PT TODAY: Betances crosses town, signs with the Mets

Team-by-team playing time allocation charts can be found in our Teamview pages.

National League | American League
 
Mets | Dellin Betances agrees with Mets
Free-agent RHP Dellin Betances agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Mets Tuesday, Dec. 24. The deal includes a player option for 2021 and a vesting option for 2022. Financial terms weren't disclosed.   Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: After an injury riddled 2019 limited Betances to one September outing, in which he injured his Achilles, Betances will switch boroughs and leagues. If healthy, Betances can be an impact reliever capable of going multiple innings or closing. In 2018, for example, he compiled a 207 BPV on the strength of an xERA of 2.18, a K% of 42 (115 strikeouts in 67 innings), and a Cmd of 4.4. Betances’ role with the Mets will depend not only on a return to health, but also on whether Edwin Diaz can rebound and on how Carlos Beltran decides to use Seth Lugo, who was the Mets’ primary closer down the stretch.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Med
Betances, Dellin        
 

 
Diamondbacks | Kole Calhoun agrees with D-Backs
Free-agent OF Kole Calhoun agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, Dec. 24. The deal includes a $9 million club option in 2022.   Source: FOXSports.com - Jon Paul Morosi
 
BHQ take: A superb defender, Calhoun takes over ARI’s RF spot from the now-departed (to Japan) Adam Jones. He was one of the primary beneficiaries of the 2019 rabbit ball, posting his first 30+ HR (career-best 132 PX) year after averaging just 19 HR over the previous three seasons. Calhoun also notched a 4th consecutive double-digit bb%, though a 71% ct% was part of an ongoing deterioration—and a .232 BA looks less than helpful going forward. His trade of Angel Stadium—suddenly a HR park over the past couple of seasons—for Chase Field doesn’t look like a plus. Loaded OF depth made it easy for the Angels to let Calhoun go to free agency; his vacated RF AB project to be taken over by utility David Fletcher, Brian Goodwin and onrushing prospect Jo Adell.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: High
Calhoun, Kole        
 

 
Marlins | Francisco Cervelli joins Miami
Free-agent C Francisco Cervelli agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins Monday, Dec. 23, worth $2 million, according to a source.   Source: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
 
BHQ take: At one time in 2019, there were reports that Cervelli was either going to stop catching and/or retire. Neither has come to pass, and now it appears Miami is planning to have him back-up and mentor Jorge Alfaro, the Marlins’ starting catcher in 2019. Cervelli has spent time on the IL with concussions in each of the last four seasons, so it’s unlikely he will be much more than a part-timer. That said, as recently as 2018, Cervelli had 12 homers in 332 at bats, and returned $7 in standard rotisserie leagues. His presence will likely give the Marlins a decent alternative to Alfaro, meaning Alfaro may not match the 431 at bats he had in 2019 this coming season.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Low
Alfaro, Jorge        
Cervelli, Francisco        
 

 
Padres | Ian Kinsler retires
San Diego Padres INF Ian Kinsler has decided to retire from professional baseball and will remain with the Padres in a front office role.   Source: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
 
BHQ take: Despite signing a two-year deal at the beginning of 2019, this doesn't a surprise for the 37-year-old Kinsler following a woeful .646 OPS with dramatically declining peripherals. Recently-acquired Jurickson Profar is currently pegged as SD's 2020 starting 2B, with Greg Garcia, Ty France and Jake Cronenworth as backup / depth.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: Low
Kinsler, Ian M        
 

 
Brewers | Justin Smoak signs with Brewers
Free-agent 1B Justin Smoak agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, Dec. 19. The deal includes a club option for 2021.   Source: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
 
BHQ take: Smoak seems likely to split time at 1B with OF/1B Ryan Braun. Despite being a switch-hitter, Smoak displays extreme platoon splits, continuing his career-long struggle vs. LHP. Though his PX slipped dramatically in 2019, his underlying xPX suggests a potential power rebound. He remains a contact-challenged power source likely to be available for a modest investment.   —Tom Kephart
 
