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2017 MLB Offseason Transaction List

In previous years, I’ve had a hard time finding a central location listing all of the fantasy-relevant baseball offseason moves, so I’m making my own. This will be updated periodically throughout the offseason.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If you’re like me and you want to know everything that is happening in baseball’s hot stove and follow all the new faces in new places, you know it can be frustrating. Transactions are listed when they happen individually, but a single, easy to follow list of all of the transactions so far is more difficult to find. Therefore, I’m going to start my own list.

Hopefully this will be helpful to you for tracking all the changes going on. Since the free agent class is weak this offseason, many of the changes are likely to be due to trades. Also, players re-signing with the same team won’t be shown, since they are not really a “change” (e.g. Jeremy Hellickson, Neil Walker). Finally, the most significant transactions in terms of fantasy (using my judgement, and usually involving multiple fantasy starters changing teams or the big free agent signings) are in bold.

These are in chronological order.

11-2

LHP John Lamb traded from Reds to Rays for cash. He was later released by the Rays.

11-3

OF Nori Aoki claimed off waivers by Astros (was on Mariners)

OF Cameron Maybin traded from Tigers to Angels for RHP Low-level prospect Victor Alcantara

11-4

OF Jeremy Hazelbaker claimed off waivers by Diamondbacks (was on Cardinals)

RHP reliever Pat Neshek traded from Astros to Phillies for PTBNL

11-7

Mariners trade LHP reliever Vidal Nuno to Dodgers for C Carlos Ruiz

11-10

Braves sign RHP, knuckleballer, and man without elbow ligaments R.A. Dickey to a one-year deal

11-11

Angels sign RHP, starter “Uncle” Jesse Chavez to a one-year deal.

Blue Jays sign DH Kendrys Morales to a 3-year deal.

Phillies trade OF/1B Darin Ruf and OF/IF prospect Darnell Sweeney to Dodgers for OF/2B Howie Kendrick

11-12

A’s trade 3B Danny Valencia to Mariners for low-ceiling pitching prospect RHP Paul Blackburn

11-16

Astros sign RHP starter Charlie Morton to a two-year deal.

11-17

Yankees trade C/DH Brian McCann to Astros for two low-level minor leaguers (Albert Abreu, Jorge Guzman) that are a long ways away and have average at-best upside

Braves sign RHP, starter, must-watch hitter, Bartolo Colon to a one-year deal

11-18

Mariners trade three low-value or very far away pieces (RHP reliever Andrew Kittredge, 1B Dalton Kelly, and RHP Rookie league starter Dylan Thompson) to Rays for 1B/3B Richie Shaffer (later released by two different teams) and non-prospect SS/OF Taylor Motter.

OF/slugger/Chris Carter wannabe Adam Brett Walker claimed off waivers by Brewers from Twins then later put on waivers by Brewers to be claimed by Orioles on 12-2.

11-21

Cardinals sign LHP reliever Brett Cecil to a 4-year deal.

Rangers sign RHP starter/hard straight fastball thrower Andrew Cashner to one-year deal.

11-23

Mariners trade RHP starter Taijuan Walker and SS Ketel Marte to Diamondbacks for SS Jean Segura, OF Mitch Haniger, and LHP low-level relief prospect Zac Curtis.

Astros sign OF Josh Reddick to a four-year deal.

11-25

Braves sign 1B/2B/3B/SS/4B/5B (ok I may have made up the last two) Sean Rodriguez to a two-year deal.

11-28

Braves (again) trade some stuff (low-level prospects RHP Rob Whalen and RHP Max Povse) for the once-über-prospect OF Alex Jackson and a PTBNL from Seattle. Whalen’s upside has been compared to Ubaldo Jimenez, but to even reach that ceiling, he needs to work on some things and he doesn’t have that velocity. Povse looks like a reliever or low ceiling starter. Jackson was supposed to be a star but has not developed. He doesn’t have much fantasy value left.

11-29

Brewers sign 1B/OF Eric Thames to 3-year deal, with another option year. He’s been mashing in South Korea in recent years, with a batting line better than Jung-Ho Kang had over there. I think he will be a good late option in drafts and has good upside. I could see 25 HR with a decent average.

Cubs sign OF Jon Jay. This one isn’t really fantasy relevant for Jay, but it does make the crowded Cubs outfield even more crowded. Jorge Soler, Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, and Ben Zobrist will all be fighting for playing time and now they add Jay to the mix. Jay has minimal fantasy value at this point.

