Please see our player page for Andrew Miller to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Contracts, the lifeblood of Major League Baseball. If you’re good enough, after you put in your time making nothing and riding on buses, the team owns you until you run through the rookie contract. Of course teams want to protect themselves from paying the next Jon Singleton, and this is how contracts end up with options. Some favor the team and others the player. It usually boils down to who has more leverage at the bargaining table.

Vested options are typically put on the back end of contracts, especially for older players. Some of these milestones might mean that a guy pushes through a minor injury. Others may put the club in a position where they prefer a player miss their vested option. The team can control the likelihood of completing the option.

For instance, Wade Davis has a vesting option to finish 30 games this season. Given his performance last year, the Rockies are more likely to find an alternative option should he falter or give him more days in between closing opportunities even if he returns to form.

What does this mean for you in fantasy? It means Scott Oberg, Jairo Diaz, and Carlos Estevez become interesting options at the back end of the draft. Oberg had the best numbers last year, but underlying numbers show he might have been lucky and has lost velocity on the fastball the last 3 seasons. Jairo and Estevez both throw upper 90s with sliders.

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As pitchers and catchers report we’re beginning to be graced with some reassurances as to who certain teams will use at closer. Those are always nice. Just remember managers don’t feel beholden to what they say in February and situations can change. Not unlike myself and fellow analysts. “I don’t recall recommending Jose Leclerc as a top 10 2019 closer, Senator.” We’re all playing a guessing game. My best advice is to invest lightly and spread your exposure over as many arms as possible.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

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Yesterday, Robinson Cano went 4-for-4, 5 RBIs and became the oldest 2nd baseman to ever hit three homers in a game (and he still has 4+ years on his contract!), hitting his 7th, 8th and 9th homers, and nearly had a fourth homer, but pulled it fowl (Mets sold the rights to their foul poles to Chick-Fil-A; don’t ask).  Kill me now:

Seriously, lay me down on the hot pavement and let Tawny Kitaen stomp my genitals like I’m Chuck Finley. The awfulness of owning Robinson Cano coupled with actually owning him for a three-homer game while he’s on my bench is too much to bear.  Sprinkle Doritos dust on my head, put me in an office chair, and roll me towards Billy Butler, then run the other way so you spare yourself.  He was going against Chris Paddack (5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.84) — my baby boo! — how could I start Cano?  How? *screaming in the rain, shaking fists at the heavens* How?! So Cano hasn’t been good, but maybe this is the turnaround he needs.  More than likely, I’ll now put him in my lineup for an 0-for-45 stretch.  HOW?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The hot stove has been bubbling this winter, mostly thanks to Jerry Dipoto. Bullpen arms tend not to rank all that high in offseason coverage, so I cobbled together the notable moves for your reading pleasure. I know, I know, you’re thinking seriously ‘Wan, I’m not anywhere near the state of mind you need to think about the saves chase. There’s no rest for the closing wicked when it comes to the bullpen landscape, I’m afraid.

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The trade of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood to the Reds means one thing, the Dodgers are signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.  I’m kidding, in the non-funny way.  Maybe it means that, but I kinda hope it doesn’t, so Muncy, Pederson and others have room to play.  Not sure why the Dodgers rehired Dave Roberts, but I’m impressed the Dodgers realized that Dave Roberts had zero capacity for managing a team.  “What’s he doing?”  “I don’t know.”  That’s two Dodgers execs watching Dave Roberts juggle three VHS copies of the movie Platoon.  “I don’t think he understands what we meant when we asked him to juggle platoons.”  “Yeah.”  “So, we should trade Puig?”  “Maybe trade like five guys.”  “Okay.”  So, Puig goes back to the Reds, but they’re no longer an island nation in the Caribbean.  Now, they’re in Ohio.  In five years, people will be like, “I forgot Puig played for the Reds for three months.”  Yes, I think he’ll likely be traded in July.  Either way, he will get everyday at-bats and should get a nice boost in fantasy value.  The Reds were surprising solid last year on offense, and I see no reason why that would end.  For 2019, I’ll give Yasiel Puig projections 73/27/83/.273/11 in 502 ABs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2019 fantasy baseball:

