2021 Fantasy Baseball Transaction Tracker

by Jonathan Chan
2021 Fantasy Baseball Transaction Tracker

We will be updating the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Transaction Tracker with all the trades and signings as teams continue to make moves.

The MLB offseason is in full swing as they look to forge ahead following their COVID shortened 2020 campaign.

Our Fantasy Baseball analysts go over the major moves and give their take on how it shakes the Fantasy landscape.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Transaction Tracker

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Marcell Ozuna re-signs with Braves on four-year deal

The Atlanta Braves reached an agreement with Marcell Ozuna that will keep “The Big Bear” in Atlanta through 2024 with a club option for 2025. The deal is for four years and $65 million guaranteed and includes a fifth-year club option that would bring the deal to $80 million.  The deal includes a fifth-year option at $16 million or a $1 million buyout.

The move gives the Atlanta Braves a powerful right-handed bat to help protect Freddie Freeman in the lineup. In 2020, Ozuna slashed .338/.431/.636 with 18 HRs, 56 RBIs, and 38 runs.

Last year, the Braves came within one game of reaching the World Series and now with the return of Ozuna, will return almost everyone from their explosive offense in 2020. With what should be an improved pitching staff, the Braves should be considered one of the favorites in the National League and maybe in all of baseball. Ozuna has a current ADP of 45.

- Trent Dickeson

Marwin Gonzalez inks deal with Red Sox

Marwin Gonzalez signed with the Red Sox on a one-year, $3 million contract. That may cause some players like Franchy Cordero and Enrique Hernandez to get less playing time with a platoon. Gonzalez is one of the better defensive players alongside Xander Bogaerts if the Red Sox want a defensive lineup. Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec are bad defensively but are likely going to be two of the Red Sox best hitters alongside Bogaerts, Alex Verdugo, and possibly JD Martinez if JD can bounce back.

Gonzalez has a good power profile, but since the trash can scandal his hard-hit rate has gone down, yet his K% has remained about the same. Gonzalez's exit velocity should be around 89 mph and he has a good launch angle, which is good for a Fenway Park platoon utility man. He could get around 400 at-bats if he stays healthy.

- Jason Croft

Andrew Benintendi traded to Royals in a three-team trade

Andrew Benintendi only has this year and next left on his contract. I doubt he resigns in Kansas City,  and I don't think the Royals have a shot at winning the AL Central until their top pitching prospects come up.

The best thing for the Royals is to hope Benintendi breaks out again so they can try to flip. Although he did have a bad injury,  I hope he can come back as he once was, but it is questionable.

I think the Mets won the trade. Khalil Lee could be decent outfield depth for the Mets. He has good speed and is a good defensive player that has little power and about an average hit tool. The Mets did not have to give up much for Lee, and he is a decent piece for them.

For the Red Sox, Josh Winckowski looks like organization depth that may be stuck in the minors. He could make the majors, but likely as a relief pitcher.

Franchy Cordero has an interesting batting profile. Cordero has a good launch angle with a career average EV over 91 mph. Cordero could hit a decent amount of dingers playing at Fenway if he gets the playing time.

Trevor Bauer signs with Los Angeles Dodgers for 3YR/$102 Million

Trevor Bauer announced on Friday via his YouTube channel that he would be returning to Los Angeles, where had previously been a standout in UCLA.

The deal is for three years and a total of $102 million. The reigning National League Cy Young winner will be paid $40 million in 2021, $45 million in 2022, and $17 million in 2023. The front-loaded contract includes a player opt-out after each of the next two seasons. Bauer will earn a 2021 salary higher than the entire Indians, Orioles, and Pirates major league rosters.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today had reported the night before that he had been in agreement with the New York Mets. In perhaps the greatest troll job in baseball history, Bauer made available for purchase a shirt on his website with his likeness and the text "Hello New York" in Mets blue and orange.

Last season, Bauer led the National League with a minuscule .159 opponents batting average against and a whopping 12.4 k/9, with a 0.79 WHIP and 1.73 ERA. In early 2021 drafts, Bauer is being selected as the fourth pitcher overall at an ADP of 15.

The primary losers in this transaction appear to be Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May. The two young pitchers are now on the outside looking in of the best rotation in baseball. Bauer figures to join Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and David Price in the rotation for the defending World Champions. The signing is a clear gut punch to their division rival Padres, who made their own bevy of moves this offseason.

- Jeff Trela

Nolan Arenado traded to St. Louis Cardinals for Prospects and Money

Fantasy Six Pack writer, Jason Croft, dug a little deeper into this trade.

