is open to having a full-time DH, so his Fantasy worth hinged on him touchdown with the best one. He seems to have completed so. Certain, you would ask for a greater venue, however in the end, the function is extra necessary right here and sure solidifies Garver as a top-12 catcher on Draft Day.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto indicators with Dodgers

2023 NPB: 17-6, 1.16 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 171 IP, 28 BB, 176 Okay

Winner of Japan’s model of the Cy Younger (to not point out MVP) every of the final three years, Yamamoto will earn $325 million over the following 12 years, making it the largest contract ever for a pitcher. So is he deserving of it? Nicely, throughout that dominant three-year interval, he put collectively a 1.42 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 9.5 Okay/9, and we’ve got a fairly good concept how his arsenal will play primarily based on information collected through the World Baseball Traditional. I am inclined to rank him as a top-10 beginning pitcher instantly. Take a look at my full-length article for additional clarification as to why.

Yuki Matsui indicators with Padres

A extremely profitable nearer in Japan, Matsui has an opportunity to issue into the saves combine for the Padres, who’re anticipated to lose Josh Hader to free company. The scouting studies are combined. Matsui stands solely 5-feet-8, struggles with management at instances and sits within the low 90s along with his fastball, however judging by his 1.42 ERA and 12.7 Okay/9 in NPB over the previous three years, there have to be one thing right here. His most important secondary providing is a splitter, and the contrasting motion between it and his fastball, which performs nicely on the prime of the zone, maybe make up for his shortcomings.

2023 NPB: 39 SV, 1.57 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 57 1/3 IP, 13 BB, 72 Okay

The phrases of the deal — 4 years, $21 million — counsel that the Padres are valuing Matsui in a high-leverage function, probably whilst nearer, although it might be that he types the left-handed part of a closing tandem with Robert Suarez, who signed a three-year, $30 million deal final offseason. As issues at the moment stand, the 28-year-old Matsui figures to get late-round appears to be like in leagues the place saves are scarce.

Lourdes Gurriel indicators with Diamondbacks

The evaluation for this one is nearly too straightforward. Gurriel is remaining with the identical group to fill an apparent want. The Diamondbacks have been dealing with the prospect of beginning each Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy within the outfield with Gurriel and Tommy Pham testing the open market, however now at the very least one is again for 2024. Gurriel himself wasn’t a certainty to seek out full-time work given his right-handedness and subpar on-base abilities, so by that measure, this signing is sweet for his Fantasy worth. He additionally did his greatest work at Chase Discipline, batting .261 with 15 homers and an .830 OPS there in comparison with .262, 9 and .715 on the highway. He’ll make for a effective fourth or fifth outfielder in Rotisserie leagues in the event you’re searching for energy at that stage.

Michael Wacha indicators with Royals

Wacha’s ERA has defied projections every of the previous two years, beating xFIP by greater than half a run and xERA by greater than a run, and venue most likely had one thing to do with it. His ERA in San Diego this previous yr was 2.69 in comparison with 4.11 in all places else. He ought to take pleasure in pitching in Kansas Metropolis simply as a lot, however what he will not take pleasure in is the lineup backing him, which is a far cry from what he had in San Diego. Asking Wacha to repeat a low-threes ERA was already a tall order, however mid-threes on this new setting is actually potential. As with Seth Lugo, who preceded Wacha in going from San Diego to Kansas Metropolis this offseason, the lowered win potential lowers Wacha’s general Fantasy enchantment, dropping him outdoors my prime 75 at beginning pitcher.

Tyler Glasnow traded to Dodgers

The Dodgers made this deal after which instantly signed Glasnow to a five-year, $135 million deal, so they’re absolutely purchased in. Pitch for pitch, he is pretty much as good as any starter in baseball, his 2.75 xFIP rating first amongst these with at the very least 120 innings and his 12.2 Okay/9 rating second. However there is a motive I take advantage of 120 innings as the edge, and that is as a result of the 30-year-old simply set a profession excessive with that quantity in 2023. More often than not he missed final yr was because of an indirect damage, however he has a historical past of elbow troubles, together with Tommy John surgical procedure in 2021. Pitching for the Dodgers will solely additional guarantee he is an ace for the time that he is wholesome — such that I am keen to rank him in my prime 10 — but it surely’s an upset if he makes even 25 begins.

