New Faces, New Places: Players Who Moved This Offseason

  • With a normal offseason (finally!) behind us, it’s time to take a look at some of the big names who have changed teams over the last few months.

    We’ve included each player’s 2022 numbers along with ATC projections for this year. We have also added some notes about how their new team and ballpark might impact their season.

    For the team data, we’re using FanGraph’s Team Stats Leaderboard. For the ballpark information, we are using Statcast Park Factors on Baseball Savant.

    Note: Due to the new league-wide use of the humidors and deadened balls last season, the Statcast Park Factors used are only for the 2022 season (not employing the 3-year rolling average option).

    Players featured in this article:

    Trea Turner, SS PHI

    2022 Stats: 160 G, 708 PA, .298/.343/.466, 101 R, 100 RBI, 21 HR, 27 SB, 128 wRC+
    ATC Projections: 152 G, 663 PA, .298/.343/.466, 101 R, 81 RBI, 22 HR, 28 SB, 127 wRC+
    Team/Lineup: Slight downgrade
    Ballpark: No change

    Turner signed a massive 11-year, $300M deal with the Phillies in December.

    Returning to the NL East, Turner is reuniting with Bryce Harper and will find himself leading off for a slightly weaker lineup than last year’s Dodgers, although every team is a downgrade from Los Angeles.

    The Phillies were rated as the eighth-best offense compared to the Dodgers’ first-place 159.3 Offensive rating. But the Philadelphia lineup gets an automatic upgrade just by Turner joining the fray, even though they’ll be missing Harper for the first part of the season.

    One thing the Phillies did more of in 2022 was steal bases. Fantasy owners who manage to draft Turner will hope that the team gives him the green light to run at will, with hopes of seeing him bring his stolen bases back into the 30s and maybe even the 40s, considering the new rules.

    Leaving Dodger Stadium, ranked fifth by Statcast Park Factors, Turner won’t find much of a difference heading to the fourth-ranked Citizens Bank Park. Citizens Bank provides just as much opportunity for offense plus a massive upgrade for triples, something Turner can take advantage of with his speed.

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    Justin Verlander, SP NYM

    2022 Stats: 18-4, 175 IP, 185 SO, 0.83 WHIP, 1.75 ERA, 2.66 xERA, 2.49 FIP, 3.23 xFIP
    ATC Projections: 13-8, 165 IP, 183 SO, 1.04 WHIP, 3.23 ERA, 3.26 FIP
    Team/Lineup: No change
    Ballpark: Large upgrade

    In signing a two-year deal (with a vesting option for 2025), the 2022 AL Cy Young winner essentially replaces Jacob deGrom in the Mets rotation.

    Moving on from Houston, he isn’t really going to see a big difference from a team context. He’s joining a team that will contend in the NL East again this season. The Mets had a better offense (third) than the Astros last year (seventh) and Verlander will get plenty of run support as a result.

    However, that will be balanced out on the defensive side of the ball, where Verlander is leaving the second-ranked defense for the ninth-ranked squad in New York. While his velocity was fine last year, the 40-year-old Verlander had better hope that his new defense tightens up a bit behind him, as he had his lowest SwStr% and K/9 since the 2017 season.

    As for his new home ballpark, Statcast ranked Citi Field as the 28th worst hitter’s park, compared to 11th-ranked Minute Maid Park. So it will be a big location improvement for Verlander, with Citi Field being a harder place to create offense, and having a plus rating for strikeouts.

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    Jacob deGrom, SP TEX

    2022 Stats: 5-4, 64.1 IP, 102 SO, 0.75 WHIP, 3.08 ERA, 2.24 xERA, 2.13 FIP, 1.53 xFIP
    ATC Projections: 10-6, 144 IP, 195 SO, 0.93 WHIP, 2.83 ERA, 2.38 FIP
    Team/Lineup: Downgrade
    Ballpark: Large downgrade

    The best pitcher inning-for-inning also moved teams this offseason, leaving the Mets to sign with the Texas Rangers.

