Showing posts with label Brett Wallace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brett Wallace. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fantasy Spin on the Halladay Trade, Pierre Trade, and Much More!

Photo from fOTOGLIF

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired ace right-hander Roy Halladay (and $6 million) by sending prospects RHP Kyle Drabek, OF Michael Taylor and C Travis d'Arnaud to the Toronto Blue Jays. reported that Halladay will receive $20 million per year in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The extension also includes a $20 million vesting option for 2014 based on innings pitched, games started or both. The Phillies required an extension with Halladay to make the trade.

Roy Halladay is going to be incredible for the Phillies. He does move to a worse ballpark but he gets a better defense, offense, and league in exchange. He instantly becomes the number one fantasy pitcher in the game in my book. You can't predict wins very easily but I see a ton of them in Halladay's future.

The Blue Jays send freshly acquired prospect Michael Taylor to the Oakland Athletics for top prospect 3B Brett Wallace. Brett Wallace was sent to the Athletics in exchange for Matt Holliday last season. To me this indicates that the A's either saw something in Wallace they did not like or they really like Michael Taylor.

Wallace is ready to make his major league debut. Moving to the Blue Jays should not delay that debut any further. Edwin Encarnacion would have to have a very good spring to look like a better hitter than Wallace and he isn't much better defensively (if at all). Wallace will hit for a high average and solid power.

The Phillies are also sending LHP Cliff Lee (presumably for salary reasons but also to re-stock the farm system after sending some of their best to Toronto) to the Seattle Mariners for group of prospects including RHP Phillippe Aumont, OF Tyson Gillies and RHP J.C. Ramirez. Lee was apparently determined to reach free agency so he could sign a Sabathia-like contract.

Playing in front of Seattle's defense and in Safeco Field also provides Cliff Lee with a huge statistical boost. If he wasn't already he now looks like a top five pitcher. If the Mariners find a couple of middle of the order hitters to go with their great set-up hitters they should make a very nice run in 2010.

From (Not really fantasy relevant, just something to know)
A group headed by Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg has been selected by Rangers owner Tom Hicks to enter into exclusive negotiations to buy the franchise, according to an official announcement made by Hicks Sports Group on Tuesday.

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan has committed to being a part of Greenberg's group and would remain in his current position as club president. Greenberg is expected to hold the position of managing general partner.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have sent outfielder Juan Pierre to the Chicago White Sox for two minor leaguers. Pierre will play left field and hit leadoff according to reports in According to, those two Minor Leaguers are starter John Ely, who won 14 games in 2009 at Double-A Birmingham, and Jon Link, who was once thought of as a potential late-inning reliever. Juan Pierre is one of those players that is a better fantasy player than real player (not that he's useless, just better for fantasy).

I expect Pierre to return to his fairly good average, lots of stolen base ways in 2010. He is not the player he used to be but he should be a quality fantasy player if you can deal with the lack of power.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brian Fuentes Demoted? Matt Kemp Rising! Tomko Dealing?!?!

To baseball in a minute. Has anyone out there seen Whiteout yet? Its based on this Graphic Noveland stars Kate Beckinsale. It has to be worth seeing, right?

Los Angeles Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, is calling Kevin Jepsen a co-closer to Brian Fuentes. "Both guys have been an important part of the back end of the bullpen," Scioscia said on Monday night. "But if there are some matches that could be advantageous [to use Jepsen], we will try to take advantage of [them]." Jepsen is probably gone in deeper leagues but any Fuentes owners still in contention should be checking the waiver wires. I doubt this is a situation that would continue into 2010 but it may be worth grabbing Jepsen in keeper leagues where he is still available. You never know.

I think the St. Louis Cardinals made a serious mistake this season. While I love Matt Holiday and his impact on the Cards playoff chances is undeniable, they should have found a way to do it without losing top prospect Brett Wallace. The Athletics had to deal Holiday. They had no shot at retaining him and offering a player like Holiday arbitration in uncertain financial times can be extremely risky. Wallace may not be a stellar defensive player at third base. He may not even be average. But to dump him when your team has such a glaring hole at the position and such a need for a bat like Wallace...It continues to boggle my mind all these weeks later.

Instead the Cardinals continue to use Joe Thurston at third with a very rare dose of Troy Glaus when his fragile bones allow. Glaus has managed just 18 at-bats this season. Is the defense from Joe Thurston and Glaus so much more valuable than a potential all-star bat? I seriously doubt it.

