Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Better 2011 2B?

Rickie weeks or Ian Kinsler? Ian Kinsler will be the 2011 version of the 2010 Weeks - drafted later and produces better.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ten International Prospects To Watch In Rookie And Short-Season Ball Prospects: Ten International Prospects To Watch In Rookie And Short-Season Ball: "5. Ji-Man Choi, c/1b, Mariners (Rookie-level Arizona League)
The Mariners drop big money in Latin America every year but they also have a strong presence in Europe and the Pacific Rim, where the Mariners went last year to sign Choi, a 19-year-old lefthanded hitter from South Korea. With quick hands and a polished bat for his age, Choi could become an offensive-oriented catcher (though he's played mostly first base temporarily), and he's shown early offensive promise in the AZL by batting .432/.511/.554 in 22 games."

Always have my eyes on South Koreans.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Should Trades by BP

Baseball Prospectus | Do or Die: "2. The Reds shore up their bullpen by trading for RHP Matt Lindstrom from the Astros for SS Zack Cozart, and acquire RHP Michael Wuertz from Oakland for OF Chris Heisey and LHP Donnie Joseph."

There isn't Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell in there, right?

Fantasy Football Index UnderValued Players

Fantasy Football Index: "Sidney Rice is being drafted usually mid-third round or later and much of that stems from the indecision of Brett Favre. But the reality is that Rice has already had his breakout season, already is a star receiver and has elite talent. He’ll be golden no matter what."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors Via Jayson Stark

Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren top the list of available starting pitchers on the trade market - ESPN: "A week and a half ago, the Marlin who seemed most likely to get traded by the deadline was Dan Uggla. Now it appears the Fish have decided that Uggla's bat is such an irreplaceable commodity that they're more focused on trying to extend his contract and commit to him as their second baseman as they move into their new ballpark in 2012.
So that explains why teams calling on Uggla are being redirected toward the very available Jorge Cantu. The three teams believed to be most interested in Cantu: the Rangers, Rockies and Angels."

Defintely worth it to read the whole article.

Sox going after Prince?

Sox going after Prince? :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: White Sox: "There's no question Williams is still after his target from last offseason -- a left-handed run producer. Dunn and Fielder fit that description. Dunn's a free agent at the end of this season, Fielder after the 2011 season. The problem with Fielder is that his agent is Scott Boras, and the talk is that Fielder will want Ryan Howard money when his payday comes. That means five years, $125million."

This story is two days old but I see no way it does not remain the status quo. The asking price on Dunn is ridiculous given the two months of control.

Prince Fielder is another story as he remians under the Sox control for 2011.

How About Those Tigers Trade Targets

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski committed to now | | The Detroit News: "But the Tigers reportedly are interested in starting pitchers (the Cubs' Ted Lilly, the Diamondbacks' Dan Haren), position players (Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew) and bullpen depth. With Brandon Inge expected to return in a month, they likely wouldn't grab a third baseman.
A lot still can happen in 10 days. Detroit has a brutal schedule, with Toronto next, followed by trips to Tampa and Boston, and they need more dominant pitching like they got out of Scherzer Wednesday night."

2011 Closer In Waiting

Tom Powers: Anthony Slama closing a game could become a familiar sight - "Already there is speculation that Slama, the closer in Rochester, could wind up as the closer in Minnesota. Rauch has been fading. Whether he will rebound remains a mystery. But it's clear the Twins are a little goosey about putting him in right now."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Green Bay Packers

Up: Jermichael Finley
Flat: Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers rushed for 5 TDs last season. I can't help thinking his late 1st round draft value is tied up in the expectation of another 5 plus the 300 yards rushing.

Finley is up but I wouldn't reach in the 5th round for him.

Some ADPs for you.

Is There Any Doubt The Rays Will Add A Bat?

Jayson Werth rumors swirl as Tampa Bay Rays remain tight-lipped - St. Petersburg Times: "The Rays are looking at other options as well, with Baltimore's Luke Scott (who made himself more appealing by going 6-for-12 with two homers in the three games), Chicago's Derrek Lee, Milwaukee's Corey Hart and Toronto's Jose Bautista (though it might require a third team) among the possibilities."

These names on top of the Jayson Werth rumors, says the Rays are going to improve their offense within the next 9 days.

What Are The Boston Red Sox Doing Via Trade?

Boston Red Sox - It’s time for them to get a move on - The Boston Globe: "Red Sox assistant general manager Allard Baird was at the Marlins-Rockies game last night in Miami. Baird’s whereabouts are usually significant, because it’s an indication of what the team may be considering. The Rockies have a catcher, Chris Iannetta, who would fit well with the Sox, in that he doesn’t have to be the starter when Victor Martinez comes back but is capable of starting. Iannetta would also provide power and better overall offense than the healthy catchers they have. The Rockies may have a reliever or two (lefthanders Joe Beimel and Randy Flores) who could help the Sox, and the Marlins have a reliever (Leo Nunez) and hitters (Dan Uggla, who could be moved to the outfield, or Cody Ross) who could add some spark."

Personally, I believe jed Lowrie was rushed back to the majors after a mere 30 ABs in the minors in order to showcase him ahead of the July 31st deadline.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Detroit Lions

Up: Jahvid Best, Calvin Johnson, Matt Stafford

The 2010 Football Outsiders Almanac predicts 3 Wins. I'm betting their data has issues.

Chuck Lamar Is Risen From The Dead

Pirates Notebook: Not easy to pry away Hanrahan: "Consider this, for example: According to a scout with direct knowledge of teams' dealings, Texas recently inquired about Hanrahan, and the Pirates countered by asking for flamethrowing 22-year-old Neftali Feliz, who is currently in the Rangers' bullpen and averaging more than a strikeout per inning while limiting opponents to a .195 batting average. Texas would not make such a trade"

Are The Braves Serious About Cody Ross?

Braves still looking to improve; could Cody Ross help? | Atlanta Braves: "As we reported here last night, the Braves had two of their top special assistant at the Marlins-Rockies game last night, Jim Fregois and Dom Chiti. Unless they have legit trade interest in a player, the Braves wouldn’t have two of their top scouts at one game.
The Braves have expressed interest in Ross for several weeks, at least. And while the resurgence of a healthy Diaz and Heyward makes adding a bat less of a requirement than it seemed a couple of weeks ago, the Braves still could make themselves better with a right-handed bat with power at a weak position."

Update On Prince Fielder & Corey Hart

Edmonds hobbling, but still playing - JSOnline: "The Brewers have been scouting the White Sox in the event something comes together. They probably would want young right-hander Daniel Hudson and either infielder Gordon Beckham or infielder Dayan Viciedo in any deal, and Chicago is reluctant to deal Hudson without getting a pitcher back.

Hart's name continues to circulate among the teams looking for an outfield bat, including San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. The Brewers also have been scouting the Seattle Mariners, making you wonder if general manager Doug Melvin has something cooking with former co-worker Jack Zduriencik, the Mariners' GM."

Who Will The Diamondbacks Trade? blogs - Nick Piecoro: "On the other hand, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if RHP Chad Qualls is dealt. Yeah, he’s had an awful year, but the stuff is still there, he a good buy-low candidate for another team and a change of scenery might do wonders."

Click through and read the historical record to see why the D'backs should get a big haul if they dealt Dan Haren.

Anyone Want A Good Fielder With Bad Plate Discipline?

Francoeur trade may be in the works - "Jeff Francoeur's days in a Mets uniform could be numbered.
According to an industry source, the team is trying to trade the right fielder, and could have a deal in place by the time the Mets finish their series in Los Angeles this weekend."

