Tag: Carlos Lee

Los Angeles Dodgers: Why a Carlos Lee Trade Is Worrisome

As the Dodgers lost their sixth straight game Friday night (and in impressive 9-0 fashion), rumors began swirling about a potential trade with the Houston Astros to land Carlos Lee.

While insiders like Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal flip-flopped on who was in the deal and who the Dodgers were receiving, midway through Friday’s game, it appeared that Lee was the likely target. In fact, it appears that the only thing standing in L.A.’s way of receiving “El Caballo” is his waving of a no-trade clause.

On the surface, the trade makes perfect sense. Lee remains a feared bat among MLB circles and plays a position (1B) that the Dodgers are desperate for help at. Furthermore, because of his large contract ($9 million remaining this season), insiders point out that trading for Lee wouldn’t require anyone of the caliber of Zach Lee, the Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’re quite giving him away either, which is where my worries hit high alert.

Ned Colletti + Dodgers prospects = Worry!

In fact, here are some examples of Colletti trades that worry me:

— July 31, 2010: Dodgers trade James McDonald and Andrew Lambo to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Octavio Dotel

Note: James McDonald, who was always among the team’s top prospects, currently has a 2.44 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Octavio Dotel appeared in 19 games as a Dodger and had a 3.38 ERA.

— July 26, 2008: Dodgers trade Jon Meloan and Carlos Santana to the Cleveland Indians for Casey Blake

Note: Santana hit 27 home runs last season as a catcher for the Indians. Casey Blake hit higher than .252 just once in four seasons with the Dodgers.

What scares me so much about the Carlos Lee trade idea is just how similar it is to these past deadline moves from Colletti. In the Casey Blake deal, for example, the Dodgers got decent production out of Blake, but the prospect they gave up turned out to be an excellent MLB player who made the Dodgers look bad.

The same goes for the Dotel trade. Sure, Dotel was a nice acquisition at the deadline, but to give up a guy like McDonald—who had shown serious promise—for a rental closer was crazy at the time and looks even more ridiculous now.

My problem with the Carlos Lee deal has nothing to do with Lee and everything to do with a lack of faith in Colletti‘s ability to work a fair deal for the Dodgers. When he’s desperate, his track record is far from reassuring.

So while the Dodgers will surely make a handful of moves over the next couple of weeks, I expect that they will improve for this season and hopefully make a run into the playoffs. Where the fun begins, however, is three years from now when we find out just how much they gave up to get there.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Fantasy Baseball: Outfielders 41-80

For those who cannot survive on Top 40 rankings alone, here is a compilation of the next 40 outfielders to target in mixed- and league-specific drafts.

41. Carlos Lee, Astros
Skinny: Lee posted better numbers in hits, triples, RBI, steals, walks and batting average last year, compared to 2010. The biggest omission of the Top 40 outfielders.

42. Andre Ethier, Dodgers
Skinny: Coming off a sluggish campaign, Ethier is a good bet for modest across-the-board improvements in 2012. Targets: 17 HRs, 72 RBI, 69 runs, 1 steal and .292 average.

43. Jeff Francoeur, Royals
Skinny: This pedestrian ranking is based on the assumption Francoeur won’t collect 601 at-bats again, while vying for space in the Royals’ crowded outfield.

44. Nick Swisher, Yankees
Skinny: Fantasy owners will appreciate Swisher’s latest comfort zone in the draft’s latter rounds. Targets: 22 HRs, 86 RBIs, 77 runs, .257 average.

45. Logan Morrison, Marlins
Skinny: Better plate discipline could easily vault the 24-year-old Morrison into the Top 40, sooner than later. Targets: 24 HRs, 75 RBI, 59 runs, 4 steals, .268 average.

46. Josh Willingham, Twins
Skinny: An underrated two-category force, look for Willingham to take a slight dip in HRs and RBIs…but raise his average to approximately.265.

47. Carlos Quentin, Padres
Skinny: Quentin may never replicate his MVP-caliber season from 2008 (36/100/.288), but he’s still a reasonable play for 25 HRs, 82 RBI and .261 average.

48. Austin Jackson, Tigers
Skinny: It’s rare to find a two-category machine at this point in the countdown. Assuming he bats leadoff for most of 2012, A-Jax could tally 100 runs and 30 steals.

49. Martin Prado, Braves
Skinny: Prado is a respectable four-category contributor to those who have forgotten the 15-HR/100-runs/.300 expectations of last March.

50. Brennan Boesch, Tigers
Skinny: The planets may be aligned for Boesch to finally enjoy a season of relatively good health and fruitful fantasy numbers: Targets: 17 HRs, 70 RBI, 82 runs, 6 steals, .287 average.

51. Matt Joyce, Rays
Skinny: A productive player with some inescapable red flags from last year: two months of sub-.200 hitting…and three months of two homers or less.

