We continue or Fantasy Baseball analysis for the 2009 season with newly acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez of the New York Mets.
Fransisco Rodriguez: Rodriguez rewarded fantasy owners last season with an impressive campaign. K-Rod established a new single season saves record, finishing up with sixty two doors slammed.
So that begs the question; "Will K-Rod repeat, come close to, or totally miss last season's production?" Lets examine:
On the Field Factors:
Sixty two saves. That means he appeared in at least sixty two games. In total, however, K-Rod graced the mound seventy six last season. That is a mind boggling number for any reliever, let alone a closer. K-Rod pitched in 68 1/3 innings while also posting his third lowest ERA (2.24) since becoming a big time contributor to the Angels bullpen.
By all accounts, K-Rod will not repeat last season's success, and if the Mets are smart, he won't even come close. Trading for JJ Putz will help lighten K-Rod's workload, and even give him a rest every once and a while. The Mets say they plan on using Putz as a set up guy, but they're not dumb enough to expect Francisco to handle another abnormally large workload in back to back seasons.
Didn't seem to work that well for Billy Wagner.
Off the Field Factors:
K-Rod leaves quiet Los Angeles or Anahiem or wherever that team calls home for the Big Apple, the big bright scary New York City. K-Rod's successes and failures will be placed under bright lights and microscopes, every outing critiqued by mindless bloggers like myself. K-Rod will be compared to his cross town rival Mariano Rivera, a much taller order than having to hold a candle against the likes of Huston Street, Takashi Saito, or whoever the closer of the week is in San Francisco.
While we understand that telling people not to select K-Rod as their fantasy closer of choice is just short of a retarded notion, we're urging you not to overspend or pick with, say your second draft slot. K-Rod is quite a talented arm to have on your team, but lets face it, he's on the Mets now.
We continue or Fantasy Baseball analysis for the 2009 season with newly acquired outfielder/DH Pat Burrell of the AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays.
AL Champion Tampa Bay, it's going to take quite some time to get used to saying that.
Burrell represents a unique opportunity for Fantasy Team Owners this year, so without any more digressions, lets begin.
Pat Burrell: Burrell's rocky marriage to the Philadelphia Phillies finally came to an end this offseason, with the World Champs signing Raul Ibanez to take over in left field. Burrell's tenure with the Phils was one of highs and lows, with constant trade rumors swirling over his head. It's tough for a ballplayer to concentrate in that type of environment, so a new home might be a welcome sign for Burrell's career.
On the Field Factors: Burrell is likely to be slated to bat fifth or sixth in the Ray's lineup which will translate into a significant increase in RBI opportunities. Burrell only had 86 RBIs last season, but if you look at the RBI machines hitting in front of him (Utley, Howard) its easy to figure out why his production dropped in '08.
Insert Burrell into the Rays lineup and you've got a right handed power threat to compliment Carlos Pena. Teams will inevitably begin to pitch around Longoria and Pena, resulting in more offensive opportunities for Burrell. Lets not forget that Burrell, in the past three seasons, has put up some serious power numbers:
Notice a trend? As Burrell is getting older, his numbers are getting better. Factor in increased rest due to manning the DH slot in the Rays lineup and we're looking at a potentially solid year.
Off the Field Factors: Burrell is leaving a semi-hostile environment in Philly, were slumps lasting longer than three games call for immediate expulsion from the roster. Rays media and fans are less volitile than Philly and would welcome Burrell's veteran experience to an extremely young roster.
Burrell is likely to be around late in a lot of drafts due to the fact that his strikeout totals are scary to most fantasy owners. In deep leagues, Burrell is a no brainer, and if you can get him later on in the draft, say 10th-12th round, the rewards will significantly outweigh the risks.
With pitchers and catchers reporting a little less than one month from today, its time to start thinking about how this offseason's transactions will ultimately effect your fantasy baseball team.
While there are some major players still on the market (see Ramirez, Manny.) there are enough big names with contracts to warrant further inspection.
Mark Teixeira: Just because he's signed a mega-deal doesn't mean you should necessarily move him up in your draft order. Money doesn't always translate into continued success. One thing that we liked about Teixeira last season was that his numbers did not differ from his average season output.