Stop The Type A Crap!

Chat: Chat with Jerry Crasnick - SportsNation - ESPN: "Mark, I address this in the Starting 9 today. Downs is very good, but he projects as a Type A free agent. So if the Blue Jays offer him salary arbitration in December and he signs elsewhere, Toronto receives two draft picks in return. The return in trade has to be better than that, so GM Alex Anthopoulos is asking for a lot in return. My guess is that he's not going anywhere."

Will the Blue Jays risk Scott Downs accepting arbitration because no team is going to fork over a 1st round pick for a lefty reliever?

There are a couple of big assumptions that come with Type A. The team will offer it and risk a loss at the arbitrationt able and another team will pay the draft pick cost to sign the Type A free agent.

Why Jayson Werth Will Be In Tampa

Boston Red Sox - It’s time for them to get a move on - The Boston Globe: "Werth wouldn’t be that expensive for the rest of this season, but the Sox would have to be able to sign him long term. They could, if they chose. But for now, the Rays seem to have a good shot at him because they have young pitching — Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, and Jeremy Hellickson — to offer. They could even dangle a veteran such as James Shields or Matt Garza."

Minnesota Twins Trade Update

Chat: Chat with Jerry Crasnick - SportsNation - ESPN: "Andy (Sioux Falls, SD)

Jerry, after the Twins lost on Cliff Lee they have been pretty silent in trade rumors. Is a deal for starting pitching still likely?
Jerry Crasnick (12:16 PM)

Andy, The Twins are sniffing around on a starter and perhaps some bullpen help, but I was told yesterday not to be surprised if they 'do nothing' at the deadline. Like a lot of teams, they're finding the prices on pitching help to be extraordinarily high. Unless the price comes down between now and July 31, a lot of teams are hesitant to make any kind of acquisition."

Read the whole chat to get a insider's view of the current trade rumor market.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Denver Broncos

UP: Knowshon Moreno, Jabar Gaffney

Despite the hate inspired by Bellichik Copy Cat Josh McDaniel, someone has to catch those 100+ passes that were shuffled out the door with Brandon Marshall

Who Makes Sense For The Padres Via Trade

PADRES: Eckstein injured in loss to Braves: "Eckstein said he may be placed on the disabled list after his second right calf injury of the season."

How easily the Padres can improve their offense by dealing for a middle infielder to fill-in for David Eckstein. The question is who.

Here are a few who fit the bill (and also show how low this fruit hangs in SD):
Ty Wigginton
Adam Kennedy or Christian Guzman
Ryan Theriot
Jose Lopez

Why Toronto Will Trade Jose Bautista

MLB: A deal for Roy Owaslt may be more about next year than this year for Philly - ESPN: "There is a perception among other teams that there is a bluff involved here, though. Bautista is making $2.4 million this year and with five-plus years of service time after this year, he is positioned perfectly for arbitration -- and rival executives think he'll be in line for an award of $10 million to $12 million. 'There's no way that the Jays will pay him that,' said one rival official. 'No way. They have to trade him. They're not going to keep him around at that salary, based on one good year.'"

How The Mets Can Get Octavio Dotel

July's latest MLB news and notes - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN: "Pirates closer Octavio Dotel and Blue Jays left-hander Scott Down are among the possibilities that the Mets have discussed, sources say."

Offer SS Wilmer Flores and agree to take Ryan Doumit, whose contract isn't horrendous but looks as if concussions have taken their toll on his days as a catcher.

Who Wants Octavio Dotel

Pirates Notebook: Dodgers interested in Maholm: "A report Tuesday night by ESPN's Buster Olney said the Dodgers want a starter and a reliever, adding that they also seek cash relief. The Pirates are open to trading a veteran reliever out of their group of Octavio Dotel, Brendan Donnelly, D.J. Carrasco and Javier Lopez. Moreover, the Pirates have continuing payroll flexibility."

If the Dodgers need payroll relief and the Pirates have no money issues as reported, then this looks like a great way for the Pirates to leverage their veteran pieces, no?

The Best Fit For Prince Fielder

Angels might not get what they need - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN: "The Brewers want starting pitching for first baseman Prince Fielder..."


Actually, Tampa Bay is a great fit. A package headed by Wade Davis would give the Rays the power bat they want and give them a 1B for 2011.

A couple of B/C level pitching prospects plus Davis seems reasonable for an elite power hitter with an additional year of control.

Implied Closeness of Roy Oswalt trade

MLB: A deal for Roy Owaslt may be more about next year than this year for Philly - ESPN:
"Roy Oswalt has wanted a chance to play for a winner, and he mused to a friend earlier this year that he wants what Roy Halladay got in the offseason -- a chance to land with a team capable of winning the World Series. And so it could be that today or tomorrow, if the Phillies and Astros work out a tentative agreement for the right-hander, Oswalt will have a chance to accept or reject the exact opportunity that Halladay had -- to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies
In order to make this happen, and to balance out their budget numbers, the Phillies are in simultaneous talks with the Tampa Bay Rays about outfielder Jayson Werth."

Taking Jamie Moyer's Spot in Philly Is...

A trade could be near | The Phillies Zone | 07/20/2010:

"Those, presumably, are the names bandied about in the rumor mills over the last month. The Phillies have reportedly scouted Oakland pitcher Ben Sheets with two different scouts in the last month. Sheets pitched Tuesday for the A’s and would be in line to start Saturday.

Houston’s Roy Oswalt and Arizona’s Dan Haren are at the top of the list of available pitchers, but both could cost top prospect Domonic Brown, a deal the Phillies would not complete. They made sure to not include Brown in the Roy Halladay trade during the off-season."

If Jayson Werth is dealt for Oswalt, no one will prevent the Cliff Lee trade from being factored into the assessment of the deal.

Ask BA: How Far Has Matt Wieters Fallen? Prospects: Ask BA: "Though Wieters hasn't made the immediate major league impact expected of him , I'd still take him over Montero, Posey and Santana. Wieters still should be the best all-around catcher of the group."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trade Rumors: Who Wants Some Marlin?

Marlins notebook: Manager Rodriguez believes playoff run is a possibility: "The team continues to field calls as the July 31 trade deadline approaches, the latest from the Red Sox, who asked about closer Leo Nunez and outfielder Cody Ross, according to The Miami Herald.

Add Boston to a list that includes the Yankees, Rangers, Braves, Rockies and Phillies who have contacted the Marlins, according to reports. Nunez, Ross, third baseman Jorge Cantu, second baseman Dan Uggla and reserve Wes Helms have drawn the most interest"

Why Adam Dunn Won't Be Traded

ESPN Rumros: "[Chicago White Sox GM Kenny] Williams is willing to including pitcher Daniel Hudson or infielder Dayan Viciedo as part of the deal, but an unnamed source says 'the problem Kenny is finding out is that Rizzo is acting like Dunn is Ryan Howard.'"

Will Detroit Tigers Aggressively Seek Trades?

Muddled Tigers still in the race, but face big decision | | The Detroit News: "It's still hard to tell, compounded by Inge's injury. If they stay in the race -- within three or four games -- I don't see Dombrowski and owner Mike Ilitch backing off. That's why the Tigers reportedly are looking at Cubs lefty Ted Lilly and Diamondbacks righty Dan Haren, and you figure the Twins and White Sox will be in the buying mood, too."

I agree. The Tigers need to see if Armando Galaragga plus a prospect will fetch Jorge Cantu or Dan Uggla

Yankees In On Dan Haren?

