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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ALEX RODRIGUEZ NOW NEGOTIATING WITH MLB REGARDING BIOGENESIS SCANDAL

New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is now negotiating with MLB regarding his upcoming suspension for the Biogenesis scandal. After saying publicly for weeks he would appeal any suspension, Rodriguez has now softened his stance with the reality of the situation at hand. It is widely assumed MLB will announce the suspensions on Friday and that all the players involved will accept their suspension.

FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: PERCY HARVIN WR SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

It didn't take long for the first few major injuries to hit prime fantasy football players entering the season.  Of course you have Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta go down for the year with a busted hip and than Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin follow suit with a ripped up ACL.  Making it a trifecta of big time receiving injuries was the news that Seattle Seahawks multi-talented WR Percy Harvin would miss the next 3-4 months after finally agreeing to undergo hip surgery.  So one of the biggest offseason stories, when Harvin was traded from the Minnesota Vikings to the Seahawks, will have to wait quite a bit for anything to be written in the entry.  Now as far as the fallout is concerned, this is obviously devastating news for those owners who already drafted Harvin.  Being out 3-4 months means we won't see Harvin until the end of October at the earliest and likely later.  Thus Harvin's owners will have a rough time staying in contention since it cost a third or fourth round pick to bring him aboard.  Needless to say the flip side of this is the idea of Sidney Rice now carrying greater value but he has been an annual source of frustration due to his inconsistency and injury problems himself.  So overall the whole Harvin thing is one big mess.  Again this is another reason why you must have your drafts as close to the season as humanely possible.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: ORIOLES ACQUIRE SP BUD NORRIS FROM ASTROS

The Baltimore Orioles won the Bud Norris Derby in trading for the Houston Astros SP before the 4 PM ET trade deadline. The Orioles completed the deal by trading L.J. Holes, a prospect, and a draft choice.

Analysis:  Nice move by the Orioles to shore up the rotation but this does nothing but hurt Norris' fantasy baseball value in going from the weak AL West to the rough AL East. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: ASTROS TALKS REGARDING BUD NORRIS "SEEING PROGRESS"

The Houston Astros could be getting closer to trading SP Bud Norris according to a team source.  The source claimed that the team was "seeing progress" in talks with possibly the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Analysis:  Norris is looking more and more like a goner.  Stay tuned. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: PADRES ACQUIRE SP IAN KENNEDY FROM D-BACKS FOR RP JOE THATCHER

The Arizona Diamondbacks officially traded former ace SP Ian Kennedy to the San Diego Padres for setup man Joe Thatcher and a minor league pitcher. 

Analysis:  Nice work by the Padres who held onto both Huston Street and Luke Gregerson in getting a guy who pitched like an ace in 2011.  While Kennedy has struggled since, going to Petco Park can only do wonders to his value.  Pick him up if available.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: TWINS NOT DEALING CLOSER GLEN PERKINS

The Minnesota Twins have let it be known they won't be dealing closer Glen Perkins despite their awful season.  Plenty of teams have called in on the All Star Perkins who is having a great season but the Twins have steadfastly refused to engage in any of these talks.

Analysis:  Nothing to see here.  Perkins is quietly one of the best closers in the game and the Twins have a nice thing going there.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: MICHAEL YOUNG NOW OK'S POTENTIAL DEAL TO NY YANKEES

Updating an earlier item, Philadelphia Phillies infielder Michael Young has now OK'd a potential deal with the New York Yankees after saying the same about the Boston Red Sox.  Sensing little movement in talks with the Texas Rangers and Red Sox, Young moved to include the Yankees with the trade deadline approaching so as to try and expedite his escape from a losing situation with the Phillies.

Analysis:  On and on it goes.  Young is really trying to get the hell out of Philadelphia and no one can blame him since he is an aging player looking to make a postseason run.  Stay tuned.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: D-BACKS-PADRES FINALIZING DEAL FOR IAN KENNEDY

The San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks are putting the finishing touches on a trade that will center on SP Ian Kennedy and a RP from Joe Thatcher, Huston Street, and Luke Gregerson. 

Analysis:  That came together fast.  It was only a few hours ago when this potential trade first came out and it looks like it is ready to be official.  Hope Street is the one to go so Gregerson can be thrust into a saves role the rest of the season.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: D-BACKS DISCUSSING IAN KENNEDY TO PADRES FOR RP

The Arizona Diamondbacks found an interested party in SP Ian Kennedy in the form of the San Diego Padres who are possibly willing to move a RP's among Luke Gregerson or closer Huston Street.  With the D-Backs having a big need for a closer, this makes sense on a few levels.

Analysis:  Kennedy in San Diego would be very interesting indeed given the advantages of the ballpark.  Street leaving would also open the closer role for Gregerson with the Padres so those who need saves should pick up the latter right now in case.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: BRAVES OUT ON BUD NORRIS, RANGERS ARE IN

Updating an earlier item, the Atlanta Braves are officially out of the running for Houston Astros SP Bud Norris, while the Texas Rangers have emerged as a potential suitor.  The Arizona D-Backs and Cleveland Indians have also been mentioned as possibilities.

Analysis:  Still 50/50 as to whether Norris goes or not.  Scratch Atlanta off the list.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ALL QUIET WITH METS ON BOBBY PARNELL AND MARLON BYRD

According to a source close to the New York Mets front office, there is nothing doing on both closer Bobby Parnell and outfielder Marlon Byrd on a trade.  The big surprise is that the Mets are not looking to deal Byrd since he will be a free agent and is already 36 but manager Terry Collins has stated that the team is still looking to stay in contention. 

Analysis:  Parnell was never going anywhere but the Mets are fooling themselves with holding onto Byrd for playoff contention purposes.  Dumb. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ORIOLES NOW TALKING WITH MARINERS ABOUT MIKE MORSE AND OLIVER PEREZ

Still looking for a bat, the Baltimore Orioles are now talking with the Seattle Mariners about slugger Mike Morse, in addition to discussing RP Oliver Perez.  No word on whether the Orioles can get them in a package deal but they also are still in talks with the Twins about Justin Morneau as the deadline gets closer.

Analysis:  The Orioles are trying to get a deal done harder than anyone else in baseball right now.  We know for sure they are talking with Seattle and still with Minnesota so at least the effort is there. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: PADRES GETTING OFFERS FOR RP'S LUKE GREGERSON AND JOE THATCHER

The San Diego Padres are getting calls on RP's Joe Thatcher and Luke Gregerson according to a team source.  Both the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates have expressed interest there.  The same official said that Thatcher is the guy the Padres want to deal and not Gregerson.

Analysis:  Thatcher is a decent get for whoever can make the deal.  Keep checking back.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: BLUE JAYS ONE TEAM IN ON HOWIE KENDRICK

Updating an earlier item, the Toronto Blue Jays have contacted the Los Angeles Angels about 2B Howie Kendrick.  Nothing seems imminent at the moment but the Angels have let it be known they would rather trade Kendrick than shortstop Erick Aybar.

Analysis:  Lots of stuff going on at the moment around baseball.  Stay tuned for more.

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: GIANTS TO TRADE JAVIER LOPEZ, WILL LIKELY KEEP TIM LINCECUM AND HUNTER PENCE

The New York Post's Joel Sherman reports that the San Francisco Giants will trade RP Javier Lopez before today's 4 PM ET trade deadline and wind up keeping SP Tim Lincecum and OF Hunter Pence.  The market for Lopez has heated up, with the Tigers and Braves two teams heavily involved.  Meanwhile the Giants have not liked the offers for both Lincecum and Pence and feel they would have a better chance of re-signing both if they don't trade them.

Analysis:  Interesting.  All along we heard Pence was a goner but now this about face.  Lincecum is a guy the Giants want to re-sign, especially after his nice second half start.  However Pence is surprising since there were a lot of teams interested in his bat. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ORIOLES STILL TALKING ABOUT JUSTIN MORNEAU

The Baltimore Orioles remain involved in talks with the Minnesota Twins about 1B Justin Morneau.  The Orioles have tried to shore up the first base position for weeks and Morneau is the guy they have looked at the most.  No word on what they would be sending back in a possible trade.

Analysis:  The Twins have no plans to keep Morneau after he hits free agency at the end of the season so you have to be surprised they haven't moved him by now.  His power is way down but he still drives in a decent amount of runs. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: TIGERS TALKING CLOSELY WITH GIANTS OVER RP JAVIER LOPEZ

                                                                                            

Continuing their quest to improve the bullpen, the Detroit Tigers are involved with talks with the San Francisco Giants about free-agent-to-be RP Javier Lopez.  The Tigers have already acquired closer Jose Veras from the Houston Astros but they also have made Lopez a target from early on in the trade period. 

Analysis:  Lopez has had a very good season for the Giants and the latter has no reason to keep him since he will be a free agent so this has a good chance to getting done.  Stay tuned as always.




FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ASTROS MULLING CONCRETE OFFERS FOR SP BUD NORRIS

                                                                                       

The Houston Astros have received concrete offers so SP Bud Norris from more than one team according to a source.  However there is no guarantee they will deal their ace given the fact he is signed to an affordable deal and is a strikeout pitcher. 

