Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 121 And Counting

From the constantly-updating Ken Rosenthal at, and something to keep in mind when talks turn to the A's and Mets getting together to address the mets desire for starting pitching.

"Of all the clubs trying to trade for an elite starting pitcher, the Mets appear to be scrambling the most.

The A's are not shopping Haren and Blanton, sources say, but will listen intently if rival clubs wish to acquire either or both in trades.

What's more, the A's are no longer as interested in Mets outfielder Lastings Milledge and right-hander Aaron Heilman as they were when they tried to acquire both in a package for left-hander Barry Zito before the non-waiver deadline in 2006."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 122 And Counting

While all the Hot Stove talk centers around Johan Santana, here are some updates on some of the not-as-hyped free agents.

Tim Sullivan of the SD Tribune writes Mike Cameron is still the Padres leading candiate to patrol centerfield at Petco in 2008. However, he points out that Anduw Jones has the most HRs there of visiting players - 9 with a .393 AVG.

Mark Feinsand and Adam Rubin of the NY Daily News report Aaron Rowand is likely to sign with either the Whie Sox or the Rangers by the end of the week. Given the paper is a New York one, this info was disclosed in light of the possibility of Melky Cabrera being dealt and the Yankees' lack of interest in moving Johnny Damon back to center.

Jeff Zrebiac of the Baltimore Sun reports the O's and Phillies have had discussions abotu 3B Melvin Mora, who is believed to be willing to waive his no-trade clauise to play for the Phillies. He also refutes reports the Orioles have any interest in Jose Guillen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 123 And Counting

The Rays are close to acquiring the bullpen help the team so desperately needs. Juan Rincon will come over from the Twins in the Delmon Young/Matt Garza trade, and the team is close to signing Troy Percival.

The pertinent fantasy question is who will close in Tampa? Without additional info, Al Reyes will remain in the role. However, the size of Percival's contract may signal otherwise.

Regardless, I would keep Reyes as I do not believe Percival capable of continuing his successful un-retirement for long.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 124 And Counting

The Cubs signed Kerry Wood yesterday to a $4.2MM deal and expect him to compete for the closer's role next year. From a real-life perspective, the Cubs look to have the makings of an excellent bullpen with Wood, Bobby Howry and Carlos Marmol leading the way.

From a fantasy perspective, not so much. The preference would be for one person to have the job with a clear pecking order behind him. Instead, it could be a mixture of equally adept players cycling in and out of the job.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day 125 And Counting

For those curious how highly Brewers' 1st round pick Matt LaPorta will be spoke of as fantasy drafts near, here is the Top 10 Brewers prospects provided by Tom Hardicourt who write BA list.

JS Online: Draft might provide relief in long run: "In its next issue, Baseball America magazine will present its selections for the top 10 prospects in the Brewers' system, entering 2008. In the interest of full disclosure, I worked with BA in compiling the list.
Here is that top 10:
1. Matt LaPorta, OF
2. Manny Parra, LHP
3. Alcides Escobar, SS
4. Jeremy Jeffress, RHP
5. Gamel
6. Cole Gillespie, OF 7
. Brent Brewer, SS
8. Angel Salome, C
9. Lorenzo Cain,
OF 10. Caleb Gindl, OF"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day 127 And Counting

Twins won't make same mistake with Santana

Expect a Santana trade. He has given the team permission to seek one. Interesting, the Twins need some of the same things the Marlins do - a 3B and a CF.

If a team has those, the question is who do you want more, Santana or Miguel Cabrera

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day 128 And Counting

Now that Hunter is off the market, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports:

Outfielder Jose Guillen now becomes the indisputable No. 1 on the Royals’ list of off-season targets following Torii Hunter’s decision late Wednesday to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.

I am having a hard time believing the Royals would want Guillen. The team isn't close to contention and Guillen is going to move the ball much closer.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day 129 And Counting

So the Angels trade for a SP they don't need and give-up a SS they do, and now they sign a centerfielder they don't need in Torri Hunter. New GM Tony Reagins is active, but I wonder what his plan will be.

SS is still unadressed unless you believe Erick Aybar can do the job. I'm not convinced, but, if Aybar gets 400 ABs, then he is going to be a great source of 20+ SBs.

