Fantasy Baseball offseason tracker: Mets draw Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar; Wander Franco signs a mega deal

The off-season is in full swing and we’re here to provide you with the latest information. Wondering what impact the latest free agent trade or signing will have on your Fantasy Baseball league? You’ve come to the right place for this kind of analysis.

Here are our reactions to what has happened so far …

Mark Canha signs with the Mets

The Mets, without Michael Conforto, would apparently have a daily role in mind for Canha. He may not have gotten such assurances from all of the teams given he fell to a batting average of .206 and .656 OPS in the second half while possibly still feeling the effects of a hip injury. He’s been all over the place since the start of the 2019 season, when he broke out with the best numbers in his career, but one thing he’s always done during that time is get on the base, which should keep him going. relevant even in points leagues. Either way, he’ll get end-of-tour looks. It hit 0.257 with an OPS of 0.827 on the road last year, so the change of venue can only help.

Eduardo Escobar signs with the Mets

The Mets have roughed him up on third base for the past two years, so the signing gives them some stability while keeping Escobar out of a potential playing-time quagmire elsewhere. Sure, that crushes JD Davis’ worth, but he had still started to look like a lost cause after an injury-plagued year in which he was passed by Jonathan Villar. Escobar, soon to be 33, is limited offensively, struggling to get in on the bases but putting the ball up enough to deliver a respectable home run total. He can be frustrating for fantastic purposes, but given the state of third base position right now, we should just be thankful that he has landed in a place where he can deliver what he is.

Steven Matz signs with the Cardinals

In recent years, the Cardinals have built their rotation on mid-level pitchers with unimpressive peripherals, and Matz does indeed do the trick. The 30-year-old southpaw ended his time with the Blue Jays on a high note, delivering a 2.91 ERA in his last 14 starts, but he also had a WHIP of 1.29 and 7.5K / 9 during this sequence. Her final numbers weren’t bad but they weren’t the needle-moving type in Fantasy either. His 14-7 record tops the list of statistics he is unlikely to repeat. Think of Matz as nothing more than a type of streamer, and if you were counting on Alex Reyes to join the rotation for the start of 2022, the odds are much longer now.

Wander Franco signs extra time with Rays

No change of hands here, of course, but the scale of the deal doesn’t make it any less remarkable. The guaranteed number is $ 182 million over 11 years, but there is an option for a 12th year and escalators that could take the contract to $ 223 million. It’s the biggest contract ever awarded to a player with less than a year of service, nearly doubling Ronald Acuna’s previous record.

Early returns confirm Franco’s two-year reign as the game’s best prospect. He hasn’t maximized his power yet, but his batting skills are already top notch. He struck out three strikes in the games on September 16, for god’s sake. His production at 20 puts him on a Hall of Fame trajectory, premature so to speak, and the Rays, notoriously cost-conscious, are betting on it. For Fantasy, this deal could elevate the already inordinate hype to a full-blown climax, making it more likely that Franco will go too early (say, Round 2 or 3 rather than 4 or 5), but it’s certainly possible that it will become a monster out-and-out in 2022.

Anthony DeSclafani signs with Giants

DeSclafani will stay with the organization that helped him do his best, and between himself, Kevin Gausman, Alex Wood, and even Drew Smyly for a brief period in 2020, the Giants have earned a reputation for saving forgotten pitching skills. Their big stadium probably has something to do with it, and it turns out that DeSclafani allowed 0.5 HR / 9 there versus 1.4 on the road in 2021. The 31-year-old has passed out a bit. with a 4.03 ERA in the second half of the year, and between his modest high xFIP withdrawal rate and xERA (both 3.95), I think he’s likely to have broken the limits a bit. Still, there is nowhere else we would have preferred to see it go. His return to San Francisco should place him among the top 60 starting pitchers.

Justin Verlander signs with Astros

The Astros ended the suspense before it had a chance to build, giving the future Hall of Fame not only $ 25 million for 2022, but the choice of returning for 2023 or testing again. the market. You might say it’s a lot to bet on a 39-year-old soon to be returning from Tommy John surgery, but Verlander is the kind of generational talent who seems to carry on forever. You see his numbers from his last healthy season (he also made a start in 2020), and by opening day he will have already had a solid 18 months to recover. I suspect it will slip too far into fantasy drafts, but a big spring could create the hype.

Brandon Belt signs with Giants

Belt accepted the offer of qualification, possibly with a view to negotiating a long-term deal, thus ending the hypothesis of his permanent departure from Oracle Park. It’s true that the cavernous venue has long stifled his power output and fantasy prospects with him, but he’s played fairer over the past couple of years, which is why he has exploded his previous career record in kicking shots. circuit when he had only played 97 games. It is this last number that is the real problem. Gabe Kapler prefers to sit it against lefties. We can always hope for more playing time in 2022 – Belt has had a few long stays in IL as well – but not as much as if he had gone elsewhere. He will be drafted again outside the top 12 first baseman.

