Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Fantasy outlooks: Toronto Blue Jays

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Obviously, no one knows at this point how the 2013 season will unfold, but if offseason wheelings and dealings were all that factored into the equation, the Blue Jays would already have this thing in the bag.

Detecting weakness in the New York and Boston strongholds, general manager Alex Anthopoulos decided this offseason to sell out for the now. It was an approach that most would probably classify as reckless if he hadn't been so thorough in reshaping a team that went a disappointing 73-89 last year.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

It all started when he convinced the Marlins to trade him their entire roster (or all the pieces that mattered, anyway) for a couple of prospects. Granted, Miami also got salary relief in the deal, but it's not like the Blue Jays saddled themselves with a bunch of albatross contracts that will misallocate their funds for the next decade or so. Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle are all potential All-Stars, and Emilio Bonifacio is a pretty nice throw-in as a base-stealing fiend who can play just about anywhere on the diamond.

As if remaking their starting rotation and acquiring arguably the game's best leadoff hitter weren't enough, the Blue Jays then swung a deal for R.A. Dickey, the reigning NL Cy Young winner. They paid a hefty price to get him, including their very best prospect in Travis d'Arnaud, but by adding three high-profile arms to the top of their starting rotation, this team's greatest weakness a year ago is now a legitimate strength.

And oh yeah, they also got All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera at a discount by signing him right after he completed a 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. So there's that.

It's a gamble, as is asking the injury-prone Johnson to help anchor a starting rotation, as is paying for career-best numbers from a 38-year-old knuckleballer, as is counting on a bounce-back season from a banged-up Jose Bautista or a repeat season from a surging Edwin Encarnacion. But what team isn't gambling on a few hopeful scenarios this time of year?

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Melky Cabrera LF
3. Jose Bautista RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion 1B
5. Adam Lind DH
6. Brett Lawrie 3B
7. Colby Rasmus CF
8. J.P. Arencibia C
9. Maicer Izturis 2B
Bench Emilio Bonifacio INF/OF
Bench Rajai Davis OF

The fact the Blue Jays were willing to stake their future on these particular scenarios says a lot about their confidence in them.

Bounce-back player ... Melky Cabrera, outfield

Statistically, Cabrera is unlikely to "bounce back" in 2013. After all, he was leading the NL with a .346 batting average at the time of his 50-game suspension last August. But the suspension itself knocked him down a peg in the eyes of many Fantasy owners, creating the need for him to resuscitate his value. Crediting performance-enhancing drugs for his increased production over the last two seasons discounts the role natural progression may have played. His big breakthrough with the Royals in 2011 came during his age-26 season, when breakthroughs are oh so common. Isn't it possible he didn't start using until 2012, when his batting average rose another 40 points and his OPS another 100 points? And even if he used as a Royal, isn't it possible he would have broken through to a smaller degree simply by natural progression? If Cabrera regresses to his 2011 numbers, he's still likely a top-10 outfielder in Fantasy. Drafting him among the top 30 is hardly a reach.

Bust ... Emilio Bonifacio, infield/outfield

Fantasy owners so want Bonifacio -- he of the 80-steal pace at the time of his thumb injury last May -- to start at second base for the Blue Jays that, in their minds, he already has the job. But the Blue Jays signed Maicer Izturis -- a superior defender up the middle -- to a three-year deal this offseason with the intention of making him their starting second baseman. Granted, that signing came before the blockbuster that brought them Bonifacio, but since then, general manager Alex Anthopoulos has declared Izturis the front-runner at the position. Of course, losing the starting job wouldn't necessarily condemn Bonifacio to failure. He can play anywhere, so between the infield and outfield, he'd likely still get enough at-bats to contribute. The problem is the Blue Jays are already rotating speedster Rajai Davis into the outfield, which might limit Bonifacio to the infield. He's still fine as a late-round source of steals, but you wouldn't want to reach for him earlier than that.

Sleeper ... Casey Janssen, relief pitcher

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. R.A. Dickey RHP
2. Josh Johnson RHP
3. Mark Buehrle LHP
4. Brandon Morrow RHP
5. Ricky Romero LHP
ALT J.A. Happ LHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Casey Janssen RHP
2. Sergio Santos RHP
3. Steve Delabar RHP
4. Darren Oliver LHP
5. Esmil Rogers RHP

A limited number of saves caused Janssen's breakthrough to go by the wayside last year. But while Craig Kimbrel, Fernando Rodney and Aroldis Chapman made history with the kind WHIPs they were putting up, Janssen's 0.86 mark ranked fifth among closers with at least 50 innings. And it's not like his 2.54 ERA or 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings were anything to sneeze at. So then ... about those saves. Beginning 2013 as the team's closer will help. He didn't claim ninth-inning duties from an injured Sergio Santos until May last year, and by then, the Blue Jays starting rotation was so decimated by injuries that a closer was hardly necessary. They either outslugged the competition, or they lost. Obviously, that formula is destined to change this year with all the upgrades they made this offseason, particularly to their starting rotation. Add, say, 15 to last year's save total, and you'll see why Janssen is a bargain after the top 20 closers go off the board.

