Fantasy Implications - Dee Gordon to Mariners

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Seattle Mariners infielder/outfielder Dee Gordon was acquired by Seattle at the beginning of December, joining a stronger offense in Seattle. Gordon hit .308 with 60 stolen bases and 114 runs scored for the Marlins in 2017, rebounding from a 2016 season where he only played 79 games. He does not offer much, if anything, in the way of power, but his profile of run scoring and base stealing is elite.

Gordon led the National League in batting average in 2015 (.333) and has hit at least .289 in three of the last four seasons. As for power, Gordon only had 31 extra-base hits last season, and 33 RBI, and only had a .716 OPS for the Marlins. Even though he has limitations with his ability to drive the ball, Gordon has led the National League in stolen bases in three of the last four seasons.

So with an elite base stealing threat joining a powerful offense in Seattle, what will happen to Dee Gordon's fantasy stock in 2018?

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Speedy in Seattle

The American League did not have a ton of speed in 2017, Whit Merrifield led the league with 34 stolen bases, so Gordon immediately becomes an elite option in AL-only leagues for stolen bases alone. Gordon will also provide a threat in triples, if that is a category in your league, as he has averaged nine triples per 162 games in his career. While he is a safe bet for at least 50 stolen bases when healthy, fantasy owners need to understand that he does not get on base a ton, as he has only topped a .350 OBP once in his career.

The Mariners have already said that Gordon will hit leadoff in 2018 and with Jean Segura, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz behind him in the lineup, Gordon will have ample opportunities to score runs. Gordon's 114 runs in 2017 were a career-high and the combination of Segura, Cano, and Cruz is comparable to the combination of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton that batted behind him in 2017. Seattle scored less runs than Miami last season (778 for the Marlins and 750 for the Mariners), but the addition of Gordon should also assist the RBI totals for Cruz and Cano.

Another addition for Gordon's fantasy stock is that he will move to the outfield this season from second base. He already has second base and shortstop eligibility, so the addition of outfield eligibility could make Gordon a top-50 player this season. The key thing for Gordon to make the leap into the upper tier of fantasy players is for him to be more efficient of a base runner (he has only stolen 77.4% of his bases in his career).

So what does the addition of Gordon mean for fantasy leagues? First off, Billy Hamilton's stolen bases are elite in NL-only leagues, as Trea Turner is the only player with any real chance of besting him in stolen bases in NL-only leagues. Gordon may have similar counting statistics in 2018 as he did in 2017 (not wise to discount how good the middle of the Marlins' lineup was), but his addition of outfield eligibility will bump him up a round or two. If Gordon goes before the 5th round, that would not be horrible, but it is better to look at him in the 5th or 6th round. As for Cruz and Cano, look for both to top 100 RBI once again with speedsters like Gordon and Jean Segura batting in front of them. Kyle Seager may also be a sleeper in fantasy leagues to top 100 RBI for the first time in his career and be a top-five 3B if he can have a bounce-back season.


More 2018 Player Outlooks

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