Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hot Stove Update: Late Deals That May Impact

There have been several largely under-the-radar moves in the last 3 weeks which may end up having a bigger impact than it appears at first.  Here is a rundown:

D'Backs sign Yoan Lopez:  Compared to the Tomas signing and the hype surrounding Yoan Moncada, the Lopez signing sure went down quietly.  Pitchers who can hit triple digits are getting more plentiful, but they still don't grow on trees.  Dave Stewart loves him some high velocity pitchers.  The D'Backs sprung for $8.25 M which comes with a 100% overage tax on their international bonus pool.  Not sure how close they were, but I'm sure it comes to an extra several $million.  The D'Backs will now be limited to $300 K for any one international prospect in the upcoming signing period.

Brewers trade RHP Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers for SS Luis Sardinhas, RHP Cory Knebel and RHP Marcos Diplan.  Gallardo is a solid SP who seems to be starting on the downside of his career.  Brewers had a surplus of starters including RHP Jimmy Nelson who needed a rotation spot, so Gallardo was expendable.  They got 3 solid prospects in return.  Miller Park and Arlington Park are both very pitcher unfriendly, so park effects are a wash.

Cubs traded 3B Luis Valbuena and RHP Dan Straily to the Houston Astros for OF Dexter Fowler.  Fowler should start in CF for the Cubs, but what is most interesting about this trade is how quickly the Cubs cleared out Valbuena to make room for Kris Bryant.  Everybody expects the Cubs to keep Bryant down in AAA until they can get an extra pre-arbitration year out of him which would probably be sometime in May, although I think the rules changed on that in the last CBA.  Mike Olt would be the placeholder starter until Bryant is "ready", but make no mistake, Bryant is the guy as soon as the Cubs are ready to bring him up.  If the Cubs have any inkling of being competitive this year, they should start Bryant out of the gate in April

Marlns signed Ichiro Suzuki to a 1 year contract.  The Marlins have a solid starting OF in Stanton, Ozuna and Yelich.  Ichiro will serve as a 4'th OF and possibly DH in interleague games.

Rangers traded LHP Robbie Ross to the Red Sox for RHP Anthony Ranaudo.  Ross is a swingman/back of rotation SP while Ranaudo is a formerly highly regarded pitching prospect whose star has dimmed.

Orioles acquired OF Travis Snider from the Pirates for LHP Stephen Tarpley and a PTBNL.  Snider as upside as a hitter and does not hurt you in the OF.  Solid get for the Orioles.  Snider should thrive in their ballpark and should be more than a replacement for Nick Markakis.  The fantasy alert here is this move opens up RF in Pittsburgh for a full time Gregory Polanco gig.  An OF of Polanco, McCutchen and Marte should be a fun one to watch.

ChiSox signed Gordon Beckham and DFA Dayan Viciedo.  Beckham give the Sox some versatility as a utility IF.  The DFA of Viciedo seems to assure Avisail Garcia of a full-time gig in the OF.  Garcia could be a fantasy baseball sleeper.

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