Fantasy Baseball 2014: Player News and Updates for 2/2
Fantasy Baseball Off-Season Update 2/2/14: Avila, Machado and More
February 2, 2014
With the football season coming to an end today, it’s time to start turning our attention toward the diamond, and with that comes the 2014 fantasy baseball season. There have been plenty of recent developments around the MLB which will have a direct impact on our rosters, so let’s check in with some of the headline-grabbing players out there and see what’s happening.
Manny Machado, 3B, Baltimore Orioles: This past Friday, Machado got some good news regarding his surgically-repaired knee. He’s been cleared to start in on some baseball activity, including running, hitting and fielding grounders.
In the middle of last month, word came out that put Machado around 6-8 weeks ahead of his recovery timetable for his torn knee tendon. By most indications, he’ll be able to join the team in spring training this month, and is expected to be okay for opening day. That should alleviate the concerns of most fantasy owners, who should have him ranked among the top 10 at his position.
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Alex Avila, C, Detroit Tigers: Avila made some news late last week when it was announced that he’d avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal for 2014 valued at $4.15 million. The contract also contains an option for next season: $5.4 million with a $200,000 buyout.
Expected to have a breakout season in 2013, Avila ended up as something of a disappointment (again) in fantasy. If he can manage to stay healthy, he’s got some lower-end value in 2014 and shouldn’t be too high on most peoples’ draft radar. He’ll end up going in the mid-to-deep backup range, somewhere around the early 20s at his position.
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants: While we’re on the subject of backstops, let’s visit with Posey. We’re hearing good things about him this off-season, most recently the fact that he’s put on 10 pounds of muscle since the end of last year. The extra weight is intended to help his durability, as there were some concerns with him wearing down toward the end of 2013 (he hit .244 in the second half).
Depending on who you ask, you’ll find Posey ranked anywhere from No. 1 to around Nos. 3 or 4 among catchers, and he shouldn’t be any lower than that. We fully expect him to flirt with 20 homers and a .300 BA this season, and if he’s healthy he’ll provide some nice numbers as a high-end backstop.
David Wright, 3B, New York Mets: Let’s head back over to the hot corner and visit with Wright, who has already gotten his 2014 season off to a start. He’s already been working at the team’s training facility in preparation for the upcoming year, a full three weeks before position players are scheduled to start showing up.
It’s good to hear that Wright is already off and running. He’ll need to sustain form and stay healthy if fantasy owners want to see a return on his lofty draft status. Specifically, he’ll probably be the No. 2 or 3 third baseman off your fantasy draft board, behind only Cabrera and possibly Longoria, Beltre, Carpenter or some combination of the three. Wright hit some injury bumps later in the season, but we’ve got high hopes for him heading into 2014. He should get you around 20 homers/steals and 85-ish RBI in a very well-rounded campaign.
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