The choice here is Posey, regardless of league setup. But the reason that Posey is the choice has more to do with Sandoval than Posey. Sandoval is having a solid season, as he is on pace for roughly 18 homers and 75 RBIs to go along with a helpful .288 batting average. But he has not swiped a base this season, and he does not produce difference-making statistics in any category. Sandoval's numbers this season place him barely in the top 12 players at his position, and he has needed to play in 126 games just to get to that level. He produced special numbers back in 2009, but over the past five seasons, he has fluctuated between average and below average. Fantasy owners have had a lingering love affair with the 28-year-old's potential ever since his breakout season, but it is time to treat him as a low-ceiling hitter.
Posey is not having a great season by his lofty standards, but his numbers are nearly identical to those produced by Sandoval. Posey has produced elite numbers much more recently (2012) than Sandoval, and his position elevates his value. Even in leagues that use one catcher, the 27-year-old is a valuable asset. He is in the discussion as the top fantasy backstop for 2015 and, even if he is not No. 1 on some lists, he will certainly be in the top three. Posey's value could decrease down the road if he is moved to a deeper position but, for now, he is much more valuable than the likes of Sandoval.
Should I trade Javier Baez for a proven starting pitcher befor next season?
The idea of exploring the trade market for Baez is a good one, even in dynasty leagues. The 21-year-old has already shown tremendous power, with seven homers in 82 at-bats, but his 36 strikeouts have contributed heavily to a .207 batting average. On the bases, Baez can swipe a few bases. He had picked up 16 steals in the Minors this season before receiving his promotion, but his inability to collect singles in the Majors has left his wheels stuck in neutral. Baez offers tremendous upside, because he could be an outstanding counting-stat contributor if he can maintain a respectable batting average. That being said, there is tremendous hype surrounding the youngster, which could drive up his trade value. Like all young players not named Mike Trout, Baez is no guarantee to be a fantasy stud. If he can be dealt right now for a young, established ace, it would be a smart trade. But it is important to keep the asking price high. Starters are prone to injury, which hurts their dynasty-league value. There are likely fewer than 12 hurlers who would warrant a 1-for-1 trade for Baez.
Thoughts on Rusney Castillo in 2014? In which leagues would you consider picking him up? How much FAAB would you spend?
Castillo's signing was a huge story last week, as the Red Sox are willing to pay more than $10 million per year to secure the services of a player with no experience in the Majors. It's obvious that the successes of Cuban-born sluggers such as Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu have boosted the confidence in newcomers such as Castillo.
Castillo will be a popular sleeper pick in 2015 fantasy drafts and, depending on how he looks in Spring Training, the hype machine could be really rolling in March. However, his 2014 value is definitely up in the air. Castillo hasn't played in a competitive baseball game this season, and it is to be expected that his skills will be rusty when he begins to play as a Minor Leaguer in Boston's system.
The 27-year-old has been practicing regularly, but Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales showed this summer that there is no substitute for game action. If Castillo looks rusty in the Minors, the Red Sox could choose to keep him away from Fenway Park until 2015. There is no sense in bringing a new player into a hyped environment if he doesn't appear to be ready. Boston may also use September to take an extended look at youngster Mookie Betts, who is manning center field after putting up terrific numbers in the Minors this season. A rapid promotion of Castillo would push Betts to the bench and leave Boston unsure as to whether Betts should be ready for a starting job in 2015.
However, if Castillo rakes for a couple weeks in the Minors, he could still get the call to Boston quite quickly. The Red Sox have had a tough season, and three weeks of starts from Castillo could energize their fan base before a long winter.
Because there is so much uncertainty around Castillo, he should stay on waivers in most fantasy leagues. Fantasy clubs that are active on the waiver wire this late in the season are likely competing for a title. Those teams need to get the most production they can out of their lineup each day. The time of year to stash talented prospects has long past. It made sense to use a bench spot on George Springer or Gregory Polanco on Opening Day, but it does not make much sense now. Those in deep leagues can consider adding Castillo to the bench, but will be hard-pressed to make a difference on championship-winning fantasy squad in 2014.
Fred Zinkie is a Fantasy writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.