Top Fantasy Players to Pick Up

Starting Pitchers:

Brandon Beachy

Mike Leake

Jason Marquis

Bartolo Colon

Relievers:

Fernando Salas

Brandon League

Jon Rauch

Sergio Santos

Catchers:

Alex Avila

Yorvit Torrealba

Yadier Molina

Wilson Ramos

First Base:

Brett Wallace

Justin Smoak

Juan Rivera

Ike Davis

Second Base:

Darwin Barney

Juan Uribe

Mike Aviles

Angel Sanchez

Third Base:

David Freese

Ryan Roberts

Jack Hanahan

Wilson Betemit

Shortstop:

Ian Desmond

Orlando Cabrera

Maicer Izturis

Outfield:

Alfonso Soriano

Chris Coghlan

Matt Joyce

Kevin Millwood Opts Out

After an off-season of pitching mishaps, the Yankees will be without one of their four veterans.  Over the off-season, the Yankees signed Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Kevin Millwood, and Carlos Silva.  The Yankees have had great showing from both Colon and Garcia, but the longtime pitcher, Kevin Millwood has opted out of his contract and will become a free agent according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

Injury Updates

Recently we have found out that Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals, might be out longer than expected.  Sandoval, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his right wrist.  For fantasy owners, it is almost safe to drop him depending on your waiver wire, otherwise hold on to him.  Also, Zimmerman.  Zimmerman, who has been disabled since April 12, might miss another 6 weeks.  He suffered a tear that has been lingering since Spring Training and will now require surgery.  For fantasy owners, Zimmerman is to valuable, put him on the DL, do NOT drop him.

Angels Designate Bulger; Activate Piniero, Downs

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have announced they are designating relief pitcher, Jason Bulger for assignment.  This comes after the team optioned Matt Palmer to Triple-A.  After these moves, the Angels activated Joel Piniero and Scott Downs from the disabled list.

Bulger who is still at a ripe age of 32 pitched quite well for the big league club.  He was 0-1 but posted a 0.96 ERA in 5 games.  The one thing, however, that is detrimental to his cause are his walks (10) are higher than his strike outs (7).  I expect someone will claim him.  Maybe another Pirates claim?  Bulger has been with the Angels most of his career after being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1st round of the 2001 draft and soon traded to the Angels for again-Angel Alberto Callaspo.  Bulger made just over $1.2MM with the Halo’s

Piniero has been activated after a lingering shoulder injury.  In Piniero’s first season after signing a 2yr/$16MM deal with the Halo’s in the 2010 offseason, he went 10-7 with a 3.84 ERA with 92 K’s over 152.1 IP. One thing about Piniero is he doesn’t strike a lot of guys out, a lifetime 5.9K/9.  If we take a step back, Piniero earned this deal after a stunning 2009 with the Cards were he went 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA and pitched 214 innings.  The Angels are hoping they can receive more of Piniero’s 2009 and 2010 success to help bolster what is already a solid rotation with Haren and Weaver manning the top of it.

Scott Downs was one of the most highly rated relievers on the market this past off-season and managed to score a 3yr/$15MM deal with the Angels.  Downs was 1 of 5 relievers to sign 3 year deals.  The others include Jesse Crain, Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, and Matt Guerrier.  Downs was the 3rd highest paid out of the bunch with Soriano receiving $35MM over 3 seasons with the Yankees and Benoit receiving $16.5MM with the Tigers.  Downs has only appears in 2 games this season totaling 1.2 innings pitched.

Angel’s Pitcher making history

Jered Weaver is the first pitcher to go 6 – 0 by April 25th this year. Weaver is the fourth player in Major League history to go 6-0 in March and April, the last being Brandon Webb with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008. It is the fifth time it has been accomplished overall, with Randy Johnson turning the trick twice.

Weaver began his Major League career in 2006 by going 9-0 in his first 12 starts. Since 2002, Weaver is the only pitcher to start a season 6-0 twice.

Weaver made this statement, “It is great to have the accolades, but I just want to keep my team in the game, which I did tonight,” Weaver said. “The location is a lot better than it has been and everything feels good.”

This is what the team’s manager had to say, “Tonight was an extension of his evolution and of him making a statement that he is a No. 1 [starter]. Weaver was able to pound the zone. He just kept driving home strikes all night.”

Monday’s game was also Weaver’s second consecutive complete game.

2013 MLB Free Agent List

Catchers
Koyie Hill (34)
Chris Iannetta (30) – $5MM club option with a $250K buyout
Russell Martin (30)
Jeff Mathis (30)
Brian McCann (29) – $12MM club option with a $500K buyout
Miguel Montero (29)
Mike Napoli (31)
Wil Nieves (35)
Miguel Olivo (34) – $3MM club option with a $750K buyout
Ronny Paulino (31)
A.J. Pierzynski (36)
Humberto Quintero (33)
David Ross (36)
Carlos Ruiz (34) – $5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Yorvit Torrealba (34)

First basemen
Aubrey Huff (36) – $10MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Adam LaRoche (33) – $10MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Carlos Lee (37)
James Loney (29)
Mike Napoli (31)
Ty Wigginton (35) – $4MM club option with a $500K buyout

Second basemen
Jeff Baker (32)
Orlando Hudson (35) – $8MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Maicer Izturis (32)
Howie Kendrick (29)
Jeff Keppinger (32)
Ian Kinsler (31) – $10MM club option with a $500K buyout
Luis Rodriguez (33)
Freddy Sanchez (35)
Skip Schumaker (33)

