Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Garko’

Minor Moves Highlight Monday In Baseball

February 2, 2010

Yesterday was my first day at my new job. First days at a new company are always fascinating. Everybody is your best friend, you do the typical HR stuff, and all the papers on your desk are all in a neat pile.

By the end of the week, you become less popular and all the papers on your desk look like a tornado (Kerry Von Erich perhaps?) just hit it. However, it took me just one day to become the least popular guy in the office.

During lunch I decided to buy a box in the company’s Super Bowl pool. And on cue, I draw the numbers four and seven. The Holy Grail of Super Bowl numbers.

I felt like George Costanza when he gave the going away speech on his first day when he was working on the Penske File. Everyone was like “Who is this guy?”

While I started a job on Monday, there were a lot of baseball players who either found a new home or were left looking for a new job or in one players case, found and a new home and in a matter of hours, needed a new home.

Here are some of the minor moves that took place on Monday.

Florida Marlins sign Seth McClung. The Marlins are desperate for bullpen help, so signing McClung to a minor league deal makes sense. McClung finished with a 4.94 ERA in 62 innings for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009.

In order for McClung to be effective, he needs to lower his walks. He almost had a one-to-one (39 BB’s/40K’s)  strike out to walk ratio in 2009. His WHIP and ERA have increased three years in a row.

Garko has a new home in Seattle

Seattle Mariners sign Ryan Garko. The Mariners signed Garko to a one-year, $550,000 contract on Monday. Garko had two productive years in 2007 and 2008 for the Cleveland Indians, but didn’t do much for the San Francisco Giants when they acquired him in July.

Garko hit only .235 with two home runs in 127 AB’s with the Giants last year. Look for Garko to be the Mariners pinch-hitter off the bench against left-handed pitching.

San Francisco Giants sign Horacio Ramirez and Byung-Hyun Kim. The Giants signed Ramirez to a minor league contract. Remember when the lefty was considered the next great Atlanta Braves starter? Yeah, that was a long time ago.

Injuries have derailed Ramirez’s career and he has been toiling in mediocrity with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Washington Nationals.

I would be very surprised if he made the Giants’ Opening Day roster.

Kim hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2007 and quite frankly, I didn’t even realize he retired. No matter what Kim accomplished in the majors, he will always be remembered for giving up those home runs in back-to-back games in the World Series against the New York Yankees.

I thought he would retire on the mound right then and there. That was brutal to watch.

Oakland A’s sign Gabe Gross. Another day, another outfielder on the A’s roster. It seems like the A’s have 10 outfielders on their roster.

The former University of Auburn quarterback hit .227 with six home runs and a .326 OBP in 115 games with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009. Gross could be the A’s fourth outfielder in 2010 and his signing could spell the end for Travis Buck in Oakland.

Oakland A’s trade Aaron Miles and a PTBNL to the Cincinnati Reds for Willy Taveras and Adam Rosales. The Reds needed to shed payroll in order to sign Orlando Cabrera, so they shipped Taveras to Oakland. Taveras’ stay with Oakland lasted about two minutes as the A’s promptly designated him for assignment.

These things happen when you have a .559 OPS.

Miles, who was traded to Oakland along with Jake Fox from the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason, is expected to be Brandon Phillips’ primary backup next season.

One guy who didn’t sign yesterday was Johnny Damon. I got to be honest, I like Damon a lot, but I can’t take it anymore with him this offseason.

It’s getting very annoying reading article after article about what teams may or may not have an interest in him. Just sign with a team, cut your losses, and get it over with.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Which Players Were Non-Tendered Contracts Last Night?

December 13, 2009

Last night at 11:59 pm est was the deadline for major league teams to offer players with less than six years service time contracts. These players are often referred to as tendered or non-tendered players.

Here is the list of players last night who were non-tendered a contract:

Kelly Johnson, Atlanta Braves. In my free agent primer, I had Johnson has my biggest non-tender sleeper. I think he has a lot to offer a team.

In 07′ he had an .831 OPS and in 08′ he had .795 OPS. In 09′, he was put in Bobby Cox’s doghouse. I think he could have a bounce back 2010 if given the opportunity. He would make sense with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, or the Minnesota Twins.

