Tag Archives: Astros

Week 5 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez

.326/.374/.522 slash rate this season. Last 7 days .357 OBP.  Owns a .294 career avg. against the Cubs and a .304 vs. the Nationals. Owned in 25% of leagues. I picked him up due to Logan Forsythe going on the DL.

Astros 1B/3B Yulieski Gurriel

439/.465/.707 slash rate in last 14 days. Faces 5 Right-Handed Pitchers this week. Gurriel has a 1.115 OPS vs. righties this season. Gurriel is available in roughly 65% of fantasy baseball leagues. I picked him up late last week after Adam Eaton was declared out.

Rays SP Jake Odorizzi

2 start pitcher off the DL this week. Takes on the Marlins in Miami on Monday followed by a Saturday home matchup with the Blue Jays. Odorizzi is 2-1 in 4 career starts against the Fighting Fish. More of a track record is available against Toronto, 4-2 record with a 3.24 ERA in 12 starts. Odorizzi is available in nearly 40% of leagues. I own him 3 of 5 leagues.

White Sox Should Sell This Offseason

The Chicago White Sox are one of the most interesting clubs this offseason. Coming off a disappointing 78-4 finish, which featured a 17-8 start in April, the White Sox are a club at a crossroads. The club added new Manager Rick Renteria to replace Robin Ventura. The club could try to piece to their core of veterans to contend for 2017. The better option in my opinion is to blow up this whole roster and acquire as many assets as possible. Starting Pitcher Chris Sale has been linked to the Nationals, Astros, and Braves. A perennial Cy Young candidate should be able to bring in major league ready players in return. It takes two to tango however, as we shall see if clubs are willing to give up their top prospects. Whether the Sox could get Trea Turner, Lucas Giolito, Alex Bregman, or Dansby Swanson remains to be seen. GM Rick Hahn should be holding out for a franchise building block in return in any package. The time may come later this winter where lower level prospects with upside may be the route the acquiring clubs would be willing to go.

The White Sox are a viable option because they have assets to move as this is weak free agent class in 2017.  Take into account some of the contracts already signed this winter and compare those to players available in a trade.  Rich Hill signed a 3-year-deal worth $48 million dollars. The soon to be 37-year-old southpaw has 610.1 career innings and is getting paid for finding the fountain of youth.  While Sale is soon to be 28 and has 3-years of team control at $38 million dollars.  Sale has also finished in the Top 6 in AL Cy Young voting each season since 2012.  Which player is the better value?

Other players in Chicago could fetch solid returns in trade due to age and team control. None of these players are in the twilight of their careers.   Closer David Robertson has 2 years and 25 million dollars left on his deal. Clubs that don’t want to spend on Chapman, Jansen, and Melancon could pursue Robertson, who turns 32 next season.  Melancon signed a 4-years $62 million dollar deal with the Giants. Roberston is nearly the same age as Melancon on a shorter deal.  SP Jose Quintana has 4-years and $37.85 million dollars remaining on his deal. Quintana is a soon to be 28-year-old middle of rotation arm with a career ERA of 3.41 and 1.242 WHIP.  3B Todd Frazier has 2 years of arbitration eligibility left and is coming off a year with a career high in HR (40) and RBI (98). Frazier will turn 31 this offseason.  Right Fielder Adam Eaton has back to back seasons of a plus .280 avg and .360 OBP. A 28-year-old leadoff hitter under team control of 5-years for $38.4 million dollars could be attractive to clubs. Eaton is a terrific defensive right fielder, not so much in center field. At $15 million on the last year of his deal, Melky Cabrera should still retain value at his age 32 campaign.  Cabrera may be an add on in one of the blockbuster deals. An outfielder with a career .286 avg and .337 OBP should retain value.

Rebuilding and contending at the same time is tough to do in sports. The White Sox farm   system may have some talent that helps down the road in RHP Carson Fulmer, RHP Spencer Adams, C Zach Collins, RHP Zack Burdi, 3B Trey Michalczewski, and RHP Alec Hanson. GM Rick Hahn has to opportunity to acquire assets to help the White Sox get younger and possibly better.  I believe if the White Sox don’t take advantage of this weak free agent class and selloff, it will set the club back longer. After years of trying to contend and failing, its time for the White Sox to go in another direction.

