Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NL King - NL Sellers

With the non waiver trade deadline tomorrow the 31st at 4PM Eastern Standard time let's look at the NL sellers in MLB as it can effect a lot of NL only leagues.

Colorado - Cuddyer & De la Rosa
They have not called themselves sellers but are 5 games under 500 and 8 games behind in the loss column on the 1st place Dodgers & 2nd wild card team in the Reds. If someone offers something special for De la Rosa (free agent after the season) or Cuddyer (1 year left on his contract after this year) the Rocks I believe will heavily consider it.

Cubs - DeJesus, Schierholtz & Gregg.
Gregg is definitely moved for the best prospect Theo Epstein can get. Seems like the Cubs want to trade Schierholtz why I don't know as he is having a really good year and Cubs hardly have any outfielders and Schierholtz is not expensive. Maybe the Cubs going to make a big splash in free agency with a guy like Ellsbury or Choo. DeJesus if not moved by the deadline could still get moved in August.

Miami - Pierre, Ruggiano & Cishek.
For whatever reason the Marlins who are awful team and should cash in on Cishek say they will hold on to him unless they are blown away. I didn't realize Cishek was the next Mariano Rivera. Pierre is a goner if anyone wants him & with young OF's the Marlins have if they can get anything for Ruggiano he is a goner too.

Milwaukee - Aoki, A.Ramirez, Gallardo, Lohse, Axford.
Aoki & Lohse only gets moved for a huge package, Aramis Ramirez still a bit ways away from getting back on the field. So if he gets moved it will be in August and he would easily clear waivers with his dollars owed next season. Seems like a lot teams cooled off on Gallardo as his stuff is way down this year. Axford is a goner.

NY Mets - Buck, Byrd & Parnell.
Mets want to finish the season strong so will only trade Byrd & Buck if they get a prospect they really like. Also Mets would only think of trading Parnell if they can get a big package.

Philadelphia - M.Young, Rollins, C.Lee & Papelbon
Young is a goner and would be great fit for many AL teams. Rollins is a long shot for many reasons and have to get his approval as he is a 10-5 man, Cliff Lee given the dollars owed to him going forward I can only see the Dodgers or Red Sox. Papelbon does not seem to have a lot of interest given his contract, if Tigers are not interested I am not sure who is.

San Diego - Quentin, Denorfia, Volquez, Street & Gregerson
This team has to get a lot better before they can think about contending.

San Francisco - Pence & Lincecum
Pence is a goner if they can get a really good package & Lincecum might just be time to move on

Clock is ticking. Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing

NL King - CJ Lizza

Friday, July 26, 2013

NL King - Will the W.Sox Help NL Only Leagues?

With the MLB non waiver trade deadline coming this Wednesday July 31st it appears the only team in the AL that can help NL only leagues is the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox have a trio of players dangling on the trade market. Let's look at them.

Jake Peavy: 8W, 4.28 ERA, 1.14 Ratio, 76K in 80IP
Having a good season although has been injured during the course of this season. Very capable of being a front line starter in fantasy baseball especially in the NL IF he can stay healthy. Word is the Braves, Cardinals & Dodgers are in the mix for a trade for Peavy. Peavy salary for this year & next (14.5 Mil) can be a stumbling block in a trade with any team given his injury history.

Alex Rios: 12HR, 49RBI, 51R, 21SB, .276 Avg
Having a very good season although after an excellent 2012 season. Can bring power & speed to an NL only lineup. There are not a lot of those guys around. Word is the Pirates are in the mix and I would think the Giants as well. Rios is signed through next season.

Alexei Ramirez: 1HR, 26RBI, 42R, 21SB, .283 Avg
Use to be a guy who would hit in the mid to upper teens in HR's but his power swing has gone away. Still can really help a NL only fantasy team in Runs & Stolen Bases. The Pirates & Cardinals are in the mix. Ramirez is signed through the 2015 season.

