- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade2 hrs ago
While the David Price deal was earth-shattering from a real baseball perspective, there's no need for an extensive fantasy breakdown. Not too much changes in the here and now.
Price was valuable in Tampa, and he'll be plenty valuable in Detroit. Austin Jackson gets a change of scenery at the right time. Drew Smyly is a nice addition for the Rays, and maybe they can find a role for Nick Franklin shortly.
Shortstop prospect WillyAdames? The bird dogs love him, but settle down a second. He's 18 years old, playing in Single-A. He's years away from helping the Rays, and can't be seen as more than a lottery ticket.Fri, Aug 14:10 PM PDTNY Yankees at BostonPreview Game
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade9 hrs ago
First, we trade all the pitchers. That's apparently the game plan with Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington.
Boston started the cycle last weekend, sending Jake Peavy to San Francisco. And it's intensified this week: Felix Doubront went to the Cubs on Wednesday, and Jon Lester and John Lackey moved Thursday. (Keep your bags packed, Andrew Miller. You're probably next.)
The Lackey deal is the latest from The Hub, and it's another fun swap. Lackey moves to St. Louis, while 1B/OF Allen Craig and RHP Joe Kelly head to Boston.
The contending Cardinals moved for Lackey, thrilled to slot him as their No. 3 pitcher going forward (or their No. 4, if Michael Wacha can make it back). Lackey revitalized his career with a surprising comeback last year (3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP), and he's been in the same area this season (3.60/1.23). Those ratios figure to drop in the pitcher-friendly environment of the National League; I'm slotting Lackey as a $15 option from this point forward. (For context, here's last week's Starting Pitcher Shuffle Up.)
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade12 hrs ago
Context drives so much of fantasy value, so let's appreciate what the Athletics and Red Sox did for us on Thursday. Jon Lester, enjoy your new pitcher's park. Yoenis Cespedes, have a blast in Friendly Fenway.
Call it a win-win. Location, location, location.
Billy Beane's model has yet to show much in October, but he's having a helluva July. The A's moved Cespedes to the Red Sox on Thursday morning, getting Lester and Jonny Gomes in return. Lester becomes a free agent after the year; Cespedes is locked up through 2015. (The A's also pick up cash, while Boston scores Oakland's competitive balance pick for 2015.)
The timing was right for Boston to ship its ace lefty; Lester's having his best season (2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) and the team is nowhere near contention. And heck, the Red Sox could always get back into the bidding after the year, assuming Oakland doesn't hash out a contract before then.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade1 day ago
At first glance, there isn't much going on with the 2014 San Diego Padres. They're 12 games under .500, nowhere near contention in the National League. They're last in the majors in runs, no matter how you slice it (home, away, total). They currently don't have a general manager. You wonder why The Chicken cries himself to sleep every night.
But even the mediocre clubs have something to contribute in our fantasy racket, so today we serve a little sympathy for the Friars.
Yangervis Solarte might turn into a fun player in San Diego. He came to Bordertown in the Chase Headley deal, and Bud Black uses him at the top of the order (second or third). Solarte covers three infield positions (everything but first base) and he has a little pop (eight homers in 280 at-bats). He's 8-for-28 with two homers since the trade.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade2 days ago
Generally speaking, we don't look for much in our search for fantasy-relevant closers. We want someone with the closing baton, the unblocked path to the ninth. We look for someone who can record three outs without being spooked, someone with ratios that won't torch our bottom line. There's a low barrier to entry here.
Those modest parameters established, can we trust Neftali Feliz in Texas? I'm not sure.
Feliz picked up the closing gig last week, when the Rangers shipped Joakim Soria to Detroit (where, interestingly enough, Soria is not closing). Feliz converted a pair of saves over the last four days; he dodged two baserunners in a weekend win over Oakland, and he had a clean landing Monday against New York (three infield outs: Ellsbury, Gardner, Jeter).
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade5 days ago
Here's the latest Shuffle Up from the mound, the starting pitchers. This is the big one. Marinate over the prices. I'll do the same, move a few ranks here and there.
What's happened to this point is an audition, only. We're trying to figure out how to rank the players going forward. Assume a 5x5 scoring system, and players at the same cost are considered even.
And remember the golden rule – a player doesn't gain 15-20 percent of bonus value simply because he's on your roster.
I didn't bother ranking any injured pitchers in this edition. Bluntly put, I have very little faith in any of them for the balance of 2014. They're worth whatever you want them to be, but I'm not trading for them.
To the checkout line.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade6 days ago
Marucs Stroman is owned in just 35 percent of Yahoo leagues? Come on, guys. You're better than that.
When Stroman first got the call to the YYZ, back in May, the club wanted to use him in the bullpen. A handful of blowups ensued, and Stroman returned to his dominating ways in the minors. Since the subsequent recall, Stroman has been ridiculous: 2.21 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.93 K/BB, even a snappy 5-2 record.
The only bad start in that run came in Anaheim, and we'll float him a pass for that - the Angels are the No. 2 offense in the majors, after all. The hiccup didn't bother Stroman much - he hasn't allowed a run over his last two turns, covering 14 innings (5 H, 2 BB, 12 K).
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade7 days ago
It's not difficult to unscramble the 2014 Detroit Tigers. They're a good hitting club with a big-name rotation and a horrible bullpen (4.37 ERA). You love watching them hit. You flinch when they try to close out games.
Okay, they're working on that last part.
General Manager Dave Dombrowski knew he needed additions for the back end, so he made a splashy trade Wednesday evening. The Tigers shipped two promising young pitchers, Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, to Texas. In return, Detroit acquired veteran reliever Joakim Soria. The deal becomes official when all three players pass their physicals.Fri, Aug 14:08 PM PDTColorado at DetroitPreview Game
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade8 days ago
Here's the deal: you push Jacob deGrom's fantasy ownership past the 50 percent mark, then we can move on to a newer, fresher story. Got it? Good. Get out the ledger, it's time for another Tommy John success story (deGrom missed all of 2011 after having the procedure).
New York's 26-year-old righty has strong overall ratios (3.01 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but he's been especially electric over the last month. Check deGrom's last six starts: 39.2 IP, 33 H, 7 R, 11 BB, 45 K. Delicious.
And it's not like deGrom is getting crazy luck over that span - the BABIP is a robust .333, and his seasonal FIP is right around his ERA. He's getting terrific results with his 93 mph heater, and he mixes it with a slider, curve and change. Fun to watch, fun to own. And yet, his ownership tag is barely over the 40 percent mark.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade9 days ago
I used to be disgusted with Stephen Drew (and the whole family, really). Now I try to be amused. We just want numbers, we don't care where they come from.
While Drew didn't go bananas in his first Boston season, a .253-57-13-67-6 line over 124 games is handy for a middle infielder. If your league required a middle-infield fill, Drew was probably owned in your league last year.
Alas, Drew's agent misread the free-agent market, and Drew sat on his couch while the phone didn't ring. No team wanted to sign Drew - especially with a compensatory pick attached - and the stalemate dragged into the season. Eventually the slumping Red Sox bailed out their reluctant infielder, offering a one-year, $10 million lifeline in May.