December 15, 2022

00:54:49

Fantasy Baseball MLB Podcast: National League Offseason Moves

Hosted by

Colby Conway Matt Selz James Grande
Fantasy Baseball MLB Podcast: National League Offseason Moves
Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Podcast
Fantasy Baseball MLB Podcast: National League Offseason Moves

Dec 15 2022 | 00:54:49

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Show Notes

Matt Selz and Colby Conway go over every National League team's offseason through mid-December and what fantasy value those moves present. We also predict where each team will finish in their division in the 2023 MLB season.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:07 And welcome into this off-season edition of the Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Podcast. It's been a little bit since we've been here, talk and Shop, but with mlb free agency and the hot stove in full effect, really at this point. Had to jump on a pod here with my buddy Matt Sells, just like we do in the regular season. And we gotta break down the moose. We're, this is actually gonna be the first of, I guess, two pods that we're gonna do here. We're gonna talk about the state of the National League, and then in the coming days there'll be another one talking about the American League. But first, before we dive into all the moves that have happened in the NL featuring NL Central contenders for fourth place in the division, Pittsburgh Pirates. Matt, how is everything going for you, my friend? Speaker 2 00:00:49 Uh, not too bad. I mean, I'm not getting signed to a massive, uh, free agent contract, but then again, I'm not a free agent, so don't anybody get a, any ideas. Um, but yeah, it's been very interesting to see what teams are doing what some of the, some of the big spenders are spending big. Uh, and then some of the teams we kind of thought might be big spenders aren't actually spending big and there's some curious moves being made. So we'll uh, kind of break it down division by division, kind of see what we're feeling about each division. And then, um, you know, then like you said, in the coming days, we'll do an al version of this one too, Speaker 1 00:01:30 I think. And it's always interesting, you know, sometimes, like in fantasy baseball we always talk about, well, sometimes the best deal that's made is the one that you don't make. So as interesting it is with some of these teams are doing, it's equally as interesting what some of these teams aren't doing. And we're gonna talk about that a little bit. You know, the teams that have been making a bunch of splash moves will probably get a little bit more pub and airtime here in this pub, but we're gonna hit on all the teams across the National league. Take a look at everything. I know fantasy football's going on, but Matt and I have been grinding a lot of content for the MLB off season. So [email protected], not only are we doing the MLB free agent tracker, so all notable players are getting written up in the tracker. Speaker 1 00:02:08 It'll be a little bit of, excuse me, how the move impacts reality as well as what to expect from a fantasy perspective. And then some of the bigger name players, ALAT, Trey Turner, Alexander Bogard, Justin Verlander, and you know, now the most recent Carlos Correa, they're gonna get a little bit more pub on the site, so they'll have a full writeup. And the most recent one will be Matt's, uh, breakdown of the Correa signing to San Francisco, which we need to talk about. So if it's good with you, Matt, let's just jump right in and let's break down what the Giants have done. Cause it's really a Jekyll and Hyde situation for me with the Giants. When we look at this team. I like the moves with the pitchers only because it seems like giants have this, this, uh, like pixie dust that they can sprinkle on and rejuvenate these pitchers. So Ross Stippling and Sean Manaya, similar deals opt out. So I like that Mitch ER's fine in the outfield. The Carlos cor move is going to get a lot of airtime, it's going to get a lot of discussion, but I don't know how I feel about this for a multitude of reasons. There's a couple things that I'm gonna point out, but I want to get your thoughts on this first. Cause to me, the first thing that went off in my head was holy overpay. Speaker 2 00:03:20 Yeah, that's a lot of, it seems like somebody from the Mets I think leaked that they were maybe kind of sort of, uh, the side check in the chorea talks, uh, to get the market moving to maybe force some team's hands. And the Giants responded by saying, okay, here you go. Here's the fourth largest guaranteed contract in the history of baseball, um, for you there. Now the AAV isn't terrible, but it's still insane to give $350 million to a, to a short. I mean, Trey Turner didn't, was 50 mil short of that. And I think most people would take Trey Turner's assets over Carlos Corres. Um, so yeah, I I think it's an overpay. I think the Steve Cohen might be getting involved. Move, uh, move kind of triggered that. But from a fantasy perspective, what is your view of, um, of this move? Because I know what I'm writing up in the, uh, in the writeup and it's gonna have a spray chart from the lovely baseball Sahan illustrator. Uh, but what is your view of this move, given what we presume to be the case about the confines of Oracle Park, um, and where he's been playing the last eight years? Seven of which Houston and one in Minnesota? Speaker 1 00:04:50 Well, the easy thing to jump to is when I first think of Giants, it's pitchers park. And that plays into effect of why pitchers have had some good success there. So if we're looking here, you know, I'm looking at the park factors over at Baseball Saban, which I'm sure you're gonna reference or that were referenced in the article. But when you look for a guy like Correa for right-handed hitters, I mean they're, he hasn't exactly maybe played the most lucrative per se, but Giants typically tends to play more picture friendly, but they're slightly better in terms of park factor on a three year rolling average. But the thing with Correa, I mean, it's fine. He's getting paid the park factors and you can dive into his spray chart and everything like that. He's a very good hitter at first glance without really diving too much into the numbers. I have a little bit of skepticism in his new confines. Speaker 2 00:05:41 So, Speaker 1 00:05:42 And this is solely based on just when I first hear Giants and Home Park, my first thought goes to Pitcher Park, Speaker 2 00:05:49 Right? So I did too. And obviously, you know, we kind of think of Minnesota's home park as being mostly picture friendly. Um, and certainly the Al Central is not necessarily known to be hitters parks, right? Kansas City has the largest outfield in baseball. Detroit is not exactly a hitters Park Minnesota. His home confines not exactly a hitters park. Um, so, you know, I was kinda curious. But then