11-30

A’s sign platoon lefty OF Matt Joyce to a two-year deal. He’s great against RHP and should continue to do well in that role, but now with more playing time.

Orioles trade a bag with a dollar sign on it in exchange for RHP Logan Verrett of the Mets. I actually like Verrett as a back-end starter, but I don’t know how well he’ll do in the AL East. He has some intrigue, but doesn’t have a high ceiling.

Twins sign C Jason Castro to a three-year deal. They got him mostly for his pitch-framing skills, since his offense has been awful in recent years. I don’t expect that to change in Minny.

12-1

Braves acquire (yeah, they made yet another move) LHP Jaime Garcia from Cardinals for some stuff (mostly John Gant). Gant actually showed some decent stuff in the minors, but struggled in MLB last year and was mostly in the bullpen. I would like to see him get another shot at the rotation, but he’ll most likely just be a relief arm. Garcia has been very good when healthy the last few years and I actually like him as a buy-low option after a rough finish in 2016.

RHP Edinson Volquez signs a two-year contract with the Marlins. I like that he will be back in the NL and in the poor NL East, but he’s still just a low-strikeout pitcher with xFIPs over 4 in six consecutive seasons. He might be worth a stream spot a few times.

12-2

Nationals get C Derek Norris from Padres for a very minor prospect (RHP Pedro Avila). Norris was the worst hitter in MLB last year by some measures, so I expect a rebound this year. I don’t know if he will be a top-14 catcher like he used to be, but it’s within reach.

12-5

OF/DH Carlos Beltran signs a one-year deal with the Astros. He’s 40, but still showed good power last year and should be good in 2017 in his limited role. He’s a good option in deep leagues with daily moves.

RP Mark Melancon signs four-year deal with San Francisco Giants. This pushes Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo back to setup roles unless Melancon gets hurt.

1B/OF/DH Steve Pearce signs two-year deal with Blue Jays. He will have to split time with Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak at 1B, but he might play some OF as well. I think he will have a bounceback year and could easily have the best fantasy season of all three guys.

12-6

White Sox trade SP Chris Sale to Red Sox for 2B/3B/OF Yoan Moncada (#1 prospect in MLB), 100-mph-throwing SP prospect Michael Kopech, low-level prospect OF Luis Alexander Basabe, and low-level RP prospect Victor Diaz. For more on this big time deal, you can read 1000+ words I wrote about it.

RP Joaquin Benoit (now 39 years old!) signs a one-year deal with the Phillies. I don’t think he will be in the closer mix, but he has been a successful reliever in the recent past, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Red Sox trade 3B Travis Shaw, rising-and-relevant infield prospect Mauricio Dubon, and Josh Pennington (very minor) to Brewers for RP Tyler Thornburg. I’m bummed because I was counting on Thornburg to continue being an elite closer and now he’s just Kimbrel’s setup man. Shaw is just a league average player or slightly worse. Dubon is interesting and might get more of a chance to start in Milwaukee.

12-7

White Sox trade OF Adam Eaton to Nationals for SP top prospect Lucas Giolito and very good SP prospect Reynaldo Lopez, along with SP prospect Dane Dunning (much lower ceiling). Eaton should get lots of runs scored hitting near the top of that Nats lineup, but otherwise will remain the same. Giolito and Lopez have high ceilings but control and command issues might limit them. They will get another chance at the MLB level sometime in 2017.

OF/IF Ian Desmond signs 5-year deal with Rockies. I have no idea what the Rockies are doing here, but Desmond should be a monster in Coors for fantasy purposes.

OF/IF/DH Matt Holliday signs one-year deal with Yankees. I think he has some bounceback potential, but we’ll have to see how the playing time shakes out.

OF Carlos Gomez signs one-year deal with Rangers. Don’t expect much different than his total 2016 numbers. One good half-season doesn’t mean that much.

Royals trade RP extraordinaire Wade Davis to Cubs for OF Jorge Soler. Davis stays a closer and moves to a better team. Soler gets playing time boost, but still doesn’t have a full-time gig yet with Gordon, Cain, and Dyson already there. I still like Soler’s talent, though, so he might be a good sleeper.

12-8

Red Sox sign 1B Mitch Moreland to a one-year deal. This is pretty ‘meh’. He is pretty average in fantasy for his position, so he shouldn’t be too highly regarded in drafts. However, he will bat (low) in a very great lineup, so maybe that will help him out. He will also be platooned against LHP.

