Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Offseason moves: Infielders

Some notable infielders who changed teams this winter:

3B Miguel Cabrera to Tigers: And you thought he couldn't possibly be any more valuable than he already was ... The move to Detroit's monster lineup can only help Cabrera improve on numbers we've not seen from a player his age since Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx. The only knock on Cabrera thus far has been his conditioning/motivation, but I don't see that being a problem in a locker room surrounded by seasoned vets who expect to contend for a World Series. Make Cabrera a cornerstone of your fantasy lineup and sleep well at night.

SS Miguel Tejada to Astros: The steroid rumors became a reality when his name popped up in the Mitchell Report, so we have yet to see if there will be any after-effects on his performance in 2008 from that or a possible perjury case. It's enough to make you worry, especially when you add in his diminished numbers in '07, the first time he didn't play a full 162 games in seven years. But given a thin shortstop pool, Tejada's still a fantasy No. 1, even if he doesn't want to talk about the past.

3B Troy Glaus to Cardinals and Scott Rolen to Blue Jays: A healthy Glaus is an offensive upgrade over a healthy Rolen, whom the Cards dealt to Toronto in a hot-corner swap. But health is the key word here for both guys: Glaus appeared in just 115 games last year, Rolen 112. Glaus is capable of 35-40 homers when he's at 100 percent, and Rolen's numbers should also pick up now that he's no longer in Tony La Russa's doghouse.

SS Edgar Renteria to Tigers: Renteria is a solid contributor in a number of categories, especially batting average (.336 last year), and the move to Detroit's lineup should help in all those areas. It's also a notable move because it shifts Carlos Guillen over to first base, meaning he'll lose SS eligibility in some leagues, hurting his value.

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