you kinda start looking at how consistent he is and his career batting average right now is 2 79. He's hit that exact mark three times in eight seasons. Okay? Um, and if you take out 2020 and the shortened season there, that's seven years in his career, he's hit between 20 and 26 home runs six times. So I don't know if I'm all that concerned that we're gonna see all of a sudden he only produces 10 home runs Now, cuz keep in mind he does get to play the Dodgers. Speaker 2 00:06:50 Dodger Stadium is a very hitter friendly park. He does get to play in Coors. Uh, San Diego has started to become a little bit more hitter friendly now that they have hitters. Um, so, you know, I'm, I'm not as skeptical and off of him as I originally thought I would be. I do think that if you are in a fantasy league that counts slugging or counts extra base hits of some sort, I think this is a huge move for him because you have those massive alleys in San Francisco like triples Alley and uh, Wright Center Field that he could take advantage of. So it's certainly an interesting move, but I don't like, I don't know that it hamstrings the giants quite the way we think cuz they also have paid off their stadium. Like they don't have a mortgage anymore on their stadium. So all of that money that everybody else is still paying for their new stadiums, the giants don't have that problem. So I think that in the next couple of seasons we're gonna see them beat big spenders to compliment Correa even more. Speaker 1 00:08:02 And the only thing that you could, might be able to say, if I, if I remember reading this correctly with Correa, you could say that he almost has, for a lack of better terms, he almost has San Fran by the balls. Cause he is, there's no opt out and he's a full, like a full full no trade clause for Speaker 2 00:08:17 That. Yeah. He's parking it there for 13 years <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:08:19 Exactly. So that could be the only thing if maybe there is a decline in time with him. But I, I wouldn't be too worried about that. When you look at baseball Savan and you look at like expected Homers hit 22 last year per savant would've had 24 in San Fran last year. So kind of do with that what you will Before we talk about the other moves with the giants interesting here with Correa that I want to ask you about. And from fantasy perspective, it, this might be a waste of time, but in reality it's worth mentioning money talks, Correa plays, shortstop giants also have another long-term guy that has been there for them forever that has played shortstop for them forever. And neither of them have played much third base if at all in the major. So again, money talks. So do you think my assumption is correct in that Correa plays short and they move Brandon Crawford to third? Cause again, money talks Speaker 2 00:09:12 Obviously because I think Brandon Crawford's range is kind of deteriorating a little bit. Um, his arm strength is still good, but I think at this point his range is deteriorating. You also have Marco Luciano coming up, uh, in their farm system who is in my estimation of top 20 prospect in baseball, uh, one of the top shortstop prospects in baseball. Um, so that'll be interesting to see what they do there. But there was, and whether it's to be believed or not, there was some speculations that he would be willing to play third base for the Mets had he signed there. I don't know. Again, I don't know how real that talk was. Um, but it's not like we haven't seen this before. Like the Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez and he moved to third base, right? Um, cuz Derek Jeter was there and despite their better judgment they left Jeter at shortstop. Um, so we'll see, uh, you know, for fantasy relevance, I think it does actually help Correa's value cuz then he becomes a multi guy, um, rather than just shortstop. He'd be shortstop third base. Um, but in the grand scheme of things, you're not getting steals from him. You're getting a pretty decent average and you're getting about 23 homers. So I'm not sure that really moves the needle on either of those positions all that much. Speaker 1 00:10:34 And then just real quick before we move on to the Padres, um, Mitch Janiger signing, I said fine with me. They need out, they need outfield bats badly. I'm more intrigued by the two pictures they signed and Sean Manaya and Ross Stripling. Yep. Speaker 2 00:10:47 Cool. They, they, like you said, they sprinkle uh, pixie dust on pitcher's arms and Speaker 1 00:10:54 It works. Speaker 2 00:10:54 They're phenomenal, right? We've seen it now, uh, for quite a while, um, with, you know, a guy Omega one year stint in, um, in San Fran and turned into like one of the best pitchers in baseball. So, um, I saw a lot of Rays or uh, blue Jay's fans going, we couldn't have matched for Ross Stripling. I'm like, I don't know that you needed to do that. You have a pretty deep starting five. You also have a couple of prospects that can come up if Nate Pearson can figure it out and stay healthy. Uh, Ricky Teman, you know, um, so this is, this is a very nice budget move for the, for the Giants to get basically two years out of two starters, um, who have the stuff to be number two and number three starters. So that's, that's a pretty nice sounding by them. Speaker 1 00:11:43 Also in division San Diego Padres, they seem to be linked to everybody just because they want to. They got the money and they're willing to do it. Uh, missed out on judge. They ended up landing Alexander Bogart's from Boston 11 year 280 million deal. So Matt, I'll ask you your thoughts on that signing. And then one thing I do wanna cut here, and you can kind of go into this as well in the, uh, the, the article that we wrote on the site, I actually wrote this one for Bogart's. I basically talked about how the signing impacts the potteries like we've done in every single other article. And I said that this signing to me is a signal from the Padres that Machado or Soto is gone when their deal is up cuz they're not gonna be able to keep them or at least they don't think so. Speaker 1 00:12:25 So what I put in the article was the pads won't be able to keep all of these guys into me. This always makes it seem like San Diego believes that they won't be retained the services of Matata who can opt out after 2023 or Juan Soto who's a free agent, I believe after 2024. Additionally, the pads were also in on Trey Turner. They get Bogarts. So if they're in the shortstop market, it seems like they want someone to play shortstop, which could mean or also signal a move to the outfield permanently for Fernando Tais Jr. So what do you break of that? That what I put in the article as well as just the Bogart signing in general? Speaker 2 00:13:00 Yeah, so I think for San Diego it's nice that they saved 62 million off the reported offer that they made to trade Turner of 342 million that he turned down to take 300 