With a vacant closer gig, an infield glut, and the possibility of a free-agent splash, there is ample fantasy intrigue in Arlington.
Texas once again was full of fantasy goodies for fantasy owners, both with the bats and on the mound. Another solid year with the bat from Adrian Beltre anchored a team that helped fantasy owners in power, but also in stolen bases with Leonys Martin joining Elvis Andrus in the 30-plus-steal department. The pitching staff was, of course, anchored by Yu Darvish, who solidified himself as a fantasy ace, if not a real-life one (yes, he’s a real life ace, too). Behind him, Matt Harrison (when healthy), Derek Holland, and Martin Perez (when healthy) filled in as viable fantasy options, with Holland coming through with a very strong first half setting up a solid full season. In the bullpen we saw Joe Nathan with a dominant season, and he’ll join those who depart the team via free agency as he declined a player option already. As we look toward 2014, we see a very different Rangers lineup (pre-free agency) with former stalwart Nelson Cruz testing the free agent waters. With him will go catcher A.J. Pierzynski and outfielder David Murphy. As a reminder, we’ve limited ourselves to filling holes in the lineup and pitching staff with internal options only. With that in mind, here is what we can expect from Texas heading in 2014, as currently constructed.
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Mike explains why elite middle relievers haven't climbed his tiers, before revealing the latest edition of those tiers and the updated dollar values.
Welcome to another installment of The Bullpen Report. As a reminder, closers are rated in five tiers from best to worst. The tiers are a combination of my opinion of a pitcher’s ability, the likelihood that he will pick up saves, and his security in the job. For example, a pitcher in the third tier might have better skills than a pitcher in the second tier, but if the third tier pitcher is new to the job or has blown a couple of saves in the last week this factors into the ranking as well.
Last week, one of my readers wanted to know why I didn’t have a middle reliever in the top tier. Although middle relievers are integral in some leagues, I have not been ranking them due to the fact that their value is vastly different depending upon each league’s rules. In leagues that use holds as a separate category, non-closers carry a great deal of value. In standard mixed leagues with no start limits, you might not feel the need to carry a middle reliever on your staff at all. My goal is to take a cursory look at a handful of valuable middle relief arms in a non-holds, deeper-league, standard Roto format.
Jason's starting to wind down his time in Arizona, but not before he gives another peek into an unedited scouting notebook for some Texas Rangers prospects.
“Baseball is my stereo, and my father let me crank the noise and my mother told me to turn it down.” –-Oliver Wendell Holmes
I enjoyed writing the first installment of this ad hoc series, so I decided to bring it back this week. If you’ve been reading my spring training diary, one of the things you probably learned is that I’m very casual with my thoughts, especially as they relate to my ongoing attempts to woo the face of my diary into an emotional (and perhaps) physical relationship. I’m still working on that. The other thing you have no doubt extracted is that I’ve been living in Surprise, Arizona for the past 30 days, spending a large chunk of my time at the Texas Rangers team complex, watching the stop-motion developmental process of minor leaguers in real time live action. My scouting views haven’t been limited to just the Rangers, as I’ve seen prospects from the Reds, Indians, Mariners, A’s, Giants, Padres, Royals, Rockies, Dodgers, and White Sox, and I’m clearly lying about watching prospects in the White Sox system because that’s like watching unicorns play Laser Tag, and my notes are thick and luscious with scouting commentary on the aforementioned teams, excluding the White Sox, of course. Alas, my editors wouldn’t enjoy bi-weekly 10,000 word submissions and the bones in my fingers would relocate to more comfortable surroundings, so I’ve had to spread the notes around using different vehicles, this being one of those vehicles.