After submitting the transaction piece late Thursday, Padres general manager A.J. Preller decided it wasn't enough and led the charge as baseball pulled off even more moves over the following 72 hours.
Justin Upton traded to the Padres: The Padres will have three new starting outfielders in 2015. All three will be right-handed, and none will be very good defenders. Whatever you do, do not do one of those things that overlays Uptonís home runs in 2014 with Petco dimensions because the atmosphere in Hotlanta is much different than the one found in San Diego. Itís not an ideal move for Upton in terms of park factors, but he has the power to hit 20-plus homers again even while playing half of his games there. I would just put his final total closer to 20 than I would 30 and hope he maximizes his road opportunities in Coors and Chase Fields.
Brandon Morrow signed by the Padres: Josh Johnson 2.0. Morrow has pitched in just 23 games over the past two seasons and has never eclipsed the 180 inning mark in his career. The strikeout rate was once enticing, but the overall package has been held back by injury. In an ideal world, the Padres convince Morrow to go to the bullpen where his stuff will play up and he could have value as a Wade Davis-lite. In the rotation, heíll make a few starts, get hurt, and then go back to the free agent pile to stay.
Alex Rios signed by the Royals: This guy...how do you get 521 plate appearances playing for Texas and only hit four home runs??!! After a very productive fantasy year in 2013, Rios fell off a cliff last year as he didn't hit for power and did not run nearly as much as he had the previous season. Skills-wise, he has been rather consistent, but the lack of power last year was alarming. He was never really a big home-run guy, but his ceiling in Kansas City will look more like 15/70/15/.270 and thatís a big step back from where he was producing just two seasons ago.
Corey Hart signed by the Pirates: Hart missed all of 2013 with injuries, and 2014 was not much better as he did quite poorly in Seattle (who would have thought?). Pre-injury, Hart hit 25 homers in three straight seasons but at 32, heís aging quickly and now doesn't get to rest at DH like he could last year. Heíll have to play the field, and he will have to find the natural fountain of youth in order to find his way back into fantasy relevancy in 2015. The new park he's headed to is not that fountain.
Joe Ross and a PTNBL (Trea Turner) traded to the Nationals: Both players are for keeper leagues. Ross is very highly thought of as a pitching prospect and Turner is a middle infielder with 80-grade speed on a 20-80 scale. Ross has the most experience in the minors of the two, and has just 20 innings above A-ball. Neither is likely to see the majors in 2015.
Steven Souza traded to the Rays: Souza is expected to slot into a corner outfield spot and hit where Wil Myers would have hit in the lineup. Souza does not have Myersís ceiling as a player, but hit .300/.396/.557 in Double-A and .350/.432/.590 in Triple-A for the Nationals. He has the potential to go 20/20 in a season, but the steals seem more likely than the homers. The trade boosts his fantasy value because he goes from a bench role in Washington to a starting role in Tampa Bay.
Wil Myers traded to the Padres: This is shocking on the surface, but it also shows you how fed up the Rays were with Myers lackadaisical approach to baseball. He was not coachable and did not take advice from the coaches or his peers. Myers was making the same mistakes in April as he was in September and the league figured out where the hole in his swing is early, while Myers believes heís just off with his timing. Myersí struggles are very evident when looking at how he hits fastballs. In 2013, he had a .344/.409/.589 line off heaters; he hit .256/.345/.372 against the pitch in 2014. Myers opens up early in his swing and thus struggles to cover the outer half of the plate effectively, and thatís where pitchers continue to neutralize his potent bat. The park switch is a slight downgrade, but Myersí biggest issues are still from the neck up.
Rene Rivera traded to the Rays: In this deal, the Rays acquired a much slimmer Jose Molina with a better bat. Rivera is one of the better pitch framers in the game and found some power last year in a part-time role with the Padres. He will be the primary catcher for the Rays, but he should not see more than 70 percent of the at-bats. Heís a cheap power source as a second catcher in mixed leagues, but he should have a good effect on the Rays' pitchers as well.
Ryan Hanigan traded to the Padres and then the Red Sox: Hanigan can take pitches and get on base Ė both things that will fit well in Boston. He just doesn't hit well nor does he run. Heís a safe second catcher in AL-only leagues, but thereís zero upside in him, Fenway or not.