Will the W.Sox help NL only fantasy leagues? Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing

NL King - C.Lizza

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

NL King - Marlins OF Prospects Up & Prospects from Garza Trade

Marlins: Christian Yelich & Jake Marisnickcalled up.

Two of the Marlins top prospects, both outfielders, are getting the call today. I am sure they will see everyday AB's for the immediate future and if they do well for the rest of the season.

Yelich (21) back in Spring Training was the Marlins 2nd best prospect (Jose Fernandez was #1) and the 15th best prospect in all of MLB according to Baseball America. Yelich has played in 3 levels this season at Rookie Ball, High A and most recently AA. Yelich in 61 games at the 3 levels had 236 AB's, 9HR, 33RBI, 38R, 5SB, .275 AVG, .359 OBP. Yelich had 13 doubles & 7 Triples. He projects to be core bat for the Marlins and has a chance to be a star player both in real life & in fantasy.

Marisnick (22) back in Spring Training was the Marlins 4th best prospect and the 70th best prospect in all of MLB according to Baseball America. Marisnick has played at 2 levels this season in high A & AA. Marisnick in 70 games at the two levels this season had 280 AB's, 12HR, 46RBI, 45R, 11SB, .289 AVG, .350 OBP. Marisnick had 14 doubles & 3 triples. Another exciting young player for the Marlins, probably won't be as good as Yelich but extremely talented in his own right.

The Marlins want to see if these two extremely talented kids are ready for the majors now. If they are they will be occupying 2/3 of their outfield for years to come including opening day next season. If these two kids show they are ready I think it really opens the door for a Stanton trade come this off-season at the winter meetings. It's perfect storm to trade Stanton for the Marlins this off-season. It's a weak free agent class so many teams are going to look at trades to improve their team. Stanton is under team control for 3 more seasons after this year and will just be 24 in November. Stanton is also arbtration eligible for the first time this off-season a fact I am sure the Marlins are very aware of. Stanton has so much talent that the Marlins would get a huge package for him and this winter (with almost every MLB team bidding) & will be the optimunal time to trade Stanton.

Cubs: Garza Trade

In terms of the Matt Garza trade to the Texas Rangers the Cubs got back 3 youngsters in Mike Olt (3B), CJ Edwards (SP) & Justin Grimm (SP). Olt has had a rough season this year in AAA has he has experienced vision problems. Obviously the Cubs must feel he is passed those problems. Olt is only hitting .219 in AAA but he does have pop (12 HR's & 17 Doubles) and he does walk (OBP .318). However Olt does have 95 K's in his 242 AB's this year in AAA. Keep in mind Olt did have a big season last year in AA so maybe his bout with vision issues is the result of his poor average & high K's. So if Olt is passed that the Cubs could have at least got a very good power hitter. Olt will be 25 at the end of August so while the Cubs are assigning him to AAA Iowa I do believe sometime soon Olt will get called up and finish the last 6 to 8 weeks at Wrigley. In terms of long term future with the Cubs if Olt is a player it will probably be in the outfield because remember the Cubs 1st round draft pick, 2nd overall Kris Bryant is a 3B. Also in the deal the Cubs received starter pitchers Justin Grimm & CJ Edwards. Grimm is being sent to AAA Iowa as well and projects as back of the rotation starter at best. Edwards is a big key to this deal while he is only 21 and in high A he is already one of the Cubs top pitching prospects if not their best pitching prospect. Cubs have kids in the system but they are all really position players.

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing and pass the word.

NL King - C.Lizza

Monday, July 22, 2013

NL King - Red Sox Misnomer, Harvey 200 Mil & Boras, Garza, LAD 4OF's & A.Ramirez

Okay we have five topics to get today so let's do it.