Cleveland sign Eddie Rosario for 1yr/$8 million

The Cleveland Baseball team upgraded the team's biggest weakness by signing former Minnesota Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario to a one-year, $8 million deal, pending a physical.

The trade of superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor and the loss of first baseman Carlos Santana to the Kansas City Royals in free agency created an enormous hole in the middle of their lineup.

Rosario is a left-handed hitter who has posted an OPS+ of over 100 in five of his six seasons in Minnesota. Rosario, 29, has also been one of the game's steadiest power hitters in recent seasons. He has posted three straight seasons of 24+ homers from 2017-19 including a career-high of 32 dingers in 2019. Shockingly, Cleveland has not had an outfielder hit 24 homers in a season since Grady Sizemore in 2008.

Rosario, 29, played six seasons for the Twins before they declined to offer him a contract tender in December. He has feasted on Cleveland pitching to the tune of hitting .353 with an OPS over 1.000 at Progressive Field.

The former Twin provides a much-needed bat with a reliable 25-30 home run and .800 OPS offensive profile. ZiPS projects Eddie Rosario at a .277/.314/.488 slash with 28 home runs and 97 RBI in 2021. Rosario is a gigantic boost over the makeshift platoon of Jordan Luplow, Bradley Zimmer, Josh Naylor, and Jake Bauers in left field for the Cleveland Baseball Team this upcoming season.

- Dennis Sosic (@CALL_ME_SOS)

Cubs sign Joc Pederson to a 1YR/$7 million contract

After non-tendering outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora in December, the Cubs have made a move to address their outfield and add another left-handed bat to their lineup by bringing in former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. He comes on a one-year, $7 million deal, which includes up to $500,000 in performance bonuses and a reported mutual option for 2022. Pederson, a career .230/.336/.470 slash hitter, carries a similar offensive profile as Schwarber. Both are low average, power-hitting lefties who have historically struggled against similar-handed pitching.

Pederson has primarily served as a platoon-specialist against right-handed pitchers over the majority of his career in Los Angeles. He has not had more than 57 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers in a season since 2016, including only 10 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers in 2020. ESPN has reported that the Cubs plan to use Pederson as an everyday player in 2021.

If the Cubs plan to use Pederson in Schwarber’s role as their everyday left fielder in 2021, Pederson could come close to or even surpass his career-high of 514 plate appearances in 2019, when he had a career year, including swatting 36 home runs.

With an everyday role, Pederson could prove to be a good late-round source of home runs, with a boost in OBP leagues, and a relative value at his current NFBC ADP of 376.

However, in the event that the Cubs seem content on using Pederson in more of a platoon role or Pederson’s struggles against left-handed pitchers in a full-time role prove insurmountable, that could open up some more at-bats against left-handed pitchers for December signee Phillip Ervin, who compiled a fantastic .349/.411/.628 slash line over 95 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers in 2019.

- Matt Wiener

Blue Jays sign Marcus Semien for 1yr/$18 million

The Blue Jays are back it. After making a big splash signing George Springer, Toronto shored up their infield by bringing in Semien. Reports have said he will play at second base, likely moving Cavan Biggio to third.

With the move, they jays add another potential 25 home-run bat to their lineup. Over the last five seasons, Semien has 162 game averages of 25 homers, 79 RBI, 96 runs, and 14 steals. His home run numbers should bump up a bit as he'll get to move from the cavernous Oakland Coliseum to a much smaller ballpark either in Buffalo or Dunedin, wherever the Blue Jays will play their games this season.

The Jays lineup is now one of the most stacked in the league and should provide plenty of fireworks for everyone involved.

Yankees acquire Jameson Taillon for four Prospects

The Yankees have added yet another pitcher to their rotation to try and make a run for the title. The big thing to note here is it is another pitcher hoping to bounceback from an injury as he is trying to come back from his second Tommy John surgery.

Taillon was a big-time prospect as the No. 2 overall pick in 2010 but outside of 2018 never really put it together. That season he won 14 games with a very average Pittsburgh team.

The one thing to know about Taillon is he is not an elite strikeout pitcher. He does however have pretty good command walking around two per nine innings the last two seasons he has played.

Taillon in New York should be able to win plenty of games thanks to the offense. It will be interesting to see if he can work with a guy like Gerritt Cole and the pitching staff to improve his strikeouts. I'm not betting on it, but if he can he will be a very valuable fantasy pitcher.

The biggest concern now is moving to the AL, especially in the AL East with the ballparks, including his own now. He has been able to keep the HR/9 rate down in his career. But with those ballparks and offenses, I'm not sure that is something he can continue.

