It's Friday and I'm feeling like being a bit frisky. We've got a whole bunch of movement on the mound to touch on. Some guys are getting paid handsomely, some guys appear to be bargains, but either way there is some interesting stuff going on that we need to discuss. There's also some talk of the 2014 Draft Guide in this piece... I know, how excited are you?
Grant Balfour signed a 2-year deal for $12 million to close for the Rays. He doesn't need to be drafted as an elite closer, he just doesn't have any name cache, but the guy has the game to be a top-10 option at the position. For the past four years his ERA has been under 2.60 each season and only once has his WHIP been over 1.08. He also struck out 10.34 batters per nine in 2013 showing the dominance. He can lose the strike zone at times, his 3.88 BB/9 mark last season ain't any good, but when he's dialed in he can dominate batters.
A.J. Burnett hasn't decided if he will pitch in 2014. In related news I haven't decided if I should go with plaid or stripes when I roll out tonight. Come on A.J., make up your mind. You're a top-50 SP if you return to the game and we need to know if we should be looking at you or not.
I actually left my house Thursday night. Why is that noteworthy? Well, it was the first time in four days that had occurred. Yes I've been trying to get over a cold that robbed me of my voice in Vegas – it's hard talking to porn stars when you can't be heard – but my lack of movement outside my humble abode of late has to do with the 2014 Draft Guide that is scheduled to drop next week (I hope). Trying to get this sucker all put together has been a pretty daunting task. Let me tell you, it is going to be Epic. It's gonna look much sharper than in years past (someone has been brought in to make it look pretty). There will be oodles of Ray Flowers in there, but there are also pieces from the other writers at Fantasy Alarm as well. Oh, and then there is this. I can't release the info yet, but let's just say that there are some pretty exciting things happening with the pricing options. You're going to love it.
Why won't anyone sign Stephen Drew? Probably has something to do with wanting a boatload of dinero. OK, he was terrible in the playoffs with the bat, but he hit .253 with 13 homers, 67 RBIs and 57 runs scored in 124 games. That's pretty solid production for a middle infielder. Rumors persist that he might be willing to play second or third base if needed which would only increase his fantasy value.
Here is some audio from myself and Kyle Elfrink of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio talking about keeper league rules.
So wait, Matt Garza hasn't signed with the Brewers yet? Seems like it will get done, but curious the path that it's taken.
I think more people should be talking about A.J. Griffin. Why? You know I've got a Player Profile giving the explanation.
Masahiro Tanaka got a $155 million deal from the Yankees. Think Yu Darvish, who signed two years ago for $56 million, is ticked off? With the new posting system it was easier for Tanaka to get the big money, but still, what a whopping difference. Just goes to show you that sometimes the money paid to players just isn't fair. Pretty sure that Darvish will be able to live pretty handsomely on the cash he got, so don't feel too sorry for him. Tanaka is gonna be overpaid, but it is what it is. What do I think about Tanaka and his fantasy prospects? Most scouting reports suggest that he's a #2 big league starter not an ace. I'd draft Tanaka as a risky SP3 in mixed leagues. If he's more expensive than that don't worry about it. Let someone else take that risk on.
Travis Wood agreed to a one year, $3.9 million deal with the Cubs to avoid arbitration. As Wood avoided an arbitrator you should avoid Wood in fantasy leagues this season. You can find out why in his Player Profile.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
- Cubs fired manager Rick Renteria
- Ryan Mathews (knee) is practicing on Friday
- Giovani Bernard (hip) was officially ruled out
- Jordan Cameron has been ruled out for Sunday
- Darren Sproles expected to play Sunday
- Tony Romo did not practice on Friday
- A.J. Green expects to play Sunday
- Giovani Bernard (hip) expected to miss Sunday
- DeAngelo Hall re-tore his Achilles' tendon
- Russell Westbrook out 4-6 weeks with broken hand
3 World Series wins in five years... still can't quite believe it @SFGiants
I saw a hot teller at the bank dressed as Michael Jackson this morning. I asked her if she wanted me to be "bad" with her. #SaidNo