PT TODAY: Franco lands in Kansas City

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

American League | National League
 
Royals | Maikel Franco lands in KC
Free-agent 3B Maikel Franco agreed to a one-year, $2.95 million contract with the Kansas City Royals Thursday, Dec. 19.  Source: MLBDepthCharts.com - Jason Martinez
 
BHQ take: Franco's increased flyball rate in 2019 didn't do much for his power output, and now he is is subject to a big park effects shift (-39% RH batter HR) with the move to Kauffman Stadium. Despite the expected power decline, Franco is penciled in as the regular 3B, with the chance to gain more AB than would have been available in Philadelphia. His arrival pushes Hunter Dozier toward more consistent use in RF (after 20 game eligibility there in 2019), where he will join Whit Merrifield and Alex Gordon (if he does not retire) as the baseline Royals OF. This in turn, means more DH time for Jorge Soler, as Dozier profiles as a league-average defensive RF while Soler comes in below average on standard defensive metrics. Health and productivity permitting, all five of these players should be lineup fixtures in 2020.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Med
Gordon, Alex        
Dozier, Hunter        
Merrifield, Whit        
Soler, Jorge        
Franco, Maikel        
 

 
Blue Jays | Toronto agrees to deal with Shun Yamaguchi
Free-agent RHP Shun Yamaguchi (Japan) reportedly agreed to terms with the Toronto Blue Jays on a two-year contract Tuesday, Dec. 17. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.  Source: Sportsnet.ca - Shi Davidi
 
BHQ take: Yamaguchi was first used as a starter in 2006-7, and was then converted to a reliever in 2008 with outstanding results, compiling a 2.91 ERA with a 9.4 Dom and 2.9 Cmd in 317 IP from 2008-13. His stats indicated that he began to unravel as a reliever in 2013, so he was converted back to a starter, and used mostly in that role from 2014-19. According to BaseballHQ.com's Japanese baseball maven Tom Mulhall in the American League Player Info Forum, Yamaguchi added a slider as a third pitch to a fastball/ splitter combo, which allowed him to accumulate 735 innings over 136 appearances combined (5.4 IP/ game) over the past five seasons. Reports suggest that Yamaguchi is likely to be used again as a reliever in TOR; but the details of that usage (bulk reliever? late-inning weapon?) have not yet surfaced. If he is able to recapture those early career reliever skills, and apply them in a swingman role on a Blue Jays staff looking for innings, he could become a very interesting pitching commodity in 2020 drafts.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Med
Yamaguchi, Shun        
 

 
Indians | Corey Kluber traded by Cleveland
Cleveland Indians RHP Corey Kluber was traded to the Texas Rangers Sunday, Dec. 15, in exchange for RHP Emmanuel Clase and OF Delino DeShields Jr. The Rangers also received cash considerations in the trade.   Source: MLB.com - John Blake
 
BHQ take: The trade of longtime ace Kluber means CLE will enter 2020 with a less-established rotation, with RHPs Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale and Adam Plutko, and LHP Logan Allen likely vying for starts. Plutko, Plesac and Civale combined for 51 starts, including 21 by Plutko, 20 by Plesac and 10 by Civale for an injury-plagued CLE staff in 2019 as Kluber and other rotation mainstays were felled by injury and missed huge chunks of the season, while starter Trevor Bauer was dealt away in a July deadline trade. Plesac and Civale posted seemingly impressive surface stats as 2019 rookies, though their underlying indicators and skill metrics suggest those gaudy stats are unlikely to be replicated in 2020. Journeyman Plutko struggled in 2019, averaging only five innings per start with nine of his 21 starts registering as PQS-DISasters. Allen made only one relief appearance for CLE, as he was optioned to Triple-A shortly after the trade. Clase provides a power relief arm. He will likely emerge in a high-leverage setup role after impressing with top-tier velocity and a heavy groundball tendency in his 2019 initial MLB exposure. DeShields will compete for PT in a congested and unsettled CLE OF light on both offensive production and established regulars, apart from emerging CF Oscar Mercado, who impressed with above-average speed, moderate power, decent contact skill and a line-drive stroke as a 2019 rookie. DeShields is a speedster lacking both power and contact ability which are likely to limit his PT.   —Tom Kephart
 
Impact: High
Allen, Logan        
Plutko, Adam        
DeShields Jr., Delino        
Kluber, Corey        
Hand, Brad        
Civale, Aaron        
Plesac, Zach        
Clase, Emmanuel        
Mercado, Oscar        
 

 
Rays | Tampa Bay signs Yoshitomo Tsutsugo
The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent OF Yoshitomo Tsutsugo to a two-year contract on Friday, Dec. 13. Tsutsugo played for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in Japan last season.  Source: FOX Sports - Ken Rosenthal
 
BHQ take: Tsutsugo merited a "Definite ETA: 2020" in the Japanese and Korean Players section in the 2020 Baseball Forecaster, and the above news item confirms it will be with the Rays. The bat is what's special (.284/.382/.525 over 10 seasons in Japan); special enough to overcome some reported defensive shortcomings. He is likely to see most of his playing time at 1B/DH with possible forays into LF and 3B, but with the ever-flexible Rays (149 different positional lineups in 2019), he could pick up eligibilities at unexpected positions during 2020.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Med
Tsutsugo, Yoshitomo        
 

 
 
 
National League | American League
 
Marlins | Miami adds Matt Kemp
Free-agent OF Matt Kemp agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins Wednesday, Dec. 18. The deal includes an invitation to spring training.   Source: USA TODAY Sports - Bob Nightengale
 
BHQ take: Before you write off this minor league signing as pre-season “noise,” consider that Kemp is one season removed from making the NL All-Star team, and the Marlins are not exactly loaded with outfielders who come with top notch resumes. Of course, 2019 was a lost season, replete with multiple injuries and only 60 non-productive at bats. On the other hand, prior to 2019, Kemp had never failed to compile less than a 103 PX. If he is healthy, it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to make the Marlins out of spring training. That, in turn, could make him a decent late/reserve round option in deep leagues.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Low
Kemp, Matt        
 

 
Brewers | Eric Sogard joining Brewers
Free-agent INF Eric Sogard agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, Dec. 18, worth $4.5 million, according to a source. The deal also includes a club option for the 2021 season.   Source: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
 
BHQ take: Versatile LHB infielder Sogard is likely to see more PT at 3B than any other position. He could become MIL's primary 3B versus RHP. Sogard posted career-best production in a career-high number of AB in 2019. He sports solid plate skills and a line-drive stroke, though his skills suggest he is unlikely to sustain the HR production he displayed in 2019.   —Tom Kephart
 
Impact: Med
Sogard, Eric        
 

 
Brewers | Avisail Garcia joining Brewers
Free-agent OF Avisail Garcia agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers Monday, Dec. 16, worth $20 million.   Source: MLB Network - Jon Heyman
 
BHQ take: Garcia is the most high-profile signing of several recent MIL additions. He is likely to become MIL's regular RF, with star OF Christian Yelich shifting to LF, and venerable OF/1B Ryan Braun getting the bulk of his PT at 1B. Garcia rebounded from an injury-plagued subpar 2018 with career highs in HR and SB, and his OPS surpassed only by his 2017 career year. Garcia's power output should benefit from the venue change. MIL's home ballpark played neutral for RHB power during the previous three seasons (2016-18), while TAM's home yard suppressed RHB HR (-7% RHB HR).   —Tom Kephart
 
Impact: High
Yelich, Christian        
Garcia, Avisail        
Braun, Ryan J        

 

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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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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.