Impact: High
Smoak, Justin        
Braun, Ryan J        
 

 
 
 
American League | National League
 
White Sox | Edwin Encarnacion signs with White Sox
Free-agent 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with the Chicago White Sox Wednesday, Dec. 25. The deal includes a $12 million club option for 2021.   Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: Going back to 2012, Encarnacion has smacked at least 32 HR to go with at least 86 RBI, a 132 xPX and an 18% hr/f (he's averaged 37 homers and 106 RBI during that time). Those 86 RBI came in an injury-riddled second half of 2019 in which he had 418 AB. For his career, he has a .263 BA and an .851 OPS. While he's very steady, he's also 37 years old, so there's an increased risk with acquiring him. He'll mostly be a DH for Chicago in 2020, but he should see some action at 1B as well spelling Jose Abreu.   —Rick Green
 
Impact: Med
Encarnacion, Edwin        
 

 
Indians | Cesar Hernandez to join Indians
Free-agent INF Cesar Hernandez agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians Monday, Dec. 23, worth $6.25 million, according to sources.   Source: ESPN - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: Hernandez fills the 2B hole created when CLE non-tendered previous 2B Jason Kipnis, now a free agent. Hernandez offers the possibility of both improved production and a defensive upgrade for CLE. Hernandez's 2019 was a mixed bag, both statistically and in metric terms. He posted career high xBA, HctX and ct% in 2019. On the downside, his bb% slipped dramatically, from a career best 13% in 2018 to tied for a career worst 7% in 2019. His speed faded noticeably for a second straight season, as his formerly elite wheels now register as merely above-average.   —Tom Kephart
 
Impact: High
Hernandez, Cesar        
 

 
Blue Jays | Toronto signs Hyun-Jin Ryu
The Toronto Blue Jays signed free agent LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year, $80 million contract on Sunday, Dec. 22, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.  Source: MLB Network - Jon Heyman
 
BHQ take: The makeover of the TOR starting rotation continues, with Ryu's skills and contract putting him ahead of recent acquisitions Tanner Roark and Chase Anderson. Ryu's 186 IP in 2019 were his highest since his rookie season of 2013, and annual trips to the IL since (including shoulder issues/surgery limiting him to five IP in 2015-16) have firmly entrenched his F Health grade. That said, 2019 was his most successful season, with a 50% GB% doing its job to limit HR (0.8 hr/9), and his strong control (1.2 Ctl) keeping the base paths clear. These multiple reinforcements to the Blue Jay rotation indicate that 2019 fill-in starters Jacob Waguespack (13 starts) and Sean Reid-Foley (12 starts) should see most of their usage in 2020 at AAA-Buffalo unless injuries strike.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Med
Ryu, Hyun-Jin        
Waguespack, Jacob        
Reid-Foley, Sean        
 

 
Blue Jays | Travis Shaw joining Toronto
Free-agent INF Travis Shaw agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, Dec. 22, worth $4 million, according to a source. He could make an additional $675,000 with incentives.   Source: MLB Network - Jon Paul Morosi
 
BHQ take: The LH-batting Shaw is essentially a replacement for Justin Smoak, who recently signed with MIL for a similar salary. The rebuilding Jays get a player that is three years younger in Shaw, with more positional flexibility (3B eligible in 2020, with a handful of games played at 2B and OF during his career), but one with questions about a similarly disappointing 2019. The effects of Shaw's May wrist strain seemed to linger until July-August, when he finally seemed to recover in the minors, but a 3-for-30 September as a major-league callup made him expendable in MIL. However, he held an above-average career HctX through 2018, and if a fully-healed wrist allows that hard contact to rebound in 2020, he should see regular and productive AB in Toronto at 1B/DH, with possibly some cameo appearances at 2B/3B.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Med
Shaw, Travis        
 

