UPDATED: 2/19 Updates are listed at the bottom of each position marked by date

Every year the free agent and trade markets are a buzz with moves and this year is no different. Despite coming off an odd, and shortened, season, teams are still making moves to improve their rosters in the hopes of making a playoff push in 2021 and beyond. The question though is, how will the moves affect the value or roles for these players and hence how you should view them in a fantasy baseball sense. This piece will help to answer that question and will be constantly updated until Opening Day with every fantasy relevant signing or deal that’s made and they will be shown with their date in red, so make sure to keep checking in on this piece and the rest of the MLB Draft Guide.

Just to be clear, this piece won’t be talking about any of the international players that are being signed this year nor will it talk about the players that have resigned with the team they finished the 2020 season with since it’s called old face in new places and neither of those above examples fit that description. If you want views on the international signings or re-signed players, check out the rookie piece and the whopping amount of player profiles that Greg Jewett and Colby Conway are busy writing.

*Players are listed by their qualifying position heading into the year.


James McCann White Sox to Mets - McCann has been consistently overlooked the last few years in the catcher position, but during the last two year, he’s been top-five in fWAR, RBI, Runs, tied for second in average, and top-10 in home runs and runs. Sounds like he shouldn’t be getting overlooked any longer, especially with a starting role in a hitter-friendly division in the NL East. McCann may still hit toward the bottom of the Mets lineup, the lineup is really good, especially with the addition of Francisco Lindor to it, and so he will still have plenty of chances to drive in and score runs. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better batting average catcher going later than the top-few options than McCann and the pop he offers is really nice too for such a “thin” position.

Victor Caratini Cubs to Padres - Caratini was Yu Darvish ’s personal catcher in 2020 in his Cy Young runner-up campaign, so it wasn’t shocking to see him moved as part of the trade to San Diego. The Padres also wanted more catching depth given that they dealt Austin Hedges last September and Francisco Mejía earlier this offseason. Caratini isn’t a huge offensive threat to be sure and he’ll be second-fiddle to Austin Nola who was acquired last year. He will catch one out of every five games at most, unless there’s an injury and even in 132 PA last year with the Cubs, he had one homer, 16 RBI, 10 runs, and a .241 AVG, so not much value here unless you’re in a two-catcher league.

Kurt Suzuki Nationals to Angels - Suzuki is coming off of a true time-share in Washington the last couple of years with Yan Gomes and him splitting time. He played 118 games in the last two years with 19 homers, 80 RBI, 52 runs, and a steal with a .266/.331/.460 triple slash line with a .263 BABIP and .334 wOBA. He is slated to be behind Max Stassi in the catching rotation but the veteran backstop still has offensive value especially if he connects well with a few of the Angels’ starters as he was known to do with the Nationals over the last two years.

Jason Castro Padres to Astros - Castro is back with the Astros who he spent time with prior to the Twins, Angles, and Padres. 2020 wasn’t a great season for him, but in 2019, things went better for him with 13 homers in 79 games while hitting .232, decent for a catcher. Having signed back with Houston, he figures to be the starting backstop for them which increases the value somewhat because starting catchers are always valuable. Despite the loss of George Springer at the top of the lineup, it’s still a deep lineup in Houston and a good division to hit in, and one he’s familiar with to boot.


Wilson Ramos Mets to Tigers - The “Buffalo” as he’s known is back in the AL Central for the first time since coming up with the Twins in his debut. Since then he’s had a productive career and now joins a Tigers’ catching situation that is fairly fluid and unresolved just yet. The 33-year-old backstop is on a one-year, two-million-dollar deal so there’s not much of an investment here but it will give a veteran presence and a mentor to Jake Rodgers and Greyson Greiner. The last two full seasons in 2018 and 2019, Ramos was productive averaging 126 games played, 14 homers, 45 runs, and 71 RBI a year while slashing .296/.354/.449 in 855 at-bats. He could be a sneaky good value at catcher who won’t cost anything in drafts either snake or auction.


Josh Bell Pirates to Nationals - If there was a huge need for the Nationals on the offseason checklist, it was first base and acquiring Bell via trade checked that need off the list in a solid way. The 2020 season was a forgettable one in Pittsburgh, like most places, but in 2019, Bell was one of the best bats at the position in baseball. In the last full season with the Pirates, he hit .277 with a .367 OBP and 37 home runs, 97 runs, and 116 RBI. The switch-hitter has a patient approach that will fit in well with the Nationals roster and based on 2019 batted ball outcomes overlaid onto Nationals Park, there could be a resurgence in power, especially being backed up by Juan Soto and Kyle Schwarber .

Carlos Santana Cleveland to Royals - Kansas City was another team searching for a first baseman this offseason and got theirs in the form of Santana. The switch-hitter had a down year in 2020, hitting under .200 but still managing eight homers in 60 games for the Indians, but the year before he had the best year of his career. He slashed .281/.397/.515 with 34 home runs, 110 runs, 93 RBI, and four steals in 158 games. Will he get back to a career year? No. Can he vastly improve on his 2020 campaign? Yes. He’ll be playing first base full-time for the Royals and hitting in the heart of the order which should give him plenty of at-bats to max out his value at a fairly shallow fantasy position.

