Before this Roto Riteup gets too far underway, this was hands down the biggest announcement from yesterday.
• It was confirmed Albert Pujols underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week. The Los Angeles Angels claim that it was “a minor cleanup surgery” and that Pujols will be ready for spring training. Per wOBA and wRC+, Pujols is on a five year slide. Despite this trend and the surgery, Pujols still figures to be a pillar of any fantasy squad. If anything, I think natural aging is the cause of any decline. And of course, Pujols’ worst year of his career in 2012 was “only” 30 home runs, 105 RBI’s with a .285 batting average. As far as re-draft leagues go, proceed as usual.
• After hitting 69 home runs at home all season (19th in MLB), the Minnesota Twins contemplated moving the fences in, similarly to how the Seattle Mariners are going to. Internal meetings took place and the verdict is that the Twins will not be changing the dimensions of Target Field. Perhaps just as importantly, the article also reports that the center field batter’s eye area will remain unchanged as well.
• In case you haven’t heard enough Alex Rodriguez news lately, apparently he privately stated that he would not shoot down a trade to another big market team. There hasn’t been a public announcement yet, but it seems as though this could be the most expensive “change of scenery” deal since the Los Angeles Dodgers took in 262.5 million in salary from the Boston Red Sox just months ago. “Large market” can mean a wide variety of cities and Rodriguez still has his full no-trade clause to block any deal to a city that doesn’t suit him. There’s probably a “true Yankee” joke to make, but I’ll leave that to the comment section. The park and the division where A-Rod could potentially land is the matter at hand here, and we’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date with the latest park factors, courtesy of our own GUTS page.
• While on the note of ballparks, the Houston Astros will most likely keep the curiosity known as “Tal’s Hill,” the flagpole and the train and train tracks that sit above the outfield fence. Even the Miami Marlins look at the Astros’ center field and go “Really?” well, at least I imagine the Marlins say that. Having a 90 foot incline and a flag pole in the field of play doesn’t seem too ridiculous (warning: South Park).
• R.A. Dickey underwent surgery to repair a torn lower abdominal muscle yesterday. Both he and the New York Mets anticipate him to be perfectly ready for spring training next year. Beyond 2013 is the major question however, as next season represents the final year that the Mets are guaranteed to have Dickey’s services on the mound. With a mountain of variables standing in the way of Dickey and a big free agent pay day, it remains to be seen how the market will value a will-be 39 year old pitcher — even a knuckleballer with an amazing three year string of success. Depending on where they are in the standings come mid-season, the Mets will have plenty of questions surrounding Dickey’s fate.