Free-agent buying guide for outfielders

Whether you decide to cut Starling Marte or keep him stashed for his late-season return from suspension, you still need OF stats now. AP Photo/Matt York

It’s hardly surprising that so many fantasy owners, upon seeing the unfortunate news of Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte getting suspended for 80 days, made their first priority sending the No. 5 outfielder in ESPN average live drafts to the free-agent pool. After all, he'll be gone for nearly three months -- half a season. It’s a long time. If Marte hurt a knee and was out for that long, perhaps fantasy owners would have precisely the same reaction, though I doubt it. They seem angry. Anyway, I covered the Marte news and how it affects the Pirates on Tuesday afternoon.

While I dropped Marte quite a bit in my top-300 rankings, he’s still in there. I’m a patient person and fantasy owner. I don’t want to wait until the All-Star break for Marte’s return, but I will. Wouldn’t you wait for a potential top-5 outfielder for the final two-plus months? However, I realize that many do not agree, including my ESPN and Fantasy Focus Baseball podcast colleagues Tristan H. Cockcroft and AJ Mass, who do not have Marte ranked in their top 300 any longer. Let the debate begin! Whichever side you land on, seeing as this is Wednesday, the day we always deal with free agents on this blog, let’s check out the outfielders and potential Marte replacements.