It’s a closerousel! Which is a play on carousel, not arousal. Pick up your pants. Recently, the Cleveland Indians organization talked to the media about moving away from the unfortunate Native American stereotype their team is known for. They said, “We respect the people who came before us. This was their land, and we drove them out. Scalping was a crime on humanity. In other news, we just signed a guy that goes by the Ax Man. Chief Wahoo, can I get a woohoo?!” John Axford should be perfectly competent as the closer in Cleveland, until he’s not. What I mean is he’ll be handed the job and will hold it the whole year unless he reverts to his hideous ways. I was burnt by him in more leagues than I care to remember, but I would still draft him again. SAGNOF, after all. Then Theo Cubstein went out and got Jose Veras to close games. Cubs fans will miss the days when their games went an extra fifty minutes due seven men getting on base in the ninth inning. If you throw out Veras’s first five appearances and start his stats on April 13th of last year, he had a 2.48 ERA. Yeah, that’ll work just fine. Then the Orioles pulled their best Billy Beane impersonation when they let one high-priced closer go and got Grant Balfour back. Oddly enough, Billy Beane was the one that took the high-priced one. I scream, what’s the world coming to?! Then Billy Beane shoots Spider dead. Then Beane turns to me and says, “Not so fast, amigo. Check Balfour’s health. Oh, and amigo is being sarcastic, you dumbass.” I knew that! But not about the health. No one did. Except for the Jedi master. Of course, there was more to it. So, now Balfour’s deal may fall through with the O’s due to health concerns raised in his physical. It’s a developing situation as they say in third world countries about their water and cable TV. Finally, Addison Reed went from the Chicago White Sox to Arizona. Now the Diamondbacks won’t have to worry about what happens when J.J. Putz hurts himself opening a tin of Band-Aids. Irony only takes you so far, Putz. This leaves a vacuum in the South Side of Chicago in the ninth inning, but I guess they don’t plan on winning any games. White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t think Danny Salazar will be good in 2014. He might be one of the worst pitchers this year. Really no reason to read the rest of the post. Go ahead on to the comments and ask me if I think Carlos Beltran is a good keeper. That’ll teach the people who only skim the first few lines of each post. Unless that previous line — or this line — are also read, then I apologize for my nefariousness. I’m rooted in evil, but I’m trying to change my ways. Maybe the love of a good, much older woman can save me. We will see, together. Give me a small pat on my hobby horse’s ass. That’s fun for both of us. Danny Salazar is in that pile of wonderful that could be this year’s Matt Harvey next year. File him alphabetically in the manila folder labeled, “Yummy.” Bee tee dubya, you think in the Philippines they call manila folders, “Capital City Folders?” Is the Filipino flag a manila folder labelled, “Philippines?” I got questions, y’all! Last year, Salazar threw 52 IP with a 11.25 K-rate, 2.60 BB-rate and 2.75 xFIP. To summarize in nonsensical words, whamo, hooha and zadow! Can I draft him right now in every league? Soon, Grey, you third-person-using fool! So, what can we expect for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No one will come close to ranking this guy as high as I’m going to (assuming the Phils don’t do anything stupid and trade for a prospblock). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cody Asche not ranked at all on some sites. Last year, ESPN didn’t rank Hyun-Jin Ryu, barely ranked Jean Segura, ignored Starling Marte, to name just a few of the guys that I highlighted last year around this time. No one is going to be on all fours getting Asche-y knees like me. Ideally, the Phils get totally out of using Old Spice as their go-to cologne, and move Rollins down the lineup while pushing Asche and Brown up so they find their way into the top four slots of the lineup. Though, I kinda don’t want that to happen until the day after the season starts. If it happens in March, then suddenly people are going to start asking the question, “Yo, Grey, your mustache reminds me a bit of the Sistine Chapel, only holier, but in other news, who is this guy Cody Asche that the Phils are saying will hit in the top of their lineup?” We don’t need those Johnny Come Latelies clogging up our draft strategy with their newfound enthusiasm. So what can we expect from Cody Asche for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Mariners trying to bulk up their team is like watching someone dress up their pet monkey in baby clothes. It’s cute. You’re glad they have something they love. Then you realize they’re suffering from postpartum depression and you’re sick of them bothering you with questions about when they should enroll their baby monkey in daycare. That monkey ain’t gonna grow up to be a world famous fantasy baseball blogger like yours truly who uses 100 monkeys on 99 typewriters to write these posts. Someone buy Ling-Ling a typewriter! Similarly, it’s cute the Mariners are dressing up their monkey with new outfielders, especially one that missed all of last year — Corey Hart — and one that even a terrible team didn’t want any part of — Logan Morrison. Corey Hart is committed to wearing sunglasses at night and being ready to go for Opening