 
White Sox | Dallas Keuchel to join White Sox
Free-agent LHP Dallas Keuchel has agreed to a three-year, $55.5 million deal with the Chicago White Sox Saturday, Dec. 21, according to sources.  Source: ESPN.com
 
BHQ take: The White Sox changed the look of their rotation before the holidays. Chicago added Keuchel, who will slot in at the top of the rotation, and Gonzalez, who fills a need at the back-end of the rotation. Keuchel posted back-to-back xERAs of 4.02 and 4.04 the last two seasons while his ERA was 3.74 and 3.75, and BPVs of 84 and 85. While he's a heavy GB pitcher, the move to the South Side will most likely mean those ERAs will surpass the 4 mark, leaving those Cy Young glory days of a 2.48 ERA in the past. Gonzalez, meanwhile, is coming off a season in which he posted a 4.61 xERA and 78 strikeouts in 87 IP. He's another SP that relies on the GB, but looks like an endgamer at this point.  —Rick Green
 
Impact: Med
Gonzalez, Gio        
Keuchel, Dallas        
 

 
Tigers | C.J. Cron joining Tigers
Free-agent 1B C.J. Cron agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers Saturday, Dec. 21, worth $6.1 million, according to sources.   Source: Detroit Free Press - Anthony Fenech
 
BHQ take: Cron provides power to a production-starved DET lineup. He was non-tendered by MIN after producing 25 HR in 2019, giving him 55 HR the past two seasons as he smashed 30 HR for Tampa Bay in 2018. Brandon Dixon, DET's primary 1B during second half of 2019, was DFA to accommodate Cron's signing. Dixon out-performed several other relatively inexperienced players for DET in 2019, though as a 28-year-old non-prospect, Dixon was the player removed from DET's 40-man roster. Dixon's subpar plate skills, resulting in a lowly .281 OBP, undermined his above-average power and speed.   —Tom Kephart
 
Impact: High
Dixon, Brandon        
Cron, C.J.        
 

 
Tigers | Detroit adding Jonathan Schoop
Free-agent INF Jonathan Schoop agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers Saturday, Dec. 21, worth $6.1 million, according to sources.   Source: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
 
BHQ take: Schoop provides middle infield power for a DET lineup which was production-starved in 2019. Schoop's production rebounded from a career worst 2018, though not enough to match his 2017 production despite registering similar power skills, as his HctX and xBA ranked between his 2017 career bests and his 2018 down year.   —Tom Kephart
 
Impact: High
Schoop, Jonathan        
 

 
Angels | Julio Teheran details
Updating a previous story, Los Angeles Angels SP Julio Teheran signed a one-year, $9 million contract Thursday, Dec. 19.  Source: MLBDepthCharts.com - Jason Martinez
 
BHQ take: Along with recently-acquired Dylan Bundy, Teheran jumps to the front of a beleaguered LAA rotation on the basis of health alone, and a track record of having tossed seven consecutive MLB seasons of at least 175 IP. Beyond this, his fantasy value remains dicey. Teheran was again true to a history of outpitching his xERA, posting a 3.81/5.07 ERA/xERA in 2019 while posting a career-best 8.3 Dom. But a career-worst 4.3 Ctl has now plagued him for two consecutive seasons. And while he managed to avoid HR issues, Teheran doesn't generate many GBs and he now goes to the AL and one of its friendliest HR parks for LHBs. Tread lightly here.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: High
Teheran, Julio        

 

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Playing Time Key

The playing time percentage changes at the bottom of most news items correspond to BaseballHQ.com's Teamview pages. The percentages approximate changes in AB, IP and Saves in the following manner:

  • For batters, each 5% of PT% ~ 31 AB (100% total for each position = 618 AB)
  • For pitchers, each 3% of PT% ~ 44 IP (100% total for a team's entire pitching staff)
  • For relievers, each 5% of Svs ~ 2 saves (100% of a team's total = about40 saves)

A complete explanation of BaseballHQ.com's playing time allocations can be found in the article "How the Projections are Created."


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