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National League

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Signed LHP Wesley Wright to a one-year deal. [12/16]

Though not yet 30 years old, Wright has bounced around the league a lot the past few seasons, with the Orioles marking his fourth team since the '13 season started. The nomadic behavior might cause you to believe he's an ineffective pitcher, but that's untrue. Wright—a small southpaw with a closed landing and low-three-quarters arm slot—has been a fine left-handed specialist, holding same-handed batters to a sub-.600 OPS in two of the past three seasons. With Brian Matusz's name popping up in trade rumors, it wouldn't be shocking if Wright winds up being the O's second lefty—it also wouldn't be shocking if Buck Showalter deploys him well. —R.J. Anderson

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Signed OF-R Alex Rios to a one-year deal worth $11 million. [12/15]

If there is a question about the Royals' offseason thus far, it has to be this: just when will Dayton Moore diverge from his (thus far) strict adherence to sabermetric dogma? In signing Rios and Kendrys Morales, Moore has not only opted for short-term deals rather than long-term pacts and hitters over pitches, but he's also chosen to buy low. Okay, perhaps that isn't the question about the Royals' offseason most people hold—that would be, more likely than not, the same as the response to the Rios signing: "Why?"

Rios, who turns 34 in February, is coming off a disappointing season—a familiar predicament for him, given his efforts in '09 and '11. The Royals are banking on him accomplishing the redemption hat trick, and hey, if you're going to bet on someone returning from the dead, then make it Lazarus. Alas, there is cause for concern. Rios' power production flat-lined last season, as he hit a career-low four home runs—two fewer than he had with the Rangers in '13, when he tallied 300 fewer plate appearances. Without his pop, he's essentially a durable, empty-average hitter whose defense in right is closer to average than amazing; with that pop, however, he has a chance to be a quality addition to the Kansas City lineup.

Of course there's a real chance Rios' days as an above-average starter are over. At the same time, the logic behind this deal—betting on a vet bounce back— is easy enough to understand and appreciate, and is the same logic that teams like the Giants and Yankees have used to a good deal of success over the past half-decade. Presuming that Rios came cheaper, or at least on a shorter term than Nori Aoki wanted, you can probably say the deal makes sense—even if it means Moore will have to find rotation help through another means, likely by trading for someone of Ian Kennedy's ilk. —R.J. Anderson

Fantasy Impact

Alex Rios
From a fantasy standpoint only, rumors of Rios' demise are greatly exaggerated. He still managed to finish as the 49th-best fantasy outfielder in the game last year (hint: offense is down league-wide). We're only a year away from Rios hitting 18 homers and stealing 42 bases, and even if he never reaches those totals again, it's not crazy to think he could challenge for 15 homers and 30 steals in 2015, especially since the Royals aren't afraid to run. Kaufman isn't the best place for him, but at least he didn't end up with the Padres or Giants, and given the lack of emphasis on lineup construction in Kansas City, it's possible he could hit high in the lineup. Maybe Rios isn't a great player anymore because of his declining defense, but as a pure fantasy tool, he's still ok.

Jarrod Dyson
Dyson can steal all of the bases but he can't do much else. He's stolen 70 bases in under a full season's worth of plate appearances over the past two years, and he seems likely to steal 30-plus bases in 250-plus plate appearances once again in 2015. Rios ruins his chances of seeing a lot more time, but given how poorly Dyson does everything other than run, that's okay. —Ben Carsley

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Signed LHP Chris Capuano to a one-year deal worth $5 million. [12/16]

Sure, why not? Capuano pitched fine for the Yankees down the stretch last season after bouncing from the Red Sox and Rockies, notching six quality starts in 12 tries and recording nearly three strikeouts per walk. He'll turn 37 before rosters expand, and there's a chance—based on his stuff—that he finishes the deal in the bullpen or unemployed. But when it comes to cheap, back-end options, you might as well stick with the one you know best. —R.J. Anderson

Fantasy Impact

Chris Capuano

Capuano gave the Yankees what they needed when he was acquired midseason: innings. He never completed seven innings with New York, but he failed to throw at least five innings only twice in his 12 starts. Capuano is far from overpowering as his average fastball velocity fails to crack 90 mph, but his changeup is still very good and he can miss some bats (19-percent strikeout rate as a starter). His ground ball rate of 41 percent with the Yankees is in line with his career rate, but he did induce 46-percent ground balls with the Dodgers in 2013. With plus defenders Didi Gregorious and Chase Headley manning the left side of the infield in the Bronx, the incentive to induce grounders is even greater. It’s not a sexy profile, but Capuano will have some value in deeper formats.

David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Bryan Mitchell

Assuming the Yankees didn’t just spend $5 million on a long reliever, it just got that much more difficult for one of these three to hold a spot in the starting rotation to open the season. Phelps had a 4.28 ERA in 17 starts for the Yankees this year and can also be used in relief while Warren, who has just three big-league starts, was set to prepare for spring training as a starter. The Yankees likely aren’t done adding to the rotation, but with so many question marks coming back, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if this trio still fell into some starts. —Nick Shlain

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Signed RHP Jason Motte to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million and $2.5 million in incentives. [12/15]

He doesn't maintain his beard, he spits and kicks dirt all over the place, and Cubs fans have cursed his existence following too many close losses to count; no, not the billy goat, but Motte. Now the erstwhile Cardinals closer is taking his act to the other side of the rivalry, where he hopes to restart his career following two mostly lost seasons due to Tommy John surgery and a strained back.

