MLB Winter Meetings: What Mariners Big Day Means for Fantasy Baseball

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners continue to make big moves in this offseason. On Wednesday, they made two moves to improve the offense within a matter of minutes.

Move 1: Via Jon Heyman, CBS Sports.

Move 2: Via Clark Spencer, Miami Herald.

Both moves certainly bring a lot of risk. Corey Hart missed all of 2013 with injuries, but averaged just a shade under 30 homers and 90 RBI from 2010-2012, all while slashing at .279/.343/.514.

Logan Morrison has shown good power in the past, but has never played more than 123 games. Also, while his .249/.337/.427 slash line may not look bad for a guy who’s only 26, that line over the last two years is .236/.321/.387.

Looking ahead though, what does this mean for fantasy baseball?

 

The bad

We’ll start with this. Neither of these players will bring any fantasy baseball value if they can’t get on the field. That should go without saying but when you’re thinking about making either of these guys members of your fantasy rosters, you have to seriously weigh the threat of an injury.

The other big negative that you have to think about is that Safeco Field is not exactly known for being a great place to hit. They did move the fences in in 2013, but what good did it do? Let’s see how ESPN Park Factors ranked them in 2013, compared to 2012. 

 
Runs (Rank)
HR (Rank)
Hits (Rank)
20120.687 (30)0.583 (29)0.831 (30)
20130.991 (15)0.885 (21)1.008 (12)

Source: ESPN Park Factors — 2012: Runs, Home Runs, Hits2013: Runs, Home Runs, Hits.

So, moving the fences in did some good, for sure. But Safeco isn’t exactly a good place to hit. It should hit Morrison less, as it seems to be better for left-handed hitters than right-handed guys and he’s coming from cavernous surroundings in Miami. Hart is leaving a great hitter’s park in Milwaukee.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Good

Notice how I didn’t say anything like, I’m just not sure what kind of help these guys are going to get in Seattle? Yeah. I didn’t forget to mention it, I just like the looks of this lineup, at least the one that MLB Depth Charts is projecting.

  1. Dustin Ackley
  2. Kyle Seager
  3. Robinson Cano
  4. Corey Hart
  5. Justin Smoak
  6. Logan Morrison
  7. Michael Saunders
  8. Mike Zunino
  9. Brad Miller

No, it’s not the 1927 New York Yankees, but everyone seems to fit pretty well into their roles. I wouldn’t mind seeing someone else at the No. 5 spot. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN suggested that Smoak will not be hitting in that spot.

Even if that’s not valid, Smoak hit 20 homers in just 454 at-bats in 2013.

The person I really like this move for is Robinson Cano. Before, I was worried that he’d draw an awful lot of walks, basically never seeing a pitch to hit with men on base and the game still in question. That’s not as much of a concern anymore. As a matter of fact, take a look at his 2013 numbers. 

R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
81271077.314

The lineup that was around him when he achieved those numbers is inferior to the one you see above with the Mariners, and that’s the case even if they don’t make another move.

 

Overall

If the Mariners brought either on board without the other, I wouldn’t like this move as much. But the fact that they brought both of these guys in at the same time makes the overall fantasy value of the Mariners lineup (namely Cano) just got a lot better.

If these guys can suit up for even 240 combined games, I’d say that the Mariners just added at least 40 and possibly 50 home runs to their lineup, and made Robinson Cano a much more dangerous player.

From a fantasy point of view, there are risks, but no big complaints.

Topics: Corey Hart, Logan Morrison, Seattle Mariners

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