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Mariners Land Hernández From Blue Jays
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto was at the epicenter of the offseason’s first significant trade on Wednesday as Seattle acquired outfielder Teoscar Hernández from the Mariners for right-hander Erik Swanson and left-hander Adam Macko. Hernández possesses prodigious over-the-fence pop, which enables him to eclipse the 25-homer threshold annually, regardless of his home ballpark. He was limited to just 131 games last year in Toronto due to injuries, but still managed to wallop 25 round-trippers and also chipped in six stolen bases. The 30-year-old slugger, who is slated to become a free agent next offseason, should slot in as a reliable middle-of-the-order stabilizer for Seattle’s offensive nucleus as they look to make it back to the postseason. It’s a decent landing spot from a fantasy perspective as the top of the Mariners’ lineup, headlined by franchise cornerstone Julio Rodríguez, should provide Hernandez with plenty of run-producing opportunities. Fantasy managers shouldn’t expect a lengthy adjustment period or a decline in over-the-fence power from relocating to T-Mobile Park. He’ll conservatively slot in as a top-20 fantasy outfielder in drafts next spring and projects as a four-to-five category impact contributor moving forward.
Unwilling to sit back and relax, Dipoto wasn’t done wheeling and dealing following the Hernández deal as the club also finalized a trade on Thursday evening, shipping outfielder Kyle Lewis, the 11th overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft, to the Diamondbacks for versatile outfielder Cooper Hummel. The 27-year-old former top prospect was limited to just 18 games this past season due to omnipresent knee issues. He’s a potential corner outfield and designated hitter option for Arizona moving forward, but represents a reclamation project moving forward. Hummel struggled in a brief taste of the majors this past season with the Diamondbacks, but gives the Mariners some additional bench flexibility as a part-time reserve.
Angels Ink Anderson To Bolster Rotation
The Angels made arguably the biggest splash of the offseason shortly after Tuesday evening’s qualifying offer deadline, agreeing to a three-year, $39 million contract with free agent left-hander Tyler Anderson. The 32-year-old southpaw found an oasis in Los Angeles last year, finishing his Dodgers debut with a stellar 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 138/34 K/BB ratio across a career-high 178 2/3 innings (30 appearances, 28 starts). He opted to reject the Dodgers’ one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer in favor of a longer-term commitment and figures to provide the Angels’ starting rotation with some much-needed stability moving forward. He doesn’t miss a ton of bats, which amplifies the risk of some pullback from a run-prevention standpoint next season, especially as he adjusts to pitching in the American League for the first time in his career. However, Anderson boasts excellent control, and has also been extremely durable recently, making at least 28 starts in each of the past two seasons. He doesn’t possess a ton of fantasy upside at this stage of his career, but figures to remain a solid fantasy contributor for years to come. He should be a top-75 starting pitcher in fantasy drafts next spring.
Yankees Reunite With Rizzo
A certifiable defensive wizard at the cold corner, Anthony Rizzo possesses 30-homer offensive firepower, and an extensive track record as a proven playoff performer, which made it an easy decision for the Yankees to bring him back on a two-year, $40 million contract shortly after Tuesday’s qualifying offer deadline. The 33-year-old first baseman enjoyed a productive 2022 campaign in the middle of the Yankees’ formidable, slashing .224/.338/.480 with 77 runs scored, 32 homers, 75 RBI and six stolen bases in 548 plate appearances over 130 games. Yankee Stadium’s hitter-friendly dimensions should buoy his over-the-fence power production for at least the next few years, enabling Rizzo to continue producing as a top-15 fantasy first baseman, and a relevant corner infield option in shallow mixed leagues.
