Mornin’. Reckon I don’t need much of intro this time around. If you’re late to the game on the happenings of the MLB offseason, check out last week’s Saturday Morning Post.
Not the craziest of weeks, I’m afraid – here’s what I’ve deemed the most fantasy-relevant of the past week or so of the baseball offseason.
Technically, he signed before last week’s post published, but it was a little too late to add him in, so here’s my bit on the Rangers signing David Dahl. If you’ve got him in dynasty, I know you must be more than a little chagrined he’s leaving Coors. And frankly, you have every reason to be. His home/road splits are very ugly: career slash of .318/.361/.556 at home and only .248/.302/.420 on the road. I can’t help but think this move kind of destroys his value – more like David “Nahl, I’m good” amirite? He doesn’t have the pop or contact skills or plate approach to have a lot of success away from Coors by the looks of things. Too many swings and misses, non-hard hits, poor BB%, meh Z-Contact, etc. etc. I’m willing to throw 2020 out, but still not overly encouraged. The silver lining is he’ll be utilized in a much better way. Not a Colorado way. So maybe he’s able to find a rhythm and make necessary adjustments. Worth a late flier in redrafts, but I’m sorry to say his dynasty value has cratered.
James McCann did in fact sign with the Mets. I really like this move both for the Mets and for fantasy. He’s going from a good lineup to another good lineup that didn’t quite play up to its potential in 2020. I still have mad faith in J.D. Davis, y’all. McCann will probably not be an elite fantasy C, but he’ll be a very good one. Ain’t like there’s a ton of those to go around since my boy Isiah Kiner-Falefa will be a full-time SS in 2021. *SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT* But McCann damn near had himself a .900 OPS and blasted 7 HR in just 31 games (37-HR pace) last season. He had 18 HR and a solid AVG in limited duties the year before that. His barrel rate jumped nicely from 2018 to 2019, and he even improved his rate a little more in 2020. Aaaaand he hits the ball hard. Often. That all sounds great, but keep in the back of your mind he’s playing half his games in Citi Field now.
Greg Holland is back with the Royals for a year. RosterResource has him slotted to close, and I figure that’s just where he’ll be, at least to start. Josh Staumont is the truth, though; fully expect him to be the guy sooner or later, but his walks have gotta improve before he gets closing duties. Oh yeah, I’m writing about Holland here. Really nice bounce-back year for the 35-year-old, all things considered. He looked very similar to 2014’s 46-save Holland with fewer Ks but also fewer walks. I’m a fan of closers on bad teams, cuz they’re playing close games more often than not. Could be a matter of 2020 just being too small a sample, and Holland will revert back to recent form, but I’d take a shot on him. Just grab Staumont as a handcuff, maybe. Probably. Yeah, do it.
Hunter Renfroe is now a member of the Boston Red Sox. I think he’ll play very well at Fenway, and he looks to be the primary right fielder. Last year was a mixed bag, but I sure was glad some weeks I drafted him in RazzSlam. Renfroe is, to me, the perfect Best Ball guy to snatch late. He can go on a bender and blast all kinds of homers, but he’ll also stink it up and do nothing in other weeks. Finally got that BB% into double digits, as well, so that’s nice to see. Don’t forget, he’s only a year removed from bashing 33 HR in just 140 games while hitting at Petco. The average will never be there, but the power can skyrocket any given week. Fenway plays well for pull-heavy righties like Renfroe.
Daniel Bard is sticking around with the Rockies after a career-reviving season. He wasn’t, like, awesome, but he hadn’t been seen in the MLB since 2013 and comes back and posts a 3.65 ERA while adding six saves and a couple holds. There are some other names in the Rox pen who could close out games, but I imagine it’s Bard’s job to lose for now.
Anthony DeSclafani will be pitching for the Giants next season. I’ll admit, San Fran was hella better than I expected them to be. But it’s still a tough division to be in. Tony Disco has been a solid streamer in the past, but I’m not ready to roster him, especially after this move. I’ll stream him still, of course, matchup pending. Good signing IRL for San Francisco, but I’m wait-and-see in fantasy.
Michael Wacha has found a home with the defending AL Champ Rays. Figures to slot into the bottom half of the rotation. Fantasy stock goes up when you used to pitch for the Mets and now it’s the Rays. On the surface, 2020 looked horrendous for Wacha (1-4, 6.62 ERA, 1.56 WHIP), but really it was kind of, in a way, sort of one of his best seasons. It was the first time since 2014 his SIERA was below 4.00 (3.99). Easily his best BB/9 ever (1.85). Best K/9 ever (9.79). Best O-Swing% ever (34.3%). Best SwStr% since his rookie year (11.3%). Look, he’s no Cy Young candidate, but I imagine he’ll get faded hard on draft day even with the new team. He could be a practically free source of decent fantasy returns. Maybe just don’t play him against the Yankees – he gave up an assload of homers last year (nine in just seven starts). I’m gonna go ahead and say if he can fix the long ball issues, Wacha has a very solid 2021 season. His 2.38 HR/9 (15th worst among all pitchers with >30 IP) from last year looks like an anomaly, and 2020 was cray cray anyway, so I’m not ready to fully condemn him in that regard. His career HR/9 is a much more respectable 1.06, even with last year’s poopfest tossed in.
Booooooo, just one trade this week. Rafael Montero is set to be the Mariners’ new closer after a successful 2020 season with Texas. Montero had never had much zip on his fastball until he got to Texas, then all of a sudden that sucker shot up more than two full MPH on average. This is a sneaky good Mariners squad. Dylan Moore, AL ROY Kyle Lewis, Ty France, Evan White, and a couple young OFs by the names of Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez. Oh my gravy do I love the way that lineup is filling out. Montero’s not a free agent ’til 2023, so he’s in a good spot to have success for the next few years.
Rumors and whatnot
Buzz on the street, if you haven’t heard already, is the MLB is looking to delay the season until May. On the flip side, players don’t want a delay and plan to show up to camp when the time comes. Can’t really blame them for wanting to play a full season and, you know, get the money everyone agreed upon in the CBA. This’ll be fun!
The Yankees want to keep D.J. LeMahieu, and Brian Cashman feels pretty optimistic he’ll stick around. DJLM thrives at Yankee Stadium. Thrives. He’s hit 36 homers in one and a half seasons as a Yankee – 27 of ’em have been at home. He’s still an excellent fantasy asset away from home, but there’s no denying his value drops if he ends up signing elsewhere. I’ve said it before and I still feel good about: I figure he stays with NYY.
In case there was a glimmer of hope for Nationals fans, GM Mike Rizzo basically quelled all Kris Bryant to the Nats rumors. I’ve made my feelings on KB very clear, and I think Nats fans would do well to see this as a dodged bullet. His agent, the one and only Scott Boras, seems to think KB sticks it out with the Cubs for another year. (Cards fan here, and this makes me happy).
Amed Rosario should get some reps at third in 2021, meaning more playing time for sexy speedster Andres Gimenez. The Mets will want Gimenez’s glove at short. His bat isn’t anything to write home about, but the wheels are for real (94th percentile). If the glove leads to regular playing time, he could turn into a real nice source for steals.
Buster Posey is going to return as the Giants primary catcher for 2021. Posey opted out last season, but he’ll be ready to go this time around. That means Joey Bart dynasty owners will have to wait at least another year. Posey is set to hit the market if the team declines his option for 2022.