|Fantasy Baseball: Fantasy Impact of a Potential Firesale in Arlington|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on June 18, 2009
Up until last month that probably meant the crown jewel player probable to be was Aâ€™s outfielder Matt Holliday -- a free agent at the end of the year and a top offensive player all around.Â Â Heâ€™s had a slow first half by his usual standards (.275-8-37-32-4) but much of that has to do with playing in pitcher friendly Oakland and not having a huge amount of support behind him.
And the Rangers have a significant number of players whoâ€™d be of interest to big market teams who could ship prospects and cash for players who either are already earning big salaries or are arbitration eligible.Â Â That list includes Michael Young ($13 million), Kevin Millwood ($12.8 million), Vicente Padilla ($12 million), Ian Kinsler ($3.2 million), Hank Blalock ($6.2 million), Frank Francisco ($1.6 million), Marlon Byrd ($3 million) and young star Josh Hamilton (arbitration eligible and probably due at least $6 million) and that list doesnâ€™t even count secondary players who other teams will be more than willing to gamble on.
That could change everything leading up to the deadline and no doubt several savvy General Managers have already put in calls to the Rangers to ascertain just who is available for trade in the next 40 or so days.Â Sadly fantasy GMs canâ€™t make that same call to the Rangers to get a feel as to if the Rangers are really going to go into fire sale mode.
While the Rangers currently stand in first place in the AL West, no one seriously thinks they will hold off the Angels without adding more pieces to their team.Â Those pieces might well be the antithesis of an organization struggling with financial problems because those pieces will likely cost big money and will require trading cheap players and prospects making little money in order to secure them.
Realistically it probably puts the Rangers firmly into the seller category over the next month or so.Â That means fantasy owners may find themselves taking a big hit offensively when hitters are traded away from one of the most offensive parks in the game.Â
That should be a big concern to owners of Ian Kinsler, the best second baseman in fantasy today.Â Kinslerâ€™s away splits this year are dramatic -- .346-10-29-32-7 at home, but just .182-7-17-13-4 on the road.
Among hitters Kinslerâ€™s splits are probably the most dramatic, but the story could actually be more about the pitchers as both Millwood and Padilla are among the most highly salaried players on the team and both before they got to Texas were pretty decent pitchers.Â That could mean a significant rise in value for both these players if they are shipped off (and itâ€™s likely as everyone needs pitching for the playoff).Â While neither are likely to suddenly become elite (pretty much impossible I would think), there are plenty of teams who could use pitchers capable of posting a 4.00 or less ERA.
Unless you are in an AL only league, fantasy owners shouldnâ€™t jump the gun here, but keep abreast of the situation and keep listening for trade rumors.Â A little extra attention could be key to gaining an advantage in the next few weeks.Â Â A fire sale in Texas could change just about everything.