Overheard at my house on Christmas, “Why isn’t it Jesusmas?” Then someone who you only see once a year chimes in, “‘Jesus, mas’ is what I say to the waiter when I want more cheese and his name is Jesus.” Ah, family over the holidays. Arriving a few days late for Christmas for Yankee fans was Aroldis Chapman. It didn’t come in their stocking, but he will probably be wearing a stocking on his head while he tries to board a domestic airline with a gun. “You know, in Cuba, no one cares if I wear a stocking on my head and try to rob people, because Fidel owns everything anyway.” That’s Aroldis sitting next to someone in First Class who is being polite but just wants to watch Jason Sudeikis in Vacation. So, Aroldis joins an already stacked Yankee bullpen and does nothing but makes it more sizzling, obviously. I could make the case that Aroldis is the best closer of all-time, not just the best one in the majors right now, so, yeah, he’s definitely a $12 Salad and that doesn’t change in New York. He could miss a couple of weeks of the season, due to domestic abuse charges, but that’s not set in stone, and, if baseball is ever going to become as popular as football, then the league will turn the other cheek while asking his girlfriend to do the same. For 2016, I’ll give Aroldis the projections of 4-2/2.04/1.03/110, 40 saves in 60 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Reds are like the slowest team ever to rebuild. They sell off a piece every few months or so. “We’re getting rid of Cueto as we look to the future.” Dot dot dot. A month later, “Someone make us an offer for Leake. We’re rebuilding…kinda.” Dot dot dot. A few months later, “Okay, who wants Aroldis? For what it’s worth, he has a gun permit.” Dot dot dot. “Todd Frazier anyone? Everything must go…eventually!” Dot dot dot. “Hey, what do y’all think of Brandon Phillips?” The teamsters on three hours of sleep broke down the Titanic set quicker than the Reds. By August of 2016, Votto may be hitting between Kyle Waldrop and Cozart, and, knowing Votto, he will still hit .320. Any hoo! Moving to the White Sox doesn’t hurt Frazier, in theory. I say that because I feel like everything the White Sox touch turns to the wall of a Porta-Potty. Maybe it’s the Curse of Bill Veeck. Or just the Curse of the “Ill, Eek.” Capital I’s with an L next to it are weird, right? Okay, back to baseball! Frazier had 35 HRs last year and a 15.1% HR/FB, which is nothing. That’s around his career norm. He achieved this by hitting everything in the air. If he keeps that up — literally — in Chi-town, good things can continue to happen. Of course, every action has an equal opposite reaction, and more fly balls could hurt his average, which would hurt his runs and RBIs. Brucely, I’d take that trade off. Then throw in his 15-ish steals and you have a guy that should be near the top 25 overall for fantasy. For 2016, I’ll give him 86/30/98/.250/14. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Javier Baez takes another shoveling of dirt as he gets buried further. “Is this a staged Off Broadway adaption of The Revenant?” Javier asks as he spits dirt out of his mouth. “You have a toothpick? I have dirt stuck between my teeth. Hello?” Baez doesn’t know why this shadowy figure won’t stop shoveling dirt on top of his body; he’s obviously not dead. Or is he? Just then, the camera swings around, and, in a crazy twist that only M. Night Shamalamadingdong could’ve came up with, the person that is doing the shoveling is Arismendy Alcantara. “If I can’t have fantasy value, then never can you!” Arismendy yells as he cackles maniacally. Then, “You still want that toothpick?” And…scene! So, Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs and moves Arismendy and Baez even further down the depth charts. At this point, they are closer to playing on the Padres after a trade than they are at playing in Chicago. Heyward had sneaky value last year, as in it seemed like he disappointed, but since steals are scarce (only seven players last year stole 30 bags), and since Heyward provided some value in all categories, he wasn’t that bad. His numbers last year seemed like a poor man’s Lorenzo Cain. I will call him Crack Cocaine. Moving to the stacked Cubs lineup and into Wrigley could provide Heyward’s best season to date. I’ll give him the projections of 87/22/77/.274/15, which has him hitting leadoff for about 80 games and shuffling between 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the other games. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Uh no, the Yankees fell for the oldest trick in the book, mon! Starlin Castro was traded to the Yankees for middle reliever, Adam Warren. Didn’t the Yanks get the memo? Middle relievers are the new cheap starters. There was an interesting development the past week. Jordan Zimmermann got ridunk money and everyone was like, “Damn, Cousin Fat Pockets needs to let out the elastic on his velcro wallet.” Then David Price got boku bucks and a Nigerian from Nigeria by the name of Boku said, “My last name is not bucks, I’m confused by this idiom.” Then Zack Greinke went for a walk in the park and came across a suitcase of $206.5 million and looked over his shoulder slowly, then looked back at the suitcase, then started putting million dollar bills into his shorts. Finally, Henderson Alvarez was non-tendered and the entire league was interested, and this sounded warning bells. People are interested in Henderson Alvarez?! What the eff! At that point, the smarter GMs realized they just need to make it so their starters that aren’t terrific go six innings, then their bullpens can come in. The Royals realized this two years ago, but now everyone is catching on. As for Castro on the Yankees, I want to say unequivocally that this is the best landing spot for him in the majors outside of Coors. Castro has totally failed as a top prospect– Oh, wait, he’s only 25 years old. This was a case where the Cubs didn’t make a bad deal; they just had too much of a good thing with middle infielders, and their eyes set on Messin’ Wit’ The Zo’. Castro feels set up to have his biggest season to date, and I’m going to project him as such. For 2016, I’ll give him 72/16/77/.274/7 with room for more. As for the future at 2nd base in Robert Refsnyder, there’s always playing for the Padres in two years. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know, this signing of Zack Greinke with the Diamondbacks isn’t much of a surprise since Greinke is so intellectually driven and Phoenix is on the cutting edge of cyber-learning. Did you know 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix go on to make six figures? Of course, 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix are chosen to be in their commercials and paid $100,000. That gives me an idea, we should start a college and charge students $200,000 for a 4-year degree, then hire every graduate for $24,000/year. Shoot, every college and company are already working this scheme. Any hoo! Zack Greinke goes to the Diamondbacks and takes a hit in his value or will take multiple hits on his value. Don’t think the Dodgers are really that much better offensively than the D-Backs. Actually, they’re worse. So, it’s not a hit due to chance for wins. It’s a hit due to home stadium change. Arizona’s decidedly a hitters’ park and the Casa de Doyers is not. Arizona is around top five for hitting, whereas Dodger Stadium is around bottom five. Things sway yearly, but Chase Field has had years in the top two for offense, only sniffing Coors’ butt. Mean’s while, Dodger Stadium has had years in the bottom three for all offense, only staying in front of Safeco and Petco. I doubt Greinke falls back to a 4+ ERA pitcher he was his last year on the Royals, but he was a 3.83 ERA pitcher in another hitting-friendly park in Milwaukee, and that’s not so good. Oh, and Greinke is 32 years old. Yeah, you don’t need a degree from the University of Phoenix to know this deal could go sideways real fast. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 15-8/3.54/1.16/194 in 210 IP and someone I am not going near. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year deal for $217 million. MFW I heard. I get that half goes to the government, and ten percent goes to his lawyer, and ten percent goes to his agent, and ten percent goes to his business manager, and ten percent goes to his accountant, and ten percent goes to the guy in his business manager’s office that is pretending to be his business manager and moving money straight to a bank account in Turks and Caicos without anyone knowing, but $217 million is ludicrous. The Ghost of Curt Flood says, “Ya’ll abusing the crack baby out free agency.” The ‘crack baby’ modifier is popular amongst ghosts. The Ghost of Marion Barry started it. This contract makes me long for the days of collusion. This doesn’t even take into account how stupid it is from the Red Sox perspective, and I don’t mean just due to Price’s unstellar (Made Up Word of the Day!) playoff history. There will never be a contract where this much money ever makes sense. Look at your World Champion Royals, they don’t have one guy making more than ten million. Look at the past handful of huge contracts, have any of them looked good in hindsight? By the third year, this will look as egregious as the contracts given to Sabathia, A-Rod, Cano, Ryan Howard…Okay, nothing will look as bad as Ryan Howard’s. It’s not like contracts are secret either. It’s not as if the Red Sox are sitting there scratching their heads wondering how much the Royals are paying Hosmer. Big contracts get you nowhere! I said that last sentence while pounding my fist on a lectern as a few kids dozed in the front row. As for Price, he’ll turn 31 years old during the 2016 season, which is not exactly when pitchers get better, but he looks like he could stave off decline for a year or two. Last year, his fastball velocity went up from 2014, his K-rate was above his career average and his walk rate was within sneezing distance of his career mark. He was a tad lucky on homers, LOB% and BABIP, but he appears to be 2.70-3.20 ERA pitcher with neutral luck. Of course, I wouldn’t draft him since I don’t buy number one fantasy aces, but I doubt Fenway or the AL East really hurt him that much. At least not until the third year of his deal when there will be 217 million reasons why the Red Sox want to unload him. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 17-7/3.03/1.10/225 in 220 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Tigers are doing all of their buying early this year, huh? They’re like your mom that one year she did all her Christmas shopping about two and a half months before everyone else. Then the presents sat in your basement until Christmas and, since presents aren’t supposed to sit in a basement that long without being used, the PlayStation got mildew damage and Dad’s cordless shaver batteries seeped. Then, when Christmas finally rolled around your mom’s talking about how presents aren’t why you celebrate baby Jesus’ birthday and you say if that were true then why was she in such a hurry to buy presents in September? And she says to shut up and enjoy your starting pitcher with a falling K-rate and a raising xFIP. Well, if she were the Tigers’ GM. To quote Gordon Gekko, Jordan Zimmermann is a dog with different fleas. Last year, he had a 7.3 K/9 after a 8.2 in 2014. He had a 3.82 xFIP last year, his highest since his rookie year. He’s always impressed with his lack walks, but even those crept up from 1.3 in 2014 to 1.7 last year. Oh, and now he goes from the NL East to the AL. The Tigers should just go out and get Johnny Cueto and a pair of Zubaz to make it official that they just don’t understand bad trends. For 2016, I’ll give