Nate Lowe Rays to Rangers - Lowe was a guy who was a victim of a loaded roster in Tampa Bay that didn’t often allow time full-time playing for a lot of players. Now though, Lowe is in Texas for this season and looking at a full-time role as the starting first baseman. The skill is there for him to be an impact bat when he gets the playing time as we saw him put up 11 home runs, 34 runs, 30 RBI, and a .251/.322/.447 slash line in 71 games with Tampa across two seasons. When he played 121 games at Triple-A Durham, while with Tampa, he hit 20 home runs with 81 runs and 70 RBI while hitting .282. So somewhere in the 25 home run range with a .265 batting average should be in his wheelhouse without really any competition at first base for Texas.


C.J. Cron Tigers to Rockies - It’s not often that an NRI (non-roster invitee) player makes this piece, but Cron is a special case. He’s a player capable of still being a starter though and with Colorado’s unsettled first base spot, don’t be surprised if he makes the team and gets the gig out of spring training. This kind of power at the most power-friendly park in the league is a scary proposition and is worthy of a late-round pick in any format.


Kike Hernández Dodgers to Red Sox - He made a name for himself as a utility man for the Dodgers the last few years but now he’s moving on to Boston on a two-year, $14-million deal to likely be their starting second baseman. Michael Chavis had a chance there but it didn’t work well and there’s Jeter Downs coming up in a few seasons so Hernandez is in a placeholder spot but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid option in the middle infield in the meantime. Hernandez has some decent pop, that will play up due to the smaller confines in Boston, but the batting average isn’t anything to write home about and that likely won’t change much given that he played 140 games or more twice in the last three years.


Marcus Semien Athletics to Blue Jays - As if the Blue Jays offense could get any better but sure enough they found a way. The signing of Semien allows them to move some pieces around like they’ve wanted to for a couple of seasons and makes them not only better offensively but far better defensively. A year after his near-MVP campaign, in 2019, Semien still had a productive 2020 with seven homers, 28 runs, 23 RBI, and four steals in 53 games though his slash line took a hit. The slash line should be back up with him moving to the AL East and with a similarly good lineup around him as he had in Oakland. His signing in Toronto allows him to remain at second base while Cavan Biggio likely mans the hot corner and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. moves to first base with Rowdy Tellez becoming the full-time DH. All of those moves make them stronger defensively without taking a bat out of the lineup.


Tommy La Stella Athletics to Giants - The Giants needed some help in the middle infield and get it with this signing as La Stella has played all over the infield in the last few seasons in L.A. and Oakland. He’ll mainly be playing full-time second base as Donovan Solano wasn’t cutting it and Solano will now be a utility man off the bench. La Stella has nice pop in his bat but that may take a hit going to San Francisco and the average has never really been a plus for him. He’s a mid-level value at a decently shallow position in second base and the hope is that with key players back and healthy that the Giants offense will be better than it was last season, but they still play in a tough hitter’s park.


Kolten Wong Cardinals to Brewers - Wong was signed to a multi-year deal to take the keystone role for the Brewers as they look for a better defensive makeup to their roster. Wong had a down year in 2020, but to be frank, every other year his batting average has been low with lower counting stats. His best season was 2019 with 11 homers and 24 steals and a .285 average but expecting that again isn’t likely but a 10-12 home run and 15-steal season is plausible as he’ll hit leadoff for the Brewers now as well. This move does move Keston Hiura to first base which is likely better defensively as he doesn’t have the best arm but the bat plays solidly at the position.



Nolan Arenado Rockies to Cardinals - Another blockbuster trade has been pulled off as the Cardinals tap another star Rockie to fill a need as they previously get Matt Holiday from the Rockies about a decade and a half ago. A lot has been made of the move and how it’s basically a salary drop for the Rockies but what I’d like to point out here is that his fantasy value is still very good despite not being in Coors any more and he may actually be a more consistent hitter to be honest. He’s played 102 games in his career in NL Central parks and is slashing .292/.350/.526 with 22 home runs, 68 RBI, 65 runs, and a steal. People will point out the big discrepancy between his home and road batting averages while with the Rockies but I’d point to the fact that most of that difference was off of left-handed pitchers while at home. He had a .366 AVG and 177 wRC+ off of LHP at home and a .306 AVG and 112 wRC+ at home off RHP. There’s no doubt that the massive outfield in Coors played to his .395 batting average to the pull side and the smaller confines of Busch and most of the NL Central parks might hurt the average a tad, but the power stays and perhaps improves and his home/road splits won’t be nearly as dramatic making him a better option for those in weekly head-to-head to points leagues where his weaker road totals previously could’ve caused a problem. The move also means that Matt Carpenter likely becomes a utility guy or fights for a spot in the outfield with Tommy Edman taking second, Paul DeJong taking shortstop, and Paul Goldschmidt at first and then could mean that Nolan Gorman their top prospect, a third baseman, moves to the outfield.