I'm holding out hope the Angels put Brandon Wood there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 130 And Counting

From this AM's Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"Wren said if the Braves don't acquire a more experienced center fielder as a stopgap replacement for Andruw Jones, Schafer would compete for the starting job in the spring along with prospect Gregor Blanco and 25-year-old rookie speedster Josh Anderson."

If you don't have Schafer at the top of your 2007 sleeper lists, get him there. The Braves aggressively promoted Jeff Francouer and Brian McCann, and I would expect them to do the same with Schafer if he tears up AA Mississippi in April and May.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 131 And Counting

Assuming the Phillies do not resign CF Aaron Rowand, RF Jayson Werth would become the nominal starter with Shane Victorino. He would be a major sleeper after hitting 8 HRs and driving-in 49 in less than 300 ABs. His .404 OBP also bodes well. nevermind the 7 SBs.

Werth's biggest concern is health. He could be a great value if he remains healthy in NL-Only formats.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Day 132 And Counting

Eduardo Encina of the St. Petersburg Times speculates the NAtionals are scouting troubled OF Elijah Dukes in the Dominican Winter League. His manager, Tim Tolman, is the Nat's third base coach, and Nationals' manager, Manny Acta recently attended Dukes' games.

Dukes will forever remain a sleepr as long as he stays out of jail. The Nationals would be a nice place for him to land for regular playing time.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 133 And Counting

In a surprising development, the Mets and catcher Yorvit Torrealba have had their three-year/$14.4MM contract fall apart for undisclosed reasons. What I immediately thought was Yorvit is one of the eleven free agents being mentioned in the George Mitchell Report. Then I read this in Sunday's Daily News:

A new addition to the Rockies in '06, he showed up at spring training that year having gone through an extensive winter weightlifting program in Venezuela with a personal trainer. That was intended to give him the strength to be a first-string catcher for the first time in his career.

This seems to fit a pattern of career-extending steroid use, doesn't it? Until more information becomes available, anything goes. Thank you, MLB.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 135 And Counting

The Mets have wrapped-up their starting and back-up catchers for the 2008 season. Former Colorado Rockie Yorvit Torrealba was given 3 years and $14.4MM to start, and Ramon Castro was awarded two years and $4.6MM to caddy for him. That is a mere $7.1 MM per year for the next two seasons.

At no point, do I envision ever wanted Torrealba over Castro for my fantasy baseball team.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 136 And Counting

ARod is almost officially off the free agent market. The next big frenzy will build towards the 12/3 Winter Meetings and focus on Twins' pitcher Johan Santana. Given Johan is a free agent next winter, I suspect the ability to work out a long-term deal will be a necessity if the Twins want fair value.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 137 And Counting

The Twins acquired OF Craig Monroe from the Cubs for a PTBNL. That PTBNL is dependent on the Twins signing Monroe for less than he made last season ($4.8MM). In addtion, it must be done prior to December 1st because Monroe is arbitration eligible and the Twins won't offer him the opportunity to increase his 2007 salary.

The Yankees made a final 3Yr/$45MM offer to closer Mariano Rivera - and he did not immediately accept. I don't see any other team matching the money and years, but I will not say it is inconceivable.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 139 And Counting

Here are the 15 teams who can sign Type A free agents and not lose their 1st round pick.
1 Tampa Bay Devil Rays66960.407
2 Pittsburgh Pirates68940.420
3 Baltimore Orioles69930.426
4 Kansas City Royals69930.426
5 Florida Marlins71910.438
6 San Francisco Giants71910.438
7 Chicago White Sox72900.444
8 Cincinnati Reds72900.444
9 Washington Nationals73890.451
10 Houston Astros73890.451
11 Texas Rangers75870.463
12 Oakland Athletics76860.469
13 St. Louis Cardinals78840.481
14 Minnesota Twins79830.488
15 Los Angeles Dodgers82800.506

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day 140 And Counting

Here is a list of the Type A and Type B free agents.

