MLB Winter Meetings: Fantasy Take on News from Orlando — Day 1

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed the news from Day 1 of the Winter Meetings, you didn’t miss much in terms of player movement. Plenty of rumors floated about and there’s been a lot of posturing, but nothing earth-shattering. Before we get into the fantasy take on the rumors, let’s quickly go over what did happen.

 

Hall of Fame

via Hall of Fame

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d really disagree with the selections of Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre. Hats off to them for great careers.

The exclusion of Marvin Miller has generated plenty of outrage and while I won’t dispute that Miller would normally belong in the Hall, I will direct you to something Murray Chass wrote about Miller, and now his family, not wanting him in Cooperstown.

 

Farewell Doc

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reported that Roy Halladay is calling it a career.

Two weeks ago, I said that I wanted to see Halladay come back so from a purely selfish point of view, it’s bad news. But this decision seems to be 100 percent Doc’s own and I always respect an athlete who knows when it’s his time. Congratulations on a great career, Doc. I’m not sure we’ll see many like him.

 

Now for some of the rumors and what they mean for fantasy baseball in 2014. We’re not going to go over every rumor, as some will just need to actually happen before we can guess on their fantasy impact. But there are some that need to be mentioned.

 

Potential Blockbuster off the table

Via Rob Bradford, WEEI.com.

I wouldn’t call this great news, as Matt Kemp has a game that would play very well at Fenway Park, and playing in the American League would probably do him some good. Him being traded would also make the outfield position a little deeper, as it both Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier would be full-time guys.

 

Diamondbacks big players

Via Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports.

I’m guessing Paul Goldschmidt is loving the threat of having Mark Trumbo and/or Shin-Soo Choo in the order. As a fantasy owner of his, I know I am.

Don’t undersell what the Arizona Diamondbacks could do in the offseason. Given the incredible run that the Los Angeles Dodgers put together to finish the year, it’s easy to forget that the Diamondbacks led the NL West for most of the summer. The Dodgers also won the division with 92 wins, two less than the Diamondbacks had in 2011. They consider themselves contenders. Now, how is this fantasy relevant?

Well, Chase Field is a great place to hit, and Goldschmidt is a good guy to be hitting around. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Choo score 120 or so runs batting lead-off there. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see Trumbo approach 50 homers and if Goldschmidt is pitched to, I could see him approaching that number as well. It’s a good thing for fantasy baseball if the Diamondbacks are bringing in bats.

 

Orioles Making Noise

Via Jon Heyman, CBS Sports.

Via Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports.

Is there a team with more fantasy relevant hitters than the Baltimore Orioles? I’m really a fan of this team and like the Diamondbacks, they play in a park made for hitters.

Logan Morrison would do quite well if the Orioles, if he stayed healthy. As for Nelson Cruz, I think the Seattle Mariners need him more than the Orioles or Texas Rangers, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them outbid everyone. Still, even with Robinson Cano in Seattle, I’d like Cruz’s fantasy value a lot more in Texas or Baltimore. With that said, he’s got power that can hit it out of any park and a 1-2 punch of Cano and Cruz to go along with the existing players would make that a potentially fun team for fantasy purposes.

 

Rakuten may not post Tananka

Those hoping that Masahiro Tanaka will come in and impact their fantasy teams may be out of luck, at least according to Peter Gammons.

This is a potentially big loss, as Tanaka had great numbers, just as Yu Darvish and Hisashi Iwakuma had in Japan. There’s really no reason to think that Tanaka wouldn’t have a similar impact, but if he isn’t posted, he won’t be in the Majors.

 

The Price Market

Via Jon Heyman, CBS Sports.

Now, David Price in the National League pitcher’s park like Dodger Stadium would be potentially scary good. Putting him in a rotation with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke would be phenomenal.

For very much the same reasons that I’d prefer Cruz didn’t go there, Price would be a good fit in Seattle. It’s a great place to pitch, unlike Texas. In terms of run support and team wins, Texas would probably be better than Seattle.

If those three teams and the Tampa Bay Rays are the options, this is what we as fantasy owners should want to see.

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Tampa Bay Rays
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Texas Rangers

The Dodgers are far-and-away the best. The other three are a little more tightly compressed.

 

 

Topics: MLB Rumors

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