Arizona Diamondbacks' Jerry Dipoto not ruling out any trades: "Right-hander Dan Haren is drawing serious interest from a handful of clubs, and the Yankees are believed to have entered trade talks for him now that Andy Pettitte is out four to five weeks because of a groin injury."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Dallas Cowboys

Flat to Down: 2 of the three RBs

Your guess is as good as mine on the RB trio. As 2010 Football Outsider's Alamanac points out, the Cowboys' O-line is old and history has not treated old O-lines very well.

MLB Rumors Courtest of John Perrotto at BP

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Areas of Concerns:
"MLB Rumors & Rumblings: The Dodgers have backed off on the idea of possibly trading center fielder Matt Kemp, have interest in Indians right-handers Fausto Carmona and Jake Westbrook, and are considering calling up outfielder Trayvon Robinson from Double-A Jacksonville if left fielder Manny Ramirez goes back on the disabled list. … The Rangers have strong interest in Orioles infielder Ty Wigginton, and the Phillies have inquired about Orioles third baseman Miguel Tejada. … The Rockies have interest in Marlins infielder Jorge Cantu. … Add the White Sox to the list of teams interested in trading for Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly. … Padres GM Jed Hoyer says there is enough wiggle room in his tight budget to add both a pitcher and a hitter. … The Twins will primarily use infielder/outfielder Michael Cuddyer at first base while Justin Morneau is on the disabled list. … Former Indians manager Eric Wedge is expected to be a candidate for the same job with the Blue Jays, which will open when Cito Gaston retires at the end of the season."

The whole article in in front of the subscription wall.

Which Teams Like A's?

Beat: A's pitchers scouted as trade targets: "Tonight's starter, Ben Sheets, remains a potential target for Philadelphia and Minnesota, among others, and Detroit was checking out reliever Michael Wuertz in Kansas City this weekend and in Oakland earlier this month. Craig Breslow is on Detroit's radar, too, but like Wuertz last year, Breslow would be extremely difficult to pry away."

Really? "Extremely difficult"? Someone's proprietary value model is broken.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Cleveland Browns

Up: Defense, Mohammed Massaquoi
Down: Jerome Harrison

I really like the Defense to surprise this season.

Despite Massaquoi poor catch percentage, veteran QB Jake Delhomme will need a Steve Smith simulation and Massaquoi is as close as the Browns come to a NFL WR.

The Browns drafted a RB high and expect ManGenius to continue to run despite the installation of a West Coast office imposed by the front office.

Can you spot the inconsistencies?

A Closer Change A-Coming?

The ninth comes, and Rauch sits | "With a 3-2 lead and the tying run on in the ninth inning Saturday, the Twins had two pitchers warming up in the bullpen -- and neither one was named Jon Rauch.
Righthander Matt Guerrier and lefthander Brian Duensing got loose..."

With the trade deadline 13 days away, the Twins are behooved by finding out whether they have on-staff relievers in the case Rauch has blown up. I wouldn't be surprised to see Anthony Slama finally recalled.

Pairing his and Pavano's mustache will bring all sorts of 70s porn jokes...

Which Slugger Will Milwaukee Trade?

Don't be shocked if Fielder is gone soon - JSOnline: "It's the only way the Brewers will trade Fielder before July 31. If Melvin gets exactly what he wants, Fielder will be moved. Otherwise, talks will be tabled until the off-season.
Rightfielder Corey Hart presents a more interesting dilemma because his trade value never will be higher than now, after the best first half of his career. Like Fielder, Hart can be a free agent after the 2011 season. And, also like Fielder, Hart's agent always has valued his client more highly than the club."

If other teams see Hart's efforts as just streakiness, his trade value won't change much between now and this winter. If the BRewers don't deal Fielder in the next 13 days, then he will be the dominant theme of trade rumors like Roy Halladay was last winter and Johan Santana the winter before.

Colorado Rockies Trade Needs

Renck: Rockies scan trade winds - The Denver Post: "The Rockies like Florida's Jorge Cantu and are keeping an eye on Baltimore's Ty Wigginton. They also love Dan Uggla's bat. Uggla, as I have written, is a longshot for multiple reasons: He's expensive, isn't crazy about playing the corner infield and would be almost impossible to re-sign as a free agent."

I stand by the assertion Chris Nelson and Jonath Herrera get the Rockies Wigginton.

Will Reds Repeat Inglorious History?

Edinson Volquez electrifies Reds, sellout crowd in return from Tommy John surgery | | Cincinnati.Com: "Volquez went six innings and allowed only one run and three hits, with two walks and nine strikeouts. Volquez threw 96 pitches and, after a shaky first inning, looked like the All-Star he was in 2008."

Remember Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell? Will Edinson Volquez's dominating debut means the Reds will look toward acquiring bullpen help by dealing a Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco or Yonder Alonso for an arm like Dave Aardsma or Octavio Dotel?

MLB Trade Market for Pitching - Jon Heyman -

With Cliff Lee gone, assessing MLB trade market for pitchers - Jon Heyman - "1. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks, starting pitcher. One GM said he heard the asking price for Haren, who is reasonably salaried (he's due $12.75M next season) for a bona fide young ace and signed through 2012, is two starters plus bullpen help. Good luck identifying the team that can meet that price. Another GM said he concluded Haren isn't really available at all, but yet another GM insisted, 'All their guys except (Justin) Upton and maybe (Ian) Kennedy are available.' With Arizona wanting to revamp, there surely is some price for Haren -- though it's understandably high."

Ian Kennedy?

Personally, Mark Reynolds is the player I would look to deal if I were running the D'backs. Breaking the K-problem rather than dealing SP is what the team has to do, and Reynolds should fetch a good package.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Cincinnati Bengals

Up: Jermaine Gresham, Carson Palmer
Down: Cedric Benson

Palmer was unusually bad last season with 6.0 yards per play. If his elbow injury continues to limit him, the Next Great Hope at TE plays perfectly into the shorter passing game used last season.

MLB Trade Rumors: Who Wants O's?

Orioles Insider: Trade winds blowing at Camden Yards - Your daily destination for Orioles news, analysis and opinion from The Sun's baseball writers - "There are multiple teams in on Wigginton, including the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. The Orioles and Phillies have been discussing Wigginton for several weeks, but Philadelphia also has interest in Tejada....But I know there are teams that think Tejada would really elevate his game in a pennant race....The Yankees, Rays, Astros, Dodgers and Mets are among the teams that have scouts at tonight's game."

Whole Slew of Trade Rumors Info

Read Jayson Stark's ESPN chats. Here is a link to yesterday's chat.

Time running out for Joba Chamberlain?

Time running out for Joba Chamberlain as New York Yankees setup man - ESPN New York: "Chamberlain's role as the eighth-inning man and, quite possibly, his Yankees future are on the clock. The Yankees will not let Chamberlain's inconsistency prevent them from making the playoffs or winning a championship.
The Yankees are already looking at what is out there in terms of bullpen help. It is the key area of focus for GM Brian Cashman heading into the July 31 trade deadline."

Octavio Dotel and Ryan Doumit for Joba?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Which Marlin To Be Dealt 1st?

Chat: Chat with Jayson Stark - SportsNation - ESPN: "Jon (Anaheim)

Are there any bats that may be traded soon that we havent heard off...similar to the Escobar trade?
Jayson Stark (1:09 PM)

There hasn't been much talk about Jorge Cantu. But I'm now betting he'll be the first Marlin to get traded. Lots of buzzing about him. Rockies, Rangers, etc."

