The Winter Meetings have come and gone. The rumblings of Ohtani and Stanton got things kick-started before the meetings even began, but unfortunately there wasn’t much lighting to follow that thunder. Sure, fans of certain teams may view the Winter Meetings as exciting, but the reality of it is they were quiet on the fantasy front. It seemed to be the year of the reliever as a lot of the bigger name arms have already signed somewhere. But as I’ve mentioned before, no real reason to go into depth on those.
We did have some action since the conclusion of the meetings, however. Let’s dive right into all that!
Freddy Galvis sent to Padres
Galvis has always been an interesting player to me, though I’ve never been a Galvis owner in any format in any year. He finished last year just a shade under 13% owned on ESPN. Galvis played all 162 games last year, tallying 608 AB’s in the process. Someone with those kinds of numbers can generally find their way onto more than 13% of teams.
Over the past two seasons Galvis has shown a bit of a power “surge”, for the lack of a better term. During the 2016 & 2017 seasons he hit a total of 32 home runs. The previous four seasons combined he had 20. The one thing that severely hinders Galvis is his average. He’s only a career .245 hitter, and at the SS position that just doesn’t cut it in the fantasy baseball world. I find it hard to believe those power numbers will increase going to the pitcher-friendly Petco Park for 81 games this coming season and beyond.
- Final decision: Galvis may have a great glove and be extremely durable (played all but 15 games over last 3 seasons), but that doesn’t play well in fantasy baseball. As mentioned, I expect the home run numbers to return to single digits during his time in San Diego. Now if Galvis gains 2B eligibility, you might want to find a roster spot for him in deeper league formats as the duel-eligibility does add a little to his value.
Matt Moore traded to Rangers
If you’re a team that has rostered Matt Moore your clubhouse stinks of poo upon the news of this trade. Yes, he’ll be backed up by a better offense, but that won’t matter with the change to a hitter-friendly ball park. Moore’s numbers with the Giants kind of, to fit the earlier comment, stunk! San Francisco has lots of green, which means plenty of room for fielders to go get balls, and Moore still carried an ERA over 5.00 during his year and a half out there. I don’t see any way that number improves now that he’s a Ranger.
The only bright spot of Matt Moore’s time in San Francisco was his spike in K/9 rate in 2016, 9.1. That number regressed slightly below his career average this past season, 7.6. That lower K’s, along with his ERA (5.52) and WHIP (1.53) show us Moore didn’t miss many bats last season. Even with totaling 174.1 innings (third most in his career) Moore failed to rank as a top 100 pitcher at the end of the season.
- Final decision: I wouldn’t touch Moore with a ten-foot pole on draft day or any time during the season. While he’s only 28, the prior injury history seems to have taken a toll on him. Moore is a #5 guy in a major league rotation. There’s no need to have him on your roster, not even to stream.
Matt Kemp heads back to Dodgers
I struggled to write on Kemp returning to L.A. because of the likelihood he’ll be shipped somewhere else before the 2018 season starts, but you know what they say when you assume things. Anyway, Kemp has returned to the team that made him Matt Kemp, 2nd in MVP voting in 2011. Unfortunately for him he’s now 33 and will have to compete for regular at-bats as part of a crowded OF with guys ten years younger than him.
Kemp had a solid 2017 season with the Braves. He hit 19 home runs, knocked in 64. These aren’t bad numbers, but they’re nothing great either, evident by being owned in 56% of ESPN leagues. As long as Kemp remains a Dodger those kinds of numbers would be the peak of his production and that’s hard to find a roster spot for, unless you’re running a platoon of sorts yourself.
The guy in the Matt Kemp trade that benefited the most might be Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy struggled to find regular rotation appearances with the Dodgers, partly because of injury and partly because of numerous other arms on the team. Now that he’s a Brave he’ll get to feast on some horrid NL East opponents as a #4 starter.
- Final decision: As long as Matt Kemp is in a platoon role there’s no need to hang on to him. Go ahead and keep tabs on him and if you sense a hot streak plug him in immediately. As for McCarthy, he could be worthy of a late round selection. Take a chance that he’ll be a dull diamond. Worst case scenario if you’re wrong is to dump him and grab another arm just like him from the waiver wire.
