To be the best, you have to beat the best. That’s a major philosophy that drives what I do in life, so I thought I should also apply that to my fantasy baseball portfolio. Just before the new year turned, I joined a “Beat Todd Zola” league that slow drafted over the course of roughly two weeks. With 15 teams, 50 rounds and no trades or drops during the season, this was certainly going to be a change from other drafts I had done before.
The uptick of fantasy baseball chatter on Twitter came suddenly with the end of the NFL regular season. Though it’s a year-round endeavor for so many of us, the excitement of the 2018 baseball season approaching is accentuated with us diving into the player pool and having kicked off our first few rounds of slow drafts.
I say it often, but if you’re a fantasy baseball enthusiast, do yourself a favor and enter one of these NFBC Draft Champions leagues. They’ll help scratch that itch despite very little familiarity of 2018 Average Draft Position (ADP) and so many players who have yet to be signed . The four-hour clock for each pick slows down the pace of the draft in a way where the actual draft becomes a very valuable research tool. You’ve got plenty of time to toggle between player stats each round and strategize how you want to build your squad. You’ll all the while inherently be building the much-needed confidence for your actual March drafts by participating in these slow drafts as you get a strong feel for the player pool, positional tiers and identify who the helium players are (those pushed up the draft boards because they are loved by all). You do have to make weekly moves, but there is no Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB, aka waivers).
Naturally, most people only talk about the headliners of the offseason trades (and with good reason). Giancarlo Stanton pairing up with Aaron Judge could threaten Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle for the greatest slugging duo in Yankees history. Dee Gordon adds a whole new dimension to an already potent Mariners lineup. However, the prospects who round out these deals are frequently just as intriguing. With that in mind, it’s time to investigate how the prospects traded to the Marlins in the past week will be affected by their change in scenery.
The Mariners made a major move to entice Shohei Ohtani to the Emerald City, acquiring Dee Gordon on Thursday from the rebuilding Marlins for three minor leaguers: right-handed pitchers Robert Dugger and Nick Neidert, and infielder Christopher Torres.
Since Seattle already deploys entrenched veteran Robinson Cano at second base, Gordon will move to center field.
Seattle, who also acquired Ryon Healy to play first base last month, now boasts a dangerous offense that’ll likely be topped by Gordon and Jean Segura, giving the M’s two of the better speed demons in the American League.