To start the flurry of moves that happened on Monday, Matt Olson was traded to the Braves for outfielder Christian Pache, catcher Shea Langeliers, and a pair of minor league pitchers. Along with being a chance of scenery for Olson, it also ends the tenure of Freddie Freeman as an Atlanta Brave as this very likely means he's signing elsewhere. For Olson, he's moving to not only a much better lineup but he's also heading to a significantly better hitters park for lefties where he'll be able to take advantage of the short right field porch in Atlanta. Olson homered a career high 39 times last season over 156 games, and also posted a career best average (.271), OBP .371, and wRC+ (146). Olson posted career high batted ball statistics across the board as well and putting him right in the middle of some combination of Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, Marcell Ozuna, and Austin Riley is an enormous upgrade from what was left in Oakland. We're going to see a rise in his ADP over the next month, as this is one of the best landing spots he could have found himself in.
Jesse Winker joins a crowded Seattle outfield after being dealt from the Reds to the Mariners Monday afternoon. Winker is coming off a breakout 2021 season where he hit .305 with a 148 wRC_ and 24 homers over just 110 games as he dealt with a handful of injuries. This is the season straight season for Winker with this pacing, as he posted a 143 wRC+ in 2020 with 13 homers in just 54 games. Winker however is heading to a significantly worse home park to hit in as he leaves the Great American Ballpark. The playing time breakdown for the Mariners will also be something we need to see as he'll be in the lineup everyday against righties, but could get some time off from time to time against left handed pitching. I'm not sure I'm looking at Winker any differently right now as the pros of the lineup surrounding him line up counter the ballpark and playing time concerns I have for him now.
Eugenio Suarez has also joined Winker in Seattle and will slot in as the everyday third baseman to replace franchise stalwart Kyle Seager. Suarez's 2021 was awful no matter what way you want to cut it, traditional or analytically. Tradition stats he hit 31 homers but was a complete drain in the batting average and OBP categories, and he posted a sub-40% hard hit rate for the first time since 2017. Like Winker, he's also going to be a victim of moving to a much worse hitters ballpark. One perk though is Suarez won't be needing to worry about shortstop at all as the Reds had him shifting back and forth last year. Only worrying about third should help him, but two straight years of declining metrics is something to watch at this point.
Andrew McCutchen signed with the Brewers and likely will get time in all three outfield spots and work as the DH a bit because he joins a very crowded outfield in Milwaukee. The Brewers have Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Hunter Renfroe that are there primary outfielders but the DH coming to the league does give the team some wiggle room to find ABs for players. McCutchen hit 27 homers last season but he was primarily a lefty-killer with a .293/.405/.622 slash line against them. He's not someone I'm worrying about drafting at this point unless we get some new info as to how he'll be played, but with his ability to hit lefties he should be a DFS option if he's in the lineup against them.
Clint Frazier is likely going to be one of a handful of players for the Cubs that will get to work at DH. I'm very intrigued by Frazier this year as he's going to have a much clearer path to playing time for the Cubs, and he's now away from the New York spotlight that some players just do not mesh with. Frazier with a lot of vision issues that season that limited his playing time, but his last regular playing time stretch came in 2020 where we saw him hit .267 with eight homers in 39 games. He posted slightly above average batted ball stats but excels at drawing walks and that was something he even did in his sporadic 2201 season. I'll be stashing Frazier late in every draft this year due to the playing time and hopefully clear head that comes with the change of scenery.
Justin Dunn was one of the pieces sent to Cincinnati for Winker and Suarez and despite his slow start to the spring following his shoulder injury last year, he's going to be given a chance to win a rotation spot with the team as they have a few spots open. Sonny Gray's trade has already opened one spot and it'd be shocking if the Reds didn't strip the team down even more than they have. Dunn showed some flashes with the Mariners last year with a 3.75 ERA over 11 starts while notching almost a strikeout per inning. Walks though have been troubling for Dunn as he's posted walk rates of 15.7% and 13.3% over the last two seasons. It's just a situation to monitor at this point as the Reds are desperately going to need people who eats innings and keep rotation spots warm for Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene.
Kyle Lewis isn't expected to be ready for Opening Day according to Jerry Dipoto. Lewis has been dealing with knee injuries throughout his professional career and that's put a damper on his upside since being drafted highly from Mercer. Lewis still hasn't been cleared for full workouts according to the team and he's going to be slow rolled after he missed the last four months of 2021. Lewis though is starting to get buried on the depth chart among Seattle outfielders and that's before you even factor in Julio Rodriguez likely making his debut at some point this year.
