Fantasy Baseball Offseason Tracker: Rangers add David Dahl, Nate Lowe to the lineup


The hot stove is heating up, but some of the biggest moves are still to come. We’re here to break down the Fantasy implications as they happen.

A surprise non-tender this offseason, David Dahl quickly finds a new home with a team that can sorely use another bat. Whether his will come through for the Rangers after another injury-plagued season with the Rockies is another matter. While it’s true he hit .302 with an .877 OPS in 2019, much of the credit goes to the BABIP-boosting effects of Coors Field, especially when you consider he’s not a particularly disciplined hitter. And while it’s possible all the injuries have prevented him from meeting his full potential, his age-27 season might represent his last hope to make good on it. —Scott White

Nate Lowe traded to Rangers

Despite an impressive minor-league track record and some steady buzz over the past couple years, Lowe has had trouble breaking into an overcrowded Rays lineup and didn’t even make an appearance during their 2020 AL championship season. This deal liberates him by putting him on a team that could desperately use him, and while an excessive strikeout rate has defined his limited time in the majors so far, the opposite has been for him true in the minors, where he has hit .313 with a .418 on-base percentage and .962 OPS since the start of 2018. Expect him to get some late-round looks. —Scott White

Eaton is back where he had the best stretch of his career, joining a burgeoning lineup that happened to have a gaping hole in right field last year, and given his on-base skills, it’s possible he plays a table-setter role for big bats like Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. It’s about as good a destination as you could hope for if you’re banking on a bounce-back season for Eaton. The 32-year-old had his own poor showing in 2020, but the White Sox are counting on the track record over the much smaller, albeit more recent, sample. —Scott White

After hitting just .199 in 2020 and then having his option year declined by the Indians, Santana faced an uncertain future in which he might have to scrape and claw for at-bats as a 34-year-old with a limited defensive profile. But by inking him to a two-year, $17.5 million deal, the Royals showed they’re committed to having him in their lineup, which is the way it should be. He still knows how to get on base, actually leading the majors in walks this year, and had his usual expected stats on Statcast, suggesting he may have just been off to a slow start in the shortened season. —Scott White

The Giants never did settle on a closer in 2020, which is kind of manager Gabe Kapler’s MO, but there may be a new clubhouse leader now that Wisler has signed on. A surprise non-tender for the Twins this offseason, Wisler finally figured out what works for him after failing as a pitching prospect years ago: sliders, sliders and more sliders. He threw the pitch a whopping 83 percent of the time, which made him difficult to square up, and while he may have benefited from some good home run luck, the Giants’ park should help with that. —Scott White

The first bombshell trade of the offseason brought the White Sox another front-line starter and the Rangers a cost-controlled pitcher who has already tasted some success in the majors. Both players benefit from the deal, as Scott White explains here, given that Lynn’s penchant for going seven-plus was wasted on a bad Rangers lineup and Dunning’s pitch selection got worse under the tutelage of then-pitching coach Don Cooper.

The Angels finally seemed to settle on Mike Mayers as their closer late in 2020, and he seemed like a reasonable choice for 2021 as well given his 2.10 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 12.9 K/9. But with Iglesias, they can stop wondering and just plug in a guy who has led his team in saves four years in a row. Of course, it creates an opening at the back end of the Reds bullpen, but they have a couple worthy contenders in Lucas Sims (2.45 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 11.9 K/9) and Amir Garrett (2.45, 0.93, 12.8). Since the former is right-handed and the latter left-handed, a committee is possible, at least to start out. —Scott White

With Andrelton Simmons expected to depart via free agency, the Angels had an opening at shortstop that they could have filled with utility player David Fletcher, but acquiring Iglesias allows them to keep Fletcher versatile and adds to their stable of contact-first hitters. Iglesias isn’t some up-and-comer, though, and the prospect of the career .278 hitter batting anywhere close to .373 over a full-length season is low. His limited power/speed profile makes him a better fit for deeper Fantasy leagues. —Scott White

Signing with the Royals keeps Minor a starter for now after his role was thrown into doubt at the end of 2020, but it may be short-lived if Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch follow in the footsteps of Brady Singer and Kris Bubic and ascend to the majors this year. Minor’s one full year as a reliever came with the Royals in 2017 and was an unmitigated success, and while he did follow it up with two decent years as a starter, his velocity decline in 2020 may have stamped out that path for him. —Scott White

Sure, $15 million may seem like too much dough for a guy who put up the numbers Morton did in 2020, but the Braves have a good track record with these one-year reclamation deals (see Josh Donaldson, Marcell Ozuna). And besides, Morton appeared to find his form again after an IL stint for a sore shoulder, not only regaining a mile per on his fastball but also delivering a 3.48 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 10.5 K/9 in nine starts between the regular and postseason. The 37-year-old’s best may be behind him, but he apparently still has something left. —Scott White

Brace yourself for a tidal wave of sleeper takes now that Smyly in line to be a starter again, with the Braves striking early this offseason to end the suspense. The injury-prone lefty added almost 3 mph to his entire arsenal in his second year back from Tommy John surgery and developed a penchant for missing bats as a result. His 14.4 K/9 rate that would have ranked first among qualifiers, ahead of Shane Bieber. His outings were short and his season once again truncated by injury, but his newfound skills are enticing if he can sustain them. —Scott White


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