The Astros are moving to the American League in 2013. We’ll be breaking this down in many different ways in order to help NL- and AL-only owners prepare for the moment in the best possible manner, but… for many leagues this won’t matter much. The Astros are just that bad.
For example, mixed-league re-drafters pretty much won’t care at all. Even in 2013, are there any current Astros that will see their draft status change much with the move? Okay, Wandy Rodriguez will be in his final year of his contract and he would be a 34-year-old starter moving to the more difficult league. There’s a player that would see his draft stock drop that year. But will he even be on the Astros roster by then? He seems like a trade candidate.
J.A. Happ is pretty much un-ownable anyway. Mark Melancon is only a closer, and not a great one at that. No other Astro seems like a top-twelve mixed-league option at his position. Sure, some players will emerge in 2012, but re-drafters will have plenty of time to re-adjust their expectations for 2013 drafts.
How about NL-only keeper owners? Well, there will be a few casualties. J.D. Martinez looks like he could be a decent outfielder for a while. And… well… Bud Norris can strike dudes out. Wandy was always a risk, for being old, and for a trade out of the league, considering he’s a good pitcher making money on a bad team, so it’s not like an NL-only team was really banking on him for a long period of time. Jordan Schafer will steal some bags, but he’ll do it with a terrible batting average.
There isn’t a single current Astro that would function as a cornerstone for an NL-only keeper team. That’s the stark fact.
Doesn’t that mean that this is about the best time for this to happen? Imagine if almost any other team left their league, and you can think of a devastating loss for a fantasy team in your AL- or NL-only. Right now it looks like your NL-only team will lose a mid-thirties starter with a mixed history, a corner outfielder with mediocre power, and a center fielder with one skill.
2012 might bring some emerging stars, and there is obviously more to unpack here, especially in prospect leagues. Rule changes, strategy implications, prospect considerations — all of this analysis is on the way.
But, at first blush, it’s amazing that the Astros are so bad that this move won’t even be devastating to your NL-only keeper fantasy team.
Print This Post