Zach’s Musings (11/6)
I was planning on putting up a “Zach’s Musings” post last week but Hurricane Sandy had other ideas. Now that power is back on in downtown Manhattan, it’s time to talk fantasy baseball again! So let’s get started. Here’s my take on a bunch of notable news stories that have emerged since my last post.
David Ortiz re-signs with Red Sox for 2 yrs/$26 million
As expected. Big Papi was in the midst of a highly productive 2012 season before an Achilles injury sidelined him for almost the entire second half. Ortiz is getting up there in age (he turns 37 later this month) but the fact that he’s strictly a DH does alleviate some of the concern regarding his health. Count on .280-25-90 in 2013, though his DH-only eligibility hurts his overall fantasy value.
Brandon League re-signs with Dodgers for 3 yrs/$22.5 million with a vesting option for 2016
Wow! And Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says that League will be their closer. This one boggles my mind. Did he forget that Kenley Jansen is on the roster? This is terrible news for keeper league owners of Jansen (and I’m one of them), as it sounds like he’ll be relegated to setup duty in 2013. Jansen is the far better pitcher, so the only explanation for this move is that the Dodgers are concerned about his heart issues, but he recently underwent a procedure that apparently fixed the problem. Please help me understand this because I’m confused. League is nothing more than a low-end No. 2 closer while Jansen goes from being a top-3 closer to an elite setup man. Very strange.
Ryan Howard has already lost “a significant amount of weight” during his offseason conditioning program, according to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro
Howard put on some weight while recovering from Achilles surgery but still made an impact upon his return to the Phillies’ lineup in early-July. The .219 average and 99-to-25 K/BB ratio are ugly numbers but his 14 homers and 56 RBIs in 71 games should not be overlooked. I know Mike and Cory aren’t too high on Howard for next year, but if he can stay healthy and go .250-30-100, he’ll make for a nice mid-round value pick. I’m certainly open to drafting him if the price is right.
Mariano Rivera decides to play in 2013
And so ends Rafael Soriano’s stint with the Yankees, in all likelihood. Will the soon to be 43-year-old Rivera show any signs of decline in 2013? Mariano continues to defy the odds but he is coming back from a significant injury. I’ll never bet against him though, so I’ll say no. We didn’t include Rivera in our 2013 closer rankings and we definitely should have. For the time being, I’d slot him in at #7, behind Papelbon and ahead of Nathan. He could be a steal there but I have a feeling that no one will be sleeping on him come draft day, especially if he looks good in spring training. Don’t be surprised if he sneaks into the top-3 by then. I just don’t see him dropping to the point where he offers great value.
Tigers confident that Victor Martinez will return to his old form
V-Mart missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing knee surgery but is expected to be 100 percent healthy for the start of spring training. Will he once again perform at an elite level? Who knows. But it’s nice to hear that his rehab is going well. It’ll be very interesting to find out where he goes off the board in early mocks, but I don’t see a whole lot of downside in using a mid to late-round pick on him. He’ll maintain catcher eligibility for at least one more year and there aren’t too many catchers who have the potential to bat .300 with 20 homers and 90-plus RBIs. To me, V-Mart is an injury-risk worth taking should you decide to pass on the top-tier backstops.
Ervin Santana traded to the Royals
Big Erv! This came as a bit of a surprise to me at first. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Erv is coming off an extremely disappointing 2012 campaign and his contract included a hefty $13 million club option for 2013, so the Halos are saving some money by shipping him to Kansas City. Erv’s fantasy value doesn’t change much with his move to K.C. We all know that he can dominate at times but his inconsistency is maddening. Maybe a change of scenery will do him some good, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to draft him. The AL Central is a little tougher on pitchers than the AL West and the Royals’ lineup probably won’t give him the kind of run support he’s enjoyed while playing for the Angels. He’s medium-risk, medium-reward. I won’t be avoiding him but I also won’t be targeting him.
Until next week (weather permitting),