You might not want to blink now that the season is quickly approaching because these signings are coming in hot and heavy!
We had a myriad of signings happen on Wednesday. We have the much anticipated, state-side, arrival of Seiya Suzuki joining the Chicago Cubs. The World Series champions brought back one of their postseason heroes, Eddie Rosario, back to Atlanta. Then, taking the baseball world by complete shock, the Colorado Rockies made a splash and signed Kris Bryant to a long-term deal.
Each one of these players is going to have big-time impacts. Now, how are they going to impact your fantasy teams this season?
Seiya Suzuki – CHC 5 years/$85M
Seiya it ain’t so, Chicago!
After shipping off their core at the deadline in 2021, the Cubs looked to be entering a rebuilding period. Yet, here they are making huge signings for their ball club and making a play to be competitive in the NL Central this season.
Suzuki is making his transition over to the MLB after posting a career slash line of .309/.402/.541 as a four-time NPB All-Star for the Hiroshima Carp. In 2021, he hit a career-high 38 home runs, in 134 games, for the Carp in what’s known as the second-worst hitters’ ballpark for home run hitters in the NPB. With the power comes an ability to consistently steal bases and incredible plate discipline after only striking out 15.3%.
The transition over to MLB is going to be a challenge as we have seen recently with Ha-Seong Kim last season with the Padres. However, his above-average contact rates, and power potential, should play well in Wrigley Field and its neutral hitting environment for right-handed hitters.
The signing does not have a huge impact on the players that were already on the roster for the Cubs. The biggest “loser” of this would be Jason Heyward’s ability to get consistent at bats. However, with Ian Happ looking like he is going to start the season on the injured list, Heyward could still find himself starting early on.
Kris Bryant – COL 7 years/$182M
The Rockies wanted Bryant bad with the sizable contract they signed him to. Bryant is now moving into the most hitter-friendly environment in all of baseball after only ranking in the 30th percentile in average exit velocity since 2016. Bryant’s production, going forward, can easily mirror the play of Arenado during his time with the Rockies. A .300+ batting average, with 30+ home runs, is certainly possible for the Rockies’ new face of the franchise. He easily jumps up the third base rankings in drafts for this season.
With Bryant now penciled into the lineup, and bringing in all of the positional flexibility that he does, it’s hard to see who exactly is going to be affected by his arrival. Ryan McMahon was going to enter the season at third and could still do so. Bryant could start the season in left field, ultimately pushing Connor Joe or Garrett Hampson out of the lineup.
Eddie Rosario – ATL 2 years/$18M
The 2021 NLCS MVP is returning to the team he joined at the deadline last season. In 33 games with Atlanta, he hit .271 with 7 home runs and a 133 wRC+.
Over his career, he has always been a power bat with solid average totals because of his high contact rates. Since the start of 2017, Rosario has posted an ISO of over .200 with the 10th-best K% of 16%. The one downside to Rosario’s fantasy impact is his lack of steals as he is only averaging 6 SBs per 500 plate appearances since 2017. He should continue to produce plenty of counting stats in this Atlanta lineup, even with the departure of Freddie Freeman.
This move doesn’t do much in terms of negatively impacting anyone on the Atlanta roster. With Ronald Acuña Jr. still rehabbing from his torn ACL that he suffered last season, Rosario will be penciled in as the starting left fielder on Opening Day and shouldn’t lose any playing time once Acuña does return to the lineup.
Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)