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Trey Mancini and Brian Anderson: Buying and Selling the Latest Offseason News for Fantasy Baseball

Even though the Winter Meetings are now behind us, there’s still plenty of offseason left when it comes to baseball news and rumors – especially with a number of the offseason’s top free agents still without a team. And that’s all without mentioning potential trades as there hasn’t been an overabundance of deals made so far. The reports and rumors of free agent interest and trade interest, combined with actual free agent signings and trades, will continue to have significant ramifications for fantasy managers ahead of drafts this Spring.

The aim of this column is to provide you with the latest fantasy analysis on both rumors and reports, as well as official signings and trades, and how it pertains to redraft fantasy baseball leagues this Spring. Moves, or rumors and reports, tabbed as “Buying” are obviously good moves or potentially good moves from a fantasy standpoint. Moves or potential moves and reported interest that are filed under “Selling?” Not so great.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the news with a bit of free-agent news pertaining to a pair of National League Central clubs.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Buying For Fantasy Baseball

Trey Mancini Reportedly Agreeing To Terms With The Cubs

Though Mancini struggled down the stretch after joining the Houston Astros – hitting .176 with a.258 on-base percentage and eight home runs in 186 plate appearances – he’s shown he can provide quality production in the right environment.

The 30-year-old hit 21 home runs to go along with a .255 average, a .326 on-base percentage, 77 runs scored, and 71 RBI in 616 plate appearances for the Baltimore Orioles during the 2021 campaign. Fast forward to the first half of the 2022 season, and Mancini collected 10 home runs to go along with a .268 batting average and a .347 on-base percentage in 401 plate appearances.

Now, his new environment is Wrigley Field in Chicago. Mancini is reportedly in agreement with the Chicago Cubs on a contract, per a tweet from ESPN’s Jesse Rogers on January 14. Rogers tweeted the following:

“News: Free agent Trey Mancini is in agreement with the Cubs on a 2-year deal which includes an opt out, sources tell ESPN.”

First and foremost, Wrigley Field certainly isn’t the worst destination for the slugger. He hit 18 home runs this past year, but his expected home run total for the Cubs’ home ballpark finished at 21. The Cubs’ lineup should also be a positive for the former Oriole.

Chicago’s lineup has become a bit overcrowded, but that should only help Mancini. With the ability to play first base, both outfield corners – not to mention designated hitter – the veteran should receive regular plate appearances. That should only help his RBI opportunities hitting around the likes of Ian Happ, Dansby Swanson, Seiya Suzuki, Cody Bellinger, Christopher Morel, and Nico Hoerner.

It’s not hard to imagine Mancini hitting fourth or fifth in that lineup. And while topping his 2019 run-scoring and RBI numbers (106 and 97 respectively) might be a tad bit unlikely, topping his 2021 run-scoring and RBI numbers (77 and 71 respectively) seems entirely feasible, especially with larger bases being introduced. Should stolen base totals increase league-wide, it’ll only help Mancini and his RBI chances. Hoerner, Swanson, Bellinger, and Morel all stole between 10 and 20 bases while Happ and Suzuki stole nine each.


Buying For Fantasy Baseball

The Brewers Reportedly Agreeing To Terms With Brian Anderson

The Brewers have reportedly agreed to terms with Anderson, one of the free agent market’s more interesting fantasy bounce-back candidates. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted on Tuesday that Anderson was “in agreement” with Milwaukee. Rosenthal tweeted the following:

“Free-agent infielder/outfielder BrIan Anderson in agreement with Brewers, pending physical, sources tell @The Athletic.”

Sidelined at times by injuries in recent years, Anderson’s most recent full season came in 2019 when he batted .261 with a .342 on-base percentage, 20 home runs, and five stolen bases in 520 plate appearances for the Miami Marlins. And while he’s hit just .239 with a .328 on-base percentage in 876 cumulative plate appearances since then, his underlying data provides some hope for better production this coming season.

First and foremost has been an uptick in barrels. Despite the slight downturn in production, Anderson had a 9.1% barrel rate in the last three years, including a career-best 9.7% metric this past season. He also upped his hard-hit rate (42%) above the 40% mark for the first time since that 2019 campaign.

If he can continue to post those types of numbers as a regular in a hitter-friendly ballpark –one like American Family Field– Anderson could be in for a bounce-back season at the plate.

The former Marlin could, speculatively speaking, be in for significant playing time at third base. Milwaukee primarily played Jace Peterson, Luis Urias, and Mike Brosseau at third in 2022, but Peterson is now playing for the Oakland Athletics and Urias might need to play more second base with Kolten Wong having been traded to the Seattle Mariners.

That could leave the door open for Anderson to play consistently for Milwaukee, more specifically at American Family Field, which should only help his offensive output. Since he made his Major League debut in 2017, Anderson has hit 57 home runs. Obviously, that was all in a Miami Marlins uniform. But his expected home run total for American Family Field during the same span? It would’ve been 65.

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