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2013 Fantasy Baseball, Total Runs Series: First Basemen

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Last time, we took a look at total runs and the catcher position to help us determine which players might be traded and which teams might be on the look for a catcher. This time we are shifting our attention to first base. First base is certainly not as popular in terms of trades as catcher, but many American League teams employ a first baseman as their primary designated hitter. We are not looking at those players here, but you can easily look at players in the reverse.

Just like we did with the catchers, we will look at the top twenty first basemen (Boston excluded since Mike Napoli was listed as a catcher) and then the bottom nine first basemen. Players that could be traded out of the top 20 will be bolded for reference. We’ll cover the trailer list as it comes.

 

Team

RC

BR

Total

Chris Davis Orioles

33

0

33

Joey Votto Reds

30

1

31

Prince Fielder Tigers

29

1

30

Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks

29

-1

28

Mark Reynolds Indians

26

1

27

James Loney Rays

24

2

26

Anthony Rizzo Cubs

26

-1

25

Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays

21

1

22

Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers

23

-2

21

Brandon Moss Athletics

18

2

20

Garrett Jones Pirates

19

0

19

Mitch Moreland Rangers

21

-2

19

Chris Carter Astros

19

-1

18

Allen Craig Cardinals

20

-3

17

Justin Morneau Twins

17

0

17

Ryan Howard Phillies

17

-1

16

Yonder Alonso Padres

17

-2

15

Lyle Overbay Yankees

15

0

15

Albert Pujols Angels

15

-1

14

Freddie Freeman Braves

13

1

14

Mark Reynolds– Cleveland Indians

You’d have to say the Indians have gotten as much out of Mark Reynolds as they could expect. Furthermore, they have gotten good production out of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn when Bourn has been healthy. The issue with Reynolds is similar to that as John Buck in the prior edition. His history indicates that he can be a very serviceable offensive player, but he is not an elite one. Furthermore, there isn’t a single position on the diamond he can field proficiently.

Therefore, if they find themselves out of contention and someone thinks Reynolds can get their team over the top in a pennant chase, then it makes perfectly good sense for the Indians to listen and listen hard. He is on a one year contract, so he wouldn’t be too costly on that front for any contender that wants extra pop.

Justin Morneau– Minnesota Twins

There was a time when it was believed that the Minnesota Twins would be a consistent contender behind the likes of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Morneau even won an MVP award that Mauer (and others) likely should have won. Time sure flies doesn’t it? Now, the Twins are in rebuilding mode and desperately in need of power arms that can develop into quality rotation and bullpen arms.

This doesn’t mention the fact that the Twins really went to the mat to sign Mauer and could use some extra cash to keep the other developing stars on their team. Losing Morneau and his contract would go a long way in helping them on that front. The only question is whether any team would be willing to make a deal for Morneau and his contract.

Ryan Howard– Philadelphia Phillies

The sabermetric community tried to warn the Phillies not to make that deal with Howard. Their warnings went unheeded and now (just like the morning after an all night bender) Phillies management is waking up with the hangover of that deal. He still might drive in 100 or more runs this year, so he’s not completely useless. Like many veterans, he is simply drastically overpaid.

If he gets hot before the deadline or if the Phillies are willing to swallow a portion of that contract (or both) they might find a taker for him. Howard looks like a good bet in the American League where he can shift to designated hitter. Even removing money from the equation, the list of teams that this fits is admittedly small.

Lyle Overbay– New York Yankees

Then there are the cheap options. Overbay will eventually have to vacate when Mark Teixeira comes off the disabled list. For the financially strapped, Overbay could become a really good option. The Yankees could probably get some relief help for him and both teams would end up being happy. You hate to pinpoint a particular team, but it looks like the Milwaukee Brewers could be a nice home.

Of course, when looking at all of these tradable players we want to match them up with teams that would be looking for that sort of thing. Not all of the bottom nine are destined to be replaced by one of the four above. Some have gotten off to slow starts and should pick things up. Others are on bad teams that won’t add anything at the deadline. Yet, there are a few where a deal is ripe for the taking.

 

Team

RC

BR

Total

Eric Hosmer Royals

14

-1

13

Brandon Belt Giants

13

-1

12

Paul Konerko White Sox

12

-1

11

Adam Laroche Nationals

10

0

10

Ike Davis Mets

9

1

10

Justin Smoak Mariners

14

-4

10

Todd Helton Rockies

7

0

7

Greg Dobbs Marlins

8

-1

7

Alex Gonzalez Brewers

4

1

5

Alex Gonzalez– Milwaukee Brewers

What does it say when you first baseman is a semi-regular shortstop? It tells me you are in a pretty desperate situation. Corey Hart was supposed to come back at some point, but with each passing week the Brewers’ situation is that much more desperate. It doesn’t help that they have several regulars hitting out of their minds. A deal in June could really boost their chances of claiming one of the wild cards.

Like I said earlier, they seem to be a perfect candidate for someone like Overbay. Overbay could return to the bench when Hart returns and it wouldn’t explode their payroll. Gonzalez could serve as support for both Rickie Weeks and Juan Segura as well. At least they would have a bench choice in between Yuniesky Betancourt and Gonzalez.

Todd Helton– Colorado Rockies

Nolan Arenado has seemingly taken over at third base which means first base is the only situation in Denver that is somewhat unsettled. Helton is playing part time and seemingly okay with it at this point in his career. The replacements at the position have ranged from an occasional start by Michael Cuddyer or Jordan Pacheco. A more permeanent solution could be in order. Mark Reynolds can play third in a pinch, so he might make the most sense as an addition if the Rockies remain in the playoff race.

Paul Konerko– Chicago White Sox

At first glance, those numbers don’t appear to be all that bad, but he is a guy being paid to be better than top twenty-five. If you add in his running mate (Adam Dunn) you’ll see that 1B/DH is getting the worst production in the American League. Still Konerko is a professional hitter that will bounce back. The White Sox desperately need to get younger and more talented. They would hate to part with him, but if he brings them back a prospect or two of note then it may be worth it to get the prospects and the salary savings.

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