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MLB Free Agency Winners & Losers (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

by Brian Entrekin | @bdentrek | Featured Writer
Feb 3, 2023
Bounce-Back Candidates (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

The hot stove season was en fuego this winter and is over outside of a little transaction here or there. So it’s nice just a few weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting that most free agents have a home, we can get ready for fantasy draft season.

With every hot stove season, there will be winners and losers in free agency, especially when it comes to fantasy baseball. There will be hitters and pitchers moving to better or worse ballparks. Some will now hit in better lineups or pitch on better teams. Certain free-agent moves have no fantasy impact, while others will move a player’s ADP up multiple picks.

Most major free agent moves that resulted in a fantasy impact involved hitters, but I will also discuss one pitcher in this article. Many players were left out, but we aren’t going over every transaction. For now, let’s look at four players that can be considered fantasy winners in free agency and four that can be regarded as losers.

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Fantasy Baseball Free Agency Winners & Losers


Jose Abreu (HOU – 1B)

Abreu had a subpar season for Abreu standards in 2022. Abreu hit an excellent .304, but only 15 home runs with 85 runs and 75 RBI. Abreu has provided 20+ home runs each season (excluding shortened 2020) with 30+ home run upside while also providing 100+ RBI in six of eight seasons. Part of Abreu’s lack of production could just be bad luck as his HR/FB dropped to 9.6%, which was the lowest of his career, while he still had solid quality-of-contact metrics. The down production could also be due to a White Sox team that struggled as a whole.

Now, the 36-year-old takes his talents to Houston and will be a part of a loaded Astros lineup that should be tremendous for his counting stats. Expect another 100+ RBI. The power should also boost, and 20+ home runs should be back. Abreu is a big winner.

Justin Turner (BOS – 3B)

Turner is coming off a season where he only played in 128 games and hit 13 home runs. It was the fewest games he has played and the fewest home runs since 2018. The batting average was still good at .278, but the overall fantasy impact was less than desired.

Turner now heads to the Red Sox and should be in store for more games as he should be the primary DH for the Sox, with Rafael Devers handling third base. Playing nearly every day at DH should allow Turner to stay healthy and get back to playing well over 140 games, maybe even 150 games. With that many plate appearances, Turner should be a fantasy stud and free-agency winner.

Wil Myers (CIN – 1B, OF)

Myers only played in 77 games last season for the Padres due to injuries and later platoons with a loaded Padres team. Now he heads to Cincinnati and Great American Small Park. We all know that GASP is one of baseball’s best-hitting parks, which should only benefit Myers.

Myers should also play nearly every day as a primary outfielder for the Reds, and when not playing in the OF could play at first base or DH. In a recent season where Myers has played over 140 games, he has hit over 17 home runs and thrown in a handful of stolen bases. If Myers stays healthy, he should return some great fantasy value as a later-round draft pick.

Brandon Belt (TOR – 1B)

I am not alone in saying this, but I am excited to see Belt outside San Francisco. We all know that ballpark has sucked power out of Belt, and Rogers Centre should bode well for the veteran lefty. In the last few seasons, Belt has battled a slew of injuries, and hopefully, being the primary DH in Toronto will help keep Belt healthy.

Belt hit 29 home runs in just 97 games back in 2021. He has also shown excellent OBP skills throughout his career. In a lineup like the Jays, he should provide plenty of runs, RBI, and home runs. With the DH role as well as the new ballpark dimensions in Toronto, Belt should rebound to some serious fantasy goodness.


Taijuan Walker (PHI – SP)

Walker is coming off one of the better seasons of his career with a 3.49 ERA and 3.88 xFIP to go with a 9.6% HR/FB. This took place with the Mets and a decent pitcher’s ballpark in Citi Field, The HR/FB dropped in a big way, coinciding with a drop in fly ball rate from 41.2% to 33.8%. Walker has been in the 40%+ fly ball rate in previous seasons, and any return to those numbers should lead to many more home runs in Citizen Bank Park. Walker also dropped his strikeout rate to 20.3% with a 13.4% K-BB which will not play great in Philadelphia either. Not an ideal landing spot for Walker.

Michael Conforto (SF – OF)

Conforto had his 2021 season cut short due to injuries and never signed with a team in 2022 due to injury concerns. He returns to the bigs by signing with the Giants, which may not be suitable for his fantasy value. We know the ballpark in San Francisco sucks power away from left-handed hitters, not to mention his shoulder injury could also be less than ideal for power. Sure, Conforto needed a fresh start after missing so much time, but his new home ballpark may only do a few favors for the once-heralded power-hitting stud.

Matt Carpenter (SD – OF)

After a few down seasons, Carpenter burst onto fantasy radars by hitting .305 with 15 home runs in 47 games with the Yankees. He benefitted tremendously from the short porch in Yankees stadium, and moving to Petco Park in San Diego will zap some of that from him. Besides the ballpark shift, health is also concerned with Carpenter and playing time in San Diego. Carpenter should platoon in the outfield and get some time at DH, but overall the numbers we saw in 2022 may have been a one-time thing for Carpenter with his new team.

Tommy Pham (NYM – OF)

Pham played in 144 games last season, which was nice, but he only hit .236, his third straight disappointing batting average season, with 17 home runs and eight steals. The power was okay, but the steals continue to drop with his batting average, and we have to wonder if father time is catching up with Pham. He now heads to the Mets, and playing time may even be a concern for the soon-to-be 35-year-old. Pham will likely be platooning in the outfield and, barring an injury, will struggle to play enough for the fantasy relevance we have come to expect from Pham.

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