Usually, we target a handful of ballplayers in their last year before free agency, as their stats tend to improve dramatically in their walk year. Tex's stats remained consistant with his performance over the previous two seasons (06/07/08);
HR: (33/30/33) RBI (110/105/121) BB (89/72/97)
BA (.282/.306/.308) Hits (177/151/177)
On the Field Factors:
Adding Tex to a pretty powerful Yankee lineup, you should expect to see two things happen. The first is a dramatic increase in walks. Teixeira is an already patient hitter, so throwing him in a lineup that's known to take pitches and stresses the importance of wearing out a starting pitcher will only reinforce (and improve) Teixeira's base on balls total.
The second thing you should expect out of Tex is a combination of three things; increase in home runs, decrease in RBI's, and a major increase in runs scored. There is less pressure for Teixeira to drive in runs in his current lineup, especially if he's going to bat in front of Alex Rodriguez. A shorter porch in right field will always help a lefty power hitter and, as mentioned before, Tex's OBP (.410) will not be wasted in this powerful Yankee lineup.
Off the Field Factors:
Teixeira is leaving the West Coast, which means he'll be playing closer to his hometown Severna Park, Maryland. Also, it seems that Tex's wife was happy with his choice to play for the Yankees. And most news reports practicly credit Leigh Teixeira for the deal getting done. A happy wife makes a happy hitter.
Teixeira inevitably will go way too early in most fantasy drafts this year. We're not saying that he's a bad player, but his over exposure to the general public this offseason will bump his value and draft position in the majority of the "casual" fantasy leagues. Try not to get caught in the hype, but grab him if he falls into the third round (We're guessing that'll never happen).
As an ardent fan of baseball, we'd like to step in and offer you some advice on how to get your career back on track.
We remember you as that fleet footed 19 year old who almost single handedly ruined the 1996 Yankees season. You killed them in the World Series, only to lose to destiny and the fact that God loves the Yankees more than the Braves.
You used to be a human highlight reel, Gold Glove center fielder. You crushed baseballs.
Now, the Dodgers are trying to pay you to stay away from them.
We'd like to offer sure-fire advice that'll get you where you want to be.
1. Change your name: How are people supposed to take you seriously when you can't even spell "Andrew" correctly? In order to show people that you're still a team player, show them that there's no "U" in Andrew.
2. Get off the Michael Phelps diet: Yes you both are athletes, but that's where the similarities end. Just because you and Phelps both play a sport, doesn't mean you have to share the same eating habits.
3. Go on Oprah: Let her do that Oprah thing she does on you. Then you're money.
4. Check your bat for termites: You do realize that you're strikeout to hits ratio for the past 2 combined seasons is 2:1. There couldn't possibly be anything wrong with you, your swing, your mental attitude while at bat, or the fat that you may be way to fat to physically swing a bat. There are obvious signs that wood burrowing bugs have infected your bats, causing the ball to sail right through your swing.
5. Acquire a new fan base: You should start attempting to attract a new set of fans; namely baseball fans that are blind or deaf. That way they won't be able to see how bad you suck or hear you suck out loud.
Well, any way, we hope these tips help you out. We'd hate to see your career end up with you being rolled out of Dodger Land by a bunch of Animal Activists trying to roll a beached whale back into the ocean.
-With Love and Respect
108 Red Stitches
As the date for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training is a little over one month away, teams around the league are finally figuring out ways to shape up their rosters.
The recent Tampa Bay signing of outfielder/DH Pat Burrell seems to have set off a domino like chain reaction around the league, with numerous other clubs picking up whatever's left on the free agent market.
The Chicago Cubs and Milton Bradley agreed on a 3 year $30 million deal (pending physical) that will add some much needed pop into the Cub's lineup. Bradley is slated to play right field for the '09 season, but may not last that long. Bradley has only played 100 games in the field (during his career) just once; with the '04 Dodgers.
Jason Giambi is returning home, as he and the Oakland A's agreed (pending physical) on a $4 million deal for the 2009 season with a $6.5 million base salary for the option year in 2010. The second year would also provide for a $1.25 million buyout.
Another ex-Yankee has found a new home, this time in Cleveland. We're not sure if Cleveland is running a rehab center or a baseball team, but the Indians' signing of RHP Carl Pavano points to the later. After signing oft injured closer Kerry Wood, the Indians offered Pavano a one-year, $1.5 million deal. Pavano can make another $5.3 million in performance bonuses.
Finally, according to ESPN.com, the Baltimore Orioles added a Japanese pitcher to help fill in their rotation:
Koji Uehara will be paid $10 million over the two years of the contract, which also includes incentives that could raise the total to as much as $16 million.