mil from the Phillies. Um, I agree with you that I think it signals they're not keeping either Soto or Machado, but I think that this is a sign that they may not keep Machado mm-hmm <affirmative> because, um, doing a little digging and hearing from, you know, some beat writers and whatnot, it appears that Bogarts and Soto are very good friends. Um, and so this may have been a offer to be like, Hey, why don't you sign long term and then you can hang out with your friend and play baseball with, um, your friend for the rest of his, your careers. Um, it is also a solidification of the news that we all expected, which was that Tais would be moved to the outfield, um, on a full-time basis. Speaker 2 00:13:57 It's just a better way to keep him healthy. Left fielders typically get hurt less than, you know, any other outfield position as well as certainly shortstop. There's less wire and tear and you need Tais to stay healthy at this point. He needs to be on the field, he needs to start rebuilding his trust and um, and you know, whatnot with his teammates after the whole p e d thing and you know, basically lying about how he got injured in the first place. Um, so you need some value outta that 13 year deal. So yes, I think that that Bogart's is absolutely the starting shortstop for them. I think this definitely signals that they would prefer to keep Soto over Machado, which makes sense because um, he's just younger. Um, so, you know, I I that's what I feel. I don't think that this changes Bogart's fantasy projection all that much to be perfectly honest. We've seen Machado put up ridiculous numbers in San Diego. Um, and it's not like, you know, in Boston you had to deal with cold weather to start the year and end the year and then humid summers, right? You basically get the same weather all year round in San Diego. So there's no weather concerns there either. Speaker 1 00:15:12 How much does this stink for us East coasters who may not be night owls that we won't get to see or you'll have to make an, uh, an active effort to stay up to see potentially opposing pitchers in a row once Tais returns from suspension, some sort of quartet in whatever order you want it to be of Machado, Tai Soto and Bogarts. Not to mention the other bass that they have too. Speaker 2 00:15:34 I mean, I'm not gonna say that I'm, I'm lucky to be in the central time zone because I get the, you know, late games here. I can watch an East Coast game and then go and stay up and watch basically a full uh, west Coast game generally speaking cuz it starts early enough and I tend to be up a little later. Um, it does stink. I do have to say as a Yankees fan, it was very fun enjoying watching Boston fans meltdown over losing <laugh>, one of their homegrown studs. Um, and it may happen again next year with devs. Um, I mean, I don't know, you know, you can change your sleep cycle if you wanna watch the podcast Speaker 1 00:16:12 <laugh>. Easier said than done my friend. Yeah, easier said than done and we'll wrap up the NL West here with kind of just, I mean dime backs trade for Kyle Lewis, so be it. Dodgers did their thing, brought in Jay's in Hayward, do I still can't believe it. Somehow sticking around also made a trade for, for another arm. And the Rocky signed Chris Bryant last off season and they feel content that they're good or that they Speaker 2 00:16:38 Are, they, they don't even own their own state by the way. Baseball reference tweeted out, uh, a map showing the most viewed team pages in each state and Colorado viewed the Mariners more often last year than the Rockies. So it's going well for, for Rocky's Speaker 1 00:16:54 Fans. And then when now, I mean obviously it's early lot can happen, still plenty of, you know, decent players out there in free agency. Um, Dodgers are still the cream of the crop of the NL West, do you think, right? Or do you, does the, some of the other moves made probably more so what the Padres did maybe thrust them to the top of the NL West in 2023? Speaker 2 00:17:13 I think the Padres are on equal footing. I'm not ready to give up on the Dodgers winning the division. They simply, I mean they took it in dominating fashion last year. They finished what, 22 games ahead of the Padres, um, last year. But there is some concern with the Dodgers, um, you know, they lost Tyler Anderson from the rotation. Walker. Bueller isn't going to be there basically all year. Um, you do get Kershaw back. Okay. I mean how long is his back gonna hold up or his shoulder or whatever other part he decides to injure. Um, I just think that there's a, like they have a farm system and it seems to be whoever they plug in seems to be good enough to take over. But if you're looking at the overall, uh, eliteness of each roster, I would take the Padres over the Dodgers right now. Um, it's just hard to get over that foursome of Bogart's, Soto, Machado and Tais when he's back. Um, and the, the Padres rotation is pretty good. So I would put the Giants right now third mm-hmm <affirmative> with a shot that, you know, maybe they uncork a season like that two years ago with 107 wins. I don't see that happening, but we didn't see that one happening either. So, you know, um, and then the Rockies are in last and the Diamondbacks are forth in my opinion. Speaker 1 00:18:41 Yep. I will concur with you on that one. So let's go over to another fun division when this one's been pretty, pretty active for the most part, uh, in the National League East, we'll start with the Mets. They have basically made a concerted effort that they don't care about the luxury tax. Uh, Cohen doesn't care what he has to pay. They are doing what they feel they must to win. They've pretty much, they made pretty good signings for the most part. The, maybe the Verlander deal you could maybe look at, depending how you wanted to look at that. Um, I think you're paying for a proven ace. So there you go. You got them. They went and got Sega from overseas on a pretty good deal. Jose Quintana, former Pittsburgh, great David Robert Robertson should help with the pen. The only move I don't like that they did was Brandon Nimo. I think it was a bit of an overpay for a couple of different reasons. Um, but this team is certainly not afraid. Let me put it this way. The owner is certainly not afraid to spend money at this team. So what's the Mets have made it seems a good quantity of moves and the quality outside of Nimo has been there as well. So what, what, what do you make of the Mets free agent class? So, so Speaker 2 00:19:51 Far, so it's hard to poo poo it, right? Because the star power's there. Ko Senga, if he shows up and does what we all think he could, he could be the best third starter in baseball. Um, I wrote that piece up and he's basically got stuff equivalent to U Darvish when he came over. Um, not as young or as overarchingly dominant, but the, the stuff is there. Like he can hit 102, he's got a ghost fork ball apparently, which