Fantasy Fallout: Nyjer Morgan Traded To Milwaukee

The rumors have been out there for at least a week, but finally we got an end to the saga that is Nyjer Morgan.  According to Bill Ladson of mlb.com (click here for the article) Morgan has been sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for prospect Cutter Dykstra and cash considerations.

Dykstra, a former second round pick, is the son of former Major Leaguer Lenny Dykstra.  Unfortunately, he has never lived up to much, with a career .274 average to go along with 16 HR and 49 SB over 831 AB.  He hasn’t played above Single-A and doesn’t appear to be much of a factor for the Nationals.

The real story is Morgan, who had already lost the Nationals starting centerfield job (to Rick Ankiel) and appeared likely to open the year at Triple-A.  Now he goes to Milwaukee and should be given every opportunity to beat out Carlos Gomez for regular playing time (though they could share time early on). 

Gomez has always been better known for his defense than his offense.  A career .246 hitter, he does have speed (though only once has he stolen more than 20 bases in a season).  With a career strikeout rate of 23.9%, an inability to draw walks (5.1%) and no power to speak of (17 HR), there should be no reason to think that he will do anything to beat out Morgan.  With Gomez, you have a player locked into the #7 or 8 spot in the lineup, limiting the depth.

The questions surrounding Morgan have never been solely onhis offensive ability, but about his attitude and his maturity.  He’s just a year removed from hitting .307 with 42 SB between Washington and Pittsburgh.  Last season was a down year, hitting .253 with 34 SB, though it was marred with incidents on the field leading to suspensions.  He also suffered from a little bit of poor luck (.304 BABIP), especially for someone with his speed.

If he can get his act together and hit atop the Brewers lineup, he could be in store for a monster season.  Just imagine how much better things would look with the dynamic Morgan at the top:

  1. Nyjer Morgan – CF
  2. Corey Hart – RF
  3. Prince Fielder – 1B
  4. Ryan Braun – LF
  5. Casey McGehee – 3B
  6. Rickie Weeks – 2B
  7. Yuniesky Betancourt – SS
  8. Jonathan Lucroy – C

Obviously, a lot can change.  Maybe it’ll be Weeks hitting second and Hart sixth.  Or maybe it’ll be Hart fifth and McGehee sixth.  The fact of the matter is that, if Morgan can get his act together, the Brewers lineup becomes significantly deeper and more dangerous.

Yes, Morgan has many issues.  If he can get his attitude/on-field issues in check, you would think everything else would fall into place.  Is he going to be an excellent option?  Of course not, considering how often he has been caught stealing in the past (34 times total the past two seasons).  However, if he gains regularly playing time and is hitting leadoff in Milwaukee, he certainly will be worth owning in five outfielder formats.  There should be plenty of runs and stolen bases, which gives him value.

In Washington, it appears that Ian Desmond will hit atop the lineup, with Ankiel hitting seventh.  Desmond clearly is the biggest winner if he sticks in the leadoff spot, now hitting in front of Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and company.  In his first full season he hit .269 with 10 HR and 17 SB in 525 AB.  Yes, he needs to learn to draw a few more walks (4.9% in ’10), but with those guys behind him the numbers should improve across the board (only 59 R in ’10).

What do you think of the trade?  Who is the biggest winner?  What is the biggest fallout from the move?

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6 comments

  1. Eddy says:

    Professor,

    With Desmond’s new home atop the lineup, do his projections change? If so, what’s his new line?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      They definitely will change. I’m currently working on all of the updates to the guide, so check back in later tonight and I’ll have a better idea.

  2. big o says:

    do you like nyger better than rajai ?
    their situations seem similar .

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I would definitely go Rajai, as it appears like he is the starter from the outset. At this point, the Brewers are saying Gomez is their starter.

  3. Roy says:

    Hey Roto Prof… Can I get your expert opinion on my draft please?

    12 team, H2H

    Categories:
    R, HR, RBI, TB, SB, AVG, OBP
    W, L, SV, ERA, WHIP, QS, K

    C- Doumit (round 22)
    1B- Pujols (1)
    2B- Beckham (11)
    SS- Brignac (18)
    MI- EYJ (21)
    3B- Sandoval (8)
    OF- Holliday (2)
    OF- Kemp (3)
    OF- Bruce (5)
    UT- Krispie Young (7)
    BN – Granderson (9)

    SP- Kershaw (4)
    SP- Liriano (6)
    SP- Anderson (10)
    SP- Daniel Hudson (12)
    RP – Broxton (13)
    RP – Kimbrel (16)
    P- Franklin (17)
    P – Kuroda (14)
    P- Zimmermann (15)
    P – Hanrahan (19)
    P- Chacin (20)

    Overall, I think it’s alright. I took Kershaw earlier than I wanted to.

    When I picked Granderson, I didn’t see that Oswalt was available.. so that made me mad as well.

    I feel like I got some good picks at the end as well.

    Unfortunately, I missed out on my targets for SS, 2B, MI (Hill, Escobar, Raburn.) EYJ was optioned to the minors, so I gotta find another MI

    Right now, I’m working on a deal to acquire Ryan Zimmerman, Justin upton, Joakim Soria, Brandon Morrow, Alcides Escobar for Jay Bruce, Clayton Kershaw, Curtis Granderson, Joel Hanrahan, Johnny Cueto, EYJ. The guy that I’d be trading with was on autodraft and ended up with Longoria, Zimmerman, and Youk… and hardly anyone on his pitching staff. So he’s looking to deal.

    It hurts my staff, but I think I’m deep enough and have enough quality guys that I can take the hit… I upgrade at 3B with Zimmerman, SS with Escobar, OF with Upton, and Soria in the pen. Morrow is a question mark with his latest injury… but has some upside.

    Thoughts? I appreciate it!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I like your rotation as is and, without Kershaw, I’d be a whole lot more concerned with it honestly. That’s not to say that the deal is bad, it just weakens one aspect of your team (and fairly significantly).

      I also don’t think the acquisition of Upton is a big deal, because I actually prefer Bruce.

      Morrow for Cueto is pretty much a wash, though Morrow has more upside (with both guys injured, you really don’t know).

      Soria & Escobar help fill needs and improve on Hanrahan & EYJ for sure.

      Is that really enough, though? If you had drafted Oswalt over Granderson, I’d feel a lot more comfortable with trading away your ace. Of course, with that said, Zimmerman is a 2nd round player and a great own for this season (a huge improvement on your offense in general). Trade wouldn’t be terrible, but also may be a bit unnecessary. Anyway you can rework it a bit? Dropping out Upton/Bruce, perhaps, would help a bit.

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