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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: J.A. HAPP HEADED TO MARINERS FOR MICHAEL SAUNDERS

A minor trade was consummated late Wednesday night as the Toronto Blue Jays continued taking center stage in the Hot Stove season by dealing spare starting pitcher J.A. Happ to the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Michael Saunders.  As always we cover everything and anything that has to do with 2015 fantasy baseball so let's get to the particulars.

Michael Saunders:  The Blue Jays are planning on Saunders being the team's everyday leftfielder for 2015 and he surely take on a bit more intrigue in trading away the pitching dominant Safeco Field for the homer haven that is Rogers Center.  There are some tools to work with here as Saunders once hit 19 home runs and stole 21 bases as recently as 2012 with the Mariners.  There is a decent amount of power/speed ability here and Saunders will see a boost in the power in moving to Toronto as a result of the trade.  Of course 2014 was a horror show for Saunders as injuries allowed him to only accumulate 231 at-bats where he hit only 8 home runs and stole a paltry 4 bases.  Still if you extrapolate Saunders' home runs to 550 at-bats, he would have been around 20 mark which is very intriguing when you once again factor in the ballpark boost.  Saunders also has some decent speed as he stole the 21 bases in 2012 and followed that up with 13 in 2013 which shows that he is aggressive in that part of the game.  The downside to Saunders of course is a sizable one and that comes with his batting average.  Saunders has some big issues there as evidenced by his .231 career mark.  Despite the 2012 career year, Saunders still only batted .247 that season as a ridiculously high K rate usually sends his average plummeting.  The hit to your team batting average is a legit concern and that takes some bite out of his power output.  Saunders will also likely bat towards the bottom of the order which could hurt his runs and RBI output also.  When you break it all down, Saunders holds some lower-level outfielder 3 value.

J.A. Happ:  We won't spend much time here as Happ as been a career mediocre starting pitcher no matter if he was throwing in Houston, Philadelphia, or Toronto.  Happ's ERA has been higher than 4.50 in four of the last five seasons and his K rate is only so-so.  The move to Seattle will undoubtedly help lower Happ's ERA and WHIP some but he still resides in the American League which is a big issue.  We wouldn't bother here one bit. 

There you have it.  Let us know your thoughts on this trade.

 
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