Boston Red Sox Misnomer:
So after 100 games the Red Sox are in 1st place with a 60-40 record (.600 winning percentage) and in 1st place in the NL East with the best record in the American League and 2nd best record in baseball. Over the all-star break I heard many baseball interviews including one with NY Mets GM Sandy Alderson & one with NY Mets owner Jeff Wilpon talking about what the Red Sox did in terms of these shorter term deals in free agency and look where they are now. This couldn't;t be farther from the truth. First off while they didn't give 7 year deals to these players in particular Victorino, Napoli & Dempster they did give them aggressive contracts given their age, with the exception to Napoli whose medical reports were just awful. Ironically it's only Napoli who is having a good year (83G, 13HR, 62RBI, 50R, .258Avg). Victorino has missed a 1/3 of the season and his stats are 4HR, 26RBI, 39R, 13SB, .290 Avg. Ryan Dempster has given the Red Sox innings (115+) but is 5-8 with a 4.28 ERA. The Red Sox are in 1st place because of the core players they already had going into the season plus the young players they had in the system. I am talking about Pedroia, Nava, Ellsbury, Ortiz, Lester, Buchholz, Doubront and the re-emergence of John Lackey. Have their free agents contributed yes but if teams such as the NY Mets indicated that these kind of deals on 33-37 year olds are the way to go because look at the Red Sox record they are in for a bad surprise.

Matt Harvey & Scott Boras:
In a recent article that Matt Harvey did in Men's journal he floated the notion of a 200 Million Dollar contract. Looks like the young star has some very high hopes of his future earnings. Many of the Met fans might think and wisely lets get Harvey locked up long term now before his arbitration kicks in. Keep in mind what his super agent Scott Boras recently said when asked about this by Joel Sherman of the NY Post: "When the team wants to go into these situations and what the true value of the player is are not often that close." Harvey is not eligible for arbitration until after the 2015 season.

Matt Garza is Still a Cub:
Guess what it's Monday the day of Matt Garza next start and he is still a Cub. As much as the Cubs want to move Garza as soon as possible they are not going to do so until they get the package they want. Keep in mind they have until July 31st to trade him and it appears that as many as 10 teams are involved. The Cubs just need one of those teams to blink. I be careful on any trade discussions anyone says they know what's going on. On Friday night it was reported a deal between the Cubs & Rangers was 99% done and both sides were looking at medical records. Then it came out the Cubs were not getting their package. Garza will be traded and soon but someone will have to step up with a strong offer.

Dodgers 4 OF's:
Now that Matt Kemp is back (although hurt his ankle in the 9th inning in yesterdays game, for now considered day to day, ankle injuries are tricky) how is Dodger Manager Don Mattingly going to play his 4 OF's in Puig, Kemp, Crawford & Ethier. Mattingly is in a pennant chase and has to play his best players. That means Puig & Kemp play every day. Then it's between Crawford & Ethier for the last spot but I think Crawford at the top of the lineup is very important to the Dodgers. But even if Ethier is the odd man out he should get at least 4 starts a week. Lets face it Crawford has had a lot of injuries and probably be a smart move giving him a couple of days off a week where Ethier could start in his place. Also by giving Kemp & Puig one day off a week you keep them fresh and give Ethier playing time. This will be a situation that will have to be resolved in the off-season and that won't be easy given Ethier's escalated contract over the next 4 years.

Aramis Ramirez on the Trading Block?
Been hearing reports with Aramis Ramirez coming back early this week that the Brewers are going to shop him and they are a lot of interested parties. All that could very well be true and if you can get a team like the Dodgers involved where they do not care about payroll they may not be a problem. But keep in mind that Aramis Ramirez who has had an injury riddled year is 35 and has 1 more guaranteed year left on his contract where he will make 16 Million Dollars next year with a team option for 2015 that includes a 4 Million Dollar buyout. So Ramirez is guaranteed 20 Million dollars on his contract after this season. That could be a major stumbling block.

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing and pass the word.

NL King - C.Lizza

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NL King - Breaking Down NL Races & Possible Deals for NL Buyers

Well the all-star game was last night and while I am not a big all-star game guy what a great moment for Mariano Rivera. Very well deserved. I am going to break down the teams in contention still for a division title or one of the wild card spots. I also going to tell you what area's these teams are looking to improve before the trade deadline.