Analysis:  The Orioles, D-Backs, and Pirates have all been involved here so it is anyone's guess who has stepped up with an offer.  Either way it looks like a 50/50 issue of whether Norris is traded.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: MICHAEL YOUNG NOW AUTHORIZES TRADE TO RED SOX IF POSSIBLE

                                                                                        

Updating an earlier item, Philadelphia Phillies 1B/3B Michael Young has now authorized the team to trade him to the Boston Red Sox is possible.  After saying he would only accept a deal to his original team the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, indications that the latter was not interested in a deal pushed Young to include the Red Sox in discussions.  No word yet on whether Boston is still willing to do a deal after pulling off the Jake Peavy trade.

Analysis:  Good move by Young who senses something big happening in Boston now that they got Peavy.  There is no guarantee he will be dealt but at least Young is doing his best to make is happen.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: PADRES LOOKING AT SP IAN KENNEDY

                                                                                        

The San Diego Padres are monitoring Arizona Diamoandbacks SP Ian Kennedy as the trade deadline nears its arrival at 4 PM ET Wednesday.  While the D-Backs were originally looking to move Kennedy in order to open up a spot to pursue Jake Peavy, the team is still willing to listen to offers on him. 

Analysis:  Kennedy is not likely going to be dealt, especially now that the D-Backs could use him in their rotation since they didn't get Peavy in a trade.  Kennedy has not come close to duplicating his 2011 breakout season with Arizona and at this juncture in his career, looks like a regular SP 3.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: PHILS TO KEEP SP CLIFF LEE

                                                                                        

The Philadelphia Phillies have decided to hold onto ace SP Cliff Lee after not receiving anything close to a decent offer to move him.  According to a team source, the Boston Red Sox were viewed as his top pursuer but they bowed out after picking up Jake Peavy Tuesday night. 

Analysis:  It was going to be tough to move Lee given his exorbitant contract and so at least for the rest of 2013 he remains in a Phillies uniform.  Despite turning 36, Lee is having another big time season and remains a true fantasy baseball ace.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ALL PLAYERS EXCEPT AROD TO ACCEPT PLEA SUSPENSION IN BIOGENESIS

According to an MLB industry source, all players linked to the Biogenesis scandal will accept 50 game suspensions other than New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez who wants to appeal.  The suspensions don't include Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, or Yasmani Grandal who already have served 50 game suspensions for testing positive for steroids received from the company.

Analysis:  Sorry Nelson Cruz, Everth Cbarera, etc. owners.  You are about to lose your players for the remainder of the season.  Good riddance and one can only think about how rough it is going to get for Rodriguez due to his wish to appeal this.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ANGELS PULL BACK ERICK AYBAR, OFFERING UP HOWIE KENDRICK INSTEAD

                                                                                      

The Los Angeles Angels have decided to keep SS Erick Aybar and instead have decided to offer up second baseman Howie Kendrick instead.  Having already dealt RP Scott Downs and infielder Albert Collaspo in conceding they are out of the playoff hunt, the Angels are still looking to make some moves.  Kendrick is hitting well this season and should garner some interest from infielder-needy teams.

Analysis:  Kendrick is a nice player who finally is making hay in the fantasy baseball community.  Why they wouldn't deal the mediocre Aybar as well is a mystery but not bother.  

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE WRAPUP: NEW DIGS FOR PEAVY

Tuesday was a very busy day when it came to trades around Major League Baseball only 24 hours before the July 31 deadline.  The biggest deal of course was the three-team trade involving the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers that was highlighted by SP Jake Peavy landing in Beantown.  With that said let's check in on the deals in order to determine their worth in fantasy baseball terms.

1.  Red Sox trade SS Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox trade SP Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox, and the Detroit Tigers deal outfielder Avisail Garcia to the White Sox.

-There were also some minor leaguers involved but in fantasy baseball parlance, the names above are the ones to focus on.  The biggest name obviously is Peavy's who takes the following stats to the American League East and into the hart of a pennant race:

8-4, 4.28 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 76 K's in 80 IP.

Looking deeper at the numbers reveals a few things.  For one, Peavy once again is not beating himself with walks as he maintains his career-long terrific control.  Also, Peavy gave up 76 hits in those 80 innings which is a very solid ratio.  The big problems were once again the home run rate as Peavy surrendered 17 in those in 80 innings.  Really it is the gopher ball that has always been the difference between the San Diego Peavy and the Chicago Peavy.  Petco Park didn't allow baseballs to fly out which was the polar opposite in Chicago which accounts for the spike in ERA.  Going to Fenway Park certainly won't help the matter and so Peavy's fantasy baseball value doesn't change much other than his increased chances of getting wins.

As far as the rest of the package is concerned, Jose Iglesias is the classic case of a better real-life player than a fantasy baseball one.  The rookie is in the running for the Rookie of the Year Award on the strength of a splendid .330 average but that mark is almost completely empty with only 1 home run.  In addition, Iglesias has not been much of a boost on the bases with only 3 stolen bases.  In other words there is not much to get excited about.  He remains a waiver guy in non-AL only leagues.

2.  Oakland A's acquire infielder Albert Collaspo from Los Angeles Angels for minor league second baseman Grant Green:  

-Collaspo takes a .253 average to Oakland and once again it is pretty much an empty mark with 5 home runs and zero stolen bases.  Whereas Collaspo was once a decent average guy, he clearly is not that either.  Leave him on the wire.

As far as some of the other trades that went down in the last few days:

-Matt Garza getting traded to the Texas Rangers on paper is obviously not a good thing for his overall fantasy baseball value in going from the weak NL Central to the American League West.  The fact of the matter is that the Rangers are by far the strongest offensive team in the AL West and Garza will be able to feast on the awful offenses of the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, and the all right Oakland A's.  He has pitched very well his first two starts in his new locale and Garza's ability to strike out a batter per inning has him continuing to look like an SP 2.

-Jesse Crain going to Tampa Bay when he finally comes off the DL is a non-story when it comes to your fantasy baseball concerns.

-Same deal with Scott Downs heading to Atlanta.  Very good pitcher but nothing doing fantasy baseball-wise unless you are in a holds league.

-Jose Veras going to Detroit initially had me thinking he could challenge for the closer role but that doesn't appear to be the case for now.  So those who own Joaquin Benoit can breath easier.  However any stumble and Veras becomes a big threat. 

-Still love Alfonso Soriano going home to the New York Yankees.  Soriano has actually been undervalued the last three seasons as his home run rate is still very good.  Going back to New York will only make that rate much better.

There you have it.  As always keep checking in all day for the latest trade deadline news.





Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: A'S PICK UP INFIELDER ALBERTO CALLASPO FROM ANGELS

The Oakland A's completed a small deal for Los Angeles Angels infielder Albert Callaspo on Tuesday ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. The A's sent back over minor league infielder Grant Green. The Callaspo deal follows the Angels dealing RP Scott Downs on Monday in a clear signal they are aiming for next season.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RED SOX LAND JAKE PEAVY IN THREE-TEAM DEAL

The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a three-team deal that will land them Chicago White Sox SP Jake Peavy according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The Red Sox will surrender top young SS Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers while Avisail Garcia will head to Chicago. The Tigers wanted to cover themselves at shortstop in the likely even Jhonny Peralta gets suspended. Meanwhile Peavy represents a big upgrade to the Red Sox rotation that is still waiting for top ace Clay Buchholz to return.

FANTASY BASBEALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RED SOX MOVING CLOSER TO BRINGING ABOARD JAKE PEAVY

The Boston Red Sox are getting closer to acquiring SP Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox according to an industry source.  Talks ramped up over the afternoon and reports now indicate the White Sox are only discussing terms with the Red Sox at this point in the evening.

Analysis:  The White Sox are certainly in the thick of everything.  The Alex Rios to Pittsburgh talks have cooled apparently, especially after the outfielder left Tuesday's game after fouling a ball off his foot.  The bigger story now is Peavy to Boston which would really out the Red Sox over the top.  Stay tuned.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BARTOLO COLON, YASMANI GRANDAL, AND MELKY CABRERA TO AVOID BIOGENESIS SUSPENSION

Oakland A's SP Bartolo Colon, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, and San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal will all avoid suspension in the Biogenesis PED case according to a high ranking MLB source.  All three men have already been suspended for testing positive for illegal substances and the feeling is that MLB couldn't concretely prove the tests were not as a result of Biogenesis.  Everyone else linked to the case though is in play for a suspension.

Analysis:  Colon is really the only one fantasy baseball owners care about so at least this is good news on that front.  Tomorrow is looking like D-Day for the rest of the players.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: BUS NORRIS BEING PURSUED BY PIRATES, ORIOLES, D-BACKS

Houston Astros SP Bud Norris is being pursued by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona D-Backs, and and Baltimore Orioles according to a team source.  In anticipation of a trade, the Astros scratched Norris from his Tuesday start so as not to risk injury. 

Analysis:  Norris looks like a goner but we have seen some stops and starts with a few other key guys already so who knows.  He is affordable and is having a nice season in the American League so the Astros won;t give him away. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: PIRATES TO ACQUIRE OUTFIELDER ALEX RIOS

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired outfielder Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox according to a team source.  No word yet on what was given back the other way but Rios is heading east to fill a major hole for the playoff contention Pirates.

Analysis:  We heard this straight from the Chicago source's mouth so we feel good about this one.  Rios has 12 home runs and 22 steals on the season as he once again blends nice power and speed.  Good deal for Pirates who are clearly making a major move this season.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: PHILLIES' MICHAEL YOUNG WILL ONLY ACCEPT DEAL TO TEXAS

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Philadelphia Phillies infielder Michael Young will accept a trade only to his former team, the Texas Rangers. 

