So all the exciting Winter Meetings deals are gonna come on the last day? It’s like Frank and Zach from MTV’s Challenge have taken over the Winter Meetings and ruined them too. Give me back Evan and Kenny and CT! In the words of T.J. Lavin, they killed it! Sorry, I didn’t have any balloons set up to fall when Sean Burnett signed a deal. Maybe Greinke will finally sign somewhere today, or, dare to dream, Josh Hamilton. So far the Winter Meetings have given a run to your co-worker’s PowerPoint presentations on the Yawn-o-Meter. The biggest value change for fantasy thus far would have to go to Dan Haren. A guy who’s got a bad hip (or is it back?). He signed with the Nats. Solid deal for them. If Haren does nothing, whatever. They have plenty of pitching in place. If he does something, then score, or, ya know, no score vs. him. It’s the equivalent to a late-round gamble in fantasy, which appropriately enough is what Haren is. If he’s drafted prior to that, then people are looking at his name-value more than reality. I don’t trust him at all to stay healthy. One trade to the Cubs already fell through, due to his hip (back?; I don’t know — he’s injured in some way.) Sure, he’s only missed three starts in nine years, but presumably his health caused his fastball to bottom out at 88 MPH last year, and the hip (back, whatever) injury sounds like it’s still an issue. I can almost guarantee someone will draft him before I do. I’m guessing at best he misses at least a month of the season, and at worst he gets shut down for a few months. I’ll put his 2013 line at 7-6/3.95/1.27/120 in 150 innings. I’m sure there will be points during the season he is usable, and I will quote that line verbatim the day after he pitches a gem. And that’s me quoting future me! Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:
Wilton Lopez – He was briefly traded to the Phils, but there was a problem with his elbow so the trade was rescinded. The Rockies who gave up on having viable arms about three years ago said what the eff and grabbed Lopez. The Astros still don’t have a closer, but they also don’t have an outfield, infield or pitching staff, so first things first, ya know?
Alex White – Went to Houston for Wilton. So, the Rockies traded a young arm for a totally replaceable reliever? Maybe the Astros pulled my Cougar Lifetime trick. The basics of it are, I turn all the clocks ahead an hour, then when my Cougar wants to watch Lifetime, I’m like, “That Meredith Baxter-Birney movie started at eight. You missed the first hour.” Before the Cougar can put two and two together, the movie’s over and I don’t have to watch a movie about adoption. Only instead of an hour, the Astros turned the Rockies’ clocks to July 31st and congratulated the Rockies heartily about being in first. Otherwise, I don’t understand this trade for the Rockies. White isn’t anything spectacular for fantasy as of right now, but he keeps the ball down and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has matchups appeal at some point in the season.
Marco Scutaro – Giants re-signed the 37-year-old to a three-year deal. Prior to this year, Marco’s claim to fame was bringing pasta to the Giants clubhouse back from San Fran’s Chinatown. Now coming off his terrific postseason (and 2nd half, in general), Scutaro’s someone to keep a close eye on in fantasy. Sorry, I meant a closed eye. Even in a 2nd half where he hit .339, he still only had 3 homers and 2 steals in 295 ABs. I’d let someone else call out his name at your draft and find Marco from your fantasy pool of players.
Jeff Keppinger – Signed with the White Sox. At 3rd base, the White Sox had Morel, who seemed like a fun guy, but turned out to be poisonous to success. Keppinger will be a good pick up for one fantasy week this upcoming year. No one knows which week, except our Mayan overlord. Good luck getting him to talk!
Yunel Escobar – Traded to the Rays. When I went over the Reyes trade, I went over Escobar’s fantasy value. Well, I didn’t actually say much there about Yunel, because there’s not much to say. He’s a 10-homer, very little speed MI. Like RuPaul, Yunel’s more known for his antics and makeup choices.
Nate McLouth – Signed with the O’s. McLouth is half of a blahtoon in left field for the O’s and isn’t worth much in fantasy outside of deep leagues where you can juggle your lineup on the daily. Can you feel the excitement?!
Eric Chavez – D’Backs signed him to platoon with Chris Johnson. That’s the Chris Johnson who doesn’t need a platoon partner. Yay. Like your best friend’s girlfriend who insists on telling every girl you meet that your nickname was “Scooter” in high school, Chavez is now a total Johnson block. The only good news here is Chavez probably won’t be healthy for more than 50 games.
Joe Blanton – “There’s only one way Joe Blanton’s signing will get any attention. We have to make sure no other significant signings happen.” That’s the Winter Meetings conspiring early on Monday. Blanton signed with the Angels. MLB.com reported that the Angels bringing in Blanton doesn’t mean they’re off the market for pitching. No kidding. They need someone to fill-in for Blanton when he has a 5-something ERA in June.
Shane Victorino – Reached a deal with the Red Sox, so they didn’t have to go to battle with Daniel Nava in right field. You know what they call Daniel’s sister? Nava-ho. Hey, blame her promiscuousness. Great landing spot for Victorino’s fantasy value. In 18 plate appearances in Fenway, he has a .143 average, but that’s the small sample size talking, as I said in my college production of the Puppetry of the Penis. I could see Victorino slapping balls against the wall all day long, as I said in the same production. With Fenway boosting his BABIP and him returning to his pre-Dodger Stadium power, he could be good for a return to 15/30/.270. For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 92/14/66/.272/29. Me likey.
Andrew Cashner – Out three months with a thumb injury he suffered while hunting. My guess is Ted Nugent is feeling very conflicted about his keeper team. On the bright side, Cashner got his three month DL stint out of the way in December. Unfortunately, knowing him, he still has a five-month DL stint up his sleeve. Or at the bottom of his sleeve, as the case may be.