    His new team has a worse offense, ranked 15th last season, than the Mets’ third-ranked offense. However, while New York scored 772 runs on the year for an average of 4.76 per game, when deGrom was on the mound they somehow only scored 38 runs through his 11 regular season starts or 3.45 per game. So the lineup difference shouldn’t be an issue for the righty.

    deGrom might not like the defense behind him in Texas though, which had the 21st-rated defense last year and committed 96 errors. By comparison, the Mets ranked ninth and committed only 67 errors, the second-fewest in baseball.

    His new ballpark, Globe Life Field could be more challenging to pitch in. As we just mentioned for Verlander, Citi Field ranked 28th in offense while his new home in Texas ranked eighth.

    All of this doesn’t really matter though, because what really matters is if deGrom can stay healthy and take the ball every fifth day. If he does, he’ll be the best starting pitcher, hands down.

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    Daulton Varsho, C/OF TOR

    2022 Stats: 151 G, 592 PA, .235/.302/.443, 79 R, 74 RBI, 27 HR, 16 SB, 106 wRC+
    ATC Projections: 138 G, 500 PA, .237/.307/.448, 75 R, 73 RBI, 25 HR, 14 SB, 114 wRC+
    Team/Lineup: Upgrade
    Ballpark: Upgrade

    The dynamic, left-handed slugger is leaving the desert and heading to Toronto as the return for Gurriel Jr. and Moreno.

    He’s no doubt going to find himself in a much better situation with the Jays. He’ll be joining the second-best overall offense from last season — Arizona ranked 21st. He’ll be inserted into an already potent lineup with a team that hopes to contend for the division and World Series.

    Roster Resource shows Varsho batting in the fifth spot right behind Alejandro Kirk. He’ll be in line for more RBI opportunities and will hopefully be set loose on the basepaths to try and eclipse his 16 stolen bases from last season.

    As for his positional value, it looks like he’ll be patrolling left field, and maybe center, this season for Toronto. This means it’s likely his final year of eligibility at catcher, barring some bad injury luck for the current catching duo of Jansen and Kirk.

    He’s also getting an upgrade by trading in Chase Field for the Rogers Centre as his home ballpark. While Rogers Centre ranked as a neutral park last season at 16th, the new dimensions will be favorable to Varsho’s hitting style. Chase Field, which was ranked 22nd, while a better park for extra-base hits, was a much, much worse venue for home runs.

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    Carlos Rodón, SP NYY

    2022 Stats: 14-8, 178 IP, 237 SO, 1.03 WHIP, 2.88 ERA, 2.64 xERA, 2.25 FIP, 2.91 xFIP
    ATC Projections: 13-8, 170 IP, 218 SO, 1.05 WHIP, 3.06 ERA, 2.89 FIP
    Team/Lineup: Large upgrade
    Ballpark: Slight upgrade

    Coming off a career-year with the Giants, Rodón cashed in by signing a six-year deal with the Yankees. Moving to the Bronx, he’s joining a powerful offense that ranked fifth last season and should provide him with more run support than the Giants’ 14th-ranked offense did in 2022.

    Defensively, he’ll be in a better situation as well. Last year, New York had the top-ranked defense, committing only 74 errors all season. San Francisco, on the other hand, ranked dead last and committed 100 errors.

    Luckily, he wasn’t hurt too much by the horrible defense behind him, as he finished with the third-most strikeouts in the majors, with 237 in 178 innings. If he can maintain that 11-plus K/9 rate, he’ll do just fine in the AL East ballparks, despite giving up more fly balls than ground balls. He kept a well below-average HR/FB rate last season at 6.5%.

    Yankee Stadium is an easier park for home runs, especially compared to Oracle Park, and that short porch in right field is a concern. But Statcast reports that he would have only surrendered six long balls if he pitched in Yankee pinstripes last season. The other factor in his favor is that he is a lefty, so will face fewer left-handed batters who can take advantage of that short right-field.

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