TeamPOSPlayerTypeSigning TM's 1st Rd PickSupp 1st Rd Pick
AriRHPLivan HernandezBNoYes
AtlOFAndruw JonesBNoYes
AtlLHPRon MahayBNoYes
BosRHPEric GagneBNoYes
Bos3BMike LowellAYesYes
BosRHPMike TimlinBNoYes
ChCCJason KendallBNoYes
CleOFKenny LoftonBNoYes
ColRHPJorge JulioBNoYes
ColCYorvit TorrealbaBNoYes
Det1BSean CaseyBNoYes
DetRHPTodd JonesBNoYes
DetLHPKenny RogersBNoYes
HouINFMark LorettaBNoYes
HouRHPTrever MillerBNoYes
KCRHPDavid RiskeBNoYes
LADOFLuis GonzalezBNoYes
MilRHPFrancisco CorderoAYesYes
Mil2B/3BTony GraffaninoBNoYes
MilRHPScott LinebrinkAYesYes
MinOFTorii HunterAYesYes
NYM2BLuis CastilloBNoYes
NYMLHPTom GlavineAYesYes
NYMOFShawn GreenBNoYes
NYMCPaul LoDucaBNoYes
NYYLHPAndy PettitteAYesYes
NYYCJorge PosadaAYesYes
NYYRHPMariano RiveraAYesYes
NYY3BAlex RodriguezAYesYes
NYYRHP Luis VizcainoBNoYes
OakCMike PiazzaBNoYes
OakOFShannon StewartBNoYes
PhiRHPFreddy GarciaBNoYes
Phi2BTadahito IguchiAYesYes
PhiOFAaron RowandAYesYes
StLSSDavid EcksteinBNoYes
StLRHPTroy PercivalBNoYes
StLRHPRuss SpringerAYesYes
SDCMichael BarrettAYesYes
SDOFMilton BradleyAYesYes
SDRHPDoug BrocailBNoYes
SFOFBarry BondsAYesYes
SF3BPedro FelizBNoYes
SFSSOmar VizquelBNoYes
SeaOFJose GuillenBNoYes

Friday, November 09, 2007

Day 142 And Counting

Don't look now, but Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America are revealing the Top Prospect lists. Once those are done, it will be 2008 fantasy baseball time again.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day 143 And Counting

With the acquistion of Michael Bourn, the Astros have created two potential fantasy studs in 2008 - Bourn and whoever closes for the Astros. My early comparable for Bourn is Dave Roberts. Bourn won't hit as many HRs, but he should be good for 30+ SBs regardless of how frequently the Astros decide to run.

Right now, Cahd Qualls is the closer in Houston, but I expect there to be competition by draft time.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day 144 And Counting

Today's Chicago Sun-Times reports Cubs' closer Ryan Dempster will be mved to the rotation in 2008. This opens-up the closer's role. The paper speculates:

"Young right-hander Carlos Marmol and veteran right-hander Bob Howry would be the top two candidates. And if free-agent right-hander Kerry Wood re-signs with the Cubs, he also would be a strong candidate."

Marmol will be this off-season's Matt Capps amongst the fantasy punditry if Howry is named.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day 145 And Counting

The first day of the GM Meetings are almost done, and there has been nothing more exciting than a 25-5 vote to explore instant replay. However, there have been rumors that the Marlins are going to make LP Dontrelle Willis and 3B Miguel Cabrera available for trade.

Willis won't mean much, but Cabrera's departure would open a starting hole in the Marlins' offense. That hole would be a good place to look for a sleeper.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day 146 And Counting

The GM Meetings begin today, and I have the feeling there are going to be lots of movement. Maybe not today, but soon. Any team looking to sign ARod will have to make additional moves to fit him on the hot corner.

The Angels: Chone Figgins & Brandon Wood
The Dodgers: Andy LaRoche
The Cubs: Aramis Ramirez

These secondary moves will add to the excitement.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day 149 And Counting

The Texas Rangers signed reliever Joaquin Benopit to a two-year deal. I would not be surprised to see this signing as the team's commitment to continue to use Benoit the same way he was used last season - as an important late-innings reliever.

This means he is likely to share closing duties with CJ Wilson again.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Day 150 And Counting

The Tigers just announced reliever Joel Zumaya hurt his shoulder rescuing personal items from his So Cal home ahead of the flames. He will be out until mid-2008. This likely signals to return of Todd Jones for a third season as the Tigers closer.