The holidays and the year 2013 are officially in the rearview mirror, but there is no slowing the 2014 MLB offseason. After a lengthy break from writing and most things Fantasy (except for Daily Fantasy Sports, I can’t quit that) I am back to recap a few more winners of the Fantasy Baseball offseason.
A few more trades, free agent signings, and the continuing stalemate with Masahiro Tanaka (He will likely be in my next article), changed the landscape of the league, but of course, it isn’t over yet.
So far the MLB offseason hasn’t disappointed. I will be writing even more going forward, as well as work on some early Prospect Previews, Positional Rankings, and Tiers over the next month or so. So keep your eyes peeled.
Feel free to drop some comments below with your own Fantasy thoughts on some of these moves.
More 2014 MLB Offseason Winners
TEXAS RANGERS (Pt II)We all knew the Rangers weren’t done after landing Prince Fielder in the Ian Kinsler trade, and they weren’t. They landed the much coveted free agent Shin-Soo Choo. He will now be patrolling left field for the Rangers, which should also help improve some of his defensive woes in Cincinnati last season. The only downside is Choo’s being 31 years old, and his propensity to land on the DL.
However, adding a career .392 OBP player with the ability to take walks and score runs fits nicely in the Rangers new lineup. He has been named their lead off hitter for the upcoming season, and his lineup behind him could be as potent as the Reds were last season. Two new bats, that do nothing but produce fantasy wise every year, make the Rangers big winners. Look for Choo to put up ( .288/85/15/55/20) this season.
The big trade that happened involving Arizona seems to leave many fans divided. Some feel the Diamondbacks gave up too much, others feel they made the right move, and adding the huge bat of Mark Trumbo to hit alongside Paul Goldschmidt was exactly what they needed. Having the Diamondbacks in my winners column, makes it obvious which side I am on.
In this case it just works though. Tyler Skaggs was their top prospect, but with the fantastic 2013 from Patrick Corbin, and with the rapid development of Archie Bradley suddenly Arizona is once again trading one of their elite pitching prospects. Adam Eaton, had an injury plagued rookie season, so it is hard to be critical, but they survived without him last season, and may not miss him too much in 2014.
What they did do was acquire a guy who doesn’t hit for average, but has pure power. Last season was his first season as a full-time player and he didn’t disappoint. Plus, that was with a struggling Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols all season. Now he has Paul Goldschmidt for security. This trade is great strictly from a Fantasy perspective, and I think he will break the 35-HR, 120-RBI mark this season. Trumbo could easily crank out a line of (.240/80/35/120/3).
They also traded away Matt Davidson for dominant closer Addison Reed. Hard to dislike Reed, but Davidson appeared solid and MLB ready.
SEATTLE MARINERSWell, the Mariners made a splash didn’t they? They signed the aging, but still No. 1 second baseman in the game to a gynormus 10-year contract a week before the winter meetings, but by doing this, we knew they couldn’t be done making moves. Their team still had plenty of holes, but signing a player of Robinson Cano’s caliber left everyone drooling in anticipation for what they would do next.
They decided to add a few more big bats in Corey Hart and Logan Morrison. Both can play first base, and have some nice pop (20-HR potential). Both also carry significant injury risk, but when healthy could really stabilize the Mariners lineup and provide plenty of runs. Hart could be a contender for Comeback Player of the Year in 2014.
This move should boost both of these guys value’s for 2014, and due to past injuries they could be some valuable sleeper picks to target late in upcoming drafts. Toss in the rumblings of Tanaka possibly landing in Seattle and you may be looking at a preseason favorite.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
The Angels may have ultimately made a smart move trading Trumbo away for young pitching. Their rotation needed some bolstering, however, losing the 35 HRs/100-plus RBI will hurt. I have a feeling the Angels are doubting that their aging superstars, Hamilton and Pujols, will have another mediocre season in 2014. If they bounce back even close to their career averages, Trumbo’s loss won’t feel as significant. Only time will tell of course.
In the meantime, they landed the No. 13 prospect in Tyler Skaggs to be in their rotation, as well acquiring the oft-overlooked Hector Santiago from the White Sox to round out their rotation.
Santiago is a streaky and risky pitcher, but is a very solid fifth starter. Getting 155-plus Ks and 8-10 wins are perfectly reasonable. Skaggs is a work in progress, but has a bright future and should help the Halos going forward. The rotation isn’t lethal, but it is better than last season’s with a much higher ceiling, and more Fantasy value.
In Closing …
I will be back soon with Part III of the best 2014 MLB Offseason stories, and in case you missed it, be sure to read my previous work Part I and 7 Stories to Watch This Offseason, especially as the stories are unfolding before our eyes.
Be sure to send any questions, comments my way about the 2013 MLB Winter meetings, or anything Fantasy related @fantsychillpony. Thanks for reading!