The fantasy baseball community encountered quite the shake-up Monday. Last week’s end of the MLB lockout not only brought about a flurry of free agent signings and trades, but we also received a rash of MLB injury news that is turning fantasy baseball drafts upside down. The first round of your fantasy baseball draft is not the same today as it was just one week ago.
Fernando Tatis, Jr. May Miss Three Months with a Wrist Injury
Not a great way to start the day, is it? Many of us have been doing fantasy baseball best ball drafts or submitted our keepers for the 2022 MLB season and now we are in danger of losing our first-round draft pick to a wrist injury that was never reported. As the story goes, Fernando Tatis Jr. entered spring training with a wrist injury he may or may not have suffered in a motorcycle accident back in December. We’ll never know the true story because most players, especially of the elite-talent level, have clauses in their contracts prohibited them from reckless activities that could hinder their overall performance on the field. If surgery is required, Tatis could miss up to three months which means he doesn’t play until after the All-Star Break. The star shortstop is downplaying the severity of the injury and says he may be able to play through it, which never bodes well. Playing through it with the potential of re-aggravating the injury, not only delays the inevitable surgery, but could put him out even longer. We’re awaiting a final decision, but fantasy owners need to move him out of the first round. Adam Ronis and I discussed this on the Ante Up Podcast and both have him slated as a ninth-rounder, though Jim Bowden said on Monday’s Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio that he would still look for Tatis in the fifth or sixth round.
Opening Day in Jeopardy for Ronald Acuna, Jr.?
While Atlanta Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. drove a ball right into the outfield scoreboard and declared himself ready for Opening Day, team officials have said he could still miss the first month of the season. This is going to be a situation we watch very intently over the next two weeks. If all looks good, the team won’t hold him back, but keep an eye out for extra days off and running sessions. Acuna, to me, is still a first-round talent, but I am keeping him at the tail-end of the first round. If we start to see him running more in camp, we could move him up a few spots.
Oakland A’s Trade Matt Olson to the Atlanta Braves
Colby Conway wrote up the details and his thoughts on this trade for Fantasy Alarm, so I don’t feel the need to dive in too deeply. Instant reactions are pushing Matt Olson up drafts boards by about a round right now and with just how thin the first base position is in fantasy, I’m not against jumping a few spots to grab him. I believe this is an improved situation for the 27-year-old lefty slugger and an improvement for the Braves hitters surrounding him in the lineup.
MLB Trade Rumor: Freddie Freeman to the Toronto Blue Jays?
Say what? Throughout the lockout, the rumor mill had Freddie Freeman going to either the Yankees or the Dodgers. Now that teams, players and agents are all talking, we’ve learned from Carlos Baerga, who was the one who broke last year’s “Marcus Semien to Toronto” story, that the Blue Jays are working out a deal to bring the first baseman north of the border. Freeman has dual-citizenship in both Canada and the United States and played for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. We also heard that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was taking grounders at third all day. If this comes to fruition, the Blue Jays would have to be considered a favorite for the American League pennant this season. But before we jump on this, a Tuesday rumor from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman says the Red Sox are also jumping into the fray.
Cincinnati Reds Trade Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the Seattle Mariners
This was one of the most puzzling trades of the day and Fantasy Alarm’s Matt Selz shared all the details and insights in his article. While all Reds fans are up in arms with their team tanking before the season even begins, I’m here to look at the fantasy impact and for me, I’m not so sure Jesse Winker should be bumped up drafts boards too much. The ballpark he’s going to is much more pitcher-friendly, as are most of the parks in the AL West, and while his home/road splits last year looked fine, his career numbers at home are definitely better than they are on the road. Not to mention the fact that he can’t hit lefties. You would expect the Mariners to just play him regularly, but as a career .188 hitter against southpaws, you know he could end up sharing time.
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- 2022 MLB Free Agent Tracker
- Oakland Athletics Trade Matt Olson to the Atlanta Braves
- Cincinnati Reds Trade Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the Seattle Mariners
- Second Baseman Fades