Jack Cust, Oakland A’s. Cust is a classic “Moneyball” player–lots of walks, lots of strike outs, lots of home runs, and can’t play defense. Cust hit 22 out of his 25 HR’s last year against right-handed pitching.

Cust could sign with a team as a left-handed power hitter off the bench.

Garrett Atkins, Colorado Rockies. Atkins was non-tendered a contract on his birthday. That hurts.

Atkins’ OPS has dropped four years in a row and now can probably latch on to a team as a backup 1B/3B off the bench. He could be a fit with the Twins.

Wang was non-tendered last night

Chien-Ming Wang, New York Yankees. Wang really hasn’t been the same since he hurt his foot running the bases in Houston a year and a half ago.

At 29, Wang should have something left. I would say there is a 75 percent chance he ends up with the Dodgers and Joe Torre. The other 25 percent says he ends up with the Yankees on a minor league deal.

Jonny Gomes, Cincinnati Reds. All Gomes did with the Reds in 2009 was hit 20 HR’s and had an .879 OPS in just 98 games–now he is out of a job.

Gomes crushes left-handed pitching (.914 OPS in 2009) and it wouldn’t shock me if he returned to the Reds on a discounted deal in 2010.

Jose Arredondo, Matt Brown, and Dustin Moseley, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I am very surprised the Angels would give up on this 25-year-old. It was reported yesterday that Arredondo would need Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2010 season.

A team will sign him and store him away until he is ready in 2011. He is too good of a talent not to be given a chance.

D.J. Carrasco, Chicago White Sox. Carrasco had a 3.76 ERA with the White Sox in 2009, but his peripherals weren’t great–9.9 hits/9, 1.41 WHIP.

There is a shortage of pitching in baseball, so he should get a chance somewhere.

Ryan Garko, San Francisco Giants. When Garko slugged 21 HR’s in 2007, he looked like he could be a very good first baseman for a long period of time.

Garko was traded to the Giants near the July 31st trading deadline last year and really provided no offense for the Giants. He hit .235 with just two HR’s in 40 games.

Ryan Langerhans, Seattle Mariners. Langerhans played in 38 games with the Mariners last year and hit just .218. He has always been a good OBP guy.

Brian Anderson, Boston Red Sox. Anderson was once a top prospect with the White Sox. Now he is a fringe major league player.

Brian Bass, Baltimore Orioles. Bass had a 4.90 ERA in 48 games out of the pen for the Orioles in 2009. He is probably looking at a minor league contract.

Neal Cotts, Chicago Cubs. Cotts had Tommy John surgery in July of this year. He will probably be ready to pitch again in the 2011 season.

Alfredo Amezaga, Florida Marlins. Amezaga played all three OF positions and SS for the Marlins in 2009. He is a career .251 hitter over eight seasons in the major leagues.

Raul Chavez, Toronto Blue Jays. Chavez hit .258 in 168 AB’s with the Blue Jays in 2009. I am sure he will get a two-year contract somewhere as that is the trend for mediocre catchers these days.

Clay Condrey, Philadelphia Phillies. Condrey–no relation to Dennis Condrey of the Midnight Express tag-team back in the 80’s–has posted an ERA below 3.26 the last two years.

Gabe Gross and Shawn Riggans, Tampa Bay Rays. Gross, the former University of Auburn QB, hit .227 in 115 games for the Rays in 2009. Gross should get a bench job somewhere.

Mike MacDougal and Scott Olsen, Washington Nationals. MacDougal found a second life with the Nationals in 2009 and ultimately became their closer.

MacDougal had 20 saves and a respectable 3.60 ERA, but his one-to-one walk to strike out ratio is not impressive at all. He should get a chance with a small market team.

Injuries and some off the field issues have really hurt Olsen’s career so far. Since everyone loves a lefty, he should get a minor league deal.

Tim Redding, Lance Broadway, Jeremy Reed, and Cory Sullivan, New York Mets. Redding has pitched eight years in the majors and has never been good. This might be the end of the road for him

Like Brian Anderson above, Reed was once a top center field prospect. He might get a job as a defensive replacement somewhere.