Francisco Lindor Cleveland to Mets - The Mets made the splash of the offseason by acquiring Lindor from Cleveland to bolster their offense and that’s exactly what the shortstop coming into his prime power years should do. The last two full seasons in Cleveland saw him hit .280 while going 30-20 in both seasons including a near 40-25 season in 2018. Now he moves to a team that will hit him either second or third in the lineup making a 2-3-4 of him, Michael Conforto , and Pete Alonso which is one of the best hearts of the order in the National League, regardless of if there’s a universal DH. Also keep in mind that aside from Citi Field being a better hitting environment than Progressive Field has been, the NL East is a better hitter’s division than the AL Central as a whole.

Andrés Giménez Mets to Cleveland - Gimenez came up last year with the Mets to play shortstop, his natural position, and looked pretty good in the smallish sample size. While in the Mets’ farm system he was a top prospect and then made the jump to the majors from Double-A and hit .263 with an OBP of .333 and three homers and eight steals, 22 runs, and 12 RBI in 49 games. All things considered, that’s a pretty impressive debut. Now, he moves to Cleveland to likely be the second baseman of the future while also predicted to be their leadoff hitter to start the 2021 season. Being in the lead-off spot will up his fantasy value as the runs and steals will be a good part of his game and he likely has slightly more value in OBP formats than regular batting average leagues.

Amed Rosario Mets to Cleveland - Rosario was a former top prospect of the Mets and then improved every year with the Mets before having his season in 2020 shortened due to injury. Rosario was known as a defense-first infielder in the minors but the bat has really come around in the majors to the point where he posted a .287/.323/.432 triple slash line with a .338 BABIP and .318 wOBA in 157 games in 2019 with 15 home runs, 75 runs, 72 RBI, and 19 steals. Rosario will likely be further down in the Cleveland lineup than his teammate coming over the same trade, Gimenez, and that could hurt his counting stats and thus his fantasy value a tad, especially with how deep shortstop can be in mixed leagues at this point.

José Iglesias Orioles to Angels - After one year in Baltimore, Iglesias was dealt this offseason to Los Angeles to be the full-time shortstop for the Halos. He’s not going to be a huge contributor in the counting stats, having hit career-highs in 2019 in Cincinnati in home runs, runs, RBI, and average over a full-length season. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t be valuable as the batting average, .278 career and .288 in 2019, and with Angels Stadium being pretty comparable to Great American Ballpark, the power could still play as well and hitting in the bottom of the Angels order could also help the steals numbers because he’ll be a sort of table setter for David Fletcher , Mike Trout , and Anthony Rendon .


Andrelton Simmons Angels to Twins - The defensive wiz is on the move after several years in L.A. and he’s sure to bring more depth to the Twins lineup as well. His main value for the team is his gold-glove, and near all-time great, defense at short but that doesn’t mean he can’t swing the bat too. Over the last three full seasons in L.A., Simmons slashed .279/.328/.405 while averaging 11 home runs, 64 runs, 62 RBI, and 13 steals over 136 games per year. Getting into the lineup the Twins have should also help those counting stats stay on that level.

Freddy Galvis Reds to Orioles - After dealing Iglesias to the Angels earlier this offseason, the Orioles needed a new shortstop and found it in the form of Galvis. The veteran middle infielder has been reasonably consistent offensively over the last four years as well with between 13-20 homers, 61-70 runs, 61-70 RBI, and 8-14 steals. The power numbers should be good with him playing in Camden Yards and the rest of the AL East bandboxes and he counts as a low-tier shortstop or middle infielder for fantasy purposes.


Elvis Andrus Rangers to Athletics - After losing Marcus Semien this offseason, the A’s needed a better option in the middle infield and made the intra-division trade to get the help. Andrus has been a polarizing player over the last few years with his up-and-down play but it really comes down to health for Andrus. In 2017 and 2019 he was healthy for the full season and posted great years with a 20-25 season and a 12-31 season while hitting over .275 in both years and striking out less than 15-percent of the time. The Oakland offense is still a very solid group with Matt Chapman and Matt Olson at the heart of it and Stephen Piscotty and Mark Canha as well so the run production is still there for Andrus and he’ll be getting full at-bats as well while staying in a division he’s familiar with already. He’ll likely be a candidate for a 15-15 season in 2021.


George Springer Astros to Blue Jays - Springer was arguably the biggest ticket offensive signing this offseason and the Blue Jays won that contest with a six-year deal. He will be the new leadoff hitter for a very good, young, burgeoning lineup for Toronto that is now that much deepers with a high-caliber bat at the top. In three of the last four full seasons he’s played, he’s hit at least 29 home runs and in 2019 while playing 122 games he hit 39 home runs, drove in and scored 96 runs, stole six bags, and slashed .292/.383/.591. Heading to the AL East should likely help his numbers as well as it’s a hitter’s division and the pitching for the Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, and Rays is also questionable at points. Expect a couple more years of elite numbers being put up and with guys like Bo Bichette , Vladimir Guerrero Jr. , Cavan Biggio , and Teoscar Hernández backing him up, run production will stay high.

