The last word on the Rolen trade: here’s a wrapup of his introductory press conference in Toronto. Sounds like he’s got a weight off his shoulders (no pun intended) and is ready to move on. I wish him the best up there and hope that he can get Toronto past those big obstacles that are the Yankees and the Red Sox.
So it’s over and we’ve got to move on. But to what?
It’s still just under a month until spring training. We pretty much know the starting lineup, or at least the players that will be in it. Shortstop still is up in the air, but all the options are likely on the roster. The rotation is pretty much set, though there has been talk that the Cards would try to pick up some sort of veteran innings-eater to help hedge against all the injury and rehab possibilities. Really, the signings are probably pretty much done.
For today, let’s talk fantasy. The numerous fantasy baseball leagues at CardsClubhouse are into their second week of drafting. Which Cardinals will draw the most interest from the average fantasy baseball player?
Obviously, Albert Pujols will be at the top of most people’s draft lists. His slightly-below-his-standards season last year might bump him out of the consensus #1 overall slot, but he’ll still be gone before the first round is over. The excellence that he has year in and year out can’t be overstated.
There will be a number of people taking Adam Wainwright as well, especially if they look past his overall numbers to what he did in the second half of the season last year. Wainwright and Jason Isringhausen may be the only pitchers that get much of a look from players, though. Most people will take a wait and see approach with Mark Mulder, though perhaps Joel Pineiro might be attractive to NL-only players.
Back to the offense. Troy Glaus will get some late-round attention, especially with him switching to the “easier” league. Chris Duncan will go around the same time, maybe a bit earlier if people think he’s completely healed up. Rick Ankiel will have people taking a few fliers on him. With catching as tough to come by as it is, Yadier Molina’s season from last year should get him taken in the mid-to-late rounds. And those with minor league systems might take a shot at getting Colby Rasmus.
Other than that, there probably won’t be much interest in the Cardinals from the fantasy players. It’s not exactly the 2004 team in that regard.