The Padres finally put their offense on the offensive. Only here the offensive definition is “causing anger, displeasure or resentment.” Thanks, Merriam-Webster! Adrian Gonzalez gets a small boost in value, if ‘small’ meant ‘could there be a better place for him to play?’ You don’t have to be a rocket scientist who gave up his job at JPL to study baseball stats to see the difference between Petco and Fenway. In Fenway, there’s a giant freakin’ wall 310 feet down the line. In Petco, there’s a memorial park in left field with a giant Nate Colbert statue that no one’s ever reached. Wait, that was Kyle Blanks. Last year, Fenway was 7th for most offense. Petco was 26th. I think A-Gon’s Home/Away splits over the last three years say all you need to know. In 832 home ABs, 112/37/127/.257. In 927 away ABs, 168/70/192/.310. Yes, A-Gon can win the MVP in Boston. I’m not going to belabor (any further) this point. It’s a huge boon for A-Gon’s value if boon means what I think it does. Youuuuk gets a small boost in value too now that he’ll be playing 3rd base, eligibility he was about to lose going into 2011. Anyway, here’s some more recent moves and what they mean for fantasy baseball:
Casey Kelly – The prized piece in the A-Gon trade. Stephen already went over his Casey Kelly fantasy. Now that he gets to (eventually) pitch in Petco, his value bumps up, but he still looks at least a year away, if not more. There’s probably at least three dozen prospects worth looking at before him in dynasty leagues. There’s a few pitchers in the Padres system alone that are more interesting, in the short term at least.
Kyle Blanks – Looks to be the replacement for Adrian Gonzalez at 1st base and in the lineup, but he “won’t be ready until well after the season starts,” according to the Padres. When he does return, Blanks could add some power for deep leagues, but his average will be less impressive. Unless Blanks goes to the plate with David Eckstein in a Baby Bjorn and he tells him what to swing at.
Adam Dunn – Takes his blue ox and heads to the South Side of Chicago. In related news, the White Sox equipment manager was seen surfing the web for ways to reinforce a wooden bench. “I’ll tell you what, sonny. This eHow is the bomb dot com!” That’s what he said. Last year, U.S. Cellular Field produced more “You can put it on the board”s than any other stadium. Wasn’t far off in 2009 and 2008. Whereas Nationals Park was either average or below average for home runs. I was going to give Dunn 38 home runs for 2011, this gets him to 40 again. Don’t think he suddenly becomes a 45-homer guy though. I mean, he was consistently a 40-homer guy in Great American and that’s a hitter-friendly environment.
Jayson Werth – Signed with the Nats. Citizens Flank is obviously better for Werth than The House of Strasburg. Hitting in a lineup with Utley, Howard and Rollins is better than Zimmerman and that guy who plays 1st and that other guy that plays in the outfield. He has hit well in Nationals Park, he was also facing Nationals pitching. I was worried Werth would go somewhere to hurt his value and he didn’t disappoint me, which is to say he did. Zimmerman had 68 runs last year batting third. Werth had 99 runs batting 5th. Who’s knocking in Werth in 2011? Shave some home runs, RBIs, a bunch of runs, some average… Shoot, if he hits 25 home runs and a .275 average with weak runs, I’d be impressed. Oh, and from a real baseball perspective? 7 years?!
Aaron Harang – Me on December 2nd, “I wouldn’t own Harang in any league unless he pitched in Petco.” Me on December 3rd, “Score one for the Hodgepadres!”
Jason Varitek – Nooooooo! Didn’t I just say Saltymochachino was a sleeper? Why would you sign Varitek? Ugh. The good news is Varitek is far from an everyday catcher at this stage in his career, so if Salty can hit his weight on Jupiter than he should see the majority of the ABs.
Hisanori Takahashi – Signed by the Angels. There’s some rumblings that he’ll be the closer down in Bobby Grichville. Yeah, you ever see the Sciosciapath make things easy? Until I hear different from the Los Angeles Suburb of Los Angeles, Rodney will be in the running for saves.
Bobby Jenks – Out as the White Sox closer because the equipment manager can only reinforce so much. “I’m only one man!” That’s him again. Right now, the White Sox closer role is an open audition. Maybe they can invite Eric Roberts. He’s always super believable. Thornton, Santos and Sale are a few possibilities. In that order.
Ryan Theriot – Heads to the Cardinals. And I have nothing interesting to say about this. He’s a 3 homer, 20 steal guy. If that gives you an erection for longer than ten minutes, you might want to seek out a doctor.
Miguel Tejada – Here’s the by product of Sabean winning a World Series. He thinks he knows what he’s doing.
Jose Lopez – Damn you, Rockies! I already wrote a stupid Eric Young Jr. sleeper post. I’m probably going to still post it. Or maybe I’ll hold it like I did the Chris Iannetta sleeper post from last year. Expect that any day now, unless the Rockies sign a different catcher, which they’re wont to do. They’re wont! Lopez will probably steal time from Young and Ian Stewart. Hopefully, he steals more time from Stewart. Or we can hope Lopez gets hurt in Spring Training.
Shaun Marcum – Blue Kays traded him to the Brewers. Or, “Zoinks!” Maybe they thought the Brewers had Greinke. Beats me. Either way, Marcum really is getting a sleeper post. Love this move for his fantasy value. I really love this move because it came at a time when everyone was ooh’ing and ah’ing over A-Gon so the average fantasy person isn’t going to make much notice of it. Good stuff all around. He was a 7.60 K/9 last year in the AL East. In the NL Central, he can easily go over 8 K/9. His walks were a minuscule 1.98 per 9. His xFIP was below 4. You’re suddenly looking at a fantasy number two starter next year with the chance for more. All aboard! Next stop, fantasy value-ville.
Brett Lawrie – Going the other way to socialized medicine is Lawrie. Stephen went over his Brett Lawrie fantasy already. Could develop into a 20 homer hitter in the majors and has shown speed already. He looks like he can be something special and will definitely be on radars for September call-ups in 2011. I don’t think he breaks camp with the club.
Lance Berkman – Welcome to St. Louis, Guy Who Looks Like He Could Be the Host of Man vs. Food’s Father. Against righties he should bat between Pujols and Holliday and, well, that’s about all the positives I have for you. Not to mention, I’m not sure how much of a positive that is since it wasn’t like he became a beast like Tre from Top Chef: All Stars after he started batting in the Yankee lineup. Last year, his fly balls went down (literally!), ground balls went up (not literally!), his HR/FB last year was off his career average, but I’m not sure we should expect a huge bounce back. To quote Cliff’s uncle, Frank Lee, “His skills are declining.”