Uehara has spent his entire career with the Yomiuri Giants. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Uehara was 6-5 with one save and a 3.81 ERA in 26 games for the Giants last year.
The 2008 defending World Champs had decided to let longtime outfielder Pat Burrell walk via free agency, and it looks like the runner ups have decided to pick him up.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Pat Burrell have agreed, in principle, on a two year contract worth $16 million.
Burrell (.250/33/86 last season) will most likely take over the DH spot in the Rays lineup.
This move comes a few days after the Rays bolstered their bullpen with the acquisition of Joe Nelson.
A while back we announced that we'd be partnering with the folks over at River Avenue News in a content sharing agreement. Exciting stuff right?
Well, hold onto your horses baseball fans, we've got two more sites to add to that ever growing network and a few big changes.
Announcing the New 108 Red Stitches: Baseball University.
Baseball University will be replacing 108 Red Stitches as the baseball news site of choice. We'll be running the site just as 108 Red Stitches was run, but it'll take over the day to day baseball news stories.
108 Red Stitches will become what it had originally set out to do; journalistic sarcasm at it's best. The new goal of this site will be to examine (socially, demographically, internally, sarcastically, and any other word that ends with "ally" that you can think of) the game of baseball and comment on the happenings in the sport (This will take into effect at the end of the 2009 Offseason).
Andrew Jones signs a new deal, read about it over at Baseball University.
Andrew Jones needs help finding a new diet plan, we'll have it here at 108 Red Stitches.
Announcing a new partnership with "Game of Baseball- When it Was a Game".
Cross site promotion is in order with this new up and coming site that details (as they say) the beauty of the game of baseball. The site is littered with quotes, poems, and little tid bits about the game of baseball, and will be chock full of beautiful photographs.
After seeing their star reliever Joe Nelson jump ship and head over to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Florida Marlins countered with the signing of RHP Scott Proctor.
The Marlins and Proctor agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract with an additional $250,000 in incentives.
Proctor battled elbow ailments last season, posting a 6.05 ERA in 38 2/3 innings pitched. Some have predicted these elbow issues, as he was often overworked by manager Joe Torre while in New York and later in LA.
Proctor's signing has made this fan glad he's found a new home.
The Angels have found their man whom they hope will replace the single season saves leader Fransisco Rodriguez; and that man just happens to hail from Colorado.
The Angels agreed to a two year deal with 33 year old left handed closer Brian Fuentes (1-5, 30 saves in 34 chances, 2.73 ER).
According to ESPN.com Fuentes will earn $8.5 million for 2009 and $9 million for 2010. The contract includes a $9 million vesting option for 2011, based on games finished, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
The Chicago Cubs continued to tweak their roster, trading away fan favorite Mark DeRosa to the Cleveland Indians for minor league pitchers Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer and John Gaub.
DeRosa fills the Indian's void over at the hot corner, and allows them to keep their young middle infield intact (GM Mark Shapiro considered moving shortstop Jhonny Peralta to third and Asdrubal Cabrera from second to short.)
The Cubs are also considering a trade for the Rockies Luis Vizcaino in exchange for Jason Marquis. According to ESPN; The 30-year-old Marquis was 11-9 for Chicago last season, with a 4.53 ERA in 167 innings while Vizcaino, 34, struggled in his first season in Colorado, pitching to a 5.28 ERA in 46 innings.
The Baltimore Orioles signed left handed starter Mark Hendrickson to a one year deal. The Orioles only have Jeremy Guthrie slated in their rotation, as Daniel Cabrera signed on with the Washington Nationals.
The Mets may have made an offer to free agent starter Derek Lowe.
Mets and Dodgers talking trade? Andrew Jones could be wearing blue and orange next season.
Dodgers are looking to get their offseason shoping list Dunn.
The Rangers added three arms into the mix for bullpen help.
Aaron Miles is set to replace DeRosa.
- Good-Bye Jerk Off
- Fantasy Outlook 2009: Francisco Rodriguez
- Fantasy Outlook 2009: Pat Burrell
- Fantasy Outlook 2009: Mark Teixeira
- Dear Andruw Jones,
- Baseball Hot Stove Burning Again
- Rays Continue to Strengthen Roster
- Announcing the New Sports Blog Network
- Marlins Land Their Fish, Shore Up Bullpen
- Teams Make Additions to Ring in the New Year
- ▼ January (10)
- ► 2008 (191)