Last week, I provided a list of pitchers that have changed teams and their Fantasy impact.
This week, I will close out this series and provide hitters that have changed teams and their Fantasy value for the 2017 season.
While there are more players that have changed teams, I am just focusing on the players that will have value in the Fantasy realm.
With the off-season still ongoing, more trades are sure to be made between the publishing of this article and Spring Training.
But these are the players, so far, that will have the most, or least, impact. Let’s take a look at the hitters.
2017 Fantasy Baseball: Trading Places; Hitter Edition
Jorge Soler, OF, Kansas City Royals
The Cubs grew tired of Soler’s lack of hustle and traded him for reliever Wade Davis. The move to Kansas City will give Soler an opportunity to play everyday. He should be their everyday right fielder and should see some playing time at DH as well. Wherever Soler slots in the lineup will give him ample RBI and run chances. Kauffman Stadium is a little bigger than Wrigley, but mapping all of his 12 home runs last season, only one would have fallen short in his new home.
Ian Desmond, OF, Colorado Rockies
After signing Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70 million contract, there was speculation that he could play first base. Rumor was they were trying to get Mark Trumbo as well in free agency, but with his recent re-signing with Baltimore, Desmond looks to be the everyday first baseman in Colorado. After batting .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBIsw and 21 stolen bases with the Rangers last season, Desmond is again in a great situation for Fantasy teams. Not only will he have SS and OF eligibility, he’ll eventually have first base eligibility. That is quite a versatile player to have on your team. He should have another 20/20 season with 30/30 upside in the 2017 season if the Rockies let him run.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, Seattle Mariners
After trading for the aforementioned Soler, the Royals sent Dyson to the Mariners for Nate Karns. After the Royals said they were not ‘overwhelmed’ by any offers, Dayton Moore got a solid return. Dyson will be the left fielder for the M’s, bringing elite defense and speed to a team that needs more speed. Seattle ranked 25th in the league with 56 total stolen bases. Dyson alone had 30 last season. Dyson will have more opportunities to score runs as the Mariners ranked in the Top 10 in RBIs last season.
Matt Holliday, OF, New York Yankees
After the Cardinals declined Holliday’s $17 million dollar option, he signed a 1 year $13 million dollar deal to be the Yankees DH. He will still get the occasional start in left field. But batting mostly DH will save the wear and tear on the 37-year-olds body. Batting in the middle of the Yankees lineup, coupled with the ballparks he will be frequenting in the AL East, Holliday should be a good bet to get back to 30-plus homers in the Bronx. This is a great move from a Fantasy perspective.
Jean Segura, SS, Seattle Mariners
After two sub-par seasons, Segura broke out in 2016. Apparently the Diamondbacks wanted to capitalize on the career year he had, flipping him to the Mariners this past winter. Segura will be the starting shortstop and more than likely bat leadoff for the Mariners. Checking in on Segura’s home runs, they all would have went out in Safeco. If you are looking at this past season as the norm, I would look again. I fully expect a regression in home runs and in his batting average. Feel free to take a late flyer on him, but he will be drafted ahead of where I would feel comfortable.
Dexter Fowler, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
After a scorching start to the season, a hamstring injury knocked him out for four weeks in June. While he cooled off after returning, he still hit .276/.393/.447 in 125 games. He was brought in more for his defense than his bat. I’m not sure the Cardinals really believe he can hit at Busch like he did in Wrigley. In the end, they got the center fielder the desperately needed, and also a legitimate lead-off hitter. Unfortunately, the signing came at quite a steep price.
Wilson Ramos, C, Tampa Bay Rays
This one might be a little unfair. Ramos finally has a breakout year and then suffers an ACL and meniscus tears in his right knee. The same knee he injured in 2012. If his rehab goes great, there’s a chance he can come back and be a productive player. This is a player that has a chance to have some impact in the second-half of the Fantasy season. He had a much better first-half in 2016, but after the break, in 56 games, he slashed .279/.317/.447 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs before the injury.
He did just as well as Salvador Perez in seven fewer games. Perez had .285/.318/.426 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs. Not to mention how he compares with Buster Posey. He hit .282/.357/.383 with three home runs and 38 RBIs in 66 games after the break. While you may not draft him, he could be a solid add if your catcher happens to go down late in the season. He’s in the falling category in the vent his rehab does not go as planned.
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Cleveland Indians
It took a while, but Encarnacion finally landed on a team. Cleveland seems like a really good spot for EE to land, but I do not see the same type of season from a home run standpoint for the 34-year-old. Moving from Rogers Centre to Progressive Field will likely hurt his overall home run numbers. His contact rate has been on the decline, but Cleveland is still getting an elite type bat in their lineup. In the end it looks like a lateral move. He will still do very well and will benefit from the DH. All in all I see about the same numbers for EE, with a slight drop in homers and a slight uptick in doubles.
Adam Eaton, OF, Washington Nationals
In a stunning trade, Adam Eaton was sent to the Washington Nationals for three top starting pitching prospects in return: Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. The reason because Eaton, who is under control until 2021, broke out in 2016, slashing .284/.362/.428 batting line over 706 plate appearances with a 6.2 WAR. In Chicago he was doing it playing right field. Now, Eaton will move back to center field for the Nationals with Harper manning right field. Where Eaton could see an uptick in production is runs, as he could top 100 runs for the first time in his career. But, for Fantasy purposes, Eaton will be right around the same numbers he has had the past two years in Chicago.
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