MLB Offseason Moves
[the_ad id=”567″]With just under a week until baseball is upon us again, draft season is in full swing. As dedicated fantasy players, we typically spend the time we should be spending with family or working, researching players and who we are going to draft. There’s a whole lot that goes into assessing and ranking players. An important factor that we have to take a look at is what the rest of the player’s team looks like. Obviously, players get sent all over the place throughout the offseason, so it’s important to take a look at what offseason moves are most likely to impact our cherished fantasy teams.
Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox
Chris Sale has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for much of the past five seasons. What’s more impressive is that he’s done it while playing for a team that hasn’t so much as sniffed a playoff spot since 2012. Now pitching behind one of the best offenses in baseball, Sale is sure to see his run support increase. However, Fenway isn’t what you would consider “friendly” to left-hand pitchers. The change in home park may actually do more harm than good to Sale, but the increased run support should be enough to increase Sale’s value heading into 2017.
Yoan Moncada to the Chicago White Sox
In acquiring Sale, the Red Sox sent a package of four prospects to the White Sox, headlined by Yoan Moncada. Moncada has been a highly touted prospect since coming over from Cuba in 2015. A career third baseman, Moncada has been taking reps at second base and is expected to start the season at the position. His path to the majors became a whole lot clearer after changing Sox, and the 21-year-old could prove he’s here to stay sooner than expected.
Ian Desmond to the Colorado Rockies
[the_ad id=”384″]The Rockies’ addition of Desmond would have been an easy choice for most impactful offseason move had it not been for a recent spring training injury. Desmond fractured his hand earlier this spring, and while he’s only expected to miss April, it’s uncertain how big of a hit his offensive production will take. This would’ve been a lot easier to write had the injury not taken place, but these kinds of things happen. After hitting 22 homers and batting .285 in a solid bounce back season with the Texas Rangers, it’s not unrealistic to predict Desmond could hit 30 plus homers in Colorado. A month on the disabled list and a surgically repaired hand will hinder those numbers, but if Desmond can pick up where he left off before the injury, he could be a huge part of the Rockies offense. It’s also worth noting that he was signed with the intention of playing first base. If he can maintain his outfield eligibility, Desmond becomes even more valuable to fantasy teams.
Adam Eaton to Washington Nationals
We all know how scarce stolen bases have been the past couple of seasons. Fulfilling the stolen base category has been increasingly difficult, as the league has seen a shift towards power. With outfielder Adam Eaton joining the Nationals’ roster, he receives a bit of a boost in value. He’s projected to hit at the top of one of the best lineups in baseball, which will surely increase the amount of time he comes around to score. Furthermore, his speed and base stealing abilities are much more likely to be exploited by Dusty Baker than they were by Robin Ventura. It wouldn’t come as too much of a shock if Eaton were to reach 40 stolen bases by the end of the season.
Wade Davis to Chicago Cubs, Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals
[the_ad id=”693″]This one was a win for everyone. On the Cubs’ side, they get a dominant closer to fill the void left by Aroldis Chapman. Davis’ value took a bit of a hit when he went down with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow last season. Despite playing in just 45 games, he was still able to save 27 games to the tune of a 1.87 ERA. However, the trade to Chicago proves that the elbow must not be too serious. He’s set to immediately take over closer duties and should reestablish himself as one of the game’s top closers if he can stay healthy.
On the Royal’s side, they receive a guy who’s been patiently waiting for his shot at regular playing time. Jorge Soler’s talent has always been there, but Chicago’s crowded outfield has prevented him from truly breaking out. He’ll get that chance in 2017, as he is set to start in the outfield for the Royals.