With the Hot Stove season coming to an end and Spring Training right around the corner, I thought I'd compile a list of some off the best and worst moves of the offseason from a fantasy perspective. Here is what I came up with:
1. Best Offseason Move (Hitter): Matt Holliday re-signed with the St. Louis Cardinals
If Matt Holliday signed with an American League team or another National League team, there would be uncertainty surrounding him. But since he hit so well with the Cardinals last year we can be confident making him a top five OF.
Honorable Mention: Adrian Beltre (Signed with BOS); Curtis Granderson (Traded to NYY)
2. Best Offseason Move (Pitcher): Roy Halladay traded to the Philadelphia Phillies
What’s not to love about Roy Halladay getting traded to the Phillies? He moves over to the National League, moves out of the best division in baseball, and moves to the best team in the National League.
Honorable Mention: Edwin Jackson (Traded to ARI); Jon Garland (Signed with SD)
3. Best Offseason Move (Closer): Billy Wagner signed with the Atlanta Braves
Wagner had very little value last year. He missed most of the year, got healthy, then was traded to the Red Sox where he backed up Jonathan Papelbon as closer. This year, Wagner will be the undisputed closer for one of the best teams in the National League.
Honorable Mention: Rafael Soriano (Traded to TB); Mike Gonzalez (Signed with BAL)
4. Worst Offseason Move (Hitter): Jason Bay signed with the New York Mets
It’s not that I think his numbers will take a huge hit, it’s just that Boston was the perfect fit for Jason Bay. He had Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, and Kevin Youkilis to drive in and a short left field that was conducive to his pull happy swing. Now he has to deal with the uncertainly of the Mets top of the order and a more spacious home ballpark.
Honorable Mention: Chone Figgins (Signed with SEA); Jeremy Hermida (Traded to BOS)
5. Worst Offseason Move (Pitcher): Javier Vazquez traded to the New York Yankees
Vazquez was a fantasy ace last year. He won’t be this year after moving to the American League and baseball’s best division. Vazquez, who is prone to giving up the long ball, is not the best fit in a home run hitters park such as Yankee Stadium.
Honorable Mention: Joel Pinero (Signed with LAA); Max Scherzer (Traded to DET)
6. Worst Offseason Move (Closer): Fernando Rodney signed with the Los Angeles Angels
Last year Fernando Rodney saved 37 games for the Detroit Tigers. After signing with the Angels, Rodney will no longer be a closer as he will be backing up Brian Fuentes.
Honorable Mention: Chris Ray (Traded to TEX); Matt Lindstrom (Traded to HOU)
7. Hitter Most Affected Indirectly: Alcides Escobar after J.J. Hardy was traded away from the Milwaukee Brewers
When management traded away J.J. Hardy to the Minnesota Twins they showed that they had full confidence in Alcides Escobar’s ability to be the full time shortstop. After taking over for Hardy late in the season last year, Escobar batted .304. He also has shown speed in the minors, swiping 34 bases in 2008 and 42 in 2009.
Honorable Mention: Buster Posey after Bengie Molina re-signed with the Giants; Delmon Young after Jim Thome signed with the Twins
8. Pitcher Most Affected Indirectly: Boston Red Sox Pitching Staff after the signings of Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron, and Marco Scutaro
The Boston Red Sox set out to improve their defense in 2010 and they did. The signings of defensive wizards Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron, and Marco Scutaro should go a long way in run prevention. As a result, Boston’s pitching staff should see a slight boost in numbers with better fielders behind them.
Honorable Mention: Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, will they go back to the bullpen after Javier Vazquez trade? Tim Wakefield, does he have a rotation spot after the John Lackey signing?
As always check out Baseball Professor for more fantasy baseball analysis.