MLB Trade Rumors: Who The Angels Are Targetting

Angels might not overcome Texas this time - "General Manager Tony Reagins is targeting corner infielders, with Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche and Ty Wigginton on his radar, but would consider dealing for any player who could bolster the offense. The Angels could also use one more reliable starting pitcher and a consistent reliever or two."

MLB Trade Rumors: Florida Marlins 10 Games And Counting

Manager says 'big change' coming to Florida Marlins' lineup: "The Marlins begin a 10-game home-stand tonight against Washington, Colorado and Atlanta, and the fate of players like Ross, Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla —- all three reportedly on the trading block —- could be decided by the team's performance"

Get ready to add Emilio Bonifacio. (And the Sabre World screams!)

Houston Astros Pipe Dreaming?

Will Astros trade vets to rebuild or play out the string? | Baseball | - Houston Chronicle: "If the Astros are to commit to rebuilding — which they have yet to do — one immediate way to expedite the process would be to shed key but aging pieces that likely won't be around the next time the team is a contender — but not without extracting some value for them."

Define "value" downward the same way the President defined creating jobs as "create or save".

MLB Trade Rumors: Oakland A's

Oakland A's midseason report: As second half begins, A's try to determine if they are buyers or sellers - "Beane is hesitant to part with his core young players, but it's interesting to ponder whether Sheets could fetch an impact hitter. Dealing the right-hander would be a gamble considering Anderson and Braden are still on the DL."

Add in one of the A's younger outfielders like Ryan Sweeney and maybe that occurs. But it is feasible the memory of Carlos Gonzalez causes hesitancy, no?

Colorado Rockies Want....

Kiszla: Monforts must make title dreams a reality - The Denver Post: "One bat. One arm. That's all we ask.
Baltimore infielder Ty Wigginton, whose 14 home runs and 45 RBIs made him an all-star for the Orioles, has a salary of $3.5 million.
Seattle pitcher David Aardsma, a Cherry Creek High School product who owns 16 saves for the Mariners, has a salary of $2.75 million."

At least the sports writers wants these guys. Jonathan Herrera and Crhis Nelson to Baltimore for Ty Wigginton!

Who Should The Pirates Trade?

Ten possible positives for Pirates' second half: "Doumit, starter Zach Duke, closer Octavio Dotel and reliever Brendan Donnelly are the most likely trade targets for other teams in advance of the July 31 deadline, though none would be expected to fetch much. But should any moves be made?"

Doumit and Dotel to the Boston Red Sox?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Next Contributing Rookie?

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN: "Raul (Miami, FL)

Can Logan Morrison be an adequate LF? What does hi bat project like in majors? Thanks.
Klaw (1:07 PM)

I think he's a 1B - guys built like him tend to be Klesko-Giambi-esque in LF. But the bat will play - very advanced approach, strong, hard LD to all fields hitter, should hit for high averages and OBPs."

MLB Rumors -

MLB Rumors - "The market for outfielders includes some highly-priced veterans, some highly productive bats and a trio of Kansas City Royals. Here are the names that teams like the Giants, Padres, Braves and Red Sox are sure to consider over the course of the next two weeks. We've sorted them by 2010 salary:"

Fantasy Football Preview: Chicago Bears

Up: Matt Forte, Devan Hester, Jay Cutler, Defense

As much as I dislike the fantasy values of the Bills, I like the fantasy value of the Bears.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Carolina Panthers

Up: Matt Moore
Flat: D'angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart

The biggest risk in Caronlina is Matt Moore effectiveness. This will take away value from the pari of RBs.

Nevermind the likelihood of each back repeating 5.0+ yard per carry.

At That Price, Get Hart

The Brewers' Asking Price For Corey Hart: MLB Rumors - "The Brewers asked the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner in exchange for Corey Hart, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Giants GM Brian Sabean is understandably hesitant to deal either pitcher."

Jonathan Sanchez is going to be a 2nd year arbitration player after a $2.1MM salary following his 1st one. Corey hart will be a 3rd year arbitration player and cost more.

Given Sanchez is no longer young and no longer super cheap, his struggles with control seem to be permanent. I say the Giants should pull the trigger.

MLB Trade Rumors: Prince Fielder In Scott Boras' View

Boras offers his rebuttal - JSOnline:

"I just figured the fair thing to do was to give both sides of this particular issue. Boras has the right to defend his client, just as Olney or any blogger has the right to offer his opinion and insight.
As I wrote in my earlier blog, it's highly unlikely that the Brewers will pay Boras' asking price for Fielder. He's going to shoot for top dollar. That's his style, that's his philosophy, and he usually gets it with his elite clients.
The Brewers are aware of that, which is why I predict that they will trade Fielder at some point, probably during the off-season when they have more time and more teams in the mix to construct a deal to their liking."

With the reported demands of Teixeira money, Fielder's trade value is highest for those teams with a 2010/2011 long-term financial commitment. I can see the Red Sox being a perfect fit assuming Youkilis can handle 3B at the level the defense-minded Sox would expect.

FWIW, click through the link to get an idea why Boras defies the popular opinions of the media.

MLB Trade Rumors" Rockie & Marlins

Renck: Small ball makes a comeback - The Denver Post: "With Florida open for business, another player who could fit for the Rockies is infielder Jorge Cantu. The right-handed batter consistently drives in runs."

This seems to be a match that must happen. Either Dan uggla or Jorge Cantu would satisfy the Rockies need for infield pop.

Fantasy Outlook: Top 32 QB's

Fantasy Outlook: Top 32 QB's - FakeTeams: "So without further ado, here is my take on the best 32 QB's for the 2010 fantasy football season.
Point system: Standard 4 points for pass TD's, 1 point for every 25 yards of passing, -2 points for Int's, 1 point for every 10 yards of rushing."

I don't play in 4 pt TD leagues. Call me Ol' School.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Buffalo Bills

Down: Fred Jackson
Flat: CJ Spiller

This team is a graveyard of fantasy football value. I see the Bills RBs being sporatically started furing the bye week stretch, but nothing else.

MLB Trade Rumors: Adam Dunn

MLB: Scott Boras will be selling home runs when Prince Fielder hits the market, but problems exist - ESPN: "The Nationals have had conversations with other teams about possible deals involving Dunn, and it figures they will trade him if they don't work out a contract extension in the days ahead. The White Sox are among the interested teams."

What do the Nationals need? Should the Nationals just acquire talent and sort it out later?

For the 2nd question, the answer depends on how close to contending does the team believe its pitching staff to be. A defensive 1B like Carlos Pena is the better option to Dunn if it believes to be close.

Cliff Lee Background Via New York Yankees

3UP: More thoughts on Lee trade: "However, the only way Seattle would have considered accepting a Yankee package once Smoak was included by Texas was if touted Triple-A shortstop Eduardo Nunez was included with Montero. That was the Mariners’ initial request earlier in the month and the Yankees had refused, and they refused again."

A AAA SS held up the deal?

Preparing To Trade Joba?

Joba is Bombers' weakest link - "And it's about whether the Yankees believe the time is now to shop Joba, who at 24 has essentially been innings-limited out of a career as a starter in The Bronx, who will not qualify for free agency until after 2013, and who might yield a neat return from an organization with patience."

The Joba situation is a black mark on the record of management by innings counts, Verducci Rules, etc.

2010 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

2010 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: "What rookie do you need to be focusing on in the 2010 season? We have your answers. Here is our Top 50 Fantasy Football Rookies for the upcoming season."