Blue Jays sign George Springer for 6yr/$150 million contract and Kirby Yates for 1yr/5.5 million

The Blue Jays finally got the stars they were looking for. After an entire offseason of hearing how close they were to signing D.J. LeMahieu and trading for Francisco Lindor, Toronto can finally celebrate.

Springer was signed to the richest contract in franchise history and will immediately make the Jays lineup one of the most dangerous in the American League. The top of their lineup now looks like this: Springer, Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The former-Astro will bring his veteran bat to a lineup filled to the brim with young talent. Springer slashed .265/.359/.540 last season and there's no reason to believe he can't repeat those numbers with the Blue Jays. Rogers Centre is a hitter-friendly park, so the 32-year-old should have no problem reaching 30 home runs for the third time in his career.

Yates should step right into the closer role for Toronto after last year's ninth-inning man, Ken Giles, underwent Tommy John surgery. The former-Padre was elite in 2019 and should be able to regain his form after a full offseason to recover from his injuries.

- Jonathan Chan (@jchan_811)

Corey Kluber signs for 1yr/$11 million with the Yankees

The two-time Cy Young winner (2014, 2017) has started just eight games over the last two seasons, including just one inning in 2020 after tearing his shoulder in his first and only start with the Texas Rangers.

Kluber has not looked like an elite starter since 2018 and is unlikely to reach those heights again. However, with the Yankees' powerful offense behind him, he could return a solid number of wins and strikeouts if he is able to stay healthy.

- Jonathan Chan (@jchan_811)

Mets acquire Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco

Another superstar on the move for another underwhelming return. Steve Cohen got his first big move as owner under his belt, acquiring Lindor and Carrasco for Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Josh Wolf, and Isaiah Greene.

New York adds one of the league's best shortstops to their lineup, another weapon around Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Michael Conforto. Lindor has 162-game averages of 29 home runs, 86 RBI, and 21 steals over his six seasons in Cleveland. His Gold Glove defense should also help the Mets pitchers perform at a slightly higher level. Lindor should have no problem reaching his career averages in a better lineup than the one he played in last season.

Carrasco was excellent in his comeback from Leukemia last season, posting a 2.91 ERA and 10.9 K/9 in 68 innings. Carasco will likely start the season as the No.2 starter behind Jacob deGrom and in front of Marcus Stroman. When Noah Syndergaard returns from Tommy John surgery he will become the No.2.

Carrasco should be able to maintain an ERA around 3.00 in the National League.

- Jonathan Chan (@jchan_811)

Nationals sign Kyle Schwarber to a 1yr/$10 million contract

After six seasons in Chicago, Kyle Schwarber has signed a one-year $10 million contract with the Washington Nationals. The power-hitting outfielder will be an everyday part of the Nats' lineup in left field, moving Juan Soto to right field.

Schwarber struggled in the shortened 2020 season, slashing .188/.308/.393 with 11 home runs and 24 RBI in 59 games. His .393 slugging percentage was by far the lowest of his career. Now part of a stronger lineup in Washington, Schwarber should not have a problem returning to a 30 home run threat with an average around .240.

Rotochamp is projecting Schwarber to hit second in the Nationals lineup, between Trea Turner and Soto. FanGraphs/RosterResource has Schwarber in the cleanup spot, behind the recently acquired Josh Bell. No matter the batting order, Schwarber will be an excellent Fantasy producer with a chance to match his career-year in 2019 when he hit 38 homers and drove in 92 runs.

- Jonathan Chan (@jchan_811)

Padres acquire Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Ha-Seong Kim

Padres have gone all in this offseason, trading for two aces in Darvish and Snell. The Padres are clearly in win-now mode, adding two top of the rotation arms to go along with their explosive offense. San Diego also acquired backup catcher Victor Caratini to fill the void left by the also traded Francisco Mejia.

Darvish may be past his prime but is still a solid pitcher and I expect will see better numbers in San Diego than he did last year in Chicago. The Cubs, who were looking to shed salary and start a rebuild, received the No. 9, 11, 12, and 13 prospects in the Padres farm system.

Snell saw a slight return to form after his disastrous 2019 season, where he finished with just 107 innings and a 4.29 ERA. Snell has Cy Young upside pitching in the National League, especially with the universal DH not planned for the upcoming season. Overall weaker offenses in the NL West should help Snell reach an ERA in the high 2's or low 3's as he looks to reach 180 innings for just the second time in his career.