Kyle Schwarber Cubs to Nationals - Schwarber got a one-year deal, with a mutual option for 2022, from Washington as they try to revamp the lineup after last year’s woes. Schwarber, like the rest of the Cubs, had a disappointing year in 2020 but in the second half of 2019 Schwarber was great hitting .280 with 20 homers. He’s always been known as a guy with a lot of power and patience at the plate but not necessarily the highest batting average. He should be the starting left fielder for Washington and could hit second in the order as his OBP generally fits that spot well and looking at Baseball Savant’s park overlay feature, the batted ball outcomes from 2019 suggest more home run upside could be coming in 2021 based on home games at Nationals Park.

Adam Eaton Nationals to White Sox - Speaking of a disappointing season, Eaton had one in 2020 in his final year in D.C. before heading to Chicago in free agency. Eaton came to D.C. from Chicago after a couple of 14-homer, 14-18 steal seasons and his last full year in Washington was a 15-15 effort with a .279 average while hitting second in the order, much like he’s expected to do for the Pale Hose. The White Sox lineup is deep and he should have quite a bit of protection to produce good numbers once more. He should be viewed as a potential OF3 caliber player.

Hunter Renfroe Rays to Red Sox - Renfroe takes a trip up I-4 to I-95 to stay in the AL East, but this time in Boston. Boston is in a retooling or rebuilding mode and Renfroe will act as a stopgap solution in right field for a year as Boston hopes to add more pop to the lineup. That’s basically all Renfroe brings any way with a .228 career batting average and .290 OBP in 432 games but 97 home runs in that same span with 26 or more home runs in each of the three full seasons he’s played. The small home park in Fenway should help the power and boost the average a bit but he’s still nothing more than an OF4 at this point since everyone has power and he is really just a late-round target.

Robbie Grossman Athletics to Tigers - Grossman had a great 2020 season as he hit eight homers and stole eight bags with 23 each of runs and RBI in 51 games, which, and this isn’t an accurate way to look at things, if you exprolate for 162-game pace that’s a 25-25 season with 73 runs and RBI. A couple of things to note though, Oakland is a great hitter’s park and that lineup is a good one, certainly both are better than his new home park and lineup in Detroit. He should get enough at-bats to get him over double-digits in both home runs and steals but don’t expect an average over .260 as he’s only done that once in a full season.

David Dahl Rockies to Rangers - Dahl has a major injury question surrounding him after leaving Colorado to head to Texas. Was he injured because of Colorado’s thinner air and tough playing conditions or is he just injury-prone no matter where he plays. If he can stay healthy, a big if having played more than half a season just once, even including last year’s shortened season, his career numbers pace him out to 23 home runs, 91 runs, 87 RBI, and nine steals with a .286 average and .334 OBP. The upside is perhaps the highest of anyone in this position but the risk is also perhaps highest.

Michael A. Taylor Nationals to Royals - After four years of being the guy that never got a shot in Washington, Taylor has moved on to Kansas City to be the likely starting center fielder for the Royals. The two years that he did get full playing time for the Nationals, he put up nearly 20-20 seasons and in 2017 he also hit .279 as well. The question with Taylor is can he find the mojo and swing again that can produce similar stat lines once more. The power likely drops, even if he finds the stroke, because Kaufman is a bigger home park than Nationals Park was but the batting average should benefit. He’s a late-round flier at this point.


Joc Pederson Dodgers to Cubs - Essentially the Cubs have decided to swap Kyle Schwarber for Pederson in left field. Defensively, it’s basically a wash with Pederson having a slightly better arm. Offensively though is where it gets interesting as Pederson has basically the same pop as Schwarber had but the splits are horrible for Pederson in that he basically can’t start against LHP whereas Schwarber could. He crushes RHP to be sure and had 36 home runs in his last full season with the Dodgers but nearly all of that came against righties. Now as of right now there are only four left-handed starting pitchers projected in the rotations for the other NL Central teams combined but he may get swapped out late in games to avoid facing lefty relievers and so that could cut 100-150 at-bats from his total on the year.


Eddie Rosario Twins to Indians - When the Twins released Rosario earlier this offseason everyone figured there’d be a bidding war for his services but instead he wound up with a one-year, eight-million-dollar deal with Cleveland. Perhaps no team has been more in need of outfielders over the last few years than the Indians and now they have a middle of the order type bat to play that position. In the last few seasons with Minnesota he posted around a .275 average with 27 or more homers a year and at least eight steals. He’ll stay in the division and stay in the middle of the order so his fantasy value remains pretty much the same as it was with the Twins though the run production may drop a tad since the Indians lineup isn’t as robust as the Twins had been over the last few seasons.


