Victor Martinez may miss the entire 2012 season after tearing his ACL which leaves a huge hole in the Tigers offense. Expect the Tigers to pursue a pure-power hitter…
Chicago White SoxÂ
Key Arrivals: RHPÂ Simon Castro
Back for 2012: LHPÂ John Danks
Key Departures: SSÂ Omar Vizquel, OFÂ Juan Pierre, OFÂ Carlos Quentin, LHPÂ Mark Buehrle, RHPÂ Sergio Santos, RHPÂ Jason Frasor
Fantasy Impact: With a new regime in Chicago, the White Sox decided to part ways with many of their staples this offseason and turn to a younger group of players. Losing both Mark Buehrle and Carlos Quentin was will leave holes in their roster that will be hard to fill, but that could lead to value picks in terms of fantasy. Both Sergio Santos and Jason Frasor are also gone means thatÂ Chris SaleÂ will likely be the teams closer heading into Spring Training, which give him major value at a very shaky position considering the other options in the ninth inning. John Danks will now enter the season as the teamâs No. 1 starter, but his fantasy value will decrease since he will now have to face off against more superior No. 1 pitchers form other teams. A bright spot in the White Sox rotation will be Simon Castro, who was acquired from the Padres in the Carlos Quentin deal, and will likely be in the White Sox rotation to start the season. He will have his ups and downs moving to a more hitter-friendly ballpark, but he is still worth targeting late in fantasy drafts.
Key Arrivals: RHPÂ Derek Lowe
Back for 2012: OFÂ Grady Sizemore, RHPÂ Fausto Carmona
Key Departures: OFÂ Travis Buck, DHÂ Jim Thome, OFÂ Kosuke Fukudome, 2BÂ Luis Valbuena, RHPÂ Mitch Talbot, RHPÂ Chad Durbin
Fantasy Impact: The Indians surprised the baseball world last season after starting off the season hot and coming close to making the postseason. After addingÂ Ubaldo JimenezÂ at the trade deadline last season, the Indians are now a forced to be reckoned with in the American League Central for years to come. We all knowÂ Asdrubal CabreraÂ will be a top five shortstop entering this season in terms of fantasy, but there are other players on the Indians that are worth targeting as well. Grady Sizemore andÂ Fausto CarmonaÂ were kept by the Indians this offseason and with new roles on this up and coming team they have late-round fantasy value that can turn into gold. Carmona will no longer have to put as much weight on his shoulders and can now settle in as the teamâs No. 3 or No. 4 starts with the addition of Derek Lowe. With not many key departures this offseason expect the Indians to give the Tigers a run for their money in the American League Central and help fantasy owners make a deep run in the fantasy season.
Key Arrivals: CÂ Gerald Laird, RHPÂ Octavio Dotel, RHPÂ Collin Balester
Back for 2012: 2BÂ Ramon Santiago, RHPÂ Jose Valverde
Key Departures: OFÂ Magglio Ordonez, 3BÂ Wilson Betemit, 2BÂ Carlos Guillen, 2BÂ Will Rhymes, RHPÂ Joel Zumaya, RHPÂ Ryan Perry, LHPÂ Brad Thomas, RHPÂ Brad Penny
Fantasy Impact: The Tigers once again performed on high cylinders in 2011 and had many bright spots in their lineup that helped fantasy owners succeed. This season shouldnât be much of a different story as the Tigers are bringing back to majority of their key players in a rather uneventful offseason. The addition of Octavio Dotel to the bullpen gives the Tigers a relief pitcher with closer experience if Jose Valverde suffers any injuries this season, which is something that they havenât had in the past. With the loss of Carlos Guillen and Will Rhymes, second base with come down to eitherÂ Ryan Raburnor Ramon Santiago and both would have decent fantasy value once a decision is made. In terms of the Tigers offenseÂ Miguel CabreraÂ will have to put the weight of the team on his shoulders after the latest news aboutÂ Victor Martinez. Martinez may miss the entire 2012 season after tearing his ACL which leaves a huge hole in the Tigers offense. Expect the Tigers to pursue a pure-power hitter likeÂ Carlos Pena,Â who is still a free agent, in an attempt to fill the void left by Martinez. Whoever the Tigers decide to sign and use as their designated hitter should have good fantasy value, especially since they will be inserted into a pretty potent offense. Others likeÂ Alex AvilaÂ andÂ Johnny PeraltaÂ are solid mid-round targets and will both likely be around the top 10 of their positions after solid 2011 seasons. The pitcher that I will be keeping an eye on this Spring Training will beÂ Jacob Turner. Turner is expected to be in the Tigers starting rotation this season and has serious fantasy potential based on his minor league stats. So be sure to keep him on the radar come draft day.
