Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Universal DH candidates for every NL team

Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Universal DH candidates for every NL team

We know it’s coming, but what does it mean?


One of the least contentious issues in the new CBA, it turns out, was the universal DH. That’s right, it’s coming to the NL — and this time, for keeps.

It was expected but is now official with the end of the lockout Thursday. And so you’re probably wondering what it means for Fantasy Baseball — or more specifically, which hitters most benefit.

First and foremost, note that we’ve been here before, just two years ago during the pandemic-shortened 2020, when the universal DH was introduced primarily as a safety measure. The moon didn’t crash into the sun. There were no shocking revelations. It was still baseball, and it was … fine.

Secondly, recognize that every hitter benefits from the universal DH. More than going to any one player, the increase in at-bats will likely be spread throughout every team’s roster. Dedicated DHs have become increasingly rare in the AL and figure to be even less common in the league where they don’t already have a foothold. So if you want to make the case for some player other than the ones I’ve named here — say, Daulton Varsho for the Diamondbacks or Gavin Lux for the Dodgers — hey, I hear you. Again, it benefits everyone.

Finally, understand that the lockout interrupted the offseason before it was anywhere close to completion. Many NL teams will probably bring in a more new suitable DH once it’s official official. Shoot, the quintessential DH, Nelson Cruz, remains unsigned.

This column is intended to be more the first word than the final one, more a gentle nudge to satisfy your curiosity than an invitation to overhaul your rankings. I wouldn’t say I’m overhauling mine.

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