Carlos Correa finally signed. Trevor Story is going to miss significant time. What are the Dodgers doing in the outfield? Belt to the Blue Jays? Plus much more as we inch to the start of the 2023 fantasy baseball season.
FINALLY – IT HAPPENED
A Carlos Correa update – the sage is over.
13-$350 Giants – NO
11-$315M Mets – NO
6-$200M Twins – YES
It turns out you can go home again as the long other places turn you down when you try to leave.
Correa, who opted out of his deal with the Twins, after being spurned by the Giants and Mets over concerns with his leg, is back with the Twins in a deal for less year, less money, and a whole lotta what if’s. The contract breaks down like this.
6-years, $200 million guaranteed.
The deal could end up at 10-years and $270M.
So, he took a bath of $80 million dollars from what he had originally agreed to with the Giants.
Correa has passed his physical, so this deal is going to happen. He posted a .291/.366/.467 slash line last season with the Twins, and they would be mighty happy to get that level of offense, with his strong defense, over the duration of the deal. Just 28 years old, there’s a chance, however small, that he’s still a very productive player in the final years of the deal.
This deal does cause an issue for Minnesota.
Elite prospect, IF he can ever keep his knees healthy, Royce Lewis was/is a shortstop. Not a great one defensively, but it is his home position. Gotta think he shifts to outfield full time at this point and that dings his fantasy outlook a good deal cause a 20/20 shortstop is way more impressive than a 20/20 outfielder. The hope is he will be ready to return right around the All-Star break from his current knee issue (ACL surgery in June).
Some audio thoughts.
In the end…
STORY IS DOWN
Here is what we know.
Trevor Story had a messed up elbow.
Story hoped rest would work.
It did not.
Story’s elbow was rested after the season, but when he ramped things up during December the elbow starting barking again.
Story had surgery on his elbow Monday, but it was Tommy John surgery. Instead, he underwent an internal bracing procedure on his right ulnar collateral ligament. This procedure is less involved than Tommy John surgery, and it is possible that a position player could return from it in about six months (note: you have to have a certain kind of injury for this procedure vs. Tommy John, so IBS will not simply replace TJS because of a quicker recovery time). “I certainly would not rule out a return sometime during 2023,” CBO Chaim Bloom said. “But it’s also not something at this stage we want to bank on.”
1 – This tanks Story’s outlook in the fantasy game as a best case scenario probably has him missing half the season. That said, it is also possible he returns in the first half, especially if he’s only hitting, but history says – it isn’t likely.
2 – The Sox let go Xander Bogaerts this offseason leaving them without to potentially difference making bats.
3 – So, what the hell to the Red Sox due up the middle? With the way the roster currently breaks down it might be Enrique Hernandez at shortstop and Christian Arroyo at second base. That’s pretty ugly. Looking at our Free Agent Tracker, we see names like Jonathan Villar, Cesar Hernandez, Elvis Andrus, Jose Iglesias and Didi Gregorius floating around. Yes, Bogaerts/Story last year to starting this season with… that.
THIS AND THAT
Brandon Belt signed a 1-year deal worth $9.3 million to join the Blue Jays. The career long Giants heads north with a playing time squeeze likely forthcoming. A first baseman, and a fine one at that, he’s been beset by injuries during his career so being able to slot into the DH spot could extend his career. However, how does this all work? The Jays have Alejandro Kirk/Danny Jansen at catcher. The thought was they would kinda share that spot with the other seeing a lot of time at DH. The addition of Belt complicates the DH picture cause we know Vladimir G. is playing first base. Getting Belt in there is key, as he’s a strong offensive performer when healthy, and the Jays need some lefty swingers, but playing time is starting to get tight. Have to think that his addition dings both catchers a bit as he might cannibalize plenty of their potential at-bats at DH, that is IF Belt can stay healthy which has long been an issue for the now 34 year old (35 in April).
The Detroit Tigers are making a change. We will get into specifics at a later date.
A quick overview notes that CF is now 10 feet closer to the plate (412). Wall heights changing too.
Speaking of the Tigers…
Matt Vierling headed to the Tigers in the Gregory Soto trade with the Phillies. He’s certainly behind the starters out there for the Tigers (Akil Baddoo, Riley Greene, Austin Meadows), but is it insane to think that he could rack up 400 plate appearances this season? The answer is no. The 26 year old righty swinger has hit .260 with a .682 OPS over 151 big league games in two seasons with eight homers and nine steals. He makes decent contact and his Statcast data is bad at all (12.0 LA, 91.2 EV, 47.1 HH). He could carve out a role of some minor interest. Maybe he forms a loose platoon with lefty swinger Kerry Carpenter? Kerry had a strong .233 ISO last season over 113 plate appearances, but his 87.2 EV and 36.1 percent HH-rate are far from imposing. Plus, Miggy Cabrera is still lurking, and though he’s nowhere near what he once was, he’s going to be played by the Tigers as it is seemingly impossible to think that they will mothball the future HOFamer.
How will the Dodgers handle centerfield this season? Perhaps Bradley Zimmer or Jason Heyward see some time there, but unless it’s suddenly 2018 and we missed the time machine that dropped by, that seems like a terrible idea. A report in The Athletic suggests that James Outman and Trayce Thompson could share the role. The report does note that, ideally, neither guy should spend copious amount of time in centerfield is the sole criteria was defense, but the team has gotta work with what they got. Is it possible that Giants castoff Steven Duggar falls into some playing time? Thompson might be the most intriguing name of the group, though Duggar does have a little power and speed (14 homers and 19 steals over 846 plate appearances).
Brett Phillips signed a 1-year deal with the Angels for $1.2 million. Here’s a scouting report.
- Phillips will be 29 year old in late May.
- He is a strong defensive outfielder.
- He’s a fake pitcher who has thrown nine innings over seven outings in his career.
- He can run. He’s never stolen 15 bases in a season cause he never hits enough to play, but per 162 games in the majors he averages 16 steals.
- Oh, that bat… he has a .188/.273/.348 career slash line over 900 plate appearances over 354 games.
- He’s a nice player for the Angels to add, but he’s a reserve in AL-only leagues.
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