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MLB Hot Stove: Fantasy Baseball Wish List for Top Players

I hope that everyone out there had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m certainly happy that you’ve taken a break from wrestling with 75-year-old women in door-busters sales and camping out all night in the frigid temperatures, and whatever else people do on Black Friday. Personally, you need to twist my arm pretty hard to make a milk run to the 7-11 on Black Friday but if you enjoy being in the stores, knock yourself out…not literally.

In the spirit of Black Friday and the Christmas season, I’ve decided to put together a wish-list for the average fantasy baseball player.

 

  • Robinson Cano — Stay with the New York Yankees

I’m not a Yankees fan but as a fantasy baseball player (and Robinson Cano owner in a dynasty league), I’m not a fan of the status quo being disrupted when the status quo has been so good. Look at what Cano has done over the last five seasons. 

Season
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
200910325855.320
2010103291093.319
2011104281188.302
201210533943.313
201381271077.314
Average99281035.314

That’s not only great, but just incredibly consistent. How much better is it going to get for fantasy owners if he goes somewhere else? Remember, there are better offensive teams, but Yankee Stadium is a palace for left-handed hitters with power.

As hilarious as it would be to see Yankees fans react to an elite free agent leaving them after they’ve been poaching them away since the days of Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter, Cano will be more bankable and probably just better in pinstripes.

 

  • Detroit Tigers — Find Someone to Protect Miguel Cabrera

Hey, what do you know? Another one of my guys in a dynasty league that I’d like to feel a bit more comfortable about. No, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about this, or the second, but Cabrera’s numbers as a Tiger are worth showing again. 

 
R
HR
RBI
AVG/OBP/SLG
2008-2011 Average10135115.322/.403/.571
2012-2013 Average10644138.338/.417/.620

Prince Fielder definitely helped Miggy. Even in his struggles, Prince could always get Miguel Cabrera pitches to hit. When I look at the likes of Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter, I see some fine players and hitters, but nobody who pitchers will even hesitate to walk Cabrera to face.

 

  • Carlos Beltran — Go to the American League

I didn’t really think this was likely to be an issue. For most of the offseason, every team I’ve heard linked to Carlos Beltran has been in the American League. But Noel Piñeiro of Primera Hora quoted Beltran saying that he would love to stay in the National League.

Beltran is a three-time Gold Glove winner and even though he hasn’t won that particular award since 2008 with the New York Mets, he’s still a good fielder. The problem is that he’s a bit brittle and will turn 37 in April. Possible fantasy owners will definitely want the DH there as a luxury.

Ideally, I’d like to see Beltran with the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles, but any American League team should be an upgrade. Not an upgrade on what he’s done since getting traded to the National League in 2004 up to and including the 2013 season, but an upgrade over what his future stats would likely be in the Senior Circuit.

 

  • Colorado Rockies — Try very, very, very, very hard to get Mark Trumbo

This one comes from Troy Renck of The Denver Post, who said that the Rockies “have talked with the Angels about slugger Mark Trumbo”. Now, I know that he also said that Trumbo will be hard for the Rockies to get, so this prediction isn’t likely to be tested, but here it goes. If Mark Trumbo goes to the Rockies and plays 150 or more games, he will hit 50 home runs.

Now, I know that the cynical observer will point out that even if that happens, Trumbo is only a .250 career hitter who hit .234 last year. Very true, but consider these points.

This dude would thirve in Denver. Absolutely thrive. Photo credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

  • Andres Galarraga was a .267 career hitter before going to the Rockies. From 1989-1992, he only hit .246. In 1993, he hit .370 for Colorado in his first year with the team and had a .316 average in his five years in Denver.
  • Chris Davis entered the 2013 season as a .258 career hitter. He hit .286 in 2013 and ended up with 53 home runs, challenging Roger Maris‘ 61-home run-mark for much of the season.

Trumbo and Davis are the same age and have had very similar careers to this point. Davis’ career was turned around in 2012 by a change of scenery, and he became a star in 2013. There’s no reason to think that Trumbo couldn’t do similar things if he went to the Rockies.

Again, I know it’s tough for the Rockies, as the Los Angeles Angels are looking for pitching. But if there’s a four-quarters for a dollar bill trade out there that would land the Rockies Trumbo, I hope they take it. It’s worth a gamble.

 

  • Anyone — Sign Roy Halladay if he wants to come back

Okay, I’m cheating, as this isn’t really a fantasy baseball related issue at this point. Still, Roy Halladay has had a fantastic career and deserves to have a better curtain call than what 2013 offered. I’m not a fan of any team he’s ever played on, but this is definitely a fan-boy plea. I still watch when I’m flipping channels and see Doc on the mound, and I’d love to have that chance for another season.

Okay, let’s finish on a happier note.

 

  • Miami Marlins — Sign a power bat for the sake of fantasy owners of Giancarlo Stanton

This idea comes from two tweets from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

My best guess is that Mike Napoli himself will have better options (I’d guess the Boston Red Sox if I had to make a pick), but it doesn’t need to be someone of Napoli’s caliber. Giancarlo Stanton needs more than an injury prone and streaky Logan Morrison around him in the lineup. I’m not going to say that the Marlins are a sinking ship, but I think most of their top prospects are at least a year away from being ready to contribute at the Major League level (although I’m excited to see a full year of Christian Yelich).

Stanton’s got such raw power, but there’s really not ever a reason to pitch to him with men on base, and there aren’t often men on base. With one or two better hitters around him in the lineup, Stanton can return to the fantasy form he had in 2011 and 2012, when he was homering at a rate better than once every 14 at-bats.

Tags: Carlos Beltran Mark Trumbo Robinson Cano Roy Halladay

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