NL East:
The good news is at the break the Braves have a 6 game lead in the loss column over the 2nd place Nationals & 7 over the 3rd place Phillies. Bad news is I would be very concerned with the Braves lineup and all these injuries in the outfield. I think the Braves pitching is fine but I think getting a veteran OF who is a solid bat would be a very prudent move. If David DeJesus gets healthy I think he would be a good fit and shouldn't cost much.

What has killed the Nationals all year is injuries, inconsistent play and production from their 4th & 5th starters. Dan Haren has been bad & Detwiller has been dealing with a back issue. The Nats had huge expectations this season and because of that don't be surprised if they make a big move such as landing Matt Garza. Maybe a trade of Detwiller & a prospect gets Garza.

The Phils are kind of in no man's land. Not in a good position to buy or sell. At this point I think the Phils have to hope they can get enough production out of the bats they have & their pitching gets hot. I think they stand pat.

NL Central:

The Cardinals are just 1 game ahead of the Pirates & the Reds are lurking being just 5 games back. If the season were to end today the Cardinals, Pirates & Reds would all make the playoffs. The Cardinals have concerns at shortstop & come the big games can they rely on Mujica? But honestly I think they stand pat in those regards unless something falls in their lap. To me the Cardinals need another starting pitcher. The Cards have been struggling with their 5th starter all year & Lance Lynn is wearing down again as he did last year. To me the Cardinals who have a deep farm system should go get Matt Garza. They land Garza to go with their top starters not only does that make them a huge favorite to win the division but also a great bet to go to the World Series.

The Pirates are deep in pitching but they need another bat. Just a solid bat be it a shortstop or an outfielder. Pirates have a chance to make this season a very special one. Been a long time for Pirates fans and their organization and they need to be aggressive.

To me the Reds can stand pat as long as they are going to get Cueto, Broxton & Marshall back sooner rather than later. If not then the Reds might want to look to land another bullpen arm. Tony Cingrani who has been pitching great is giving them plenty of coverage in the rotation.

NL West:

In 1st place but barely over .500. Have a 2 1/2 game lead over LA, 4 1/2 over Colorado & 6 1/2 over the Giants. I think the Padres are cooked they are not a good team. Provided the D-Backs can figure out their bullpen they have another depth in their lineup they need a strong starting pitcher such as guess who Matt Garza. Cahill & McCarthy are currently injured and have been ineffective this year. Ian Kennedy has been a huge disappointment & Wade Miley has been okay but not like the all-star he was last year. Landing Garza to me is the difference of the D-Backs winning the division or coming up short.

They are finally over .500 and should get Matt Kemp back this weekend. They recently landed Nolasco from the Marlins to get them quality at the back end of the rotation. The Dodger organization is a team desperate to win their division and obviously money is no object. So I can them being aggressive if it's another bat at Third Base or a relief pitcher or even another starting pitcher.

Rockies to me are a team under .500 and building. The next 2 weeks we decide if they are a seller. Even if they are in contention for the division the buys they might make would be small. They are looking for starting pitching.

The World Champs should feel lucky that they are in the NL West. The Giants really are not in a position to sell and given the division they are in they should try and make a run in the 2nd half. They need an outfield bat badly.

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing. Please pass the word around of TheNLKing to your twitter followers.

NL King - C.Lizza

Monday, July 15, 2013

NL King - Trade Talks Need to Keep it Friendly

Just like in real Major League Baseball where you have buyers and sellers all across the globe in fantasy baseball keeper leagues you have buyers and sellers as well. As trade talks go on in fantasy baseball between buyers and sellers I sell a lot of mistakes being made by fantasy owners in trade talks.

