Zach’s Musings (11/26)
Not a whole lot has happened since my last post but things are sure to get crazy soon with the Winter Meetings only a week away. Here are a few signings from the past 10 days that carry some fantasy relevance.
Hiroki Kuroda re-signs with Yankees for 1 yr/$15 million
I have to admit that I was skeptical that Kuroda would be able to perform as well as he did in the NL West in the hard-hitting AL East. Early on it looked like he was destined for the same fate as Javier Vazquez and the long list of quality NL starting pitchers who came to the Yankees and crumbled. Heading into his May 27th start at Oakland, Kuroda’s ERA was a mediocre 4.56. But then it all turned around. Kuroda was outstanding in the second half (8-4, 3.14 ERA) and dominant in the postseason. Through five big league seasons, Kuroda has yet to post an ERA above 3.76 or a WHIP greater than 1.22. And he’s proven that he can pitch in New York. He’s about as consistent as they come. Draft him as your #2 SP in mixed leagues and be glad you did. His good but not great K rate is the only thing holding him back from ace status.
Evan Longoria signs 6 yr/$100 million extension with Rays
I was a bit surprised by this as Longo was already signed through 2016 and he has dealt with injuries over the past couple of seasons. But you can’t fault the Rays for wanting to make sure that their star third baseman will remain with the team through the end of his career. Longoria remains a clear-cut top-5 3B heading into 2013 (we have him at #4 on our preliminary rankings) but the fact that he’s missed a combined 117 games since the start of the 2011 campaign will scare some owners off. He could very well fall to the late second or even early third round this spring, which would be a steal considering that he’s a first round talent.
Jeremy Guthrie re-signs with Royals for 3 yrs/$25 million
This seems like a lot of money to commit to a pitcher with such a limited amount of upside, but the Royals were obviously desperate for rotation help and figured that Guthrie, who was brilliant following his mid-season trade to Kansas City (3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP in 14 starts) would slot in nicely behind Big Erv. Guthrie put together a number of solid seasons while with the Orioles but he doesn’t strike anyone out and when he’s bad, he’s very bad. I consider him nothing more than a Pitch or Ditch option in mixed leagues. He does carry some value in AL-only leagues as an innings eater who is likely to finish the year with an ERA around 4.00.
Jonny Gomes signs with Red Sox for 2 yrs/$10 million
With David Ortiz locked into the DH spot, Boston will use the defensively challenged Gomes in the outfield, and it remains to be seen how the Red Sox will juggle their outfield. I wouldn’t be surprised if they acquire an additional outfielder via free agency or trade. But Gomes’ contract terms suggest that he should get a healthy dose of at-bats. 18 homers and a .868 OPS as a part-timer for the A’s last year is nothing to laugh at, and I actually like Gomes a lot as an under the radar power source, mainly in AL-only leagues.
Feel free to continue posting your questions/comments here and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.