Zach’s Musings (12/17)

Hey everybody,

A brand new podcast will be available to you later today as Cory will talk in-depth about the fantasy implications of many of the notable trades/signings that have taken place since the end of the Winter Meetings. Here are the links to access the podcast when it comes out:

iTunes Audio: 

iTunes Video: Podcast Page:

And here’s what he’ll cover:

-Josh Hamilton signs with the Angels, who also trade Jordan Walden for Tommy Hanson and sign Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett and Joe Blanton

-Rangers trade Michael Young to the Phillies

-Rays trade James Shields and Wade Davis to Royals for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard

-Reds acquire Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald; Indians acquire Trevor Bauer, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers; Diamondbacks acquire Didi Gregorius, Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson

-Zack Greinke signs with the Dodgers

-Kevin Youkilis signs with the Yankees

And here are my thoughts on some of the recent moves that were not discussed on today’s podcast:

Ichiro Suzuki re-signs with Yankees for two years/$13 million

It sounds like the Yanks were forced to go two years on Ichiro since he had a couple of other multi-year offers on the table, but despite him being 39 years old, I don’t really have a problem with this move. Getting traded to the Yankees seemed to rejuvenate Ichiro, as he batted .322 with five homers and 14 steals in 67 games with the Bombers. While he’s not someone who I’ll be actively targeting on draft day, you can do a lot worse than Ichiro as your fourth or fifth outfielder in a standard mixed league. A .285 average with double-digit homers and 30 steals is very possible. The bottom line is that he still has something left in the tank.

Anibal Sanchez re-signs with Tigers for five years/$80 million

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Anibal fan, but this contract seems a bit excessive, don’t you think? But then again, A.J. Burnett got five years/$82.5 million from the Yankees a few years back, so maybe this isn’t so crazy. Anyway, Sanchez’s transition to the AL was by no means a disaster but we can’t say it was a seamless one as he pitched to an ERA just under 4.00 and his strikeout rate took a hit. Still, I do like him at the right price, figure a low-end #3/high-end #4 starter in 12-team mixed leagues. Some owners might get scared off by the AL factor, but he’ll be pitching in a pitcher-friendly park and U.S. Cellular is really the only hitter-friendly ballpark in the AL Central. Despite the hefty contract, I could actually see Anibal being undervalued heading into drafts.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Texas Rangers

Ryan Dempster signs with Red Sox for two years/$26.5 million

This contract could look very bad very quickly. How exactly will a 35-year-old who got lit up in his first taste of the AL (5.09 ERA, 1.43 WHIP in 12 starts for the Rangers last season) adapt to the AL East? And to Fenway Park? Sorry, I’m not touching Dempster with a ten-foot pole.

Brandon McCarthy signs with D-Backs for two years/$15.5 million

This might turn out to be a quality signing for Arizona provided that McCarthy is fully recovered from last season’s scary brain injury. McCarthy has now put together two straight stellar seasons, and the most impressive thing about him has been his impeccable control. The fact that he isn’t home run-prone will help him in his move from an extreme pitcher’s park to an extreme home run park. Don’t expect many strikeouts, but a repeat of last season’s stat line is certainly possible. He’s a viable back-end of the rotation mixed league starter.

Stephen Drew signs with Red Sox for one year/$9.5 million

I’ve never really been a big believer in Drew. Outside of his ’08 career year, he just hasn’t been anything special, and injuries have plagued him throughout the past few seasons. That said, Boston is a great place to boost your stats, provided that you stay healthy and can handle the media scrutiny. Plus, he’s still just 29 and will be extra motivated to land a new multi-year contract. While I’m not enamored with the idea of drafting Drew as my starting MI in a 12-team mixed, I reluctantly will if I have to. Seriously though, there’s definitely upside potential here.


Zach, when you do PoD during the season would you consider adding a confidence ranking as well? In 10 or 12 team leagues, I’ve frequently seen 3-5 ‘pitches’ available on the waiver wire.


I try to address that in the comments I make beside my picks but yeah, I’ll keep this in mind.



I am already starting to look forward to next year and I have a keeper question for you. I am in a standard 5×5 league and can keep up to four keepers. The keepers are each assigned a round value based on where they were drafted in the previous year. In my opinion, my best available options with their associated round value are Max Scherzer (11), Adam Dunn (16), Desmond Jennings (17), Victor Martinez (23), Doug Fister (24), Salvador Perez (25), and Homer Bailey (29). Can you please advise me on who you would recommend me keeping from this list? Thanks a lot,



Jennings and Fister are definite keepers in my mind. As for Dunn, I know his low AVG is incredibly frustrating, but 16th round is excellent value. Even if he could raise that AVG to the .240 range to go along with 35 or so homers, I think keeping him would be worth it. For the fourth keeper, I’d go with one of the catchers. It’s a close call but I’ll give the edge to V-Mart due to the track record factor, and it sounds like he’ll be 100 percent healthy for spring training. Keep an eye though on his health status, but at least you’ll get a chance to watch him in spring training before you need to make your keeper decision. I’m also very high on Perez, so any doubts about V-Mart might lead me to change my opinion on this.



Like your sense of player fantasy value. I was listening to XM Fantasy Sports today and they did a mock draft. I was focused mainly on starting pitcher values. They ranked Matt Cain as the top Giants starter despite his never having over 200Ks in a season and placed him in round 3 along side King Felix, Strasbourg and Verlander. Seems too high to me. I am intrigued most by Johann Santana – they had him in round 6 which seems like good value to me. Who do you think are the top 10 starters and which rounds do you seem them going in a standard 12 team mixed league.



I’ve always been a huge Cain fan and it’s because of his consistency…an ERA below 3.00 in three of the last four seasons and a WHIP below 1.10 in each of the last three seasons. 200 IP in six straight seasons and he pitches in a very favorable park. Yeah, he might not get as many K’s as the elite SPs but at a position that’s so unpredictable from one season to the next, there’s something to be said for extreme reliability. He’s a no-doubt top-10 SP. As for the rounds, I’d never take an SP in the third, so those seem very high to me. Johan is worth a mid to late-round pick but round 6 is insane!


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