just sounds awesome. Um, the five years, 75 million deal is frankly a flip and steel compared to what, and we'll touch on what the Red Sox did in the al one, but when one of the Japanese guys went for 15 million more than the other one and the wrong guy went for more money, then that's a steal for the Mets. Um, frankly, I think the Jose Quintana deal is a steal that nobody's talking about. Speaker 2 00:20:48 As crazy as that sounds like Cantana finished with a sub three e r a last year in like 30 starts. Like that's really good for a number four starter, right? Like Carlos Carrasco is their number five starter at this point. Um, so when Degra left, people are like, oh, that's not a great rotation. And then a week later and it's like the best rotation in baseball. Um, yeah, the nimo one's a little confusing. You're giving a guy 20 plus million a year who can't stay healthy and is really just like, I don't know, he gets on base and scores runs, but not a whole lot else really. Um, and this comes from a guy who's had him for three straight years in fantasy baseball and hoping that one of those years would be a good one. Um, Speaker 1 00:21:38 He just, he just seems like a master of all or jack of all trades, but a master of none. Like when you look career eye, homers 17 not necessarily great for an l fielder career eye, nine stolen bases fine doesn't really set himself apart. Career 2 69 hitter decent. But there's, there's no like elite part of his fantasy game. And I think from the fantasy perspective, that's what I, I find myself getting hung up on. It's like 20 million for a guy who's good but not great in any one particular category. Speaker 2 00:22:10 I guess this is where we have to detach ourselves from. Like the Mets aren't making moves for fantasy baseball, they're making moves for baseball players. And Brandon Nemo is a baseball player, right? Yes. He makes them better. He's a very good defensive outfielder. Uh, he's got speed, he's like the equivalent of the Yankees, Harrison Bader, right? Like not as fast, but basically like the same type guy. And I think the signing was a little bit of an overreaction to the fan base saying, okay, well are we gonna resign our homegrown kid? That seems to be like a fan favorite, right? Um, but my biggest question is are they going to gel, right? Like San Diego tried this several years ago and just signed everybody in free agency. Like everybody like signed Craig Kimball for a chunk of money. They signed like, um, Hosmer and that's when they got I think Machado and they signed like a bunch of dudes and then by like June they were out of the playoffs and they started dealing these pieces off for prospects. Not saying Steve Cohen's gonna do that. I'm just saying that sometimes spending a heap ton of money doesn't necessarily get you the results you're hoping for right off the bat. Um, and they certainly spent a heap ton of money. They're the last time I looked their contracts were like 340 million for this year. Is there their team salary, which is the most expensive team in the history of baseball. Um, Speaker 2 00:23:40 But we'll see. I mean I think ultimately he's doing what the Dodgers did 10 years ago. If everybody flashes back to when the Dodgers were sold like a decade ago, they had no farm system. They weren't really competing and they all just started dumping mass quantities of money to go get big name guys, right? And they competed and they drafted really well and they signed international free agents really well and they made some trades to get some prospects, um, and whatnot. And now what do they have? They can just plug and play prospects and make key signings when they feel the need to make the key signings. I think that's what the Mets are going for right now. Speaker 1 00:24:17 And this team, when you look at it, I mean, yes they got Starling Marte Francisco and do Lonza, they have good hitters. The strength in this team is going to lie in the arms. I mean Verlander Surez are in Sega like you talked about. Could be a potential, you know, very least you got an elite, elite elite top two and you could have the best fifth starter in baseball in KRAS or King Tana. How you look at it. David Robertson puts a very strong, you know, eighth and ninth inning punch with David Robertson and Edwin Diaz and Speaker 2 00:24:46 Let's not forget lineup. David Peterson and Tyler McGill are now their six and seven starters. And those guys did pretty well when they were in the rotation last year. So, you know, there are still some health concerns. It's the Mets. Everybody seems to get hurt for the Mets at least once a year. Um, so they have some depth and if they stay healthy then they can make a key trade from now a position of strength to go fill it in. So, so we, we'll see. It is a, it is a frenzy though for the, for the Mets Speaker 1 00:25:18 And as absolutely and as Apt active as they've been. I mean you look at the Phillies, um, you know, the Padres went after Trey Turner. We, you, we had said it in the pods throughout the season and by we, I'm going to give you the credit in terms of you saying it. Turner was destined to come back to the east coast. That was just something that was going to, the writing was on the wall. He wanted to be there, they all knew it. And from the reports he took less to be in Philly compared to being in, uh, in San Diego. So Philly's had a position or a weakness at short that was a position they clearly wanted to address. They did that with Trey Turner. Good speed. So even as he ages he might lose a little bit of speed, but he's just got such good discipline and contact metrics at the plate. I don't really fret too much of giving him a deal like this. And when you really look at, for him to take a little bit less, Philly has to be jumping for joy that Turner only went for about 20 more mil than Bogarts. Speaker 2 00:26:12 Oh for sure. Yeah. His, so his wife's family's from New Jersey. Um, so there's the draw to the East Coast and Philly is obviously depending on where in Jersey you could be 30 minutes from family or you could be, you know, just a couple hours if they're over by New York. Um, he gets to, you know, get reunited with Kyle Schwarber and, and Bryce Harper. Uh, from time with the Nats obviously not together, but they were built on the Nats. And the key thing, the key thing for fantasy baseball, and people don't talk about this enough, who is the Phillies hitting coach Colby Speaker 1 00:26:49 Tell me Matt, Speaker 2 00:26:50 It's Kevin Long. The Nationals had Kevin Long longtime Yankees hitting coach. They let him go. The Nationals hired Kevin Long and the dumbest decision the Nats made was letting Kevin Long go. Um, but if you recall there was a year where everything just clicked for Trey Turner. That was the year that Kevin Long showed up. Kevin Long bicks Trey Turner swing in the off season. Trey Turner will work with and has worked with Kevin Long, even