Rangers acquire SP/RP prospect Tyrell Jenkins from Braves (later released) for SP/RP prospect Luke Jackson and some other guys. Neither has been all that good in small MLB samples yet, so this might not be fantasy relevant after all.

Yankees sign RP-even-more-extraordinaire Aroldis Chapman to five-year deal. Not much to say here. Dellin Betances moves back to setup.

12-9

Cardinals sign OF Dexter Fowler to 5-year deal. His fantasy value stays about the same, but his lineup is a little weaker so maybe he sees a drop in runs and RBI.

Diamondback sign RP Fernando Rodney to one-year deal. He is reportedly going to be their closer, so he will have fantasy value. However, his skills are certainly waning so he might not keep the job the whole year.

12-10

Angels acquire SS/2B Danny Espinosa from Nationals for two very minor prospects. Espinosa showed very good power the last couple years, but otherwise wasn’t great. His new lineup and ballpark are worse for him. He has fringy fantasy relevance now.

12-14

White Sox sign LHP, soft-tosser, fly-ball pitcher Derek Holland to a one-year deal. I’ve never been a fan of Holland, but he should have a role on the Sox pitching staff and he has been a useful streamer at times. His home park isn’t great for a fly ball pitcher, though.

Cubs sign RHP RP Koji Uehara to a one-year deal. He will be behind Wade Davis and possibly Hector Rondon in the bullpen, but Davis does have injury concerns and Rondon can be up and down, so you never know. He should be good in holds leagues.

12-16

Marlins sign RHP RP Junichi Tazawa to a two-year contract. The bullpen in Miami is already crowded with AJ Ramos, Kyle Barraclough, and Carter Capps, so I don’t see a ton of value for Tazawa, but he has been a closer (briefly) and long-time proven setup man, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Baltimore signs C “Beef” Wellington Castillo to a one-year deal. His power should do very well in his new home park, and power is his best skill, so he should have mixed league value in most formats.

12-19

Pirates sign RHP RP Daniel Hudson to a two-year contract. There may be a closer battle brewing in the City of Three Rivers. Incumbent Tony Watson should have first crack at the job, but he had some shaky moments last year and Hudson has closed out a few games before. I don’t like either’s skills that much, but all potential closers have fantasy value.

12-20

Red Sox trade RHP Clay Buchholz to Phillies for 2B low-level prospect Josh Tobias. I think Buchholz is basically done being fantasy-relevant, but he is a name brand, so it had to be mentioned.

12-22

Indians sign 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year contract. Edwin’s value doesn’t change much (he’s still in a good lineup), but the home park gets a little less hitter-friendly so maybe he loses a couple homers. He’s still a stud and not old enough to see a major decline just yet.

12-23

Marlins sign RHP RP groundball-submariner Brad Ziegler to a two-year deal. More crowding in a full Miami bullpen.

Angels sign OF Ben Revere to a one-year contract. He used to have real fantasy value with a high average and lots of steals, but he’s now a fourth outfielder.

1-3

Athletics sign CF Rajai Davis to a one-year deal. He always has sneaky fantasy value because he is a reliable source of steals and comes very cheap every year. I don’t expect that to change much in Oakland.

Reds sign RP Drew Storen. That bullpen has been all over the place in recent years, so he could end up closing if something happens to Raisel Iglesias or Michael Lorenzen.

Dbacks trade LF and former “catcher” Peter O’Brien (guy with massive power but no contact skills) to Royals for...a guy (RHP Sam Lewis, apparently).

1-6

Seattle continues their trade craziness by sending OF Seth Smith to Baltimore for SP Yovani Gallardo. I think Smith’s value actually goes up by moving to a better home park. He is underrated because he is a platoon player, but he is very useful in daily transaction leagues using OBP (he’s good at taking walks). Gallardo is not worth much anymore.

Seattle (again) trades SP Nate Karns to Kansas City for CF Jarrod Dyson. Karns will benefit from a very friendly home park and I still have some sleeper love for him. Dyson gets a playing time boost and should rack up steals...with a bad average and OBP.

1-11

Braves trade CF Mallex Smith and RP Shae Simmons to Mariners (yep) for LHP Luiz Gohara and LHP Thomas Burrows, two minor prospects. Gohara has some talent, but was only the #6 Mariners prospect going into 2016 and is still far away. Burrows is much less valuable than that. Simmons was the favorite to be the Braves closer of the future before getting Tommy John. He still has great talent and could still end up a closer if Edwin Diaz gets hurt or falters.

