For Prince Fielder's fantasy owners, Thursday's news that he will undergo season-ending neck surgery may have come as an odd sort of relief. Of course it would have been better if a stint on the DL would have cured what ails him, but at least his owners now have the certainty of knowing they need a new solution at first base.
Therein lies the problem, however. There aren't a ton of options available on the typical waiver wire, and you're going to be hard pressed to pry away someone like Paul Goldschmidt or Chris Davis from his current owner.
If you're determined to fill your first-base void in the trade market, you'll probably have to shoot for a player whose current owner isn't exactly married to him. Think along the lines of Mike Napoli or Justin Morneau. These are guys who can be had via trades and will be better than anyone you can find on most waiver wires. If the free agent market is more your style, consider Adam Dunn: not only is he widely available, he brings most of the skills you thought you were getting in Fielder. For those of you in OBP leagues, he replaces exactly what you hoped Fielder would do.
Other solid options in the free agent market include Adam LaRoche, who just started a rehab stint, Garrett Jones, Nick Swisher and Adam Lind. They aren't perfect, but this is the reality when you lose one of your first two picks.
The hits kept on coming for the Rangers when they later announced that Jurickson Profar suffered a setback in his rehab from a shoulder injury and will miss another 8-to-12 weeks. This isn't nearly as serious an issue for fantasy owners. You budgeted for having Profar on the DL, and have already had a second baseman in his place all year. Those of you in keeper or dynasty leagues should not cut bait. He remains one of the most promising prospects in baseball, and should be ready for the start of the 2015 season.