Analysis:  The lot thickens.  Young was basically given away by the Rangers to the Phillies before the season began and now he only wants to go back there.  That is Young's right since he has a no-trade clause but you would think he would want to go to a winning team no matter the locale for a shot at a World Series.  

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: PHILLIES TEAM SOURCE SAYS MICHAEL YOUNG ON HIS WAY OUT

A team source close to the Philadelphia Phillies front office reported that 1B/3B Michael Young "is on his way out" with the trade deadline only one day away.  On a related note that bolsters this argument, the Phillies called up top third base prospect Cody Asche. 

Analysis:  Not a surprise as Young has no future with the rebuilding Phillies.  Asche is an interesting name to look at if you need help at the hot corner and play in a keeper league but the bigger story is where Young will wind up.  Up to a half a dozen teams are involved in these talks.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: CARDS DONE TALKING WITH WHITE SOX OVER JAKE PEAVY

Updating an earlier item, the St. Louis Cardinals apparently have bowed out of the Jake Peavy sweepstakes with a day to go before the deadline.  Earlier in the day the White Sox scratched Peavy from his scheduled Tuesday start which means the team is engaged in trade talks with one team or another.  The Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox remain in the running, with the Atlanta Braves a longshot.

Analysis:  I never count anyone out until the deadline passes so don't automatically assume the Cardinals won't get Peavy.  St. Louis would be the best landing spot for Peavy in going from the AL to the NL but at least right now it appears they are not leading this derby.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: YANKS LATEST TO CHECK IN ON HUNTER PENCE

The New York Yankees are the latest team to check in on the availability of San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence according to a team source.  Pence has been made readily available by the Giants since he is a free agent at the end of the season and the team is well out of playoff contention. 

Analysis:  Pence will be a big help to anyone who picks him up due to his nice blend of speed and power.  Not sure about Pence in a big city since his worst career numbers came in Philadelphia but that is a debate for another day.  It is now starting to look like Pence will be on the move one way or the other. 


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: JAKE PEAVY SCRATCHED FROM TUESDAY START, TRADE IMMINENT?

                                                                                         

The Chicago White Sox have scratched SP Jake Peavy from his scheduled Tuesday start, hinting that a trade might be in the works one day before the July 31 deadline.  A day after saying Peavy was no longer on the market, the move to remove him from his start suggests something could be in the works.  The Oakland A's, Boston Red Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals have all been mentioned as possible landing spots.

Analysis:  Interesting.  I said all along Peavy was a goner and this confirms it.  The news could come quick here so check back soon.


FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

David Price:  7.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.57.  Price has been almost unhittable since coming off the DL and he has almost completely erased the memory of his rough start to the season.  No tired arm here.

Jered Weaver:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.84.  Yeah I know I know I went all crazy against Weaver coming into the season but remember that getting hurt is part of a BUST equation.  However in fairness Weaver has been very good since returning to active duty and his K rate is upping itself some as well. 

Pedro Alvarez:  1/4 with his 27th HR while hitting .244.  Alvarez has a shot at 40 home runs which is hallowed ground in this post-steroids period.  He is becoming a much more stable fantasy baseball commodity centering on extreme pop and a rough average.  If that's what gets you going.

Francisco Liriano:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.16.  What's funny about Liriano is that this is what we thought we would be seeing year after year after his smashing debut with Minnesota.  Who knew it would take a trip to Pittsburgh to make it happen.  Note to self:  if Phil Hughes signs here in the offseason, draft him as a SP 2.

Wilin Rosario:  3/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .277.  We have seen decent growth in Rosario's K rate this season which is showing up in an uptick in average.  Combined with the pop you now have a clear top 3 or 4 fantasy baseball catcher.

Brandon Beachy:  7 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 17.18.  Someone Kris Medlen is smiling.  Remember it takes a while for guys coming back from Tommy John surgery to get going again.  Patience please.

Jeff Samardzjia:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.75.  The 1.28 WHIP still speaks to Samardzjia not being a finished product but he is getting there.

Edwin Encarnacion:  1/4 with his 29th HR while hitting .278.  Right now you should draft Encarnacion over Prince Fielder next season.

Brett Lawrie:  1/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .207.  He is buried in the ninth slot in the order but Lawrie is finally hitting for power.  You can give him one more chance but don't go crazy.

Yoenis Cespedes:  3/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .232.  Hard to tell if Cespedes' early injuries took its toll on his batting average.  Clearly a step back there was taken but Cespedes has as much natural pop as anyone.  When you put it all together though the second round price tag has not been justified.

Monday, July 29, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: PHILLIES TAKE CHASE UTLEY OFF TRADE BLOCK

                                                                                              

The Philadelphia Phillies have officially taken 2B Chase Utley off the trade block according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.  Instead the Phillies are interested in extending Utley who came up through the team's minor league system. 

Analysis:  Not a surprise as this is what was rumored all along.  Despite this bit of news, the Phillies have given up on making the playoffs in 2013 and are listening on many other key players including Cliff Lee and Michael Young. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: REDS IN TALKS FOR GIANTS OUTFIELDER HUNTER PENCE

                                                                                      

The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly talking with the San Francisco Giants about free agent to be outfielder Hunter Pence.  The Giants have ramped up their efforts to move Pence since they now feel they are out of playoff contention and with little interest in bringing him back for 2014, the effort is to try and get what they can before they lose him for nothing.

Analysis:  The Texas Rangers reportedly have pulled out of the market for Pence which has boosted the Reds' chances of landing him in the next two days.  Pence has historically been one of the more underappreciated outfielders in fantasy baseball, supplying decent power/speed numbers every season.  He surely would be a nice help for the Reds or whoever brings him aboard in the next few days.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RAYS ACQUIRE JESSE CRAIN FROM WHITE SOX

                                                                                        

The Tampa Bay Rays have officially acquired RP Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox on Monday.  Backing up a Fantasy Sports Boss report from earlier in the day that the Rays were still talking directly to the White Sox about Crain after an apparent three team deal fell through, the trade was eventually worked out between just the two organizations. 

Analysis:  Crain is currently on the DL with a shoulder injury but the Rays obviously felt good about his prognosis.  He should be a big help to their bullpen which has unchracteristically struggled this season. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: MONDAY IS LAST DAY FOR AROD TO ACCEPT PLEA DEAL FROM MLB

                                                                                     

According to a source close to commissioner Bud Selig, Monday is the final day for New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez to accept a suspension for the remainder of 2013 and all of the 2014 season for his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal.  Rodriguez is being handed the much bigger suspension than the 65 games Ryan Braun got last week due to the notion Rodriguez lied to MLB investigators about his involvement with Biogenesis along with trying to obtain evidence himself with the idea to destroy it before Selig could get his hands on it.  Rodriguez has said all along he will appeal any suspension and in that case, the source reported that MLB would than move to suspend Rodriguez for life.

Analysis:  Both sides are dug in it appears and this should get ugly.  If Rodriguez is suspended for life, it is believed he would go and finish his career in Japan.  However it is questionable whether a lifetime ban would hold up in arbitration.  Either way this is compelling theater and at least a finality is close.


2013 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: AARON DOBSON WR

By now it is old news that the New England Patriots offense on paper is in shambles.  It all started with star tight end Rob Gronkowski first undergoing surgery for a broken forearm and than going back under the knife for a back procedure which had him out anywhere from 1 to up to 8 weeks of the upcoming season.  Next came the free agent departure of QB Tom Brady's favorite target, WR Wes Welker to the Denver Broncos.  Last but certainly not least was the arrest of Gronkowski's tight end counterpart, Aaron Hernandez for murder which rightfully earned his quick release.  Thus when the Patriots convened for training camp at the end of last week, it wouldn't be a shock to see name tags on all the receivers who were lining up with Brady and the offense on Day 1. 

In taking a closer look at the offensive unit, the free agent signing of Danny Amendola has been looked on as the cure for Welker's loss.  However Amendola's vast injury history where he has missed almost half of his games in four NFL seasons makes him an extreme risk to rely on.  Than there is the case of tight end Jake Ballard who missed all of 2012 with a knee injury and who is not even in the same area code as far as Gronkowski and Hernandez were as far as being a receiver and athlete.  Thus the crying need for someone to step up in camp who can fill the vast void for playmakers on the offense.  Enter rookie WR Aaron Dobson who was the team's second round choice out of Marshall in the 2013 NFL Draft.  The athletic and speedy Dobson, who stands an impressive 6-3 and 203 pounds, has been the talk of camp so far as he makes play after play in quickly creating a positive impression with Brady and the coaching staff.  That alone makes Dobson a must own fantasy football sleeper towards the middle of your draft this summer due to the golden opportunity he has to hit the ground running as a big time receiver with one of the best QB's in NFL history throwing his direction.  While Dobson clearly is an unknown not from a big school, the athletic ability checks out and when combined with the chance he is getting in the offense, this is one stock that could pay off big time this season. 

Once the preseason games get going, Dobson's stock will likely continue to rise if he comes out and makes plays like he has in camp.  Still we all know guys like Brady, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers can make a star out of almost anyone and certainly Dobson could be next in line with regards to this trend.

