If you're a true baseball fanatic, you still find winter to be an exciting time. The reason: huge multimillion dollar free agent deals. Unless you're into studying the clauses of the labor agreement, free agency is easily the most exciting part of the business of baseball.
Follow The Roto Authority as we discuss the fantasy baseball ramifications of some of the bigger names in starting pitching eligible for free agency in 2006.
A.J. Burnett will be the most influential starting pitcher on the market, and a team switch for Burnett has been thoroughly dissected by the Roto Authority here. Remember: Burnett is injury prone and could move to the AL for 2006. His ERA can't really go anywhere but up.
Matt Morris will be looking for Kris Benson/Jon Lieber/Odalis Perez money this offseason, and the Cardinals may be wary about paying it. They should be, considering Morris's health woes of late. Anthony Reyes was been excellent for AAA Memphis this season, and Walt Jocketty might be wise to just let Morris walk. This season, Morris is sporting a fancy new beard and a 3.68 ERA. Morris is not a big strikeout guy, and his ERA will hover around 4. Without the Cardinal run support, Morris might not be able to win 15 games again.
If you're a fantasy baseball owner of Jeff Weaver, you simply don't want to see him change teams. He's pitching in one of the best pitching environments in baseball, and a move to the AL will certainly have a negative effect on his numbers. Weaver's ERA sits at 4.34 at the moment - moving to a high pressure environment again won't help. Weaver is a more durable version of Matt Morris.
Jarrod Washburn somehow has a 3.28 ERA this year. He should just stay on the DL, because that's the only way it won't go up. Don't think Washburn turned the corner after two years of mediocrity. He's been lucky - his 1.38 WHIP is telling. Even if the Yankees are duped into giving $24 million over three years this winter, don't add him to your fantasy rotation.
Tim Dierkes posts daily updates to his fantasy baseball blog as The Roto Authority. Check out the site at:
for many more 2006 MLB free agents and analysis. E-mail him at email@example.com with questions, comments, or anything else.