though Kevin Long was on the Billy staff and Trey Turner was with the Nats and the Dodgers, right? So the guy who got Trey Turner to be everybody's favorite fantasy shortstop is now his hitting coach for the long haul and the park will fit Trey Turner very nicely. Um, this is just a really nice, as much as it pains me to say is a Nats fan, uh, it's a nice signing by the Phillies to get Trey Turner. Speaker 2 00:27:53 Um, and he'll be the lead off guy that they've been searching for or number two hitter that they've been searching for and they haven't had a good short stop since what Jimmy Rollins, um, like it feels like that long basically. Um, so yeah, that was a nice signing. But the one that really intrigues me is they went and snatched another former Met pitcher in Taiwan Walker. Like they've made a habit out of this now, right? Because this is the second they took Zach Wheeler from the Mets mm-hmm. <affirmative> and now they got Walker who was pretty underrated I thought, based off of <laugh> his showings last year. So that's, he's gonna be a nice probably number three for them I would imagine behind Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler. Speaker 1 00:28:39 Yeah, yeah. Roster resource has Walker as the three right now. At first I was skeptical of that move cuz I was just like, man, Taiwan Walker got 18 mil a year and then as more of we saw more signings come in, okay, pictures are at a premium, they're probably gonna get priced up a little bit anyway. And like you said, I, I can't deny it. Walker was damn good last year. You can't deny it. I mean you look at the numbers and he was great. They're, I as much as I don't want to believe in, I wanna envision that the 2021 Walker is what he is and forever will be. What he showed in 2022 was damn impressive. Speaker 2 00:29:17 Yeah, I mean there's no, I mean he was a number what, four starter number five starter for the Mets. I mean now he's got arguably just as good of an offense with him. He's got, he's basically in the same ballparks, right? Same division. So he knows the ballparks, he switches from having to base the Billy's offense to having to base the Matt's offense basically the same thing. So I like this move. I think there's value there for fantasy. Um, and there's a solid job bolstering a pitching staff that was clearly outclassed in the postseason last year. Speaker 1 00:29:54 Yep. AB so absolutely. And then two last things that Philly's here, I want you to touch on their uh, rule five pick that may have raised some eyebrows and then also the question to you that I'm gonna answer here as well, does Philly still need help? And if so, where do you think they look to go? To me at a quick look when I look at this team first glance maybe they look to boost the DH spot a little bit. Dark Hall is not horrible but I imagine you could get somebody a little bit better out there and then I think I might be cheating a little bit, but I think they're gonna want another bullpen arm or two. Um, but what's say you, well Speaker 2 00:30:30 So I would, I would actually hold off on DH because remember they have Bryce coming back mid-season, Speaker 1 00:30:34 Correct? Speaker 2 00:30:35 Right. So then you could stick either Bryce in the DH spot or Castanos in the DH bot and I think they're okay cuz Brandon Marsh is a decent enough defensive center fielder, um, to, to stick out there. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, but Noah's song was their Rule five pick. He was a Red Sox prospect and I loved him when he was coming outta college. Um, had all sorts of phenomenal stuff. He would've been a first round pick except for the fact that he went to the Naval Academy, which means he had to serve three or four years of a naval commitment in order to essentially pay back for his free education. Right? So that's all well and good thanks for your service and you know all that. But he still has time left to serve in the, in the Navy. So what makes it a very odd rule five pick is that the guy has to be on the 25 man roster for the entirety. Speaker 2 00:31:34 Sorry. Now 26 man roster for the entirety of the season. Otherwise you send him back to the team you drafted him from unless they get injured. Right? But you can't put the guy on the injured list because he is doing naval service. So like it's just a very weird pick unless there's some loophole they're aware of that no other baseball. Like I'm not the only one that feels this way. Like there are national writers that are like, well I don't know how this is gonna work. We're gonna have to find out if he gets out of the rest of his naval service or there's a loophole of some sort. He is a very interesting guy to watch, probably not for this year, but going forward. I mean he's got like number two starter stuff. Um, he's just gonna need innings cuz he hasn't pitched professionally in like three years. So it's just a weird, it was just a weird pick in, in my opinion. Speaker 1 00:32:25 Yep. And again, Harper does come back mid-season, you know, around there another backhand hurt. Uh, I still think a bullpen arm is gonna be one that they're gonna want to look at because as we've learned, you can never have enough bullpen arms to say the very least. Let's move to Atlanta acquired Sean Murphy and Joe Jimenez Himenez. I like to say it both ways, uh, via trade. Some of the trades that may have been a little bit interesting, notably the players, maybe more so that they they gave away than got, although I do love Sean Murphy. Um, so with everything that Atlanta's done this off season as well as in conjunction with what the Phillies have and what the Mets have done, do the Braves still win the division in 2023? Speaker 2 00:33:09 So it's hard to go against them given that they've won the division two years in a row now. Um, so I don't know. I mean it's hard to, I'm, I I still think they're basically dead even with the Mets. Um, I think the Mets have overarching firepower, but I think the Braves have, like that core group has been together for several years now. So they have chemistry and they can pick each other up and they can, you know, the, the, it's that intangible that that winning teams get where they just know each other and they gel and whatnot. So I'm still gonna lean with the Braves. Um, I trust Alex an anthropos to go out there and make some moves if they need stuff. I mean, remember the year that they won the World Series, he completely rebuilt their entire outfield at the trade deadline with moves that nobody really paid attention to. Um, so I, I would probably still give it to the Braves just because the core group that they have I think is overall all around better. Um, but the Mets, if they hold their lead cause they got off to a very hot start last year and then kind of collapsed down the stretch. If they hold their lead then you know, it's gonna be tough for Atlanta to catch 'em. But I have 'em neck and neck. Speaker 