2013 PROJECTION:  71 catches 916 yards 5 TD


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: METS IN TALKS WITH "MYSTERY TEAM" FOR MARLON BYRD

A New York Mets team official claims that the team is involved with a "mystery team" over outfielder Marlon Byrd.  Despite the Mets insisting they are not interested in moving Byrd, who will be a free agent after the season, the source said the organization was waiting for other teams to contact them first.

Analysis:  There is no reason the Mets shouldn't move Byrd who can walk at the end of the season.  A righty bat with pop is always a previous commodity at the trade deadline and so Byrd should have more than a few suitors at this point.  Stay tuned.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RAYS STILL TALKING TO WHITE SOX ABOUT RP JESSE CRAIN

                                                                                       

The Tampa Bay Rays are still talking with the Chicago White Sox about acquiring RP Jesse Crain but the fact he is on the DL with an injured shoulder is holding up a potential swap.  The team refuted an earlier report that a three-team deal was in the works where they would get Crain but they also didn't deny they weren't still interested in making a one-on-one deal. 

Analysis:  This move would have no bearing when it came to fantasy baseball but the Rays are clearly trying to shore up their usually strong bullpen for the stretch run.  Stay tuned.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEW: BRAVES REBUFFED RANGERS OVER BRIAN MCCANN

                                                                                       

The Atlanta Braves rebuffed the Texas Rangers recently when it came to catcher Brian McCann.  Sensing that maybe the Braves would consider dealing away McCann due to the fact Evan Gattis is ready to serve as a replacement, a Braves source confirmed to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal a call was made to try and find out what it would take to complete a deal.  The Braves had none of it and the talks died there. 

Analysis:  McCann could head to Texas in the offseason since he is a free agent and it is not Atlanta's way to pay big for free agents whether it is their own or someone else's.  Still it would have been a shock to see them move McCann in the heat of the tight NL East race.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ROYALS REMOVE SP ERVIN SANTANA FROM MARKET

                                                                                        

The Kansas City Royals have firmly decided not to trade SP Ervin Santana according to a team source.  Given that the team just completed a sweep of the Chicago White Sox, the front office is now looking to pick up some help and not lose assets such as Santana who has pitched well this season.

Analysis:  That will give more play to Bud Norris and Jake Peavy as far as the limited numbers of starters who are available.  Good to see the Royals as buyers finally and not sellers.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: BRAVES ACQUIRE RP SCOTT DOWNS FROM ANGELS

                                                                                         

The Atlanta Braves acquired setup man Scott Downs from the Los Angeles for RHP Cory Rasmus Monday.  Once again Downs has been one of the best setup men in all of baseball as he compiled a 1.84 ERA before the trade and has been murder on lefties overall.

Analysis:  Check out Downs' career stats, especially the last couple of seasons and you will find a truly dominant reliever.  He will be a big help to the Braves bullpen pitching in front of closer in filling the role that Jonny Venters held.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: TIGERS PICK UP CLOSER JOSE VERAS FROM HOUSTON

                                                                                          

The Detroit Tigers addressed their bullpen issues by acquiring Houston Astros closer Jose Veras on Monday for outfielder Danny Vasquez and a player to be named.  Veras, who has pitched to a nice 2.93 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 44 K in 43 innings, could very well go right to the ninth inning for the Tigers in place of Joaquin Benoit.

Analysis:  Good move by Detroit as Veras has proven himself to be a very solid closer but Benoit owners are likely nervous about this.  While Benoit has pitched great all season, manager Jim Leyland wants a more proven commodity in the ninth inning.  Don't drop Benoit yet but at first glance this looks like a changing of the guard.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RED SOX STEPPING UP IN JAKE PEAVY DERBY

                                                                                        

The Boston Red Sox have stepped up with their offers for Chicago White Sox SP Jake Peavy according to multiple industry sources Monday.  With reports surfacing that the Oakland A's were in the lead to land Peavy, the Red Sox have taken that news as a sign they needed to get going in their pursuit.  Peavy has pitched to a 4.28 ERA on the season and just returned from the DL.

Analysis:  Peavy will be a big help to anyone who can bring him aboard but for fantasy baseball reasons we would love to see him go to the weak AL West with Oakland or to the St. Louis Cardinals which is also a big rumor. 


FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Ubaldo Jimenez:  8 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.17.  Jimenez has been more decent at times this season than last but still his WHIP is an unsightly 1.43 which speaks to how you really can't trust him for even one start.  This outing looks pretty no doubt but you are playing with an inferno if you mess with this.

Wil Myers:  2/4 with 2 home runs (7 for the season) while hitting .328.  No learning curve yet for Myers who has literally hit the ground running with his power game.  He was the consensus number 1 prospect hitter in the game heading into the season and he obviously has done nothing to dissuade that opinion.  At this rate the battle for Myers is going to be fierce next season in drafts and rightfully so.

Derek Jeter:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .375.  Of course Jeter homered on the first pitch after he got off the DL.  The man can still play but the body has to come along for the ride.

Alfonso Soriano:  4/5 with his first AL home run while hitting .308.  This is why I was so intrigued with Soriano going back to New York.  He is going to be a big difference-maker the rest of the way with his power bat and he clearly feels right at home back in New York.

Rajai Davis:  1/3 with 4 stolen bases (31 for season) while hitting .281.  Once again Davis is sitting there on your waiver wire looking to be that second half stolen base boost you need to gain in that category.

Giancarlo Stanton:  2/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .261.  Stanton has really upped the home run rate in the last two weeks which is a nice boost to his owners looking to salvage something out of his mess of a season.

Jose Fernandez:  8 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 13 K with an ERA of 2.71.  I just can't stand it.  I haven't felt this much love for someone since I first met my wife and discovered NFL football.

Gerritt Cole:  7 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.56.  I suspect we will be seeing more K games like this out of Cole who was a little slow there out of the gates after his promotion.  Put together with his terrific control and low hit rate and what you have is a SP ace in short order.

 David Ortiz:  4/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .329.  Sorry but I just can't help thinking of Ortiz' steroids controversy from a few seasons ago whenever he hits a home run.

Jon Lester:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.27.  Lester is becoming more and more like a human fantasy baseball roller coaster with his performances.  His WHIP was never great even when he was an ace so his aging and loss of velocity has made that aspect of his game worse.  Overall he is looking now like a classic SP 3 and no more.

Wilson Ramos:  2/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .290.  I have always said that Ramos could be a cheap fantasy baseball catcher option if he could ever stay healthy.  The bat reminds me of Jonathan Lucroy.

Alex Gordon:  1/6 with his 10th HR while hitting .269.  We have seen enough out of Gordon to conclude his ABSOLUTE ceiling in power is 20 home runs which he likely won't even reach.  He also doesn't steal enough bases to be anything more than an OF 3. 

Tommy Hanson:  5 ER in 4.2 IP with an ERA of 5.15.  One day Hanson and Josh Johnson will sit together in a baseball retirement home and share stories about how they should have gotten their shoulders fixed prior to the 2012 season.

Travis Wood:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 4 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.79.  Wood also hit a home run but alas it doesn't count. 

Tim Lincecum:  7 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 4.61.  Lincecum has looked very good since just before and after the break.  While I can't trust him completely, the boost in K's is big time and so Lincecum has earned some leash for the time being.

Nick Franklin:  3/4 with 2 home runs (10 for season) while hitting .277.  Better power than I thought from Franklin who is clearly now on everyone's radar.  The Seattle cover should help keep the price down some next season which means a nice buying scenario.

Yasiel Puig:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .372.  The next import from Cuba is going to become a very rich man after what we have seen from Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman.  Puig is shaping up to be next year's Mike Trout as far as a guy who goes from a midseason callup to a first round pick.

Tony Cingrani:  7 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.90,  More reasons why you should avoid drafting pitchers until at least round 5.  How about the guy who picked up both Jose Fernandez and Tony Cingrani off waivers?  There are plenty out there who are taking home their league title because of this.

Patrick Corbin:  8 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.24.  Yeah this will be the guy I have missed on the most this season.  Corbin has upped his K rate to help fight off the BABIP regression which is something I didn't envision.  Oh well the other 99 percent of the advice that was right on will have to do.

Shelby Miller:  5.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.79.  Miller is starting to show some tiredness as he gets into uncharted innings territory.  This was a given but it shouldn't overshadow how great he was the first half.  As long as he stays away from listening to Lance Lynn with regards to how to pitch in the second half in the future, he should be good.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: METS REFUSE TO DEAL CLOSER BOBBY PARNELL, LISTENING ON MARLON BYRD

The New York Mets have completely taken closer Bobby Parnell off the trading block leading into the July 31 trade deadline but at the same time are listening to offers for outfielder Marlon Byrd.  After publicly stating they didn't anticipate moving Byrd, a team source contends the Mets are not advertising him so as not to look desperate.  With Byrd set to be a free agent and possessing coveted righthanded power, the source said the Mets should start getting some offers in the next few days.

Analysis:  Byrd has shocked everyone with how well he has played this season with his power bat.  The recent steroids bust leads to speculation he is juicing again but either way it looks like the Mets will entertain the idea of a deal which they should since he is a free agent. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: OAKLAND THE CURRENT FRONT RUNNER FOR SP JAKE PEAVY

                                                                                          

According to a source close to the team, the Oakland A's should be viewed as the favorites to land SP Jake Peavy leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.  Even with Brett Anderson returning from injury, GM Billy Beane has made shoring up the rotation his number 1 priority in the next few days.