Zimmermann the projections of 14-11/3.89/1.24/155 and someone I won’t go near next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It feels like the Tigers have been searching for a closer since Todd Jones retired — Percival, Valverde, Nathan, Soria. They prey on dead meat so much, they’re more like the Vultures than Tigers. Papelbon recently was heard saying, “I am going to close forever. Wait, are those Tigers’ front office people circling above me? Crap!” It’s too bad none of the Syrian refugees don’t have closing experience. So, hopefully, the Tigers’ wait to find a closer is finally over. Unless Bruce Rondon is reading this, then the wait has just begun. Assuming Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t get off the plane in Detroit, see an Alburquerque jersey, think he’s in New Mexico, then beat the crap out of an American Airlines pilot for flying him to the wrong city, and get arrested by federal authorities for beating up an employee of a company with the word “American” in the name and get sent to Gitmo. Sure, this sounds unlikely, not impossible though. With K-rod sent to the Tigers, I’ll give him the projections of 4-2/2.69/1.02/66, 42 saves in 61 IP. As for the Brewers, their closer now is Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith or Corey Knebel, i.e., the offseason is still young and they could trade for someone. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, the Twins traded Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for serial-killer-in-name-only, John Ryan Murphy. Here’s what I said earlier this year, “When Hicks first came up, people thought he was going to be better than that Pollock fella. No, not a stereotypical dumb person, but as in A.J. Pollock. In Double-A, Hicks had 12 homers, 32 steals and a .285 average. Then strikeouts enveloped his game in the majors and he hit .192 with a 27% K-rate in 2013, and hit .215 with a 25% K-rate in 2014, but this year, .277 and a 17% K-rate! That’s a huge improvement. That’s what she said! What?” And that’s me quoting me! On a side note, am I the only that sees K-rate and then tries to chop in half a wooden block while screaming hi-ya? “Today, Daniel-san, we will talk about K-rate.” No? Okay, maybe it’s just me. *Grey does a flying crane kick* “Oh, he’s been practicing his K-rate.” Still nothing? Okay, I’m moving on. One more Pollock comparison that is likely coincidental but I’m gonna throw it out there. Pollock didn’t break out until his age-27 season and Hicks is only 26. Okay, one more Pollock comparison, Pollock never stole 39 bases in the minors leagues, but just did it in the majors. Hicks never stole more than the aforementioned 32 bases, but that means nothing. Okay, fine, one more Pollock comparison! Pollock never hit more than ten homers in the minors and he just hit 20 homers in the majors. So who cares Hicks never hit more than 13 homers in the minors. That’s still above anything Pollock did. Okay, and I really mean it this time, one more comparison to Pollock. The excitement I had last year for A.J. Pollock when I called him a sleeper is nearly identical to the excitement I have right now for Hicks. Okay, okay, one final thing on Pollock! The mistake I made last year when I didn’t draft him after flagging him as a breakout won’t be repeated with Hicks. Let’s go over quickly what Hicks did last year, he hit 11 homers with a 11% home run to fly ball ratio, which is completely repeatable, so last year in 155 games he would’ve had 18 homers. He also had 13 steals and four steals in September. If he stole 4 bags every month, he’d have 24 steals. Last year, he had a .256 batting average with a .285 BABIP, which is low for him. He’s got some speed and a .310 BABIP isn’t out of the question (he had years of a .340+ BABIP in the minors). If he gets to a .310 BABIP, he’s going to hit .270. Really, that’s not a stretch, which is also a nickname no one ever called Altuve. 18 HRs, 24 steals with a .270 average on the year? If he would’ve done that, I’m not sure we’d even be talking about Hicks as a sleeper, but rather as a top 20 outfielder. And this isn’t me fighting hard to get him to these numbers. Like a migrant worker, I’m cherrypicking a little with the steals by saying he’s going to get four a month because he did that in September, except (!) he’s likely closer to a guy that could take six bags per month. When Steamer projects Hicks for 10 HRs and 11 steals with a .256 in 2016, it doesn’t worry me. It actually makes me more excited because that means most people aren’t going to be excited about him. Steamer is very conservative and doesn’t flag breakouts; that’s my job. For 2016, I’ll give Hicks the projections of 82/15/52/.274/26, assuming the Yankees find a way to get him a starting job this offseason, which seems all but assured. So, my question for you is, who’s the Pollock now? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Baseball, the schedule they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
All I was wearing was a thong.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days when I thought the season would not end.
I’ve seen lonely times for Matt Williams, I mean, he’s a dope, but he can’t even find a friend from his own coaches.
But I always thought that I’d see Giancarlo again.
I believe they call that a prelude, but since it comes the day after the fantasy baseball season wraps up, it’s not a prelude. It’s an epitaph. Here, take a tissue. You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones. What will we do for the next few months without an update on Ryan Zimmerman’s oblique? Will Pablo Sandoval’s back hurt even if we don’t talk about it? What will we do without a Hanley injury update? WHAT? WILL? WE? DO? Prepare for next season, of course. But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season. Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?