RB Ryan Matthews at #1. Ranking a rookie WR at #2 seems intentionally contrarian given the historical record.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Baltimore Ravens

Up: Joe Flacco
Down: Derrick Mason
Flat: Ray Rice

The addition of Anquan Boldin changes everything. He will take receptions from Derrick mAson and Ray Rice, and red zone looks from Willis McGahee.

I expectall that lost value to accrue entirely to Joe Flacco.

Under The Knife & Seed of Trade Rumor

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Hitting Pause: "This remains a pain tolerance issue, and several weeks away from the team don't seem to have cleared that up. One source wondered if Ellsbury would be back in time for the Sox to put him up for trade, saying, 'he's got to go'. This will definitely be a test for the field staff and 'clubhouse leadership' as much as the medical staff."

MLB Trade Rumors: Kevin Gregg

Twitter / bob elliott: Jays make RP Kevin Gregg a ...:

Per Twitter: "Jays make RP Kevin Gregg available, re-route a Tor scout into Seattle for final 2 games of Yanks-Sea series"

I hope you're Saves don't depend on Gregg. Don't see him being dealt to be a closer on a contending team.

Grab Frasor and Downs. In super deep leagues (12-team AL-only), Josh Roenicke is worth a stab. The 9 K/9 is attractive. The 9 BB/9 not so much.

Future's Game 2011 Relevency

MLB: Angels prospect Mike Trout was most impressive of Futures prospects - ESPN: "Brett Lawrie (Brewers) has gotten a lot stronger since I last saw him, adding more juice to a simple, clean swing with good loft in it, producing big raw power in what I thought was the best BP session of any player. He takes a forceful stride, but what stands out is how quickly he accelerates his hands from his loaded position, so that he's achieved full bat speed a fraction of a second after he's started his bat. He surprised everyone with his speed on a groundball, running to first in 4.15 seconds, good for a 55/60 running grade, depending on the team's scale."

Marlins Selling?

Marlins (42-46) would consider tweaking roster by trade deadline to get back in race: "Beinfest didn't suggest that any trades were imminent. If the Marlins do make trades, they're more likely to move a position player than a starting pitcher such as Ricky Nolasco or Nate Robertson.

Third baseman Jorge Cantu, a free agent after the season, and second baseman Dan Uggla and center fielder Cody Ross — who both have one more year of arbitration — are considered the three likeliest to be dealt if the Marlins decide to go that route."

Top Reds Prospects to Deal.

With Lee off market, are Reds players? | | Cincinnati.Com: "First baseman/outfielder Yonder Alonso, third baseman/outfielder Juan Francisco and third baseman/outfielder Todd Frazier are among top Reds prospects mentioned in trade rumors"

The above names have been mentioned here, but what I find important is their inclusion in the Cincy press will condition the fans for thier departure.

MLB Trade Rumors: Baltimore Orioles

Orioles notebook: Juan Samuel will manage Orioles to start second half of season - "This week's break in the season seemed to be a logical time to replace interim manager Juan Samuel, but he will remain in charge of the team when it begins the second half Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards, according to another source with knowledge of the situation."

A couple of things. Expect the Orioles to allow the new manager to get a week or two to evaluate his team before the necessary sell-off, and second, expect to see the Orioles to stop stealing bases of Showalter is hired.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Atlanta Falcons

Up: Matt Ryan
Flat: Roddy White, Tony Gonzales, Michael Turner

Expect to see the Atlanta Falcons surprise fantasy owners In 2010. Disappointments from Matt Ryan and Michael Turner in 2009 should prevent either from being over drafted. As a matter of fact, I expect Ryan to be a top QB taken in the late single digit rounds.

Arizona Diamondbacks Closer Change

Arizona Diamondbacks edge Florida Marlins: "The strange part is, up until Qualls entered, the bullpen was effective. Esmerling Vasquez, Jordan Norberto and Aaron Heilman combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Ian Kennedy."

So their previous closer pitched in the 8th inning of a home game.

MLB Trade Market: San Francisco Giants

Giants notebook: Sabean eyeing trade market - "On the trade front, Sabean reiterated that he prefers a left-handed hitter and two-way contributor who won't be a free agent after this season. He declined to talk about specific names or teams, but Royals outfielder David DeJesus is a player the front office is known to covet."

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs Youth Movement

Cubs thinking young :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Cubs: "It's one of the driving thoughts in the minds of Cubs execs as they talk to other teams about trades that could lead to the eventual departures of Kosuke Fukudome and possibly Ted Lilly, Derrek Lee, Xavier Nady and Carlos Zambrano."

MLB Trade Rumors: Tampa Bay Willing

Arroyo has dealt well with life in Cincinnati - The Boston Globe: "It wouldn’t be shocking to find out that the Rays would be willing to talk about Garza as a trade piece. Tampa Bay needs a hitter, and has righthander Jeremy Hellickson, who is 11-2 at Triple A Durham. The Rays were rumored to be in on Lee, but it appears they are more willing to deal players from their current roster instead of prospects. One NL scout said the Rays have been very willing to include B.J. Upton in trade talks, and would even consider moving Wade Davis in the right deal. The Rays would love to get an effective hitter, having been snakebit with Pat Burrell and Hank Blalock."

AL-only leagues watch out.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fantasy Football Preview: Arizona Cardinals

Up: Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower
Down: Larry Fitzgerald
Flat: Matt Lienert

The team is going to run as the retirement of Kurt Warner and trade of Anquan Bouldin have significantly altered your late 00s version of the Arizona Cardinals.

MLB Trade Rumors: Smoaked

MLB - Texas Rangers pull off a shocking deal, acquire ace Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners - ESPN: "'He's good, but not a perennial All-Star,'' said one player personnel man, who told's Jayson Stark that Smoak is 'maybe Garrett Jones.''"

From Mark Teixeira comps to Garret Jones?!?!?!

MLB Trade Rumors: Why Lee Didn't Set The Market

Reds' "substantial offer" doesn't win Cliff Lee | | Cincinnati.Com: "The other top starters said to be available are Houston’s Roy Oswalt and Arizona’s Dan Haren.

But unlike Lee, they are owed a lot of money going forward.

Oswalt makes $15 million this year, $16 million next year and has an option for $16 million in 2012. Another question is whether the Astros would trade him within the division"

MLB Trade Rumors: Trade Etiquette

Double-dealers back away from Yankees, trade Lee to Rangers - "Other club officials also were irked about the Mariners' actions. 'It's disappointing to hear that Jack shopped that around, that's not right,' an executive from a team not directly involved in this trade said. 'You don't do that with any team and you don't do it with the Yankees, because [GM Brian] Cashman will drop you in a heartbeat. You don't use the Yankees because they never forget.'"

Midseason Updated Top 25 Prospects Prospects: Rankings: Top 100 Prospects: Midseason Updated Top 25 Prospects: "That has left a bit of a vacuum of talent in the minors. As one National League pro scout put it, 'Everybody that I've talked to is disappointed with the position players in the minors right now, as a whole"

Friday, July 09, 2010

2011 Fantasy Sleeper

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN: "John Boy (Cincy)

Chris Heisey a career 4th OF? Seems like he has the tools to play everyday.
Klaw (1:48 PM)

Everyday guy for me."

Paging Chuck Lamar

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Garrett (NYC)
Who hangs up the phone first on a Willingham-for-Teheran offer? Also, any chance Rizzo could convince Minaya to give up Pagan for, say, Capps or Clippard?

Klaw (1:05 PM)
Atlanta would slam the phone down and swear they'd never take Rizzo's calls again."

