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MLB Hot Stove Update: Anthony Rendon, Blake Treinen, Brett Gardner, and more!

Heath examines the Hot Stove with a fantasy baseball slant.

USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

I couldn’t even get this week’s tight end rankings out without yet another MLB shoe dropping. And that is an awesome, awesome thing. But it also delayed my “analysis” on the Rendon move to the Angels.

Anthony Rendon inks with the Angels

The single greatest ramification here is that we now have a much better chance of seeing MIKE TROUT in the PLAYOFFS. Here are the details, though:

We don’t care much about the dollars in the fake game. But I do enjoy that Rendon got paid, after being underrated for so long. And that’s a sneaky good lineup now, with Trout-Rendon-Ohtani-Upton in the heart of the order. Some combination of Tommy La Stella and David Fletcher could bat leadoff, and Andrelton Simmons will still be around for his defensive wizardry and his lefty-bashing tendencies. I love this move so, so much. Thank you, Angels. Thank you, thank you. And on a serious note, the Angels had the third lowest strikeout rate in the MLB last year, at only 20.4%. Only the Astros (18.2%) and Pirates (19.5%) were better. The Angels were a lowly 21st in team ISO, at .175. But they just added a man who offers power (career .199 ISO) without whiffing a bunch (career 15.5% strikeout rate). Sure, Kole Calhoun won’t be around, but we should get a healthy Justin Upton and a splash of Jo Adell. Rendon makes this team even more dangerous. I don’t know yet if I want to pay the Round 2 price, as Rendon had an average ADP of 16.8 in early Pitcher List mocks. He went 13th in the mock I was a part of, one spot ahead of Alex Bregman, who I like better. But Rendon is what we call a classic floor pick. Maybe you won’t win your league taking him that early, but you won’t lose it, either.

Blake Treinen to the Dodgers

First off, I found this interesting:

He CHOSE the Dodgers, a place with an already established closer. So apparently being “that guy” isn’t as important to Treinen as the team context. Of course I’m reading into it, but what else can one assume? And I’m not saying that’s bad. Obviously it makes him a great teammate (if it’s true). But for fantasy, it puts him off of the radar in most typical leagues that only count saves.

Tanner Roark to the Blue Jays

Roark gets a two-year, $24 million deal. Roark is 33 years old but is durable and something of an innings eater. He’s only a streamer in our fake leagues, and even then it might be tough to get excited unless it’s a truly cheese matchup.

Michael Wacha to the Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman to the ‘pen

Wacha is going to be a starter, which means that Lugo and Gsellman are going to reprise their relief roles. Which is just fine with me. I love taking my dart throw late on a guy like Lugo, who has an outside shot at saves and offers great ratios and strikeout help.

Brett Gardner signs a one-year deal with the Yankees

He’s 36 years old, but he still posted a 28/10 season last year while slashing .251/.325/.503. He’s going to platoon against right-handed pitchers, primarily. The status of Aaron Hicks will need to be monitored, but Gardner is beginning the year with essentially an everyday role. It’s a concern that he set a career-high in homers and RBIs with the bouncy ball last year, but it’s not really a concern when he’s not going to cost a thing at the draft table (at least not in a 12-team league). Also, he’s a lefty bat in Yankee Stadium, and he made a noticeable jump in pull rate last year—from 36.1% in 2018 to 46.2% in 2019. He’s going to be more useful than most people think, probably.