Deals shuffle several players' fantasy value
Three-team trade involving Frazier highlights post-Meetings transactions
Though the pace of transactions has slowed since the conclusion of the Winter Meetings, a massive three-team trade highlighted several recent moves that will attract the attention of astute fantasy owners.
Frazier highlights three-team blockbuster trade
With 64 homers, 169 RBIs and 170 runs scored over the past two seasons, Todd Frazier has established himself as a top-five mixed-league third baseman. True, the 29-year-old may miss hitting at Great American Ball Park, where he has posted an .878 OPS since the outset of 2014 (.725 OPS on the road). But U.S. Cellular Field is also an offense-inducing venue, and Frazier should form a potent duo with first baseman Jose Abreu.
Infielder Jose Peraza -- who has been traded twice in the past five months -- could be a high-average hitter with 30-steal potential as soon as he becomes a Major League regular. With the Reds, the 21-year-old is currently blocked by Brandon Phillips at second base and a combination of Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez at shortstop. But Cincinnati -- which now has a vacancy at the hot corner -- may shuffle its infield or make additional moves in order to accommodate the notable prospect.
Iwakuma sticks with Seattle
Though he missed 11 weeks with a right lat injury and had a 5.22 ERA entering the All-Star break last season, Hisashi Iwakuma reaffirmed his status as a reliable rotation member in the second half (3.05 ERA). Iwakuma owns stellar lifetime ratios (3.17 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) over four seasons with the Mariners, and mixed-league owners should expect him to be a solid No. 3 starter in 2016. But while he will likely thrive when healthy, the 34-year-old must prove he can avoid the disabled list following back-to-back sub-30-start seasons.
Iwakuma's return to Seattle will create a rotation logjam that should catch the attention of fantasy owners. Nathan Karns, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton would each have mixed-league value if they're in possession of a rotation spot. But if all six of Seattle's rotation hopefuls remain healthy, one of the aforementioned hurlers will be in the bullpen or Triple-A at the outset of the season.
More Colon for Mets
While his pedestrian lifetime 6.8 K/9 rate should keep him off standard mixed-league draft lists in 2016, Colon will be a viable late-round option in deep mixed leagues. True, the right-hander has recorded a 1.1 HR/9 rate during his two-year stint with the Mets, but he has minimized the effects of those homers by flashing impeccable control in that span (1.2 BB/9 rate). As a result, Colon has delivered 29 wins with a respectable 1.23 WHIP since the outset of '14.
Indians strengthen lineup with Napoli, Davis
Having averaged 22 homers per season since 2008, Mike Napoli has the necessary power to hold a mixed-league roster spot when he is in a full-time role. But given the veteran's .212/.314/.364 slash line against right-handers across the past two campaigns, the Indians may be inclined to limit his exposure to those matchups.
Rajai Davis has long been a viable platoon outfielder with strong marks vs. southpaws, against whom he owns a career .798 OPS (.654 vs. RHP). He has also developed an impressive reputation on the bases, averaging 42 steals per year from 2009-14 before tailing off with just 18 in 26 attempts during '15. But given his lack of pop, the 35-year-old will need to run more aggressively to warrant mixed-league attention in '16. He should have ample opportunity to do so early on, with Michael Brantley working his way back from November shoulder surgery.
Bucs add Vogelsong
Ryan Vogelsong has produced a 4.63 ERA with a 1.41 WHIP over the past three seasons, so he should not garner attention in 2016 standard-league drafts. But those in deeper formats may wish to give the right-hander a second look, considering several starters -- including Francisco Liriano, Edinson Volquez and J.A. Happ -- have improved dramatically under the tutelage of Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage in recent years. Currently slated to be a member of Pittsburgh's starting five, Vogelsong could be a deep-league factor if he can post a 4.00 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in '16.
Orioles take chance on Kim
If Hyun-soo Kim can transfer his stellar plate discipline and contact skills from the hitter-friendly Korea Baseball Organization to the Majors, he will likely affect deep mixed leagues during 2016. The outfielder owns a lifetime .318 average and .406 on-base percentage overseas, but he exceeded the 20-homer mark in just one of the past five campaigns. Homer-happy Camden Yards could maximize his power potential, but the 27-year-old newcomer will likely need to exceed 20 round-trippers to have an impact in standard formats.