As we wrap up 2015, there has been a lot written all over regarding 2015 post-season swaps. So this time, I want to look at six that struck me as interesting (or in a few cases, "huh?").
Perhaps my favorite swap thus far was Neil Walker to the Mets for Jon Niese. Certainly, the Bucs had an infielder to spare with Jung Ho Kang, Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer on the roster along with the solid Walker. However, the swap for a good #3 starter just makes sense on the Pirates side.
With Daniel Murphy gone, the main question for the Mets is how healthy will David Wright be on a regular basis. Personally, I felt with Wilmer Flores on the roster and Dilson Herrera in the wings, adding a second sacker after signing Asdrubal Cabrera gives the Metropolitans more of a glut in the infield than the Pirates had before they unloaded Walker. But, where the Mets are weak is the outfield, so someone might get some time there. I suspect the Mets might regret losing Niese over the long haul over keeping him, but for the most part this is an even deal, with both sides certainly giving up something to get something. As far as roto goes, the values of both players are stable, with Walker being worth around $15 and Niese $12.
Yunel Escobar to the Angels: Escobar, who just turned 33, has trouble sticking with a team, but he can surely hit, and along with Andrelton Simmons constitutes a new left side on the infield for the Halos. Escobar had largely a career season last year, with his OBP jumping 50 points over his 2014 number of .324, and now he will start at third base in a fairly potent lineup. Escobar is generally a late-round buy, so if you can nab him for $7-$10 in an AL league, he should be good. In fact, if you nominate Escobar early, he may float past the owners who want to bid on "serious" players and fall to you on the cheap.
Charlie Morton for David Whitehead: This one makes me chuckle as the Pirates did well in exchanging Morton for Niese in their rotation, but I do have to wonder why the Phillies hope to rebuild with a guy who has a 4.58 career ERA and 1.449 WHIP? Not that Whitehead looks like the future of the Phils either, but this is like a roto "dreck for dreck" deal. At least Morton gives innings. Too bad they are not very good ones.
Adam Lind to the Mariners: Lind takes over at first base for Seattle with a good chance to provide some stability to a spot that has had virtually none the past handful of years. Coming off a nice .285-20-87 season, the left-handed hitter should help jell the Mariners infield which is pretty good, and chances are Lind slides into the four/five slot and that suggests some nice quiet run production on a team that is not sure of its path. Like closers, hitters put up numbers, and you need numbers, and ultimately it doesn't matter where they come from. In an AL-only, I'd spend around $15 for Lind.
Starlin Castro to the Yankees: What can I say? I like Castro. He can indeed hit, but I was really thinking Rob Refsnyder would get his chance. Guess not, and Castro--who qualifies at second and short--might be on a short leash, however, with an OBP of .296 last year. But like Seattle, I am not exactly sure what direction New York is pushing. I would trust Castro as no more than a middle infield gamble and not for more than $7.
Jedd Gyorko to the Cards, Jon Jay to the Padres: Not sure why the Padres gave up on Gyorko following his decent second half of .259-13-43, although like a lot of young sluggers, the infielder can hit for power but doesn't get on base enough (career .293 OBP). Since the Cards infield is pretty well set, Gyorko just becomes a utility bat, although I would not be surprised to see him get some time at first since the team might need a right-handed hitter in that slot from time-to-time. He is worth $5-$7 in an NL-only.
As for Jay and the Padres, again, "huh?" This is a team that has blown it with trades of late, and this one really makes me wonder why the team would think Yangervis Solarte and Alexi Amarista along with Jay would provide more offense than Gyorko could by himself. Jay is not even a reserve pick at this point.