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Fantasy Baseball 2014: Player News and Updates for 2/10

Fantasy Baseball Off-Season Update 2/10/14: Kemp, Gregorius and More

February 10, 2014

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With each passing day, we’re getting closer and closer to the start of the fantasy baseball season, and it won’t be too much longer before we’re all poring over draft rankings (if we’re not already, that is). With that said, let’s take a look at a few MLB players out there who have made some waves recently in the fantasy community. Here’s the latest.

J.J. Putz, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks: Thanks to an off-season trade with the White Sox, the Diamondbacks now have two potential names in the contest to become the team’s regular closer. New arrival Addison Reed will be challenged by the incumbent J.J. Putz in the coming weeks to see who will land the job. Putz said this weekend that he expects to get a chance to win the position before the season begins.
This situation creates a mess for potential fantasy owners, who now have one more thing to keep tabs on . As of now, Reed’s probably the favorite to get in there, despite Putz’s 1.27 ERA over his last 27 appearances. That said, we wouldn’t rank Reed much higher than the mid-20s or so among relievers the way things stand right now, and Putz is just about off the radar unless he lands the gig.

Fantasy Baseball 2014: Player News and Updates for 2/10

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Coco Crisp, OF, Oakland Athletics: A few days back, Crisp signed a contract extension with the A’s that locked him up through the 2016 season. That’s great news for fantasy owners, as Crisp has been bucking the expected trend of aging players and actually upping his game during the last few seasons.
He was a solid fantasy piece in 2013, providing owners with 134 hits, 22 homers, 66 RBI, 93 runs and 21 steals. We don’t expect Crisp to quite match those numbers this summer, but he’ll give potential owners quite a bit of bang for the buck anyway. We see him somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 homers, 60 RBI, 75 runs and 20 steals. Those are some nice across-the-board numbers, so if you can get Crisp somewhere in the mid-to-late-30s among outfielders, pull the trigger.

Didi Gregorius, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks: Let’s head back down to Arizona to check out another preseason competition that will have an impact on our fantasy rosters. Gregorius is expected to be the leading candidate for the D-Backs’ SS job, but he’ll face some competition in the coming weeks from Chris Owings.
Gregorius hit .252 with seven homers, 28 RBI and 47 runs in 357 at-bats last season, so he’s a lower-end option if he lands the job. Owings has the higher fantasy ceiling, so owners should be rooting for him to win out. The stakes are high here, as the loser will likely be relegated to Triple-A, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change down the line.

Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers: We probably talk about Kemp a little too much in this space, but that’s only because the guy makes lots of headlines in a big market. The latest on him comes from Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly, who said over the weekend (again) that Kemp would likely not be ready for the team’s extra-early opening series starting March 22 way down under in Australia.
Thanks to his ankle and shoulder issues, the Dodgers have been very cautious in getting Kemp back on track. For the record, his ankle is probably the bigger hurdle here as he’s said his shoulder is back to 100 percent. Fantasy-wise, we’re still looking at an obvious injury risk, but Kemp should provide mid-teens value among outfielders in the draft.

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.


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