MLB Offseason Trade Wrapup
Review: MLB Offseason Trades
I got the chance to visit the Winter Meetings in D.C. My day job lends me some flexibility so I moved “the office” there! I got a few signatures including Coach Mackanin (I’m a Phillies fan). I ran into Ken Rosenthal and got his signature, but he seemed to busy to give me any inside fantasy knowledge. So you’ll just have to stick with my advice!
Since a LOT has happened, I will give some very short takes on the moves I think were most impactful over the last couple weeks.
Howie Kendrick to Philadelphia – Kendrick has always been solid if unspectacular. Players like him should never be counted on to be a buy-low candidate, especially in his stage of his career. However, he will be eligible at 2B and OF, and potentially 3B depending on your games limits (17 games at 3B). That could make him a useful bench player to fill in on travel days at a variety of spots.
Fantasy hot-take: Ehh.
Danny Valencia to SEA – Valencia shined at the end of 2015 with Toronto but fizzled out a bit in Oakland. He was too busy fighting with Billy Butler to produce very well for fantasy. He won’t stand out on a lot of preseason lists, but he’s intriguing to me. In May of last year he slashed .359/.386/.692 (OPS of 1.078) with 8 HR and 19 RBI. There’s talent here, but watch carefully for what sort of playing time he will get with Seattle. He may be a platoon OF, but he may get playing time at 1B as well.
Fantasy hot-take: he’ll end up on my teams, and let me down come June.
Brian McCann to HOU – McCann has admitted that when he moved to a new team he struggled at the plate because he shifted his attention to becoming a good battery-mate to his pitching staff. Which is awesome… unless you play fantasy baseball.
Fantasy hot-take: Trade Danny Valencia for Brian McCann in June.
Jean Segura to SEA for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to ARZ – I had no shares of Segura last season and kept telling myself that he’d come back to earth at some point, like he did in his one previous good season in 2013. But he kept on raking! I see some regression in Seattle, but not a lot. I will not take on Walker or Marte in any ballpark. Walker needs to stop giving up home runs, and he’s now at one of the most prolific power parks. Marte is a bench SS at best, but would rather have someone who plays short and another position as a bench spot guy (I’ll explain this in a strategy post in the future).
Fantasy hot-take: stay away from all of these pieces, even Segura will be overpriced in a loaded SS market this year.
Jaime Garcia to ATL – Ugh. I love the skill-set, and am a sucker for injured players. He still has the stuff, and Atlanta was one of the best offensive teams down the stretch last year. Take him as a 7th starter, 6th at best, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle.
Fantasy hot-take: Don’t listen to me on this one, he will only let me down and not you then.
Derek Norris to WAS – Catcher is such a hard position in fantasy, so I’ll write a little extra here. And I will never play in a two-catcher league as a result (seriously, how do you do that?!). However, it’s a position that rewards those that put in the extra research. Humble-brag – I owned Wilson Ramos last year, Schwarber and Martin in 2015, and in another league in 2015 I traded away Vogt and Maikel Franco at their peaks to upgrade to Posey. Bragging aside, if you play the catcher position right/get lucky there, you get an extreme advantage to your roster contribution since most everyone in this position contributes very, very little. Norris is a must-buy. He’s been hurt, and he’s been hurt by playing in San Diego, but the price will be low and now he’ll be stuck in a sweet lineup on a winning team. Best case scenario: he’s awesome. Worst case scenario: he’s like the catcher you would’ve taken anyway.
Fantasy hot-take: Derek Norris is a top 5 catcher come October.
Travis Shaw to MIL for Tyler Thornburg BOS – People are going to pounce on Shaw as a bounce back. I’m just not that intrigued, I think pitchers figured him out. Thornburg in the meantime is now no longer a closer, and way less fantasy relevant.
Fantasy hot-take: Why did I even write about this?
Chris Sale to BOS for Yoan Moncada, et. al, to CHW – The winter blockbuster so far! Sale has quietly been the third best SP in my opinion (I’m biased because I have him on a keeper league) behind Kershaw and Scherzer. This can only help him, but will most help him in the wins department. Heck, he had 17 last year for the ChiSox! Small owner’s insight: he’s streaky, so if he starts off really slow and someone wants to deal him, pounce. Moncada should be a keeper in deep dynasty leagues no matter what, but this may increase his chances of being called up sooner this coming year.
Fantasy hot-take: I’ve had multiple offers for Sale since he was traded.
Eaton to WSH for Giolito, et. al, to CHW – I didn’t get this deal from Washington’s end, even knowing Eaton has a high WAR value. But Eaton’s counting stats should be a touch higher, and there’s still some potential for him to grow. Giolito will be great…in 2018.
Fantasy hot-take: I’m buying Eaton, waiting on Giolito.
Wade Davis to CHC for Jorge Soler to KC – This does not guarantee that Davis is the closer. Pay close attention to spring training and to Carl Edwards Jr. before fully investing in Davis. If Davis is the closer, he might come at a huge discount and I think he has his stuff together again. Soler gets another shot to become the star we all thought he could be. Keith Law, scout for ESPN’s baseball coverage, loves minor leaguers who slash .300/.400/.500 and Soler was one of them.
Fantasy hot-take: I would love to have a roster with both of these guys on it because of the price they can be had at.