Analysis:  Peavy is in the sights of the Cardinals, Braves, Red Sox, and A's as far as possible landing spots and with so many involved, it is almost certain he will be moved.  Peavy has pitched decently when healthy this season but not as well as his comeback 2012. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SUBSCRIBE TODAY FOR THE 2013 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY FOOTBALL INSIDER MEMBERSHIP FOR ONLY $24.99

The Fantasy Sports Boss and the rest of our staff always prides ourselves on bringing you the best and most complete fantasy sports analysis we possibly can.  With that in mind we once again bring you the 2013 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football Insider subscription for only $24.99 for the entire season.  Like in years past, subscribers gain access to the following and more:

-Monday Morning Injury Report:  This feature goes into detail on all of the injury news from the previous day's games and their effects on fantasy football.  A must to stay on top of all the latest injuries which is always half the battle in winning your league title.

-START/SIT:  This Friday feature (and Thursday report on that night's game the previous day) details who you should START or SIT for each week's games.

-Ryan Steele's NFL Prime Plays:  For those who play in Pick Em Leagues or Office Pools, professional NFL Handicapper Ryan Steeler is back with his prime NFL ATS plays for the week.  These plays along are worth the price of the subscription.  

-Additional Status Reports and Player Analyzers that won't be seen on the site.

-Direct access to the Fantasy Sports Boss staff as far as answering all your key questions within hours of asking.  As you can imagine we get tons of e-mails daily but can't get too everyone.  Insider subscribers take precedent over everyone else as we serve as a sort of human personal adviser.

So be sure to join up now so that you can once again stay on top of all the competition courtesy of The Fantasy Sports Boss.  Use the BUY NOW tab above on the homepage in order to place your order.  We look forward to helping you win your league.




FANTASY FOOTBALL TRAINING CAMP TOUR: MIAMI DOLPHINS

We continue on with our team-by-team tour of all the NFL training camps leading up to the upcoming fantasy football season.  Today we remain in the AFC East as we check in on all of the fantasy football-relevant options on the Miami Dolphins.

Ryan Tannehill:  It would be stating the obvious that Tannehill didn't have nearly the instant success that fellow QB draftees Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson had in 2012 with his stat line of 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and 3,294 yards.  The fact of the matter is that Tannehill wasn't as bad as those numbers show as the Dolphins had a major dearth of support in the offense.  The Miami front office quickly moved to remedy that in the offseason by signing top free agent WR Mike Wallace and tight end Dustin Keller.  Thus Tannehill is set to take a nice step forward in his development in 2013 and maybe by a decent margin.  As a bonus, Tannehill could also dome some damage on the ground as he is adept at running with the rock.  While I don't see Tannehill moving himself into QB 1 territory, he is worth a flier as a backup option due to the fact he has some ceiling to his game.

Lamar Miller:  Big opportunity for Miller in 2013 as he ascends to the starting running back spot in place of the departed Reggie Bush.  It is all there for Miller to make good on major sleeper potential as he was very productive while in college with the Miami Hurricanes while showing ability both as a runner and as a receiver.  The only concern is that Daniel Thomas will be there to steal goal-line touches but this is not a given yet.  You will be paying a decent price here as everyone is in on the potential so there is risk but on opportunity alone Miller has a chance to do some big things this season.

Mike Wallace:  I have never been a big fan of Wallace who I think was vastly overpaid in free agency.  A big play receiver no doubt but Wallace doesn't catch enough passes to be a top PPR weapon.  A typical Wallace season has him catching about 75 passes for 1,100 yards and 7-10 touchdowns.  Very good numbers for sure but he also has to depend on improvement from Tannehill which is never a given.

Brian Hartline:  Nice PPR WR 3 season by Hartline in 2012 as he caught 74 passed for 1,083 yards.  However Hartline only caught 1 touchdown which speaks to his limitations.  With Mike Wallace now in town, Hartline is likely going to see some giveback to his stats.  I don't like him as anything more than a backup.

Dustin Keller:  Keller was a good but not great tight end option during his four year career with the New York Jets but he still has some potential due to the fact Gang Green was never a big passing outfit.  With two big names in Aaron Hernandez and Dennis Pitta already off the board at the shallow tight end spot this season, someone like Keller is moving up the board as a possible every week guy.  One big positive is the fact young QB's like Tannehill love throwing to safety valve tight end and so that makes Keller a decent late round gamble.

Dan Carpenter:  Carpenter statistically has been one of the worst kickers in football the last two seasons so he should not be drafted.

Defense:  The Miami defense did some big things in 2012 behind the pass rushing of Cameron Wake.  Wake is back to threaten double digit sacks once again and the unit as a whole is on the rise.  Very solid defense to invest in this season.

There you have it.  As always let us hear your thoughts.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ANGELS 1B ALBERT PUJOLS (FOOT) LIKELY OUT FOR SEASON

                                                                                        

Los Angeles Angels 1B Albert Pujols is likely finished for the remainder of the 2013 season due to the fact he will head for surgery on his injured foot.  Pujols has dealt with a tear in the plantar fascia in his left foot and apparently the pain had gotten too bad for him to continue. 

Anlaysis:  The vast aging of Pujols and fading of his fantasy baseball star continues.  Yours truly has always believed Pujols is older than his listed 33 and now his body is breaking down badly.  He is light years away from his decade as the number 1 player in fantasy baseball and now can only be viewed as a former star who is eroding right before our eyes. 


FOLLOW THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE TRADE DEADLINE FOR ALL THE LATEST

The MLB trade deadline is always a keep time of the season both in real and in fantasy baseball.  Our staff is all over the latest news and details so be sure to follow us closely on Twitter @ROTOBOSS or by continually coming back to the site.  We have sources all over the league and are tuned in to everything.  Things are already ramping up so it should be busy.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: PHILLIES SOURCE SAYS MICHAEL YOUNG WILL "100 PERCENT" BE TRADED

                                                                             

A source close to the Philadelphia Phillies front office told the Fantasy Sports Boss that infielder Michael Young will "100 percent" get traded at or before the July 31 trade deadline.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. officially waived the white flag on Saturday as the Phillies fell ten games back in the wild card chase and Young headlines the group of players available.  The same source also indicated that SP Cliff Lee is not being offered up like Young is.

Analysis:  Young has quite a bit of interest out there with the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, and Rangers chief among those pursuing him.  While Young has little fantasy baseball value at this stage of his career, the Phillies should make things interesting at the deadline irregardless.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: CARDS TO TRY AND OBTAIN JAKE PEAVY/ALEXEI RAMIREZ PACKAGE DEAL

                                                                                         

The St. Louis Cardinals are ramping up their efforts to acquire both Chicago White Sox SP Jake Peavy and SS Alexei Ramirez at or before the July 31 trade deadline.  The White Sox have waived the white flag and are offering anything that is not nailed down according to a team source, with Peavy at the top of the wish list. 

Analysis:  There is no indication that anything is close here as the Atlanta Braves are also heavily involved with Peavy.  Peavy has pitched well since coming off the DL, having struck out 10 batters in 13 innings.  Ramirez meanwhile has become a major stolen base threat this season and would fill a big need for the Cardinals. 


FANTASY BASEBAL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ORIOLES TALKING TO TWINS ABOUT JUSTIN MORNEAU

                                                                                       

The Baltimore Orioles are currently engaged in dialogue with the Minnesota Twins about 1B Justin Morneau according to reports.  The Orioles are looking for one more bat before the head into the stretch drive of the season and the free-agent-to-be Morneau appeals to them as a stopgap solution.

Analysis:  Morneau should be elsewhere once the trade deadline has passed since the Twins are rebuilding and they have no crying need for him.  The Orioles and Texas Rangers are the two most aggressive teams with regards to trying to obtain a bat.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: YANKS' ALEX RODRIGUEZ COULD BE SUSPENDED THROUGH 2014

                                                                                         

The latest in the Alex Rodriguez Biogenesis scandal centers on reports that the New York Yankees third baseman could be suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season in addition to all of 2014.  With Ryan Braun already having accepted his own suspension, it is rumored that Rodriguez is next up when it comes to being given a suspension by MLB.  Unlike Braun, Rodriguez has vowed to appeal any suspension.

Analysis:  Let's get this over with already.  If MLB has the goods to nail Rodriguez, what is the wait?  Either way Rodriguez is finished as a fantasy baseball option so this doesn't impact our game much.  Still it is compelling to see the hard fall a former superstar is taking.


FANTASY BASEBALL WEEKLY ADDS/DROPS

Sunday once again brings a new week of crucial fantasy baseball action and with it another set of adds and drops to stay ahead of the game.  Here is who makes the cut this week.

ADDS

Jenry Mejia:  Mejia was once the crown jewel pitching prospect in the Mets farm system before Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler but Tommy John surgery scuttled that idea for awhile.  Still Mejia was given another look Friday when he pitched 7 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts against the Washington Nationals.  The outing was so good that manager Terry Collins will keep Mejia in the rotation as a means to lessen the workload of Harvey,  This is a live and powerful arm that reminds me of a late developing Homer Bailey.  Health is everything and at this point Mejia finally has it. 

Joakim Soria:  There are rumblings that the Texas Rangers are listening to offers for closer Joe Nathan due to the fact they have a very capable and experienced Soria to step in for the ninth inning.  While it would be tough to believe this happening since the Rangers fashion themselves World Series contenders, the week ahead of the trade deadline is always when you want to stock up on possible replacement closers for the guys who gets traded.

