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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Miguel Cabrera and Other Offseason Thoughts

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i was listening to XM Radio's MLB Channel (I don't pay attention to the names of the shows, my bad) with Grant Paulson and Mel Antonen this afternoon, and they interviewed Jeff Passan from Yahoo.com. They discussed the Miguel Cabrera alcohol incident, and Passan stated he would not be surprised to see Cabrera miss the start of the season. I think the right thing for the Tigers organization to do is send him to rehab. He is visiting with doctors now to see what the next step is. Assuming he enters a 30 day rehab, that would push his spring training back a month. Even so, I could see him missing at the most 2 weeks, but that is just a hunch right now.

Here are recent comments from Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski via Steve Kornacki at MLive.com:

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said before practice Cabrera will be assessed by doctors under the direction of Major League Baseball to address his alcohol abuse problem, and will not be with the club for an "unspecified" length of time.

"I don’t set the program," Dombrowski said of the MLB involvement. "The regular season is a ways away. Most are 30-day programs."

Unspecified length of time and 30 day programs? Sounds like he will be in rehab very soon.

More thoughts after the jump:

Passan also stated that he thinks the Rangers will trade Michael Young, but that counters today's comments from Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels who said he will be in the Rangers opening day lineup against the Red Sox. Are they posturing for a better offer or are they being honest.

For the prospect hounds out there, there is this from Keith Law's 2011 Sleeper Prospects to Watch:

Aaron Altherr is an outstanding athlete who has a ways to go as a baseball player. He has a good idea of the zone and is balanced at the plate, even though it's not a classic swing. The Phils will try him at third base this year after he improved his throwing mechanics. He's a plus runner and has the upside you'd expect of his kind of size (6-foot-4, 190 pounds) and athleticism.

Altherr was drafted in the 2009 draft by the Phillies. He is several years away from making it to the majors, but he is a sleeper pick for those of you in dynasty or keeper leagues.

Twins starter Francisco Liriano had an MRI on his shoulder on Friday and the results showed no structural damage. This is good news, but something to watch in spring training. If we start hearing reports that he is getting hit around, or losing velocity on his fastball, I would drop him in my rankings. Until then, this has to be taken at face value until we hear how he performs on the mound.

Pablo Sandoval has lost 38 pounds this offseason to get down to 240. So, you are telling me he was playing last year at 278 pounds? Holy cow. He could be a bounce back candidate, but he needs to improve his plate discipline.

Speaking of the Giants, manager Bruce Bochy stated that catcher Buster Posey will catch at least 135 games this season, and will not see time at first base. I wonder if he will wear down playing 135 games at catcher.

Indians catcher Carlos Santana appears healthy so far in spring training, and the Indians are going to give him some time at first base this year to keep his bat in the lineup on days he doesn't catch. I see a solid year from Santana this year, assuming good health.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen wants second baseman Gordon Beckham to run more this season. This should enhance his value in fantasy leagues. Beckhas has never stolen more than 7 bases in his big league career, and never stole more than 2 bases in the minors. Could we see a 15-70-15 season from GBeck in 2011?