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Brian Fuentes heads to the Angels, confirming some suspicions I had. The guy at Subway spit into your tuna? No, those weren’t suspicions, that was *spooky voice* paranoia.  While so many fantasy baseball ‘perts were appointing Arrendondo the closer of the Angels right after the K-Rod departure, I had my suspicions it was a bit premature.  Why couldn’t Scot Shields take over as the closer, I thought?  (Yes, when I think I do it in a Yoda-syntax. Deal with it!)  Just because Arrendondo was better didn’t mean he was going to be the closer.  Borowski and Todd Jones were the closers for too long when they weren’t the best men for the job.  Well, the Angels acquisition of Brian Fuentes made all of this moot.  (Sometimes I’m as bad as a Developmentally-Challenged Sandinista.)  Let’s look at Brian Fuentes for 2009 fantasy baseball:

Brian Fuentes – Becomes the closer in The Town that Bobby Grich Built as of right now.  Lest we forget, Fuentes is the same schmohawk that couldn’t hold off Manny Corpas, someone who then couldn’t keep the closing job.   Fuentes should be fine in SoCal, but Scioscia has no allegiance to Fuentes and he’s the type of manager that could let a $10 million/year guy pitch setup.   I think they call it ornery.

Jose Arrendondo
– Arrendondo was the fourth best rookie pitcher in 2008. But with no closing job he has no value, right? (Not rhetorical, but it is a trick question.)  For anyone who has read this site for a while knows I’m a big time Mr. B.  So Arrendondo has value for me, even if I thought he’d be pitching the eighth inning only. If anything, fantasy owners should be rejoicing (Rejoice, ya’ll! We’re almost out of the naughts!). Now no one will want Arrendondo because they’ll think he has no value.  You know better, don’t you? (That’s a rhetorical.  Try to follow along.)

Next up, Mark DeRosa heads over to the Indians with his up and down staircase capitalization. (What is the deal with this up and down last name capitalization? Who started this? Can anyone do this? Can I just start writing Grey AlBright?) When I first heard about DeRosa going to the Indians, I yawned. Then I scratched my head. Then I wrote this:

Mark DeRosa – I’m glad he’s on the Indians now. I think people will see him out of Wrigley and a Cubs uniform and no longer overrate a player that was underrated. Let me explain, because I partially confused myself with that last sentence.  Going into 2008, Mark of the Roses was underrated and very useful.   Then in the winter, someone somewhere noticed that DeRosa had a good 2008 and he suddenly started getting hyped up.   Now that he’s moved to the Indians, people won’t know exactly what to think of him anymore and he’ll no longer be overrated.  He’ll simply be written off as a guy who had one good season.  Excellent, because it was a career year at 34.  Let’s be real, he’s not the second coming.  He’s barely a top ten 2nd baseman.  Think 15/65/.280. Speaking of 2nd base…

Asdrubal Cabrera/Jhonny Peralta – The Indians should have an Asdrubal Night where proctologists get in for half off. With the addition of DeRosa, Asdrubal will move to shortstop and Peralta will move to 3rd. This seemed to be happening anyway, as Peralta has been getting used to the hot corner in the winter leagues even before the trade, as I mentioned in the post on multiple position eligibility.

Aaron Miles/Mike Fontenot – Fontenot…. Theriot…. They sound like they’re going to be a defensive pairing on the Blackhawks.  Or a cheese pairing with Merlot.  Miles and Fontenot will split time at 2nd base.  Miles will cover the weak side of the blahtoon.  Mike Fontenot seems like a decent endgame bargain.  Since we’re talking about 2nd base or MI, I’d even call him a 2009 fantasy sleeper.

From Around The Web

  1. Freak says:
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    I see no reason to put any sort of trust in fontenot.

  2. Steve says:
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    Fontenot? Sounds like that soft, spongy part of a baby’s head.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Freak: As a late round flier at MI, he’s not that bad. If you project his numbers out a bit from last year, he would’ve been better than Yunel.

    @Steve: Ha, that’s hilarious.

  4. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    FUNtenot facts for this morning:

    –Fontenot and Theriot were teammates at LSU. Laizez les bon temps rouler!
    –I watched him knock a ball over the scoreboard at Principal Park in Des Moines.
    –Ron Santo calls Fontenot “Little Babe Ruth.”
    –The Bleed Cubbie Blue fan blog calls him “Wonder Hampster”
    –Fontenot hit .287/.383/.539 in the first half of 2008 with 9hr in 167ab
    –Lou Pinnella has a man crush on Fontenot. He’ll play much more than Miles… I’ll draft him over guys like DeWitt.