Based on Buster Olney rumors about Adam Dunn yesterday (to Chicago for Gordham Beckham), that is exactly who the Nationals would ask for

MLB Trade Rumors: Law On Reds & Lee

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Chris (Cincinatti) I have read that the Mariners are looking for close to major league ready prospects for Lee. Is it possible that the Reds have brought up Travis Wood to showcase him for a possible trade? Is this something that teams have done in the past in order to show that a prospect can play in the majors to make him more attractive in a trade?

Klaw (1:09 PM) Yes, happens all the time. I was shooting the breeze with Mike Salk the other night, and I thought the Reds could offer Alonso, Mesoraco, and Wood for Lee and at least be in the running."

A column by Kevin Goldstein earlier in the week listed the Reds and their prospects as a good fit, too.

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets & Lee

Seattle Mariners want big-time prospects for Cliff Lee - MLB - "The Mets' chances are hurt by the current question about top pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia. The Mariners would want left-hander Jonathon Niese or first baseman Ike Davis, two players the Mets consider untouchable, and are unlikely to settle for infielder Ruben Tejada or outfielder Fernando Martinez. If they can't get Lee, the Mets may turn their attention to Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly if he becomes available, as Newsday reported"

FWIW, this article provides a nice synopsis of all the Cliff Lee rumors and what the initial asking price is.

Chat With Jim Callis Found! Prospects: Chat: Prospects Chat With Jim Callis: "Nice year for Arencibia. He's repeating Triple-A, of course, and Las Vegas is a good place to hit. Still don't see him as a star. I think he'll hit for power but not a lot of average, and be a decent catcher but nothing special defensively."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Law On Hart Value

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN: "Jack (Houston)

What kind of stuff does Mike Minor have? I'm hearing rumors of a Corey Hart-Mike Minor trade, sound like a good deal to you?
Klaw (1:30 PM)

I wouldn't trade anything of value for Hart. His first half is way over his head, and hitters who can be beaten that easily would scare me if I was looking to acquire them for a playoff run."

MLB Trade Rumors: San Francisco Giants

MLB: Adam Dunn will get paid, but the question is, by whom? - ESPN: "Heard this: Talks between the Brewers and Giants about a possible match for a hitter -- Corey Hart -- started last week. We'll see if they lead anywhere, but it's evident that the Giants need more offense and, going forward, the Brewers need more power pitching."

I wonder what the Giants would send. No way any of the young pitchers in their current rotation are going for an OBP-challengled slugger in his 3rd year of arbitration.

MLB Trade Rumors: Conventional Wisdom That Must Change

Chat: Chat with Jerry Crasnick - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jason (NJ) Will the Cubs move Ted Lilly or instead offer him arbitration and worst case scenario get 2 picks for him?

Jerry Crasnick (12:14 PM) Jason, It obviously depends on what they can get for him. Jim Hendry is positioned nicely with Lilly, because trade partners might think they can acquire him for a slightly lesser package than it would take to land Lee. If that package doesn't present itself, then the Cubs will keep Lilly, offer him arbitration and take the draft pick compensation."

After two off-season where players coming off 8 figure salaries have not been offered arbitration lest they accept it with a worst a 20% cut, MSM basbeall writers need to stop thinking teams will offer arbitration automatcially and get two draft picks.

Lilly is making $12MM in the final year of a four-year deal.

MLB Trade Rumors: Calling Chuck Lamarr

MLB: Adam Dunn will get paid, but the question is, by whom? - ESPN: "If the Nationals are going to trade him, they'll want significant return, and in early conversations with the hyperaggressive White Sox, Washington has kicked around names like Gordon Beckham's -- which would be a big-time return for a two-month rental."

Chris Tillman: High Risk, High Reward?

Orioles notebook: Frustrated starter Kevin Millwood placed on disabled list - "The most likely candidate to be recalled is Chris Tillman, who was 0-3 with an 8.40 ERA in four starts with the Orioles but is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Norfolk since his demotion June 22. He would be on regular rest Saturday."

He added a two-seamer and apparently it is close enough to the plate to get AAA hitters out.

The Next Grady Sizemore?

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Kevin Goldstein: "John (Kansas): I've read a Grady Sizemore comparison for Brett Jackson. Fair or foul?
Kevin Goldstein: Foul. Jackson's tools are good, but not in Sizemore's league."

Here are Sizemore's minor league stats. Here are Brett Jackson's minor league stats.

Age is the biggest difference. 2nd is batting eye as Sizemore walked more in the lower levels. It drop a lot at AA and AAA.

For Jackson, he has more power with +500 SLg to Sizemore never having did so.

I think Goldstein is worng. Jackson is in Sizemore's league. He may not be leading it thanks to being a year older than Sizemore was at equivalent levels.

Chat with Kevin Goldstein

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Kevin Goldstein: "Vic (San Diego): KG - Is the real Drew Cumberland finally standing up? What kind of power/avg./speed numbers would you anticipate?
Kevin Goldstein: I've always been a fan, he just needed to get healthy. He'll hit for average, he'll run well and he'll play a solid shortstop, but don't expect much power."

A San Diego version of Alcides Escobar? How is that different than Evereth Cabrera?

Click to read whole prospect chat.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chad Qualls

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chad Qualls improving, Kirk Gibson says: "Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said the closer's role has to be earned. He stopped short of naming the ultimate 'winner,' but based on recent outings, it appears that Chad Qualls could have the inside track at reclaiming the spot."

As a pending free agent, the D'backs have a vested interest in seeing Qualls succeed in high levergae situations as the trading deadline approaches.

MLB Trade Rumors: Atlanta Braves

Braves waiting, watching to determine needs for trading deadline | Atlanta Braves: "“I don’t see us shopping in the pitching aisle,” Wren said. “But I’d like to see how Nate’s rehab turns out and when we can get him back. It’s hard to know exactly. Gregor Blanco has played well; we’ve been able to manage it pretty well. We’ve got Matt Diaz back. Get him rolling like we know he can. Some of the things may answer themselves.”
The Braves have had teams call to express interest in shortstop Yunel Escobar, but it’s unlikely the Braves would be willing to trade him without getting significant value in return, especially in the middle of a pennant race and without any clear alternative to play every day at shortstop. They prefer to keep newly-named All-Star Omar Infante as a key piece off the bench."

Yeah. Zero HRs and a reputation as lazy is going to get a lot.

From Jayson Stark: Cliff Lee Talks

#5699#5699: "'s Jayson Stark reports Wednesday that the Seattle Mariners have been calling teams that have expressed interest in Lee over the last couple of days to make proposals. And those teams were told it would take at least two blue-chip type prospects, plus a third young player, to convince Seattle to move Lee right now.
Clubs that spoke with the Mariners say they appear to be trying to up the ante over the Twins' reported offer of catcher Wilson Ramos, minor-league outfielder Aaron Hicks and a third prospect. That offer was first reported this week by AOL Fanhouse."

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox & Middle Relief

Boston Red Sox - Backup plan falling apart - The Boston Globe: "They sent Michael Bowden to the bullpen in Pawtucket because they’d love to solve the thinning middle-relief situation from within rather than expend prospects for a veteran reliever, but they’re exploring those possibilities as well. Major League sources have the Sox linked to Toronto’s Scott Downs or Cleveland’s Kerry Wood. It appears Wood wouldn’t cost as much as lefthander Downs, because all Cleveland would want is for the Sox to take on the remainder of the $10.5 million deal and deal with the option Wood has in 2011. So far, the Sox have resisted that, and a similar deal for Arizona catcher Chris Snyder."

