While some of you were getting your football fix over the Winter, baseball carried on with their normal routine. So, lets recap. The Chicago White Sox were a huge surprise this year at the Winter Meetings. In a measly 2 days, they managed to add 4 prospects in the MLB Top 50, per MLBPipeline.com. The prospects received includes: Yoan Moncada (#2), Lucas Giolito (#11), Michael Kopech (#16), and Reynaldo Lopez (#46). However, receiving those prospects came with a price. Chris Sale, one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, will be playing for Boston this year. Centerfielder, Adam Eaton, was next on the next to go. He is now the starting centerfielder for the Nationals, moving Trea Turner to short. The Sox also toyed with the idea of dumping Jose Quintana, Melky Cabrera, and Todd Frazier. Unfortunately, their fire sale only lasted those two days. Don't be surprised if Quintana, or first baseman Jose Abreu, only wear the Sox logo for half the season. Could you imagine if Chicago added even more to their already deep farm system? Clubs shouldn't worry about them this year though. Shaky starting pitching, virtually no catchers, and their best player, Todd Frazier, struck out 163 times last year. I would be surprised if they even won 68 games.
Notable Yahoo! Fantasy ADPs/My Position Rank:
1B Abreu 52.7; 13
3B/1B Frazier 69.9; 11(3B) 15(1B)
SS Anderson 214.7; 18
SP Quintana 101.4; 28
RP Robertson 130.5; 16
SP Rodon 194.9; 58
CWS 2017 Predication: 68-94
Turning to another team that has benefitted tremendously, prior to the 2017 season, is the Seattle Mariners. Unlike the Sox's two-day parade, the M's have successfully completed 13 trades since November of 2016. In that time span, they added key players to keep the team's momentum going in the right direction. 26-year-old infielder--Jean Segura, who is coming off the best season of his career, is now Seattle's every day shortstop. He is likely to slide into the leadoff spot, adding a much needed .319 career OBP at the top of that line-up. Starting pitcher Tijuana Walker was sent to Arizona in that deal. During mock drafts, Walker has been drafted between the 17th and 20th round. In my opinion, yes, he has a high ceiling, but not enough to be an efficient draft pick in the 17th or 18th round. Via Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, Starting pitchers currently being drafted after Walker (ADP 209.7) include: Jharel Cotton OAK (225.4), Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 2SP (230.3), Dan Straily MIA 2SP (245.5), and Jeremy Hellickson PHI 1SP (254.8). As for Segura, I have him being a player to go out on a limb on and draft early. He is eligible at 2B and SS, top-tier in hits, runs, doubles, batting average, on-base percentage, and stolen bases. If Segura has anywhere near the stats he put up last year, he could be a valuable asset to any team.
On the downfall, Seattle's outfield is looking a little rough. As it currently sits, newly acquired outfielder, Jarrod Dyson, is beginning Spring Training as the starting left fielder. Dyson, who is turning 33 this year, has been a career speedster off the bench, not logging more than 120 games, or 300 at bats, in a single season. Joining him is ex-Ranger, Leonys Martin, and rookie Mitch Haniger. Regardless, Seattle should be contenders this year with the combination of Segura, Seager, Cano, and Cruz. Not to mention, King Felix on the bump every 5th day, lefties Paxton and Smyly, and veterans Gallardo and Iwakuma. If this rotation can't seem to be productive, Seattle may have a hard time acquiring any decent starting pitcher via trade. Currently, the M's only have 2-top 100 prospects: Outfielders, Kyle Lewis (#29) and Tyler O'Neill (#36). With the new economy, those two may not be enough, or worth it, for Seattle to compete with other in the hunt teams.
Only time can tell with this team. Their playoff hopes may come down to their outfielder's production offensively and starting pitchers effectiveness.