1 00:34:43 Yeah, this division's gonna be fun. And the the most interesting thing about it, despite Verlander, Sega Quintana, Nimo Turner, Taiwan Walker, all coming to this division, this division might not be done. The Mets might not be done. I don't think we can ever count the Mets out in terms of any free agent and the Phillies might not be done either. So that is going to be interesting. But there are two other teams in this division, Matt, as you were well aware. So let me ask this. What do you think of the Nats off season thus far in the couple of players that they got? And then also it seems like the Marlins, the only thing that they have done is basically assured John Birdie a chance to lead the league and stolen bases in 2023. Speaker 2 00:35:24 Yeah. Um, the Marlins, I don't think they've done anything, uh, which might give credence to why Derek Jeter walked away from the franchise. Um, and then Nats, I'll say this, look, it's, I know it's gonna be another probably two years before they're really ready to compete. Uh, I do like what they're doing. It's very fun to watch the rebuild. And by the way, beat writers, can we please focus on the, the players that are on the team and the young guys that are coming up rather than, oh whoa was us, we lost Bryce and, and Don and Soda and Turner and Scher and yeah, it was great while it lasted. Everybody's roster turns over. You don't see Yankees fans going, well what if we still had cheater and he didn't retire? Like, you know, let's focus on the guys we got, um, so that we can, you know, grow the fan base and whatnot. Speaker 2 00:36:14 But that being said, I think Trevor Williams is a, is a decent signing for an an ing zing back half of the rotation type guy. Um, Heimer Con Lao look, it's a one year prove it deal for third base, which has been a position that the Nats have needed to fill since Rendon walked out the door. Um, I think if you get the 2019, um, you know, a 2021 version of Heimer Cono, it's gonna be nice because for a couple of years there he was actually third, he was the third best third baseman in B War in baseball. Um, stone Garrett's interesting. I like the Rule five pickets head award. That guy's got a built these slider, fastball combination. Um, so they're, they're growing pieces. I don't mind it at all. I didn't expect huge sign like did I hope for Trey Turner? Sure. But in the middle of a sale, I didn't think they were gonna go out and spend like $300 million. Speaker 1 00:37:14 Yep. I didn't expect them to. At least not yet. Maybe in a, maybe in a couple off season. They're a little bit closer maybe. But this all season, Nope. Let's wrap it up with arguably, and I might be a little bit biased, but the most exciting division in baseball cuz I haven't had a chance to talk about 'em for a little bit, but, we'll, Speaker 2 00:37:32 How, how are your Pirates 14 first basement going? Just, Speaker 1 00:37:35 They got a plan. Okay, <laugh> listen, I'll, I'll I'll hit you with a real quote that can get clipped and it'll go everywhere and spread for just spread for fake news and lies and just false claims and everything like that. But we'll get to the Pirates at the end cuz you saved the best for last. But let's start with Milwaukee. Uh, they traded for Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro. Uh, they got William Contreras who I love and I love the in Lantis. So I feel like I now have to like 'em in Milwaukee and also got Javier from Tampa. So in a division where you now have a Cardinals team with a lot of offensive firepower and some good arms, the Cubs or whatever, and then the Pirates are in the division too. Did the brewers do enough or have they done enough thus far this off season? Speaker 2 00:38:20 Man, I don't, I can never get a read on the Brewers can you, like every year they just kind of hang there and then all of a sudden they're in, they're in competition for the lead in the NL Central. Like they almost won it last year and nobody can name like their third starter. Like, uh, look, I don't know. It seems to come down to what magician trick Craig council can pull in the dugout every single day. Um, I think they need to shore up a little bit more of their bats. I I'm not in love with their offense as a whole. Um, Christian Yellich has been terrible for three years now. Um, so I don't know. It's hard to look. They've got a group of players that they like, clearly they made the moves to like 'em and it, it always seems to work out for them. So who am I to doubt 'em? But man is this a weird grouping of players Speaker 1 00:39:18 I think, I think that's a great way to look at it. Cause you look at the team and Yellich fine. Winkers cool. I like Contreras a good bit and I'll be excited to see him in that role. And obviously Corbin Burns, Brandon Woodruff, Eric Lauer and Freddie Peralta and my guy Aaron Ashby are a decent pitching bunch. Devin Williams will be a popular closer in fantasy baseball drafts this season. But I mean, if we're looking right now at roster resource, I'm looking at their projected opening day roster. <laugh> for this eclectic bunch as you'd like to say. Sure. You got Yellich leading up. We're talking about Rowdy Tilles is your three hitter and then your bottom three hitters per this, assuming a righties on the mound is Garrett Mitchell, Tyrone Taylor and Bryce Turang. I mean, a weird team might be an understatement to be honest, Matt. Speaker 2 00:40:05 Right. But here's the thing, like can you discount them for finishing anything below second in this division? Speaker 1 00:40:11 Well they, they've, no, they've earned, they've had, they've had to have done enough to earn our trust in terms of how they continue to do this. Despite every, it seems like every off season it goes into, I don't know how they're gonna do it. They got some arms, I don't know what they're gonna make of it. The next thing you know at the end of the year we're in the same exact thing year in and year Speaker 2 00:40:28 Out. Right? Like if they win three games in late September, they win the division. Right? Like, but nobody can tell you how <laugh>, like, it's like watching the Saints and Falcons play. They score points but ain't nobody figuring out how they're putting up points. Speaker 1 00:40:44 They're to the fantasy football equivalent to this is almost like the, when the third string tight end scores that no one has on their team. It's just like, oh, Milwaukee does it again but we don't know how. Speaker 2 00:40:56 Yeah, like the giant choose Isaiah Hodgins to score the other day And I was like, I don't even know who that is. Yep. Speaker 1 00:41:02 Yeah, that's this team, this team is interesting. I think we're at the point of like, let's just slot them in at second or second, maybe worst third in the division and just not look at the stats ever. And Speaker 2 00:41:12 Just assume that, I tell you the Speaker 1 00:41:13 Staff carried them. Speaker 2 