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs

CUBS IN BRIEF: A few more youngsters might be on the horizon :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Cubs:

"...But manager Lou Piniella said he expects the team to make moves before the July 31 trade deadline that might mean even more young players....''We probably will be sellers,'' Piniella said before the Cubs' 6-4 victory Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. ''We [he and general manager Jim Hendry] haven't broached that subject much, just briefly. I would anticipate that if the organization can make a move or two that they might.''...
Meanwhile, it's no secret the Cubs are trying to ease their outfield logjam by trading Kosuke Fukudome and the $20 million or so left on his contract. Left-hander Ted Lilly and first baseman Derrek Lee, both of whom are in the final year of their contracts, also are said to be on the block."

SP Jay Jackson in AAA and current middle reliver Andrew Cashner figure to get looks in the rotation.

MLB Trade Rumors: Kyle Farnsworth

Royals notebook: Farnsworth enjoying best season of his career - "Other teams are noticing, too. Several playoff contenders are shopping for bullpen help and figure to look hard at Farnsworth as a short-term investment since he’s a free agent after the season."

Exactly what wuould you want your team to trade for Farnsworth? A AAAA starting pitcher? A AA lefty reliever?

MLB Trade Rumors: San Francisco Giants

Giants' Edgar Renteria: 'I can help this team win' - "Even if the Giants believe in Renteria, it might behoove them to look for a shortstop on the trade market."

Outside of Cliff Lee, the Giants seem to be the second most speculated subject in this trade rumors season. Now the question is at SS.

Who is available of note? (read: "note" as "fantasy relevent". Sorry John MacDonald.)

Jhonny Peralta?
Cliff Pennington?
Christian Guzman?
Ronny Cedeno?
Ryan Theriot?
Stephen Drew?

MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee To Philly for Who?

Bill Conlin: King of the World: Jumping on a Cliff | Philadelphia Daily News | 07/07/2010: "'I am still convinced that the Phillies 'parked' Lee in Seattle and with [Pat] Gillick's relationship to the Mariners, Amaro will get a right-of-first refusal on trade offers thrown at Seattle.' Pat does have a history of maintaining cordial relations with the first three ballclubs he successfully served as general manager. That said, I don't see Cliff Lee ever wearing a Phillies uniform again."

How about Cole Hamels? That is the jist of Mr. Conlin's article.

MLB Trade Rumors: Landing Paul Konerko

Landing Paul Konerko is probably just wishful thinking for Angels - "Should the White Sox fade in the weeks before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline, Konerko, 34, would have to waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to another team."

Given what has happened to the mid-30s free agent over the past couple of off-seasons, Konerko had better ask for a contract extension to approve a trade. See Jermaine Dye.

Fantasy Football Index: Preview of 2010 Rookies?

Fantasy Football Index

Click through to see what one fantasy football expert sees for the draft class of 2010 and where its fits in the fantasy football world.

"If you've seen the magazine, you know we like Spiller long-term more than Mathews. But, it's not a huge edge, and we don't think Best is very far behind the other two first-rounders. I can't argue with those top 4 picks."

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Under The Knife: The All-Star Effect

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: The All-Star Effect: "I spent several hours sifting through UTK columns and injury data over the last seven years, and while this is no scientific study, it appears that the break is nothing special. There's no increased rate of return; in fact, the opposite is true. The arbitrary break often leads teams to bring players back just after the break, artificially extending the days lost. This is just accounting and perception. It also happens at the start of months, returning to a homestand, and more noticeably at the beginning of series, though these obviously happen more often than the other events. The All Star break is nothing more than an artificial construct that we can use to put things in relation to others."

Second Half OF Sleeper

Michael Brantley brings confidence from Columbus stint to the Tribe: Indians Insider | "Manager Manny Acta said Brantley will be playing center and leading off almost every day in the new outfield. Austin Kearns will be in right, Trevor Crowe in left and Shelley Duncan coming off the bench."

Michale Brantley. Post-hype sleeper.

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago White Sox

Sox GM Williams won't be held hostage :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: White Sox: "Several reports have the Sox interested in Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder, but they failed to point out two small stumbling blocks: One, he is represented by Scott Boras, and while the relationship between the agent and the Sox has improved a bit the last year, it has improved by baby steps."

Also news in the article that Adam Dunn is drawing considerable interest and supply-and-demand principles have seriously effected the asking price.

MLB Trade Rumors: Atlanta Braves

Michael Brantley brings confidence from Columbus stint to the Tribe: Indians Insider | "Eyes have it: Atlanta had a scout at Monday night's game. They had a scout in Cleveland during the Indians last home stand.
The Braves, atop the closely-bunched NL East, are reportedly looking for a right-handed hitter."

Say it Braves fans, "Austin Kearns."

Cliff Lee to Cincinnati Reds?

Cincinnati.Com | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati Reds »: "The Reds have talked to Seattle Mariners about left-hander Cliff Lee. The talks happened when the Reds were in Seattle a couple of weeks ago."

Two weeks old trade rumors. Still think Cincy has the best chance to land Lee given their plethora of blocked highly- or previously highly-regarded prospects. (Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco, Yonder Alonso).

MLB Trade Rumors: Colorado Rockies

Trade talk: GM in no rush to pull trigger - The Denver Post: "The Rockies passed on Pat Burrell, who signed with San Francisco after being released by Tampa Bay. They're monitoring free-agent outfielder Jermaine Dye and Orioles utility man Ty Wigginton. It remains to be seen if either is a fit."

Infield help is what the Rockies need. One of the above mentioned players cannot provide it.

MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee & Perspective

Mariners Blog | Dismal clubhouse mood after latest defeat, but Felix Hernandez looks poised for another Cy Young challenge | Seattle Times Newspaper

"For those now advocating, more and more, that Seattle hang on to Lee and take the draft picks, are you nuts? That's what losing teams in losing cities do. Take the picks now and, if the Yankees sign Lee, you'll probably get the 30th overall pick for him next June -- 11 months from now. After that, you face at least three more years (at least four in total from today) for that barely first-rounder to maybe mature into something.

You might not like what the Twins, or whatever other team, is offering up right now, but it's better than waiting four or five years on a crapshoot. That's how rebuilding plans go on and on forever. Like they do in towns that never win anything. Like this one. If this city is ever going to win anything in baseball that matters, the guys running this team are going to have to get deals like this done.

The Mariners took the two draft picks for Raul Ibanez two years ago. They got Nick Franklin with one and he's progressing well as a minor league shortstop. Won't be here until at least 2012, though, if then. Steven Baron? He got demoted back to rookie level ball in Everett recently. You never know with draft picks, no matter how high."

Well said!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies

Last-place Indians looking to trade, but demand is weak |

"It was speculated Philadelphia might have interest in Jhonny Peralta because third baseman Placido Polanco and second baseman Chase Utley are on the disabled list. Polanco is expected to return sooner than Utley. The Phillies could move Polanco to second and add a third baseman.

A source, however, said the Phillies were not interested in Peralta."

MLB Trade Rumors: Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates Notebook: Dotel would welcome staying: "To the first question, the Pirates are not known to be shopping any relievers, and they hold an eminently affordable $4.5 million club option on Octavio Dotel for 2011 that they have not ruled out exercising."

The old Pirates would keep a 36-year-old reliever. The new Pirates are going to deal him.

I can't believe I am going to say this, but I have faith in Neal Huntington to do the right thing. Explain the release of veterans to play young kids.

