2017 Outlook: Now a member of the Boston Red Sox, Sale's fantasy value might ultimately not change much from his 2016, which had him the seventh most-valuable starting pitcher in points-based leagues and ninth-best on the Player Rater. Sure, he'll have a more productive lineup backing him, but run support wasn't a severe issue for him last season, and he enjoyed a sizable increase in his average innings pitched per start from 2015 to 2016 -- 6.7 to 7.1 -- which already helped pad his win total. Sale lost a hint of fastball velocity and regressed slightly against right-handed batters last season -- the latter more of a problem because of how often opponents try to exploit the platoon advantage against him -- resulting in a noticeable decline in his strikeout rate, to 25.7 percent. He still, however, possesses top-shelf stuff and now has a four-year track record of greatness. Don't allow yourself to "chase wins" due to his trade, but Sale should regardless be one of the first five starting pitchers off the mixed-league board.
2017 Outlook: The American League's defending Cy Young Award and Comeback Player of the Year Award winners, as well as the No. 14 finisher on the Player Rater and No. 6 using standard-scoring points, Porcello finally broke through last season thanks to increased reliance and spin upon his four-seam fastball. It was his go-to with two strikes to left-handed hitters, eradicating his previous righty/lefty split, and generated 74 of his 189 total strikeouts. In short, there were skills adjustments that drove Porcello's breakthrough, and ease fear of significant regression to the mean. Some regression to the mean, however, is inevitable, as almost everything went right for him, and a decent chunk of his value came from his 22 wins. Porcello has established himself as a firm member of the top 25 fantasy starters, but his true appeal might be that of a high-floor, low-ceiling pitcher, rather than the ace he appeared to be last year.
2017 Outlook: His first season as a member of the Red Sox was also, unfortunately, the worst of his seven years in the big leagues, but that Kimbrel nevertheless finished among the 20 best fantasy closers using Rotisserie or points-based scoring speaks volume about his talent. For the sixth consecutive season, he managed at least 30 saves, a 35 percent strikeout rate and sub-1.10 WHIP; that's a record number that represented six of the 27 total campaigns in history. A knee injury he suffered in July that required surgery contributed, meaning that his health is worth tracking during spring training to ultimately determine his odds of a return to the position's top five. Kimbrel's raw ability makes him a candidate, but he's also one of the incumbent closers who might be wisely handcuffed to his top setup man (Tyler Thornburg).
2017 Outlook: Though Price's first year in Boston didn't live up to expectations, he did finish it on a positive note that offers encouragement for 2017: He had eight wins, nine quality starts, a 3.24 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in his final 14 starts. Part of the reason for his struggles might have been as the adjustment to Fenway Park, a challenging environment for a left-handed pitcher lacking a non-elite ground-ball rate, and part might have been the decline in both his four-seam fastball (down 1.1 mph, to 93.8) and sinker (down 1.2 mph, to 93.6) velocity, the latter contributing to a small decline in his strikeout rate. Price remains one of the game's more durable starters, and he wouldn't be the first player to fully adapt to his Boston surroundings in Year No. 2, making a small rebound as likely an outcome as any. He should be one of the first 10 pitchers off your board regardless of format.
2017 Outlook: A sensation for the Padres during the first four months of last season, Pomeranz fatigued following his July trade to the Red Sox, and it was later learned that his former team withheld injury details from his current team at the time of the transaction. Forearm soreness ultimately shortened his year, but thankfully didn't require offseason surgery. With the winter's rest, Pomeranz might be better prepared to withstand the rigors of the 162-game schedule, and he still possesses the quality, five-pitch arsenal that should generate a good number of strikeouts and perhaps prolonged hot spells. He's not ranked as a top-25 starter, however, because he has yet to prove durable enough over a full year.
2017 Outlook: One of three candidates for the Red Sox's fifth-starter job -- Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz are the others -- Rodriguez might have to settle for starting the year as a Triple-A starter, though in all likelihood, he should see the majority of his time in Boston. Rodriguez finished 2016 on a high note, posting a 3.24 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 24.6 percent strikeout rate in 14 starts, and with that lineup supporting him, he should win more often in 2017. Though his initial role will drive his value, he's a strong speculative pick as a seventh or eight mixed-league or fourth or fifth AL-only starter.