SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Steve Gardner discusses the top landing spots for two-way star Ohtani, the player who is being called the Japanese Babe Ruth.
USA TODAY Sports
We knew the Miami Marlins were anxious to make a big trade, but sending second baseman Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners wasn’t the one we expected.
The two-time All-Star led the majors in stolen bases last season with 60 and his move to the American League will have a huge fantasy impact in single-league formats as the number of stolen base attempts continues to decline each year.
Gordon was one of only three players last season to swipe 35 or more bases. Billy Hamilton (59) and Trea Turner (46) — both National Leaguers — were the others. The AL leader in steals was Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield with 34.
In AL-only leagues, Gordon will have more relative value than he would had he remained in the NL because steals are more scarce. Likewise, the value of Hamilton and especially Turner — who can also hit for average and power — will rise since they’ll be the NL’s only two elite speed sources.
In mixed leagues, Gordon’s value isn’t likely to change since he’s likely to steal bases at roughly the same frequency. He may even get a slight boost in runs and RBI since he won’t have to hit behind a pitcher.
One other positive development for Gordon’s fantasy value is the way the Mariners plan to deploy him on defense. Additional position eligibility is always a plus.
Making a move to get Gordon seems like a curious one for the Mariners, considering they already have veteran Robinson Cano at second base. Gordon did begin his MLB career as a shortstop, but the M’s have Jean Segura under contract through 2022.
So what happens to Gordon, who won a Gold Glove at second base in 2015?
Bold move, especially since Gordon has never played an inning in center field as a professional.
Not to mention the Mariners are also in the running for Japanese pitching/hitting star Shohei Ohtani, who would…