Rays trade LHP Drew Smyly to, you guessed it, the Mariners, for three prospects: SS Carlos Vargas, CF Mallex Smith (the one they just got), and LHP Ryan Yarbrough. However, only Smith is close to the majors enough to be relevant in most leagues and he’s only got one tool: speed. The rest of his profile is iffy. I wrote quite a bit about Smyly here.

1-18

Rays trade OF Mikie Mahtook to Tigers for PTBNL. Mahtook was once one of Tampa Bay’s top five prospects, but is mostly a defensive specialist. He hasn’t shown enough offensive firepower to be useful in fantasy.

Oakland signs 3B Trevor Plouffe. He had a poor season in 2016 and even his best years have made him something like the 20th best third baseman, so he is only useful in very deep leagues as a low ceiling option that should produce league average offense.

1-19

The Philadelphia Phillies sign LF Michael Saunders. The outfield in Philly is getting crowded now with Aaron Altherr (who I like), Odubel Herrera, Howie Kendrick, and popular sleeper Roman Quinn all fighting for playing time. Saunders can’t stay healthy, but when he does, he’s quite productive. It’s unfortunate that these guys are going to cut into each other’s playing time because all of them other than Kendrick have good potential fantasy value.

Texas signs SP Tyson Ross. You might remember Ross from when he was a very good starter in San Diego prior to his nasty 2016 shoulder injury. He’s not expected to be ready in April even, so keep your expectations low. His talent has always been great, but this is a major injury, so expecting the pre-2016 Ross would be foolish.

Reds trade SP Dan Straily to Miami for three minor prospects you don’t care about. Straily had a good run in the second half of 2016, but don’t be fooled. While his ERA was 3.76, his xFIP was 5.02 and his FIP was 4.88. The move to Miami won’t be enough to overcome the major regression coming.

1-20

A’s sign RP Santiago Casilla. He won’t be the closer to start the year, but Ryan Madson is old and fragile, so you never know. I’m not a fan of Casilla’s skill set, but he does have tons of closing experience, so don’t count him out from getting some saves this year.

1-22

Not a transaction but it is, unfortunately, major news that affects fantasy baseball, real baseball, and everyone. Kansas City Royals SP Yordano Ventura died in a tragic car accident, as did 1B/3B utility AAA player Andy Marte (separate crashes). It hasn’t been that long since José Fernández’s boat crash or even Oscar Taveras’ crash in the same country as these two (Dominican Republic). Prayers out to the families hurt by this. Rest in peace, gentlemen. Obviously fantasy value is of little thought here, but Ventura had great talent and could have had success in 2017 with a few improvements.

1-23

Dodgers trade very promising SP prospect Jose de Leon to Rays for 2B Logan Forsythe. LA seems to be really in love with Forsythe to give up one of their top prospects. I’m a big fan of Forsythe in fantasy because he has such a high floor and is so consistent. I expect him to hit high in the Dodgers lineup and score lots of runs. This is a boost to his value because the Rays lineup is worse. As for de Leon, this gives him a much greater chance of significant playing time because the Dodgers have so many good starters already. The Rays do have some good options, but I think de Leon will get a lot of MLB innings this year and is worth drafting in all leagues for his upside, especially in a spacious home park. He just has to wait for Alex Cobb to get hurt again or for Matt Andriese to falter. It shouldn’t take long.

Rays sign RP and former good closer Shawn Tolleson. I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to match that run he had in Texas where he took over the closer’s job in 2015, but he is now in a bullpen that has instability behind closer Alex Colome. Brad Boxberger is still there, but at this point, I don’t know if Tolleson or Boxberger is a better pitcher. If Colome gets hurt or traded, this bullpen could be a mess, with ol’ Tolleson right in the mix.

1-24

The the Angels Angels of Anaheim (not a typo, just a reminder of how weird their name is) sign 3B Luis Valbuena. He has been a useful platoon bat in recent years, showing good power. I don’t like him moving to Anaheim, with its big park and poor lineup, but at least he should have a steady job between the two corner infield positions. He remains a deep league option only and even then, will hurt average in exchange for some homers.

