I haven’t watch a full game of baseball in four days. If I don’t watch a replay of something soon, I’m going to start shaking.
• The San Francisco Giants announced that they will not exercise the $10 million dollar option on Aubrey Huff. After landing a two year contract in the wake of his absolutely bonkers 2010 season (where he hit .290/.385/.506), Huff struggled to even approach being league average with the bat. Between that and the emergence of Brandon Belt as a viable candidate at first base (finally), Huff was the odd man out. From a strictly fantasy perspective, this makes Belt much more appealing. Given that Belt earned 472 plate appearances vs Huff’s 95 this past season, this was a move that everyone saw coming and was merely made official. After hitting .275 and stealing 12 bases, power — and the RBI’s that come with it — is really the only thing left to be desired in Belt’s game.
• Although I personally find it difficult to imagine, Rafael Soriano just turned down a guaranteed $14 million dollars. Of course his goal is to get a longer term deal (despite what would almost assuredly be a lower average annual value). It seems most like that he will go somewhere to be the closer, and with Mariano Rivera set to come back from his ACL tear, the Bronx seems like an unlikely landing place for Soriano. For those of you, myself included, in Holds leagues, Soriano becoming a closer hurts. Then again, in two of the last three years Soriano has managed to save 40+ games, so it isn’t like an elite setup man is suddenly gone; he’s just going to be exchanging holds for saves.
• After enjoying his best full season (as per wRC+ and marginally wOBA) since 2006, Adam LaRoche decided to opt out of his side of the mutual contract with the Washington Nationals. LaRoche actually declined his side of the option after the Nationals picked up their half. It isn’t too difficult to see why the slugger decided to test free agent market, as he hit 33 home runs and drove in an even 100 RBIs. The homers represent a single season career high and the RBI total equals his best season. The soon-to-be 33 year old figures to look for a multi-season deal that would take him to the end of his career. It remains to be seen as to whether or not the Nationals bring him back or if he signs elsewhere.
• In a quiet move north of the border, the Toronto Blue Jays re-signed Rajai Davis, but only after they declined his option first. The logistics of declining their option then re-signing him are curious be cause the money owed to Davis didn’t change. His original contract had a $3 million dollar option with a 500,000 buyout. After the buyout, the Blue Jays then signed Davis for $2.5 million for one year. Regardless of the money situation, this assures Davis has a job — even if it isn’t a guaranteed full time job — next year. Davis has always been a source of cheap steals as he has four straight seasons of 40+ stolen bases. I’d expect that trend to continue next season. As usual, I’ll be spending a small amount or drafting him late in as many leagues as possible in 2013.
• As of 11:00 pm (CST) last night, free agency officially started. As signings and trades move from mere rumors to public acknowledgment, RotoGraphs will be here to keep you up to date on all of the relevant fantasy happenings. A pitcher moves from the AL Central to the NL West? We’ll break it down and keep you covered. Expect plenty of updates, recaps, and opinion pieces throughout the off-season.
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