MLB Trade Rumors: Milwaukee Brewers

Boston Red Sox - Baird made sure Sox’ cupboard wasn’t bare - The Boston Globe:
"Corey Hart’s available and the Giants have been very interested. The Brewers understand that, given the great season he’s had, he’ll be very expensive in arbitration, which could hinder their plan to keep Prince Fielder. However, the Brewers aren’t completely buried in the NL Central, and don’t forget Ken Macha took Oakland from 15 games below .500 at the end of May in 2005 to first place by Sept. 1. Do the Brewers trade Hart for starting pitching? If they heat up, do they become players for Cliff Lee? This is an interesting team to watch over the next couple of weeks."

I wish it otherwise, but Mat Gamel isn't tearing up AAA right now. That could simply be moping, but...

Next Year's Top prospects Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: Midseason All-Stars:

"[Nick Franklin], a teenage shortstop in the Midwest League just is not supposed to challenge for home run and slugging titles—but there he is, ranked second and third."

Mid-Season All-Star team gives you 26 names to watch for next season and keeper leagues.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Law On Arencibia

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Bret (Toronto) JP Arencibia has been doing scary things to baseballs for most of the last couple of months. How serious should we take his numbers considering that he plays in Las Vegas? Is he starting to look like a serious prospect?

Klaw (1:23 PM) He's also repeating the level. I don't see him any differently than I did, say, 18 months ago: Most likely a fringe starter, could just hold the spot warm for d'Arnaud."

Friday, July 02, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Cincinnati Reds

Chat: Chat with Jayson Stark - SportsNation - ESPN: "Mike W (Chicago)

Rumors are slowly going around that the Reds are the mystery team in the race for Lee. Would they make a move for him? Would Alonso, Wood, and Harang (w/cash) pique their interest?
Jayson Stark (1:25 PM)

I think they have definite interest. And I could see Alonso being the kind of guy the Mariners would target as the centerpiece. I couldn't see the Harang part of the equation, but stranger things have happened, I guess."

MLB Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Angels

Adam Dunn, Hank Blalock draw interest of Angels - "Dunn is not the slickest of defenders, but he would fill a need for a left-handed power bat. Among the other possible trade targets are Arizona first baseman Adam LaRoche, Houston first baseman Lance Berkman and Baltimore corner infielder Ty Wigginton."

MLB Trade Rumors: Baltimore Orioles

Orioles Insider: Bell's stay could be short - Your daily destination for Orioles news, analysis and opinion from The Sun's baseball writers - "MacPhail said he has nothing on the immediate horizon on the trade front, so you can put that theory on Bell's call-up to bed for a couple of days. He also said the club has had zero talk about moving Miguel Tejada to shortstop full time, sending Cesar Izturis to the bench and playing Bell regularly at third base.
So for now, Bell will try to take advantage of the opportunities that he gets, even though there might only be a few."

Thoughts On Arizona blogs - Nick Piecoro: "I’m curious to see how interim manager Kirk Gibson settles into this role. I find the public perception of him to be wildly different from the way he actually is. It seems like everyone expects some kind of drill sergeant to come in and whip everyone into shape, a guy who’ll have smoke shooting from his ears on every bad call. Who knows, maybe that’s what he’ll be like, but that’s not what he’s been like in his time as the bench coach. He’s more of a goofy guy, someone the players monkey around with in the clubhouse, a guy who’s always keeping them loose. Maybe being the guy in charge will bring that drill sergeant out of him. We shall see."

The key for fantasy players is whether Gibson will alter playing time for hitters and if he changes the closer.

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox - Varitek to miss six weeks - The Boston Globe: "The Sox announced they had traded infielder Angel Sanchez to the Astros for Cash, but did not indicate where Cash would be assigned. But Cash said via text message that he was on his way to Boston."

Damn you, Texas Rangers!

Pudge Rodriguez. Paging Pudge Rodriguez.

MLB Trade Rumors: BJ Upton To Atlanta?

As a Braves' trade target, I'd hustle after Tampa's B.J. Upton | Mark Bradley: "The upside for Upton: A change of scenery, which can’t hurt if he’s getting into it with Longoria, who’s the main man in Tampa. And a different managerial voice in Bobby Cox, for whom everyone loves playing. And the promise of an even different managerial voice when Fredi Gonzalez takes over next season. (Wait. Am I getting ahead of things here?)
The potential snag: Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t like guys who don’t hustle. Ask Hanley Ramirez."

Great points. A little less important is how much the Rays will need to deal a superstar talent.

1B Freddie Freeman heads the package.

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets

Paul Hagen: Injury-ravaged Phillies should not act out of desperation | Philadelphia Daily News | 07/02/2010: "The New York Daily News is reporting that the Mets have made trading for Cliff Lee their top priority. Phillies fans don't want to hear this. The Phillies' front office probably doesn't, either. When they traded Lee to Seattle during the offseason, nobody anticipated that the Mariners would be so awful that the stellar lefthander would be available at the deadline to teams that they might have to get past just to make the postseason."

Top 11 Prospects Still in the Minors

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Top 11 Prospects Still in the Minors: "That got me wondering, who are the top 11 prospects still left in the minors? The answer wasn't an easy one, as we've lost so much elite talent to the big leagues."

Next season's rookie hype in fantasy will be a fraction of what it has been for the past few seasons. Keep in mind that a 15 HR rookie has more value if offense remains depressed.

FWIW, Toronto Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia is in the running for #11 overall.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Atltanta Braves

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jeff (Detroit) I've read the Braves are dangling Mike Minor as a potential trade chip in a deadline deal. What is his ceiling? Thanks.

Klaw (1:14 PM) I certainly would - he's outperforming expectations and showing unusually high velocity. Even if you liked Minor coming into the year, in the back of your mind there must be a small 'sell high' sentiment. He's not as good as their top 3 guys (including Vizcaino, if healthy) anyway, so it wouldn't make a terrible dent in their pitching inventory."

I'd think Minor would be the top pitching prospect being offered. The question is how great a major leaguer the Braves would expect for that relative ranking.

Chase Utley Underwent Thumb Surgery

The fantasy/trade rumors circuit is atwitter with the news of Chase Utley's thumb surgery. There is no way the Phillies can stand pat with the likes of Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez playing everyday at 2B.

Are there any free agents to be who play 2B who the Phillies can acquire for 2/3s of the Cliff Lee haul? is there any team that wants' 2/3s of that haul?

MLB Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies Notes: Infielders seek 2d opinions | Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/01/2010

"Both players will go to New York on Thursday for second opinions. Utley (sprained right thumb) will see hand specialist Andrew Weiland. Polanco (left elbow inflammation) will see orthopedic surgeon and Mets team physician David Altchek....The Phillies have said they will wait until they know the severity of both Utley's and Polanco's injuries before making a move to acquire help from the outside."

Middle Infield improvement is more important than corner help. Wilson Valdez? Juan Castro? Both wish they were Greg Dobbs!

Jose Lopez in Seattle? Mark Ellis in Oakland?

The challenge for a play-off contender is obtaining a starting caliber player.

2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

Orioles Insider: Tillman adds two seamer; Reimold could miss a few games - Your daily destination for Orioles news, analysis and opinion from The Sun's baseball writers -

"In his bullpen session a couple of days before last night’s start, Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Chris Tillman worked with Tides pitching coach Mike Griffin on adding a new pitch to his repertoire – a two-seam fastball.

Tillman threw about four of them during last night’s outing in which he surrendered three runs (all on solo homers), six hits and two walks while striking out seven Charlotte batters over 6 2/3 innings. None of them were for strikes, but Tillman said that he was satisfied with the movement that he was getting on the pitch"

A two-seamer is the magic elixir of 21st century breakout pitchers.