This has easily been one of the most entertaining baseball offseasons in the past couple decades! The list of big 2015 MLB transactions that affect Fantasy Baseball players is quite a large one.
If there has ever been a reason to love baseball more than football – this is it!
When was the last time you saw as many major trades and signings in an NFL offseason compared to an MLB offseason?
Fantasy Baseball leagues are completely revitalized every offseason, as a good percentage of Major League rosters are mixed up. And this past season was even better than most.
2015 MLB Transactions to Know Before Your Draft!
These are our Cliff’s Notes for the hundreds of transactions that have happened. (By the way, this Cliff guy, I’m guessing he had ADD?) These are the 20 most important offseason baseball trades and free-agent signings you need to know!
Josh Donaldson Goes to Toronto: Power hitting third baseman goes from tough hitting park to not-so-tough hitting park, becomes an even better Fantasy player.
The Prodigal Hanley Ramirez Returns to Boston: The former Red Sox prospect returns (after years in Miami and Los Angeles) to Fenway Park, where he’ll play left field this season. Boston is grooming Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, and at third base —
Kung Fenway Panda?: How excited is Pablo Sandoval to leave the pitcher-friendly NL-West for the pitching-depleted AL East? He’s viewed as a Fantasy corner infielder in most rankings, but I like him at the back end of the third-base rankings.
Mr. Scherzer Goes to Washington: After waiting until the free-agent dust settled, the Nationals signed a guy with heterochromia iridum to join an already stellar pitching staff. Considering the K-heavy lineups in the NL East, Max Scherzer looks like a top-five Fantasy pitcher for 2015.
Cespedes Traded for Porcello: The Red Sox moved the Cuban outfielder to Detroit in exchange for Rick Porcello, who is lining up to be their “ace” for 2015, just one year after being a mid-rotation guy in Motown. Yoenis Cespedes, meanwhile, will have three on-base monsters — Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez — hitting ahead of him this season, which means tons of RBI chances.
Latinos Continue to Relocate to Arizona: The Diamondbacks signed the hottest foreign import of the offseason, as Yasmany Tomas is expected to start at third base in the desert. He’s a free swinger with a big bat in a hitter-friendly park, but Jose Abreu’s huge 2014 might trick some owners into drafting Tomas higher than they should.
Samardzija Returns to (South) Chicago: Is there a better 1-2 left/right combination in the majors than Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija right now?
The Padres Bring in 3 New Outfielders: Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers looks like a pretty good start to a Fantasy Baseball outfield to me! Unfortunately, they have to hit in Petco Park for half of their games.
The HR Leader Goes Where HR Go to Die: Nelson Cruz came back from a PEDs suspension to lead the majors with 40 home runs in 2014. That’s like me giving up on a diet only to end up modeling in GQ … again. Cruz in Seattle could find the same power-poison that Robinson Cano drank last year. Cruz’s Steamer projections bring him back to Earth with 26 home runs in 2015, tied for 18th overall among hitters.
Will “The Cubs Win!” with Lester, Fowler, Montero?: It was only a year ago that the Cubs were considered one of the worst teams in the National League. But now, they’re NL Central title contenders, as is pretty much every other team in the NL Central (even the Reds?), now that they’ve added Dexter Fowler, Jon Lester and Miguel Montero and manager Joe Maddon.
#Cubs Dexter Fowler led baseball with a .451 no-out on-base percentage in 2014.
— Ace of MLB Stats (@AceballStats) January 19, 2015
Cubs, Dodgers Open Paths for Stud Rookie Hitters: Offseason trades of Kemp and Luis Valbuena open up starting spots for Joc Pederson in center field for the Dodgers, and Kris Bryant at third base in Chicago. The Cubs say that Bryant will have to earn that spot in spring training, but Fantasy owners would do well to get him in the middle rounds now before the hype machine builds even bigger once he gets the job.
Crisp, Reddick are Only A’s Left From 2014 Opening Day Lineup: Moving out players like Cespedes, Donaldson and Brandon Moss (to Cleveland) would crush most teams, but the A’s just reload with other parts, like Billy Butler, Brett Lawrie and Ben Zobrist. (I’d still take the first set, for what it’s worth!)
“Flash” Gordon Moves to Miami: It’s a Hollywood story – a former MLB pitcher called Tom Gordon, nicknamed “Flash” by his peers, has a child that also ends up making the majors. But his son, Dee Gordon, is nicknamed for a different “Flash” comic super hero – the super-fast one. By the end of May, he was on pace to be the first player to steal 100 bases since the late ‘80s. But then he fell back to Earth and stole just 30 bases in the final four months – after snagging 36 in the first two.
Thought Dee Gordon tailed off, actually hit .290+ in 5 months, .284 in 2nd half, still 1 cat guy, but might turn into a value
— Doug Anderson (@rotodaddy) January 18, 2015
Robertson, LaRoche, Melky Cabrera Try on White Sox: While the Cubs are getting all the offseason ink, the ChiSox did well over the winter, too. Robertson is a proven closer that should shore up one of the worst closer spots in baseball last year, and LaRoche brings a power bat to help sophomore Abreu. Cabrera will slot nicely into the two-hole, hitting behind Adam Eaton and in front of Abreu and LaRoche.
Did the 2015 MLB Transactions treat your Fantasy Baseball keeper team right? Are you still holding out hope that your MLB team will make some more moves before Opening Day?
Scherzer Photo Credit: Tom Hagerty
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