Could Brewers Move Mat Gamel for Bud Norris or Jeff Niemann?

The Brewers plan for Mat Gamel entering the 2013 season is to use him in a utility role as a corner infielder/outfielder. The plan in 2012 for Gamel was to replace Prince Fielder at first base until an ACL tear prematurely ended his season. Corey Hart’s diminished range in the outfield and his 6’6” frame are a perfect match at first base. Hart is in the last year of his deal at $10 million in 2013 before free agency. If the Brewers were looking to reload now would be the time to move Hart, but this is a club going for it again in 2013. The first baseman of the future had an award winning 2012.  Hunter Morris won the Southern League MVP and the Robin Yount Performance Award as the Brewers Minor League Player of the Year.

Gamel is yet again a man without a position and not part of the Brewers plans. I believe Gamel can be a solid 5 or 6-hole major league hitter. In 7 minor league seasons, Gamel has a slash rate of .304/.376/.498.  It’s tough to judge Gamel because he’s only had 269 major league plate appearances in 5 seasons.

The Brewers starting pitching is Yovani Gallardo followed by a slew of young pitchers. Ryan Dempster signed with the Red Sox and Edwin Jackson’s price may be too high.  The Brewers won’t break the bank on the free agent market to sign starting pitching.  Going with a rotation full of young pitchers doesn’t make sense for a cub in win now mode.  The Brewers won’t look to move their high-ceiling prospects to improve the pitching staff, so that leaves Gamel as the logical tradable asset.  There are a few American League clubs that could use a stick the caliber of Gamel and could send the Brewers a starting pitcher in return.

The Astros move to the American League West is going to difficult in 2013. Houston doesn’t nearly have enough offensive firepower to matchup with the Angels, A’s, and Rangers. The Astros have a lot of holes to fill in as organizational top prospects grow up in the minors. Jonathan Singleton is viewed as the first baseman of the future, but is a ways away. Instead of going after an old broken down Lance Berkman, why not move Bud Norris for a package of young players. I’m not sure what the asking price is for Norris, but Gamel and a lower level pitcher could make it happen. I’d be surprised if Astros would be able to command a king’s ransom for Norris.  The earliest Norris can become a free agent is 2016. His career record of 28-37 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.402 WHIP doesn’t stand out as a top of the rotation starter. The career 8.8 SO/9 is often sabotaged by the 3.8 BB/9.

The Rays are another potential trade partner for the Brewers. Jeff Niemann is coming off a nightmare 2012 due to a broken fibula and shoulder problem. This 6’9” righty owns a career 40-26 record with a 4.08 ERA and 1.286 WHIP.  His career SO/9 sits at 6.8.  The metrics should improve a bit if Niemann were to move from the AL East to the NL Central. Niemann has pitched well against the Rays top rivals. The veteran righty owns a career 7-2 record vs. the Yankees and Red Sox in 13 starts.  Niemann is eligible to become a free agent in 2015. The Rays offensive team rankings in the AL weren’t very good in 2012. (11th in runs, 11th in RBI, 12th in avg., 11th in SLG%)  Evan Longoria’s extended DL stint definitely played a part in the clubs low offensive rankings.

The Rays have a surplus of high-end young arms in the farm system. Major League ready power on the other hand is in shortage. Its possible Will Myers may need a little more seasoning.  Gamel could provide an offensive upgrade a DH over Ryan Roberts and possibly James Loney at 1B. Loney’s calling card is defense at this stage of his career. Gamel isn’t a defensive wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but could provide power.

I believe these are 2 reasonable trade possibilities for the Brewers to explore. Matching a young pitching staff with a win now offense doesn’t seem to make much sense. If the Brewers are going all in for the 2013 season then the starting rotation needs an upgrade.  There’s still plenty of time for the Brewers to make moves this offseason.