I’m making some cuts today in my 15-team dynasty. More than ‘some,’ I suppose. I currently have 50 claims in for Thursday morning’s free agent run, but that’s mostly because I use my pending transactions screen as a watch list. My style of dynasty play involves building lists of free agents I want and cutting all the guys I think are drop-able before faab runs. I arrange the list by talent/value over need and let the dominoes fall where they may. This presents some drawbacks in terms of balance between MiLB and MLB players at times and occasionally trips me up on the positional-depth front for a couple days, but it remains my preferred method in large part because it enforces a kind of thinking I find beneficial. 

Knowing where the cut line lands in any particular league is endlessly valuable. It prevents you from trading for replacement level talent and invites you to swap out some of those players when their value spikes. It’s a theoretical concept and a moving target, so the more frequently you’re checking in with it, the better grasp you’ll have of who to add, drop, trade and ignore. 

So who’s on the chopping block this week?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you listen closely enough, you can hear the fantasy baseball season sliding away from us like an 0-2 pitch from sexpot Sixto Sanchez. Your roto leagues are probably a bit settled by now–the final few teams jostling for the top spot. In your dynasty leagues, the rip-off guys are probably making their annual post-deadline runs for the roses. Such is the nature of fall baseball. The fatigue factor feels a little different this year, worse for some I’m sure but perhaps less impactful in general across the entirety of fantasy baseball. 

Though who knows: the overarching 2020 fatigue factor might supersede the excitement of the short-season burst. In a typical season, these final few faab runs can make a huge difference, and it’s typically just a couple teams paying close enough attention to add a Jazz Chisholm or some similarly high riser on the last day of the season. I only mention Jazz because he was added on the final day in one of my 15-teamers just a few weeks before his big Fall League glow up. Seems like we won’t have that particular league this year, but we’ll still see some winter ball, I suspect, and some prospects will still change their outlook through a combination of hope, hype, and happenstance. Happy hunting out there, dear readers. 

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I’m not the world’s biggest Star Trek fan, but I thought the JJ Abrams reboot with Zoe Saldana was good, and I know a solid nickname when I see one. If you show me a catcher named Kirk, I can’t avoid calling him Captain. I don’t have the power. Chris Pine is kind of underrated as an actor, I think, and this next guy is likely a little underrated as a prospect. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With four home runs and a stolen base in his first seven games, Randy Arozarena finally bloomed this week. Better late than never. 

One highlight of my winter was plucking Randy Rose atop the 2nd round of a 30-team First-Year-Player-slash-Supplemental Draft. 

The pre-Rona times were a mood, man. We had plenty of stuff to be indignant or cosmically fearful about, but we kinda weren’t, you know? Like on the day-to-day basis? We were mostly thinking about Randy Arozarena’s flashy spring in the fantasy factory that is Tampa Bay. Or maybe that was just me. 

But Tampa’s the pivot-slash-segue here, if such a thing exists when a conversation wanders among the Rona thoughts. Tampa’s Rays have been getting a lot of winter shade the past few off-seasons because the front office there would prefer to platoon the planet. The reticence to embrace young Rays makes plenty of sense, but on the other hand, a lot of what Tampa touches turns to gold.   

Arozarena will cool off soon enough because nobody could sustain his pace, but I think he’s here to stay as an impact bat for our game. He posted 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases in about 400 plate appearances between AA, AAA and MLB in 2019, slashing better than .300/.400/.500 at every level. Only the Cardinals would look at a guy like that and say no thanks. The “industry” in general loved the trade for St. Louis because we can dream on LHP Matthew Liberatore for a long time. Maybe it’ll still break their way, but Arozarena is a perfect fit in Tampa as a lefty masher who’s been improving against righties the past few seasons to the point where I think he’ll be above average against same-siders. He’s also a plus defender across the outfield. If I have to pick between Arozarena and Dylan Carlson in 2021, I’m feeling Randy enough to pluck the rose. Might even prefer him over the balance of their careers, partly because I’ve always loved the guy, partly because I just trust Tampa’s touch. 

So who else do we need to monitor in Tampa?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We skipped the list last week and saw some names clear out from Stash List Volume 5. Gavin Lux, Randy Arozarena, Jose Urquidy, Clarke Schmidt, Miguel Yajure, Ian Anderson and Mitch White have all gotten some big league reps and left the cupboard a bit bare. 

To further complicate this week’s edition, we have to wonder about the self-image of Baltimore’s Orioles. They’re four games out of a playoff spot with 22 games remaining on the schedule. Our #2 prospect on this week’s list in an Oriole, and I might put more on here next week if they win a little. It’s just Baltimore and Detroit on the AL bubble, and neither seems likely to make the cut. The NL remains a royal rumble. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who doesn’t love reading something that starts with a disclaimer? Nobody, that’s who. Unless you do, in which case I’m sorry, but here goes: this list is built around players I don’t think will debut before 2021, in part because those were the parameters malamoney gave me in the comments section a few posts ago, in part because the AB and IP math won’t be settled for a while yet.  

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I’ve got my fingers crossed, but unless I’m mistaken, every major league team is currently cleared to play baseball games! No small feat in 2020. 

With so many games to play, and prospects popping up like whack-a-moles, we’ve got a lot to track, especially with double headers and compressed schedules and on and on. Here’s what I’m seeing around the league.

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Cowabunga, dude! I really dropped the Butterfinger on Joey Bart. I’ve done okay predicting the call-ups in this space, but I just didn’t think San Francisco would start Bart’s service clock during a lost season in exchange for five weeks of games. Turns out, it’s not a lost season just yet. Despite occupying last place in the NL West, they’re just a few games out of a playoff spot at 12-and-16 before Saturday’s game. Johnny Cueto looks pretty good, AC Slater is rocking those amazing pants, and young(ish) Yaz is still getting on base half the time. They might be Giants after all!

So who’s next?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been awaiting this news for a while now: Tampa Bay SS Xavier Edwards has been added to the player pool party. 

He’s not a redraft option, in case you think I’m trying to comb him into the stash list. 

Even so, time is a factor here: by the time it’s cool in the chamber to buy Xavier Edwards in dynasty or deep keeper leagues, it’ll be too late to get any traction in trade talks. 

The Rays have a history of helping hit tool guys add power, and I think Edwards is a prime candidate for the Tampa treatment. 

It’s not rocket science, really. You need to clear your hips, swing as hard as you can control, and hunt for pitches in your happy zone. 

Oh yeah you also need to make contact. 

So okay I guess it might be on par with rocket science in the percentage of humanity capable of participating. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?