Tuesday, February 20, 2018


By Michael Wong

Port Charlotte, Fla.--The Tampa Bay Rays made the news this week but not for anything good if you asked some of the players down here in Port Charlotte.  Specifically speaking, the Rays trading away pitcher Jake Odorizzi and cutting loose 2017 All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson led veteran Kevin Kiermaier to opine publicly how disappointed he was with the transactions.  It also led to the team former All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria (who was dealt to the San Francisco Giants weeks ago) to say pretty much the same thing.  The moves do signal that ownership believes the Rays can't compete with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox this season and actuality, this is not the worst strategy to take as the team looks to rebuild again.  With that said, here are some fantasy baseball topics that need to be discussed with an eye toward 2018.

1.  So who else should be on the move soon?  Well, you can start with closer Alex Colome who had a bit of an inconsistent 2017 campaign in terms of being the next guy to go.  The Rays as a rebuilding team don't have a need for a closer like Colome and so it should only be a matter of time before he is shipped elsewhere.  That means those who have an interest in drafting Colome this spring need to realize they are not likely going to get six months of saves from him this season and so you may want to take a pass here.  In addition, Kiermaier could also be on the move as well.

2.  Christian Arroyo will now take over third base for Longoria!  The main return from the Giants in the Longoria deal is Arroyo who was the 25th overall selection in the 2013 draft.  Right now Arroyo is really more known for his glove than his offensive game and so he should only have minimal interest in AL-only formats.

3.  Don't sleep on Wilson Ramos as your under-the-radar catcher option.  It seems like every season the talented but injury-prone Ramos gets overlooked in fantasy baseball drafts but that just means you can take advantage without paying too much for his services.  Ramos is the rare catcher that can hit for power and also not kill you in the average department and the plan is for him to DH on the days he is not behind the plate which means very good counting stats are on tap here as well.  If you choose to wait on drafting catcher this spring as you should, Ramos is a terrific place to look for your catcher.

4.  Let's talk about Chris Archer.  When will the talent catch up to the ratios?  Our own Fantasy Sports Boss loves Archer each and every season and there certainly is a lot to like here.  For one thing, Archer is one of the very best strikeout artists in the major leagues with massive K totals of 252, 233, and 249 the last three years.  The issue with Archer is that his ERA's have hovered at or above the 4.00 mark during that span which is much higher than one would expect given all the K's.  The main reason for this is the fact Archer continues to give up home runs by the boatload and this can be a very frustrating thing to deal with in terms of fantasy baseball.  With XFIP and FIP ERA's that go quite a bit lower than Archer's actual numbers there showing how good he can be if the home runs come down, the interest needs to remain high here given the major talent at hand.

5.  Jacob Faria and Blake Snell seem like the next wave in power arms coming from the Rays system huh?  Yes, sir as both Snell and Faria can miss bats just like Archer, David Price, and soon Brett Honeywell.  While Honeywell may not be up until June, Faria and Snell both should break camp with the Rays and thus both carry some intriguing fantasy baseball upside.  We prefer Faria over Snell given his better peripherals and control but either guy is what you use a late-round pick on.



  1. Any upside with CJ Cron now that he can get 600 ABs? His average will stink, but can he push 30 HRs?

  2. Always when a fan of Cron. very good power but like you said, the average will stink. guys with his profile are now a dime a dozen though.