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Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Victor Martinez, Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes and Others

Yesterday brought some bad news to owners of Victor Martinez and Carl Crawford, as VMart will more than likely miss the 2012 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. So how are the Tigers going to replace Martinez in their lineup? Here are comments Tigers writer Jason Beck:

Martinez hits at the core, and it happened so suddenly that Dombrowski said they haven't had time to plan out replacing him, though he said agents have called to shop their clients.

Dombrowski left open the possibility of bringing in a replacement, most likely short term. But he said the bulk of the burdenrides on the players on the roster.

Many have mentioned the possibility of the Tigers signing first baseman Carlos Pena to replace Martinez, but they could also look to someone like Johnny Damon who played for the Tigers in 2010. The Yankees have also been rumored to be looking at Damon as an option to DH in 2012.

For those of you in keeper and auction keeper leagues, 2012 is a lost season for VMart, but he will come cheap at the draft table this year, so keep him in mind if you are utilizing a rebuild strategy in any of your leagues. I know I am.

The Red Sox offseason is certainly one to forget. After failing to make the playoffs on the last day of the season, things have gone downhill for the team, starting with their manager and GM leaving the team, Jonathan Papelbon signing with the Phillies, and now Carl Crawford will more than likely miss the start of the season. It was reported yesterday that he had surgery to remove cartilage from his left wrist.

This news will move Crawford down a spot or two in my AL-Only and mixed league outfielder rankings. I will be publishing my AL-Only and NL-Only outfielder rankings on Friday, so be sure to check them out.

More fantasy baseball thoughts after the jump:

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Cuban free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has struggled in his first few games in the Dominican Winter League, and many in the game are questioning why he decided to play at all. We haven't heard that he has established a residence in the Dominican Republic yet, but for some reason he is able to play winter ball there. Something doesn't make sense here. Anyway, Cespedes apparently likes to talk, because last week he named 6 teams that have shown interest in him, and yesterday he told us that the Cubs have shown the most interest in him, but he said that doesn't mean he will sign with them. Marlins President David Samson has been quoted recently that they will pursue Cespedes aggressively. If the Cubs do in fact sign Cespedes, does the fact that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are making that call change your opinion of Cespedes. I have a feeling he will have to start the season in the minors, but he should be up at some point this summer, so he should be on your radar, even if he starts in AA or AAA.

The Phillies signed starter Cole Hamels to a one year $15 million contract yesterday, and one has to think that he will be the top free agent next offseason, where he should land a long term deal in the neighborhood of $20-25 million per year, if you believe Buster Olney's projections. Olney has written several times that he thinks Hamels could eventually sign with the Dodgers, as he calls California home, and the Dodgers will be under new ownership next offseason and they will be ready to open their pocketbooks in their efforts to build a winner in Los Angeles.

Could they start by signing Prince Fielder this offseason? Talks of Fielder having interest in signing with the Rangers could all depend on whether the team signs Yu Darvish today by the 5pm EST deadline. Most everyone thinks Darvish will sign in the 12th hour, right before the deadline, and the signing will take the Rangers out of the mix for Fielder. Should that talk be true, that would leave the Washington Nationals as the only team who has expressed interest in Fielder. But, the fact that the Nationals have Adam Laroche could prevent them from signing Fielder. Who else is left? The Dodgers are a possibility, as I still wonder that once Frank McCourt sees the size of the bids for his team next week, he could pull a surprise and sign Fielder as a thank you to Dodgers fans. McCourt has surprised us before when he signed high school pitching prospect Zach Lee two years ago,when everyone thought Lee was going to go to LSU to play quarterback.

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