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
 
 
 

Reality Check: A new uncertainty

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

And so it begins.

The Biogenesis investigation, which the Miami Times first brought to light in late January, is no longer a specter hanging over Fantasy owners, but a full-on plague promising to bring down anyone who dared toy with it.

The first to fall, the biggest of all: Ryan J. Braun. With MVP-caliber production every year since breaking into the big leagues, he was each of his Fantasy owners' ace in the hole -- fresh off the DL, back in the lineup, ready to put a disappointing first half behind him. Yes, his suspension comes just when his owners were beginning to trust him again, just when the world had them believing a lengthy appeals process would precede any possible suspension, just when they thought trading him might not be in their best interests.

Talk about a punch in the gut.

And with that, every other player connected to the Biogenesis investigation is flagged: a group that includes Everth Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon and Jhonny Peralta, among others. It doesn't even matter if they're guilty or not. They're on the list, and now that everyone knows what happens to those on the list, they're imminently worthless. You'd have better luck selling wine by the sieve.

Go ahead. Try trading one of them. I can guarantee what the response will be.

"Oh, no. That deadweight could be done tomorrow. Just look at Ryan Braun."

Yes, look at him.

Look at how he made what seemed like the height of paranoia an instant reality.

Look at how he reduced his value to zero at the drop of a hat.

Look at how he made even the sure things in Fantasy suspect.

Then, look down, because that's where you're headed in the standings.

If you're a Braun owner, this little retrospective is nothing more than salt in the wound. He had value. It's gone now, your ace in the hole reduced to something slightly less than Skip Schumaker. But that's not the most depressing part: If you're a non-Braun owner, you can't even use his sudden suspension as a cautionary tale.

What are your options, really? Unloading Cabrera, Cruz, Colon or Peralta before they get suspended? That's probably a lost cause. They're already suspended in the minds of so many that you wouldn't get 50 cents on the dollar anymore. You might not even get a dime.

Dumping them just to spare yourself the heartache? Well, that's premature. Just because Braun chose to forego the appeals process and serve his suspension now doesn't mean they all will. Cabrera could still end up being the waiver claim who leads you to the championship when all's said and done.

Ideally, you could go all used-car salesman and use that very argument as a last-ditch attempt to finagle a deal, but if you actually pull it off -- and without a veto, I might add -- your talents are going to waste, my friend. Let's you and I revive the Pet Rock.

More realistically, you're at a standstill with these four. The safe approach is to consider whatever they give you as a bonus and to position yourself to survive without them. Practically speaking, the Cabrera owner might put in a claim for an up-and-comer like Brad Miller, or the Cruz owner might swing a deal for a power hitter like Adam Dunn. The options are endless, of course. Better to act now, before your league's trade deadline, than to roll the dice and leave yourself with nowhere to turn.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Because if the Braun revelation showed us anything, it's that the reckoning could come any day now.

As for Braun, he at least has the benefit of a known timetable now. Yeah, he'll miss the rest of this season, but he'll enter next year fresh, without any known threats to his playing time, and will presumably go off the board in the early rounds because of it. Sure, you'll find some who question if he's really the same player now that he's off "the juice," but to me, he already proved it with his near-MVP performance last year, when the league office was dying to catch him in the act after he got off on a technicality that offseason. If he managed to skate through then, I don't know if we can trust that anyone is clean.

And I'm not sure I'd want to play Fantasy Baseball in that scenario. I understand exceptions will always pop up, but I have to believe that's all they are. The game should be about making predictions and maneuvering pieces, not sniffing out cheaters and sorting out half-truths. Injuries are one thing. Regression is one thing. But this?

This introduces an element of uncertainty to a game that has more than enough already.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Alex Rios, Jake Smolinski expected to be available Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:04 pm ET) The Rangers expect outfielders Alex Rios and Jake Smolinski to both be available Wednesday, MLB.com reports.

Rios was out of the lineup for a third straight day Tuesday while nursing a sprained ankle, but he said he's ready to return. "It felt good," Rios said before the game. "I know Wash wanted to give me an extra day, but I'm ready. I expect to be as good as ever."

Smolinski was removed from Monday's game after fouling a ball off his foot. "As of right now, it's nothing to be concerned about," manager Ron Washington said Tuesday of Smolinski's injury. "It's just sore where it hit off his foot."


Joe Panik leaves with ankle injury Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:03 pm ET) Giants infielder Joe Panik left Tuesday's game with an ankle injury.

Panik was officially diagnosed with a right ankle sprain. At this time, it's unclear how long Panik will be sidelined with the injury. He's hit .213 in 61 at-bats.  


Brandon Belt days away from baseball activity
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:00 pm ET) Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is still days away from baseball activity, according to MLB.com.

Belt is dealing with a concussion. He's said to be "making progress," but will still need time before he's ready to return to action. Belt was placed on the disabled list July 20. 


Orioles recall Miguel Gonzalez, option Preston Guilmet
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:59 pm ET) The Orioles recalled pitcher Miguel Gonzalez and optioned pitcher Preston Guilmet to Triple-A Norfolk Tuesday.

Gonzalez, who is scheduled to start Tuesday's game against the Angels, is 4-5 with a 4.04 ERA and 69:32 K:BB ratio in 89 innings. Guilmet made one appearance in his most recent stint with the team, striking out one in a scoreless inning Sunday.


Alberto Callaspo to take batting practice Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:55 pm ET) Athletics infielder Alberto Callaspo is set to participate in batting practice Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list, the Oakland Tribune reports.

Callaspo added that he is not feeling any hamstring tightness, and that while he has been able to run, he has yet to run the bases. He'll need to go out on a rehab assignment before returning to the team. Callaspo could be back in the Oakland lineup at some point next week.


Ubaldo Jimenez set for Wednesday bullpen session
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:52 pm ET) Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will throw his next bullpen session Wednesday, MLB.com reports.

If Jimenez doesn't encounter any problems Wednesday, he'll be sent on a rehab assignment. The Baltimore pitcher has been sidelined since July 5 due to an ankle injury.


John Danks can refuse trade to A's, Orioles, Nationals, Blue Jays
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:49 pm ET) White Sox pitcher John Danks has six teams on his no-trade list, and four of those teams were revealed by MLB.com Tuesday: the Athletics, Orioles, Nationals and Blue Jays.

The A's and Nationals appear set in the rotation. The most likely of the four to be shopping for starting pitching depth is the Orioles. Danks is 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA and 87:46 K:BB ratio in 124 innings.


Andy Dirks resumes baseball activities
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks is resuming baseball activities, the Detroit News reports.

Dirks was pulled off his rehab assignment about a week ago due to back inflammation, but after a few days the team's training staff indicated he should be ready to resume his rehab this week. He has missed the entire season while recovering from March back surgery.


Joel Hanrahan unlikely to play this season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:43 pm ET) Tigers pitcher Joel Hanrahan is "still a longshot" to play this season, the Detroit News reports.

Hanrahan has been able to throw bullpen sessions over the last few weeks as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, but he remains without a timetable to return to action and has yet to face live hitters.


Casey McGehee drawing interest on the market
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:34 pm ET) Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee is drawing interest on the trade market, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

McGehee is in the middle of a resurgent season. After spending 2013 in Japan, McGehee signed with the Marlins during the offseason. He's returned with a vengeance, hitting .322/.389/.399 over 376 at-bats. 

The Mariners are rumored to be one of the teams in on McGehee. The club is in the middle of a wild card race, and is looking to upgrade their bats. It's unclear what other clubs have shown interest in McGehee. 


 
 
 
Rankings