October Reader Q&A
Some interesting questions have come in over the past month. Let’s tackle a few of those as we head into the prospect and fantasy baseball off season’s.
Reader: Do the Dodgers or Angels sign Cano? Who else can compete in that type of market? Cano has two, 30-HR seasons and is 32. Why would any team give him more than 6 yrs?
MN: He only has one, actually, but is a lock for 25-plus at a time when only two other second basemen surpassed 20 (Jed Gyorko and Dan Uggla). It’s not about home runs with Cano though. Except for 2008 which we can accept as an anomaly, he has averaged just short of 6 WAR the past five years while averaging 160 games per season. Plus, he doesn’t turn 31 until the end of this month, so the age you gave is off a bit.
The sales pitch for Cano will revolve around his being money in the bank.
For the Yankees, it will be very hard to let Cano go. With an 85-77 record, replacing Cano’s six wins with David Adams or Eduardo Nunez is cringe worthy – and that’s if they ignore the adjusted standings. When those are added to the mix, the Yankees WITH Cano were one of the luckiest teams in baseball and SHOULD HAVE won 71-79 games. If the Yankees let Cano go, they might as well blow up the roster and start again. Unfortunately, they are in organizational purgatory as they don’t have the minor league talent to plug the holes.
Interesting enough, both the Angels and Dodgers received 2.7 WAR from the 2B position in 2013. Cano would be a 3-plus win bump for either team.
For me, the Washington Nationals are a dark horse team for Cano’s services. A look at their roster has many millions coming off the books by 2015. Meanwhile, their second base position contributed just 0.2 WAR in a season where adjusted standings left them with 83-85 wins. Add another five wins and the Nationals are on the cusp of the playoffs. No team would have more to gain than they would by signing a player like Cano.
I know readers will mention Rendon and his growing into a star at second base, but I’d rather see him move to third, Zimmerman to first and Laroche exiled to Siberia.
Reader: Our league appears to be completely prospect/rookie obsessed. With three teams still left to throw money on my team my Xander has been arb’ed up to $13 and Segura now sits at $17. What do you do with these guys? I like the idea of not getting arbitration money to stick but have soft spot for Xander having ‘discovered’ him by drafting him at the start of the 2012 season for a buck.
MN: I feel your pain as a Segura/Bogaerts owner as well. Faced with the same issue, I’m going to keep Segura, a player who has received the highest bump in my entire league, and part ways for Bogaerts (for now). Last season, I had success releasing prospects I wanted back into the player pool and scooping them up again for less money. Remember, there’s no rule against doing this. It’s an underutilized strategy.
One think you’ll want to do before dropping Bogaerts is see what players like Oscar Tavares and Jurickson Profar cost last season. In the Experts League, no prospect cost more than $11. With that said, I’m pretty sure my Bogaerts at $13 will be had for less next spring. That is, unless he has a Miguel Cabrera-esque World Series performance. If this were to happen, then you’ll need to re-evaluate.
As for Segura, he was a top shortstop in 2013 as a 24-year old. When the cream of the shortstop crop includes Jose Reyes and Troy Tulowitzki who receive $40-$50, yet can’t be counted on for more than 120 games, then Segura at $15-20 is a steal.
Reader: Is my Medlen for his Gausman to much of a price? If Gausman is in the NL like Wacha, would his 2-pitch mix have his value just as high?
MN: Medlen is a reliable fantasy 3/4. I frequently find myself trying to acquire pitchers similar to him because Medlen more (steady Freddy) than anything else. Give me 6 IP, 2 ER and a consistently low WHIP and I’m thrilled. It doesn’t take aces to win pitching categories.
As for Gausman, his peripherals with the Orioles were strong in his brief call up. We know the stuff is big, but I’ve discussed his working up in the zone far too often in previous newsletter posts. Until this changes, he’ll continue to give up home runs at a high rate.
I’d be open to dealing Medlen for Gausman AND a minor upgrade at another position. For example, Medlen and Austin Hedges for Kevin Gausman and Travis D’Arnaud. In this scenario, you add the MLB ready catcher and give up an asset who’s ranked a bit lower and further away.
Regarding the Wacha/Gausman comp, it’s not a good one. Wacha’s value is at an all-time high because he’s dominating on baseball’s biggest stage. It’s as if the fantasy baseball gods are pumping him full of helium themselves. Results matter! You might like Gausman over Wacha, but the Cardinals right-hander is worth far more right now.
3 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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