  5. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    i realize that you don’t like to read other baseball sites .
    thought you might to know , however , that others are saying that derosa will play 3rd , as the peralta experiment hasn’t worked out .

    but let’s suppose that peralta doesn’t start the season at 3rd , can you explain the requirements necessary to achieve 3rd base eligibility ?
    particularly , are there any minimum innings stipulations that must be met in order for him to get credit for a game played at the position ?
    does one (late) inning count towards eligibility criteria ?

    this may appear as inane , but i think , considering the hafner/vmart/shoppach situation regarding the pinch-hitting , catching and DH positions , that there might be some late inning defensive re-alignment going on in cleveland , especially in light of their log-jam at 2nd base .

    besides , i DO thank you , in advance , for addressing this issue .

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: I didn’t say I don’t like to read other baseball sites. I try no to read too many other *fantasy* baseball sites, so I’m not too influenced.

    The Peralta thing will come down to what happens in the spring training ultimately, but I just did a quick Google search for [Peralta third base] and I got all kinds of reputable sources saying he is playing third. Either way, most leagues are 20 games at a position before they are eligible. Some leagues are 10 games. I play in one league where whatever position someone plays the first game at, they are eligible there. You need to be familiar with your league’s rules. In most case, Peralta won’t be a 3rd baseman for fantasy purposes until the end of April and by then the experiment of him playing 3rd may be over and he never gets eligibility. Don’t draft him as a corner guy. Draft him as a SS and hope he gets 3rd base eligibility.

    Guys who currently have multiple position eligibility are listed here (http://razzball.com/position-eligibility-for-2009-fantasy-baseball/)

  7. Peralta’s much more valuable at SS so it’s all moot where he plays as long as he plays. It would matter for 2010 – see Guillen, Carlos. Luckily, DeRosa played enough 2B with the Cubs next year to still have eligibility there. He’d have the same value drop as Peralta w/ a move to 3rd. As for Asdrubal, he’d have to move to Catcher in a 2 Catcher AL-only league to have any value :)

  8. big o says:
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    now THAT’s funny !!

  9. Steve says:
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    Asdrubal is leaking value, you might say.
    Snigger.

  10. sean says:
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    Fuentes’ arm angle and the way he slings the ball really worries me from an injury perspective.

    I also think that Fuentes is likely to be overvalued in drafts because his name is fresh in owners’ minds with the late season trade talk and hot stove talk in the offseason. He’s quickly joining the list of $12 salads.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Hehe

    @sean: That’s a decent observation. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right. That’s why I tried to highlight the fact that it wasn’t that long ago that he lost the Rox job to Corpas.

  12. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: @sean: Really? Even after moving to a more pitching friendly environment? How was it that he had a WHIP of 1.10 at Coors?

    I think Fuentes is in Kerry Wood territory, somewhere in the 13th round is about right, whereas with the Rockies, he was more around the 15th or so. Dontchathink?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: I think he should be in the 13th round, but I think this move to the Angels will have people moving him in the 9th or 10th. This is a great move for his value. People tend to underrate Coors closers and overrate their hitters. In Coors, Fuentes was a hidden gem. It Bobby Grich-ville he has no place to go but down. I think he’ll be fine, but I’d just be careful about going hard after him. He’s a Donkey-corn. Don’t think he’s a $12 Salad.

  14. big o says:
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    @IowaCubs:
    don’t go blabbing my sleeper pick all over rotoauthority .
    it’s supposed to be a secret .

  15. Steve says:
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    @Grey: @Rudy Gamble: Boyz – a question of a more general nature. This might well be an over-generalisation, but it seems that you, Rudy, are more of a take-pitching-early kind of guy, whereas you, Grey, do not seem to be quite so big on this approach.
    Do either of you have a feeling as to which has been the more successful strategy? Or has success/failure been determined by what you have done in later rounds or during the season?

  16. @Steve: Actually, I’d say that was more of an over-specification vs. generalization. I was definitely more bullish than Grey on starting pitchers last year (http://razzball.com/groaning-at-bad-punditry-%E2%80%93-drafting-starting-pitchers-in-the-first-3-rounds/) but that was because I had very good feelings on Santana, Peavy, and Webb that were proved about 80% right (Peavy pitched well but got injured).

