My inner (and outer) nerd is going crazy with all the recent baseball news. Oh, and the fact that IPL 5 as well as WCG 2012 is going on is great as well. Baseball is my true love, but I admit it: I cheat on it with StarCraft. I’m so sorry.
• The biggest news of yesterday was the trade that involved the Minnesota Twins sending Denard Span to the Washington Nationals in exchange for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. Span join B.J. Upton in moving from the AL to the senior circuit, and while Span may not have the same flashy name as Upton, his move also effects AL and NL-only leagues. Over the past four years, Span has average 18 stolen bases, hit .280 and posted a .348 on-base percentage. His counting — and to a lesser extent his rate stats — took a dive in 2011 when he suffered a concussion and then battled the subsequent effects. Span consistently sits amongst the top of the leader board of smallest SwStr% and K%. He makes for an okay-if-not-inspiring later round pick.
• A curious ripple effect of the Span trade is that now the Nationals outfield could look like Jayson Werth, Denard Span, and Bryce Harper. Given what a butcher of a fielder that Michael Morse is, first base seems like the best option for him. That would appear to push Adam LaRoche out of a job. LaRoche, a free agent, is coming off of his best season. There are plenty of teams would like the benefit of LaRoche, so seeing where he lands could create an entirely new ripple effect. At this point, I’d be surprised if he returns to Washington.
• Since saves tend to be pretty important, and given that Mariano Rivera seems to be very important within that realm, it is important to note that he and the New York Yankees have agreed to terms on his latest contract. The initial reports seem to indicate a one year deal in the $10 million to $11 million dollar range. Mo is bouncing back from a freak torn ACL injury that occurred while shagging fly balls during batting practice. This isn’t an elbow or let alone a shoulder injury, and I’ll be looking to take Mo if the opportunity presents itself. A knee injury shouldn’t keep you away from bidding/drafting him.
• While the Yankees retained their closer, they lost his battery mate. Russell Martin was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a two year, $17 million dollar contract. Martin set a career high of 21 homers for the Yankees last season, 13 of which came at home. Being a right-handed hitter, Russell didn’t gain quite as much from the short porch as a lefty would have, but per StatCorner, Yankee Stadium posted a 101 home run index for right-handed hitters. PNC Park recorded a 68 home run index for righties. If you thought about drafting Martin, I’d pass. You can stream him if he gets hot, but beyond that, this new contract figures to really squash virtually all of his fantasy value.