Mark DeFelice, Mike Rivera, and Seth McClung, Milwaukee Brewers. I like McClung–especially as a reliever. Once the Brewers were forced to put him in a starting role last year that’s when all hell broke loose.

McClung should get plenty of interest as a reliever.

Mark Worrell and Jackson Quezada, San Diego Padres. I can honestly say I have never heard of Jackson Quezada before. I am not even going to try to lie and write like I know something about him.

John Buck and Josh Anderson, Kansas City Royals. Buck looks like a better player than he is. In eight seasons with the Royals, Buck hit .235 with seven HR’s in over 2,000 AB’s.

Matt Capps and Phil Dumatrait, Pittsburgh Pirates. After having solid 2007 and 2008 seasons, Capps really fell off in 2009. Capps had a 5.80 ERA and registered the highest BB/9 rate of his career (2.8/9).

Capps should see interest

He also registered the highest K/9 of his career as well (7.6/9). Perhaps Capps just needs a change of scenery. Once he finds that change of scenery, expect Capps to be a set-up man not a closer.

Dumatrait was once a first-round pick of the Red Sox back in 2000. He has a 7.06 ERA in three major league seasons.

Adam Miller, Jose Veras, and Anthony Reyes, Cleveland Indians. What a sad story Adam Miller is. As late as 2008, Miller was the Indians’ top prospect. But a hand injury has pretty much stopped his once promising career.

Veras could end up back with the Yankees on a minor league deal. Veras pitched with the Yankees for four years compiling a 4.47 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 103.2 innings.

There are a lot of players on this list who can help a team in 2010. Now that the non-tenders are on the market, I think we will see activity really pick up.

I think a lot of teams were waiting to see who was non-tendered before they made a move.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Five Trade Deadline Winners and Losers…

August 5, 2009

The July 31st baseball trading deadline came and went with a frenzy. Some star players were on the move (Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, & Matt Holliday) and some of the star players we thought would be moved, stayed with their current team (Roy Halladay).

With every trading deadline, there are teams that won and unfortunately there were teams that lost. Of course, the beauty of all these trades is that in five years from now, a team that we all thought won at the trade deadline could turn out to be a loser in the long run. You just never know how these prospects are going to turn out.

For the short term, here are my five winners and losers from the July 31st trading deadline.

Winners

5. Pittsburgh Pirates. Many called what Pittsburgh did a “Fire Sale.” In my opinion, this was not the case. A “Fire Sale” is what the Marlins did in the 1997/1998 offseason.

Getting rid of mediocre talent and replacing them with potential is not a “Fire Sale.” That is called being smart. The Pirates weren’t winning with this group of current players, so replacing them with players who can potentially win.

Again, it’s my “Average Knows vs. Unknown Potential” theory.

4. Toronto Blue Jays.What? How could I put the Blue Jays as winners when they didn’t trade Roy Halladay? Here is my thinking on this one. It’s good for baseball that Halladay remains on the Blue Jays.

Will Halladay get traded in the offseason? Most likely. But in the short term, it’s good for baseball and the Blue Jays that Halladay stay in Toronto. There are certain players who I feel need to stay on their current team for the good of the game – Joe Mauer, Roy Halladay, Hanley Ramirez, and Albert Pujols.

The Blue Jays were also winners because they were able to unload Scott Rolen to the Cincinnati Reds (more on them later) for some good pitching prospects (Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke) along with Edwin Encarnacion.

One scout’s take on this trade, via Buster Olney’s blog– “Roenicke is good, and Stewart probably has an even higher upside. The Jays didn’t really need Encarnacion — they’ll probably release him in the winter — but to get those two pitchers and shed the salary, that was a great trade.”

3. Boston Red Sox. You just knew the Red Sox were going to do something at the deadline. It was clear to everyone that the Red Sox needed a kick in the pants. The kick in the pants came in the form of C/1B Victor Martinez from the Cleveland Indians.

Martinez gives the Red Soxsome versatility as he can play both first base and catcher and he gives the Red Sox a switch-hitting force in the middle of the lineup.

2. Philadelphia Phillies. If this was a game of poker, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. played his hand perfectly. Amaro came out strong with a nine-ten of diamonds. The flop came out and it was eight of diamonds, jack of diamonds, and three of spades.