52. Peter Bourjos, Angels
Skinny: Bourjos should be a four-category factor this year (excluding RBI)…assuming he logs 500 at-bats for the Angels.

53. Angel Pagan, Giants
Skinny: Like Bourjos, Pagan should be a four-category success in roto and head-to-head leagues, and bonus…30 steals is now the baseline of reasonable expectations.

54. Alex Rios, White Sox
Skinny: Rios may not register stats worthy of the 54th outfielder. But his age (31) and intriguing physical tools will nonetheless prompt fantasy GMs to take a later-round flier on the former star.

55. Brandon Belt, Giants
Skinny: Forget last year’s pedestrian stats (9 HRs, 18 RBI, 21 runs, .225 BA). Belt has the tools and superb minor-league track record to be a four-category factor in his second season.

56. Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays
Skinny: It’s time for Rasmus to take a big leap in his development, while avoiding the wild highs and lows of seasons past. Targets: 22 HRs, 67 RBI, 84 runs, 9 steals, .274 average.

57. Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins
Skinny: A two-category whirlwind (runs, steals) who needs to prove last year’s .296 BA wasn’t a fluke.

58. Dexter Fowler, Rockies
Skinny: A potential National League clone of Austin Jackson, Fowler might approach 90 runs and 25-30 steals for the hot-and-cold Rockies.

59. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
Skinny: Moreland’s hearty supporters might find fault with this conservative ranking. But for 2012, Moreland’s upside likely doesn’t extend past 21 HRs and 67 RBI.

60. Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks
Skinny: With 140 games and 500 at-bats, Kubel can recapture his 20-HR mojo from 2008-10. But that may be a tall order, given the Diamondbacks’ packed outfield and absence of a DH during National League play.

61. Lucas Duda, Mets
Skinny: Duda has the physical tools to be a four-category contributor in his age-26 season. Targets: 16 HRs, 58 RBI, 59 runs, .284 average.

62. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
Skinny: Soriano makes for a productive fifth or sixth outfielder in 12-team leagues, especially for owners in need of 20-plus homers and 80 RBI.

63. J.D. Martinez, Astros
Skinny: A .342 hitter in the minors, Martinez has the skill set to be a four-category factor in his second MLB season. This leap-of-faith ranking will look even better in May.

64. Michael Brantley, Indians
Skinny: Brantley posted across-the-board gains in his second MLB season (7 HRs, 46 RBI, 63 runs, 13 steals, .266 average). Expect another season of modest improvement.

65. Vernon Wells, Angels
Skinny: With this outfield ranking, fantasy owners probably wouldn’t mind a repeat of Wells’ 2011 numbers (25 HRs, 66 RBI, 60 runs, 9 steals)—minus the deflating .218 average.

66. Delmon Young, Tigers
Skinny: Fantasy owners shouldn’t expect a homer every five games from Young—his admirable pace with the Tigers last season. But he’s still a respectable four-category contributor.

67. Ben Revere, Twins
Skinny: Revere will be a high late-round priority for owners needing cheap speed, and the fleet-footed Twin is a lock for 42-45 steals in 2012.

68. Juan Pierre, Phillies
Skinny: The 34 year old may be in the twilight of his career, but he’s still a threat for 40 steals and 80 runs when given adequate playing time. An ideal late-round flier.

69. Jason Bay, Mets
Skinny: Bay’s numbers have obviously dipped since that coup de grace season of 2009 with Boston (36 HRs, 119 RBI, 103 runs). But as a healthy Met, he’s still a good play for 16 HRs, 70 RBI and 11 steals.

70. Ryan Raburn, Tigers
Skinny: Opportunity knocks for the OF-eligible Rayburn, who has a clear shot at winning the Tigers’ job at second base and posting numbers of 15 HRs, 58 RBI, 61 runs and .282 average.

71. Jose Tabata, Pirates
Skinny: The next five players in this countdown could all make big jumps in 2012. Tabata is a reasonable candidate for 12 HRs, 34 steals and .279 average.

72. Eric Thames, Blue Jays
Skinny: Thames has down-the-road power potential of 25 HRs and 90 RBI. He could be a last-round gem for upside-loving owners.

73. Jerry Sands, Dodgers
Skinny: Sands would probably rate higher if he had a spot sewn up in the Dodgers’ outfield. Hopefully, owners will have more clarity with Sands in April or May.

74. Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Skinny: Cain was a four-category factor in the minors. Hopefully, that status will transition into big-league success for 2012. A solid late-round flier.

75. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
Skinny: You’ve seen the video of Cespedes running, jumping and P90X-ing his way into the hearts of MLB scouts and general managers. But is he ready to play in the bigs?