Will Middlebrooks traded to the Padres: All of your right-handed power bats are going to belong to the Padres. In Middlebrooks, they get a guy that has hit 34 major league home runs, but who has also struck out 30 percent of the time he has come to the plate. Heís not even a serviceable defender and has had recent health problems that have stalled his development. Heís a very late-round power play in NL-only leagues where you hope the health is back and he hits enough home runs to justify his issues at the hot corner.
Jason Motte signs with the Cubs: He came back in 2014 after missing all of 2013 and worked in 29 games. The strikeout rate was half of what it was in 2014, and the walk rate was back where it was when he came up. He is a Wild Card play in NL-only leagues, but this is not 2012 any longer. Let someone else take the endgame risk, but if you have a reserve bench, he fits there.
Jimmy Rollins traded to the Dodgers: Just when we thought his fantasy value was circling the drain, Rollins had a very productive 2014 season hitting 17 home runs and stealing at least 20 bases for the fifth time in six seasons. At 36, his skills have hit a level of stability that comes with veterans, but he makes a ballpark switch to a less favorable situation where it may be tough for him to get over the 15 home run plateau again. He should still be very productive at a thin position in 2015 in a better lineup than what he had to deal with last year.
Nate Eovaldi traded to the Yankees: Yuck. This kid has electric stuff and one of the highest velocity fastballs of starting pitchers in the league. He also has issues facing lefties as they've hit .292/.350/.421 against him in his career and now he goes into a park where lefties can take a pitching wedge and hook a baseball for a home run. The division has its share of good lefty hitters that will be a challenge for him and the park switch makes him a riskier play than he was in the NL.
Garrett Jones traded to the Yankees: This move I like, if Jones can get the plate appearances. He has hit .268/.334/.482 against righties in his career and has the pop to take advantage of the short porch in right field. The problem is that he has no spot in the lineup with Mark Teixeira playing first base and Alex Rodriguez expected to be the full-time DH. Given the fact that both of those guys have had trouble staying healthy, Jones is a decent endgame power play while he waits for more playing time. Spend $1-2, get 10-12 homers, and profit.
Martin Prado traded to the Marlins: Prado did quite well for the Yankees after he was sent there, but the Yankees needed pitching and bench depth, and Prado's contract still had some value. He helps in four categories, and if he hits near the top of the Marlins' lineup, that will be an added bonus. He's played in over 140 games in each of the past three seasons and is a safe fantasy investment.
David Phelps traded to the Marlins: One would think Phelps would be thrilled to get out of Yankee Stadium, but 22 of his 35 home runs for the Yankees came when he pitched on the road. His strikeout rate was just below league average last season, but should see the NL bump this season. He's an intriguing NL-only endgame pick, but it's on strikeouts alone because the ratios suffer from his command issues and struggles with the long ball.
Matt Kemp traded to the Padres: In 2011, he fell a home run shy of joining the 40/40 club, but he has swiped single-digit bases each of the last three seasons. Kemp has hit more than 20 homers in four of the past five seasons, but the move down I-5 in California is going to put a slight dent into his production. After missing just four games from 2009-2011, Kemp has played in 150 games one time in the past three seasons. Health will be a bigger risk for Kemp in 2015 than the change in home ballpark. He will play as much as his body holds up this season, but his days of being a five-category stud are over.
Yasmani Grandal traded to the Dodgers: Grandal has struggled to hit for average since his big 2012 debut, but at least the power came back last season as he hit 15 home runs and 19 doubles as a very cheap catcher in most fantasy leagues. The power gains were offset by big drops in his ability to make contact as his strikeout rate declined 10 percentage points last year while his walk rate fell three percentage points. He might not split as much time with A.J. Ellis as he did Rene Rivera last year, but his fantasy value is not affected by this deal.
Casey McGehee traded to the Giants: The Giants have found what was left on the market to replace Pablo Sandoval, in spirit. McGehee's swing these days could fill the gaps at AT&T Park, but he's unlikely to reach the fences with even half of the regularity that The Panda did. McGehee could get a slight home run bump from some simple HR/FB regression as he had a very low rate last season, but he is still unlikely to reach 10 home runs.