PT TODAY: Dodgers, Red Sox shake things up

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

National League | American League
 
Dodgers | LA Dodgers to get Mookie Betts, David Price
Updating a previous report, Boston Red Sox OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price and cash considerations are expected to be traded as part of a three-team deal involving the Twins to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for OF Alex Verdugo and RHP Kenta Maeda on Tuesday, Feb. 4, according to a source. Verdugo will be sent to Boston, while Minnesota will acquire Maeta. The deal is expected to be finalized once medical records have been exchanged and physicals have been finalized.  Source: ESPN.com - Kiley McDaniel
 
BHQ take: Some LA depth may have just cleared out, as Joc Pederson has also reportedly been moved to the Angels. But Betts takes over RF and likely the lead-off spot, with half his games in a friendlier HR venue and in a terrific offense. The ripples through the Dodger lineup project Cody Bellinger as the primary CF with Max Muncy at 1B—opening up 2B for uber-prospect Gavin Lux’s claim this spring. Dodgers PT losers could be infield/OF utilities Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez, neither of whom look like 400 AB locks any more. Price fills in for a rotation now down Hyun-Jin Ryu (free agency to TOR), Maeda and possibly Ross Stripling (to LAA) --but LA also owns a talented young LA SP contingent now about to be sorted out in March. He’s 34 and coming off career-worst numbers (4.28/3.89 ERA/xERA over 107 IP) fueled by declining velocity and 46 more IL days. But Price’s 10.7 Dom (12% SwK) and 4.0 Cmd suggest he still has something left. If healthy, Price will join Alex Wood behind Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler in the Opening Day rotation. He’s now averaged just 120 IP over his past three seasons and isn’t expected to offer much more in LA, particularly given the Dodgers’ depth. More moves are likely; to be continued.   —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: High
Price, David        
Betts, Mookie        
 

 
Phillies | Philly signs Anthony Swarzak to minors deal
Free-agent RP Anthony Swarzak signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Swarzak will make $1.5 million if he makes the big-league roster. The deal also includes $1.25 million in incentives.  Source: USA TODAY Sports - Bob Nightengale
 
BHQ take: While Swarzak signed a minor league contract, the Phillies bullpen has some openings, so he has a decent chance of breaking camp with the team. That chance, of course, depends on having an effective spring. Back in 2017, Swarzak had a 2.33 ERA/3.42 xERA and returned $11 in 5x5 rotisserie leagues. The problem with relying on those numbers is that 2017 was the only year in the last six in which he provided positive value although he did have BPVs of 131 and 106 in two of the years in which he provided negative value. If Swarzak were to make the team, there’s a small chance he could vulture a save or two, but that’s not enough to warrant fantasy owners to consider him for their teams.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Low
Swarzak, Anthony        
 

 
Giants | Wilmer Flores lands in San Francisco
Free-agent INF Wilmer Flores agreed to a multi-year contract with the San Francisco Giants Tuesday, Feb. 4, according to sources. Financial terms weren't disclosed.  Source: ESPN - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: Flores skill set -- particularly his ability to make good contact with at least average power -- has always made some think he's capable of more. This $6m / 2yr deal on a rebuilding club may give him another opportunity if he can stay healthy. Right now Flores doesn't project as an everyday guy but he spent most of his 2019 at 2B, which for SF still has to be settled this March. More likely Flores will play as an infield utility, but his spring and the SF INF are worth keeping an eye on.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: Med
Flores, Wilmer        
 

 
 
 
American League | National League
 
Yankees | James Paxton undergoes surgery
New York Yankees LHP James Paxton (back) recently underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy with the removal of a cyst and is expected to be sidelined for three to four months.   Source: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
 
BHQ take: Before pitchers and catchers have even reported, the cursed Paxton extends his dubious streak of spending significant time on the injured list, now at seven years and counting. Jordan Montgomery may have a slight edge in stepping into the fifth-starter role to start the season, with J.A. Happ bumping up to No. 4. But we have seen so little of Montgomery since his 2018 Tommy John surgery and 2019 shoulder woes (31.1 IP) that this may turn into more of an open Spring Training competition, with Jonathan Loaisiga and Michael King as other contenders. Loaisiga has battled health woes of his own but did show some intriguing skills late last season, generally working as a reliever. King, NYY's No. 15 prospect, got his feet wet in the majors with a 2 IP appearance last September but, having been less dominant at Double-A and Triple-A in 2019 than in 2018, the team may well want to start him in the minors to rebuild his confidence a bit.  —Kris Olson
 
