Monday, July 7, 2008

The Buzz Around the Bullpen: C.C. Says Farewell to Cleveland

Welcome back to another edition of the “Buzz Around the Bullpen”. As I write this latest edition, the word around baseball is that the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cleveland Indians have agreed in principle to a trade involving C.C. Sabathia. The trade would also include the Brewers sending outfield prospect Matt LaPorta to the Indians. In terms of fantasy impact, I believe C.C. Sabathia’s value has increased significantly. As much as I was down on C.C. earlier in the year, I believe this move to the National League can only benefit him.

Sabathia will be going to a team that has the ability to provide him with decent run support. Sabathia’s record has been tarnished of late by the lackluster Cleveland offense. The Indians’ offense has left C.C. out to dry scoring only 3 runs or more in 7 of his last 18 starts.

It will also be interesting to watch how Cleveland deals with LaPorta. He has been an offensive machine at Double-A Huntsville hitting around .300 with 20 HRs. He may be worth a flier in deeper leagues and a he’s a must add for keeper leagues where he is still available.

The trade deadline is still over three weeks away but this trade will definitely cause teams to alter their strategy leading up to the July 31st deadline. My guess is that the Toronto Blue Jays have to be thrilled that this trade has happened so early before the deadline. This gives them almost a month to shop A.J. Burnett around while teams fight to be the highest bidder. It should be an interesting deadline with some new “buyers” such as the Tampa Bay Rays. For right now, let’s focus on some guys you might want to make a move for to better your squad.

Big Hits

Aubrey Huff (1B/3B, Baltimore Orioles): It is no wonder why Aubrey Huff is still available in a percentage of leagues. I tried to include Huff in a trade early this year and the owner responded by saying, “I’d rather not start a 1B”. Now about 14 HRs later and still hitting just below .300, Huff has continued to build on his stellar offensive year. Huff has stroked 17 HRs this season and is on pace to match his 2003 season where he hit a career-high 34 HRs. Huff’s power numbers had dropped off significantly in the past three years and it was looking as though Huff was on the down-swing of his career. However, Huff has found a home in the O’s lineup and has been a pleasant surprise for his owners as well. Although I like Huff’s numbers, his trade value will never be higher. If you’re looking to fill a need, now’s the time to pull the trigger on Huff.

Alexei Ramirez (2B, Chicago White Sox): Since taking over full-time duties at second base, Ramirez has shown the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. With 7 HRs in 200 ABs, Ramirez projects to be a 20-23 HRs a year type hitter. Even with well over 100 less ABs than the rest of the starting second basemen, Ramirez is already 11th in HRs. More impressive than his power numbers, Ramirez continues to hover around .300 in his rookie campaign. He is available in over 50% of leagues and he would be a nice replacement if you are still hanging on to a struggling Freddy Sanchez.

Big Miss

Darrell Rasner (SP, New York Yankees): Rasner has been roughed up of late and his record is a reflection of that. He has lost seven of his last eight starts and at times he has looked to be throwing batting practice to his opposition. He has been touched up for eight or more hits in six of his last seven starts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a demotion in the near future for Rasner. While Rasner isn’t much of a fantasy stud even when he is on, some owners still believe in the strategy to start a pitcher in hopes of his offense earning him a cheap win. In the past couple of weeks, Rasner has made that next that to impossible for the Yanks offense. Drop Rasner immediately and pick up someone that doesn’t need an “L Screen” when they pitch.
As with any SportsJudge articles, please feel free to post any questions or comments. Until next time, keep your ears open for the Buzz Around the Bullpen.

Related Posts by Subject