00:41:14 I can't tell you that they should finish worse than the second though because if you look at that roster, they're still better than the Cubs. They're better than the Pirates and they're better than the Reds. Speaker 1 00:41:24 Yep. Speaker 2 00:41:25 Yep. The only team, they're not better than definitively is the Cardinals. But like the Cardinals seem to like get out the gate slowly every year. So I don't know Speaker 1 00:41:34 <laugh>, well speaking, speaking of the Cardinals, Wilson Contreras was the, he was easily the top catcher on the market for me in the top five free agents series that you and I split amongst different positions. He was my number one guy, I was big on him last year. They obviously no more Yachty. So they got Wilson Contreras now behind the dish, which I do like. And now looking at this lineup, we're talking Contreras Goldschmidt and Anado in the heart of that order. I mean they, at I, again, it's hard to discount Milwaukee, but the Cardinals along with some of the arms that they have, assuming they can stay healthy and everything works out there, they seem like a runaway for the n l central. Speaker 2 00:42:11 I mean they had two of the, two of the NLM MVP finalists. Speaker 1 00:42:16 Yep. Speaker 2 00:42:17 In that like between Anado and Goldy, um, who was right there with Machado. So like it's hard to discount when you have that fire power. Um, and look, Cubs fans are gonna say, oh well co catchers over 30 get old. No, not, I mean not the great ones and Contreras is a different kind of catcher. Um, I don't really understand why the Cubs allowed him to walk in the first place. Speaker 1 00:42:45 Agreed. Speaker 2 00:42:45 Like I don't, I got the idea that they were, that they didn't wanna trade him at the deadline cuz they thought they could try to extend him. Okay. And then if you even want to go with the Rocky's logic of we're not gonna trade the guy because we can get better value at the comp pick than what we're going to get in the trade market. I don't know that that was gonna be true because it's Wilson Contreras. Um, but then to give, and we're, you know, the Cubs are next up, but like to give Cody Bellinger the same AAV for one year that the Cardinals are giving Wilson Uras for five years just seems like you're trying to avoid the long-term contracts. But like why? Because you signed say a Suzuki and now you're gonna waste his entire career with you cuz you have nobody else to put in the outfield or the lineup with him. You let Rizzo go, you let Scherer go, you let Bryant go. Like it's just a weird, there's a lot of weird stuff going on in the NL Central. Like the Cardinals definitively won the off season for this division and they didn't, all they did was sign one guy, like, you know, so yes, the Cardinals did enough, they can win the division. Speaker 1 00:43:57 Yeah. Cardinals are gonna win the division. When you look at the Cubs, I mean it's scary enough that Bellinger is likely gonna begin the year in a rather key spot in that lineup. Probably hitting fourth, fifth, somewhere in there. The only thing, when I look at this Cubs lineup right now, there's some pieces individually that I like, but the first thing I, when I look at this lineup, the first thing I think of is when we start putting out DFS content on the site, whomever the Cubs play, I'm expecting that pitcher to probably have a good bit of strikeouts and on prize picks, underdog, wherever you play, I'm probably gonna be taking a lot of pitching strike out over props against this Cubs lineup. That's the first thing that comes to mind when I see this team. Speaker 2 00:44:38 Yeah. I mean it is just not, it's just not great. Like Nico Horner is slated to be the lead off guy according again to roster resource, say Suzuki and the two hole Ian halfs pop. Okay great. But like he doesn't make contact with the ball every time. Cody Bellinger is a work in progress for four years now. Um, Christopher Morrell, okay, he had a good three week stretch. Um, Matt Mervi, hi, nice to meet you. <laugh> like combs, okay, he's solid enough catcher. He is not Wilson Contreras, but he's a serviceable starter. Alfonso Rivas got hot enough that he took over the starting job by default cuz the other guy was terrible and Nick mad. Uh, yeah, that's about all I can say about that guy. Speaker 1 00:45:36 <laugh>. Jeez. I mean it's gonna be rough. It's gonna Speaker 2 00:45:42 Be rough. Sorry comes fans, but like, and the bench isn't even much like Patrick Wisdom. Okay, he's got some pop great, but he also hit like 2 0 7, so he didn't even hit his weight last year. And then Zach McKinstry dude was a jack of all trades utility guy for the Dodgers. And so yeah, I, I don't expect a whole lot from him. So it's just a weird like their, their rotation, the top three in the rotation's pretty decent and Marcus Stroman and then they added Jamison tie on a four year deal and Kyle Hendrix. But like none of it screams. We have an ace it all screams, we have five dudes who can throw a baseball. Speaker 1 00:46:26 Yep. Yep. They're, they're almost operating at the, you know, like in college football you have, if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have one quarterback, it seems like they have like three s sp three s without an SP one or an s sp two. That's just what it seems like. And that may, that may even be a bit generous if I'm being, if I'm being honest. But let's move on to the team that's probably going to finish fourth, maybe fifth. Maybe third. Would Speaker 2 00:46:54 You be severely disappointed if your pirates didn't beat the Cubs? Speaker 1 00:47:01 I feel like I'd have to be, Speaker 2 00:47:03 I mean if you look at the, if you assuming that they keep Brian Reynolds, which they may trade, I don't Speaker 1 00:47:08 Correct. If they keep him, when you look at first glance at the lineup in the rotation, you can get behind what Pittsburgh has more than what Chicago has. Speaker 2 00:47:17 Yeah, I'm not quite too like, I don't think it's quite up to the brewers yet, but it's no like audio cruise, Brian Reynolds, gobrien Hayes. Now you've got 14 first basement with G Man Choi and Carlos Santana. Um, and then you've got some interesting guys behind that, like Rudolfo Castro, Cal Mitchell, um, whatnot. Miguel, Andrew Har apparently still in baseball. So that's good to know. Like there's some interesting, if the top three hitters in this lineup carry you, I think it'll be a third place team Speaker 1 00:47:55 I think. I think that's what's gonna have to happen. They do have some intriguing young prospects. I, I believe their best ones are in terms of offense, are their outfielders um, Swaggerty and I always say his name wrong. Mark Marko. Speaker 2 00:48:09 Oh yeah, Speaker 1 00:48:10 I'm not gonna try his first name. I always say it wrong, but those guys seem swaggerty at least interesting. Yeah. Two, two Zita, two Capita, Marko Speaker 2 00:48:18 Kaan Smith