PT TODAY: Robertson signing shores up PHI bullpen

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

National League | American League
 
Phillies | David Robertson signs with Philadelphia
Free-agent relief pitcher David Robertson (Yankees) signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, Jan. 3.  Source: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
 
BHQ take: Robertson will be a late-inning weapon in the 2019-20 Phillies bullpen, but not necessarily the regular closer. According to Philadelphia Inquirer/ Daily News beat writer Matt Breen. Robertson will be the "top right-handed option to get key outs in any of the late innings", which makes him even more relevant in Saves + Holds leagues than those using strictly Saves for relief pitchers. FpK decline in 2018 nibbled at Control and Command, but he still posted a .183 oOBA in his ninth consecutive season of at least a 10.4 Dom over 60+ innings, in hitters parks (Yankee Stadium and Guaranteed Rate Field), so the move to Citizens Bank Park should not be a concern.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: High
Robertson, David        
 

 
Mets | Kevin Plawecki traded by Mets
New York Mets C Kevin Plawecki was traded to the Cleveland Indians Sunday, Jan. 6, in exchange for RHP Walker Lockett and INF Sam Haggerty.   Source: MLBRosterMoves
 
BHQ take: Right now, Jason Vargas slots in as the Mets’ #5 starter. Lockett becomes another option if Vargas struggles or one of the Mets’ other fragile starters is hurt. He made four appearances with the Padres in 2018, but things did not go well. He had a 5.62 xERA, a 6.0 Ctl, and a 7.2 Dom and his velocity was a pedestrian 92.5. He also struggled at Triple-A in 2018 where he compiled a 4.73 ERA although his Dom was a decent 8.0 and his Cmd was 3.6.   —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Low
Lockett, Walker        
 

 
Mets | N.Y. Mets acquire JD Davis, Cody Bohanek
The New York Mets on Sunday, Jan. 6, acquired INF J.D. Davis and INF Cody Bohanek from the Houston Astros in exchange for OF Ross Adolph, C Scott Manea and INF Luis Santana.  Source: The Athletic - Jake Kaplan
 
BHQ take: The Mets continue to build depth at first and the outfield by acquiring Davis, who has seen time at first, third and in the outfield. How much playing time he will get in New York remains to be seen, but he could be an option at first if it turns out that Peter Alonso is not ready. Davis lost rookie status in 2018, but received a 7A rating from BaseballHQ.com before that season began. In 2017, he had a .993 OPS in Triple-A that earned him a cup of coffee with the Astros. Similarly in 2018, he had a .985 OPS that earned him a more extensive visit to the Majors. Overall, he has 185 MLB appearances that have not gone particularly well. He only batted .194, thanks in part to a 24% hit rate. He’s also only hit five homers and compiled a lackluster 90 PX. The 2019 Baseball Forecaster suggested, “Fantasy relevance may require change of scenery.” He now has that change, whether he will get the opportunity to run with it remains to be seen.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Med
Davis, J.D.        
 

 
Giants | Breyvic Valera joins Giants
Baltimore Orioles INF Breyvic Valera was acquired by the San Francisco Giants Saturday, Jan. 5, in exchange for cash considerations.   Source: MLBRosterMoves
 
BHQ take: Valera was one of the five players that the Dodgers sent to the Orioles for Manny Machado last July, and was the only one who saw major-league action (0-8-.234 in 64 AB split between LA and BAL). Despite that sparse MLB resume, Valera has performed well in his 9 years in the minors, hitting over .300 in seven of them, and has displayed considerable versatility by playing all positions except pitcher and catcher. His toolbox (and even his switch-hitting ability) is very similar to that owned by the Giants’ 2018 jack of all trades—Alen Hanson—so Valera might seem to have a difficult path to appreciable playing time. Still, the Giants have been a 70-win team for the past two seasons, so competition for many rosters spots should be wide open.  —Rob Carroll
 
