I am a little late in addressing the fantasy impact of the recent baseball trades, so I am going to offer my take today. In addition to the two trades, I will address my take on a few other players in the news recently.
Let's get to it.
Ryan Braun and his return from off season back surgery
It was reported on Sunday that Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun may not be 100% ready for the start of spring training, and this may impact his readiness for Opening Day. Brewers beat reporter Tom Haudricourt from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Braun is a few weeks behind in his recovery from offseason back surgery.
I ranked Braun in my top 10 outfielders for 2016, but he will probably drop with this news. I will probably drop him into the 15-20 range for Outfield week in about a month.
In addition to the Braun news, the Brewers will have a competioon in center field in spring training with Domingo Santana, Kirk Niewenhuis, Keon Broxton and Rymer Liriano competing for the starting job. More from Todd Rosiak at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
But based on the view that he's considered to be a future building block, Santana may wind up playing most days in center despite the fact that's not his natural position because left is held by Khris Davis and right by Braun.
"I think he's going to be part of (the conversation)," Counsell said of Santana. "We're trying to use his talents to win baseball games. With Khris and Ryan, those are the guys. They have the corners locked down pretty good.
"(Center) is an option for Domingo. That's an option we'll consider."
I see Santana winning the job, as he has the better bat of the four. In a full season of at bats, Santana could easily put up a 20-25 home run season, with double digit steals, but with a low batting average and lots of swing and miss.
The Rockies finally cleared up their cluttered outfield, as they traded four years of Corey Dickerson, and third base prospect Kevin Padlo to the Rays for closer Jake McGee and pitching prospect German Marquez. The Rockies are in a bit of a rebuild, or maybe a total rebuild, especially after trading Troy Tulowitzki, but I have to admit I thought the Rockies could get more in return for Dickerson.
The move out of Coors Field and into Tropicana Field in Tampa certainly depresses Dickerson's fantasy value for 2016, as Coors Field improved runs scoring by 44% and home runs by 21% last season. In comparison, Tropicana Field depressed run scoring by 6% and home runs by 4% relative to league average.
Adding Dickerson results in a logjam in the Rays outfield as they already have Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza, Desmond Jennings and Brandon Guyer to man the three outfield positions. My guess is that one of Souza or Guyer starts the season in AAA, or be used in a platoon.
McGee more than likely becomes the Rockies closer to start the season and his fantasy value increases as he leaves a team where he was a set up man and will now close for the Rockies. McGee has two more years left before he becomes a free agent and I can see the Rockies propping up his trade value by allowing him to close, and then dealing him either at the trade deadline or next offseason. After seeing the packages that the Padres and Phillies received in return for Craig Kimbrel and Ken Giles, this has to be the only reason why the Rockies accepted a closer in return for four years of Dickerson.
Marquez didn't make our prospect team's top 10 fantasy prospects in the Ray's system. He pitched in High A last season, making 23 starts with a 3.56 ERA, 3.14 FIP while striking out about seven batters per nine and limiting the free pass to just under two per nine.
Brewers trade Jean Segura to the Diamondbacks
Brewers new GM David Stearns is doing a heck of a job rebuilding the team and that continued over the weekend when he sent shortstop Jean Segura and pitching prospect Tyler Wagner to the Diamondbacks in return for starter Chase Anderson, infielder Aaron Hill and infield prospect Isan Diaz.
The Brewers clearly won this trade as they got rid of Segura, who hasn't been able to duplicate his 2013 career year, where he hit .294 with 12 home runs, 74 runs scored and 44 stolen bases. Since then, he has basically ben a .250ish hitter, with little power with the ability to steal some bases. How the Diamondbacks think they are upgrading their lineup is beyond me.
Segura's fantasy value stays the same as he leaves one hitters park for another in Chase Field. He doesn't get on base much, and his upside is probably a .260 hitter with 25-30 stolen bases in 2016.
The hole at shortstop in Milwaukee will be filled with Jonathan Villar, who was acquired from the Astros earlier this offseason. His fantasy value rises as a result of this trade, but he is nothing more than a late round shortstop who can steal 30 bases for you. But, it will come with a low batting average and little power.
Like Segura, Chase Anderson's fantasy value doesn't move that much as he moves from a team that will win 80-84 games to a team that will win 70-75 games in 2016. The fact that his strikeout rate rose in the second half last season makes him intriguing no matter where he pitches.
Hill's value gets a bump as a result, as he is probably the favorite to play third base for the Brewers to start the season. He will be competing with Will Middlebrooks and Gavin Cechinni in spring training, but he has the best bat of the three, and could pop 10-15 home runs in full time duty.
I don't know much about Wagner, but here is what our prospect team wrote about Isan Diaz, the shortstop the Brewers received in this deal:
Now that Swanson has been summarily removed from the Diamondbacks' future, the mantle of "best shortstop in the Diamondbacks system" falls to Isan Diaz. As the 70th overall section in the 2014 draft, Diaz has shown far more polish than expected for someone who has yet to reach his third decade in life. In short, Diaz hit the snot out of the ball in the Pioneer League, torching the league with a .360/.436/.640 dominating performance. But... this was rookie ball. There is a looong road ahead for Diaz with many pitfalls to navigate, both offensively and defensively. There will be struggles to overcome, but Diaz certainly has a broad set of skills to rely upon so his chances are stronger than most.
Our prospect team ranked Diaz as the 8th best fantasy prospect in the Diamondbacks system, and he should move into the top 10 of the Brewers system as well.