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:
Matt Davidson – Went the other way in the Addison Reed trade and is currently slated to start at 3rd base for the White Hose. Davidson does sound like a game show host, so come on down, you’re the next contestant on the White Sox depth chart. Plouffe-like isn’t just fun to say, it’s also what Davidson looks like. Yo, man, you are Plouffe-like! He’ll have some power, maybe 20-ish homers, but struggle to hit for a decent average. Here’s what I said previously about him, “Here’s what Prospect Scott said, “Davidson’s power is legit, as evidenced by the .208 ISO he posted at Double-A last year. The 21-year-old projects to hit 25+ homers annually, but an aggressive approach will likely keep the AVG down. Still, he looks like an above-average 3B, and he’s not too far off. Or as Grey would say, ‘I’m a big dummy.’” What? Why would I say that? I like Davidson a lot in AL-Only leagues, and deep mixed ones for upside.” And that’s me quoting me quoting Scott quoting me in a Möbius strip of quoting!
Justin Ruggiano – Cubs acquired him for Brian Bogusevic. This is one of those moves that I just absolutely love (don’t love). Talk about a huge fantasy value change (no change). Ruggiano will now go from a 4th outfielder on a bad team to a 4th outfielder on a bad team. Brian Bogusevic actually does gain value (no, he doesn’t). Now Marlins fans have something to yell when Loria says he’s trying to make the team better — Bogusevic!
Michael Morse – Signed with the Giants. Imagine the dreams Sabean has about being able to play a guy at DH. He’d probably inquire about getting Mickey Mantle out of retirement and from being dead. Even without the lure of being able to put a brittle, unable-to-stay-healthy guy at DH, Sabean had no problems going after Morse. The Giants announced they were moving in the fences eight inches. Not to help offense, but to add more padding. Oh, who am I kidding? Morse won’t ever get near a fence when tracking a fly ball. He’ll pull a hammy about fifty feet from the nearest fence and collapse into the womb position. For 2014, I’ll give him the line 57/18/66/.267
Jonathan Sanchez – Signed with the Cubs. Hey, Theo Cubstein figured out how to assuage the fans who were upset about games ending early without Marmol around.
Joba Chamberlain – Signed with the Tigers for middle relief help. This move could work out for him since there’s no trampolines in Detroit. They were all sold in a government auction to get a street light.
Franklin Gutierrez – The Big FraGu re-signed with the Mariners. His main role will be to bat against lefties and try to sleep with Shirley. Since he hit .218 vs. lefties last year and can’t stay healthy, it was a move some questioned. The Mariners front office said they were sick of trying to make the team better. So there.
Raul Ibanez – The Eñe has landed as he signed with the Angels. Bit of a quagmire started with this signing that could affect whether or not Tanaka signs with the Angels. See, the Angels management team asked Arte Moreno for $2.75 million for Ibanez and Arte Paypal’d them over the money, which totally flipped out Tabatha, his daughter, because that was her manicure money. Now, how is she going to tip the Asian lady? If that gets out, Tanaka may not sign with the Angels. Ibanez’s 2013 is his best case scenario and his 2012 is the worst case scenario. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 55/19/63/.235.
Jason Kubel – Signed a minor league contract with the Twins. He’ll join Alex Presley, Brian Dozier, Oswaldo Arcia, Trevor Plouffe, Josmil Pinto and Pedro Florimon as guys in the starting lineup for the Twins that should be in the minor leagues.
Brian Roberts – Signed with the Yankees. Oh, geez. Or perhaps more accurate is old geezer. I’d be upset right now if I thought Roberts would cut into Kelly Johnson’s playing time, but Roberts hasn’t seen a DL stint he couldn’t get on.
Juan Uribe – Re-signed with the Dodgers. Every offseason promise shines on Dee Gordon, which he absorbs and converts into failure. Scientists call it bozosynthesis.
Drew Stubbs – Traded to the Rockies. Hey, a move to get excited about! I’m downright giggly. I’m dancing in my Lazy Boy. Spinning my remote control on my finger because that’s something joyous I can do without exerting too much energy. Wait, now I’m seeing that Stubbs is on the bench in Colorado. Can’t I have anything nice, Offseason Moves?! Offseason Moves, “You had Peter Bourjos. Don’t get greedy.” Stubbs probably wouldn’t be able to keep his value up even if he played every day, so he’ll get lefties with Corey Dickerson taking the other half. In only 143 ABs last year, Stubbs hit .266 vs. lefties (and only 2 homers). I’m not concerned about the lack of power there. It’ll come in Coors. He could go 15/15 in 300 ABs, and be a solid guy that you platoon in and out of your fantasy lineup for daily leagues. For 2014, I’ll give him the line 41/12/44/.241/15.
David Lough – Traded to the Orioles for Porn Star Danny Valencia. The Orioles are going with quantity over quality when it comes to corner outfielders. As of right now, Lough’s in a five-person mess of corner outfield spots in Baltimore, but I think B-More understands this and it’s why Nelson Cruz will be in the black and orange shortly. Then it will be Lough and behold Cruz.
Ryan Doumit – Traded to the Braves to be a backup catcher and corner man. Appropriately enough, Doumit translated literally in German means “without glove” — Doumit? More like nomitt! — and now he’s without job.
Mat Gamel – Signed with the Braves. Gimel is Hebrew for the giving of a reward and punishment. Gamel’s punishment is now being behind one of the best NL 1st baseman in Freeman, and his reward is he won’t have to play and get hurt.
Gavin Floyd – Signed with the Braves and won’t be ready to return until mid-summer due to Tommy John surgery. Meanwhile in Chicago, I have no idea who John Danks will now compare himself to. Maybe Donnie Veal.
Mark Ellis – Signed with the Cardinals. Uh-oh, Kolten Wong. This is the kind of move that seems perfectly fine. It’s a bench bat, that’s what the Cardinals are saying. The Cardinals are also the kind of team that gets Daniel Descalso 300 ABs. If Ellis gets 200+ ABs, it won’t be at the expense of Matt Carpenter. I will now whisper to myself for three months, please don’t kill Kolten Wong’s value.
Shaun Marcum – Signed a deal with the Indians, but he’ll probably just be depth when a starter goes down or a long man out of the bullpen. Marcum down, indeed.
James Loney – Re-signed with the Rays. For fantasy, my James Loney has a 1st name, it’s D-O-N-T. My James Loney has a 2nd name, it’s D-R-A-F-T. For 2014, I’ll give him the line 52/13/66/.280/3.
Omar Infante – Signed with the Royals. ‘Every player is like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom… And we’ll never be royals…’ Hmm, actually it should be, “Every player is like ‘What’s in Billy Butler’s teeth?’ the Moose, I wanna watch Bonifacio run, vroom… They are the Royals…” Infante, you’re a baby and I hate you for killing Bonifacio’s fantasy value. For 2014, I’ll give Infante the line 48/8/51/.284/7.