Brooklyn Sound: Pro PEDs
So, you thought the first PED post was a false alarm? Possibly you were under the impression that this whole mess would get swept under the rug or appeals would keep those listed as violators from missing any time, which in essence would have absolutely no barring on your teams. Well, in case you have been sleeping under a rock or are five days deep into your shark week programs, the MLB brass has lowered the boom on a handful of players accused of using performance enhancing drugs. Although, 13 players were issued a suspension last week, the biggest hit comes to the owners of Ryan Braun, who on July 22nd accepted his sentence of having to miss 65 games, ultimately putting an end to his season. This should come as no surprise to the fantasy baseball world, considering he was engulfed in this turmoil even before the season started. The allegations were certainly enough from keeping him off my teams, and I hope it made the same impression for the sake of your teams as well.
Here is the list of fantasy relevant players who will be suspended for 50 games or more, and the stats they are leaving behind:
Ryan Braun- OF- 30/9/38/4/.298/.372
Nelson Cruz- OF- 49/27/76/5/.269/.330
Everth Cabrera- SS- 54/4/31/37/.283/.355
Johnny Peralta- SS- 50/11/54/3/.305/.361
Yep, that’s it. Sorry for all you A-Rod fans but he hasn’t helped anyone all year, having said that, his fantasy relevance door has most likely been shut for good. If you really were banking on a return to save your season, you should probably check into your local sanitarium for an evaluation. Amongst showing consistent lack of regard for the leagues substance abuse policy, Mr. Rodriguez has not been a positive factor in fantasy or for the Yankees over the past few years whatsoever. You might get a few games the rest of the season, though being suspended for the 2014 season, he would be 40 when he returned to the game and hopefully this will be the last of this horror show.
For the other players who were also mentioned as alleged offenders, they were not conducive to fantasy production in the least. In leagues that utilize the hold category, you could make a case for Antonio Bastardo with a record of 3-2/2S/14Holds/47K’s/44IP/.232ERA and .127WHIP. Jesus Montero, Jordany Valdespin and Francisco Cervelli have no business being on anyone fantasy team and that’s all I am going to say about that. When the news first broke late March and May that there were players under investigation many other names were supposed to be linked to this scandal so, if there is a silver lining in all of this madness, it’s the fact that more productive players were not named in correlation with these allegations.
If your league re-drafts every year, I don’t really think you need me to tell you that these guys should have been off your team last week. In terms of Keeper leagues, besides Braun, you might choose to keep Nelson Cruz moving forward, though; it’s a decision that does take some consideration. He is a 85-90-30 guy who does hit for a very decent average. Though, his career has been marred with nagging injuries and now this crushing blow that could ultimately take him from useful to useless. I may be wrong but I cannot think of one player who has returned from a drug suspension and prospered, or at the very least, maintained the stats they put up before the sentence. Unfortunately the league is still rewarding these kind of guys with huge, multiple year contracts, so at least they can take solace that there is still a high demand for them in terms of Major League Baseball. As for your fantasy team, that’s a whole different story. I probably could not sleep at night if I promoted keeping Johnny Peralta, well, unless you are in my league, then you totally should!
When I originally wrote about this topic two months ago, I implored owners to trade these guys before their value goes in the toilet. Well, that time is here and if you did heed that advice, you have performed one of the keys to a successful season; utilizing information that you have attained in a correct manner. If not, then you need to make the best decision for your team moving forward. If that means trading Braun for 50 cents on the dollar, then that’s what needs to be done. If you feel that keeping him and banking on a stat stuffing season next year, that’s your own prerogative. Either way you slice it, there are questions and circumstances surrounding these guys that you should want no part of in the future. Let these players be a headache for someone else.