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MLB Hot Stove Update: Avisail García, Sergio Romo, Kwang-Hyun Kim, and more!

Heath examines the Hot Stove with a fantasy baseball slant.

USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Just be happy today, fantasy baseballers. Immediately after one posts a Hot Stove update, another massive signing MUST occur. It is known. I’d guess Josh Donaldson to the Dodgers might be the next puzzle piece to fall into place—but the Braves fan in me is not enthused.

Anyway, feel free to share your predictions in the appropriate form below. For now, let’s talk about what has already transpired...

Avisail Garcia signs with the Brewers

Here’s a good read from our own Brew Crew Ball on Garcia. For my part, I think the ground balls and launch angle limit his upside. That said, if he falls into enough at-bats he could easily smack 20+ homers and swipe 10+ bags. Maybe projecting 25 homers is chasing a ceiling we won’t see, but bumping to 15 steals with a team who runs like the Brewers do doesn’t seem too crazy. Just know what you’re getting into. Garcia’s 56.4% swing rate was the 6th highest in the MLB a year ago. This would be more desirable sans the 17.3% swinging strike rate, which was the third highest in the league after Javier Baez (18.4%) and Franmil Reyes (17.8%). And since I named those two, Garcia and Baez were really similar with regard to plate discipline in 2019—except Garcia chased less, swung more at pitches in the zone, made more contact in the zone, and made more contact overall. Also, Garcia’s 28.8 ft/sec sprint speed was slightly better than Baez’s 28.6 ft/sec mark. I’m just sayin’. Feel free to click here and be transported to the world of Fangraphs leaderboards, and see for yourself. Baez had an ADP of around 34 in early Pitcher List mocks, while Garcia was a cool 341 on average. Garcia’s average at NFBC is in the 270s, some 20 picks or so after a guy like Kevin Pillar (who is currently out of a job and may land in a platoon) is going. Give me all the Avisail at that juncture instead.

Sergio Romo re-signs with the Twins

Here are the details for the 36-year-old reliever:

It’s a nice deal for Romo, who was making $2.5 million per year before this deal. Taylor Rogers is still the closer in Minnesota, but Romo should enter 2019 as the primary setup man, so he’s a name to know.

Wade Miley signs with the Reds

This just in...the Reds are serious! Not because of Miley, who is a solid veteran arm...but because of the totality of their moves over the last year or so. A rotation that begins with Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer is formidable. Miley and Anthony DeSclafani should round out the back end, and the bullpen has more than a couple of quality arms. Mike Moustakas has already been added to the offense. This is a fun squad in 2020. Miley is less fun for fantasy purposes. He’ll probably produce a 50% ground ball rate and not cross the 20% strikeout rate threshold. He’s a solid get for a real life team like the Reds, but is best left in the streamer category as far as fake baseball is concerned. He is reuniting with his former pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who helped him refine his cutter during his time in Milwaukee. Maybe we see a career year at age-33—stranger things have happened—but even if it does you couldn’t go crazy with your strikeout projections for him. Like I said, best left in the streaming category, in my humblest of opinions.

Kwang-Hyun Kim signs with the Cardinals

Kim comes to St. Louis via the SK Wyverns of the KBO. Here’s an in-depth look at him via our own Viva El Birdos site. Long story short, it sounds like the slider is his best weapon, and that the 31-year-old Kim could be utilized out of the bullpen or as a fifth starter if Carlos Martinez doesn’t rejoin the rotation. A swingman, essentially. Any way you slice it, it sounds like Kim will get more than the usual amount of innings than a typical reliever. The slider is described as “devastating.” Sure, it’s always tough to know how a player will translate to the MLB, but the Cardinals have enjoyed success with Seunghwan Oh and Miles Mikolas in recent years. Perhaps Kim is the next. This is likely a better real life move for St. Louis than it is relevant for fake purposes.