Looking at the Fantasy Implications of 2017 Free Agent Landing Spots, Part 3
Over the last two weeks I have looked at the implications of a pair of Free Agent batter’s possible landing spots, covering the four biggest Free Agent hitters on the market (Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Turner, Edwin Encarnacion and Dexter Fowler). Tuesday, the Mets announced that they were resigning Cespedes to a 4-year, $110M deal, meaning that Encarnacion
now stands alone as the top Free Agent bat. This is going to be the last week I look at landing spot implications, and I’ll be wrapping it up with two former stars who’ve seen their value drop precipitously in the last year (or two, in Gomez’s case).
Gomez was on top of the fantasy world after back to back All-Star seasons with the Brewers in 2013 and 2014, swatting 47 HR’s with 74 SB’s, culminating in a 2015 ADP of 8.9. Needless to say, he did not deliver on these hefty expectations, struggling with poor performance even before his mid-season trade to Houston, where injuries and continued poor performance continued. Enter 2016, where Gomez yet again struggled mightily, with his .231/.298/.384 slash line representing his worst season since 2011, when he played only 94 games. Despite the outfielder’s poor performance, there are several teams who have expressed interest in Gomez, with 2013-2014 levels being the ceiling and early-2016 the floor.
I discussed my distaste for the offensive ability of the Giants in my first edition of Landing Spot Implications, but a job in the Golden City could actually be a decent fit for Gomez. The cavernous expanse of AT&T Park would likely sap Gomez’s power numbers below their already paltry 2015-2016 numbers, but that same large stadium would allow Gomez’s elite wheels to show themselves once again, as Frisco (sorry San Fran natives) has been one of the top venues for hitting extra base hits (especially triples) over the last several years, despite its definite lack of players possessing elite speed. A player as fast as Gomez would have a field day in that regard. For a more concrete link, the Giants are one of two team that has expressed actual interest in Gomez recently, the other being…
Miami has also expressed interest in Carlos Gomez recently, and with Giancarlo Stanton’s ͞ minor͟ health issues recently, it would make sense for Miami to have a solid reserve behind him, instead of relying on 43 year-old Ichiro for backup duties. Similar to AT&T Park, Marlins Park has also been a very prevalent stadium for triples, and Marlins manager Don Mattingly is no stranger to giving the green light on the basepaths. A situation where he could use his speed to work his way back to relevance is optimal for Gomez, and both of the teams listed above would give him plenty of opportunity to do so.
Bautista has been one of the MLB’s biggest and most interesting rags-to-riches success stories, transforming from a replacement level outfielder with the 4 different teams before rattling off six consecutive All-Star appearances in a Blue Jays uniform, his first year of real success coming at the age of 29. Injuries hampered Bautista in 2016, limiting him to 116 games and his worst season since 2006. Despite this Bautista will certainly be looking for a lot of money in Free Agency, and there are going to be quite a few teams willing to give it to him.
This reunion would make sense, as the Blue Jays would be severely hurting if they lost both Bautista and Encarnacion’s bat in one offseason, and Bautista is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to wear a Blue Jays uniform, standing next to Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells. This would definitely keep Bautista’s fantasy outlook positive, getting to hit behind Josh
Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis. Multiple reports, however, have said that it’s unlikely he Jays resign Bautista, meaning that this reunion may not happen. If it does however, expect Bautista to get right back into the swing of things and return to classic form (assuming he remains healthy).
Purely based off this image, Bautista ending up in Arlington seems like a joke, something that would be highly entertaining, but not at all realistic. However, there’s no reason that Texas, who are in major need of a power bat after potentially losing Carlos Beltran, would be willing to bring in Bautista. This was a already a very good playoff team, and adding Bautista may be what tips Texas into World Series territory. If Price and Ortiz can bury the hatchet, Odor and Bautista can (hopefully).