Impact: High
Paxton, James   
 

 
Yankees | Yanks want Miguel Andujar to become more versatile
New York Yankees 3B Miguel Andujar has been told by manager Aaron Boone that he will be learning how to play first base and left field during spring training in an attempt to receive more playing time. Although he is fully recovered from right shoulder labrum surgery, 3B Gio Urshela is expected to serve as the team's full-time third baseman in 2020. There is a chance that Andujar could begin the season at Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre if he struggles during the spring because he has minor league options remaining.  Source: NJ.com - Randy Miller
 
BHQ take: Time will tell how these defensive experiments for Andujar may go, but the upshot is that Urshela starts Spring Training with a bit more job security than it may have initially appeared, while the prospect of Andujar starting the year in the minors, where he can play full-time after missing almost all of 2019, rather than having to scratch and claw for at-bats, makes a lot of sense, with the opportunity to continue his acclimation to his new position(s) an added bonus. If Andujar takes to the new positions like a duck to water, perhaps it will warrant greater adjustments to presumed first base starter Luke Voit or left field contenders Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier. But, especially given Andujar's struggles at his natural position, that would be getting ahead of ourselves at this point.  —Kris Olson
 
Impact: High
Andujar, Miguel      
Urshela, Giovanny  
 

 
Red Sox | Boston landing two youngsters in blockbuster
Los Angeles Dodgers OF Alex Verdugo and Minnesota Twins RHP Brusdar Graterol are expected to be traded to the Boston Red Sox as part of a three-team deal involving the Twins in exchange for OF Mookie Betts and LHP David Price on Tuesday, Feb. 4, according to a source. The deal is expected to be finalized once medical records have been exchanged and physicals have been finalized.  Source: ESPN.com - Kiley McDaniel
 
BHQ take: A mere week before pitchers and catchers report, the monster deal that went from theoretical, to unlikely, to possible, to probable, to imminent, got done. The Red Sox landed two well-regarded, young, controllable, and affordable pieces in outfielder Alex Verdugo and (via the Twins) pitcher Brusdar Graterol and slashed nearly $43 million from the payroll entering the 2020 season. The cost in major league talent, however, was steep as home-grown superstar outfielder Mookie Betts and rotation stalwart pitcher David Price were dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers who, on paper, may now be the prohibitive favorites to represent the NL in the World Series. Verdugo put up a respectable .294/.342/.475 line in 343 AB before missing the final two months of the season with a back injury. When healthy, Verdugo is a capable centerfielder and given the intricacies of playing right field at Fenway Park, it is possible that current center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. might slide over and play right. Though he was exclusively a starter in the minors, Brusdar Graterol threw out of the pen for the Twins in his first exposure to the majors, riding his high-octane repertoire to post a 4.66/3.35 ERA/xERA and a 10/2 K/BB ratio over 9.2 IP. It’s clear Graterol’s stuff is potentially worthy of high-leverage relief work, but the Red Sox biggest need is in the rotation and they should give him every opportunity to succeed in that role. Only 21, he may begin the season at Triple-A Pawtucket to get stretched out before returning to the bigs, likely sometime in 2020, as a starter. In removing Price from the rotation, the Red Sox are going to need to lean more heavily on Nathan Eovaldi who missed time in 2019 following arthroscopic elbow surgery, or even Triple-A Pawtucket starter Mike Shawaryn who was exposed last year in limited innings.  —Matthew Mougalian
 
Impact: High
Graterol, Brusdar    
Verdugo, Alex        
 

 
Twins | Minnesota acquiring Kenta Maeda
Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda was traded to Minnesota Twins, who subsequently dealt RHP Brusdar Graterol to the Boston Red Sox as part of a three-team deal involving OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price and OF Alex Verdugo on Tuesday, Feb. 4.  Source: ESPN.com - Kiley McDaniel
 
BHQ take: The Twins fill a need at SP by landing Maeda, but the price was Graterol, who was the fourth-ranked pitcher in the MIN system. Maeda will step into the No. 3 spot in the rotation behind Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi. Since Maeda is under control through 2023, he provides MIN with an option as a No. 2 if Ordorizzi, who is a free agent at the end of the 2020 season. Overall, Maeda is a steady pitcher who has made at least 20 starts over the past four seasons and has a career 3.87 ERA over 589 IP. Brian Rudd took a closer look at Maeda in a recent Facts/Flukes column.   —Rick Green
 
Impact: High
Maeda, Kenta        

 

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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.