Andrew Benintendi Red Sox to Royals - Needing a change of scenery, Benintendi was shipped to Kansas City in a three-team trade and will take over the left field spot for the Royals. Benintendi is still capable of getting near 20-20 in a full-time role if he can regain the confidence in his stroke he had a couple of years ago. The Royals lineup is deceptively solid which should mean that he doesn’t see much of a drop in ability to put up counting numbers and with the second-biggest outfield by square footage in the majors, a lot of extra-base hits should be coming his way to boost the run-producing side of his game.

Adam Duvall Braves to Marlins - The Marlins wanted a bit more pop in their lineup and some veteran leadership in the locker room and that’s what they got with Duvall. He’s likely going to hit in the middle of their order which should help the run production but unfortunately, the Miami home park tends to hurt power numbers generally. He’s still in the same division he’s been in for a couple of seasons so familiarity with the pitching should help overcome that a tad. He’s worth a late-round shot as a 5th or bench power-hitting outfielder.



Khris Davis Athletics to Rangers - Davis is headed to Texas in the Elvis Andrus deal and that move doesn’t help Davis as much as it helped Andrus. The Rangers already have enough DH/outfield bats in the lineup and strikeout-prone hitters so Davis figures to be a bench bat that can bring power late in games or to spell David Dahl or Willie Calhoun in left field or DH.


Mitch Moreland Padres to Athletics - Moreland heads to a team with a need for a DH after shipping Khris Davis out of town and Moreland can fit that role well. He’s not gotten quite the chances to play over the last few seasons, but even in more limited playing time, he’s still put up pop. In 2019, Moreland played just 91 games but still hit 19 home runs in Boston with a solid .252 average (.271 BABIP). Hitting behind Matt Olson and Matt Chapman should give him pitches to hit and the AL West is a pretty hitter-friendly division in general.


Yu Darvish Cubs to Padres - The Cy Young runner-up for 2020 is now pitching for his fourth MLB team in his career. When the 2019 season started there were some questions as to just what Darvish had left in the tank but a grip change and a new pitch-mix in the second half had him take off and it carried over into 2020. He’s slated to be either the ace or number two pitcher for the Padres in 2021 and he should continue to flourish in the NL West and Petco Park as Arizona, San Diego, San Francisco are all good pitcher parks and Dodgers Stadium can be from time-to-time. He should still be considered an SP1 option for fantasy purposes.

Blake Snell Rays to Padres - Didn’t we just talk about an ace going to San Diego? Well, what do you know they got another one this offseason as well in the form of Snell. Snell had a bit of a tumultuous relationship with his previous manager at the end of his tenure in Tampa as Kevin Cash kept removing him from games earlier than Snell thought he should be. With that behind him and sunny days ahead, San Diego has had like one rain game in 10 years, Snell is primed to be an ace-caliber starter again. Out of the AL East and the small parks, his ratios should benefit in a big way.

Lance Lynn Rangers to White Sox - Lynn was one of the first players to be on the move this offseason after a great few seasons in Texas. He’ll slot in as either the second or third starter spot in the White Sox rotation and he should actually be able to improve his numbers in the AL Central as the offenses he’ll face aren’t as good in this division as they were in the AL West and the parks are more pitcher-friendly. There’s also a better shot at wins from him since the White Sox are better on offense than Texas’ as well. He should still carry SP2 value for the 2020 season.

Carlos Carrasco Cleveland to Mets - Carrasco came over in the Lindor trade and will slot in as the Mets’ likely number two starter until Noah Syndergaard is ready and then Carrasco will be the number three starter. Over the last four seasons, the righty has put up over 10 K/9 and dating back to 2014, he’s only been over 2.1 BB/9 once in that span while over 9.2 K/9 every year and over a 25-percent K-rate every year as well. He remains a solid value as an SP2 or SP3 coming off the board at an ADP of 72 currently.

Mike Minor Athletics to Royals - The Royals needed depth in their starting rotation and found it with Minor signing a two-year deal to be their likely number three starter. He’s coming off a rough 2020 season that saw him post a 5.56 ERA (4.64 FIP) in 56.2 innings but his highest K/9 rate (9.85) since he pitched for the Royals back in 2017 (10.2). He is coming off a 208.1-inning season in 2019 for the Rangers and posted a 3.59 ERA while striking out 23.2-percent of hitters. Minor should be an innings-eating type number three starter who will put up solid ratios and get a benefit from moving to a better pitcher’s division in the AL Central.

Charlie Morton Rays to Braves - Morton had a very good two-year run with the Rays and now moves on to Atlanta as they need more depth in their starting rotation because of some injuries. Morton, since going to Houston in 2017, hasn’t been under 9.95 K/9 and has only missed being over 25-percent K-rate once (24.7) and his FIP has been under 3.60 for five-straight years. Moving from the AL East to the NL East should help him out as well in terms of K-rate and ratios. He’s going off the board in the 130 range right now, making him a very good value as a 10th-11th round pick.

