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We are just weeks away from the start of the 2018 baseball regular season, which makes it a good time to look back at the big roster moves made in this most recent offseason.

I already provided a group of four pitchers who changed scenes. Now, here are four hitters who moved to different teams.

For a look at some of the other big names who changed scenes, check here.

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Hitters Changing Teams for 2018

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates to San Francisco Giants

It’s an even-numbered year, so you can basically put the Giants in the World Series now. They had a three-term reign of greatness in 2010, 2012, and 2014. The streak was snapped by the Cubs in 2016. Now, the Giants have made the moves to get their title back.

In December, San Francisco dealt Denard Span, Christian Arroyo, and others for Evan Longoria. In January, they followed that up by parting with prospects to acquire outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

The 2013 NL MVP, McCutchen, is a model of consistency when it comes to HR/RBI totals. He’s produced at least 21 home runs (no more than 31) and 79 RBI (no more than 96) in seven consecutive seasons. The one stat you shouldn’t expect Cutch to contribute to is the stolen base category. He once swiped 33 bags (2010), but McCutchen hasn’t surpassed 11 stolen bags since 2014.

 

Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers to Los Angeles Angels

The Angels were busy this offseason. In December, Detroit dealt Kinsler to the Angels. They also acquired free agent Zack Cozart and purchased the contract of Shohei Ohtani. Kinsler returns to the AL West for 2018. He was a member of the Rangers for eight seasons before being traded to the Tigers for Prince Fielder

If he wins the leadoff role, Kinsler will have a stacked lineup behind him. Two-time AL MVP, Mike Trout. Future hall-of-famer, Albert Pujols. Not to mention, rejoining Justin Upton (two All-Star selections in the past three seasons).

He now gets to bat in a more hitter-friendly ballpark and he gets warmer weather. Both should boost his stats on offense. Kinsler was one of nine second basemen to hit at least 20 home runs last season. He’ll accomplish that feat for a third straight season at the conclusion of 2018.

 

Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins to Seattle Mariners

Yet another second baseman makes the list of impactful names who changed scenes for the upcoming season. Though, Seattle is switching Gordon to the outfield.

Miami dealt many talented ball players in the offseason. Gordon was the first to go (December 7th, 2017). The Marlins finished eight games under .500 last season and Gordon helped contribute to the 11th-highest scoring team in baseball (778 total runs scored). He scored 15 percent of those runs. Another strength to Gordon’s game is his lack of strikeouts. Last year, he compiled a career-low 13.4 strikeout percentage.

In 2018, Jean Segura, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz will be the driving forces behind Gordon. While I can’t guarantee a new career-high in runs scored for Gordon, he’ll look to swipe at least 50 bags for the fourth time in five seasons.

 

Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins to Milwaukee Brewers

Gordon was the first piece moved for the Marlins and Yelich was the last (January 25th, 2018).

Yelich will likely do something in a full-time capacity that he hasn’t done since 2014, bat in the leadoff spot. Also, don’t expect the home run numbers to increase dramatically with the switch to Miller Park. Yelich had the sixth-highest ground ball percentage in baseball last season (55.4 percent). His 25.2 fly ball percentage was the seventh-lowest, too.

Yelich isn’t planning on changing his swing anytime soon. Here’s his quote from brewcrewball.com…

“I’m not going to change anything,” Yelich said. “I’m going to stay with the same approach. Just because I’m going to a smaller park, per se, I’m not going to try to do too much or do more.”

He added, “I just go up there, try to get a good pitch to hit and hit it hard. That’s really all you can control if you think about it. Then everything else kind of plays itself out. I stay within myself, and try not to do too much.”

We’ll see if Yelich follows through with that statement or starts to swing for the fences more in 2018.

 

More Offseason Moves and Analysis





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