Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball: Fantasy Impact on the Winter Meetings 2013/2014

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Many different moves have been made this winter that will certainly affect the way you want to draft this year. I will be looking at the biggest trades, acquisitions, etc. that will certainly have an impact. FYI: a lot of Yankees on this list. Sorry, but money talks.

Robinson Cano (SEA – 2B) – This guy was obviously by far the most coveted trophy winner of the offseason. Somewhere, I can see Jay-Z smiling and laughing all the way to the bank. With the terms now complete, Cano I believe will be hitting third or fourth in the Mariners lineup. He will probably have the likes of Kyle Seager and Corey Hart (no not the Canadian singer from the ‘80s) hitting in front and behind him, respectively. I still consider this a very average lineup with a big superstar in the middle. I would still draft Cano in the first round, but definitely not in the first couple picks. He will still put up good, but do not be surprised if he walks a little more this season. My guess he still bats .300, but there will be a dip in HRs (low 20s) and RBIs (90s). I consider Safeco Field a very pitcher friendly park. Plus, Cano does not have that short porch in Yankee Stadium that is always so pleasing. Whomever the Mariners put in the four-hole would still be not as dominant as someone the Yankees would put in the four-hole.

 


Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY – OF) – This one hits me personally as a Red Sox fan. To be honest with you the Yankees will be getting an excellent speedster and a wonderful lead off hitter. The question is, can he stay healthy though for the money they are paying him? I believe the contract was way too much for the type of player they were getting. He does not fill the void of a player like Cano, but when healthy I believe he is a top 20 player. In a common 10 or 12 team league I would be happy to draft him in the 3rd round or later. I believe it’s a huge risk/reward chance if someone were to draft him earlier. Jacoby is coming off of a solid 52 SB, .298 Avg. and 92 R season. I expect that these numbers are not going to change that much. They could go up or could go down depending on his health during the season. The Yankees lineup is very comparable to the Red Sox lineup, which is why I believe the numbers are not going to change.


Mark Trumbo (ARI – 1B/OF) – I absolutely love this move from both a reality and fantasy perspective. Trumbo has now been inserted into a lineup that features one of the best young hitters of the game (Paul Goldschmidt) and will excel in this role. Arizona will probably suffer a little in the field because they will have to play Trumbo in the field, but who cares he is the new protector of Goldschmidt. This helps both of their values. Trumbo has never hit for average and probably never will. I feel that he fits the four-hole spot better than the predominantly fifth-hole he hit in Los Angeles. His last year’s numbers of .234 Avg., 34 HRs and 100 RBIs I believe will see an increase. I see Trumbo as OF #2 in most formats. A guy I love this year and one of my sleeper picks. Great move Arizona!

Shin-Soo Choo (Tex, OF) – Another big acquisition this year was Choo to the Rangers. Choo has had many different roles in his batting career, from coming off of the bench to now being a lead off hitter in the majors. I do not consider Choo a lead off hitter but numbers do not lie. With the absence of Ian Kinsler and the Rangers waiving Nelson Cruz, they needed to get a lead off hitter for their ball club. There have been spurts of Choos career where he has shown flashes of being an unstoppable hitter and somewhere he goes into deep slumps. It seems the Rangers are trying to go into a different direction this year while still having pop in their lineup. They were used to having Kinsler who can hit HRs as well as Choo can. I am looking forward to see if Choo can keep up this momentum when it starts to heat up down in the Arlington area. Choo scored 107 runs, which was third in the majors, as the Reds’ lead off batter last year. I believe that production will go up because of the bigger better bats behind him. I feel like I have talked down about Choo a lot in this column but I would not mind him as my number one OF this year. He is a solid player that I would count on in the long hall.Carlos Beltran (NYY, OF) – Naturally the teams with the most money are going to be able to spend during the off-season. Well the Yankees are not changing their ways with the signing of Carlos Beltran. Mr. Clutch, Mr. Consistency and Mr. Reliable are just a few of the nicknames I like to give to Carlos Beltran. Beltran is one of those players that if you insert him into any lineup he is going to do his job and do it well. I have had the pleasure of having him on several of my fantasy teams in years past and he has played very well for me. I do like this move for the Yankees and you will not be disappointed in drafting Beltran again this year. My goal would be to lock Beltran up as my second OF somewhere within pick 40-50 in all formats. Carlos is like a fine wine. He gets better with age.Hiroki Kuroda (NYY – SP) – Probably one of the best pitchers in free agency the Yankees resigned Kuroda. With the likes of Ervin Santana and Matt Garza, I believe Kuroda is the best-equipped starting pitcher. Even though he is 39 years old, the signing is a risk/reward for the Yankees that will probably prove helpful. He is the perfect type of pitcher for Yankee Stadium, a ground ball pitcher that can go deep into games. He posted a low 3 ERA and had over 400 innings pitched last year. A low 3 ERA in the AL East is wonderful. I place Kuroda as a Tier 2/3 type of pitcher entering next year.

Closing Notes: I am anxious to see where the “big hype” kid Masahiro Tanaka ends up going. It looks like the Houston Astros are very close into signing him, but nothing is set in stone yet. My “scratch your head moment” of the off-season was Jim Johnson going to Oakland and Grant Balfour getting waived by Oakland. I know Johnson had more saves than Balfour, but his inconsistency really would of annoyed me as a fantasy owner. As a predominant AL East baseball watcher, I believe the Orioles were glad to dump Johnson. You can never count out Billy Beane and his Moneyball type atmosphere. Balfour was very reliable for a majority of the season. That was my “scratch your head moment.” Apparently Johnson was shocked by the move, as I was also. Balfour has not signed with anyone yet. Lastly, what happened to the David Price talk? Wasn’t he supposed to be traded this off-season?

If I were to rank the top five teams that have made the best off-season moves so far they would be: Seattle, New York (AL), Washington, Texas and St. Louis.

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy baseball news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, and Google+ for more updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

About Tyler Gettmann

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

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