    I hate all rules that start with ‘Never’ like ‘Never draft a starter in the first round’. But that doesn’t mean I support it every year (that would just be negating a negation which is an equal sin in my book). For the past two years, I’ve argued Santana was worth the #2 pick and it proved out both times. This year…not so much.

    We’ll be writing a post on this at some point before the draft….

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I don’t think you should draft a starter in the first round, but that doesn’t mean it’s the death of any team. It just makes drafting for that team harder. But it has nothing to do with the usual advice ‘perts throw at you — how unpredictable pitching is. Rudy is right, top level pitching is predictable. I simply argue, you can succeed more often taking pitching later on because of the sheer abundance of it. Sure, Lincecum would help your team, but I’d be fine with Billingsley.

  18. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    please elucidate , as i’m having trouble with a trade offer .
    the guy wants billingsley for volquez .

    thanking you , in advance .

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: I want Billingsley instead of Volquez. I’m looking at Billingsley as a guy who could win the 2009 Cy Young; Volquez I’m looking at as a guy who had an ERA north of 4 in the 2nd half and whose control is not good and will have a high WHIP.

  20. Steve says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: @Grey: Thanks guys. Look forward to the post on the subject.

    Another general (non-specific?) one while I’m in information-gathering mode – got a favourite draft spot?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Every year I like the last pick so you can double up on two guys. This year you want 5 or the last pick.

  22. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yeah – there’s something about the last pick that feels right.

    Why #5 this year?

    I asked the question with 12-teamers in mind, BTW.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: At five the first tier ends. It’s Arod, Wright, Reyes, Ramirez, Pujols (not in that order in my mind) then wild card.

  24. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Gotcha.

    Order to be revealed in your overall top 20?

    The suspense builds…

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, I’ll probably start putting up the top 20s the following Monday.

  26. Freak says:
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    fcuking stupid cfuking officials inthe cojlts game.

    I’m’ gonna haveto slap a bithc.deaths iwll folloow.

  27. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Time to start thinking about my auction draft.

    I’m pitcher heavy on my keepers so will need a big impact bat to jump start my offense. Out of these top 4 guys who would you target to spend up to 60 bucks on?

    A Rod
    Pujols
    Reyes
    Hanley
    (Wright will prolly be kept for 28)

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: I’d go for Arod, Hanley, Pujols then Reyes. I wouldn’t normally put them in that order but in your case I am because you need a big bat that could give you 35+ HRs and 100+ RBIs.

  29. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Thanks, I’m leaning towards Hanley because Arod went for 70 last year and Hanley only 40. I’ll only have 212 left to spend so need to be as thrifty as possible, but not at that top pick.

    So here’s my thinking: Hanley gives me speed and power. The only bat I’m keeping is Ludwick at $5 and I’ll target Dunn for more power. I’m projecting Dunn goes for 15-20.

    So Hanley/Dunn for maybe 70 is better value than Arod/Sizemore for maybe 100.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: If you think Hanley is going to go for that much less than Arod then you have to make that move instead.

  31. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: I’m hoping so, we’ll see what happens. Arod’s always been the top guy in our league with Pujols #2. So I’ll throw those two out early and watch the bidding.

    I love auction drafts, I can be pretty evil running up the bid. It’s like watching hyenas ripping up a carcass when you throw Arod in between em.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Auctions drafts are the ultimate fun. The day of my auction draft is like Xmas morning when I was 7.

  33. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Indeed, the president of my hometown bank has been in our league since the beginning. Outsmarting him is the ultimate high. He’s one of them bidding up to 65 for Arod while I’m holding back and getting Utley for 42 and Sizemore for 38.

    Can’t wait to see how it shakes out this year. Guys will have to overspend for pitching just to try to keep up with my staff.

  34. Steve says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Did you pull the wings off flies when you were a kid?

  35. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Ha

    Mostly tortured and melted plastic army men over an open fire. Won’t mention what we did to Ken and Barbie.

  36. Steve says:
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    @Grey: @BigFatHippo: Slightly dumb question, but do all the participants in an auction draft need to be in the same room at the same time?

  37. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: We do for the most part. But we’ve always had one or two that can’t make it every year and do it by phone.

    These are the poor saps who end up with Cliff Lee for 7 dollars and Scrappy doo for 10. Wait a minute………you might be on to something.

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