Corey Kluber Rangers to Yankees - Kluber is coming off a surgery last year but looked good in a workout that was attended by numerous teams. The Yankees took the shot on the former Cy Young winner, though he’s far from that caliber at this point. He should be likely the number two or three starter for the Yankees this season and if he’s healthy shouldn’t have trouble going over 150 innings with an ERA in the upper-threes while striking out a batter per inning. The home run rate will likely jump up this year in the AL East with bandbox parks across the division and power hitting being the name of the game on offense for most of those teams too. Watch him in spring training (if there is spring training) to see how he’s looking on the mound.

Jameson Taillon Pirates to Yankees - Taillon is an injury-risk. We’ll start with that to get it out of the way. However, if he stays healthy there’s some interesting value here. In 2018, the last time he pitched, he introduced his slider to his pitch-mix in May and the next 22 starts he posted a 2.71 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 23-percent K-rate, and averaged 6.1 innings a start. The Yankees need the pitching depth to be sure and now their rotation shapes up to be Gerrit Cole , Corey Kluber , Taillon, Jordan Montgomery , and either Domingo Germán or Garcia or Clarke Schmidt. The move from the NL Central to the AL East is certainly not in the pitcher’s favor 

Zach Davies Padres to Cubs - The soft tossing Cubs’ rotation got more soft-tossing as they got Davies back in the Yu Darvish deal to pair with Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills . Davies did have a very good season in San Diego last year pitching 69.1 IP positing a career-best 2.73 ERA and 3.88 FIP with a big jump up in K/9 at 8.18 and cracking the 20-percent K-rate for a season for the first time at 22.8. There is a chance that Davies can keep some of his success going as the NL Central offenses aren’t to the love of NL West teams like the Dodgers and Rockies but he did previously pitch in Milwaukee so he’s familiar with the division and so are some of the hitters. He likely fits an SP4 role in fantasy as a guy with solid ratios but not a high strikeout rate.

Joe Musgrove Pirates to Padres - Musgrove had a resurgent year in 2020 for a downtrodden Pirates club and that made him quite appealing as a trade target with the Padres winning the bidding battle. A move to the Padres should really help Musgrove sustain his breakout as he doesn’t have the pressure on him to be the best in the rotation each start since he’s surrounded by two Cy Young caliber starters plus Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet and eventually Mike Clevinger . Musgrove really took a step forward in K-rate last year by changing his pitch-mix and having better spin rates and that should continue in San Diego as well. Musgrove will bring back at minimum SP3 value but could be an SP2. You’ll have to draft early to capitalize on his value.

Dane Dunning White Sox to Rangers - Dunning had a nice debut on the south side of Chicago before being sent to Texas in the Lance Lynn deal. The youngster had about as much upside as any arm in the White Sox system and was just overlooked behind Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech but stuff wise he’s got the repertoire to be a number two starter. He should hit that ceiling in Texas with that ballpark behind him as well. Right now he’s likely the most appealing starter for the Rangers and the best one with a shot of really helping your fantasy team with a mid-threes ERA and a solid strikeout rate to boot.

J.A. Happ Yankees to Twins - Happ could use the change of scenery after getting routinely teed off on in the homer happy AL East. With a move to the AL Central and avoiding the best offense in the division by being on their team, Happ actually has sneaky solid value as the four years before going to the Bronx his ERA was between 3.18 and 3.65 in Toronto and a couple other teams. He could fit in as a sneaky SP4 option in fantasy teams and is going in drafts far lower than that right now.

José Quintana Cubs to Angels - Quintana has been fairly ho-hum the last four years in Chicago with two years having his FIP be better than his ERA and two years with vice versa being the case. L.A. clearly needs starting pitching but it’s tough to count Quintana as much of an improvement over the corps they already have in the stable there to begin with. He’s worth a flier in drafts in case he resembles the pitcher he was a couple of years ago as he changed divisions and leagues but in the AL West there are some tough offenses and good hitting parks so it might be tough for that to happen.

Jon Lester Cubs to Nationals - Lester had stated his desire to remain in Chicago again but that clearly didn’t come to fruition as he’s now in D.C. on a one-year deal with a mutual option for another. The depth of the Washington rotation has been a problem the last year and heading into this season and while Lester is clearly a shell of his former self, he’s still a good option for a number four starter behind Max Scherzer , Stephen Strasburg , and Patrick Corbin . The last four full seasons in Chicago he posted ERAs of 2.44, 4.33, 3.32, 4.46 and then was into the fives last year. While he’ll be reunited with his former Bench Coach, now Manager, in Davey Martinez and his former Pitching Coach in Jim Hickey, they likely can’t improve on his stuff that much so it’s hard to see much value here.

Garrett Richards Padres to Red Sox - Richards is simply a depth signing for the rebuilding Sox who should be a mid-rotation option for them. Richards should be able to eat some nice innings and be around a strikeout per inning but the ERA and HR/9 mark shouldn’t be expected to be all that good. He’s a late-flier at best right now and probably a bench starting pitcher option.