76. Seth Smith, Athletics
Skinny: It’s hard to guess how Oakland’s outfield situation will shake out by season’s end, but Smith has respectable potential in all five categories. A late-round coup in any format.

77. Travis Snider, Blue Jays
Skinny: A red-hot spring start has fueled the notion that Snider will put it all together in 2012. Here’s the rub: Toronto’s outfield is stacked right now.

78. Yonder Alonso, Padres
Skinny: The Reds took a big gamble on Joey Votto (beyond 2013) when they traded Alonso, a future star at first base, to the Padres. For Alonso, anything above 14 HRs, 63 RBI and .270 BA would be welcome.

79. Mike Carp, Mariners
Skinny: Carp may finally be getting the requisite playing time to become a productive fantasy asset. Targets: 18 HRs and .282 average.

80. Denard Span, Twins
Skinny: The 80th ranking is more ceremonial than a punitive judgment against Span, who tallied 182 runs and 49 steals in 2009-10. With a productive spring, thus erasing last year’s disappointment, Span could vault 14-17 slots before Opening Day.

80a. Bryce Harper, Nationals
Skinny: It might not matter if the Nationals send Harper down for more minor-league seasoning before Opening Day. Fantasy owners won’t hesitate to take a Round 20 flier on one of the most touted hitting prospects of the last 20 years. Expect a June 1 call-up.

80b. Mike Trout, Angels
Skinny: A springtime illness has effectively curtailed Trout’s chances of making the parent club on Opening Day. Nevertheless, he’s a stealth last-round flier and a can’t-miss prospect for the long term.

80c. Alex Presley, Pirates
Skinny: With an outfield of Andrew McCutchen, Tabata and Presley, the Pirates can afford to be patient with Starling Marte. A .291 hitter in the minors, Presley could develop into a four-category factor.

80d. Allen Craig, Cardinals
Skinny: Like so many prospects at this stage of the countdown, Craig’s fantasy potential is directly proportional to the number of at-bats he’ll accrue in his first full season.

80e. Alejandro De Aza, White Sox
Skinny: A poor man’s (or undiscovered) version of Emilio Bonifacio. In the right setting, De Aza could hit .300 and notch 30-35 steals.

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Projecting the Houston Astros 2012 Depth Chart

2011 has been a year to forget for the Houston Astros. The only good thing that has come out of 2011 is a good look at some new, young players and the No. 1 draft pick in next year’s draft. Next year’s team is expected to be even younger than it is this year, with few veterans, returning sophomores and some new rookies. Although the team will almost definitely not be in contention next year, it still shouldn’t be underestimated. It carries a lot of young, promising and enthusiastic players who are eager to win.

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Houston Astros: Ranking Biggest Trade Bait on the Roster

If spring training is any indication how the season will go, the Astros will most likely be sellers come trade deadline time.

The Astros have given up 108 runs in 17 games, 20 more runs than the next closest team in the Grapefruit League. They are sitting currently in last place with a record of 5-12.

Even though they have struggled, they do have some players who could be attractive to teams and could help them make a push for the playoffs in 2011. Now, I don’t expect all these players to be traded, but I think the Astros would be willing to move them if the price is right.

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MLB Spring Training 2011: 10 Things We’ve Already Learned About the Astros

The Astros are about two weeks into spring training and played their first game yesterday. I am sure no one wanted to start off the 2011 season like they did, falling to the Atlanta Braves 13-3.

However, after only nine innings of real baseball and a handful of practices, here are 10 things that we have already learned about this team.

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MLB Trade Rumors: What It Would Take for Yankees To Chase Brett Myers in July

The New York Yankees were probably very disappointed this week to hear that Andy Pettitte has decided to retire instead of return for another season with the Bronx Bombers. Now heading into spring training this leaves two big holes in their starting rotation that will most likely be filled by either Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia.

As the season progresses, the Yankees may start looking outside the organization to fill these pitcher spots if the pitchers struggle. One pitcher they may consider is Brett Myers of the Houston Astros. Myers had a strong year in 2010 for the Astros and was the best pitcher on that staff after Oswalt was traded. If the Astros start off slow and fall out of the race early, Brett Myers may be a player that they look to move in 2011 and the Yankees make sense to be a team that Myers ends up with.

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MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Carlos Lee Trades to Cut Payroll for the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros about halfway through last season decided to enter rebuilding mode by trading both Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt.

However, there is one more expensive piece currently on the team that could offer some quality pieces in return to help the rebuilding process, and that is Carlos Lee.

El Caballo does have some things working against him that may make a trade tougher for the Astros. He is getting up there in age and would struggle in the field. He also will be making $19 million this season. He is on the downside of his career and probably wouldn’t be able to bring top talent in return.

However, he could still contribute to a team for another two to three years, playing DH for a team that is looking for a power hitter for the middle of its lineup. Here are 10 trades that would make sense for both teams.