The other players (GM’s) let Amaro stay in the hand and Amaro kept checking. The turn came and a king of clubs came out. Amaro checked again. Amaro could have won the hand with a flush by getting an ace of diamonds (Roy Halladay) or he could have won with a seven or queen card to get the straight (Cliff Lee).

A seven came out and Amaro won the hand. Halladay would have been the big time flush, but Lee is still a winning card and still gave Amaro the win.

Not only did the Phillies land last year’s AL Cy Young award winner in Lee, but they also got the right-handed bat in Ben Francisco they have been searching for since spring training.

Well played Mr. Amaro Jr, well played.

1. St. Louis Cardinals. After acquiring Mark DeRosa earlier in the season and Matt Holliday near the trading deadline, the Cardinals better make the playoffs. They gave up a lot of those two players and anything less than a playoff bid would be a disappointment.

The Cardinals’ front office has done everything to appease Tony LaRussa who is in the last year of his contract and their star Albert Pujols. The Cardinals have no excuses, it’s playoffs or bust in 2009.

Losers

5. Tampa Bay Rays. I don’t understand how all the talk leading up to the deadline was how the Rays were looking to make a splash and then at the end of the day the Rays do nothing. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

I think for psychological purposes the Rays need to make a move. Bring in another reliever at least. Very surprised the Rays didn’t do anything.

4. Texas Rangers. The Rangers have been battling all year, playing very well, and when it came time for management to reward the team for playing so hard – they do nothing.

I am not interested in hearing how poor Tom Hicks is all of a sudden. This organization is rich with prospects and they could have done something to help this team out.

Just a terrible job by the Rangers. No wonder why this organization has never won a thing.

3. Milwaukee Brewers. I watched the Brewers pretty consistently for two weeks heading up to the deadline. It was pretty clear they needed starting pitching.

They didn’t have to go out and make a splash for Roy Halladay like they did last year with CC Sabathia. They just need to get anyone who can go five to six innings on a consistent basis.

Jon Garland, Doug Davis, or anyone would have been better than watching Manny Parra walk the ballpark home every outing.

2. Cincinnati Reds. Can someone please explain to me the logic behind the Reds trading two solid pitching prospects along with Edwin Encarnacion for a 34-year old Scott Rolen when they were 10 games out of first and 13 games out of a Wild Card spot on July 31st?

Their move made no sense. I understand Rolen is signed for 2010, but at $10 million – he is overpaid by today’s standards.

As my roommate from college Odie said “Scott Rolen is sooooo 2001.”

1. Cleveland Indians. On the morning of October 18th, 2007 the Cleveland Indians were one game away from the World Series. They had CC Sabathia on the mound and all was well for the Indians.

The Red Sox Josh Beckett dominated the Indians for eight innings, the Red Sox won the game that night, and the Indians have been in a tailspin ever since. Last year the Indians traded away the before mentioned Sabathia and Casey Blake and this year they traded away Mark DeRosa, Ryan Garko, Ben Francisco, and Cliff Lee.

It is looking like it might be another couple of years before the Indians get back on track.

San Francisco Giants Acquire Ryan Garko…

July 28, 2009

According to AOL Fanhouse, the San Francisco Giants have acquired 1B Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians for minor-league prospect Scott Barnes.

Garko is now a Giant

Garko is now a Giant

The Giants were so desperate for offense they were scouting my softball games for hitters. In all seriousness, this move makes sense for the Giants. Garko was batting .285 with 11 HR’s and 39 RBI in 78 games for the Indians this year.

In 2007, Garko hit 21 HR’s and drove in 61 runs for the Indians, so the Giants are hoping Garko can find his power stroke again. Garko will play first and should take over for Travis Ishikawa.

Barnes was the Giants’ ninth best prospect prior to the 2009 season according to Baseball America.

Possible Replacements For Delgado….