Is Brett Tomko an improved pitcher or is this just a nice run of good luck for him? His 5.39 FIP says it isn't. His strikeout rate is still a barely mediocre 5.18, less even than his career 5.98 rate. His walk rate is down this year to 2.04 per nine innings. But walks have never really been Tomko's problem. The HR9 starts to get at his problem. He has a career rate of 1.26 which is bad enough but this year it stands at 1.88 which is probably still a sign of bad luck even for Tomko. His FB rate is up significantly but since it hasn't really hurt him I think it is safe to assume that he is being aided greatly by Oakland Collesium (or whatever they call it now). The A's defense and bullpen have also helped Tomko build a 84.8 LOB% which is another sign that luck is playing a huge factor in his performance. I'm sure he's tempting to those that are streaming pitchers down the stretch. I would still stay away. Rostering Tomko is like trading your cow for a sack of magic beans. has lots of great articles you should check out. But of particular interest may be their expert league fantasy football draft results. My team got destroyed in week one. It didn't help that my thin receiving core was counting on Anthony Gonzalez to step up into a quasi-number one type. I have serious work to do. It is not too late to gain some value from looking at this draft. It could confirm an idea or turn you off on another one.

Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron is predicting the rise of the center fielder.
There is so much talent in center field that we could be seeing the dawning of the greatest group of talent to ever play the position at the same time. Seriously, just take a look at the current crop of players manning the position.
This spawned nearly 100 comments from readers. Many had a problem with the groupings that Dave used which in my opinion is a little silly. The groupings have little to do with the overall point -- that this is a historic period for center field talent. A few seemed to have a problem with how Matt Kemp was classified. Some arguing that he is overrated and others that he is potentially the best in the game. A couple of the older guys suggested that the Duke Snider/Mickey Mantle/Willie Mays era was easily the best. This is interesting reading that you'll want to check out.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hot Prospect: Matt Young PLUS Some Other Stuff...

Sometimes really smart people do stupid things. They do things like dismiss a prospect entirely based on his age or his height. That's dumb. Yes, your age at a given level is an indication of a player's talent and skill level but it isn't everything. And at least in baseball, size doesn't matter. Matt Young is 26-years old and short. He is a very good prospect.

Young was a fantastic High School Player for Plano East High School where he made the All-Texas Team. At the University of New Mexico he was a Freshman All-American. He led the Mid-West Conference in walks and On-Base Percentage. His sophomore year he led the conference in walks and steals. His junior year he hit .381 and led the MWC in triples. He went undrafted but signed as a free agent with the Braves.

With the Rome Braves in 2005 he hit .312/.412/.409 with 85 runs and he had a .992 fielding percentage in center field. He led the Braves organization in OBP and runs scored. In 2006 with Myrtle Beach he hit .281/.389/.375 with 30 doubles and 71 walks, while playing excellent defense and stealing 21 bases. In 2007 he missed time due to injuries but still had a .381 on-base percentage for the Pelicans. He was promoted to double-A and struggled for the first time in his life batting .242/.308/.305 in 33 games. In 2008 repeating double-A he hit .289/.384/.385 with 30 stolen bases.

Last fall the Braves sent Young to the Arizona Fall League, a prospect showcase and he sparkled hitting .367/.426/.571. But for some reason the Braves sent him back to double-A Mississippi where he is presently hitting .281/.409/.393 with 33 stolen bases in 427 at-bats. Young looks like another Nyjer Morgan (maybe not quite as good the base stealer --more on him later). Remember last weekk when we discussed the way teams are going to change? Young is a perfect example of the type of player that will be receiving more chances in the majors than in past years. The Braves haven't shown many signs of including him in their plans (I believe he'll be Rule V eligible) but he should be on the radar of fantasy owners as a potential steal source.

Some Other Stuff...

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated is suggesting that Major League Baseball is almost certain to have a slotting system for Amateur Draft picks in place by the 2012 draft. This is a great idea. MLB should model their plan after the NBA's and eliminate arbitration altogether. It seems to me that the problem with baseball's present system is not so much that the Free Agents demand so much money. The true problem is that the arbitration eligible players demand so much and and often are not worth it. But under the present rules teams are screwed if they don't offer arbitration.

Should the Twins have to pay Delmon Young $3-4 million dollars next year to keep him around? No, but they will because it would be far worse to let him go for nothing before they even managed to squeeze a good season out of him. This is why the NBA's restricted free agent process is so much better. The player can still get a huge payday if he's worth it (as Tim Lincecum absolutely is) but guys like Young (and the dozens just like him) get the raise without the ridiculous demands attached.


Tyler Hissey of MVN's Around the Majors blog has put together some rankings of this winter's class of free agent pitchers. He has three different lists but here's the FIP rankings. Check out the Around the Majors blog for the others.

Free Agent Pitchers By Fielding Independent Pitching:

Joel Pineiro: 3.04
Erik Bedard: 3.54
John Lackey: 3.79
Jose Contreras: 3.96
Randy Wolf: 3.98
Jason Marquis: 4.00
Andy Pettitte: 4.12
Tim Wakefield: 4.19
Carl Pavano: 4.26
Rich Harden: 4.46
Kevin Millwood: 4.56
Brad Penny: 4.57
Doug Davis: 4.59
Jon Garland: 4.64
Vicente Padilla: 4.83
Jarrod Washburn: 4.86

Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle is daydreaming about an unlimited budget for free agents to boost the Houston Astros back into contention. He suggests that the dream lineup for 2010 would look like this:

C--Jason Castro.
1b--Lance Berkman.
2b--Felipe Lopez.
3b--Miguel Tejada.
SS--Tommy Manzella.
LF--Carlos Lee.
CF--Michael Bourn.
RF--Hunter Pence.

