Week 20 Cut List: Players on the Chopping Block

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Welcome back to the Cut List. Each weekend from now until the end of the season, I’ll be offering my thoughts on players who don’t deserve to keep drawing a nonexistent salary on your fake baseball teams.

As we go deeper into the season, expect this list to become more ruthless, but also note the widening of scope to include players who may still have trade value in leagues whose deadlines haven’t yet passed.

In addition to the players on the Cut List, we'll also spotlight a player on the Hot Seat: Someone whose situation is worth monitoring, even if it’s not time to hit the ejector seat just yet. Without further ado, here are your Week 20 cut or trade candidates.

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The Cut List: Week 20

Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians

The good news: Kipnis is expected to avoid the disabled list after aggravating a prior hamstring injury earlier this week. The bad news: Uh, everything else. Kipnis missed nearly a month with that hamstring issue, and also missed the first couple weeks of the season with injury. When he’s been able to play, he’s been terrible, sporting an ugly .227/.286/.390 line with just eight homers and five steals in 70 games.

Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers

Mazara hasn’t taken the step forward that many fantasy owners hoped he would in 2017. In fact, he’s essentially on pace to match last season’s unspectacular production. At just 22, Mazara’s future remains bright. His ROS outlook for 2017? Less so. He’s still ensconced in the No. 3 spot of the Rangers’ order, but he hasn’t really hit well enough to justify it apart from a .400 BABIP-fueled May.

Sean Manaea, SP, Oakland Athletics

Given how hard I’ve stumped for Manaea for most of the season, this is a tough pill to swallow. But he was under consideration for a spot on the list even before Saturday’s meltdown against the Orioles, in which he allowed six runs and recorded only one out. That disastrous outing was his third straight clunker. During that time, he’s allowed a whopping 18 runs (albeit “only” 13 of them earned) and 21 hits in just 6 2/3 innings, while striking out just two batters and walking four. Considering his injury history, it’s hard not to wonder if he’s dealing with some sort of malady. Regardless, it’s impossible to trust him right now.

 

The Hot Seat: Week 20

Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers

Through a combination of successful moves and good fortune, I’ve won my home league every year this decade. Miggy’s been a big part of that, first as a keeper and then as the one player I paid whatever it took to land in subsequent drafts. That streak may come to an end this season, and Cabrera’s struggles certainly didn’t help. I traded him back in early July, and he hasn’t made me regret it. This has been easily the worst season of Cabrera’s career, and while nagging injuries have certainly played a role, they also aren’t going away. Miggy has a worse OPS since the break than Tommy Joseph, Yunel Escobar, Tim Anderson…and all but 15 other qualified hitters. This sucks, but a turnaround in 2017 is looking increasingly unlikely.

 

Last Week

Jonathan Villar had a pair of multi-hit games, homered, and stole a base. A good week, especially when contrasted with his season-long struggles. However, he’s still not starting every day, has been relegated to the bottom of the order more often than not, and now the Brewers have acquired Neil Walker.

Chris Davis homered on Sunday but has managed just two hits since. If he had enough at-bats to qualify, his 36.6% strikeout rate would be second-highest in baseball.

Julio Teheran allowed five runs and 10 baserunners in a five-inning loss to the Phillies. The time to kick him to the curb has long since passed.

Jackie Bradley Jr. went just 3-for-17 (all singles) and was thrown out on his only stolen base attempt. He’s hitting under .200 with just one homer since the break.

 

More Week 20 Lineup Prep