My name is Todd and I’m a draft-a-holic. They say the first step to a cure is admitting you have a problem, right? What the heck do they know? Before the 2013 season had ended, I was already a few rounds into my first 2014 draft that counts. I’m not talking about a mock draft for column or magazine fodder; I’m talking about a league sponsored by the National Fantasy Baseball Championships we have names the Premature League. Every year we gather the troops sometime in August making sure everyone is coming back and say we’re not going to start until the first week in October. In early to mid-September, someone gets the itch and asks for our draft spots. Soon thereafter it’s suggested if the guy with the first pick knows who he wants, he can take the player with no pressure on the next person to go until after the season. Before you know it, it’s the final weekend of the season and we’re through five rounds of a fifteen team draft!
Well, folks, it’s getting to that point in the season where it’s time to start cutting down the fantasy baseball recap pieces and start turning our attention over to the fantasy football pre-draft festivities. Or, at least, that’s what I’m being told. I’m going to still try and make it over here once a week, if not twice, just depending on whether there’s some real important that I feel should be discussed. After all, there could still be some significant player movement with the waiver trade deadline still looming and once rosters expand on September 1st, there could be more than just a few gems worthy of using over the final month of the season. So not to worry…we’re not shutting out baseball altogether.
It’s tough to say whether a quiet non-waiver trade deadline is an indication of a busy waiver trade deadline, but Thursday gave us our first taste of the potential for big names on the move as the Rangers put a waiver claim in for Alex Rios. That’s not to say that Rios is definitely going to be dealt, but right now the Ranger shave about two days of exclusive negotiating rights to see if they can work out a deal with the White Sox for the veteran outfielder. The two teams were apparently talking before the non-waiver trade deadline, but nothing came to fruition. Perhaps now that Nelson Cruz has been suspended, the Rangers will be willing to up their offer and make it a little more worthwhile.
So here we are now in the wake of the Biogenesis suspensions and, truth be told, it doesn’t look like anyone missed a beat. Sure, owners of Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Rodriguez are bummed, but there was no one else who had significant enough fantasy value to make any sort of impact. It might be tough to find reasonable replacement value on the wire for Peralta and Cruz, given their numbers, but both Cabrera and A-Rod have been banged up enough for you to have someone in the hopper waiting to take over anyway. But those who own Bartolo Colon and Gio Gonzalez certainly dodged a bullet as neither received a suspension and can continue business as usual. So while the news of Ryan Braun was pretty shocking, the rest of the Biogenesis annoyance has come and gone and most of us are no worse for the wear.
Sometimes it’s ok to take solace in a little bit of quiet. Not every day needs drama and there’s nothing wrong with the status quo. As you get older in life, you end up appreciating these days more and more. So a day after one of the quietest trade deadlines in a very long time, Thursday ended up being just as tame, if not more so, and we just had a nice, relaxing day of baseball. Sure, there may have been a few moments here and there, but certainly nothing earth-shattering. So with that, let’s just hit the fantasy highs and lows of the day as we gear up for the final two months of the season.
Talk about not living up to the hype. Here we are making all sorts of preparations for impending trades at the deadline and we got the squeak of a mouse instead of the roar of a lion. BOOOOOOORIIIIIIING! What a disappointment. With all the names bandied about in discussions and all the possibilities we could have seen from contenders looking to add a few missing pieces to the puzzle, we got bupkus. Diddley-squat. Sure, there were a couple of things which I’ll discuss right now, but all in all, I’d say this was a very disappointing season for deals. The only hope we can have now is that a ton of big named, high-priced guys clear waivers over the next month and we get just a little bit more action. In the meantime, here’s the fantasy recap of those ho-hum deals we did witness.
So we’ve been talking about the calm before the storm with regard to the upcoming trade deadline, but the storm is actually much bigger than just trades as we’ve been hit with more talk of Biogenesis suspensions and even more injuries. This has all the earmarks of being a very tumultuous week, so you’ll need to pay attention now more than ever. There’s a lot of unrest you’re going to have to deal with so let’s look at a few news items and then hit the stats from Sunday.
Another day closer to the MLB trade deadline and all is still quiet on the home front. We’re hearing about a few things here and there – the Rangers possibly shopping Joe Nathan and the Orioles starting to get more aggressive in the trade market, looking at Michael Young, Mike Morse, Justin Morneau and Jake Peavy – but again, there’s nothing but speculation and conjecture at this point. While it’s tough for fantasy owners to just sit tight and wait patiently, it’s the course of action that may work best at this time. You don’t want to be over-eager and make a move in anticipation of a deal and not have it come to fruition, so you simply have to stay on-guard and watch. But be prepared. Plan a few potential moves out and once the trades start becoming official, then react. Good luck to you.
It’s like the calm before the storm. The trade storm, that is. We had some rumblings early in the week with the Francisco Rodriguez trade but everything else since has just been talk. Until now, maybe, as word has it that Alfonso Soriano boarded a red-eye to New York Thursday night in anticipation of being dealt. On top of that, talks have heated up between the Braves and Astros as Bud Norris is expected to find a new home soon. The Braves just lost both Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm and while they’ve got Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood but are going to be in need of a more veteran presence on the mound as they make plans for the playoffs. And then finally, the Royals have jumped into trade discussions with a few teams as Ervin Santana is currently on the block. Apparently, the Royals are looking for a bigger return than the Cubs got for Matt Garza, so we’ll have to wait and see who bites on that. They’re looking for an upgrade at either second base or right field.
It has come to that point of the season where it is time to dump or get off of the pot. It’s time to decide what it is that will get you into championship competition and go all out for it. But what if you are gun-shy about pulling the trigger on that big trade that you know you need to make? Todd Zola is here to tell his story on trading in fantasy baseball and to provide you with strategies to keep in mind when making those moves.