I’m not sure what the L stands for, but Josh Hamilton obviously felt LAA was a good fit for him. What I’d like to know is how is California a bankrupt state? The Dodgers and Angels’ salaries combined are equal to the GDP of every country, except China and Switzerland. Mozambique couldn’t afford just Pujols and Hamilton. Forget Greinke, Hanley, Vernon Wells, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford. Alone, Arte Moreno could sell the Angels and buy Africa. Africa Moreno, that’s what they would call it. Burundi would become Aybarundi, Djibouti would become Dbootyhole and Chad would stay the same name, because that’s a badass name for a country, but Arte would put a country-wide golf course there, because anything named Chad and golf go hand-in-hand. The Angels now have Trout, Aybar, Pujols and Hamilton at the top of their lineup. October 1st called and said Aybar just scored his 197th run. Batting fifth, Kendrys could hit .220 and drive in 100 RBIs. Howie Kendrick… Well, he’ll still disappoint, but this is slightly bizzonkers to have three of the top hitters in baseball all in the same lineup. Trout, Hamilton and Pujols alone hit 103 homers last year. The Astros whole team only hit 146. Specifically about Hamilton, I could throw a lot numbers at you about about how his June through September were well short of his April/May. How his BABIP in April/May buoyed his season average. How not quoting these exact numbers but saying how I could quote them is a lot easier. Honestly, none of these numbers matter. I’d take six months straight of 5 homers/month and a .280 average. I don’t need a .380 average month with 12 homers. The bigger issue for me is you have no idea what you’re going to get from Hamilton year-to-year. One year, he hits 10 homers; one year, he misses 30 games; one year, he misses 55 games. Last year, his K-rate wasn’t good and his homer/fly ball rate was obscene. His swinging strike rate was the worst in the majors. This wasn’t just bad for this year. He had the worst rate since 2002. Mark Reynolds set a strikeout record one year and had a better swinging strike rate. Oh, and he’s 32 years old as of May 21st. He could be in for a huge year, but he’ll probably be drafted before I’m willing to look at him. For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 92/29/109/.277/7. You think adding a top hitter to an already stacked lineup will make it exponentially better, but for fantasy it just spreads out the wealth, as the Angels and Dodgers should do. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:
Mike Olt – Before we start giving each other a reach around about the prospects of Olt playing every day, the Rangers and LaRoche rumors are gaining steam. Usually I don’t talk about rumors because I’m not TMZ, but this rumor makes a lot of sense and would send fantasy ripples through the Rangers lineup. Stay tuned. Or not. Your choice!
Ryan Dempster – Signed with the Red Sox. This is such a recent Red Sox-type move. John Lackey takes offense to that comment, and all AL teams take offense to Fenway. Last year, Dempster was the same pitcher for the Cubs as he was for the Rangers. Unless he and Matt Garza visited an old Asian man and made a wish to switch bodies. In Chicago, Dempster was the good kind of lucky to have a 2.25 ERA in 104 IP. In Texas, he was the bad kind of lucky to have a 5.09 ERA in 69 IP. Last year in Great American, his BABIP was .143; in Wrigley it was .240; in Miller Park it was .143. Then in the AL, his BABIP in Arlington was .361; .400 in Anaheim and .500 in Oakland. That’s why he was terrible in Texas last year. His K-rate actually went up in the 2nd half of the year. None of this is meant to say Dempster is going to be terrific in Bahston. He’s just not going to be terrible, either. Hold on, someone’s knocking on my door. “Hello?” “Just say Dempster’s an average pitcher with better-than-average Ks and move on!” Oh-kay…. In 2013, I’ll project a line of 13-10/3.90/1.31/188.
Ichiro Suzuki – Signed a deal to stay with the Yankees for $12-13 million. $12 million if he plays for them. $13 million if he cleans the porn out of Hideki’s old locker. Unlike when he was under stadium arrest in Seattle, Ichiro will enjoy hitting at home. Last year, he hit 5 homers after his trade and they were all in The House They Built Across The Street From The House Ruth Built. He also hit .338 in New York. At worst, he’s going to be a great guy to slot into your lineup when he’s home. At best, he might hit 14 homers, .300 and steal 30 bases. I’m thinking Ichiro might be slightly undervalued this year for the first time in his career. For 2013, I’ll give him the line 88/12/62/.289/22.
Jack Hannahan – Signed with the Reds. If only Barbera could’ve been alive to see this. Did you know the key to Hannahan’s swing is he stands perfectly still and just the background changes? This is one of those whatever moves that could come back to haunt fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). Let’s form a prayer rectangular that Dusty doesn’t give Hannahan too many at-bats at the expense of Frazier.
Skip Schumaker – The Dodgers traded for him. Kids, do you see what happens when you spend $500 million on your pitching staff? Now, the Dodgers are trying to move Nick Punto because Schumaker made him expendable. Ain’t that the appendix calling the tonsils black?