The Chicago Cubs just won their first World Series in more than a century. As a confessed Yankees fan I could not be happier because now Fantasy Baseball Season begins! Is it okay if I admit to you that this is my favorite time of year? Oh, I know a lot of people like to switch to fantasy football, fantasy hockey or even fantasy basketball but those distractions just can’t compare to fantasy baseball’s winter season.
What is there to do in November and December some of you may wonder. A lot. This is sort of like that summer reading list some really mean teachers would give you in grade school. You can wait until the last minute to do the reading if you want but it is a lot easier when you pace yourself and spread the work out through the summer. Fantasy Baseball is not much different.
All fantasy baseball owners should take the time to evaluate their own work during the fantasy season. How did you do? And how was that accomplished? Did you get lucky? Unlucky? Was your process good? Was your strategy sound? Did you even have a strategy? Once you have asked those questions of your own work, you should apply the same logic and questions to the other teams in your leagues. This is of vital importance if you play in keeper leagues or want to play advanced fantasy baseball.
Obviously, you will also want to keep track of the transactions and weigh their impact on player values (especially those of you in keeper leagues). Apparently the real MLB clubs were anxious to get started as well.
The Houston Astros traded reliever Pat Neshek to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Phillies exercised his $6.5 million option for the 2017 season.
Pat Neshek is unlikely to get saves and despite solid stats was only worth about $5 in standard leagues during the 2016 season. His acquisition deepens the Phillies bullpen and makes it a little easier for the Phillies to edge Jeanmar Gomez out of the closer role. Gomez even with his 37 saves was only worth about $10 to fantasy owners in standard leagues. The most skilled reliever in the Phillies bullpen in 2016 was Hector Neris, who had a pretty successful breakout season. Despite just two saves Neris was worth ever penny that Gomez earned in 2016. Which reliever would you rather own?
The Detroit Tigers traded centerfielder Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels for pitching prospect Victor Alcantara. The Angels will exercise Maybin’s $9 million option for the 2017 season.
Despite a career hampered by injuries, Cameron Maybin has emerged as a player worthy of an everyday job in the outfield – worth about $20 in each of the last two seasons. His defense in center field has not been great the last couple of seasons but that may be the result of playing through injuries (at least to a certain extent). However, the Angels farm system is weak, perhaps historically weak and Maybin with reasonable health may be able to reach a career high in plate appearances. In 600 at-bats a .270 batting average, 10-15 homers and 30 steals are a real possibility.
Victor Alcantara’s only real claim to fame has been a fastball that has reached triple digits. However, he has been unable to harness even enough mediocre control to project as more than a borderline middle reliever. He was moved to the bullpen this year due to a drop in his velocity to the low to mid 90’s. Unless you are in a seriously deep dynasty style league he probably is not worth your consideration.
The 2017 Fantasy Baseball season is already off to a great start. I will be here a couple days a week to guide you through the MLB off-season and your fantasy baseball prep with position and prospect lists as well as preparation and strategy tips that even the most seasoned advanced fantasy baseball owner can appreciate.