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I lied to you loyal Razzball readers. In part 1 of this 2019 fantasy baseball mock draft hosted by Justin Mason of Friends with Fantasy Benefits, I told you this was going to be a four-part series. Well, unfortunately between rounds 23 and 24, the MLB regular season ended and thus, so did our Fantrax mock draft. The draft room disappeared from the league page and every future pick was being auto-drafted. Rather than waste your time discussing random players being auto-drafted I’m just going to highlight a few notable undrafted players at the bottom of this article. Back to the draft itself: three words can sum up rounds 15 through 23: risk, relievers and rookies. You’ll soon see what I mean. (BTW, the 2nd part of the fantasy baseball mock draft.)

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The past week has been an eventful one for bullpens. A whole slew of committees has emerged. Injured guys have returned. A couple challengers have even been thrown back into the muck of non-ninth inning pitching. The most notable of the returning closers was Sean Doolittle. He’s really settled in as the closer for Washington and they have been very comfortable with him there. Most of us dislike seeing the doctor and opponents of the Nationals are no different. Hopefully, you’ve received an infusion of save opps as you look to close out the 2018 season. If not, SAGNOF at will.

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Yesterday, Christian Yelich hit for the cycle, going 6-for-6, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 26th homer, hitting .319.  Yelich has been sexier than that random porn that was released of him.  Speaking of porn (always a great intro to a sentence), you know you have a cougar problem when…True story, I woke up yesterday morning and Googled to see if there ever was a movie made called, Call Me By Your Ma’am with Kimothee ChalaMILF.  That feels like too much information, but I trust you with everything, except any identifying details about me in real life.  Any hoo!  Yelich!  Are you kidding me?  Keyword is kidding, because he looks like he’s 12.  Yo, you super pre-teen?  You in Stranger Things?  We’re at the point now when I’m starting to think about 2019, and Yelich, well, is there any way he’s not top 20?  Yelich or Springer?  Gotta be Yelich, right?  Yelich or Bregman?  Okay, tough call, but damn close.  He’s definitely better than Kimothee ChalaMILF!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Just like Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous, you too can start preparing for your big move to the top of the standings in 2019.

Here we are at the trade deadline for MLB and starting to get to them for fantasy leagues as well, and teams are making their last attempts to bolster their rosters for the playoff push. Unfortunately for some of us, the season has not gone as planned and we’re selling and preparing for next season in keepers/dynasty formats. In the words of the great philosopher, Lil’ Wayne, “The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done….you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.”

With that in mind, it’s time to look at what you can do to start planning and helping build your roster for 2019 in those dynasty and keeper leagues. It’s here at the end of the season where you can start building your squad for next year by trading for or picking up some players who may be free agents entering new situations next year or guys that faced an injury or suspension this season, which lowered their value.

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After hitting 6 HRs and stealing three bases with a .254 average in his first 17 games, Franchy Cordero (OF, Forearm Strain) has slowed down considerably hitting only 1 HR and stealing 2 bases with a .222 average over his next 23 games with a 30:9 K/BB ratio. With Hunter Renfroe returning and Wil Myers due back soon — I’m afraid it’s the guillotine for Franchy. Stash or Trash: I’d be thinking of trashing him unless you’re in a deep league with not a lot of options. Fill In: Daniel Palka (2.1%.) Palka has been filling in for an injured Leury Garcia for the Chi-Sox and has been doing pretty well lately. Who is Daniel Palka? He’s a former third round pick who hit 34 HRs in 2016 in the Twins AA and AAA program. He’s also a guy who hit 29 HR and stole 24 bases the year before that. What the hell? Why isn’t this guy being added in all leagues? Well throughout his minor league career he’s had a strikeout rate in the high 20% with a contact rate in the 60’s. So far this season in the majors he has 23 strikeouts to only 3 walks so he’s performing pretty on-brand. After an 0 for 8 start to his major league career, Palka has 26 hits in 85 at bats with 4 HR, 15 RBI and 2 SB. If you need help in deeper leagues take a chance on Al Palka.

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