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Players to Benefit in '11 from Off-Season Moves

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I recently took a look at the impact of Matt Garza’s team change on his fantasy value.  I concluded that it may not necessarily increase his value.  Now I’ll take a look at some players whose fantasy values I expect to increase as a result of their off-season moves:

Shaun Marcum

Marcum was traded from the Blue Jays to Brewers this off-season.  As a result, he was able to escape the AL East and make the move to the pitcher friendly NL.  As a fly ball pitcher, he also moves to a home ballpark that is a bit more forgiving to fly ball pitchers than the Rogers Center in Toronto.  Though Miller Park did inflate HRs by 14% last year, it was not as hitter friendly as the Rogers Center which inflated HRs by 36% last year according to ESPN.  The switch should help keep a few fly balls in the park for Marcum.  As a guy that had the 6th best K/BB ratio in the majors last season, I had  already believed Marcum could provide some good value in the mid to late rounds of drafts.  Now that his situation has improved, he could provide even more value.

Aaron Harang

Harang’s off-season move was from the Reds to the Padres.  Harang has been a topic of fantasy frustration lately has he was able to put up 3 straight season with ERAs under 4 in ’05-’07, but followed that with 3 years with ERAs of 4.78, 4.21, and 5.32.  Harang has always put up solid strikeout and walk numbers, but as an extreme flyball pitcher he has also struggled with the homerun.  Over his career, he has given up 1.35 homeruns per nine innings pitched.  It has not helped that he’s pitched for Cincinnati for virtually his entire career.  Their park, the Great American Ballpark, inflated HRs by 14% last year, and that is the lowest this number has been in the past 6 years.  It is an obvious advantage for a fly ball pitcher to go to spacious Petco Park which is perennially among the most difficult places to hit homerun.  As a flyball pitcher whose Achilles’ heel has been the homerun, Harang’s move from Cincinnati to San Diego will certainly increase his fantasy value.

 

Mike Napoli

Jeremy recently touched upon Mike Napoli’s fantasy value here.  With rumors resurfacing this week that Michael Young is back on the trading block, it seems even more likely that Young will not be on the Rangers roster on opening day.  That would increase the chances that Napoli receives over 500 plate appearances.  It is possible he even ends up as the every day DH for the Rangers as they may have no other options.  Even if Young remains on the team, Napoli is a better option at DH if the Rangers to decide against him as their every day catcher.  I would also argue that, based on what Texas gave up to get Napoli, they are planning to pencil him into the lineup on an every day basis.  Only 8 catchers received 500+ plate appearances last year, there is value in having one of them especially in later rounds of the draft.

 

Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford

This one may be a bit obvious but is worth mentioning.  Both players make the move from pitchers’ parks to a hitters’ park.  Both will join a lineup that is capable of scoring more runs than their previous teams.  This will open up the opportunity for more runs scored and RBIs.  Crawford will also get the opportunity to run in Boston if their recent usage of Jacoby Ellsbury is any indication.