Day. Let’s see, someone says to you, “I’ll give you millions of dollars if you say you’re healthy and ready to return.” Would you say you’re healthy and ready to return? Yeah, me too. It doesn’t make us or Corey Hart bad people, but it’s a whole lot easier for him to say he’s ready to return than to go out and play 150+ games after a pair of knee surgeries. If he can DH the whole season and stay in the lineup, I could see a 27 homer, 90+ RBI season. The once 20-steal speed isn’t happening anymore. Unless he got a stamp card with those knee surgeries and the fifth one is free. For 2014, I’ll give him the line 72/23/84/.278/3. Morrison also had knee surgery last year, but he’s a lot younger and more prone to saying hashtag. I’m guessing Seattle GM Zduriencik saw Morrison had 363 homers in his four-year career and wanted him bad. Too bad Zduriencik moved his finger down the homer column and accidentally slide to the left and was actually reading his games played. There’s a chance Seattle will push Morrison and Hart to DH/1B and be done with Smoak like the Marlins were done with Morrison, but it’s too early to say. I’m just hoping Seattle trades Brad Miller for Starlin Castro so the Cubs can field a Barney/Miller at middle infield. For 2014, I’ll give Morrison the line 61/17/70/.245. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Unlike McCarthy-era Hollywood, the Diamondbacks seem to put everyone on their blacklist except Trumbo (see Bauer, Scherzer, Eaton, Skaggs, Upton). Remember when they traded Reynolds and J-Up because they hated being the Diamondhacks? It’s back (sad Trumbo). BTW, Scherzer, Bauer and Skaggs: the hypothetical law firm where Alan Dershowitz would feel least comfortable. Then again, he represented that Claus Von Bulow guy. I wonder if Kevin Towers would’ve been torn if Mark Trumbo had the name Mark Trumboschnitzel. Probably. I’m not sure what Kevin Towers hates more, Krauts or pitching prospects. I think it’s still too early to evaluate the Didi Gregorious-Trevor Bauer trade and a year has past since then, so it’s way too early to dissect the Trumbo, Skaggs and Eaton dealings for real baseball, which is fine since we only care about fantasy implications. Mark Trumbo in Arizona is a plus for him. In the city of Los Angeles That’s Not Really Los Angeles of Anaheim, the Sciosciapath would bench Trumbo if he farted in the wrong direction. “Did you just fart north by northeast? Hit the pine, meat!” That’s the Sciosciapath. Also, Trumbo moves to a better park. He’s still never going to win a batting title, but Michael Cuddyer won last year’s NL batting title and no one even cared, so do we care? No, no we don’t. Trumbo goes to a relatively similar lineup, perhaps a tad lighter, but not enough to factor in. Trumbo would be a thirty homer guy in Petco, and in Arizona he could reach 35+ homers. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 74/33/89/.244/5. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves and what they mean for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Working a bit without a net on this sleeper post. There’s a chance that Anthony Rizzo isn’t a sleeper due to how he’ll be ranked by others. My guess (which is better than your guess, but not as good as your Uncle Rick’s guess — your Uncle Rick is a good guesser!) is Rizzo will outperform his draft ranking. I can see him giving top 50 value and there’s no way I see him being ranked in the top 50, so that’s a sleeper, yah? Yahtzee! What’s keeping him from ranking in the top fifty already is the dreadful year he just had and, more specifically, his inability to hit lefties. He says he sees every lefty pitcher like the little kid in his fourth grade class that had lefty scissors glued to his hand and ran at him screaming, “You wanna play?!” Rizzo claims lefties scare him like Forest Whitaker’s droopy eyelid scares the average person. Why’s it drooping?! Rizzo’s got problems. He’s young enough that he can overcome his issues (will only be 24 for the better part of 2014), but if he continues to struggle vs. lefties there’s not a chance he gives top fiddy value. Not by swinging any magic stick. So, what can we expect of Anthony Rizzo for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s amazing to me how many times teams get burned by signing huge free agent deals. It’s like they’re either not aware of what other teams are doing or they’re not paying attention. How’d that A-Rod to Rangers deal work out for the Rangers? Hamilton and Pujols to the Angels? Or when the entire National League All-Star team spent three months in a Marlins uniform? Robinson Cano is quality, but Marco Scutaro could’ve won the Mariners the AL West if F-Her, Iwakuma and Taijuan were hitting on all cylinders. Well, at least the Mariners didn’t need to give up anything but a crapton of a money. Cano went from re-signing with the Yanks to resigning to play with the Mariners (play on words points!). Can’t fault a guy for taking that kind of money. Shouldn’t be surprised either, I mean his mother’s maiden name is Mercedes. When it appeared like Cano was going to the Yanks, I gave him the projected line of 97/29/110/.310/4 and ranked him fifth overall in my rankings that I’m working on now that will be published in January. Now, I can’t see it. Not sure which way I’m re-shuffling my rankings, but his projections have to drop in Safeco, unless they move in the fences once again. I don’t like just looking at what a player did in away games at the stadium