Batter Up Remember the Team Selling is a Frustrated Owner:
For those of you in the hunt in your leagues obviously at this point and time you have had a ta least a good year. But for the team selling they have had a rough year and one full of frustration. You have to know your audience. Look as the selling team I am not saying to be a snake oil salesman or anything like that but realize the team that your trying to make a rebuilding trade is very frustrated. Alienating them by telling them what a bad job they did be it in the draft, a trade during during the year or recent rebuilding trade is not going to help you make a trade with that owner. Odds are it will kill trade talks.

Up Second Always Keep it Friendly:
Like I said in my article the art of the trade you always want to keep your trade talks friendly & cordial. This can only help get a deal done. It's hard enough making deals on finding common ground when everyone is rolling up their selves in talking trade in a friendly manner. Creating a hostile environment makes making a deal almost impossible.

In the 3-Hole You Can't Make a Met Fan into a Yankee Fan:
What I mean by this if you are offering a player which you really like and you think has really good value but your counterpart does not well then you need to find other players to make a deal happen. If the other owner is on the fence about a player with some concerns or has one major concern about the player then you could again in a friendly manner illustrate some key facts or stats that will help them see the value of this player. Good outside information on this player from a solid reliable source on the web can help and sending that info to the other owner can really help get a deal done. But just don't send them the Iliad in terms of information. But if the team you are trying to make a trade with does not like this player you are offering at all then do not try to convince them they should like this player. Everyone has many opinions about players in fantasy baseball and if your dealing with an owner who really does not like a player nothing you can say is going to change from dislike to like. Being on the fence or worried about a key point is different from total dislike.

In the Cleanup Hole a Team that is Flexible gets a Deal Done
Any kind of deal be it off-season, two teams in contention or a rebuilding deal, teams that are the most flexible get deals done.

In the 5th Spot You are not Phil Hellmuth:
What I mean by this is too often I hear stories regarding trade talks when owners carry on like this is the world series of poker and I am going to get this other owner and win this deal. If your in a competitive league with smart owners those kind of deals are not going to happen. Trying to emulate Phil Hellmuth at the table of world series of poker in your trade talks is about the worst thing one can do. Playing poker is different from playing fantasy baseball.

Finally Attitude is Everything
This kind of illustrates my point above but really you want to have reflected very positive attitude in your trade talks. If someone is being a bit ridiculous with their offers you can tell them that in a friendly manner and by not saying your being ridiculous. Both sides are trying to sell each other in this rebuilding deal that this deal is going to help each other immensely. Have to have a positive attitude. Can you imagine going into a store and looking to buy an expensive item and the salesman has a bad attitude or critics you on your knowledge in not so friendly way. Would you buy that expensive item from that salesman?

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing and pass the word about the NL King to your twitter followers. Much appreciated.

NL King - C.Lizza

Friday, July 12, 2013

NL King - Window to Win a Fantasy Championship

Today's article applies to any league one is in be it mixed, NL or AL only. We are hitting that point of the season where we should know in most leagues who are the contenders and which teams are looking towards next season. This article is speaking with the contenders who have a legitimate shot to win their fantasy leagues. I am going to illustrate a few points of why a team should go for the brass ring if your in this position.

- In most competitive leagues a really good owner most likely will only get a chance to win his or hers league every 3 or 4 seasons. I myself have not won my league since 2008 (I have been constantly reminded of this by one particular friend in my league). I feel like each season since then I have done a really good job including this one (and I find myself in last place this year as of today). But other than 1 year since 2008 there was only 1 season where I had a shot to win my league and that faded by mid to late August (finished 2nd that year). So my point being is one only gets a legitimate window to win one's league every so often. When that opportunity arises you have to be smart but aggressive in being a buyer and trading future pieces in trying to win your league.

- There are no guarantees with your future cheap pieces or what next year will hold for your team. One might say " I have these players at such good deals how can I trade them? They are going to be so good for next season at a great price." Is that true and how good are they going to be for next season? But lets say for the sake of argument they will be that good for next season but what if a number of your other pieces that you get wind up failing you. Again Matt Kemp will cost a ton of fantasy owners a championship this season unless he comes off the DL and has a ridiculous August & September. I am sure there are so many owners out there saying if Matt Kemp were to just have given me 3/4 of his projected numbers I would have won my league. It takes a lot of things to come together to win one's league, you have to remember that. So having 3 or 4 or 5 pieces at really good contracts does not guarantee being in contention for a championship next season or even challenging for a money spot. Someone in my keeper league last year had Ryan Braun on the last year of his contract at $11 and he winded up rebuilding.

