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Turns out Melky Cabrera wasn't the only Bay Area player who has been cheating. Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Bartolo Colon has been suspended 50 games for PED use ending his 2012 season and possibly his career. Another hurler continues to soldier on pitching very well without the results to show for it. That man is the Phillies' Cliff Lee. Manny Machado – has been been a disappointment? What should you be thinking with Wil Myers? Who is the best saves guy to add off the waiver-wire? Which outfielder – Crisp or DeJesus – looks like a better add at the moment? I've got answers for you in this piece.
They say that one bad apple can spoil the bunch and while I’m still trying to figure out who “they” are, they are a thousand percent right. I made 12 very specific phone calls on Wednesday evening, all to people with whom I discuss baseball, both real and fantasy, on a regular basis and waited for them to introduce baseball to the conversation to see which topic they would touch on first. I got 11 Melky Cabrera suspensions and just one Felix Hernandez perfect game. Both seem to be a semi-regular occurrence these days, granted, but why do we gravitate towards the negative?
There was a little bit of player movement over the weekend that, while not of the same magnitude as the non-waiver trade deadline, still had some significance in the fantasy baseball world. As the teams that are out of playoff contention fall further and further out of the race, they begin to audition some of their more highly touted prospects to see just how they rate at the major league level. Some of them, you’ve heard of and some, maybe not so much. But if you take the time to scout a few of them, not only could you find yourself a nice two-month boost for this year, but you could also be getting a leg up on your competition for next season. Keeper league owners likely have a good number of these guys on their radar already, but they tend to be afterthoughts in re-draft leagues, and that might be where you can get a leg up, whether it’s using the players now or scouting them for your draft next year.
The final weekend before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline finished with a fizzle on Sunday in comparison to the way it began. No big names on the move, no crazy player packages being put together; just a couple of minor tweak deals. Obviously there’s still another two full days (ok, maybe just a day and a half) to go and a few key names being bandied about right now, but all still in the rumor stage and nothing actually happening. Is it the calm before the storm or have we seen the bulk of the action already? We’ll just have to wait and see. For now, though, let’s look at the deals that went down yesterday.
After two quiet days on the trade front, we got another little taste of action on Friday when the Angels suddenly appeared and announced to the world that they had acquired the most coveted pitcher on the market, Zack Greinke, from the Brewers in exchange for a trio of prospects. Shocking? Maybe a little as most believed that he would land in Texas, a playoff-bound team in desperate need of an ace. But that wasn’t the only action for the night. As the games continued in the night, word broke that the Giants did a little patchwork and traded away a second base prospect to the Rockies for veteran Marco Scutaro. Though obviously not with the same magnitude as the Greinke deal, for the Halos, this one helps the Giants in their own quest for a playoff run. But enough of this reality stuff. What do these deals do for fantasy owners now?
We’re just a week away from the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, but as any baseball fan worth his/her salt knows, the trades don’t even come close to stopping there. The waiver trade deadline in August (trades where players must first clear waivers before being dealt) is also a hotbed of action as it usually involves several marquee players whose contracts can be burdensome to smaller market teams and therefore have little problem slipping through the waiver system. So the bottom line is that we’re looking at a few more weeks of potential player movement and subsequent fantasy unrest.
As we settle in for the All Star break, it’s time to show out love and appreciation for the best value picks of the first half. Obviously there are players out there that may have better overall stats than some of the ones I’m about to reveal, but these are the ones who have given you the best return value for where they were drafted this year. First round picks that produce first round numbers are usually no-brainers, but as we all know, fantasy baseball championships are won in the later rounds when you get first round-type production form your 18th round pick. So without further ado, I present to you the 2012 First Half, Best Value, Stud-a-Licious Award winners…
In the wake of hearing about rehab setbacks for both Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford, the baseball world got a little bit of good news as the Phillies finally activated first base slugger Ryan Howard on Friday and got him into the lineup immediately. The slugger had been on the shelf since the final at-bat of the Phillies final game of 2011 when he ruptured his Achilles tendon. The road to recovery was cumbersome, but he’s back now and fantasy owners that had him stashed are looking to reap the benefits as we get ready to head on into the second half of the season.
Well I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July on Wednesday. Nothing better than skipping out on work (not that you had to be there, I hope), grilling up some burgers and dogs, enjoying some late night fireworks and, of course, a full day and night of baseball. Plenty of action that started nice and early with the Giants and Nationals and wrapped up late with some Padres and Diamondbacks. Bu the real baseball fireworks came out of Houston when word broke that the Astros finally traded Carlos Lee. No, not to the Dodgers like everyone thought would ultimately happen, but to the Miami Marlins. In exchange, they received third base prospect Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Overall, it looks like a deal that works for everyone.
Well now I don’t mean to slight you here on the recap after a day off, but spending the night at the Giants/Astros game sort of takes away from your ability to watch multiple games simultaneously. I kept up with everything thanks to some nerdiness and a smart phone, but you know it’s just not the same. But you didn’t come here for excuses. You came here for some fantasy baseball information and gosh darn it, that’s what you’re gonna get. So screw the excuses and let’s just get to it.