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J.A. Happ and the Rest of the Young Astros Ready To Grow Up in 2011

The Houston Astros decided about halfway through last season that it was time to enter that period that no fan wants to hear, and that is rebuilding. The Astros decided to trade away the only remaining players from that 2005 team that made the World Series.

They decided to finish out the season with a lot of rookies and young players, but if the way the Astros finished last year is any indication of things to come, this team is ready to grow up quick and make some noise in 2011.

Within three days, the Astros traded Roy Oswalt to the Phillies for J.A. Happ and two other players. One of those other players was OF Anthony Gose who they quickly turned around and traded to Toronto for first basemen Brett Wallace.

Two days later, Lance Berkman was traded for two minor league players.  Then players like Chris Johnson, Tommy Manzella, Angel Sanchez and Jason Castro were called up to the big time. Before Astros fans knew what happened, they had almost an entirely different team.

At the start of August last year the Astros had a record of 45-59 and many people thought it would only get worse with the fact they basically had a minor league team wearing a major league uniform.

However, this team showed some talent and grit down the stretch and actually finished the season 32-27 from that point, including a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. The way the season ended gives Astros fans hope for this coming season.

Now at this point they will not be competing for a World Series, but a third place finish in the NL Central with a record above .500 is not out of the question and this a brighter outlook than what many fans thought back at the end of July. It looks like the Astros have found a player that will secure the hot corner for years to come in Chris Johnson, who hit .308 last season with 11 HRs and 52 RBIs in 94 games.

They also have two players with great potential in Brett Wallace and Jason Castro who benefited from the playing time in the majors last season. Add in Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee with Michael Bourn leading off and wreaking havoc on the bath paths and the Astros have the potential for a solid batting lineup

The Astros have also been able to build a solid pitching rotation by adding a couple of young pitchers. They were able to trade for J.A. Happ and called up Bud Norris last year who will be paired in a rotation with veterans Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers.

Bud Norris finished strong last season going 6-3 since August, Wandy was consistent throughout finishing 11-12 with a 3.60 ERA and 178 strikeouts. The real surprise last year was Brett Myers who finished the year 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA and 180 strikeouts. Myers pitched well enough that the Astros rewarded him with a two-year extension.

Now this team has a lot of questions surrounding them.

Will the young players be able to continue to improve and develop while playing at a high level? Will Brett Myers be able to step up and be the ace of this rotation? Will Clint Barmes and Bill Hall be able to be able to hold down that middle of the infield? Can Carlos Lee still play in the outfield?

It is hard to say at this point, however, I think manager Brad Mills has a team that will play hard and compete. I also believe that the future looks much brighter than it did back at the end of July and the dreaded “rebuilding period” may be shorter than first thought for Astros fans.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2011 Fantasy Baseball: Four Bounceback Players to Keep an Eye On

The key to a successful fantasy baseball draft is maximizing the return value on each of your picks. At the start of each draft, everybody will have an equal value’s worth of picks; therefore, unless you target players who could potentially exceed the value of the pick they were drafted with, you will finish your draft in the middle of the pack. One of the best types of player to target when attempting to maximize value is the player who disappointed the previous year. Logically, his value will be its lowest following a poor season; hence the appeal to targeting these players. In this article, I will provide you with four players who should at least be on your radar entering your 2011 drafts. 

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2010 Derek Jeter Awards: Honoring Big Name Players With Terrible Gloves

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, for years one of the worst defensive shortstops in all of Major League Baseball, somehow managed to win his fifth Gold Glove on Tuesday afternoon despite having a truly horrendous season with the glove.

As if the anecdotes regarding Gold Glove misses in recent years—Mike Young 2008, Nate McLouth 2008, Rafael Palmeiro 1999—had not yet killed the reputation of the Gold Glove and any utility to be derived from the meaning of having won the award, we now have evidence at the most fundamental of levels that the Gold Glove is a laughable award.

Which is a shame, because there are certainly Gold Glovers who regularly deserve the award, such as other 2010 winners Scott Rolen, Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn and Brandon Phillips, each of whom was announced as a 2010 Gold Glover in the National League on Wednesday.

In order to properly honor Derek Jeter and all his achievements with the glove, BaseballEvolution.com has decided to start its own set of fielding awards: the Derek Jeter Awards.

From this point forward, the Derek Jeter Awards will be given to the worst fielding big name player at each position in both the National League and the American League. In this way, we can take time to honor all of baseball’s biggest stars who, oh by the way, are terrible fielders.

In 2010, the American League Jeter for shortstop will go to Derek Jeter–even though technically it belongs to Yuniesky Betancourt–and hopefully we’ll never again see any overlap between the Gold Gloves and the Derek Jeters.

Let’s have a look.

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