Man, does Jerry Dipoto love to make trades or what? In what seems like his 463rd trade in his short tenure as the Mariners GM, he acquired speedster Dee Gordon and one million dollars in international slot money from the Miami Marlins for three minor leaguers that we’ll get into later. This trade has two significant fantasy impacts. First, obviously, is Gordon, who is arguably the top stolen base threat in the majors.
In three of the last four seasons, Gordon has led the National League in stolen bases and was on base to be right up there in 2016 but missed 80 games for a PED suspension. In those three league-leading seasons, he swiped 64, 58, and 60 bags. He was also on pace for 60 more in his suspension-shorted 2016 season. With stolen bases on the decline, a burner like Gordon has a considerable amount of value in 2018.
The difference between Gordon and all the other speedsters out there is that he does more to help your fantasy team than just steal bases. Gordon is a career .293 hitter and has averaged 96 runs per 162 games in his career, including 114 last season. You won’t get anything out of him in home runs and RBI, that’s for sure. Gordon’s career highs are only four and 46, respectively. However, Gordon is a true three-category fantasy asset.
Fantasy Impact on Gordon
The move to Seattle won’t change Gordon’s overall value too much. In Miami, he was hitting in front of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and some dude named Giancarlo Stanton. You might have heard of him. Nobody in the Mariners lineup is on the same level as Stanton. However, when the next four hitters after you are likely going to be Jean Segura, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager, you can’t really complain too much. If anything, batting leadoff in the AL might give him 10-15 more RBI since he won’t have the pitcher hitting in front of him 2-3 times per game.
The one benefit of being traded to Seattle is the added positional eligibility he’s going to get. The Mariners signed Cano to be their starting second baseman, and he’s not going to be moving off that spot anytime soon. So where does that leave Gordon? Center field, that’s where. Multi-position eligibility is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? This trade will give Gordon both second base and outfield eligibility in mid to late-April, depending on your league’s settings.
All in all, this trade gives a slight boost to Gordon’s 2018 fantasy value. Early ADP data shows that Gordon was already being drafted as a top-40 player. It’s hard to bump him up too much, but any person looking to draft Gordon should feel a little better about it now that he’s a Mariner.
Other Fantasy Implications
One other important part of this deal to keep in mind is the international slot money that the Mariners received. As I mentioned earlier today, Seattle is one of the front-runners for Shohei Ohtani’s services. This money received now gives them the most dough to offer Ohtani, just ahead of the Texas Rangers. Overall, it was one heck of a trade for wheeling and dealing maestro Jerry Dipoto.
Two of the three prospects the Marlins receive have some potential to be solid major leaguers. Nick Neidert is a 21-year-old right-handed starting pitcher with a low-90’s fastball and plus changeup. He’s still likely a year or two away, but he has the potential to develop into a solid mid-rotation starter. He ended the season ranked as the Mariners’ #2 prospect, according to MLB.com.
Another top-10 Mariners prospect (#7) to go to Miami is 19-year-old shortstop Christopher Torres. He struggled to the tune of a .238 average in 202 at-bats in the low minors this season. However, he possesses an average hit tool and plus-speed to go along with stellar defense at short. Torres has the potential to be the Marlins’ starting shortstop in a couple of years.
The final prospect in this deal, Robert Dugger, is a 22-year-old right-hander pitcher still toiling in Single-A. He’s been able to rack up 8.8 K/9 in his minor league career, but his potential is no higher than a back-of-the-rotation starter or average middle reliever if he ever makes the majors at all.
I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question about Gordon that I didn’t cover here? Then follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.
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