As for the Rays, they’ve perfected the artwork of spinning off a soon-to-be free agent for an up-and-comer who seems to be almost pretty much as good, if not higher. That they thought-about Ryan Pepiot (together with platoon bat Jonny Deluca) to be a suitable return for a pitcher of Glasnow’s caliber speaks nicely of his upside. I used to be already keen on the right-hander, having seen him flip his largest weak spot into a real power in 2023. Pepiot went from averaging 4.4 BB/9 between the majors and minors in 2022 to 1.4 BB/9 only a yr later, and also you see what it did for his different numbers.

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Clearly, the Rays have been impressed, and given their status for maxmizing pitcher outcomes, this commerce does much more for Pepiot’s Fantasy worth than Glasnow’s. His one subject throughout his trial final yr was house runs, and Tropicana Discipline is best than Dodger Stadium for stopping these. Greater than something, although, Pepiot is probably going a rotation mainstay for the Rays whereas the Dodgers might need introduced in different arms to compete with him. He is RP-only in CBS Sports activities leagues to start the yr, however he is price concentrating on within the middle-to-late rounds of each Fantasy draft.

Jack Flaherty indicators with Tigers

As Flaherty battled accidents within the years following his fourth-place Cy Younger end in 2019, when he emerged as a Fantasy ace, there was motive to hope he may return to that type if he may simply maintain it collectively lengthy sufficient. Nicely, he principally did in 2023, and … yikes. A yr of struggles break up between the Cardinals and Orioles left him to signal a one-year cope with the Tigers, and whereas there are few higher locations to pitch than Detroit, venue hasn’t been Flaherty’s subject. Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press suggests that pitching coach Chris Fetter and assistant Robin Lund have already got a plan to repair him — and it is true Flaherty’s velocity has held fairly regular all through his accidents — however I am going to have to see actual outcomes this spring earlier than I consider investing draft capital in him.

Jung Hoo Lee indicators with Giants

2023 KBO: .318 BA (330 AB), 6 HR, 6 SB, .860 OPS, 49 BB, 23 Okay

Among the many stars popping out of East Asia this offseason, Lee ranks a distant second to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, however he is the largest bat though he would not meet the trendy conventions of a “massive bat.” By that, I imply he is probably not an influence hitter, which is reassuring in a means since energy would not all the time translate from Japan and Korea. Lee is from the latter, the place we’ve not seen as many success tales as from the previous, however he is a profession .340 hitter with about twice as many walks as strikeouts over the previous three years. The Luis Arraez path leaves little margin for error in Fantasy, which means something wanting a .300 batting common could have restricted enchantment, however Lee ought to at the very least be of use in factors leagues, significantly if he bats leadoff.

Seth Lugo indicators with Royals

The excellent news is Lugo signed with a group that will not be in the least tempted to shift him again to the bullpen. The dangerous information is that group is the Royals, who will not assist him to win a lot. In fact, he received solely eight instances this previous yr with the Padres and was nonetheless fairly viable for Fantasy, proving that his deep arsenal of pitches (with a 3,200 rpm curveball being the spotlight) may work simply as nicely over six-inning stretches. His plus management and above-average ground-ball fee ought to hold his ERA respectable, significantly with the place he’ll now be pitching his house video games, which ought to guarantee he’ll be barely higher than a streaming possibility in 12-team leagues. However this vacation spot probably prevents him from being a stylish sleeper.

Will Smith indicators with Royals

You might have thought you had seen the final of Will Smith as a more in-depth, however you were not relying on him signing with the Royals, one of many few groups and not using a favourite to shut or perhaps a viable candidate. “Ending video games is certainly why I believe Will was so drawn to us, and there is alternative right here to do this,” GM J.J. Picollo stated of the signing. In fact, Smith hasn’t truly pitched on the caliber of a more in-depth since a two-year stint with San Francisco that led to 2019. He is susceptible to the lengthy ball and has seen his strikeouts dwindle the previous couple years. He affords some readability to a bullpen with none, but when issues go too nicely, he’ll simply get traded out of the nearer function, in all probability. Deal with him as a bottom-of-the-barrel supply of saves.

Shohei Ohtani indicators with Dodgers

Six years in the past, Shohei Ohtani was coming to Los Angeles. Now, he’ll … Los Angeles, this time minus the Anaheim, agreeing Saturday to a 10-year, $700 million cope with the Dodgers. As is mostly the case for the largest free brokers, the implications of this signing are higher for actual life than for Fantasy. Gamers this good aren’t topic to a task change with a brand new group, and their abilities would sometimes translate anyplace. But when we have been to rank the perfect locations for Ohtani’s Fantasy worth, the Dodgers would have been close to the highest of the record. For extra on his new group and what issues much more for Ohtani’s 2024 worth, check out Scott White’s full-length article.

