Walk up to your face and dis you! Justin Upton‘s no trade clause includes Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland and Detroit. I’m curious as to why the Diamondbacks are looking to trade Upton, he’s signed through 2015 for only $50 million. I’m assuming they’re worried about his shoulder and want a king’s ransom in return. I don’t think I’m going to gamble on Upton’s shoulder this coming season. It didn’t require surgery, but he’s had a small tear in his labrum since 2006. Shoulder problems can rob a hitter of his power. I have Upton in a dynasty league (forever), so technically I already have a share. I’m not doubling down just yet.
Shin-Soo Choo was granted exemption from a two-year mandatory military service stint when South Korea defeated Taiwan in the Asian Games gold medal game. Great news considering a day or two later, North Korea and South Korea got it on for an hour near their disputed Western border.
Mike Stanton, who hit 22 HR as a 20-year old rookie, could open the season as the Marlins clean up hitter if he has a good Spring Training. Dan Uggla was traded given away to the Braves so the spot is vacant for now. Stanton’s talent and power are undeniable, he hit 43 HR between 53 games at AA and 100 games in the majors. The one problem is the strikeout percentage (34.3%). The major league average for Contact% in 2009 was 80.7% and Stanton’s was 70.2%. He did show improvement during the season though (in his K% and underlying Plate Discipline statistics), so I expect his strikeout percentage to improve to 31%.
Victor Martinez signed with the Detroit Tigers. This is bad news for his stats, but good news for Miguel Cabrera’s numbers. Anything good for Miggy is good for baseball (and my dynasty team). I love Miggy!
Hisashi Iwakuma wants $11.6 million per year from Oakland. He’s projected to be a middle to back of the rotation starter. It sounds like the A’s offered $15 million over four years, or roughly what he made in Japan. If the two sides don’t work out a deal by Dec. 7th, Iwakuma goes back to Japan, Oakland gets back their $19 million posting fee and I am saved from a difficult projection. It was originally reported that he wanted Barry Zito money ($18 million per year), but those reports were shot down.
Dustin Ackley was named the Arizona Fall League MVP. He posted the league’s best Average (.424), OBP (.581), SLG (.758) and Runs Scored (28). Ackley was the number two overall pick in the 2009 draft and has a shot at being the Mariner’s Opening Day second baseman. Two problems: Jose Lopez or Chone Figgins would have to be moved and he would play half his games at Safeco Field.
The Brewers hired Ron Roenicke as their new coach. Why is this important to note? Well, because the Brewer players were scared to run under Ken Macha and Mr. Roenicke plans on stealing a lot of bases. He wants to be very aggressive on the base paths. This is good news for Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Alcides Escobar and Carlos Gomez.
Dontrelle Willis signed with the Reds and will pitch out of the bullpen. This of course has no fantasy relevance at all. Dontrelle has walked more batters than he has struck out during his past three seasons (82 K to 119 BB). Hopefully his control problems aren’t contagious, Aroldis Chapman allows enough walks already.