Mark Melancon:  With Jason Grilli on the DL, fellow All Star Melancon gets another crack a the ninth inning.  While he has melted there in the past, Melancon has done the job so far and has the type of stuff conducive to closing.

Travis D'Arnaud:  D'Arnaud is considered the top hitting catching prospect in the game and he is finally back and playing in games at the minor league level after dealing with a broken foot all season.  The Mets plan on giving him a long look soon enough in order to break him in for 2014 so now would be the time to make a stash.

Randall Delgado:  Just the latest in a very long line of Atlanta Braves pitching prospects who made good either there or another organization.  Can't argue against the pedigree when it comes to these guys.

Wesley Wright:  Could get the first crack at saves in Houston if Jose Veras gets moved.  Nothing to write home about there but saves are saves for those who need the help.

DROPS

Dan Straily:  Nice strikeout totals but just too inconsistent to rely on yet as anything but a streamable guy.

Alicides Escobar:  Listen I touted him more than anyone but now hitting .241, it is time to cut the chord.  Escobar had a very good April but the bottom fell out from that point.  Still looking like a Quad-A player.

Heath Bell/J.J. Putz/David Hernandez:  All three get pushed to irrelevancy due to the fact Brad Ziegler is now the new closer in Arizona.  Yeah that doesn't say much for this trio that's for sure.  This has been one big mess all season.




Saturday, July 27, 2013

FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: BLOODBATH SATURDAY FOR PITTA, MACLIN

NFL training camps have only been open for a few days and already the major injuries are piling up.  It was learned on Saturday that Baltimore Ravens burgeoning star tight end Dennis Pitta will be lost for the entire season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken hip.  On the same day it was also revealed that Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin was lost for the season with a torn ACL.  Both guys were expected to put up good to possibly very good numbers this season in fantasy football and their losses are significant. 

In the case of Pitta, yours truly was aiming to draft him in the Fantasy Sports Boss money league because he was absolutely set up to have a major breakthrough campaign as QB Joe Flacco's favorite target.  Pitta and Flacco created some terrific chemistry last season, with the tight end catching 7 touchdowns and becoming on of the most important receivers.  That was especially going to be the case in 2013 after Anquan Boldin signed with the San Francisco 49ers.  Now Pitta joins Aaron Hernandez (albeit in very different circumstances) as two potentially big time fantasy football tight ends whose absence has thinned an already shallow pool of options.  Thus guys like Jason Witten, Vernon Davis, and Jimmy Graham become that much more valuable.  Your best bet if you are going to wait on tight end is to look at Martellus Bennett in Chicago, Brandon Myers in New York with the Giants, or Jermaine Gresham in Cincinnati.  The loss of Pitta is a huge blow for myself and many others who saw stardom happening.

As far as Maclin is concerned, this is the story of his career.  The guy can't ever stay healthy and he remains a solid player but one who you always expect more out of.  I was intrigued as to how he would look in new head coach Chip Kelly's offense but that is obviously no longer part of the picture.  Cast him aside and elevate DeSean Jackson slightly.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ROYALS DEBATING OFFERING SP ERVIN SANTANA FOR TRADE

The Kansas City Royals are debating whether to begin offering SP Ervin Santana for trade in order to capitalize on a surprising very good season by the erratic righty.  Santana has pitched to a very good 3.06 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the disappointing Royals.  The Braves would figure to go right to the head of the line if Santana is put on the block.

Anaysis:  Santana is a guy who has hurt us many times in the past with his inconsistency but so far he has been money this season.  While it doesn't seem like the Royals will move him, stranger things have happened.  Stay tuned.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: CUBS PEDDLING NATE SCHIERHOLTZ, KEVIN GREGG, AND JAMES RUSSELL

Already having traded outfielders Scott Hairston and Alfonso Soriano along with SP Matt Garza, the Chicago Cubs are now pushing to get rid of relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell, along with outfielder Nate Schierholtz. 

Analysis:  Basically the rebuilding Cubs are dealing away anything that is not nailed down.  Gregg, Russell, and Schierholtz are all on one-year deals and thus should find a new home in a few days at most.  The only fantasy baseball worthy item here is if Gregg gets dealt since he would likely go into a setup role and lose his value.


FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: HANLEY RAMIREZ SS/3B LOS ANGELES DODGERS

It seemed like more of the same.  When it came to the vastly declining status of Los Angeles Dodgers SS/3B Hanley Ramirez, the start of the 2013 season served as nothing but a reinforcement of how far he had fallen in the eyes of the fantasy baseball community.  Once considered the top overall player in the game worthy of the number 1 choice in drafts after coming up with the Miami Marlins, immaturity and injuries conspired to send Ramirez' stock spiraling down the charts as the 2013 season dawned.  After getting dealt by the Marlins to the Dodgers at the trade deadline last year due to the former organization throwing up their hands with Ramirez' lackadaisical play and run-ins with management, it was thought that a clean slate in the more relaxed west coast would settle him down and allow his vast talent to once again resurface.  However a broken hand suffered in spring training forced Ramirez to the DL to start the season and after coming back for less than a week in April, another bite by the injury bug sent him right back to the infirmary until the very end of May.  More of the same indeed.

However a funny thing soon happened.  As the Dodgers were quickly fading from early contention due to a lack of hitting and injuries, Ramirez' return seemed to light a fire both in his bat and in the team as a whole.  For the first time since perhaps the 2010 season, Ramirez was performing like the number 1 overall pick he was early in his career as he stole bases and hit for power with a terrific average.  Ramirez would continue on his tear right up into Saturday's games to the tune of a ridiculous .387 average with 11 home runs and 7 stolen bases.  Finally Ramirez was back to hid old self as he has been tearing up the league like no other hitter in the game. 

Now to get a bit deeper into the numbers.  Many are wondering if what Ramirez is doing is in fact legit or if it is just another tease before immaturity and injuries ruin the picture again.  While we can't ever predict injuries, the hitting part of Ramirez' resurgence checks out completely.  Surely we can't expect Ramirez to hit .387 for the season, the power/speed combo is very much realistic and will remain part of his fantasy baseball equation.  Remember that Ramirez is still only 30-years-old which means he remains flat in his prime.  Ramirez also stole 21 bases last season despite dealing with injuries so his speed is still intact.  Also while his power has never approached the 33 home runs he hit in 2008, Ramirez has consistently hit in the 20-27 range since.  This is who he is and what he should remain for the time being. 

All in all, those who patiently stuck by Ramirez this season are being rewarded with monster numbers right now.  Still qualifying at shortstop which heightens his value even more, Ramirez is putting himself back into early second round territory for drafts next season.  Sure he remains an injury risk but Ramirez can still put up numbers like few in the game can. 


FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: FRIDAY

Daniel Murphy:  4/5 with 2 home runs (8 for season) while hitting .286.  Will take 520 at-bats for Murphy to possibly reach double-digits in home runs which is par for the course for Murphy so don't let this game fool you.  Nice player but better in real life than in fantasy baseball.

Ike Davis:  1/3 with his 6th HR while hitting .177.  This was a meaningless home run that came in garbage time so I am not impressed.  No one cares about Davis anymore anyway so let's move on.

Jenry Mejia:  7 IP 7 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 0.00.  At one time Mejia had as much hype as Matt Harvey coming up the minor league ladder so I am intrigued.  Injuries stunted his growth which included Tommy John but the fastball is back and moving which showed in the K's.  Terry Collins said after the game Mejia would stay in the rotation so at the very least the kid should be watched.  Live arm.

Jordan Zimmerman:  5 ER in 6.2 IP with an ERA of 3.19.  This one hurt Zimmerman in the Cy Young race and his fantasy baseball owners a bit as well.  Overall though Zimmerman has firmly solidified his status as a top end SP 2, with only a lack of K's preventing him reaching ace status.

Ryan Zimmerman:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .279.  Zimmerman is emblematic of the massive hitting struggles the Nationals have had this season.  Forget about his 30 home run season.  Outlier.

Matt Harvey:  8 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.11.  Amazing.  He didn't get the win.  (Sigh).  Shocked Harvey was allowed to go eight innings since he will be monitored there the rest of the way but so far no fatigue signs.

Manny Machado:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .303.  At this point next season Machado will have at least 15 home runs.  Write it down.

Adam Jones:  2/4 with 2 home runs (22 for season) while hitting .294.  Jones or Andrew McCutchen?  Let me know.

Chris Tillman:  7 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.19.  WHIP is a little high at 1.30 but Tillman is making strides toward SP 2 territory.  You all love me for recommending a pickup back in May.

Nelson Cruz:  1/5 with his 24th HR while hitting .270.  Any day now Nelson.  Any day.

Ryan Raburn:  2/6 with his 11th HR while hitting .273.  Ryan Raburn has 11 home runs.  Holy crap.

C.C. Sabbathia:  7 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 4.65.  The one saving grace Sabbathia owners had was that he was a historically strong second half pitcher.  With his stuff a full notch or two below his prime, it doesn't even matter.  I can't believe I am saying this but bench him until he shows signs.

Jose Reyes:  3/3 with his sixth HR and 11th SB while hitting .338.  Reyes is now trading steals for home runs.  Sounds good to me as this will help save his always fragile legs.