Motte did complete 25 big-league innings in '14, believe it or not, and provided reason for optimism. He continues to generate impressive velocity with his uptempo, high-effort mechanics, as his fastball sat in the mid-90s and his cutter a few degrees colder. He also threw plenty of strikes and missed a lot of bats. Sadly, the overall results weren't as great—he allowed too many hits and home runs. Still, if Motte can remain on the mound, he ought to figure into the Cubs' late-inning configuration at some point in 2015. —R.J. Anderson

Fantasy Impact

Jason Motte

Motte missed all of 2013 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. The former Cardinals closer was back on the mound this year with diminished stuff as his strikeout rate was a mere 15 percent and he allowed a .287 average and 1.52 WHIP. Another year removed from surgery, we’ll see if Motte got his fastball and cutter back. —Nick Shlain

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Signed UTL-L Daniel Descalso to a two-year deal worth $3.6 million guaranteed. [12/16]

Non-tendered earlier in the winter by the Cardinals, Descalso ought to occupy a utility spot with the Rockies. He would've been under team control for the next two seasons anyway, so all this deal does is give the Rockies cost certainty. Is that a smart idea? Maybe not—Colorado could decide in a year's time they'd rather not have him under contract for '16, particularly not for $2.1 million—but it's not a big deal either way. On the field, Descalso is a versatile defender. His offensive game is more limited, in that he won't make an exquisite amount of contact nor offer much power or speed (though he is excellent at taking the extra base during the run of play). There's not much here to get excited about, Descalso just is. —R.J. Anderson

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Signed 1B-R Michael Morse to a two-year deal worth $16 million guaranteed. [12/16]

It's safe to assume that Morse will see more action at the cold corner than in the outfield next season for the first time since 2011, and he should do so as the everyday starter. With all due respect to Garrett Jones, who ought to make someone's roster as a platoon bat, Morse's ability to hit lefties and righties makes him the superior player. (Over the past three seasons, his True Average against righties is actually three points better than his TAv against lefties.)

Obviously that doesn't mean Morse is the perfect player. His defense and durability have been questioned—both problems that the Marlins hope can be solved with more time spent on the dirt—and his size and swing-and-miss tendencies make him a potential attrition risk as he enters his mid-30s (he turns 33 in March). Yet Morse, unlike other slugger types, has always relied more on contact than walks, making him a bastardized version of a natural hitter with pop rather than a power hitter.

No matter how you describe Morse, the Marlins will slot him into a lineup that could be heavy on right-handed power. Whether that's a good thing or not depends on your perspective. —R.J. Anderson

Fantasy Impact

Mike Morse

Morse bounced back in 2014 with his best TAv (.296) and highest number of games played since 2011 (131). He still dealt with nagging injuries like he did in 2013, but only hit the disabled list once for an oblique strain. Morse hit 16 home runs and had a .196 ISO playing with San Francisco, so the move to Miami shouldn’t hurt his power numbers and hitting in a lineup with Giancarlo Stanton can only help. Despite Morse’s .279 average this year and .281 mark for his career, early and unofficial PECOTA projections have his average going down to .262. Morse earned $8 in 12-team mixed leagues according to BP’s valuation expert Mike Gianella, but both his health and production aren’t consistent enough for him to be a target. —Nick Shlain

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Signed RHP Brandon Morrow to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with up to $5 million in incentives. [12/16]

A good rule of thumb is to be leery whenever a free-agent signing is referred to as a bargain at the time of signing. Take Morrow's agreement. While it's certainly preferable to the deal Brett Anderson inked with the Dodgers, the odds are against it becoming a huge win for the Padres. Morrow has seldom pitched the past two seasons, and the story has been the same when he has: good stuff, poor results. Perhaps a return to California—he attended high school and college about eight hours away from Petco Park—will help in some undefined way. But, unless the warmer climate can help his body stay well, this is unlikely to be much of a bargain at all. —R.J. Anderson

Fantasy Impact

Brandon Morrow

Morrow’s job got a little easier by going from Toronto’s bandbox of a ballpark to San Diego, but the arrow is still neutral because he’ll have to stay on the field long enough for it to matter. Morrow hasn’t pitched 90 innings combined over the last two seasons and signed a contract with incentives for both starting and relieving. There’s no telling what the Padres might actually get out of this deal as the possibilities are nearly endless for one of the most maddening pitchers in recent memory. —Nick Shlain

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Interesting takes on Cardinals castoffs Descalso and Motte.

Are we going to get a transaction analysis article on the Mark Reynolds signing, or did that one not register on the Richter Scale?
I have seen a lot of folks blasting the Rios signing by the Royals. I can't say that I am thrilled, but at the same time, I really didn't see re-signing Nori Aoki as being an option, either. If Rios improves, it's a plus; if he plays like he did last year, then how much worse off are you, really? No matter how much talk there was about signing an impact RF, the team certainly claims that it does not have the salary room to pay $15-$20M to get a major player.

I certainly agree that GMDM is hoping that Rios can turn it around yet again and the 1 year deal limits his exposure. It probably does mean a second-tier SP is all that the Royals can afford, but that's all they could really afford to begin with. While there certainly will be regression from last year, the starters really just need to go 6 or 7 innings to get to the bullpen. There are going to be times where it blows up, but on balance, investing in a couple of quality setup guys is less expensive than an investment in a #1 starter, and those two relievers can impact far more that the 32-34 games that a starter might throw for you.
It's not so much the signing of Rios that's blast-worthy - it's signing Rios for $11 million when it's way more than he is likely to be worth.
Kinda ticked about the Rios signing as I was really hoping the Reds would try to get him on the cheap to fill their massive void in LF. However, now seeing that he signed for $11 million....not sure I am THAT disappointed.