Matt Holliday signed with the Cardinals after it became clear that no one else was signing him. Other than going to the Padres or A’s (again) or some other terrible team/park, I didn’t think it mattered much where Holliday signed. He is in the prime of his career and is what he is. A .315, 15 steal, 25-30 home run hitter. His absurd 28 steals in 2008 looks to be an outlier. As does his 36 homer season in 2007. He’s not signing on for Coors II, The Humidor Breaks. Currently, I have Matt Holliday ranked in my top 20 for 2010. (The rankings begin next Monday. You can hardly wait! No, you!) I ranked him there knowing he was probably staying in The Bootheel. Anyway, here’s other signings and trades and what they mean for 2010 fantasy baseball:
Casey Kotchman – Off to the Mariners. When your career is five years in and your defining moment is an eight month bout with mono as immortalized by Pulling a Kotchman, you got problems. A junket to Safeco ain’t helping the cause. Sorta gives you a good idea about imbalance when Kotchman was a back-up’s back-up on the Sawx and is now the starting first baseman for the M’s. Conor Jackson looks at Kotchman’s power upside and laughs (then coughs from Valley Fever as he pulled his own Kotchman last year.) I.e. Ignore Kotchman in mixed leagues unless he’s showing signs in Spring Training or the first weeks of the season.
Adrian Beltre – The Red Sox seem to be intent on making sure the only Lowell in Massachusetts next year is the one 40 minutes NE of Boston. Our hopes that they’d replace him with a Freddie Saugus or Nick Framingham didn’t work out. The Red Sox keep signing bleh hitters (Cameron, Beltre) because of their defensive prowess. Whatever. We’re a fantasy baseball site. That doesn’t excite us. There’s only one good fielder in baseball….and his name is Prince. Because of his fielding, Beltre should help the Sox pitchers (and their opponents with his hitting). I keed. Of course leaving Safeco will help Beltre. Two things will happen now that Beltre is on the Red Sox. 1) He will be more valuable as a hitter. Hey, a 315 left field wall can’t hurt. Unless you’re Mike Cameron and you run into it with your head. 2) Beltre will now be drafted much higher. So you have to weigh how much 1 warrants 2. Beltre has been a bit of a hacking mess the past few years. Last year, he ranked 6th in all of baseball for swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. Two players worse than Jeff Francouer. Other than his off-the-charts 2004, Beltre has never cleared the fences more than 26 times in a season. The Red Sox don’t need production from him so that will either mean he’s more relaxed and hit better or he’ll grow disinterested. I could see the latter happening. But that should be offset by Fenway’s favorable conditions. Either way, he’s a fair bet for 24 homers, a .275 average and 10 steals. There’s value in that at 3rd base. Just don’t let his newfound home cause you to push him too far up draft boards. He did, after all, hit 8 homers last year. Sure, that was because of a shoulder injury, but what makes anyone think shoulder injuries just go away? After his shoulder surgery, Mariners medical director said, “(The procedure was) very successful. We expect a rehabilitation timeline of approximately three to four months.” That was after his first shoulder surgery back in September of 2008. He then needed to have a similar surgery in late June of 2009. I.e., Beltre’s better now, but not without flaws.