Edwin Encarnacion:  3/4 with 2 home runs (28 for season) while hitting .269.  Both home runs came in the same inning.  Yeah Encarnacion is some kind of awesome.

Adam Lind:  1/5 with his 12th HR while hitting .296.   Been awhile since we talked about Lind since his home run swing went quiet.  Was expecting to see the average around .265 but was happy to see that was not the case.

Doug Fister:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.67.  Fister Fisted the Phillies and they didn't enjoy it.

Giancarlo Stanton:  2/2 with his 12th HR while hitting .247.  Can't get excited about the guy until he gets the hell out of Miami.

Yadier Molina:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .335.  If this were real baseball Molina would be a top five pick overall as per many MLB execs.  I agree.

Jason Heyward:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .223.  Too little too late?  Maybe.

Mike Minor:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.89.  I smell a Status Report coming on so I can write four paragraphs bragging about how I told you he could do a 2012 Kris Medlen impression. 

Carlos Gomez:  1/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .301.  Of course Gomez homered.  It is because he wants to reinforce how locked in I was with my predictions this season.

Wily Peralta:  5 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.54.  So yeah all those people who finally picked up Peralta after his sterling stretch are hurting this morning in a bad way.  As quick as he was added is as quick as he gets dropped.

Tyler Chatwood:  7 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.48.  Can't get too worked up about any Colorado pitcher but this was impressive.  Watch him his next outing.

Randall Delgado:  9 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 2.45.  Another former Braves pitching prospect who is making good a la Medlen, Minor, Julio Teheran.  You can't argue with the pedigree.  Pick him up.

Mike Trout:  3/5 with his 17th HR while hitting .324.  Upward and onward we go as Trout will probably hit 20 home runs the rest of the way with 20 steals.  I am only partially kidding.

Hanley Ramirez:  2/4 with his 11th HR and 7th SB while hitting .387.  Ramirez' teammates have to wear SPG 50 around him he is giving off so much heat.

Clayton Kershaw:   8 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.96.  The numbers speak for themselves with this star.

Kendrys Morales:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .281.  Please tell me you picked him up already. 

Felix Hernandez:  9 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.34.  Next season it goes Kershaw, Harvey, Hernandez in the pitching hierarchy.




Friday, July 26, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RANGERS CHECKED IN ON HUNTER PENCE AND MICHAEL YOUNG

Looking to replace the injured Lance Berkman's bat in the lineup, the Texas Rangers have now reportedly looked into possibly acquiring the San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence and the Philadelphia Phillies' Michael Young.  The news about Young is a surprise since the Rangers traded him to the Phillies before the season but he could slide into the DH slot now that Berkman is out.

Analysis:  The Rangers have the farm system to get a deal done with one of the available hitters out there so it is only a matter of time before something gets done.  They already have brought in Matt Garza to shore up the pitching staff which leaves the lineup the last area which needs to be addressed.


FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Freddie Freeman:  1/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .306.  Freeman has all the classic signs of being a guy who is destined for 30 home runs and 100 RBI.  Injuries interrupted that path this season but the per game numbers since his return from the DL jive with that assessment.

Dan Uggla:  1/3 with his 21st HR while hitting .204.  Uggla is still putting plenty of balls over the fence but you just can't own the guy if he is hitting less than .230 which has been the case the last season-plus.  It will only get worse from here.

Zack Wheeler:  6 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.72.  Wheeler is starting to find some traction as he was good his last two starts.  Remember that Clayton Kershaw had some major control issues when he first came up before turning into a stud.  I am not saying Wheeler is on par with Kershaw but the power stuff could be terrific is he works on the control issue.

Bryce Harper:  3/5 with his 14th HR while hitting .271.  Harper hit leadoff in this one which was eye opening and not really what you want to see since it will take a hit to his RBI totals.  Truth be told after a crazy good April, Harper has been a bit ordinary since than in just discussing this season. 

Hiroki Kuroda:  7 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 2.51.  Kuroda has not given up a run since the Jimmy Carter administration.

Torii Hunter:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .308.  Love this guy.  I will say it again for emphasis:  Torii Hunter has never disappointed his fantasy baseball owners.  Never.  Pick him up already.

Victor Martinez:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .267.  So yeah remember when I told you to stay patient with Martinez who needed to work off rust after missing all of last season?  Let's see.  April average?  .221.  May average?  .235.  June average?  .240.  July average?  .395.  YUP!

Norichika Aoki:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .294.  Well one thing we have learned about Aoki this season is that there is not anymore pop to tap into. 

Carlos Gomez:  3/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .301.  Its a beautiful thing when all the athleticism in the world comes together to form a batting masterpiece such as Carlos Gomez.

Yovani Gallardo:  6 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.88.  There is the Gallardo I love to hate. 

Mark Buehrle:  9 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.50.  Have to always mention games like this but Buehrle is nothing more than an SP 5 given his new home.

Lance Lynn:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.98.  This is Lynn saying up yours to the second half fade.  However truth be told he wasn't that great as he put 9 baserunners on.  Still convinced he is not Dan Haren in his prime.

Billy Butler:  2/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .277.  Butler better go on some second half home run tear if he is going to keep the great memory of 2012 going.

Aaron Hill:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .269.  Do yourself a favor and trade for Hill before he has 15 home runs by the end of September.

Nick Franklin:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .265.  I have been impressed with Franklin who has hit for some nice pop since coming up from the minors.  I will be revisiting this next season.

Hisashi Iwakuma:  6 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.87.  Reminders of April and May.

Zack Greinke:  7 IP 6 H 4 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.49.  Still not completely there yet but better than where we started.  Have no answers overall.

Jay Bruce:  1/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .276.  If we can get Bruce to hit .280 for the season we really talking.







Thursday, July 25, 2013

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TEXANS RB ARIAN FOSTER BEHIND SCHEDULE IN RECOVERY FROM CALF STRAIN

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster will not be cleared to take part with the team in drills at the start of training camp due to ongoing issues with the calf strain he suffered in May.  Foster was placed on the PUP list which means Ben Tate will get all the first team work.  It is expected at this point that Foster should be recovered in time for Week 1 but the team is also discouraged he is still not ready to go.

Analysis:  This bears watching as Foster has had a very heavy workload the last three seasons which could be taking a toll on his body.  Tate is a must have handcuff for all Foster owners and the latter's calf problem moves him down slightly in the pecking order when it comes to running backs this season.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: SEAHAWKS' PERCY HARVIN COULD BE HEADED FOR SURGERY ON LABRUM, WOULD MISS THE SEASON

In what could be devastating news for the Seattle Seahawks and fantasy football owners everywhere, star wide receiver Percy Harvin could be headed for season-ending surgery on the labrum tear in his shoulder according to the NFL Network.  Harvin is headed for a second opinion but all indications are that he will need to go under the knife and thus have to wait until 2014 to make his debut in his new home.

Analysis:  Unreal.  This is why I always advise having your draft as close to the season as possible.  Harvin was shaping up to be a star in Seattle but now he needs to be crossed off all cheat sheets. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: YANKS-CUBS DEAL FOR ALFONSO SORIANO IMMINENT

The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs have a deal in place for outfielder Alfonso Soriano and the trade has been termed "imminent" according to an industry source.  No word on what the Yankees will send back the Cubs' way.

Analysis:  Soriano will be a help to the awful Yankees lineup as he still possesses home run pop and some wheels to steal a few bases.  Pick him up if he is still on the wire.

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: BRAVES HARD AFTER ASTROS SP BUD NORRIS

The Atlanta Braves are getting aggressive in their pursuit of Houston Astros SP Bud Norris according to multiple reports.  Looking to replace Tim Hudson in their rotation after he suffered a season-ending broken ankle on Wednesday, the Braves have zeroed in on Norris to fill the slot.

Analysis:  Makes sense.  Norris has been a tease for a few seasons before finally yielding some consistency the first three months.  Possessing a very good K rate and an improving rate with his walks, Norris could be a nice addition if this goes down in the next couple of days.

2013 FANTASY FOOTBALL TOUR AROUND CAMPS: BUFFALO BILLS

                                                                     

Today we begin our rapid look around NFL training camps from the angle of fantasy football with the Buffalo Bills and the AFC East.  This feature will concentrate on the fantasy football-worthy assets on each organization we look and what their outlook can be for the new season.  So without further delay let's take a closer look at the Bills under new head coach Doug Marrone.

E.J. Manuel:  It was very telling that Marrone passes on his college QB Ryan Nassib in order to surprisingly take Florida State's Manuel in Round 1.  However the read option system is all the rage in the NFL now behind the big time success of Cam Newton, RGIII, and Colin Kaepernick and Manuel could very well be next in line from that group.  However in 2013 fantasy football terms, we wouldn't bother will Manuel as anything but a late round flier.  While Newton and RGIII has supreme draft grades coming out, Manuel was looked at as a third round guy which shocked everyone when the Bills tabbed him in Round 1.  The athleticism is clearly there but the weather stinks in Buffalo and the offense is not exactly loaded. 

C.J. Spiller:  No one is drawing more excitement this season than Spiller who generally has been a top five pick in all formats.  While there is no denying the extreme talent he brings to the table in the form of being a potentially massive weapon in both the receiving and running game, there are some red flags to take note of.  One is that Fred Jackson is very much in Marrone's plans as the coach said so himself.  That could take the form of goal line carries which Jackson has been very proficient at in his career and at the same time would take a good chunk of luster off of Spiller's fantasy football outlook.  Secondly, Spiller has had some injury issues in his career going back to Clemson and there is no guarantee he will be able to hold up under the duress of being the prime back from Week 1 on.  A bit too much risk for me in the top five but anywhere beyond that absolutely.