Impact: Med
Valera, Breyvic        
 

 
Mets | Keon Broxton acquired by Mets
Milwaukee Brewers OF Keon Broxton was acquired by the New York Mets Saturday, Jan. 5, in exchange for RHP Bobby Wahl, RHP Adam Hill and INF Felix Valerio.   Source: MLBRosterMoves
 
BHQ take: The 29-year old Broxton is not only an excellent defender in center, he’s just one season removed from a 20-20 campaign, albeit with a .220 average (xBA of .217} and a .299 OBP. 2018 was a lost season for Broxton with the arrival of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, resulting in Broxton limited to 78 MLB at bats and a sub-Mendoza batting average although his xBA was a more robust .253 and his PX was 153. He spent most of the year with Triple-A Colorado Springs where he has 10 homers, 27 steals and a .745 OPS over 89 games. As the Mets outfield is presently constituted, Broxton will likely compete with oft-injured Juan Lagares for the starting centerfield job between Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo — Yoenis Cespedes is not expected to play before the All-Star break if at all. Lagares was limited to 59 at bats in 2018 and only had a combined 394 at bats in 2016 and 2017. Reportedly the Mets have been trying to move Lagares in a trade this winter. If that were to come to pass, Broxton could have the inside track to an every day job with the Mets, absent further moves by the team this offseason.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Med
Broxton, Keon        
Lagares, Juan        
 

 
 
 
American League | National League
 
Mariners | Seattle lands Yusei Kikuchi
Free-agent LHP Yusei Kikuchi (Japan) has agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $43 million with the Seattle Mariners on Monday, Dec. 31. The contract includes a provision in which the Mariners can extend the deal to $66 million over four years. If Seattle chooses not to extend him at that point, Kikuchi can either opt for free agency or exercise an option for a fourth year at $13 million.  Source: Fancred Sports - Jon Heyman
 
BHQ take: The 28-year-old Kikuchi's out pitch is a nasty slider, with a delivery reminiscent at times to LHP Rich Hill. He's had control problems at times in the past, but he posted some solid skills over his last couple of seasons in Japan, and we project an MLB ERA in the 3.75 range in 2018. The potential fly in the ointment here is durability. Kikuchi missed some time with shoulder problems in 2018 after missing all of 2010 and part of 2013 with similar issues. Even when healthy, he's no workhorse; his 2017 and 2018 IP totals of 188 and 164 are the highest of his career by some 20 IP. Plus, SEA says they'll give Kikuchi short starts every five or six turns through the rotation in 2019 as he grows accustomed to a five-man rotation, thus limiting his IP intentionally. So take those issues into account when setting your bid for Kikuchi in 2019.  —Rod Truesdell
 
Impact: Med
Kikuchi, Yusei    PT Gain: 10%   
 

 
Mariners | Ichiro Suzuki to play in 2019
Seattle Mariners OF Ichiro Suzuki will be on the club's 2019 Opening Day roster, after spending most of the 2018 season working in the team's front office, according to general manager Jerry Dipoto. The Mariners will open the season in Tokyo March 20.  Source: The Tacoma News Tribune - TJ Cotterill
 
BHQ take: That last sentence in the headline is noteworthy. Look for SEA to give Ichiro one or perhaps two last starts as a Mariner in his native country, allowing him a final farewell where his Hall of Fame career began (not to mention guaranteeing a huge gate). With MLB allowing expanded rosters for these games, it's a natural. But it would be an upset if Suzuki is still active when SEA opens up back in the States.   —Rod Truesdell
 