- In regards to your pieces that you have at really good contracts, ask yourself this what value do they have to be at next season for it to really sting for next year? Also what are the probabilities that such player will be worth that value? So if you have a really good young starting pitcher at $7 at what price would be oh my God I can't believe I traded him last year? To me that player would have to be worth at least $20 for it to really sting. Then if you conclude that it's lets say 50/50 such player reaches that value are you 100% selling the farm for next year? I think this is a good exercise in evaluating talent and value with probabilities what one is giving up for next season.

- If the right deal is on the table then you must go for it. Now very rarely does the perfect deal come along. I am not saying one has to settle if your buyer but if as a buyer you wait for the absolute perfect deal well good chance you will not be adding to your team. However if a smart deal that gives you a strong chance to put you over the top presents itself then you have to go for it.

- The right deal should be based on the categories where you can move up the most and the players you are acquiring are going to on paper make a big impact in these categories. Do not get caught up in acquiring a sexy name. The goal is to acquire key stats to put you over the top.

- Just like I said above there are no guarantees about your keepers or your team for next season, there is also no guarantees that by making a really smart deal in going for it will win you your league. Slumps happen, injuries happen etc etc. In 2008 the last time I won my league I made a couple of big deals where I traded away a number of great keepers and that was the difference in me winning my league. However in 2011 when I finished in 2nd place I gave up Andrew McCutchen who was signed for one more season the 2012 season at $11 in efforts to win my league and I did not even challenge the first place team in September. In both years I feel I made smart trades that impacted the key categories, one time it was a difference maker and one time it wasn't. Although that season by trading McCutchen to improve my team for the stretch run it was the difference between me finishing in 2nd place as opposed to 3rd place.

So all owners who have a chance for the "Precious" I am here to tell you go and try to find that smart deal to put you over the top.

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing

NL King

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

NL King - What in the Wide World of Sports Has Happened to these NL Hitters?

Today I am going to list a number of hitters in the NL who this seasons have been colossal disappointments. It's very hard to explain how someone so good can have such a poor season sometimes. Let's break it down, this list is in alphabetical order.

Starlin Castro - CHC - 5HR, 27RBI, 41R, 7SB, .234 Avg
What happened to this guy? Going into last August it looked like Castro was on the cusp of being a star. But finished last season poorly and this year has been a disaster. Castro's K's are ridiculous. Obviously the league has adjusted to Castro but where are Castro's adjustments? Castro had some off the field off-season issues during the off-season so is his attention focused on reaching his potential? Castro is only 23 so I am not writing him off yet but this year has been a huge disappointment and I am sure Theo Epstein & the boys upstairs are very frustrated and can't make heads or tails of it.

Ike Davis - NYM - 5HR, 18RBI, 19R, 2SB, .171 Avg
Last season you could explain Ike Davis horrible 1st half, Davis had missed most of the prior season and was dealing with some form of valley fever. So this year heading into 2013 after a strong 2nd half last year all signs pointed to Davis being a strong power bat. It has not happened. David just did about a 3 week stint in AAA to work on his swing and get his confidence back. I am sure Davis owners I hoping for a repeat in the 2nd half like last year. That is possible because power hitters can go on streaks but at this point if I was a Davis owner I would be happy with just solid production from him the rest of the way.

Danny Espinosa - Wsh - 3HR, 12RBI, 11R, 1SB, .158 Avg
Horrible horrible start to the season and then had to rest his injured wrist and now is working on his swing in the minors to try and find it and still hasn't. Granted Espinosa has never been a high average guy but qualified at both 2B & SS going into the season and was basically a 20 / 20 man last 2 years with some improvement to his average. However maybe that rotater cuff injury from the end of last year is still bothering him. Now looks like his days in Washington are done with Anthony Rendon taking over 2B.

