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.
Last week of the regular season. Playoff teams may decide to adjust or sit their starters as they lock up their position and start getting ready for the playoffs. Did my best to recognize the 2 starters as best I could here.
There’s still some questions about who will start, but the situations I couldn’t nail down were:
Baltimore: Dylan Bundy is in line to start, but there’s a chance that Chandler Sheperd gets a chance in that spot instead.
Mariners have Marco Gonzales down to pitch both Sunday and Tuesday. It could be Tommy Milone or Justin Dunn if Marco goes Sunday.
The Reds could throw Kevin Gausman as an opener or could let Sonny Gray take the spot on Tuesday.
Oakland and San Diego are likely running a 6 man rotation.
Cincinnati may run a 6 man rotation, but have to monitor that situation.
They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not! Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
The Padres and Athletics are both throwing a 6-man rotation this week.
The Dodgers are giving Hyun-Jin Ryu a pass on his next start, but haven’t announced when he will make the next one yet, or how the rotation will work this week. While Ryu will be skipped, the Dodgers are also getting Rich Hill back this week, which could maintain the 6 man rotation.
How the Dodgers handle the rotation means that Walker Buehler may or may not have 2 starts this week. The good news, of course you’re starting Walker Buehler. The bad news, not sure that he’s getting 2 starts, but he’d be a ‘No Doubt’ guy if he does.
The Yankees Tuesday starter has yet to be announced, but should be a 2 start option whoever they throw. My best guess right now is that it’s a bullpen game with Chad Green starting.
Commissioner Rob Manfred was recently seen at a yard sale looking at the stitching on a crocheted dress when he remarked, “The stitching seems kinda loose.” From there, he picked up his grandkids and they asked if they could watch Lilo & Stitch and Manfred wrinkled his nose and said, “Stitch is a genetic experiment who escaped from an alien planet, which is a loose contrivance. Wouldn’t you like to see something with tight stitches? Like 12 homers in one game?” Later in his evening, Manfred tossed and turned in his bed, asking Womanfred, “I can count with my back all 500 threads in this linen. We need tighter stitching!” So, with Manfred on a quest for the tightest stitching possible, we also have more dongs than the Houston 500. First, Matt Adams went 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with his 19th homer. Mean’s while, Ryan Zimmerman has a Chia pet growing on his foot. Next, Victor Robles (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 16th homer, hitting over .500 in the last week. This was only his third homer since the break, and hitting .260-ish in that time. Would’ve loved to see him get a legit shot at the two hole — hey now! — but he hasn’t truly earned it. Next next, Juan Soto (2-for-5) popped two tops of Sexy Dr. Pepper (27, 28) and he’s 20 years old. In 2020, he’ll be 21 and will be a 70-homer hitter by the time he’s 27. You can hold me to that, assuming you forget. Next next next, Brian Dozier (3-for-4, 4 RBIs) hit his 18th and 19th homers, and he doesn’t even start every game. Just your average 2019 part-time middle infidel who gets 25 homers. Next next next next, Anthony Rendon (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 27th homer and he’s three RBIs from 100. Feels like RBIs are down this year. Maybe because no one’s on base and everyone’s just hitting home runs. That reason feels galaxy brain-ish. Next next next next next, Adam Eaton (2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 10th. What’s Eaton eating? Tightly-wound baseballs. Just ask Womanfred, she’s sick of hearing it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Stan Bush? Give me that beat! You got the Tauchman! You got the power! Yeah! You’ve never walked, you’ve never run! You’re a winner! (Though some may say running and walking aren’t bad for baseball.) You got the moves, you got the streets (not as important in baseball)! Break the rules (well, Barry Bonds had some success with this)! You’re nobody’s fool! Yeah! You’re at your best when the going gets rough! (This is true since the Yanks had some injuries and needed Mike Tauchman to step up.) You’ve been put to the test, but it’s never enough! (That’s less true; we appreciate you here, Tauchman). You got the Tauchman! You got the power! It’s all true! So, Mike Tauchman (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, hitting .299) hit another home run last night, his 10th, that’s in 60 games. And he stole a bag, his 4th! He now has three homers in two games, and four homers in the last week. I grabbed him in multiple leagues, because who doesn’t love dongs! Not this redblooded American! Hoo-rah, I got the Tauch!
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
If you missed out on my RCL earlier don’t worry, there’s still plenty of other leagues open against other @Razzball writers. Join now for a chance to win a spot in #RazzBowl 2020, it’s FREE! https://t.co/SF1dgtZWCS
Yesterday, Shane Bieber went 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.44. Donkey Teeth and I made a trade the other day. My first trade of the year. I sent him Kenley Jansen for Shane Bieber. I discuss it on this week’s podcast. I receive Shane Bieber in this trade…TOMORROW! I don’t even want him now! He’s tainted with Donkey Teeth juice. That one-hitter is supposed to be mine! Mine, I say! Only thing worse would’ve been he threw a one-hitter and broke his hand high-fiving Bauer. Ugh, why couldn’t Donkey Teeth offer the trade the day before so I had Bieber on my team? I want him. Me! Me! Me! *Idris Elba opens an envelope* “…and Best Dramatic Retelling of a Fantasy Baseball Trade goes to…Some guy in his mom’s basement you never heard of.” Damn, I lost that too! Donkey Teeth offered me Rhys Hoskins, Madison Bumgarner or Bieber and I jumped at the lattest (totally a word), because Bieber’s peripherals are gorge — 11.2 K/9, 2 BB/9, 3.19 xFIP. Bieber was a preseason sleeper of mine, and he is essentially a top ten pitcher. So, put that in your natch and natch it! Too bad I own him in one less league as of yesterday. Me! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jordan Hicks sounds headed for Tommy John surgery with a torn UCL. This sucks; don’t get me wrong, but it’s amazing all the people shocked by this news just because the Cardinals said on Sunday it wasn’t serious. I wish I could be that uncynical. I wish I could see the birds chirping and not a bird nagging another bird to take out the trash, or see the flowers and not think, “I wonder who’s buried under there,” but alas…So, with Jordan Hicks out for the next 14-18 months, who will close? Carlos Martinez has the makings of a two-inning closer, I guess, but, man or five women, it seems super dumb to continue Carlos Martinez down the closer route. Don’t they want him to start again at some point? John Gant’s been great until he defecated the sheet out of my fantasy bed on Sunday. He might still get some looks. Then there’s wild cards, Andrew Miller (if he were great like years past; he’s no brainer) and Tyler Webb, who is only in discussion because he got one save look the game where Hicks was hurt. I’d go C-Mart and Gant at 55% vs. 42% chance and everyone else at 3%. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Before I get to today’s picks, let me start with one specific element of today’s FanDuel slate that I felt needed to be addressed. I wasn’t sure what to do with the Colorado Rockies @ Arizona Diamondbacks game. On its face, the game looks like a stay-away from hitters as both Jon Gray and Zach Greinke are solid enough pitchers that there will be far better matchups elsewhere. However, it is expected to be 102 degrees in Phoenix at first pitch. That is stupidly hot. More after a word from our sponsor.
New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!