MLB Hot Stove: Fantasy Fallout From Carlos Beltran & Mike Napoli Signings


The signings of Mike Napoli and Carlos Beltran made me want to spray the champagne. Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

This week will certainly be remembered as a highly active one in the world of baseball and in turn, fantasy baseball. So, it only makes sense that two players who were involved in 2013’s World Series would sign late in the day to cap it all off. One is staying, one is going.

Thanks to Mark Feinsand of New York Daily News and Mike Napoli himself for supplying that info.

So, as fantasy owners, what do we think about these moves?

  • Move 1: Mike Napoli returns to the Boston Red Sox

There’s not much to speculate on when we’re talking about someone staying in a place. I suppose a case could be made that Mike Napoli won’t have as many RBI opportunities in 2013 because of the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury, but I don’t really buy that. He seemed to really flourish in Boston the depth of the first base position is aided by him staying. If you don’t completely agree with me, look at what he’s done at Fenway Park throughout his career. [table id=140 /]

The averages may not look that great, but he’s only a .259 career hitter to begin with.

Napoli is a powerful right-handed hitter and his swing works perfectly for Fenway Park. Realistically, there’s no reason to think that he won’t have similar numbers in 2014.

The biggest impact I can think of doesn’t impact Napoli too much. No, I wrote earlier today that I felt the Seattle Mariners needed to add another bat around Robinson Cano to get the most value out of him. With Napoli off the market, that’s one fewer option.

  • Move 2: Carlos Beltran signing with the New York Yankees

When I first heard of this, my first thought was “good move.” Now that I’ve had a few moments to process it, my thought is “good move.” Now, earlier in the offseason, I listed the Yankees sixth in a list of seven possible destinations for Carlos Beltran. So, what changed?

  1. The Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, providing a lot more stability to their lineup.
  2. Ranking them sixth of seventh wasn’t necessarily a knock on the Yankees as much as it was thinking highly of the other teams on the list.

The truth is, I like this move a lot for Beltran. For starters, it’s a small sample, but I love what he’s done at Yankee Stadium. [table id=141 /]. No homers, but you have to love an OBP of over .500, I don’t care how small the sample size is.

Give Beltran somewhere between 60-80 games swinging at that short right-field porch, and he’ll hit plenty of home runs, too. He’s a switch-hitter, but will obviously be taking most of his at-bats from the left side. When you play at Yankee Stadium, this is a very good thing.

This should also help the value of really all of Beltran’s Yankee’s teammates, other than Brett Gardner. Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, Brian McCann, and Mark Teixeira now all have a proven good hitter around them for RBI and run production.

Additionally, this team had a big potential problem in being too left-hand dominant. Gardner, Ellsbury, and McCann are all lefties, as is Robinson Cano. Especially if they signed Cano back, I imagined opposing teams using left-handed specialists late in games to combat them and limiting the impact of what those guys can all do.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Now, in addition to the switch-hitting Teixeira, you have Beltran, another switch hitter who like Teixeira, is just as good from the right side as the left side, if not better.

Now, Gardner likely moves somewhere between the 6-9 spot, assuming he stays with the Yankees. This is not a good thing for him, as it’s not a great run producing spot, and he’s not the kind of guy who can generate many runs with his bat. It may help him steal more bases, as the concern for running into outs and taking the bat away from a good hitter won’t be there. But outside of that, his value takes a hit if he’s in pinstripes.

Unfortunately, there must be a casualty. But outside of that, the reality is that both of these moves are good things for potential fantasy owners.