Giants acquire Evan Longoria
I can speak as an Evan Longoria owner on this move. To save time, I hate it. To be fair I’m not sure it really changes his value much heading into the 2018 season as there wasn’t going to be much around him in Tampa Bay. He’ll be part of a slightly better lineup, but the park metrics will put a damper on his power numbers, which haven’t been real terrific over the last four seasons anyway.
Today’s game seems to be all about power and home runs. There was a time when 20-homer seasons made people’s jaws drop; now they’re nothing real special. Longoria has only topped 22 home runs once since 2014 (36 in 2016). His RBI numbers have still been decent during that stretch (averaging 87).
Longoria is a guy you can essentially pencil in for 20/80/.270 before the year starts and go with that. How those numbers are perceived is entirely up to you, but in my eyes, they aren’t real flashy, especially with a player on the back side of his career. The RBI numbers are nice, but it might be a better value to snag someone deep in a draft that can put up those home run numbers and a decent average, possibly lucking out that the player has a high RBI total as well.
- Final decision: Don’t go out and leap for Longoria. He’ll provide you stability at third base, but no reason to hurry and grab him off the board. In keeper formats I’d take a chance and let him back into the pool. There’s no reason to waste a roster spot pre-draft on a guy you could pick up during the draft or improve upon later.
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
Phillies sign Carlos Santana
I’m not the only one who saw this signing and thought “wait, what, he went where?” I don’t completely hate Santana as a part of the Phillies, but it feels like a majority of his success is going to be dependent on the lineup that surrounds him. Yes, that’s the case with most players, but with the Phillies we’re talking about guys that have at max 3 years of service time.
Carlos Santana put tougher a nice 2017 campaign, finishing right around the 10th ranked first baseman in most formats. I don’t buy a repeat of that in 2018, but that’s not something I’d be willing to put money on either. Santana is a player that could easily rocket up the rankings next season, or do just the opposite. I’m not sure I’ve seen someone so contingent on the rest of his teammates.
Santana has been relatively steady in the home run department throughout his career, averaging 21 a season coupled with 73 RBI. His numbers are actually very similar to those of Longoria’s, but I like Santana more based on his surroundings.
- Final decision: In keeper formats Carlos Santana may be worthy of a flier, based on his average season numbers and the high ceiling the 2018 seasons presents for him. Don’t feel like Santana is a “must keep”, however, because the floor is just as far away from him as the ceiling is. If you’ve got the room without a stiff penalty keep him around, but if you cut him don’t expect him to be there for you later.
Zack Cozart inks with Angels
Zack Cozart enjoyed his breakout season last year and he got paid for it! Not only is he making more money, but he’s in a much better lineup. Sure, I’d rather play my home games in the band box known as Great American Ballpark, but if my second option is being around Mike Trout all season I’d be perfectly fine with it.
Cozart had a great 2017. He hit 24 homers and had a .297 average, but was lacking in the RBI department with only 63. Now there’s nothing wrong with that amount, but keep in mind it was contingent on his team last year – the Reds were awful.
Cozart has bettered his position heading into next season by signing with the Angels. He’ll be surrounded by better players and be able to learn from the best player in baseball daily. Couple that with garnering double-position eligibility and Cozart’s value should increase slightly in 2018. He’ll start the season with SS and gain 3B a couple weeks into the season.
- Final decision: Ride Cozart’s value this season because once he becomes 3B-only that value will go down. He’s worthy of a keeper selection based on being SS eligible, but if you have to cut a spot don’t think too hard on whether to save Cozart. There will be other options later in the draft that could provide even better value, or at worst similar
- Mariners agree with Juan Nicasio
- Fernando Rodney signs with Twins
- Hector Rondon agrees with Astros
- Jose Lobaton becomes a Met
- CC Sabathia re-signs with Yankees
- Yonder Alsonso agrees to deal with Indians
Everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m excited to get to our rankings in the coming weeks! Don’t hesitate to shoot your fantasy questions my direction in the comment section below or on Twitter at @KennyGarvey.
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