To put the cherry on top of the cake the Padres also signed 25-year-old second baseman Ha-Seong Kim from the KBO. He has great fantasy sleeper value in a stacked Padres lineup. It may take him a few months to get familiar with Major League pitching since it is a step up from the KBO, but he should be a constant presence in a loaded lineup.

Jake Cronneworth, who was the runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year, will move to left field.

- Josh Mantel (@MantelJosh)

Nationals acquire Josh Bell from Pirates

With Bell being traded to the Nats, Juan Soto finally has protection in the order. This is something that the Nationals desperately in need of in the 2020 season.

Last year Washington ranked 21st in Homeruns and are hoping that Bell is the answer. Bell will boost the fantasy outputs of Soto & Trea Turner with both players averages and hits going up.  However, expect Bell to strikeout more in the much tougher NL East.

In the trade for Bell, Eddie Yean and Wil Crowe were traded to Pirates. Yean now becomes the Pirates seventh-best prospect. Expect him to be a mid-rotation starter by the middle to end of 2021.

- Josh Mantel (@MantelJosh)

Rangers Trade Lance Lynn to White Sox

Lynn has been excellent over the past two seasons with a 3.57 era and 335 strikeouts. He will be lead a Chicago rotation that also bolsters Lucas Giolito, Dallas Kuechel, and Micheal Kopech. Lynn will face stiffer competition this season moving into the AL Central. However, this will be the best offense that Lynn has had around him in a few years, so the run support will be there.

- Jon Witt (@JPW2542)

Angels acquire Raisel Iglesias from Reds

The Angels finally have a go-to guy in the 9th! Coming over from the Reds, Iglesias will be the closer this season for LA. He has an era under three (2.95) over the four-season as the reliever for the Reds with 292 strikeouts. He is a safe bet as a top-10 closer this season.

- Jon Witt (@JPW2542)

Carlos Santana Signs with the Royals for 2yr/$17.5 million

Santana joins the Royals on a two-year, $17.5 million contract. He struggled in the shortened 2020 season, batting just .199 over 60 games. Santana will most likely play first base, with Jorge Soler as the DH. The lineup around him is not as good as it was in Cleveland, but Santana is a good buy-low candidate for a bounce-back season.

- Jon Witt (@JPW2542)

David Dahl sign with Rangers for 1yr/2.7 million

A change of scenery may be for the best for Dahl. He was hampered by injuries in Colorado throughout his ten-year there. Dahl will start in CF for the Rangers, but his health concerns, and the fact that he is not hitting at Coors Field anymore, makes him more a late-round draft pick in your leagues.

- Jon Witt (@JPW2542)

New York Mets Sign James McCann (4yr/$40mil)

As the resident Mets fan, I just want to say thank you to Steve Cohen for purchasing this franchise.

At first glance, I thought the McCann signing was terrible when J.T. Realmuto is an option and our new owner has deep pockets and Robinson Cano's $20+ mil contract was voided.

But after doing more research on McCann, I think the Mets got it right!

Since the start of the 2019 MLB season, there are 17 catchers with 500+ plate appearances, according to FanGraphs. McCann ranks 3rd in wRC+, 3rd in AVG, 4th in wOBA and 5th in ISO.

- Keith Lott (@WeTlkFntsySprts)

Atlanta Braves sign Charlie Morton to 1yr/$15 million Contract

Morton is coming off a rough final season in Tampa Bay. The 37-year-old suffered a shoulder injury early in the year and finished with a 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in just nine starts. His ERA was his highest mark since 2015.

Getting out of the AL East should help the veteran bounce back as division opponents scored an average of 4.93 runs per game last season. His new NL East division foes averaged slightly fewer runs at 4.74. Fortunately for Morton, the Braves averaged the second most runs per game last season, and should help pad his win totals in 2021.

While Truist Park is a bit more hitter friendly than Tropicana field, a better supporting cast should even out any struggles Morton may have in Atlanta.

- Jonathan Chan (@jchan_811)

Adam Eaton sign with White Sox for 1yr/$7 Million

The White Sox opted to sign the veteran Eaton to complement their stable of young bats. It’s likely that Eaton will enter into a right-field platoon with Adam Engel, as the former hit a paltry .103 against lefties last season.

Eaton had a rough 2020 season, slashing just .226/.285/.384 with the Nationals. If he’s able to bounce back, Eaton should provide a solid on base percentage and run scoring at the top of the White Sox powerful lineup.

- Jonathan Chan (@jchan_811)

Make sure you bookmark our Fantasy Baseball category page to consume all of our 2021 MLB content in the coming weeks!

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