Fantasy baseball reactions to 2023 off-season trades and signings

Tracking their off-season MLB trades and signings with fantasy baseball implications for the upcoming season, Eric Karabell and Tristan H. Cockcroft will analyze all the key players involved and offer a look at them. Check back often as players like Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, and Jacob deGrom find their potential new home for 2023.

Players will be separated by location and then listed in fantasy relevance within each positional grouping. Also included are links to independent analysis stories and/or videos of free agent transfers and trades.

Note: Players who have re-signed with their previous teams will not be included.

Jump: catcher | First Foundation | Second Foundation | short stopper | Third Foundation | Away | DH | Starting Jug | Relief Jug


first basis

Houston Astros sign 1B Jose Abreu: Abreu is well-suited to Houston, which should post similar numbers to last year and stay among the top 10 1B options. By hitting in slot 6, he will have many RBI opportunities. — Cockcroft.

Dig deeper into the Abreu deal here with Tristan’s video analysis.

Pittsburgh Pirates sign 1B Carlos Santana: Santana, a historic points league dynamo who was among the top 50 goalscorers in points scored each season from 2013-20, saw the roto-related batting average crater with the “shift” partially responsible (undershot). 185) from the left side in each of 2020-22. Maybe 2023’s new shift rules will fix the downward aging curve, but the rebuilt Pirates isn’t a great target for an offensive rebirth, keeping it in the line of being more of a fancy corner field filler. — Cockcroft


Outside field

Los Angeles Angels trade OF Hunter Renfroe: Don’t panic when you hear the news, as Angel Stadium has been playing HR-friendly comparable to Milwaukee’s American Family Field since the Angels took down the right-field fence in 2018 (which, oddly enough, includes right-handed players). Renfroe should reintroduce a somewhat one-dimensional, 30 HR production, and if the Angels lineup can stay healthy, he could see a small increase in RBI totals as a bat in the middle of the lineup. — Cockcroft


starting pitcher

Tampa Bay Rays SP signed Zach Eflin: Like last season’s Corey Kluber, The Rays can extract a lot of value from Eflin and give fantasy managers a sneaky good background of your staff as long as you’re willing to do roster/match homework. — Cockcroft

Dig deeper into the Eflin signature here with Tristan’s video analysis.

Detroit Tigers SP sign Matthew Boyd: Returning to Detroit after an 11-month hiatus while recovering from September 2021 flexor tendon surgery, Boyd shouldn’t have too much trouble landing a rotation spot with the 2023 Tigers. He’ll need to maintain the small speed and spin rate gains he’s seen in limited time to profit from prospective fantasy darts stock, but Boyd’s as recently as 2019 (3.72 ERA, 3.72 ERA, 30.8% K from April to June). — Cockcroft

Chicago White Sox SP sign Mike Clevinger: Not all who have come back from Tommy John surgery have had perfect comebacks, and Clevinger’s 2022 hasn’t been the smoothest. Average fastball speed dropped by about 2 mph (consistently all year long) and his season was marred by a variety of bumps and bruises. It’s a worthy speculative addition to the White Sox, but for fantasy purposes, it’ll need to either show regaining speed or past ferocity that he lost with his slider during spring practice to become more than a mixed league darts shot. — Cockcroft

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