Michael Wacha Mets to Rays - After one season in New York Wacha is moving to Tampa to be a starting candidate for them in 2021. Anytime you see the Rays grab a player on a cheap contract it’s a good idea to watch for them in fantasy drafts and take a shot when the value’s appropriate. Wacha didn’t show much last year with a 6.43 ERA in the first 14 innings and 6.75 ERA in the last 20 innings. We’ve seen these types of reclamation projects for Tampa before and they’ve done pretty well and that’s the hope here for Wacha. However he’s not worth much of anything but a flier late in the draft as a bench depth pick up.

Drew Smyly Giants to Braves - Another depth piece for the Braves’ remade rotation after a solid season ratio wise in San Francisco. A couple of concerns for Smyly though is that he’s only pitched over 115 innings twice in his career and prior to last season, had a 4.16 ERA (4.23 FIP), 8.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.26 WHIP, and 23.4-percent K-rate which aren’t all that great of numbers. You can take a flier on Smyly as the NL East isn’t the most threatening division but don’t expect much from him except a decent strikeout rate.


Steven Matz Mets to Blue Jays - The Blue Jays keep remaking their lineup this offseason so why not add to the pitching staff. Matz was going to have to compete for a starting gig with the Mets but shouldn’t have that issue in Toronto as their likely fourth starter but possibly fifth. The thing to watch for him is how the switch to the AL East and the added DH will affect him as the last two full seasons with the Mets saw his ERA be a 3.97 and 4.21 respectively with FIPs in the mid-fours. Now he switches to a more offensive division and one with smaller parks so his value likely remains unchanged for fantasy purposes as he also doesn’t really strikeout that many hitters either with a career 8.57 K/9 rate and 22.2-percent K-rate.


Trevor Bauer Reds to Dodgers - The top pitching target on the free agent market finally signed after a bit of hoopla on Twitter. He becomes the likely number two starter for the Dodgers, or at worst the third pitcher in the rotation. He’s got a big time contract to live up to as he got $40 million for 2021 and potentially $45 million in 2022 as he’s coming off the NL Cy Young award win this past shortened season. This is a controversial signing as Bauer hasn’t really been the most dependable starter in his career as he has just two years with an ERA below 4.18 but both of those have come in the last two years in which they were both 2.75 or under. The question marks remain though as his 2020 numbers came against one of the weakest opponent lineups a Cy Young winner has faced as only one of the offenses he faced was ranked better than 22nd in wRC+ and while it was still a remarkable season, it’s a bit tough to see exactly how good it was against those lackluster units. His ERA will likely be around 4.00 this year but the strikeouts will be there and the win potential is great since the Dodgers are likely a 100-win team.


James Paxton Yankees to Mariners - Paxton is returning to familiar territory as he goes back to the Pacific Northwest after two seasons with the Yankees. His 2019 season was a solid effort over 150 innings with a 3.82 ERA (3.86 FIP) and 11.11 K/9. Going back to Seattle, he should be able to put up a similar ERA to 2019 and will get some help from the fact that Seattle’s home park is the best BABIP park in the league.

Jake Arrieta Phillies to Cubs - Speaking of going back to familiar stomping grounds, Arrieta is back to the place where he became a Cy Young level pitcher and won a World Series, but both of those are not going to happen this year. He’s far from his former self and simply doesn’t have the stuff anymore to be a real threat on the mound. Arrieta is nothing more than a depth grab late in a draft hoping for the best outcome and for things to go better than projected.

Taijuan Walker Blue Jays to Mets - Walker had a heck of a 2020 season pitching for two different teams and just looking at the ratios would make you wonder why he was on the market for so long, however the underlying numbers aren’t quite as good for him. His swinging-strike rate wasn’t great and his FIP was nearly two runs higher than his ERA not to mention his ground ball rate was low and a 13.1-percent HR/FB rate was the second-highest of his career. He’ll be a fourth starter for the Mets this year and possibly fifth starter when Noah Syndergaard returns from injury. He will be a divisive value this season depending on where he’s taken and who believes the top line numbers compared to the underlying advanced stats.


Liam Hendriks Athletics to White Sox - The gem of the reliever market this offseason was Hendriks and the White Sox landed him with a multi-year deal. He will be without a doubt the closer for the White Sox after not bringing Alex Colomé back for the role and not relying on Aaron Bummer except to be the setup man. Hendriks backed up his phenomenal 2019 season in which he posted a 1.80 ERA, 1.87 FIP, 13.13 K/9 and 25 saves with a 1.78 ERA, 1.14 FIP, 13.14 K/9 and 14 saves in 25.1 IP. He’s at the top of his game right now and with his pitch-mix dialed in, he should be able to continue his dominance in the ninth inning without issue, especially in an offensively weak AL Central.

Brad Hand Indians to Nationals - Hand was widely considered the second-best closer on the open market this offseason and while there was a pretty good bidding war for his service, he landed with the Nationals. Hand was looking for a chance to close and that’s what he got with the Nationals as he’ll take the ninth that would’ve gone to Tanner Rainey . The revamped Nationals’ offense should provide more chances to save games this year and so keeps basically the same value he had in Cleveland with great ratios and five straight years of better than 11 K/9.