Tyler O’Neill traded to Pink Sox

O’Neill confirmed the extent of his upside in 2021, when he hit .286 with 34 homers, 15 steals and a .912 OPS, however he is been a bust since then. Accidents have probably performed an element — he is gone on the IL with shoulder, hamstring, again and foot accidents throughout that point — however that is hardly trigger for reassurance and probably a consequence of his stout and muscular construct. For as robust as he’s, he hasn’t replicated the exit velocities from that 2021 season, whether or not we’re speaking averge or max. Fenway Park can have a transformative impact on hitters, which supplies O’Neill some late-round what-if enchantment, however the glut of outfielders in Boston probably additionally offers him a brief leash. Presumably, Ceddanne Rafaela begins the yr within the minors now, with Wilyer Abreu getting the majority of the enjoying time in proper.

Jeimer Candelario indicators with Reds

Whereas this transfer is clearly good for Candelario’s Fantasy worth, him being a prolific doubles hitter going to the majors’ most homer-friendly park, it is a main annoyance to anybody who’s invested within the Reds’ youth motion. Their infield was already overloaded after graduating Spencer Steer, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Noelvi Marte to the majors final yr. In case you counted 5 names there, you counted appropriately, and that is earlier than factoring in holdover Jonathan India. Just one, Steer, has proven the flexibility to play the outfield, however until he strikes there completely, with Encarnacion-Strand turning into a full-time DH, there wasn’t a highway map for enjoying all six day-after-day. Add Candelario, and whew, what a large number.

Perhaps a few these infielders grow to be commerce bait for Dylan Cease or another person, but when not, I would be frightened in regards to the enjoying time for India, Encarnacion-Strand, Steer and Marte, in that order. And even when India and Steer are traded, their energy could not translate so nicely to a different ballpark. Type of looks like there’s one other shoe but to drop, wherein case I am reluctant to decide to any main strikes within the rankings, however these 4 are in a precarious spot proper now. As for Candelario, Statcast estimates he would have had 30 house runs if he performed each recreation at Nice American Ball Park final yr. He will not play each recreation there, in fact, however a potential 25-homer final result is sufficient for me to maneuver him previous Alec Bohm at an already loaded third base.

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Eduardo Rodriguez indicators with Diamondbacks

There are not any venues extra pitcher-friendly than Comerica Park, which Rodriguez is now departing, however Chase Discipline is nearer than you suppose. His house/away splits have been nearly equivalent final yr anyway. The supporting solid improves with this deal, however then once more, you possibly can’t count on him to ship significantly better than the 13-9 file he had in 2023. Early within the yr, it appeared like one thing might need clicked for Rodriguez — he was throwing a bit more durable and utilizing his cutter extra — however then after he missed all of June with a ruptured finger pulley, it was enterprise as traditional with a 4.24 ERA over his ultimate 15 begins. He’ll eat some innings and pile up high quality begins for the Diamondbacks, however he is nonetheless principally a back-end starter for Fantasy — greater than a streamer, however not by a lot.

Juan Soto traded to Yankees

It is clear now that San Diego wasn’t an awesome match for Soto. He is a profession .231 hitter with a .783 OPS there, together with .240 and .827 in what was his one full season with the Padres. Of his 35 homers in 2023, 23 got here on the highway, the place he hit a extra Soto-like .307 with a 1.026 OPS. The query is how significantly better he’ll get at Yankee Stadium, as a result of he will get higher — the splits inform us that a lot. For an entire breakdown, together with what this deal means for Michael King and the Padres, take a look at Scott White’s full-length article.

Craig Kimbrel indicators with Orioles

GM Mike Elias has already confirmed that Kimbrel will function the Orioles nearer in 2024, calling him “among the best closers in baseball historical past,” and the 35-year-old makes for a pleasant stopgap measure with Felix Bautista anticipated to spend all of 2024 recovering from Tommy John surgical procedure. The Orioles appeared like they already had a fairly good nearer various in Yennier Cano, however he is not as a lot of a bat-misser and was fairly shaky when he stepped into the function late final August.

Cano’s Fantasy worth plummets with this signing, however the Orioles would probably fall again on him if Kimbrel implodes, which is not an insane thought given his inconsistencies over the previous few years. His stuff continues to be closer-caliber, however there are occasions when his location breaks down, and the outcomes will be ugly, as occurred within the NLCS final yr. Nonetheless, given the understanding of his function, the power of his supporting solid, and the probability of an enormous strikeout whole, Kimbrel figures to be one of many prime 15 relievers off the board in 2024.