SP--Roy Oswalt.
SP--Wandy Rodriguez.
SP--Bud Norris.
SP--Justin Duchscherer.
SP--John Lackey.

Plus some undefined changes to the bullpen...Is this the best he can do? I bet everyone reading this can do better without adding more than $30 million to their $102 million dollar payroll. Use Cot's Baseball Contracts if you'd like to show me how much better you can do...(yes, hint, hint).


The Chicago Cubs have finally been sold. After years of rumors and at least two years of negotiations the Cubs (or 95 percent of them) are now the property of the Ricketts family for a cool $845 million. Hopefully, this will free the Cubs to do whatever it takes to finally return to the World Series and even to win one. The Cubs were severely hampered by this process in Spring Training when they attempted to acquire Jake Peavy or another top starter. The Cubs should make big moves this fall.


Who says the Mets don't have any prospects? He came into the spotlight this week when he made Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis is not just the flavor of the week. He was a third round pick in 2008 and just had his 22nd birthday. He'll be moving quickly through the Mets organization if this keeps up. This week's hot sheet also includes my second favorite prospect ( after Michael Stanton), Brett Wallace. Check out the write ups on the whole list which is not behind the subscriber wall.


Early this season I was a doubter when it came to Nyjer Morgan. I was not discounting his ability to play good defense and steal bases. I just did not think the Pittsburgh Pirates were the type of team to allow an older player like Morgan a full-time opportunity. I thought they would lean on their younger players even if it hurt a little. I should have known better. But I am now as big a Nyjer Morgan fan as there is. I love to see that guys like Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post are also on the bandwagon.

The Washington Nationals are quickly becoming my second favorite team. Now that Mike Rizzo is the GM I'm confident that they will continue to make all the right moves. They are closer than you think to being a contender. They have the key parts of a quality offense. If you can't find a way to score runs with a speedster with on-base skills like Nyjer Morgan, an on-base machine like Nick Johnson (I know he's gone but still...) and middle of the order bats like Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn (who should be moving to first base next season), and Josh Willingham you should be fired. Just ask Manny Acta.

Rizzo will keep building up the farm system. This time next season Stephen Strasburg should be the best pitching prospect in the country (if he isn't already) and about to join the Nationals' rotation (if he isn't already there). I enjoyed reading how the Nationals led by Mike Rizzo out-maneuvered super agent Scott Boras. The stories are probably overblown but Strasburg apparently always intended to sign provided he received a fair offer. So when the Nats discovered this and stuck to their record breaking (but far from the 25-50 million Boras was supposedly looking for) offer, and given his client's wishes, Boras had to accept it.

Strasburg is far from flawless but he is deserving of the attention he is receiving. Despite the hype you can count on the Nationals doing the right thing. They'll keep Strasburg in the minors where he belongs until he proves himself. Do not expect to see him in the majors before mid-June, if even that soon.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Matt Holliday Traded to St. Louis Cardinals

The Oakland Athletics have decided to trade outfielder Matt Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals for a collection of prospects including third baseman Brett Wallace, outfielder Shane Peterson, and right-hander Clayton Mortensen. These prospects are all worthy of attention in AL-only leagues but Brett Wallace is a prospect I expect to be a very special hitter. The Cardinals knew they had a potentially special hitter in Wallace but since they were extremely reluctant to play him at third base (and some other guy is at first base) it seemed pretty obvious they would eventually deal him.

Matt Holliday has been a much better hitter this month than for most of the first half, batting .344 with a .421 on-base percentage in July. His season totals are just a little worse than I expected out of Coors Field. He has batted .286 with 11 homers and 12 stolen bases in the first half. I expected closer to .300 with about 20-22 homers on the season with 20-25 stolen bases which would be about what he averaged on the road the last few seasons. Basically Holliday has been the same player but he is hitting more fly balls, mostly of the infield variety which has reduced his BABIP and this his batting average. This may be something that Holliday has corrected in his swing but it could also be just a fortunate streak. Either way Holliday is still a very good player that should be owned in fantasy leagues of all types and sizes. In NL-only leagues he is worth a significant FAAB bid.

Holliday will play every day in left field. The big loser in playing time will be Rick Ankiel who will probably steal a few at-bats from Colby Rasmus but will mostly be relegated to fourth outfielder status. Ryan Ludwick (who is blistering hot lately) will remain the every day outfielder in right field. The more interesting question is in the infield. The Cardinals recently acquired Julio Lugo who will almost certainly start against lefties at either shortstop or second base. They also just got Mark DeRosa back from the disabled list. DeRosa could play any of the infield position but is most likely to play third base until Troy Glaus comes back. Glaus could be back in a matter of days which would push DeRosa to second base and Skip Schumaker to the bench. It should be interesting to see how it all falls out.