Fantasy Implications: Price, Greinke, and Others

David Price signed with the Red Sox

As a whole, the David Price signing doesn’t change his perception or ranking. He is back in the AL East where he made a majority of his career starts. Fenway is a bit of a hitter’s park, so he could see a bit of increase in his ERA and WHIP. Also, the Red Sox’s roster is not set yet, but its defense could vary greatly depending on its final configuration.

The biggest impact will be which of the other starters gets moved to the bullpen or the minors. I would not be surprised if they keep all of them. Buchholz’s disabled list paper work is already typed out and ready to be signed. The rest of the staff, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly, all struggled at some point during the 2015 season. Right now it looks like Joe Kelly is the odd man out, all that could and probably will change by opening day.

Zack Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks

With Greinke, I found this move rather neutral to a small downgrade in his value. Starting with the negatives, he moves to a hitter-friendly home park compared to his recent home with the Dodgers. Also, now he will get to face the strong Dodgers offense about four times during the season instead of the Diamondbacks lineup. On the positive end, the Diamondbacks had one of the best defenses in the league last season (1st Defensive Runs Scored and 3rd in Ultimate Zone Rating).

With Greinke anchoring the staff and Corbin as the Diamondbacks #2, the rest of the staff has five guys (Rubby de la Rosa, Robbie Ray, Chase Anderson, Archie Bradley and Zachary Godley) fighting over the other three spots. I would like to see Ray get another chance, but none of those pitchers really give me a warm fuzzy.

Jeff Samardzija signed with the Giants

Finally a move in which the pitcher’s value changes quite a bit. Samardzija sees the following improvements moving from the White Sox to the Giants.

  • Moves from the AL with the DH to the NL and it hitting pitchers.
  • AT&T Park (Giants) is a pitcher’s park while U.S. Cellular (White Sox) is a hitter’s park.
  • The Giants defense was one of the best in the league while the White Sox was one of the worst.

Not all of the Samardzija’s struggles were park and defense related. His K/9 went from 8.3 to 6.9 and his BB/9 when was 1.8 to 2.1.

The signing moves him to #2 in the rotation. Chris Heston and Clayton Blackburn will battle for the last spot behind Jake Peavy and Matt Cain.

Chris Young signed with the Royals

This is pretty much a perfect match between pitcher and team. The Royals great defense in a big home park can chase down all of Young’s fly balls. I completely disagree with Steamer’s projection of a near 5.00 ERA talent. Young doesn’t strike out many batters, but his insanely low GB% will help him to suppress his ERA under his FIP by half a point. Additionally, I don’t see how he posts a projected 1.6 HR/9. He had not had a value so high except in 36 innings his rookie season. I don’t follow his 4.66 ERA projection by Steamer and would probably pencil him in as 4.00 pitcher.

The bottom of the Royals rotation is a mess after losing quite a few free agents. Young will probably be slotted in as the 4th or 5th starter.

Joakim Soria signed with the Royals

The Soria signing is probably not important in most leagues because cyborg Wade Davis will still be the Royals closer. Soria will either slot in as the 7th or 8th inning setup man with a Kelvin Herrera. The only chance for Soria to get some Saves will be an injury or trade of Davis.

Ryan Madson signed with the Athletics

Madson rejuvenated his career in the Royals bullpen. Like Soria, he won’t be the team’s closer. Instead, he will slot into the 7th or 8th inning with Liam Hendricks. Madson’s does have a decent chance of getting some Saves because current A’s closer Sean Doolittle is injury prone.

I am a little worried about him keeping up his 2015 production level and could see him slip a bit.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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The Dbacks offense was much better than the Dodgers last year, so Greinke having to face the Dodgers offense is not a negative with respect to his value.


Totally agree. If anything, Moving to Arizona boosts his value because of the better defense, better run support, and familiarity with the division itself. On top of that, LA’s offense is overrated at this point, so for now at least I can’t imagine Greinke having a hard time with them.