The peasant Royals decided to send their big bargaining chip for three chips and a chip to be named later. This comes just days after Dayton Moore said Zack Greinke wasn’t happy and the Royals were going to trade him. This is like Ted Hughes saying Sylvia Plath wasn’t happy so he was going to cheat on her. (That was for our three girl readers and the guys who took Feminist Literature to try to get laid. “I’m going to take Feminist Literature because it’s going to be just me and a bunch of chicks!” Three months later, “The class is just me and chicks that hate me.”) In 126 1/3 IP in interleague play, Greinke had a record of 10-6/4.42/1.24/112. That includes some young years when Greinke was manhandled by depression like CT manhandled Johnny Bananas in The Gulag, it includes NL teams in AL parks and it includes some relief work. I think he’ll be better on the Brewers. He’s a better pitcher now. I wouldn’t necessarily expect another automatic Cy Young year. Let’s face it, that was a year for the ages for Greinke. He will have a better offense and he won’t have to carry the entire starting pitching staff, which I imagine could be a drag if you don’t have the mental stamina. After last year, Greinke was wavering between a fantasy #1 and #2. Now there’s some shine back on him. I’d expect a 3.50 to 3.75 ERA with a solid WHIP and Ks. I’d have no qualms about drafting him as my first fantasy starter. Anyway, here’s some more moves and what they mean for fantasy baseball:
Alcides Escobar – Traded to the Royals. Doesn’t really change his value, he just needs to run. Alcides was actually going to get a sleeper post today before this trade went down. Now he’s getting a sleeper post tomorrow. Stay tuned! Or don’t! These are your choices.
Lorenzo Cain – Who sounds like he’d be an old school rapper was traded to the Royals. He has 20+ steal speed and some light pop. Best case scenario, he puts up a Victorino-like season. Worst case scenario, he’s unownable and while you’re dropping him to waivers you throw out your back and end up in traction. I imagine in most leagues, he’ll be drafted as a “cool pick” then dropped before the first week ends. In AL-Only leagues, he’s a great endgame sleeper pick.
Yuniesky Betancourt – The Brewers also received Betancourt. He’ll be a terrible option in mixed leagues. His 16 homers last year was taking the ceiling off his ceiling and making a new ceiling with duct tape. In OBP leagues, he’s even worse.
Orlando Hudson – There’s about five fantasy owners in the world that still believe they should draft Hudson. He met with their loved ones to figure out a way so even those five won’t draft him. They came up with the plan for him to play with the Padres.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka – The Twins signed the 26-year-old Nishioka. The guy who hit .346 last year and the first player in the Pacific League to get 200 hits since Ichiro. He also hit 11 homers and stole 22 bases. Before last year though, he hit .260 with 14 homers and 26 steals. You’d take that at middle infield and like it. Only problem is sometimes things get lost in translation. Kaz Matsui hit .332 with 36 homers and 33 steals when he was 26-years-old in Japan. We all know how well he turned out in the States. So will Nishioka be great in his first year or will he look like he’s fresh off the bloat? Your guess is as good as mine. I’d draft him late if he’s still there and hope for a decent average and some steals. I wouldn’t count on any power.
Xavier Nady – Signed with the Diamondbacks. I’m just hoping Brandon Allen gets a shot to play. Or am I hoping Juan Miranda gets a shot? Luckily, Xavier Nady probably won’t make it out of Spring Training healthy.
Josh Willingham – Heads to the A’s. This won’t be the first Hammer in Oakland. Only this one doesn’t wear pants seventeen sizes too big. If you jumped out of a DeLorean and told me Willingham would play 160 games in 2011, I’d tell everyone to draft him. Unfortunately, that seems like a pipe dream. He’ll be ownable for stretches of the upcoming season but he’ll also be sitting at the top of your waiver wire for extended period of times while you try to justify picking him up.