Raisel Iglesias Reds to Angels - For all of the ups and downs he had in Cincinnati, he was still a very good reliever with four of his seasons showing ERA marks of under 2.75 and five years with SIERAs of under 3.50. He was also the closer for the last four years with the Reds and in three of those he topped 28 saves while being on pace for another 28-save season if 2020 had been a full season. The Angels acquiring Iglesias give him a lockdown closer that they haven’t had in several years and prior to 2020, the righty posted a career 28-percent K-rate, 10.4 K/9, and 2.94 BB/9 and all of those numbers improved in the 22 innings from this most recent season. You’ll have to take him relatively quickly in drafts to get him as he’s got an ADP inside the top-100 already.

Kirby Yates Padres to Blue Jays - Perhaps the second-best closing option on the market this offseason was landed by Toronto. He is expected to be the top closing option for the Blue Jays and even though he’s coming off a clean up surgery to get bone spurs out of his elbow, he should be good to go from all reports that are out there. Yates had an excellent 2019 season and if he gets back to that form he will immediately make a difference in the AL East race and give Toronto a lockdown closer in the ninth and he’s still going late in ADP at this point (over 200) and represents a great value there.

Trevor May Twins to Mets - May has been one of the most consistent relievers over the last 3-4 years since making the switch from being a starter. In fact, May ranked 40th at season’s end in the 2019 Relief Pitcher Metric that Greg Jewett and I developed which ranked him second on the team behind Trevor Rodgers. May will be the set up man in New York behind Edwin Díaz but could be a candidate for saves if Diaz has any hiccups. He is really a late round flier who can help ratios and strikeouts even without saves but he still has some saves upside.

Archie Bradley Reds to Phillies - It’s no secret that the Phillies desperately needed bullpen help this offseason after being the worst pen in the league in 2020. Bradley is a key piece to improving that corps and will likely slot in as the closer in Philly right off the bat. Bradley has saves in each of the last four seasons including 18 for the Diamondbacks in 2019 with a 3.52 ERA (3.41 FIP) and given the lack of solid arms in the back of the Philadelphia pen, and how much faith Joe Girardi typically has in one guy for save chances, Bradley should be on your target board in the late rounds as he has an ADP of 425 right now.

Rafael Montero Rangers to Mariners - Montero was acquired by the Mariners in a trade this offseason and comes at a time where they needed more bullpen depth. Montero is expected to be the closer for the Mariners to start the year after being the closer for the Rangers in 2020 earning eight saves with a 4.08 ERA (3.70 FIP). While he wasn’t the closer in 2019, he did have a better year with a 2.48 ERA (3.83 FIP) and 10.55 K/9 in 29 innings over 22 appearances. He’s a risky target for saves shots as he’s only done the role once in his career and the Mariners have 


Anthony Bass Blue Jays to Marlins - Bass has been a part-time closer each of the last two years racking up a combined 12 saves. Now he’ll have a chance to be a closer candidate for the Marlins. He’s not a typical closer though as he relies more on sink and high ground-ball rates to get batters out and less about power stuff striking hitters out. In each of the last two years he has under a K/IP but still manages ERAs around 3.50 and with Marlins Park being a very good pitcher’s park his approach should be beneficial for him. If he gets off to a hot start, he could be a sneaky closing option to get saves for the whole year.


Sean Doolittle Nationals to Reds - After three seasons with the Nationals, Doolittle is on the move to Cincinnati where he may or may not be the closer for the Reds. There are a few different candidates for that gig after Raisel Iglesias was shipped out of town with Lucas Sims , Doolittle, Amir Garrett , and possibly Tejay Antone are all in the running, though Sims is reported to be delayed with some elbow soreness popping up. If Doolittle can prove he’s healthy and back to being the upper-90s high-fastball pitched he’d been through the first half of 2019 before it fell apart, Doolittle is a sneaky flier for saves.

Alex Colomé White Sox to Twins - Colome was one of the best closer candidates on the free agent market this year and he finally landed in the back end of the Twins’ bullpen to sure up that spot for Minnesota. Colome has posted a sub-3.24 ERA in the last five straight seasons and he posted a 0.81 mark in 22.1 innings last year while notching 30 or more saves in three of the last four full seasons. The only issue with Colome is that his K-rate hasn’t really been that high the last four years only topping 9.0 K/9 once and being between 6.45 and 8.11 K/9 in the other three. He’ll also have to hold off some work from Taylor Rodgers as well so it may be more of a two-thirds for Colome, one-third for Rodgers type workload which reduces his value a bit.


Trevor Rosenthal Padres to Athletics - After losing Henricks earlier this offseason, the question was who would close for the Athletics and they’ve answered that with the signing of Rosenthal. Rosenthal had a great season in 2020 with a 1.90 ERA (2.22 FIP) and 14.45 K/9 over 23.2 innings with 11 saves. That however, likely won’t last this year given what he showed over the last few seasons prior to being injured in 2019. If you’re looking for a late-round guy who can get saves and could still put up solid ratios, Rosenthal is in the mix but they may go by committee if he’s not the bonafide lockdown guy he showed he could be last year.