This is a true story. In 1981, the St. Louis Cardinals bought a barrel of oil for $12, then sold that barrel of oil to OPEC for $13, netting the Cardinals one dollar. That one dollar was used by the Cardinals to buy a pack of gum that was used to repair a broken condom that was used by Albert Pujols’s father so there would be only one Albert Pujols and no competition for the best 1st baseman from 2001 thru 2011. Marxists and Capitalists have argued for years about the right of the Cardinals to use that dollar to stunt natural selection and why didn’t they just buy Albert Pujols’s dad one new condom rather than a pack of gum. This illustrates a very important point. You and I may want David Freese due to his position eligibility, but never underestimate the Cardinals ability to get the better side of a trade. If they’re smarter than OPEC, they’re smarter than us. Peter Bourjos is in the pile of scraps in mind that includes Brett Gardner and Michael Brantley as guys that I like a lot, maybe more than is reasonable. (BTW, my 2nd album that critics called ‘very emo’ is also called, Scraps In Mind. That’s purely coincidental.) Bourjos got a sleeper post from me for about three years in a row, though he had the misfortune of playing under The Sciosciapath, and The Sciosciapath doesn’t play the hitters he should — hello, Napoli. Bourjos had a 50-steal season in the minors one year. You don’t just lose that kind of speed, and, if you’ve ever seen him run out a triple, you know how crazy fast he is. Oh, and he’s not just SAGNOF. He also had 12 homers one year for the Angels. If he put together a 15-homer, 35-steal season, I wouldn’t be shocked. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 74/12/58/.263/20 with a chance for much more. He’ll definitely be someone I’ll be looking at in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:
David Freese – The other side of the Cards-Angels trade. Pop goes the Freesel cuz the Freesel lost his pop at 3rd base. Well, the Angels figured out a way to get older and more expensive. Maybe Arte Moreno Jr. shouldn’t have bought his dad Brian Cashman’s autobiography. “Dad, chapter five implicitly says to sell off all prospects and get older. In no uncertain terms.” That’s AM Jr. as he pats caviar from his lips with a gold leaf. I don’t hate this move from a strictly fantasy perspective. Freese is kinda hot garbage, but he seemed to get lost in St. Louis. Maybe he can’t stand enthusiastic fans. Southern California should cure that problem. Worst case scenario, Freese is a 12-ish homer guy with fair-to-middling counting stats. Best case scenario, he hits 20 homers again and lends you a million dollars, interest free. I imagine he’ll find himself somewhere in the middle with Monie and Malcolm. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 68/16/79/.260/2. Not someone you necessarily want, but someone you can settle for in the late rounds at corner infidel until you find someone better in shallower leagues.
Jhonny Peralta – Signed with the Cards. This is the most movement the Cardinals have ever done without puffs of white smoke coming out of a chimney at the Vatican. After hearing about the signing, Pete Kozma’s agent said, “I told him to go with Khozma. He complained it looked like a terrorist nation.” Kozma’s agent is his mom. Peralta doesn’t change a whole lot for fantasy on the Cards. He’s a 15-ish homer, .250-ish average guy. Much better in real world terms, which involves people being compared to Ruthie from Real World: Hawaii. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 61/14/70/.256/4.
Dan Haren – Next stop on the casino bus is Los Angeles. He was hot garbage left in a Slumdog Millionaire toilet last year. His ERA was 4.67, but his xFIP was only 3.67. Do you smell a bounce back? Well, that might still be the Slumdog john. He’s lost velocity in the last two years and his home runs have gone through the roof (especially if he’s pitching in a dome stadium). He did raise his K-rate last year, but he’s on the wrong side of ‘exciting’ and his fastball and change are pretty close in velocity. I could see a small bounce back from him, and a flyer at the end of drafts. However, I’m not expecting a guy that’s going to come all the way back to a low-3 ERA. He’ll probably be a nice matchups guy vs. the Padres, Giants and Rockies and Diamondbacks when he’s home. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 13-10/3.89/1.22/172
Brian McCann – Signed with the Yankees. When I saw McCann got nearly $100 million, I felt like McCann. You know, thinking I had problems with my eyes. Batting in The House They Built Across The Street From The House Ruth Built won’t hurt his numbers and he should once again be a solid top five option with the outside possibility of being the top catcher as long as I don’t say he could be the top catcher — doh! For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 61/23/77/.251/2.
Jason Vargas – The Royals are owned by David Glass, the former CEO of Wal-Mart. The Royals are some cheap motherfudgers. The Royals signed Jason Vargas. Playing right field for the Royals is a ninety-nine cent hot dog.
Krispie Young – Signed with the Mets. That gives the Mets an outfield of Young, Young and Brown/Duda, which was also the law firm that represented Madoff. Let’s just hope Krispie’s feelings aren’t inadvertently hurt when hearing he’s being compared to Brown/Duda. “Yeah, well, the infield besides Wright is white doodie!” That’s Krispie getting pissed off. Krispie might be a starter or a platoon-mate. We’ll see. Or not. Your choice.
LaTroy Hawkins – Signed with the Rockies to be their closer. Hahahahahahahaha… Yeah, that’ll end well. As in the Rockies games won’t end well. Or maybe not at all. Here’s a prediction: the Rockies have a lead going into the first game of the year and they bring in LaTroy and he gives up runs for the next three months and the first game doesn’t end until June 11th. The bad news is Troy Tulowitzki will get injured in the twelve hundredth hour of the first game.