Less than 24 hours until real baseball!
— MLB (@MLB) March 16, 2019
On the Agenda:
2. Various News and Notes
3. The Japan Series
The New York Yankees signed Gio Gonzalez to a minor league deal. Gonzalez has an opt out in April if he is not on the Major League roster. Gonzalez has been an up and down pitcher over the course of the last few years with the Nationals. However, what he has supplied teams with is innings. He has thrown at least 171 innings in each of the last four seasons and has done it in eight of his last nine seasons. He is likely insurance for Luis Severino and CC Sabathia, who are both struggling with injuries this spring.
The Indians signed Carlos Gonzalez to a minor league deal. The Indians have not replaced the losses of guys to their outfield until now, which will likely send Greg Allen and Oscar Mercado to the minors to start the season. Gonzalez hit only 16 home runs last season in 132 games and hasn’t hit for more than 25 homers since 2015. He should have no problem landing a role in Cleveland, but it is an uninspiring pick this year.
Various News and Notes
Jung Ho Kang has been named the starting third baseman in Pittsburgh according to general manager Neal Huntington. Kang has made his way back after missing a couple seasons following three dui arrests while in Korea. Kang beat out Colin Moran and may not have a long leash if he struggles, but there are multiple paths to playing time for him and he crushed the ball during spring training.
According to manager Dave Roberts, Corey Seager will be ready to play on Opening Day. This is a bit surprising considering the fact that Seager has struggled to return from offseason surgeries on his elbow and hip due to a bout of mono. Seager is currently going around pick 100 in the NFBC, including one of the largest splits between the min and max picks for him.
The Japan Series
The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will play a two-game series in Japan about a week before the actual Major League Opening Day occurs. These games count! Well, kind of. Some sites and leagues will not count these games towards your actual standings. If this is the case, you may want to devalue players on these teams a tiny bit as the plate appearances and innings pitched won’t be used towards your standings. Nothing major, as it’s only two games, but some.If they do count, it may be something to attack. Rostering guys at the end of your drafts on these two teams give you the ability to log some useful stats before the rest of your league does. For example, Marco Gonzales, Mike Fiers, Yusei Kikuchi and Marco Gonzales are the expected starters for those games. They won’t be drafted in a number of mixed leagues, but if you grab one or two of them near the end of your draft or pick them up off of waivers, you can virtually stream them for those starts and then drop them for guys on the waiver wire before the start of the season (check the dates of your first FAAB/pick-up period before doing this.) Other players may be worth rostering, depending on the depth of your league, but even just grabbing a lower-end guy like Franklin Barreto or a middle reliever can give you some extra stats that may have value for you later on.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.