Fred Jackson:  Whereas Jackson was once a decent RB 2, especially in PPR formats, the emergence of Spiller has made him pretty much only a handcuff to his teammate or a bench option in case of injury.  Too many injuries lately and he age is becoming an issue.

Stevie Johnson:  Johnson has pretty much been the same player the last two seasons with 76 and 70 catches to go with 7 and 6 touchdowns while the mediocre Ryan Fitzpatrick was throwing him the football.  That was WR 3 numbers in fantasy football terms and that is where Johnson will reside once again in 2013 if all breaks right.  I say if all breaks right because there is no telling how proficient Manuel will be throwing the football right out of the gate.  Also being a Buffalo receiver is not an enticing scenario for prospective owners since they become pretty much useless in December when the snow and wind get going.  I would draft Johnson as a bench guy if you can.

Rian Lindell:  Lindell is just an all right kicker who you really don't want to be stuck with due to the harsh conditions he kicks in.  The last thing you want is for Lindell to be deciding your fantasy football championship in the snow and wind up in Buffalo.  Pass.

Defense:  The Bills have some big names on their defense in the form of Mario Williams and Jairus Byrd but this unit got torched in 2012 all season.  They will go undrafted in your league despite the addition of Marrone as head coach.

There you have it.  Keep checking back for more teams to be posted daily.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: RYAN BRAUN OUTFIELDER MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Well that was sweet.  The blockbuster news of the 2013 fantasy baseball season to this point was the revelation Monday that Milwaukee Brewers All Star and former MVP outfielder Ryan Braun accepted a suspension for the remainder of the year (surrendering $3.5 million dollars) due to his link to the Biogenisis PED scandal.  This fulfilled the prediction I stated back in March when I suggested to the reading public to avoid drafting Braun at all costs this season due to the likelihood of a suspension and what that would do to sabotage your fantasy baseball roster.  It took a little longer than I thought but the other shoe finally dropped and now those who foolishly went against my advice are beyond screwed.  Even before the suspension, Braun was in the midst of his worst professional season, heading into day 1 of his extended vacation with a final stat line of .298 with 9 home runs and 4 steals in only 225 at-bats.  Braun was bothered by injuries all season which accounted for the missed games prior to being suspended, while his per game numbers were extremely down from his lofty first round past status.  So where do we go from here?  Braun will be back for the start of the 2014 fantasy baseball season and prospective owners no doubt are going to continue to be lured to his name due to his awesome numbers from the past.  However will Braun be worth being a top outfielder pick again?  Where will his numbers go?  Those questions no doubt are the key for Braun's future and so let's get down to tackling the answers. 

What is very telling about Braun in 2013 was how far down his numbers had taken.  Yes he missed games to injury but like I said earlier, Braun's stats were way down on a per game basis from his previous years.  Thus one can conclude that Braun had finally gotten off the juice after testing positive in 2011 and than getting caught up in the Biogenesis mess.  The heat was probably so hot up Braun's rear end that he had to think messing with the stuff anymore was simply not worth it.  The trends are way too obvious to ignore as Braun failed to drive the ball in 2013 with much authority, while he also struggled stealing bases with more times getting caught with 5 than the times he was successful with 4.  In addition, the ongoing nagging injuries that Braun suffered going back to 2010 when it seemed like he was always day-to-day with something else gives one the idea his body was suffering from the effects from the steroid abuse he was going through.

So with all that said this is what we have to go on when it comes to Braun and his future potential.  While there is no doubt Braun has skills, we have to go the Melky Cabrera route in predicting the fact that what we saw out of the Milwaukee outfielder this season is likely going to be the norm going forward.  After being an MVP candidate with a .320 average and pop while under the juice, Cabrera has gone back to being an ordinary player this season with Toronto now that he is likely off the illegal substances.  Whereas Braun hit 40 home runs in the past, 25 would be a good place to say where he comes in now.  Also given his struggles to steal bases in 2013, you can forget about anything close to 25.  Finally, you have to be worried about injuries continuing to be a problem as the years of steroids abuse looks like it is taking its toll and will continue to do so.  My best advice would be to avoid this mess altogether given the uncertainty about where Braun could be headed and the idea that he could be on his way toward a major drop in production.


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: DODGERS PLACE MATT KEMP BACK ON DL WITH ANKLE INJURY

                                                                                           

For the third time this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers put outfielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day DL Wednesday with an ankle injury.  Kemp hurt the ankle on an awkward slide in last Sunday's game after he has just returned from a second stay on the DL with an injured shoulder.

Analysis:  Unreal.  I can't even begin to describe how frustrating it is to own Kemp this season and there are already whispers something is going on given how often he has been hurt.  His fantasy baseball stock has plummeted and one can only guess if he can ever retain his past awesome numbers going forward in his career.


FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RANGERS IN ON ALEX RIOS AND ALEJANDRO DE AZA

                                                                                         

Looking for outfield help leading up to the July 31 trade deadline, the Texas Rangers are looking closely at both Chicago White Sox outfielders Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza.  The team just completed a trade for SP Matt Garza and are expecting to get back Neftali Feliz in the next two weeks so the pitching has most likely been addressed.  However the team is still looking for more offensive help, looking more closely at outfielders than any other position on the diamond.

Analysis:  No surprise as the Rangers are probably the most aggressive team out there with the deadline only a week away.  Both Rios and De Aza have had SOLID seasons but not All Star either.


FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Pedro Alvarez:  2/4 with his 25th HR while hitting .243.  Alvarez has seen his average sink below .250 which is a bummer but really expecting him to do much better than that mark is asking a lot at this point in his career.  The home runs are a major allure but the Mark Reynolds in him is still a no-go for me.

Gerritt Cole:  7 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.51.  Cole has ben very good since his promotion but a few things here.  He will be a tremendous WHIP help in addition to ERA due to great control but his 100-mph fastball is not showing the movement yet to rack up big time K's.  That should come however as he matures and along with Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, and Matt Harvey, Cole represents the top notch pitching future in the game.

Joey Votto:  1/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .316.  Votto is chugging along with his massive RBI's and terrific average with 25 home run pop.  We have now concluded that his power surge in 2010 was an outlier given that his home run rate was so out of whack there but that is obviously nitpicking for one of the greatest hitters in the game. 

Tony Cingrani:  6.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 2 K with an ERA of 3.18.  A bit light on the K's but otherwise I should have included Cingrani on the list above.

Adrian Gonzalez:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .300.  25 home runs would be fine by me.  30 even better.

Jose Reyes:  2/5 with his fifth HR while hitting .321.  Reyes has upped his home run rate as he ages which was to be expected.  The flip side is that his days of stealing even 40 bases are now likely finished. 

Jose Bautista:  2/4 with his 23rd HR while hitting .252.  Average become a bit of a worry for Bautista who is slupming a bit there. 

Wil Myers:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .316.  Making a note to myself to draft Myers on all my teams next season.

Evan Longoria:  1/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .277.  Longoria is a guy we all love but who you are never completely comfortable owning due to the threat of injury.  The steals are gone for good and he will never hit .300 which makes him somewhat overrated but the power is big time as long as the body agrees.

Jon Lester:  6.1 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.50.  Much better.  Lester got a few extra days off before this one and his stuff seemed crisper.  His top notch April has long since been forgotten given his struggles since that point and we are no far enough into this stretch to realize Lester is hit or miss which relegates him to SP 3 status at best and far from the ace he once was.

Andrelton Simmons:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .242.  Yeah the average is wonky but Simmons continues to intrigue me.  How about backing up Jose Fernandez with Simmons on your roster next season?  Sounds good to me.

Carlos Torres:  6 H 7 IP 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 0.94.  Now being from New York I watch the Mets more than any other team and I can tell you Torres is legit thus far.  The kid has good stuff and gets more than a few swings and misses.  You can't argue with the numbers obviously and the ballpark is sweet.  Yup it checks out.  Add him.

Jhonny Peralta:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .303.  Nice knowing you Jhonny.  Enjoy the suspension.

Manny Machado:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .305.  On and on who keep hearing advanced stat heads comparing Machado to Miguel Cabrera which gets the heat pumping no doubt.  In fact I am not too upset that Machado's home runs have been a bit light this season so that I can get him in 2014 cheaper than he should be.  And enjoy the 25 home runs that come with it.

Jarrod Parker:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.79.  Kudos to Parker who has successfully come back from a truly horrific April-early May.  Still not enough K's to be of much use in innings capped leagues.

Shelby Miller:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.77.  Interesting draft debate:  Jose Fernandez or Shelby Miller?  Post below.

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .239.  I can't see much changing as far as Stanton's fantasy baseball outlook next season given that the Marlins are more heavy on pitching than hitting.  Now if a trade happens the story changes quickly.

Jose Fernandez:  7 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.74.  Amazing.  Fernandez at 20-years-old has a WHIP of 1.07.  Commence drooling.

Albert Pujols:  3/5 with his 17th HR while hitting .254.  I will be very interested to see just how much Pujols' foot problems have contributed to his batting average drop.  The power has been close to his career norms since the middle of May so that is still very solid but Pujols' body is clearing betraying him.