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MLB Quick Hits: The following MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospects were added to 40-man rosters ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to protect them from next month’s Rule 5 Draft: RHP Grayson Rodriguez (Orioles), SS’s Elly De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte (Reds), SS Marco Luciano (Giants), C Diego Cartaya, 2B Michael Busch and OF Andy Pages (Dodgers), RHP Taj Bradley and 3B Curtis Mead (Rays), SS Orelvis Martinez (Blue Jays), OF’s Brennen Davis and Kevin Alcantara (Cubs), RHP Owen White (Rangers), SS Ceddanne Rafaela (Red Sox) and C Endy Rodriguez (Pirates) … Joc Pederson accepted a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Giants for the 2023 season ... Martín Pérez accepted a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Rangers for the 2023 season ... Padres agreed to terms with free agent right-hander Nick Martinez on a three-year contract … Aaron Judge has been named the 2022 American League Most Valuable Player … Paul Goldschmidt has been named the 2022 National League Most Valuable Player … Justin Verlander has been named the 2022 American League Cy Young Award winner ... Sandy Alcantara has been named the 2022 National League Cy Young Award winner ... Shohei Ohtani will play for Team Japan this upcoming spring in the 2023 World Baseball Classic ... The Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball are expected to officially post outfielder Masataka Yoshida ... Bryce Harper will undergo surgery next week to repair a UCL tear in his right elbow … Marlins acquired SS Xavier Edwards and RHP JT Chargois from the Rays for RHP’s Santiago Suarez and Marcus Johnson ... Cubs acquired INF/OF Miles Mastrobuoni from the Rays for RHP Alfredo Zárraga ... Rockies acquired INF/OF Nolan Jones from the Guardians for SS Juan Brito ... Braves acquired RHP Dennis Santana from the Rangers for cash ... Diamondbacks acquired RHP Carlos Vargas from the Guardians for RHP Ross Carver ... Tigers acquired OF Steele Walker from the Giants for cash ... Giants acquired 2B Brett Wisely from the Giants for OF Tristan Peters ... Mets claimed RHP Stephen Ridings off waivers from the Yankees ... Athletics claimed OF Brent Rooker off waivers from the Royals … Diamondbacks designated SS Sergio Alcántara, OF Jordan Luplow, LHP Caleb Smith and OF Stone Garrett for assignment ... Braves designated OF Guillermo Heredia and RHP’s Jackson Stephens, Silvino Bracho and William Woods for assignment ... Red Sox designated RHP Jake Reed and OF Caleb Hamilton for assignment ... Reds designated OF Aristides Aquino and RHP’s Jared Solomon, Derek Law, Art Warren, Jeff Hoffman and Kyle Dowdy for assignment ... Guardians designated LHP’s Anthony Gose and Kirk McCarty for assignment ... Tigers designated RHP’s Kyle Funkhouser and Miguel Diaz, SS Brendon Davis and C Michael Papierski for assignment ... Royals designated LHP Jake Brentz and RHP Nathan Webb for assignment ... Angels designated LHP Rob Zastryzny and RHP’s Touch Toussaint and Nash Walters for assignment ... Marlins designated 1B Lewin Díaz, SS José Devers and RHP’s Elieser Hernandez, Nick Neidert and Jeff Brigham for assignment ... Pirates designated C Tyler Heineman, LHP Manny Bañuelos and RHP’s Jeremy Beasley, and Junior Fernández for assignment ... Giants designated LHP Jarlín García, C’s Meibrys Viloria and Dom Nuñez, 3B’s Jason Vosler and Colton Welker, RHP’s Sam Delaplane and Drew Strotman for assignment ... Rays designated LHP Ryan Yarbrough, RHP Navy Guerra and OF Bligh Madris for assignment ... Blue Jays designated OF’s Raimel Tapia and Bradley Zimmer for assignment ... Nationals designated RHP Tommy Romero for assignment … Cardinals selected the contracts of LHP Connor Thomas and OF Moises Gomez from Triple-A Memphis ... Brewers selected the contract of 1B Jon Singleton from Triple-A Nashville ... Athletics sent RHP Daulton Jefferies outright to Triple-A Las Vegas ... Tigers sent LHP Sean Guenther outright to Triple-A Toledo … Orioles sent C Mark Kolozsvary outright to Triple-A Norfolk … Nationals sent OF Yadiel Hernandez, RHP Jackson Tetreault and LHP Evan Lee outright to Triple-A Rochester ... Astros signed LHP Austin Davis to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training ... Nationals signed OF Derek Hill to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training ... White Sox signed LHP Nate Fisher to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training ... Cubs released OF Jason Heyward ... Nationals released LHP Seth Romero ... Royals released C Sebastian Rivero ... Blue Jays released LHP Foster Griffin.