The Major League Baseball offseason continues to be in full effect while the regular season is still months away. That won’t stop us for taking a look at the key offseason moves made to this point and how they will not only impact full season Fantasy Leagues but also the action on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
The list of moves features many MLB players on the move the big named stars that have already signed includes Zach Grienke, Jason Heyward, David Price, Jordan Zimmerman and Johnny Cueto all finding new homes while cashing in on some of the games biggest salaries.
Now that being said the big question is which players will benefit the most by their offseason move entering the 2016 MLB Season from a fantasy standpoint. One of those players that might go under the radar is catcher Matt Wieters for the Baltimore Orioles. While Wieters stayed with the Orioles after accepting his qualifying offer, he will be playing on a one year deal that has the potential to reward him a multi year offer next season.
The Orioles catcher has had his fair share ups and downs including requiring Tommy John surgery two seasons ago that carried into the 2015 MLB Season. Wieters bat started to heat up as the season moved on including hitting .283 in September with two doubles, three home runs and six runs batted in.
Add in the fact Wieters will remain with a club house he is familiar with as well as with a manager he likes to play for. On top of that he will also benefit from playing upwards of 81 home games at one of the best hitters ball parks in all of baseball in Camden Yards.
Here are the key moves that fantasy owners will need to pay close attention to as the season arrives.
Zach Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks: While Greinke has put together some big seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the move to Arizona could hurt his fantasy value. After leading the league with a 1.66 earned run average, Greinke will move to a more hitter friendly ballpark in 2016. Chase Field ranked eight in runs scored, fifth in doubles and second in triples. He has however pitched to a 6-2 record in 10 career starts at Chase he has also allowed over three runs a game in those starts.
Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs: Heyward while he hasn’t lived up to his big home run totals that many expected when he broke onto the scene in Atlanta, has developed into one of the games better all around outfielders leading to his big payday this offseason. The move to Chicago now lands, Heyward in Wrigley Field for half of his games a stadium that ranked only behind Miller Park and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in regards to home run numbers. In 90 career at bats, Heyward has picked up five doubles, one triple and four home runs to go along with 13 runs batted in. Look for Heywards home run totals and runs driven in to increase in 2016.
Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles: The former Arizona Diamondbacks/Seattle Mariners slugger will make a move to the East Coast in 2016 with the Orioles. This trade was great for both Trumbo as well as the Orioles giving each something they need. Trumbo is a free agent after the season and a move to a hitters friendly ballpark should allow his numbers to incline while his big bat could fill a hole in the Orioles middle of the lineup.
Starlin Castro, New York Yankees: Staying in the American League East landed us with the newly acquired Yankees short stop Castro. While his name had serviced over the past few years, the move finally happened this year. Castro who finished 2015 with a .265 batting average to go along with 11 home runs and 69 runs batted now moves over to the American League East. While this move could go either way as we have seen hitters strive in Pinstripes it is also a big time gamble he won’t live up to the media expectations.
David Price, Boston Red Sox: Price now joins his third team inside the American League East after starting his career in Tampa Bay and the second half of 2015 with the Toronto Blue Jays. While Fenway Park is a difficult ballpark to pitch in as well as the AL East, Price has done it for almost his entire career outside a short stint with the Detroit Tigers. Price will continue to be one of the top fantasy starters night in and night out when he takes the mound.
Other notable players who will benefit from their offseason moves will include Mark Reynolds (Fantasy Sleeper type player now hitting at Coors Field), Todd Frazier and Ryan Vogelsong (Fantasy Sleeper pitching in a pitcher friendly ballpark).