he will now call home. Just looking at what Cano did in Safeco for his career doesn’t tell the full story. He was facing the Mariners staff, and it was an away game. Players react differently to being on the road, especially cross country. With that said (reversal time!), in 40 games in Safeco, Cano had a line of 17/4/20/.309/2. Last year, Safeco played more neutral than it has in the past. Doubles and triples went up, homers and average sat pretty much where they were prior to the fences moving in. All of that info leads me to think what a fourth grader could’ve told you, Cano will remain a batting average plus but take a small hit in power. A small hit in power for a guy who doesn’t regularly top 30 homers isn’t great. The Mariners are now in play for every free agent so it might seem like his runs and RBIs won’t take as big of a hit, but remember what happened when Pujols and Hamilton were united in Anaheim or every All-Star landed in South Florida? Not a whole lot for their runs and RBIs. Even if the Mariners sign every other free agent, it doesn’t mean great things for Cano. I’ll say Cano will stay relatively neutral from last year because the Yankees weren’t good then either. So that brings me to Cano’s projected line of 84/26/105/.312/4. Not terrible, not quite what I hoped for in a rebound season in New York. As Simon and Garfunkel would tell you, this deal does prove Seattle loves Robinson more than you ever Cano. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It may be in 2015. That’s the answer to the question, “Will Nolan Arenado break out in 2014 and shoot up the draft boards for next year?” It’s also the answer to the question, “What year is Dr. Dre coming out with a new album?” It could also answer, “When do we get flying cars?!” Last year, Arenado put up the line of 49/10/52/.267/2 in 486 ABs and 133 games. Not amazing…OR WAS IT?! No, Mr. Al Caps, it wasn’t amazing. ARE WE SURE?! Yes. Oh, but he was only 22 years old. Or as they said in Cincinnati in 1825, ‘OH, it’s 22 years old.’ Arenado can do exactly what he did last year for two more years and still have time to fill out and become a top 25 draft pick by the age of 25. Yes, a top 25 draft pick. That’s what he’ll become at some point in his career, barring unforeseen injuries. Shoot, Tulo has foreseen injuries and he’s a top 25 talent. It’s the old adage that I just made up, “Don’t bet against a Rockies hitter. Bet against Padre and Mariner hitters.” So, what can we expect of Nolan Arenado for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You take a guy fresh off a boat — let’s call him Sailor — and Sailor’s boat left a country that didn’t have baseball. After explaining what baseball is, you tell Sailor that one baseball team, the Yankees, throws dollars at free agents. After a lengthy explanation that dollars are our currency and why presidents are on low denominations and a non-president is on the hundred and what the hell a free agent is, you then list the top free agent bats for this year: Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran. You then ask Sailor which of those guys the Yankees will get. He’ll probably say one of the first couple of players. Or maybe he’ll say Robinson or Cano Jacoby because he won’t know their names and confuse where commas are when spoken. It’s such an obvious Yankee move to get Ellsbury that even Sailor figured it out. It reeks of throwing money at the team. Or maybe the Yankees just figured if they can’t work with Jay-Z, they’ll work with J-E. The short porch in right won’t hurt Ellsbury. What could hurt him is just about everything else that seems to hurt him every other year. Since 2009, his games played has been 153, 18, 158, 74 and 134. Saberhagenmetricans shudder at the thought of drafting Ellsbury following a big year. I’m with them. I won’t be drafting him anywhere, especially not after he gets bumped up in drafts from his newly adjusted Yankee tax. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 98/13/57/.279/32. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a bad thing — I’m already excited about drafting Avisail Garcia. I’m writing this in November and posting it in December and am already excited about him. This is dangerous. My expectations are already through the roof. I just have this feeling that this is gonna spell D-O-O-M. See, I can’t have anything nice. Watch a story come out that Avisail and his brother, Jpegsail, are in some kind of weird fishing accident and get arrested with a megaton of weed. Or something. Something will happen. Though, I’m praying and vsdnjs;nzwc — Oops — and crossing my fingers that nothing happens to Avisail. That he makes it to Opening Day as the starting right fielder for the White Sox and batting third. Yes, third. Who else is batting in that lineup? Jose Abreu? I went over my Jose Abreu fantasy and he can be solid, but he’s more of a cleanup hitter. Maybe Avisail is batting 2nd. But there’s no way he’s below fifth. Beckham’s three shades of crizzap, Alexei Ramirez is a’ight but not a three hole hitter, Dunn and Konerko are either gone or hot garbage that is four years past its born-on date and Viciedo is great…every three weeks for two days at a time. Who else is batting third? Phegley? Why? The White Sox need someone whose last name sounds like it’s being pronounced with a fur ball in your mouth? Avisail Garcia will have every opportunity to succeed, so what can we expect of him in 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?