1-26

The Cubs sign veteran injury/starting pitcher Brett Anderson. He is too far down the depth chart and too injury prone to be worth much, but he did have some success as recently as 2015 in 180 innings with the Dodgers. He is great at generating grounders and limiting walks, and is only 6th on the SP depth chart, so I guess he could have fantasy relevance in 2017. One injury above him and he’s in the rotation. A repeat of 2015 is certainly possible with good health (ha!).

1-28

Rockies sign RP Greg Holland. While he was once a very dominant closer for the Royals, that was a TJ surgery ago and he hasn’t been great since. His velocity was way down in 2016, so he is just a wild card. I think Ottavino will dominate the Rockies’ closer role this year unless he gets hurt, so Holland will just be competing for setup man.

1-30

Rays sign LF Colby Rasmus. He continues to be a low-average, low-OBP slugger. 2016 was a bad year for him, but he is prone to slumps and down turns, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise. His value should be down a little from 2016 and I would expect production between his 2015 and 2016 levels.

Atlanta signs C Kurt Suzuki. With catcher such an awful position in fantasy right now, even guys like this are worth mentioning. I used him in my deep 14-team league for half a season last year. He’s not great, in fact, he’s much worse than the average hitter, but he’s not far from average for a catcher, so he has some faint value.

2-1

Royals sign OF/1B Brandon Moss. Moss is often underrated in fantasy because he is a platoon bat, but he has tremendous power per plate appearance (28 HR in only 464 PA last year!). I assume he will be the nearly-full-time DH for the team and should get a good number of ABs. Kaufmann isn’t good for power, but I still think Moss will have good value. I recommend picking him up in deep leagues for cheap power.

Rockies trade SP Eddie Butler to Cubs for a guy. Butler was once a top-100 MLB prospect throwing 95 mph, but never succeeded above AA. He has been awful in the majors, but if you squint, you can still see why he might benefit from a change in scenery. This is a big time lottery ticket and I don’t want anyone to pick him up just yet, but I’m very curious to see what the Cubs pitching coaches can do with him outside of Coors Field.

2-4

These guys are fringe-y, so I’m just lumping them together. The Phillies picked up OF Chris Coghlan, the Rays picked up OF Rickie Weeks, and the Angels grabbed OF Dustin Ackley. All three of these guys have had success in the past in platoon roles and very limited playing time, but I don’t really expect them to do much in 2017.

2-7

Padres sign SS Erick Aybar. He may have zero value at this point, but his competition for the starting job is Luis Sardinas, so he could certainly win that battle. He was once fantasy-relevant, so I thought it was worth mentioning. The Padres have had SS issues for a while now.

2-8

Royals sign SP Jason Hammel. I really like this. Pitchers do well in that ballpark, especially ones with home run issues like Chris Young and Ian Kennedy, oh and Jason Hammel. He’s shown some quality secondary stuff and I think he will be a top 75 starting pitcher this season. He could even crack the top 60.

Oh and the Angels picked up Yusmeiro Petit and his “invisiball”. He was a great swingman in San Francisco a few years back, but hasn’t been great since. The Angels need starters, so he might get good innings, but I don’t know how much he has left at this point.

2-9

Cincinnati signs OF Desmond Jennings. He is another guy that once had solid fantasy value. He only has to be Scott Schebler for playing time in right field, so it’s possible he could play in a decent number of games. After looking more at his past three seasons, he’s probably toast, but there you go.

2-10

Obligatory former-closer-moving-to-team-with-open-closer-job alert! Tom Wilhelmsen, formerly of the Mariners is now in Arizona. That is all.

2-12

2B Brandon Phillips moves to Atlanta for some stuff. He should get lots of playing time in Atlanta until Ozzie Albies is ready. He’s an OK second base option, but nothing more. This move frees up more playing time for Jose Peraza, which is good. He’s got speed and average and nothing else, but that might be enough.

2-13

Obligatory former-closer-moving-to-team-with-open-closer-job alert! Kevin Jepsen, formerly of the Twins is now in Arizona to join Tom Wilhemsen. That is all.

2-15

Nationals sign 1B Adam Lind. He had a terrific 2015 season and a down 2016, but he’s got decent power and usually does well against righties, so he’s still got value in a good lineup if playing time opens up when Ryan Zimmerman gets hurt again. Until then, you can leave him alone.

Dodgers sign RP Sergio Romo. You remember him from such teams as the San Francisco Giants. He will slot somewhere behind Kenley Jansen, but is a former closer, so he could do that again if injuries hit hard.

That’s all the updates for now! Tschus!