Andre Ethier - LAD - 5HR, 27RBI, 28R, 3SB, .272 Avg
It's been very simply for Ethier in his career, when he has been healthy he has been a really good power & RBI man with an average between .285 - .290. Well Ethier has been healthy this year but his production has been poor.

David Freese - STL - 5HR, 29RBI, 29R, 1SB, .278 Avg
I have always liked Freese's bat key with him is staying healthy. Has has his share of ailments this year as always but when he has played his power production especially is way down.

Corey Hart - Mil - Been injured all year & is now out for the season.
Hart's knee surgery back in the Spring was suppose to mean a late April return. That time table then became mid May then sometime in June and then out for the season. Players coming back from injuries very easily can have setbacks we see it all the time. However I am sure on draft day many owners felt hey come early May I get Hart back and get a really good power bat for 5/6 of the season. That has not worked out.

Chase Headley - SD - 7HR, 29RBI, 31R, 5SB, .227Avg
The good news is Headley was back with the Padres 3 weeks into season instead of early May due to a late Spring Training thumb injury. Now did we think that Headley would repeat his monster year last year? Probably not but there is no way Headley should be hitting .227. Keep in mind Headley last year produced both at home and on the road & this year the Padres moved in the fences. Maybe Headley is swinging too much for the fences? Keep in mind in Headley's monster year last year he was good in the 1st half and was great in the 2nd half.

Jason Heyward - Atl - 7HR, 21RBI, 35R, 2SB, .229 Avg
After last year it looked like Jason Heyward was ready to become a NL fantasy star. But a ridiculously poor April and then an injury missing about a month set his season way behind. Heyward only 23 I am still a believer, I think at least a solid 2nd half is going to happen.

Matt Kemp - LAD - 4HR, 24RBI, 29R, 9SB, .254 Avg
Kemp seasons has been one of slumps and injuries. Where has the Matt Kemp of 2011 gone? Last year you could explain Kemp reduction in production because he missed 56 games & had hamstring issues so his steals were way down. This season Kemp has been awful from the get go. His team is in a pennant race so just maybe when he comes off the DL later this month he can have a strong August & September. But again a lot of that could hinge on how his body is feeling. There are many fantasy owners out there from Hong Kong to Topeka who are going to come up a little bit short of winning their leagues because of Matt Kemp's season.

Jason Kubel - Arz - 4HR, 25RBI, 17R, 0SB, .251 Avg
What happened to the 30HR guy in 141 games last year? D-Backs have quite a few outfielders especially with Adam Eaton now back. Kubel could find himself mostly in a platoon position the rest of the season. Keep in mind D-Backs not married to Kubel as next year is a team option with only a 1 million dollar buyout.

Cameron Maybin - SD - 1HR, 5RBI, 7R, 4SB, .157 Avg
I put Maybin on this list simply because all of us NL only roto players have been waiting forever for his breakout year. Even though he is just 26 I don;t think it's ever coming. Hard to believe once upon a time he was the key player in a trade where the Tigers got Miguel Cabrera.

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing

NL King - C.Lizza

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

NL King - Who Will Be Moved in the NL?

I know it's been since last Tuesday morning since my last baseball article. For you hockey fans I am also writing for ProHockeyRumors.com so check me out over there as well. Now to the baseball.

When will look at the NL landscape of buyers and sellers there is questions of who will be moved or not.