May 16, 2009

I always believed a good GM prepared for days and months in advance for Plan B, just in case Plan A doesn’t work out. In this case, plan A was that Carlos Delgado, the slugging 1st baseman of the New York Mets would be a fixture at 1st base and would slug 25-30 HR’s and drive in 100+ runs in 2009. In recent days it looks as if plan A is not going to happen for the Mets. In baseball’s latest injury from hipgate (seriously, what is going on with all the hip injuries lately? Utley, Arod, Lowell, Gordon, etc…Has someone looked into this? It’s crazy.), the New York Post is reporting that Carlos Delgado’s season may be in jeopardy because of a hip injury. Specifically, Delgado has an impingement in his right hip, a small bone spur in the hip and a partial tear of an unspecified area of the hip. To quote my buddy Sean at work…”That sounds terrible.”

Now, it hasn’t been announced that Delgado’s season is over, nor has he even been put on the DL. However, we here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham are always like to plan ahead and are always willing offer our assistance to any GM, so we would like to help Omar Minaya with a Plan B.

Another hip injury victim

Another hip injury victim

Here are potential options for the Mets, just in case Delgado is out for the season and the Mets have to resort to Plan B.

Internal Options

Daniel Murphy – The most logical everyday choice. Murphy played 3B in the minors and even played 13 games at 1B when he was in Double A Binghampton. I always believed if you can play 3B, you can play 1B.

Fernando Tatis – Has played 1B in Delgado’s absence. More of a bench/spot starter at this point in his career. Not an everyday player.

Michel Abreu- Currently the Mets’ 1B in Triple A Buffalo. Hitting .212/2/10 with a .246 OBP. Not one of the Mets top prospects.

Nick Evans – Evans had a cup of coffee with the Mets last year but was so dreadful in Triple A (.093 avg) this year, that they sent him down to Double A. Not a candidate to get called up.

Fernando Martinez – If the Mets move Murphy to 1st, the Mets could call up Martinez to play LF. Martinez is currently the Mets’ #1 prospect and is hitting .281/4/20 through 33 games in Triple A.

External Options

Nick Johnson, Nationals – The Nationals stink, Johnson is making $5.5MM and he is a free agent at the end of the year. If and that is a BIG IF, Johnson could stay healthy, he would be a perfect fit in the #2 hole behind Reyes. I thought Johnson would have been perfect for the Royals in the offseason but that is for a whole other post.

Aubrey Huff, Orioles – One of the more underrated players in baseball, Huff is making $8MM this year and is a free agent at the end of the year. Orioles would move him in the drop of a hat.

Garrett Atkins, Rockies – Played 1B last year but has been terrible so far this year. Teams are concerned with his 3 year splits of .266 avg on the road and .346 avg at home. The Rockies would love to move his $7.05MM salary so they can put Ian Stewart at 3B full-time.

Ryan Garko, Indians – What the heck happened to this guy? 2 years ago he was hitting 20+ HR’s and now he can barely get playing time. Garko doesn’t figure into the Indians’ future plans as I can see them moving Victor Martinez over to 1B full-time once Carlos Santana is ready. They also have LaPorta, who can play 1B. Garko is still only 28.

Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks – It appears the Diamondbacks are in free fall and would be willing to trade some spare parts. Tracy’s health is a concern but he did hit 20 HR’s in 2006. Has $3.75MM remaining on his contract for 2009.

Jorge Cantu, Marlins – Would the Marlins trade Cantu to a division rival this early in the season? Probably not. However, Cantu is making $3.5MM this year and probably $5MM-$6MM next year, which is like $10MM in Marlin terms. That might be enough to trade him to the Mets.

Those are the internal and external 1st base candidates for the Mets. Now, if the Mets decide to put Murphy at first, they are going to need a better LF than Sheffield or Tatis. Possible OF’s that might be available are…

Carlos Lee, Astros

Matt Holliday, A’s

Magglio Ordonez, Tigers

Jermaine Dye, White Sox

One problem the Mets will have acquiring either a 1st baseman or an OF is that their farm system isn’t the best in the world. Baseball America has them ranked 17th amongst the 30 teams. It will be interesting to see what the Mets do if Delgado is out for an extended period of time or perhaps this year. Hopefully this post gave the Mets some options for Plan B.