Ronald Acuña Jr won't play the outfield until at least late May according to the team. The DH coming to the National League gives the Braves flexibility with getting Acuña back in the lineup because in Ronnie's words he's "95% back." He also said that if it was up to him he'd be in the lineup opening day but the team has said that they are targeting an early May return for him. The team obviously knows how important Acuña is to the Braves and are going to ease him back in the smart weight to avoid any setbacks.
Jose Barrero should have a clearer path to playing time with the Reds following the trade of Eugenio Suarez. Barrero appeared in 23 games f or the Red last year and hit .200. Barrero brings a nice blend of power and speed as he hit 13 homers and swiped eight bags in AAA last year to go along with six homers and eight steals in AA. He also homered in the futures game. His defense will be something that will allow him to stick around for the Reds, especially since everyone is getting dealt, and now he's going to be able to focus solely on shortstop as there were talks of playing him in centerfield. He's worth a dart throw late in leagues now that there's a path to playing time.
Zac Gallen dealt with some offseason shoulder issues that could put his availability in doubt for the season of the season. Gallen underwent his own MRI in the offseason since there was no contact with the team or team doctors, and that's where the inflammation was revealed. Gallen's 2021 was a mess with a fractured forearm that was then following by and elbow strain and hamstring strain, so starting 2022 with shoulder issues isn't a great look. I'm very intrigued to see the Diamondbacks pitchers now that former Astros' pitching coach Brett Strom is in the mix, but this is a less than ideal start for possibly the most exciting one.
Fernando Tatis Jr is dealing with a fractured wrist and he's going to miss a significant chunk of the season. Tatis is reportedly undecided on whether he will have surgery on the issue or not. It sounds like the issue was something that could have happened during one of Tatis Jr's multiple motorcycle "wrecks" this offseason and it wasn't something that caused him issues until it was time to get ramped up for the start of the season. While Tatis is irreplaceable, the Padres might be the team most equipped to fill in for him in the meantime. Ha-Seong Kim will most likely be the primary replacement for him but Jake Cronenworth could also fill in if needed.
Mookie Betts has no limitations heading into the season after having a hip issue that bothered him at the end of last season. Betts decided against surgery on the bone spurs and it appears that the issue has resolved itself enough without going under the knife. Betts had a disappointing 2021 for Mookie Betts standards last season with a .264 average and 23 homers to go with 10 stolen bases. His spot in the lineup with be interesting with Trea Turner in the mix for a full season as we could see Betts slide down a spot or two and get into a more prime RBI production spot. I'd expect that we start seeing the stolen bases trickle down as he gets older but there's no reason to think he can't get back to his usual levels around .280 with 30 homers.
Seiya Suzuki is closing in on a deal and it's expected that he'll be signed over the next few days, There was a rumor that he's going to sign with the Padres but that deal was then decided to not be finalized. The rumor now is that there are 5-6 teams in the mix and Jon Heyman says that in addition to the Padres, the Dodgers, Red Sox, Giants, Mariners, and Cubs are vying for his services.
Aaron Ashby is going to be stretched out as a starter for the Brewers which is the best possible news for early drafters who have pushed his ADP up with this hope in mind. Throwing out the last dud of an outing against the Dodgers, Ashby had a 2.08 ERA over 17.1 innings and allowed just four runs while nothing 25 strikeouts. The Brewers rotation probably has the betting odds of being the best rotation in baseball with Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta anchoring it and Ashby has a shot to be an extremely solid four or five. I'm drafting him in every league that I can assuming the ADP doesn't rise much higher.
Jonathan India is going to hit leadoff for the Reds this year according to the team. India won Rookie of the Year primarily hitting out of the leadoff spot where we saw him go .269/.376/459 with 21 homers and 12 stolen bases. India's batted ball metrics aren't going to blow you away but he's extremely selective at the plate and that helps benefit him despite below average hard-hit data. India is typically only swinging at hittable pitches so his exit velos, while low at times, are usually at least on hittable pitches. He owns a 72nd percentile max-exit velo so the power is in there, and if he can get a little more consistent with the hard contact he could really take off.
AJ Puk is going to get a shot to start for the A's this year. The A's have already traded Chris Bassitt to the Mets and there are rumors circulating between around Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea as well. Puk's been primarily a reliever in the majors as he's dealt with a handful of arm injuries and has just never gotten a shot at an extended run of starting.