100% Sellers:
Cubs - They are at the fore front as they have probably one of the best trading chips in all of MLB in Matt Garza. Garza is showing when healthy he is a front line starter with his recent outings and that his injuries are behind him now finally. The Cubs have a lot of options with Garza one of which is trying to sign him to a long term deal, which appraently discussions are ongoing in that vain. Remember Garza is only 29 and the Cubs and their ownership want a winner so unless they get a huge package for Garza maybe they sign him to a long term extension? The Cubs also can offer Garza a qualifying offer in the off-season assuring themselves of getting high draft pick compensation if they don't trade him. I think Theo and the boys are looking at all of their options but I am sure they are letting it be known to teams you want Matt Garza it's going to take a really good package of young players / prospects. Garza is in play but it's an expensive one. The Cubs would move Alfonso Soriano to an AL team in a heartbeat but would have to eat significant dollars to do it and get very little back. Depending upon when David DeJesus comes back this summer I can also see the Cubs listening to offers on him as well although the Cubs do have a team option on him for next season.

Marlins - After trading Nolasco I think where the Marlins are at in terms of trading any other pieces is to see if they can get some team to send them a good prospect or young player who needs a good bullpen arm such as Steve Cishek (Tigers ?). Also team that could use another player for their outfield might be interested in Juan Pierre. Pierre could be a good 4th outfielder to add to a team. In a trade like this the Marlins staff would have to do a good job of some low level sleeper minor leaguers. I don't not expect the Marlins to think about trading guys like Stanton or Morrison until the off-season.

Brewers - If the Brewers can get a deal like they did last summer when they traded Greinke to the Angels for Yovanni Gallardo I believe he will be 100% moved for sure. But Gallardo is going to have to pick it up the rest of this month for that kind of deal to present itself. The question is if a good but not great deal is on the table for the Brewers do they take it for Gallardo? He has given them years of inconsistency & frustration at times so I say they would move him if a good deal is offered.

In or Out:
Like George Clooney said to Matt Damon in the first Oceans Eleven "You either in or your out". So that's the question for the Rockies & Padres are they in or out? Going into Monday's action the Rockies were 5 games under .500 & the Padres were 7 games under .500, hardly a contender right? Well not in the NL West where each team only finds themselves 5 games behind the 1st place D-Backs in the loss column. So a good streak or a bad one over the next 2 weeks can define if the Rockies and Padres are buyers or sellers. If the Rockies are sellers they would entertain offers for Cuddyer & Betancourt for sure. The Padres I don't see any selling pieces on their main roster other than Houston Street. Even if the Padres do not think they can sign Headley which I don;t think they have come to that conclusion, now would not be the time to trade him after a bad 1st half. But could I see a trade of Street to the Tigers for some prospects? You betcha.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

NL King - NL West Up fo Grabs & Cueto

Has anyone noticed the NL West standings going into Monday nights action. Here is the standings:

Arizona         42-39  ---
Colorado       41-42   2
San Diego     40-42   2.5
San Fran        39-42   3
LA Dodgers  38-43   4

This division with all the teams either at .500 or slightly above or below is totally up for grabs. All of sudden the Dodgers are right in the thick of things. Given the records of the Pirates, Cardinals & Reds the 2 NL wild card teams are coming out of the NL Central it seems. So teams in the NL East & West better win their divisions otherwise they are not going to the post season.

All the teams could use help with starting pitching so all 5 teams are in the bidding for the Brewers, Gallardo, Marlins, Nolasco & Cubs, Garza.

Arizona - If Brandon McCarthy does not come back the D-Backs will need to get another SP especially with the year Ian Kennedy is having. Also if JJ Putz can't hold up going to need someone for the 9th inning as Bell can't be trusted and David Hernandez has been very inconsistent.

Colorado - Great lineup & bullpen has been strong but need another good starter desperately.

San Diego - Need a good starting pitcher and a everyday outfielder to improve their lineup.

San Fran - Like SD need a good starting pitcher and an outfielder.

Dodgers - Need a good starter and if continue to have problems closing out games need someone for the 9th inning.

Cueto Mystery:
Okay Johnny Cueto has been on the DL now for the 3rd time with this mysterious Lat injury as well as during last years post season. Maybe the Reds Medical staff should get their act together give and totally understand his injury and give him the proper rest that he needs so when he comes back he is 100%.

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NL King - C.Lizza