There were a whole bunch of signings announced Friday from all over baseball. We focus on the major ones, and what to expect from them in 2008.
Mark Teixeira, 1b Atlanta Braves
Teixeira agreed to a one year, 12.5 million dollar contract, avoiding arbitration.
Big Tex came out like a ball of fire in 2005 hitting 43HR with 144RBI making him one of the top 1B in all of fantasy baseball. Since then however, Teixeira really has not been the same player. He has two straight seasons where he has struggled to top 30HR, and 100RBI. It seems this is more the player Teixeira is than the one he showed to be in 2005. You can do plenty worse than 30HR and 100RBI from a 1B when you go to draft.
Draft Big Tex around the time you would take a Morneau, Paul Konerko, or a Lance Brekman. DO NOT be fooled into taking him in the first or second round any more, where only the elite players should be going. This isn't to say Tex isn't a good player, he is solid, he just is not the elite 1B he showed to be in 2005.
One more note on Big Tex, that not many have commented on yet. The last two seasons specifically, Tex has really showed himself to be a second half player. (Note: Teixeira did miss some time Pre-All Star Break in 2007, but the first and second half difference in at bats was only 50)
- Pre-All Star Break - 2006: 9HR, 49RBI 2007: 12HR, 41RBI
- Post-All Star Break - 2006: 24HR, 49RBI 2007: 18HR, 64RBI
- Total Splits - First Half: 21HR, 90RBI Second Half: 42HR, 113RBI
Miguel Cabrera, 3B Detroit Tigers.
Cabrera agreed to a one year, 11.3 million dollar deal with the Detroit Tigers, avoiding arbitration.
It is no secret that Miguel Cabrera is one of the top 5 3B in all of baseball, and the best natural hitter to come around since Albert Pujols. He is good for a .320ba, 30hr, and 100+ rbi season almost every year. Moving to the Tiger's line up will only help his numbers. He goes from being the one of the few dangerous bat in the Marlin's line up to being surrounded by the likes of Carlos Guillen, Gary Sheffield, Placido Polanco, Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Pudge Rodriguez and Edgar Renteria. With that sort of talent around him, Cabrera's RBI, Homerun, and runs scored numbers are definitely going to rise a great amount. Cabrera has played on World Series teams in the past, but this is by far the most complete line up he will ever be featured in. Expect the normal .320ba, along with 35+hr, with 140rbi and well over 100runs scored.
Bottom line, this guy is a first round pick. The move to the Detroit only makes him stronger.
Matt Holliday, OF Colorado Rockies
Holliday agreed to a 2 year, 23 million dollar deal, avoiding arbitration for the next two years.
Last season the Colorado Rockies shocked the world by not only making the playoffs, but also making it to the World Series, and in the middle of it all was Matt Holliday. Holliday had a very good 2006 season. Holliday had an even better 2007 season. If Holliday only hit .340avg with 36HR and 137RBI, he would be one of the top ranked outfielders in all of baseball. Keep in mind, last season he also stole 11bases, and is good for atleast 11-13 steals a season. Not a tremendous amount, but it can be enough the help in a head to head league over the course of a long season. Holliday continues his career with a young Colorado Rockies team that showed last season how team chemistry really does make a difference
Justin Morneau, 1b Minnesota Twins
Morneau, agreed to a 7.4 milion dollar one year contract, to avoid arbitration.
Morneau anchors the Minnesota Twins offense, that features some potent bats in the forms of C Joe Mauer, LF Delmon Young, and RF Michael Cuddyer. Of course the offense also features some non-potent bats in, 2B Alexi Casilla, SS Adam Everett, Craig Monroe, and Jason Kubel. Even with an offense that some could call "suspect," Morneau is good for a 110rbi, 30hr season.
Minnesota tried to counteract the loss of Torii Hunter by trading for Young. In his second full season, Young could be in line to put up numbers similar, or even better, to that of Hunter. Morneau, isn't an elite fantasy 1B, but he is a solid RBI, and HR guy. A fine pick after Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard , Alber Pujols, and if you believe in him, Carlos Pena.
Stay tuned to look out for out upcoming article where we check out some of the other pre arbitration signings ad well as rumors from around the league.