is a pretty, yeah, I'm not going for the second part of the Hyphenation, but Speaker 1 00:48:25 <laugh>. Yeah. But, and then when we look at Pittsburgh too, Vince Velasquez will be awesome for about three starts and then he'll be, Speaker 2 00:48:30 Yeah. Did you see that hype video on Twitter? Man, they, they were real high on signing. Speaker 1 00:48:35 Listen, nothing gets, nothing gets past this guy Matt, I saw right through that and I was like, what a fun three starts. It'll be cuz he'll either be dominant and get hurt or he is gonna get shellacked and get hurt and I'll at least make money on dfs profiting off Speaker 2 00:48:47 Him pitching Speaker 1 00:48:48 <laugh>. So either way I'm gonna be happy. So it's one of those things. And then Brewbaker and Wilson are just kind of guys that are able to throw a baseball. So their 4.7 plus eras can just hang out in the s sp four and s sp five and then same thing happens in the bullpen. David Bedner will be the closer and at once again, I said it last off se or last pre or during the season leading up to the deadline. Uh, prime Trade candidate again, they did Speaker 2 00:49:13 Move it last year, treated last year. We couldn't figure out why you wasn't. Speaker 1 00:49:16 I know. So maybe this is, maybe we, maybe we were just a year too early. That's what I'm kind of going with there. But yeah, Pittsburgh looks like a third or fourth team. I don't think they'll finish last in the division. For what it's worth, will it be the Cubs or the Red that Speaker 2 00:49:29 I don't know Of the Reds. Speaker 1 00:49:31 What'd you say? I Speaker 2 00:49:32 Think it's either the Cubs or the Reds. Speaker 1 00:49:35 I think it has to be, cause when you look at Cincinnati, Joey Vatos not getting any younger. Jonathan Indy is fine, but last year he was iffy with injuries and everything and that lineup, I mean they might even look worse than than Chicago. Now they do have a great home park that's gonna play him up, but this free or this off season. Kevin Newman, they brought in former Pittsburgh. Great. And then Nick soak both just high contact, don't really do anything else guys. Maybe fine defensively. It seems like they're just adding players at this point and basically going, yeah, the park will play 'em up and we'll get by and we'll do what we can. Um, but we have Hunter Green and Nick Lalo, so that'll be fun on days that they pitch. Speaker 2 00:50:12 Yeah, I mean, and Justin Dunn sneaks into the starting rotation I guess. Um, but yeah, it seems like they're going for warm bodies until their prospects start to start to come up. They do have Nov Marta in AA thanks to the, uh, Louise Castillo trade last year. Um, so he'll be, you know, a, a premier shortstop for them going forward. Eli de La Cruz is incredibly exciting at third base that guy's got pop for days and should be owned in every dynasty league on the planet. Um, you know, so you've got Michael Siani is a solid enough outfielder, not like a dominating bat, but certainly good enough to, uh, to have fantasy relevance. Brandon Williamson's an interesting pro starting prospect again from the Seattle trade. Um, so there, there's some, Levi Stout is a pretty interesting guy too that came from Seattle. Um, so there are some prospects. It just seems like they're trying to hold on, um, you know, to like Austin Henrick also guess there. So they they have an entire homegrown starting lineup coming of guys that can be pretty decent. Um, except, you know, at first or catcher really. But, um, yeah, it's, it's not great days in Cincinnati. Speaker 1 00:51:38 Yeah. What what's interesting to me, and I guess this is gonna be my final question before we wrap this up of the nationally divisions with the, the division that we've talked about to me as of right now, if I were have to say as of right now I know the order of how that division is going to finish, I think the one I'd be most confident in would be the central. Would you agree? Speaker 2 00:52:02 Um, Speaker 1 00:52:03 Because at least for the central, I can not, I can nail down the top two. Maybe in the West I can do the top three depending how you view the Dodgers compared to the Potteries and Giants. But that NL East, I, I don't know if I can the Speaker 2 00:52:15 East, that one's the hardest one because Speaker 1 00:52:17 By far Speaker 2 00:52:18 Whoever gets hot to start the year is probably gonna carry the division between the Phillies, the Braves and the Mets. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. The nationals may beat the Marlins. I don't know. The Marlins have a pretty decent pitching staff with like Sandy Al Qar and Pablo Lopez and um, whatnot. But yeah, I have no, no idea as to who's gonna finish the top three in the NL East, in the NL West. I'm reasonably confident that it would be like, I think the Giants are third place team. I think the, the Rockies are last, the Diamondbacks are fourth and then it's a toss up to me between the Padres and Dodgers, whoever can stay healthy and get the most outta their guys. Right. Um, with, I think the Padres having the lead for that right now. I'm with you though the NL Central to me, aside from who's probably a fourth or fifth place team, I think to me it's like, it's clearly the Cardinals at the top, then it's the brewers. Then I may put, I don't know man, I wanna put the cubs, but I kind of wanna put the pirates in third. Speaker 1 00:53:31 That's the right answer. Speaker 2 00:53:33 And then Cubs fourth and Red's fifth. Speaker 1 00:53:35 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:53:36 Like I think the reds are clearly last. And then for me it's between the Cubs and pirates as to who finishes third and fourth. Speaker 1 00:53:42 Yep. And I think a big part of that is leading up to the season. I think if Pittsburgh trades Brian Reynolds, I think we put the Cubs at three. Yes. And Pittsburgh at four. But if they keep Reynolds, maybe they can, they can sneak into the three. But that is gonna do, that's gonna do it for this episode as we broke down the NL East or the NL East, NL Central and NL West. So the entire state of the National League here in this off-season addition, we'll be back probably in a couple of days, break down the American League in a similar manner and talk about what teams have and have not done. But until then, make sure you give Matt a follow on Twitter at the Sales Man. I'm on Twitter at Colby Conway. And make sure [email protected], you're checking out all the great content. But most notably for this, the MLB Free Agent Tracker and other articles that might come up as key players sign. So once again, check out all of that [email protected]. Give Matt a follow on Twitter at the Sales man. I'm at Colby r Conway, and we'll see you here in a couple of days for the next edition of the Off Season Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Podcast.

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