Impact: Low
Suzuki, Ichiro        
 

 
Yankees | NYY agrees to deal with Troy Tulowitzki
The New York Yankees agreed to terms with free-agent SS Troy Tulowitzki (Blue Jays) on Tuesday, Jan. 1, pending a physical. The deal is believed to be for the league minimum.  Source: Yahoo! Sports - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: The key word here is risk, even though Tulowitzki did pass the physical after a litany of foot, ankle and leg injuries over the past three seasons. Risk that Tulowitzki can participate in 2019 spring training and earn a roster spot. Risk that the Yankees sign a certain free agent SS/3B, or other middle infield help to reliably bridge the gap until Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John Surgery mid-2019 season. Low risk for the Yankees, as they are only on the hook for league minimum salary while the Blue Jays are paying the difference, but high risk for fantasy owners at any point other than the end game of a draft.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Low
Tulowitzki, Troy        
 

 
Blue Jays | Clayton Richard sent to Jays
San Diego Padres LHP Clayton Richard was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, Dec. 31, in exchange for OF Connor Panas. Blue Jays RHP Oliver Drake was designated for assignment.   Source: ESPN.com
 
BHQ take: With 356 innings per 59 starts in the 2017-18 seasons, Richard can be useful in league formats that use IP as a category, and his 58% GB% over those two seasons kept his xERA respectable. However, he has only delivered positive roto value in one season (2012) during his 10 year career, and his declining velocity plus the move to the Rogers Centre makes another positive season unlikely in 2019.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Low
Richard, Clayton        
 

 
Angels | Jonathan Lucroy agrees to terms
The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to terms with free-agent C Jonathan Lucroy (Athletics) on a one-year contract worth $3.35 million. He could earn up to an additional $1.175 million in incentives, meaning he could make as much as $4.525 million in 2019.  Source: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
 
BHQ take: Not an awful signing for a team in need of catching help and still apparently trying to sneak into a postseason wildcard spot. But fantasy-wise, Lucroy has been less than impressive over the past couple of seasons and particularly in 2018, when he hit .241 with 4 HR in 415 AB with OAK. An 84% ct%, 108 HctX and 25% LD% suggest Lucroy may be capable of better. But a sub-60 PX now for the last two years says his power is gone and his upside is limited. He projects to be the primary LAA catcher to begin 2019, with Kevan Smith as his backup.   —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: Med
Lucroy, Jonathan        
 

 
Blue Jays | Matt Shoemaker terms
Updating an earlier report, Toronto Blue Jays RHP Matt Shoemaker received a one-year, $3.5 million contract with $1 million in potential incentives. Toronto holds Shoemaker's rights in 2020 as well because he's just shy of the six-year service time threshold.   Source: Yahoo! Sports - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: Shoemaker lost most of the 2017-18 seasons to right forearm problems, but his September 2018 return (29 K/ 6 BB in 25 IP) showed some promise. That small sample included a 3.46 xERA with his unlucky 34% H% and 61% S%, and the 2018 Ballpark Tendencies chart suggests that the move from Angel Stadium to Rogers Centre is actually a good thing, but the F Health Grade relegates him to late round consideration only.   —Matt Dodge
 
Impact: Low
Shoemaker, Matthew        
 

 
Twins | Nelson Cruz agrees with Twins
Free-agent OF Nelson Cruz (Mariners) agreed to a one-year, $14.3 million deal with the Minnesota Twins Thursday, Dec. 27.   Source: Yahoo! Sports - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: The Twins land a DH in free agency that has averaged 41 home runs and 104 RBI over his past five seasons and 34 HR and 93 RBI since 2009. Cruz has seen his ct% actually grow over the past five years while his power numbers have been steady. However, his AB total slipped over those same five seasons (from 613 in 2014 to 519 in 2018), and his BA dropped 32 points from 2017 to 2018, and his slugging (.509) and OPS (.850) were at their lowest since 2013. A switch in parks from SEA to MIN also might help limit any decline that could be in store for 2019. Fantasy owners invest in Cruz for power, and a switch to MIN shouldn't keep him from reaching the 30-HR mark in 2019.  —Rick Green
 
Impact: High
Cruz, Nelson R        

 

News feed provided by: Fantasy.USATODAY.com

 

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."


Click here to subscribe

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