When looking around fantasy baseball for 2017, there are many faces in new places. We measure out stocks in this section of the internet.The MLB offseason is the time where every fan believes that their team is one or two players away from a championship, but in reality, their team has no shot.
Compared to the NBA offseason, the MLB’s version was extremely lame. But, ah, that doesn’t mean it didn’t hold value.
For those fantasy geeks out there such as myself, we looked at every signing and how it affects the player and the team they signed with. Even the smallest signings such as a utility guy coming off the bench will affect the team. There was only a handful of all-star caliber players or fantasy relevant players in this past year’s free agent class, but every signing has an impact on a team.
Here is a list of the players who switched teams and how it affected their fantasy stock for this coming season:
Dexter Fowler (Signed a 5-year $82.5 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals)
The 30-year-old, 2016 NL All-Star took advantage of a thin free agent market and got paid. Personally, I don’t think Fowler is worth the money and is, fact, overrated. He is injury prone and has never put together a top 25 overall fantasy season in his career. He is in a worse lineup than last year and that means he will score fewer runs, hit less RBIs and he won’t steal you more than 20 bases next year (St.Louis as a team only stole 35 in 2016.)
Fowler will get drafted because he was an all-star last year, but, for the most part, those teams who take him will turn out disappointed. Take Fowler off of your draft list in 10 to 12 team leagues and let another person draft him. There is plenty of value late in drafts and in free agency after the draft.
Wilson Ramos (Signed a 2-year $12.5 million deal with Tampa Bay Rays)
Wilson Ramos was the best catcher in fantasy baseball last year until he tore his ACL. He was lucky to sign with a team because this was his second ACL surgery in the last five years. The Rays offense is bad and when he returns, he won’t have the same type of hitters that surrounded him in D.C.
Wilson will DH at the start of the year but won’t have the same success with the lack of an offseason (injury). Stay away from him in your drafts and see how he does when he comes back from the injury.
Greg Holland (Signed a 1-year $7 million deal with the Colorado Rockies)
Not many pitchers go to Coors Field and have success. Holland can be one of the few pitchers to break that trend because he is a relief pitcher who keeps the ball on the ground. Huston Street had success as the closer in Colorado but Holland is a closer that I will stay away from in my drafts. Coors field is one of the most friendly hitter parks in the big leagues and Holland can struggle early because of the thin Coors field air. I would stay away from him in your drafts. There are plenty of closers in better situations and have less risk going into the 2017 season.
Mark Melancon (Signed a 4-year $62 million deal with the San Francisco Giants)
Closers got paid this offseason and Melancon took advantage of closers being the new hot position in baseball. Ever since the Royals won the World Series with a dominate bullpen, teams are now over-paying them. Melancon is a very solid closer and he may have signed in the best possible spot for him. He now has the closer job and he has the chance to lead the majors in saves. Here is my bold statement: if Mark Melancon stays healthy next year, he will lead the majors in saves.
Ian Desmond (Signed a 5-year $70 million deal with the Colorado Rockies)
This was my absolute favorite signing for fantasy purposes in the offseason. Desmond had a very nice bounce back season and now signed in the best possible spot for a free agent hitter. Hitting in Coors will boost his power and RBI numbers. If you have him in a keeper or dynasty league, you are very happy with the signing. Buy, buy and buy some more on Desmond for the 2017 season.