Looking At Fantasy 1st Basemen In 2009…

March 27, 2009

It’s time to take a look at the big boys of baseball….the 1st basemen. There are some serious sluggers in this group of 1st basemen which include Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder. In honor of the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania (April 5th from Reliant Stadium), let’s see who the top fantasy 1st basemen are. 4 Horseman style!!!

Ric Flair Division

These are the world champions. The best of the best. Look for these guys early in your draft and let them drive your limousine. WOOOOOOOOO!!!

Ric Flair

Ric Flair

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals. With Arod shelved for 1 month, Pujols is clearly the best player in baseball headed into 2009. He should go either 1 or 2 in your draft. If he is still there after that, grab him!!

2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. If Pujols doesn’t go #1 it is because someone took Cabrera instead. Now that Cabrera has adjusted to the AL, he should be a force in 2009. If the Tigers can compete in the very average AL Central, Cabrera might be in line for the MVP.

3. Lance Berkman, Astros. One of the most consistent hitters in baseball. You know what you are going to get with Berkman. .300 avg, 25-35 hr’s, 100 rbi’s and an obp hovering around .400

4. Mark Teixeira, Yankees. As I wrote in my first ever post here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham, “The Unexciting Teixeira,” I felt Teixeira was highly overrated. That thought hasn’t changed but he will put up .300/30/110 hitting in the Yankees lineup. With Arod out, it will be interesting to see how Teixeira reacts to being “the man” in New York.

5. Justin Morneau, Twins. Morneau has finished in the top 2 in MVP voted 2 out of the 3 years and there is no reason to think he won’t put up MVP numbers in 2009. His numbers might suffer if Mauer misses significant time, but not to the point where you would be turned off by him.

6. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox. Youkilis had a career year in 2008 putting up a .312/29/115/.390. I think Youkilis can repeat those numbers in 2009. Youkilis qualifies as a 3B and a 1B

Arn Anderson Division

Solid. Dependable. Never the star on the team but someone you knew always produced. Like Arn Anderson, these next 6 guys fit that description.

7. Ryan Howard, Phillies. Howard would be higher if A. he didn’t kill your team with K’s (199 the last 2 years) and B. he didn’t kill your team in batting avg. and obp. I am not trying to kill Howard, but know what you are getting into before drafting him. Great hr’s and rbi’s. Below average avg., obp and a massive amount of K’s.

8. Prince Fielder, Brewers. Seriously, go back to eating meat!!!

Mr. Dependable

Mr. Dependable

9. Derrek Lee, Cubs. OK Cubs fans, Derrek Lee is not going to return to his 2005 form when he hit .335/46/107 ever again. At this point in his career, Lee is a .300/20/90 hitter. Which is good but nowhere near his 2005 season.

10. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres. Gonzalez is quickly moving into the Paul Molitor category of “if he played in NY, he would be a superstar.” How good is Gonzalez? He drove in 119 runs on a team that only scored 637. That is incredible. Gonzalez is getting better with age and should have no problem putting up .281/33/110 in 2009.

11. Chris Davis, Rangers. Everyone’s mancrush headed into 2009. The term “sleeper” no longer applies to Davis because I think even my mother knows who he is. Davis will put up his numbers hitting the Rangers lineup but don’t jump the gun and draft him too early.

12. Joey Votto, Reds. Love this guy. The runner up in the ROY voting should improve on his .294/24/84 in 2009. The 25 year old, who hits like a seasoned 29 year old will be an All Star in 2009. You heard it here 1st.

Barry Windham Division

Windham was a great, great wrestler but is often overlooked when talking about the best wrestlers of all time. Mainly because he was overshadowed by Ric Flair and left the WWF right before it exploded in the late 80’s. Don’t overlook these next 6 guys as they can be solid contributors to your team.

13. Garrett Atkins, Rockies. Many people don’t realize that Atkins played 61 games at 1B last season so he qualifies at both 1B and 3B. Atkins’ hr’s, rbi, avg and obp have dipped each of the last 3 years so don’t go crazy over Atkins. Expect a .285/25/95 season from Atkins in 2009.

14. Carlos Pena, Rays. Interesting note…In the same amount of ab’s (490) in 2008, Pena had 15 less hr’s, 19 less rbi’s, and hit 35 points less than he did in 2007. So the question is can he hit like he did in 2007 in 2009? Ummm no. 2007 for Pena was one of those magical seasons that won’t be repeated. Expected something similar to his 2008 of .247/31/102 in 2009.