Shortstops
Erick Aybar (29)
Jason Bartlett (33) – $5.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Geoff Blum (39)
Stephen Drew (30) – $10MM mutual option with a $1.35MM buyout
Jhonny Peralta (31) – $6MM club option with a $500K buyout
Luis Rodriguez (33)
Ryan Theriot (33)

Third basemen
Geoff Blum (39)
Miguel Cairo (39)
Brandon Inge (36) – $6MM club option with a $500K buyout
Maicer Izturis (32)
Chipper Jones (41) – $7MM vesting/club option
Kevin Kouzmanoff (31)
Placido Polanco (37) – $5.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Mark Reynolds (29) – $11MM club option with a $500K buyout
Scott Rolen (38)
Mark Teahen (31)
Ty Wigginton (35) – $4MM club option with a $500K buyout
David Wright (30) – $16MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Kevin Youkilis (34) – $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout

Left fielders
Josh Hamilton (32)
Carlos Lee (37)
Luke Scott (35)
Reggie Willits (32)
Delmon Young (27)

Center fielders
Michael Bourn (30)
Marlon Byrd (35)
Melky Cabrera (28)
Curtis Granderson (32) – $13MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Matt Kemp (28)
Angel Pagan (31)
Aaron Rowand (35)
B.J. Upton (28)
Shane Victorino (32)

Right fielders
Matt Diaz (35)
Andre Ethier (31)
Torii Hunter (37)
Carlos Quentin (30)
Ryan Spilborghs (33)
Ichiro Suzuki (39)

Designated hitters
Jack Cust (34)
Travis Hafner (36) – $13MM club option with a $2.75MM buyout

Starting pitchers
Scott Baker (31) – $9.25MM club option
Joe Blanton (32)
Matt Cain (28)
Fausto Carmona (29) – $9MM club option
Kevin Correia (32)
John Danks (28)
Jorge De La Rosa (32) – $11MM player option with a $1MM buyout
R.A. Dickey  (38) – $5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Scott Feldman (29) – $9.25MM club option with a $600K buyout
Gavin Floyd (30) – $9.5MM club option
Zack Greinke (28)
Jeremy Guthrie (34)
Cole Hamels (29)
Dan Haren (32) – $15.5MM club option with a $3.5MM buyout
Tim Hudson (37) – $9MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Colby Lewis (33)
Francisco Liriano (29)
Kyle Lohse (34)
Derek Lowe (40)
Shaun Marcum (31)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (32)
Brandon McCarthy (29)
Brett Myers (32) – $10MM club option with a $3MM buyout
Carl Pavano (37)
Jake Peavy (31) – $22MM club option with a $4MM buyout
Anibal Sanchez (29)
Jonathan Sanchez (30)
Ervin Santana (30) – $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Joe Saunders (32)
James Shields (31) – $9MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Jered Weaver (30)
Jake Westbrook (35) – $8.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout if club declines
Randy Wolf (36) – $10MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Carlos Zambrano (32) – $19.25MM player option depending on Zambrano’s Cy Young voting placement

Closers
David Aardsma (30)
Kevin Gregg (35) – $6MM club/vesting option
Brandon Lyon (33)
Leo Nunez (29)
J.J. Putz (36) – $6.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Mariano Rivera (43)
Joakim Soria (29) – $8MM club option with a $750K buyout
Huston Street (29) – $9MM mutual option with a $500K buyout if club declines

Right-handed relievers
Jeremy Accardo (31)
Mike Adams (34)
Grant Balfour (35) – $4.5MM club option with a $350K buyout
Matt Belisle (33)
Rafael Betancourt (38) – $4.25MM mutual option with a $250K buyout
Taylor Buchholz (31)
D.J. Carrasco (36)
Jose Contreras (41) – $2.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Sean Green (34)
Casey Janssen (31)
Bobby Jenks (32)
Brandon League (30)
Matt Lindstrom (33) – $4MM club option with a $200K buyout
Mark Lowe (30)
Dustin McGowan (28)
Peter Moylan (34)
Pat Neshek (32)
Tony Pena (31)
Joel Peralta (37)
Ramon Ramirez (31)
Robinson Tejeda (31)
Carlos Villanueva (29)

Left-handed relievers
Sean Burnett (30) – $3.5MM mutual option with a $250K buyout
Randy Choate (37)
Pedro Feliciano (35) – $4.5MM club option
Brian Fuentes (37) – $6.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
J.P. Howell (28)
Hong-Chih Kuo (31)
Sean Marshall (30)
Will Ohman (35)
Hisanori Takahashi (38)

Cot’s Baseball Contracts was used in the creation of this list.

MLB Trade Rumors was used in the creation of this list.

Extension Candidate: Stephen Drew

In what is a very shallow position, Stephen Drew is a definite extension candidate.  He’s 28 years old and has a career line of .273/.333/.451.  He’s fairly durable, though.  He’s played in at least 135 games since 2007 and he played in a career high, 152 in 2008.  As I mentioned before, the shortstop position is very shallow and with Jimmy Rollins, Derek Jeter and other great shortstops aging, Stephen Drew could look for  long-term deal.  My estimation would be a 7yr/$94.5MM deal with a team option for 2022.  He also has a mutual option worth $10MM for 2014.  Stephen Drew is an above average player but could be looking at a 9 figure deal depending on the length of the contract.