Alex Verdugo traded to Yankees

This reads just like the Red Sox ridding themselves of a headache since not one of the three pitchers they received again is a notable identify in prospect circles, however Verdugo is a participant of some consequence in Fantasy. Going to Yankee Stadium is all the time a superb factor for a left-handed hitter, however perhaps much less for him since he tends to hit balls extra on the bottom and up the center. His xHR at Yankee Stadium the previous two years is 32 vs. the 24 he truly hit, however the whole disparity is from 2022 (it was truly detrimental in 2023). It is motive to hope for nearer to twenty homers than 15 (not that he is ever fairly achieved that lesser mark) and places Verdugo in consideration to be one of the highest 40 outfielders drafted in 2024

Erick Fedde indicators with White Sox

Fedde was a fairly good prospect again within the day, however he received sufficient probabilities for the Nationals from 2017 via 2022 that it hardly appears related now. What’s related is how he lit up the Korean league in his one yr there, going 20-6 with a 2.00 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 10.4 Okay/9 to win the league’s equal of each Cy Younger and MVP. It is a lesser league, in fact, but it surely’s the identical one the place Merrill Kelly revitalized his profession with numbers that weren’t almost as spectacular as Fedde’s.

It might be that the league was extra a backdrop to showcase Fedde’s modifications slightly than instill them. He spent final offseason on the PUSH Efficiency exercise facility remaking each his mechanics and arsenal, including a sweeper and split-change that White Sox pitching advisor Brian Bannister compared to Logan Webb’s. Greater than something, Webb stands out for his 62.1 p.c ground-ball fee, tops amongst qualifiers final yr. Fedde’s fee in Korea was 70 p.c. It is anyone’s guess how these modifications will translate to the majors, however make no mistake: they’re appreciable modifications. And given the precedent of pitchers like Kelly, whose time abroad was a complete game-changer, I would be shock if Fedde lasted into the late rounds on Draft Day.

Jarred Kelenic traded to Braves

The Braves additionally acquired left-hander Marco Gonzales (later flipped to the Pirates) and first baseman Evan White in what was principally a wage dump for the Mariners, who acquired right-hander Jackson Kowar and pitching prospect Cole Phillips within the deal. The large identify right here, although, is Kelenic, who was considered one of many prime prospects in baseball only a couple years in the past. His inventory is clearly down after three years struggling to make contact on the big-league stage, however the 2023 model was the perfect we have seen to date — one who wasn’t an automated out towards left-handers and sliders.

Becoming a member of the Braves lineup takes some strain off, and it is too early to say the 24-year-old is a completed product. Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos has already confirmed that the Braves plan to play Kelenic in left subsequent yr, probably in a platoon with Vaughn Grissom. The deal could renew curiosity in Kelenic as a late-round flier in five-outfielder leagues, although the burnout the Mariners skilled with him is shared by many Fantasy Baseballers.

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Jackson Chourio indicators long-term deal

Chourio in fact would not change groups along with his eight-year, $82 million cope with the Brewers, but it surely’s no much less price mentioning right here for the influence it has on his 2024 worth. The 19-year-old (he’ll flip 20 earlier than opening day) is now a close to shoo-in to make the group out of spring coaching. There are not any service time ramifications to contemplate, and if he is not with the Brewers from the beginning of his rookie season, no quantity of {hardware} he wins will rating the group further draft picks.

It is a massive leap for a participant his age and sure will not come with out rising pains, however his strikeout fee dropped from 26.9 p.c in 2022 to 17.8 p.c in 2023 whilst he ascended to the higher minors for the primary time. His energy/pace combo offers him famous person potential, and with outfield in a weakened state, it isn’t loopy to treat Chourio as a top-20 possibility there instantly

Luis Severino indicators with Mets

Severino remained in our good graces whilst he threw a mixed 18 innings from 2019 via 2021, and that persistence appeared to be rewarded when he delivered a 3.18 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 9.9 Okay/9 throughout 102 innings in 2022. However boy was 2023 a special story, the type of out-and-out catastrophe that begs the query “why even hassle?” Are the Mets the group to alter our minds? Definitely, they are not identified for performing magic methods, however they’re keen to pay the man $13 million for a yr. And a deeper dive reveals that the traits of Severino’s pitches — from the speed to the spin fee to the motion — did not truly change that a lot. He is not more than a late-round flier at this level, however one who retains intriguing upside.