Prospects Report

The Blue Jays pretty much gutted their farm system in their dealings with the Marlins and Mets this offseason, so you won't find much Fantasy value here, at least not in the immediate future. ... With a mid-to-high-90s fastball, Aaron Sanchez has the look of a top-of-the-rotation starter, but at age 20, he's still at least a couple years away. ... Likewise, speedy outfielder D.J. Davis, the 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft, is more of a project than a prospect at age 18. ... Deck McGuire, the team's first-round pick in 2010, has a chance to contribute this year if enough injuries befall the starting rotation, but given the way he has stalled at Double-A, compiling a 5.88 ERA and 1.56 WHIP there last year, you wouldn't want to dedicate a roster spot to him right now.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also send us an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
David Hale takes loss Wednesday vs. Dodgers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:47 am ET) Braves pitcher David Hale was stuck with a loss Wednesday, giving up one earned run on three hits in one-plus innings in his team's 3-2 defeat against the Dodgers.

Hale (3-3) gave up a two-out single in the ninth inning but was able to escape the frame unscatched. He then surrendered a leadoff single in the 10th and watched the runner move into scoring position on a wild pitch. The next batter delivered a walkoff single to end the game. Hale owns a 2.76 ERA and 31:26 K:BB ratio in 65 1/3 innings.


J.P. Howell picks up win Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:45 am ET) Dodgers pitcher J.P. Howell walked two batters and struck out one while tossing a scoreless inning and earning a win in his team's 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Braves.

Howell (3-3) had issued just one walk in July coming into Wednesday, though it came one day earlier. He was able to work around his free passes to deliver a scoreless 10th inning before his team picked up a walkoff win in the bottom half of the inning. Howell owns a 1.22 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 36:18 K:BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings.


Alex Wood strikes out eight vs. Dodgers Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:41 am ET) Braves pitcher Alex Wood didn't factor into Wednesday's decision after giving up one earned run on six hits and two walks in seven innings and striking out eight in his team's 3-2 loss to the Dodgers.

Wood surrendered a solo home run in the second to tie the game 1-1, and it turned into a pitchers' duel after that. It was an excellent rebound effort after giving up 12 hits and five runs in his last outing. Wood owns a 3.30 ERA and 102:26 K:BB ratio in 103 2.3 innings. He's scheduled to face the Mariners Tuesday.


Zack Greinke strikes out 13 in no-decision vs. Braves
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:41 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke didn't factor into the decision Wednesday, giving up one earned run on five hits and one walk and striking out a season-high 13 batters in his team's 3-2 win over the Braves.

Greinke tossed seven scoreless innings while striking out 10 in his last start, and he kept on rolling Wednesday, with his only damage coming on an infield single in the second inning. He owns a 2.65 ERA and 153:29 K:BB ratio in 139 1/3 innings. Greinke is slated to face the Angels Monday.


Kenley Jansen blows save Wednesday vs. Braves
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:41 am ET) Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen blew a save opportunity Wednesday, giving up one earned run on one hit in one inning of action in his team's 3-2 win over the Braves.

Jansen hadn't allowed an earned run in 13 appearances going into Wednesday's game, but he served up a game-tying home run to Justin Upton to lead off the inning. He was able to retire the next three batters, though he didn't strike out any of them. Jansen owns a 3.27 ERA and 68:13 K:BB ratio in 44 innings.


Justin Upton slugs 19th home run Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:40 am ET) Braves outfielder Justin Upton had a big game Wednesday, going 3 for 4 with a double and a solo home run in his team's 3-2 loss to the Dodgers.

After the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, Upton came through with a no-doubt, leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. While it was just his third home run in July, Upton has hit .287/.354/.511 with 19 home runs, 62 RBI and seven stolen bases in 376 at-bats.


Matt Kemp homers, knocks walkoff single Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:40 am ET) One day after smacking two home runs, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp went 3 for 4 with a walk, a home run and two RBI in his team's 3-2, 10-inning win over the Braves Wednesday.

Kemp smacked a solo home run in the second inning and scored a run in the eighth before coming up big in the 10th, collecting his third hit of the game and sending his team home with a win. He has delivered three straight multihit performances and is 17 for 35 with six walks in his last nine games. His hot stretch has bolstered his line, and he's hitting .288/.353/.465 with 11 home runs, 46 RBI and five stolen bases in 343 at-bats.


Will Venable knocks fourth home run Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:27 am ET) Padres outfielder Will Venable went 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBI in his team's 12-1 win over the Cardinals Wednesday.

Venable was just 1 for 14 in his last five games heading into Wednesday. He put his team up 4-0 with an RBI single in the fourth inning and capped off an eight-run seventh inning with a three-run home run. Venable has hit .212/.264/.306 with four home runs, 21 RBI and six stolen bases in 288 at-bats.


Jedd Gyorko homers, drives in four in big night Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:24 am ET) Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko delivered a big performance Wednesday, going 3 for 5 with a double, a home run and four RBI in his team's 12-1 win over the Cardinals.

Gyorko slapped a solo home run in the fourth inning, but his big hit came during an eight-run seventh, when Gyorko smacked a double with the bases loaded to drive in three. He's 6 for 11 in three games since returning from a lengthy absence caused by plantar fasciitis. Gyorko has hit .181/.232/.302 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 215 at-bats.


Jesse Hahn tosses seven one-run innings in win Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:24 am ET) Padres pitcher Jesse Hahn earned a win Wednesday, giving up just one earned run on four hits and two walks in seven innings and striking out three in his team's 12-1 victory over the Cardinals.

Hahn (7-2) has given up a single run in each of his last three outings, with Wednesday's damage coming on a fielder's choice in the seventh inning. He hasn't surrendered a home run since serving up two in his debut eight starts ago. Hahn owns a 2.01 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 54:21 K:BB ratio in 53 2/3 innings. He's scheduled to face the Twins Tuesday.


 
 
 
Rankings