Kansas City Royals
Key Arrivals: SSÂ Yuniesky Betancourt, LHPÂ Jonathan Sanchez, RHPÂ Jonathan Broxton, LHPÂ Jose Mijares
Back for 2012: RHPÂ Joakim Soria, LHPÂ Bruce Chen
Key Departures: OFÂ Melky Cabrera, CÂ Jason Kendall, RHPÂ Robinson Tejeda, LHPÂ Jeff Francis
Fantasy Impact: The Royals continued to experience growing pains in 2011, but their bright spots shined in the eyes of the fantasy world. BothÂ Eric HosmerÂ andÂ Alex GordonÂ lived up to the hype last season and much more, and are now going to be heavily targeted players this fantasy season. Gordon, who has failed to live up to the hype the last few years, surprised many with his mix of power and speed while being able to hit for average. I expect to see Gordon right outside of the top 20 in outfielders and could be in the top 15 by this time next season. Hosmer is still continuing to learn, but his eye at the plate is something that should be noticed by fantasy players in all formats. The addition of Jonathan Sanchez and Jonathan Broxton to the pitching staff will be a big improvement to the Royals and that gives them the depth to try and compete in the American League Central. Broxton has little to no value this season in fantasy, but that could change ifÂ Joakim Soriaâs struggles continue into 2012. Overall this ballclub should be monitored this offseason due to the fact that they are loaded with young talent that could turn into solid fantasy value, including the likes of Mike Montgomery and John Lamb trying to make the starting rotation.
Key Arrivals: INFÂ Jamey Carroll, CÂ Ryan Doumit, OFÂ Josh Willingham, RHPÂ Jeff Gray, LHPÂ Matt Maloney, RHPÂ Jason Marquis, RHPÂ Joel Zumaya
Back for 2012: RHPÂ Matt Capps
Key Departures: OFÂ Jason Kubel, UTILÂ Michael Cuddyer, RHPÂ Joe Nathan, LHPÂ Jose Mijares
Fantasy Impact:Â The Twins are coming off of a dismal season in which they failed to reach the postseason. BothÂ Justin MorneauÂ andÂ Joe MauerÂ missed a lot of time due to injury and the rest of the team sputtered. The bright spot for the Twins last season was the versatility of Michael Cuddyer, but he will not be returning this season. In terms of fantasy, The Twins may be the least interesting in the American League Central. Morneau and Mauer are the teamâs best fantasy players, but with all their injuries, they are hard to count on. The addition of Josh Willingham gives the Twins another pure power hitter the fill the void left byÂ Delmon Young, who was traded to the Tigers last season. Willingham proved he can still hit the ball well in 2011, after a solid season for the Athletics and may be a late-round sleeper this season depending on how he looks in Spring Training. The re-signing of Matt Capps and the loss of Joe Nathan means that Capps will be the teamâs closer in 2012, but he shouldnât be considered in the top 15 at his position. In terms of fantasy, the Twins are a team that need to be monitored this offseason and throughout Spring Training. If everyone if healthy entering the season they could produce some solid fantasy players, but there are still many questions that need to be answered.
*All transactions as of January 13, 2011
Matthew Beck is a Fantasy Sports Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Also follow him on Twitter @MatthewRBeck for up-to-date Q&A and fantasy information.
Tags: al central, Fantasy, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Rotoinfo, Victor Martinez