Sonny Gray indicators with Cardinals

The Cardinals proceed their rotation overhaul with one of many largest prizes on the free agent market, AL Cy Younger runner-up Sonny Grey. In fact, in Fantasy, Grey has lengthy been considered second-tier, his occasional flashes of brilliance too typically undermined by damage and inconsistency. Then once more, he was fairly steady throughout his two-year stint with the Twins, compiling a 2.90 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and eight.9 Okay/9. He led all qualifiers with a 2.83 FIP in 2023 and in addition unveiled a brand new sweeper that Eno Sarris of The Athletic considers a game-changer. Nonetheless, between his previous fake-outs, his so-so strikeout fee, and the truth that 2023 represented his first time crossing the 180-inning threshold since 2015, you are higher off considering of Grey as a rotation stabilizer than a real standout in Fantasy, concentrating on him as your No. 3 or 4 in 12-team leagues.

Kenta Maeda indicators with Tigers

Maeda’s excessive ERA and low innings whole will probably make him an afterthought in most Fantasy drafts, however there’s upside for the Tigers to dream on. His 10.9 Okay/9 ranked twelfth amongst pitchers with at the very least 100 innings, which is an effective place to start out when speaking upside, and his 12.8 p.c swinging-strike fee ranked twenty third. His penchant for laborious contract did yield some troubles with the lengthy ball, however transferring to the venue that Statcast charges lifeless final for house runs over the previous three years ought to assist to mitigate that. Greater than something, it is well being that may decide Maeda’s destiny in 2024, and with him turning 36, there might be some bumps alongside these strains. However for a reminder of how good it may be, he had a nine-start stretch after getting back from a triceps damage final June wherein he put collectively a 2.36 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 11.2 Okay/9.

Eugenio Suarez traded to Diamondbacks

T-Cell Park was the only worst venue for right-handed hitters final yr, in line with Statcast, so at first look, this might appear to be an improve for the four-time 30-homer man. However his energy manufacturing was higher at house than on the highway the previous two years, and Chase Discipline truly charges worse for house runs particularly. No, Suarez’s points have much less to do along with his environment than his profile. A strikeout fee over 30 p.c principally condemns him to a low batting common, and his fly-ball and pull tendencies, whereas permitting for large house run totals at instances, solely make it worse. He is greatest used as a nook infielder in Rotisserie leagues. His arrival at third base does shut one potential path to at-bats for prospect Jordan Lawlar, however the 21-year-old’s future is probably going at shortstop anyway.

Reynaldo Lopez indicators with Braves

Usually, the signing of a center reliever — even one in all Lopez’s ilk — would not benefit a point out right here, however phrase is that the Braves plan to stretch him out as a starter this spring. It is unclear whether or not it is a contingency measure or Plan A for Lopez — the remainder of the Braves’ offseason maneuvering could in the end decide which — but it surely’s a noteworthy improvement for a pitcher who hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2020. The need-be 30-year-old struggled in his years as a starter earlier than discovering success in reduction, gaining a pair ticks on his fastball whereas eliminating his changeup and curveball. The Braves should see some untapped potential right here, although, and if he certainly holds down a rotation spot for them, the win potential alone would make him a possible Fantasy asset.

Lance Lynn indicators with Cardinals

Lynn has had a pleasant profession and goes again to the place it began in St. Louis. Sadly, he is clearly on the draw back of it now, having struggled to get his ERA under 6.00 final yr. A transfer to the Dodgers on the commerce deadline did not do a lot to enhance his standing, and if they cannot straighten him out with all they’ve completed to reclaim different veteran pitchers, then it is laborious to think about the Cardinals will. Lynn can nonetheless ship an honest strikeout whole from time to time, however given how vulnerable he was to blowups in 2023, it is best to consider him as extra of a threat/reward streamer than a staple to your Fantasy employees in 2024.

Aaron Nola indicators with Phillies

This seven-year deal ensures the established order for a participant who, frankly, may have completed with a change. Nola is coming off his second yr in three with an ERA round 4.50, and a brand new group might need supplied extra motive for optimism in 2024. In fact, there are different causes to consider he may bounce again. A take a look at the sport log reveals no scarcity of good begins — the sort solely accessible to aces, kind of — and he confirmed enchancment within the postseason, apparently making a mechanical adjustment to assist him find on the perimeters of the plate higher. We all know now his house runs points are recurring, although, which ought to low cost him barely on Draft Day regardless of his ace potential.

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