Huff is Windham

Huff is Windham

15. Aubrey Huff, Orioles. If anyone screams Barry Windham it’s Huff. Often overlooked but nobody realizes he just put up a .304/32/108 last season and qualifies at both 1B and 3B.

16. James Loney, Dodgers. Loney quietly drove in 90 runs last year with the Dodgers. Loney should benefit from having Manny Ramirez in the lineup for a full year. 100 rbi’s is a possibility in 2009.

17. Adam Dunn, Nationals. Dunn played in his postseason during the WBC. Now he will go play for the last place Nationals and hit .240/42/105/.380. Dunn also qualifies as an OF.

18. Hank Blalock, Rangers. I am higher on Blalock than most. I believe Blalock will have a year similar to is .276/32/110 of 2004 season. Blalock also qualifies as a 3B.

Steve McMichael Division

Now you are getting into some of the shakier 1B options out there. McMichael was a mediocre member of the 4 Horsemen and these next 6 guys would be mediocre members of your team.

The mediocre McMicheal

The mediocre McMicheal

19. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks. Doesn’t Conor Jackson look and sound like he should be better than he is? He looks like he should be a .290/25-30/90-100 type guy. But instead he is a .290/15/75 type guy.

20. Adam LaRoche, Pirates. One of the few draftable Pirates, LaRoche has hit more than 20 hr’s in each of his last 4 seasons and more than 85 in each of his last 3.

21. Carlos Delgado, Mets. Let’s get this out of the way right now, Carlos Delgado is not going to hit .271 with 38 hr’s and 115 rbi’s again. It is just not going to happen. .255/26/92 seems more like it.

22. Jorge Cantu, Marlins. After being useless in 2006 & 2007, Cantu surprised everyone with a 29 hr and 95 rbi season in 2008. Cantu will not sneak up on anyone again in 2009 and I expect a little drop in 2009.

23. Pablo Sandoval, Giants. Another “sleeper,” Sandoval qualifies at 1B, 3B and in some leagues may qualify as a C. Sandoval hit .345 in 145 ab’s last year and with a full season under his belt a .310/15/80 is not out of the question. Just don’t expect obp as Sandoval only walked 4 times in those 145 ab’s.

25. Billy Butler, Royals. I have Butler this high for 2 reasons. 1. His age, he is only 23 and 2. His potential. If you are in a keeper League and can afford to let Butler develop on your bench while occasionally giving him a spot start against left-handed pitching (.340 the last 2 seasons), then it might pay dividends in the future.

Paul Roma Division.

Roma was the worst member in 4 Horsemen history. These last guys are your worst options for fantasy 1st basemen

26. Paul Konerko, White Sox. Terrible year last year and he is not getting any younger

27. Jason Giambi, A’s. Giambi will give you hr’s and obp and that is about it.

The worst of the horsemen

The worst of the horsemen

28. Mike Jacobs, Royals. Start only against righties and don’t complain about your team’s obp (.299 for Jacobs last season) after you draft him.

29. Casey Kotchman, Braves. A younger version of Lyle Overbay

30. Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays. Wasn’t he supposed to be a great hitter?

31.Todd Helton, Rockies. Smoking the ball this spring (.423/4/11 in just 26 ab’s) but can his back hold up?

32. Carlos Guillen, Tigers. Guillen will qualify at 3 positions this year (1B, 3B and OF) but has age caught up with this versatile player?

33. Gabby Sanchez, Marlins. Potential Rookie of the Year candidate

34. Kendry Morales, Angels. The has big holes to fill replacing Teixeira

35. Russell Branyan, Mariners. This years Carlos Pena?

36. Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks. In a battle for playing time in the desert but could still hit between 10-15 hr’s.

37. Nick Johnson, Nationals. Mr. Injury. At least you will get obp with him.

38. Ryan Garko, Indians. Will be really hard pressed for playing time.

39. Travis Ishikawa, Giants. Officially your worst choice as a fantasy 1B. If you draft him, just call it a day