Another day down at the MLB Winter Meetings, another round of moves and rumors to talk about.
So, let’s not waste any time and get right into it.
WHAT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENED?
- Big day in Seattle
The Seattle Mariners added a few new bats to compliment Robinson Cano in the revamped lineup.
Via Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Via Clark Spencer, Miami Herald.
Fantasy Take: The Mariners lineup looks a lot more capable right now. How valuable Corey Hart and Logan Morrison are will depend on their health. The biggest beneficiary of these moves in terms of fantasy value looks to be Cano, who has capable hitters around him with the likes or Hart, Morrison, Dustin Ackley, and Kyle Seager. Click here for a more in depth look.
- Colon Moving East
Via Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Fantasy Take: The New York Mets are definitely gambling with that kind of money for a guy who’ll be 41 in May, but that doesn’t really matter here. Citi Field isn’t the pitcher’s park that it once was, but it’s still a nice place to pitch for a guy like Bartolo Colon, who can pound the strike zone. Also, moving to the American League is never a bad thing.
I’m expecting his production to be more like 2012 than a stellar 2013, but that’s still a viable fantasy arm. Don’t focus on the age or the contract, only the numbers. Those should be steady again for Colon in 2014.
- Another Pittsburgh Reclamation Project?
Via Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Fantasy Take: I can imagine all of you right now looking at what Edinson Volquez has done since 2008, seeing that 4.94 ERA and 1.509 WHIP and saying something like “big deal,” with a few NSFW words likely thrown in there.
I don’t disagree with that, but I will point you to the great bounce-back seasons that A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano had for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013. If Volquez gets off to a hot start, don’t be so quick to assume it’s a fluke and give serious thought to adding him to your fantasy team.
- Kemp Staying
Via Jayson Stark, ESPN
Fantasy Take: Not a good thing, as a cluttered Los Angeles outfield is going to take at-bats away from everyone in it. On the other hand…
This makes absolute sense to me. Yes, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a four-man outfield right now of Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, and Matt Kemp. Without a DH and with Adrian Gonzalez at first base, it would appear as though someone has to go.
But Crawford, Ethier, and Kemp are all getting older and have missed significant time due to injuries. Puig is younger and doesn’t have a big injury history, but also doesn’t seem to give much thought to running full speed into walls. A trip or two to the DL isn’t exactly far-fetched. So, having an extra outfielder won’t be a bad thing.
Additionally, Kemp is coming off of two injury-riddled seasons, so his stock is low right now. Why not let him play and raise his value? We may re-visit this at some point, but if Kemp is moved, I doubt it will be before the season begins.
WHAT THE RUMOR MILLS ARE SAYING
- Loney to Milwaukee?
Via Adam McCalvy, MLB.com
Fantasy Take: Keep an eye on James Loney. He’s a .285 career hitter and batted .299 in 2013. The power wouldn’t appear to be there, but he’s also never really hit in a good power park (save for a brief stint with the Red Sox in 2012).
If he goes to the Milwaukee Brewers, there’s genuine 15-20 HR potential with Loney hitting at Miller Park, and getting 9-10 road games in places like Wrigley Field and The Great American Ballpark.
I said this before when the Colorado Rockies were rumored to be interested in Loney, but he’s got potential to be just about as good from a fantasy standpoint as Adrian Gonzalez. No, he’s not the kind of player that Gonzalez is, but his numbers can be very similar if Loney gets a hitter’s park. Miller Park is not Coors Field, but it’s very hitter-friendly.
I’d like this move a lot.
- What about Choo and Cruz?
Really hard to get a beat on these two. They seemed to be linked in passing to many teams, but not hard to anyone. But here’s the latest.
Via Richard Durrett, ESPN Dallas
Fantasy Take: It certainly doesn’t seem like anything’s imminent, but I’d like to see Cruz return to the Texas Rangers. A heart of the order of Alex Rios, Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder, and Nelson Cruz (in that order) would be fantasy gold.
Via Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Fantasy Take: No clue what this means for Shin-Soo Choo and his fantasy value. I’d think that this eliminates many teams, but I don’t know how to handicap who is and isn’t a factor.
My gut tells me that Cruz ends up in Seattle and Choo ends up in Texas. I’d like both of those moves from a fantasy perspective, but I can’t give and insider links to say that one or both will come true. Just putting my prediction hat on as best I can.