Noah Syndergaard signs with angels

The 29-year-old ace lands in a good park in what is probably the best division for pitchers if DH does indeed come to the NL, so no worries there. The real question is whether he will be able to find his old ace after Tommy John’s surgery. Qualifying him ace may be too generous considering his stock decline in the two years leading up to the trade, in which he compiled a 3.73 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and a K / 9 out of 9.1 out of 57 departures. It’s fair to wonder if even those numbers are achievable given his fastball’s 3mph drop during the little we’ve seen of him in 2021. The Angels are clearly hoping for $ 21 million, but the deal one year recognizes the risk.

Eduardo Rodriguez signs with the Tigers

This decision telegraphs the Tigers’ intentions to fight in 2022, and why not? They increased their winning percentage to 0.475 in 2021, just two years after finishing 53.5 games from first place, and still have two top prospects Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene set to debut. . As for Rodriguez, he was doomed to improve no matter where he went, his 4.74 ERA being completely different from his 3.43 xFIP and 3.43 xERA. Fenway Park is of course a particularly dangerous place for a left-hander, and the move to Comerica Park should help in that regard. He will be worth the effort to be drafted among the top 60 starting pitchers in the hope of a rebounding season, offering the advantage of a No. 3.

Andrew Heaney signs with Dodgers

Just when you thought it was safe to ditch Heaney in Fantasy, the 30-year-old southpaw is joining one of the most notorious organizations for carrying out salvage projects. The Dodgers seemed eager to have him too, snatching him $ 8.5 million early in the offseason. It’s also not like they have to shop in the trash. What they see in him is undoubtedly the same thing that has kept Fantasy Baseballers interested for all these years: he has great swing and miss tendencies, but a vulnerability to the long ball that has him. prevented from succeeding. It’s possible the Dodgers will still go down the big dollar route to remake their pitching staff this offseason, bringing back Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw, but otherwise Heaney will have renewed his appeal to sleepers given their interest in him.

Wade Miley claimed by the Cubs

Miley has had a career year and will earn a modest $ 10 million in 2022, so it’s surprising the Cubs didn’t have to give up anything to get her. But it is also revealing. Despite the impressive stat line, the southpaw isn’t the idea of ​​any frontline pitcher and got a fair amount of regression in September, delivering an 8.35 ERA and 2.18 WHIP in four starts. . He keeps the ball on the ground and is good for 5-7 innings most of the time, so he belongs in a major league rotation. But with minimal strikeout ability and a career 4.14 ERA, it’s likely turned back into a straightforward clash again in 2022, especially for a rebuilding club.

Buster Posey retires

Posey’s absence is a net loss for Fantasy Baseball, but it sets the stage for one of the game’s best-known receiver prospects, Joey Bart. The 24-year-old, drafted second overall in 2018, has spent time in majors over the past two years with minimal impact. Injuries have hampered his development in minors, making him something of an all-or-nothing hitter, and it’s possible the Giants will choose to ease him, bringing in a veteran to fill the gap. Still, the likelihood of Bart taking on the role at some point in 2022 makes him worth targeting as the top 15 catcher in Fantasy, top 12 if the Giants start talking about it.

Tucker Barnhart traded to Tigers

At first glance, this move doesn’t have serious fantasy implications, but the role Barnhart leaves behind in the Cincinnati numbers will be filled by Tyler Stephenson, a former first-round pick who has delivered nearly 800 OPS. as an offensive half. an eye-catching tandem. Only five receivers had a higher OPS, and one is now retired. Stephenson may not have a strong enough impact on the ball to maintain that mark, but he is clearly in the top 12 receivers. Meanwhile, Barnhart’s arrival in Detroit brings Eric Haase back to replacement status. He can handle the outfield as well, which will potentially give him enough hitters to remain relevant in two-receiver leagues, but that’s only if he’s not eaten alive by strikeouts. His margin of error is less now.

CJ Cron signs with the Rockies

It’s no secret why Cron became an impact contributor in 2021 after barely registering before. It was his first year in Colorado, where he hit .326 with 19 home runs and 1.073 OPS versus .235 with nine home runs and one, 734 OPS on the road. Now that we know he’ll be back with the Rockies, we can take the performance more or less at face value and target him as a top 10 first baseman for 2022. It’s not certain that. he will be able to maintain these numbers as he ages. 32, but it will be in the only place that will make it possible.

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