The market hasn’t been all that robust since the last Winter Moves update, but there have been enough moves for another piece. We’re in the holiday lull and probably won’t see much for the next week or so and then a flurry of activity in January.
Longoria is a Tampa Bay institution, spending his first 10 years there as the foundation of the organization, but now heads out west on the heels of his worst season ever (96 wRC+). Even if the wRC+ jumps back up, it likely won’t net any fantasy benefit given his new park. His last four years have seen 22, 21, 36, and 20 HR all in full seasons so that trend paired with the park should put expectations at a .260/20 HR/80 RBI. In other words, a mixed league corner infielder. The best I can say about this move is at least he’s not a left-handed batter or we might be looking a low-to-mid teens HR output.
The TB returns are AL-only options at best. Arroyo is a 23-year old who made the majors after just 17 games at Triple-A. He sputtered his way through 135 PA on the season (44 wRC+) and while there’s nowhere to go but up, he looks a 10 HR/5 SB kind of guy right now. There is some upside in the batting average if he develops and that could push up over .280 in a good season. A wise projection should be around .250-.260, though.
Span had back-to-back double-doubles (10+ HR & SB) despite injuries keeping him below 640 PA in both seasons (637, 542). There’s no reason we couldn’t see more of the same and maybe a couple extra homers now that he’s out of SF. A 4th-5th OF type in AL-only leagues who won’t win you the league, but should be solid when healthy and playing.
- Carlos Santana to PHI (3 yr/$60 mil deal)
The Phillies were a surprise winner in the Santana Sweepstakes and while many might’ve thought the portly 32-year old needed to be in the AL to keep DH an option, he’s been a net positive fielder each of the last three seasons. He has also been remarkably durable with five straight seasons of at least 152 games and only one of his seven full seasons falling below that threshold (143 games, 609 PA in 2012). He’s always an elite OBP target, though a pair of back-to-back .259 AVG seasons have made him less of a liability in standard leagues (this was on the heels of back-to-back .231 seasons). The park change should help the switch-hitter, too, as Progressive Field only aided him from the left side while Citizen’s Bank is friendly to all when it comes to home runs. Despite only reaching the threshold once (34 HR in 2016), I think 30 HRs as a projection is on the table for Santana.
- Yonder Alonso to CLE (2 yr/$16 mil deal)
Speaking of Progressive Field aiding lefties, Cleveland signed Alonso to take Santana’s spot after his big breakout campaign. He popped 28 HR – more than his last four seasons combined (25) – in Oakland and Seattle, neither known from being hitter-friendly environs, though Safeco isn’t the power stifling venue it used to be after some park changes. He’ll now hit in a pro-lefty ballpark for half of his games as Progressive Field boosts lefty output across the board. His second half dip (.774 OPS, 8 HR) could leave him a bit forgotten making him a low-cost CI/UT option in mixers and a solid 1B punt option or high-end CI in AL-only leagues depending how you want to construct your team.
- Mitch Moreland back to BOS (2 yr/$13 mil deal)
Well, there goes the one obvious Eric Hosmer landing spot. Yes, he’s better than Moreland on the whole, but in terms of money invested vs. output, I prefer this move for Boston. Bide your time with Moreland to see if Sam Travis or someone else emerges from the organization. On the other hand, I do think Hosmer could’ve been their next leader type guy in the vein on Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, but they have a lot of young studs coming into their own and it’s not hard to envision a Xander Bogaerts or Mookie Betts assuming the role.
Hell, maybe Mitchy Two Bags is that guy and that’s why he was brought back! On the field, he’s a straight platoon guy. He has a 104-point platoon split over his career and hit a whopping 1 HR against southpaws last year (5 in each of the previous two seasons). He has shown himself to a solid .250/low-20s HR guy, posting essentially those numbers in four of the last five seasons, the other being an injury-shortened lost season in 2014. He’s a lesser Alonso so I wouldn’t want him at my CI in mixers or my 1B in AL-only. He’s best used as a UT that you can spot for stretches when Boston has a bunch of righties on the slate.
- Matt Adams to WAS (1 yr/$4 mil deal)
Adams was brought into fill the Adam Lind role. Lind hit .303/.362/.513 with 14 HR and 59 RBI in 301 PA last year. Adams went .274/.319/.522, 20, 65 in 367 PA. Lind found some time in the outfield last year to buoy his playing time since Ryan Zimmerman stayed healthy (and beasted), but that option might not be available to Adams with Adam Eaton back, Brian Goodwin being much better on defense and also left-handed, and Victor Robles waiting in the wings should injury strike the big league team. That said, we’ll see if Zimmerman can stay upright for a second straight season as he’s tallied more than 400 PA just once in the last four years; 240, 390, 467, and 576. Give Adams 330 PA and bounce between your UT role and the reserves in NL-only leagues. Hopefully he can have another month like his June 2017: 1.034 OPS and 10 HR.
- Jhoulys Chacin to MIL (2 yr/$15.5 mil deal)
Chacin was a surprising spot-start stud last year with a 1.79 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 100.3 innings at home. This came despite virtually the same skills home and away with just a 2% difference in K-BB% and only a 13-point difference in xFIP. He rode a .202 BABIP, 0.7 HR/9, and 88% LOB rate in Petco and while it’s not just blind luck, it’s still the best possible outcome for his skills. His road work showed the worst of it: .348 BABIP, 1.2 HR/9, and 64% LOB rate.
Petco Park isn’t the pitcher’s haven it used to be, but it’s still better to pitch there than Milwaukee. Even if you see his road numbers regressing positively, you have to move his numbers the other way in a neutral situation and then add a little for Miller Park. In the end, he’s a deeper NL-only option and perhaps a random punt start from time-to-time in DFS.