Ok, so there is a ton of news to discuss so let's start with a couple of recent 'surprise' items
Scott Kazmir was named the Cleveland 5th starter and I'll have to admit I'm as sceptical as the next guy. However, I think this is a buying opportunity for deep leaguers. Now before you get excited, let's lay out the risk. Kazmir was awful, just disastrous his last time around at the major league level. He was always notoriously wild (4.19 BB/9 for his career) which got progressively worse in his last three seasons. Just before he was released by the Angels in 2011 his average fast ball was clocking in at 86 MPH. Let's also factor in that two players currently in the minors, super prospect Trevor Bauer and another promising young arm in Carlos Carrasco, are chomping at the bit to take Kazmir's job. Most fantasy sites are ignoring Kazmir's spring resurgence and I can understand why as there is plenty of risk. However, the price is right, dirt cheap in this case, for me to argue that why not give the lefty a shot? Kazmir looked much improved in the spring and has a track record (although years ago) of major league success. Although there is not statistical way to back up my argument since Kazmir has been out of the MLB for a year, I'm going with my gut and adding him in an AL only league. He was once a very capable strikeout arm and a former #1 prospect. If he has learned some control of the strike zone in his time out of the league, he could be useful. Let's see what happens right?
Also, announced today that the Tigers have shipped Bruce Rondon, the highly touted hard throwing relief prospect, to the minors. This is devastating for those who used a high draft pick on the mere speculation that Rondon would sniff the Detroit's open closer role. The news release says that the Tigers are going to the vaunted 'closer by committe' which sucks for fantasy. I hedged my bet in a league last week drafting Al Alberqurque. Still, Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke will be in the mix. Alberqurque to me is the top choice because he throws hard, he strikes out a lot of batters and is right handed. Coke will likely lose out due to being lefty (managers tend to favour the righties, especially old school ones and they don't come any more old school than Jim Leyland) and Benoit is forever the bridesmaid to the closer role. Either way I think you want Alberqurque, Benoit and then Coke in that order if you are scrambling for saves.