There was a flurry of activity yesterday, as the General Managers Meetings were in full swing.  Let’s take a look at the fantasy fallout from the various moves:


The Oakland A’s Traded Rajai Davis to Toronto

After the acquisition of David DeJesus, we all knew that the A’s had excess in the outfield that they needed to do something about. 

This was the first strike as Oakland acquired Double-A relief pitchers Trystan Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar in exchange for the center fielder.

Magnuson, who stands at 6′7″, posted a 2.58 ERA and struck out 63 batters in 73.1 innings.  Farquhar posted a 3.52 ERA and struck out 79 batters in 76.2 innings.  Neither possess fantasy appeal.

Davis has a ton of speed, with 91 stolen bases over the past two seasons.  He hits for a decent average (.284 in ‘10, but there is room for improvement after a .322 BABIP), but he doesn’t walk nearly enough for a leadoff type (4.6% in ‘10).  The A’s clearly preferred Coco Crisp as their leadoff hitter, making Davis expendable.

With Edwin Encarnacion gone, it would appear that Jose Bautista will move to 3B.  That would free up a spot in their outfield for Davis, who also provides their best option in the leadoff spot (despite the lack of walks) given his speed. 

He should be given plenty of opportunities to score runs atop the Blue Jays lineup, which must intrigue owners. 

That makes him a good option late in your drafts if you are in need of speed (though it is a risk, one we will look at later in the offseason).


Joaquin Benoit Signs with the Detroit Tigers

According to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas (via Twitter), the deal is for three years and $16.5 million.  That just seems like an excessive amount of money, unless they view him as a potential closer at some point down the line. 

The Tigers’ closer, Jose Valverde, is signed for $7 million in 2011 with a $9 million option for 2012, so that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Benoit posted impressive numbers in 2010 with a 1.34 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and 11.2 K/9 over 60.1 innings for the Rays.  However, he benefited from a .201 BABIP and 95.1% strand rate, two numbers that are extremely unlikely to be repeated. 

His BB/9 of 1.6 is also doubtful, considering his career 3.3 mark and having only once before being under 3.1 (in 2004, when he was still spending time as a starting pitcher).

He also is two years removed from a 5.00 ERA and 1.67 WHIP for the Rangers (he did not pitch in the Majors in 2009 due to rotator cuff surgery).

A regression is coming and, as a middle reliever, he’s got no value for fantasy owners in 2011.


John Buck Signs with the Florida Marlins

Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter) reported that Buck agreed to a three year, $18 million deal with the Marlins.  Buck, like many of the Blue Jays hitters, enjoyed a big year in 2010.  He hit .281 with 20 HR, 66 RBI and 53 R in 409 AB.

He benefited from a .335 BABIP and with a 27.1% strikeout rate (right along the lines of his 27.0% career mark), and the chances of him maintaining that type of average is unlikely. 

That’s the big concern, as the power should remain.  He actually hit more home runs on the road (11) then he did at home (9).  We all figured that his average was going to regress anyways (he’s a career .248 hitter), so the way we value him should remain unchanged.

The big winner is J.P. Arencibia, who made a splash in his Major League debut and now figures to get the everyday job in Toronto (barring another move). 

He hit .301 with 32 HR and 85 RBI in 412 AB at Triple-A (it was in the Pacific Coast League) and you have to figure he’ll be able to maintain that power in the Major Leagues.

Baseball America currently has him ranked as the Blue Jays’ seventh-best prospect saying, “Arencibia’s carrying tool is his power to all fields, which is at least above-average and draws 70 grades on the 20-80 scale from some scouts.” 

There are questions about his defense and we will look into him in much more detail later in the offseason.

What are your thoughts on these moves?  Who is the big winner?  Who is the big loser?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:


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