Cliff Lee not only signed with a team finally, he signed with the team that would give him the most value from the three rumored suitors. (BTW, Rumored Suitors would be an awesome R&B album title. If you’re reading Jodeci, take it, it’s yours.) Carlos Ruiz got a new battery mate and the Philly fans don’t have to throw batteries at anyone until at least 2013. The Adverb’s return to Philly makes me think he can easily be a top ten starter in 2011. The Mess and Gnats can’t hurt that. Even in Citizens Flank he’s pitched, like, Excellent Lee — 2.52 ERA, 1.00 WHIP in 5 starts. The Phillies now have the top three WHIPs for starters in the major leagues last year, with The Adverb coming in first with a 1.00. A 1.00 WHIP in 212 1/3 IP goes a long way to helping a fantasy staff that is filled with Brain Freezes. Wins are obviously unpredictable. Somehow the Phillies have to lose at least 50 games. And Lidge can only realistically be relied on for 10 of them. For 2011, I’d give The Adverb the line of 16-6/2.95/1.05/190. I.e., Fo’ realz? I.e., Day-uhm. I.e., Yup. Anyway, here’s some more moves and what they mean for fantasy baseball:
J.J. Hardy – The O’s aren’t sitting idly by while the Red Sox put together an all-world team. No, sir. They landed J.J. Hardy. You know how you make J.J. Hardy look like an upgrade? Play Cesar Izturis at shortstop the year before. The left side of the infield may hit a combined .240 in Baltimore. They could also hit 60 homers. Hardy could be a nice endgame target in AL-Only leagues. Though a full season of at-bats is far from a guarantee with Hardy. Though II, The Return of Though, in a full season of ABs, Hardy’s should be good for 17 to 22 homers. Though III, The Bride of Though, his average won’t be pretty.
Russell Martin – Yeah, the Yankees are going to play Jesus Montero any year now. Only 2011 isn’t going to be that year. As I’ve been saying for the last two years, the Yankees just aren’t the type of team to turn over catching duties to a rookie. This move will help Russell Martin’s value, but let’s face it his value could only go up at this point. Before, I wouldn’t have told you to ever draft Martin. Now, I could see taking him in the very last round of a draft. I wouldn’t expect a return to his year in 2007 when he hit 19 homers and .293, but a return to a 10/10 year with good Runs and RBIs because of the lineup seems possible.
Hideki Matsui – Signed with the A’s. The porn loving Hideki Matsui said through a translator that he can’t wait to give the A’s his best shot. Matsui’s barely ownable in mixed leagues even when he’s hot, so this is more of an AL-Only blurb. So in AL-Only leagues — meh.