The past two weeks have been a period that fantasy baseball managers will never forget. For the first time ever, we have simultaneously navigated the biggest month of draft season while also dealing with a tidal wave of post-lockout signings and trades during a shortened Spring Training schedule.
Even the best of us had our heads spinning.
For those who struggled to process all of the moves this month, here is a list of the biggest fantasy winners and losers from recent trades and signings.
Trevor Story (SS, BOS)
Story picked arguably his best fantasy fit by signing with the Red Sox. Fenway Park will help him to maintain his power numbers, and the park should also play well for his batting average. The 29-year-old is also part of a loaded lineup, which should lead to plenty of R+RBI. And by shifting to second base, Story will soon have multi-position eligibility.
Nick Castellanos (OF, PHI) and Kyle Schwarber (OF, PHI)
These two can be lumped together, as they are both sluggers who found a favorable landing spot with the Phillies. Castellanos and Schwarber should each post one of their highest career homer totals, thanks to playing half of their games at Citizens Bank Park. And like Story, they are part of a team that is loaded at the heart of the lineup.
Matt Chapman (3B, TOR) and Matt Olson (1B, ATL)
Both these sluggers got an uptick in value by getting away from the rebuilding A’s. Both players received a counting stat upgrade in my projections, as they have each joined one of baseball’s better lineups. Chapman moved up more than Olson, as Rogers Centre is a favorable venue and the Jays have league-leading offensive potential.
Sonny Gray (SP, MIN)
Gray should find life a little bit easier now that he has moved away from Great American Ball Park. Additionally, his new organization is trying harder than his previous one in terms of fielding a competitive 2022 team.
Kris Bryant (3B/OF, COL)
Bryant may have received the biggest bump of any player on this list, by virtue of signing with the Rockies. Bryant has never called home to a hitter-friendly park, and he should produce a high batting mark thanks to his new affiliation with Coors Field.
Freddie Freeman (1B, LAD)
Freeman was never going to get a big bump in March, as he was already a top-20 player. But an eye-popping Dodgers lineup is good for his value, who can now be considered as early as 10th overall.
Carlos Rodon (SP, SF)
Rodon remains a notable injury risk, but he should perform at his best on a per-game basis now that he is a member of a Giants organization that has a great track record of getting the most out of their pitchers.
Blake Treinen (RP, LAD)
Treinen has a clear path to the Dodgers closer’s role now that Kenley Jansen is off the market. And with Los Angeles predicted by most metrics to lead the Majors in wins, anyone who is a full-time closer is on the shortlist of players who could produce a league-leading saves total.
Josh Harrison (2B/3B/SS/OF, CWS)
Harrison should max out his plate appearances as the White Sox‘s second baseman. And with Chicago set to field a productive lineup, the multi-position asset should produce a respectable counting stats total.
Tyler Anderson (SP, LAD)
Anderson was off most mixed-league draft boards before he signed with the Dodgers. Los Angeles hurlers tend to fare well and the team is poised to win 100 games, meaning that a steady pitcher such as Anderson should be a late-round consideration.
Jeremy Peña (SS, HOU)
Peña is not especially powerful or speedy, but he could contribute across the board while also hitting for average as the Astros starting shortstop. The youngster hasn’t yet secured that role, but his path is wide open now that Carlos Correa has signed with the Twins.
Nestor Cortes (SP/RP, NYY), Tanner Houck (SP/RP, BOS)
These two are both exciting young starters who are barely hanging onto a rotation spot on big-spending teams. Neither New York nor Boston chose to sign a free-agent starter this month, which gives Cortes and Houck clear paths to having April rotation spots. And both pitchers have the talent to break out this year.
Will Smith (RP, ATL)
Smith was the biggest fantasy loser in March free agency, as his closer’s role disappeared the day Atlanta signed Kenley Jansen. Smith is now an afterthought in most 10-team or 12-team drafts.
Ian Kennedy (RP, ARI)
Kennedy lost all draft-day value when he signed with an Arizona team that already has Mark Melancon to pitch the ninth inning.
Connor Joe (1B/OF, COL), Garrett Hampson (2B/OF, COL), Sam Hilliard (OF, COL)
This squad is all more volatile after Colorado’s acquisition of Kris Bryant. Bryant and Charlie Blackmon should start in the outfield, which will create a logjam in where there is only CF and DH for the three players listed above, with Hampson possibly picking up some starts in the infield. I would let all three of these players fall to waivers in standard Yahoo! leagues.
Sean Murphy (C, OAK)
Murphy may be the only Oakland position player who will be drafted in shallow leagues, which says everything you need to know about his lineup support now that the team has traded Chapman and Olson.
Joey Votto (1B, CIN)
Votto is in a similar situation to Murphy. The veteran slugger will have a harder time producing counting stats now that the Reds have traded away multiple lineup members without replacing them with free agents. The Reds lineup could also impact runs scored for Jonathan India.
Garrett Cooper (1B/OF, MIA), Jesus Aguilar (1B, MIA)
These two could be in a 1B timeshare now that the Marlins have deepened their OF and DH spots by signing Jorge Soler. Cooper can go undrafted in mixed leagues, while Aguilar can be considered as a late-round pick in 12-team formats.