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I’m done waiting for this trade to go official so here’s my unofficial take on Mike Lowell going to the Rangers and Max Ramirez going the other way.  Mike Lowell has one more hip surgery than my grandmother, but she’s dead so it’s an unfair competition.  She would’ve beat you, Mike Lowell!  Why I think the Rangers made this trade, besides obviously feeling the need to singlehandedly make the winter meetings interesting, is because the Rangers want to win.  They can smell the division crown.  They realize no team is winning if their 1st baseman is batting .200 and striking out 300-plus times.  Lowell is their insurance.  If Davis hits, great!  Then Lowell fills in 3 times a week at DH, 1B or 3B and Davis sees 400-450 ABs, remains a sleeper and lives up to his potential.  If Davis doesn’t hit, then Lowell swoops in and plays 4 to 5 days a week at 1st base and Davis goes onto the “When is he playing?” carousel and sees 250 ABs.  Davis, basically, needs to hit.  He’s capable of it.  Now let’s see him do it.  Anyway, here’s some more winter meetings news and their fantasy baseball implications:

Max Ramirez – It only took the Rangers about a year and half but they are finally down to a manageable number of catchers.  (If you wanna read what I said about all of their catchers last year, read how the Rangers thought catching wins championships.  Most of it still applies…. Okay, maybe 67% applies.)  Ramirez is not great on defense.  (The Red Sox needed another catcher who should be a 1st baseman?  *shrugs* Whatever.)  Still, I like him not simply because his name sounds like a Hispanic Rabbi.  He is solid with the bat.  He has 20 homer power with the possibility of a .300 average.  Last year in the minors was a wash because of a wrist injury.  He should be good to go again in 2010.  He’ll probably start the season in the minors, but with an injury he might get the call.  Definitely worth a look in keepers, especially AL-Only ones.

Joel Zumaya – Tigers GM has tabbed Zumaya for the closer role in 2010.  Will he succeed as closer?  As long as he stays away from Guitar Hero.  However, I do feel like he will be overrated in drafts, it’s still just saves.

Rafael Soriano – I think Soriano might be the first closer to go from closing for one team to another without ever being named the closer.  Lucky he doesn’t seem like the type to seek validation from others.  Quiet your mind.  Listen to your inner voice.  Honor you.  Or so says needy ex-girlfriends.  Howell will set-up Soriano and will likely get some saves since Soriano is injury-prone.  When Soriano is healthy, he’s a force.  102 Ks in 75 2/3 innings last year, rocking a 1.06 WHIP and a 2.97 ERA.  He can easily go from donkey-corn to $12 Salad during the season.  For those reading under the age of 7, me likey.

From Around The Web

  1. Tony says:
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    love some of the NEW closers for 2010, under the radar type guys who can put up 30+ save years with good #’s

  2. Tony says:
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    read bay has been offered 65M over 4 yrs by the mets, if he takes this or something similar what does that mean for Holliday? Does boston pursue him then?

  3. Frank Rizzo says:
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    ha…….the hits keep coming for Tiger fans. Zoom-zoom as closer. I predict………….trainwreck!

  4. big o says:
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    @Tony:
    of course

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Holliday will get more than Bay, whether it’s justified or not…. Not many teams can pursue him other than Boston, NY, Anaheim, etc.

    @Frank Rizzo: Yeah, I kinda imagine the same thing with Zumanity.

  6. I see that Jason Bay might sign with the mets – I have two word warning for Jason Bay – BOBBY MURCER

  7. Joel Zumaya – maybe he just isn’t that good

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mrbaseball: What’s the Murcer connection?

  9. royce! says:
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    I for one hope Zumaya has a great season, leading to a run on Tigers Zubaz (it’s a slant rhyme at best, but I needed an opportunity to remind people that you can send your best Zubaz pics to them and get posted on their website! (http://www.zubaz.com/gallery.htm )).

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Whatever gets Zubaz into the discussion works for me. Love pic number 2.

  11. Tony says:
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    @royce!: thats great just emailed that link to a bunch of my friends…..

    i have to watch what i copy/paste from this site, so far i dont think any of my competitive league mates read razzball, which is a good thing. I dont know if any of them are smart enough to google what i send them sometimes so i have to be careful!

  12. royce! says:
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    My bad, the source was most likely Max I, the holy roman emperor.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: You got some good links today! It is indeed badass.

  14. royce! says:
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    @Tony: I used to worry about league mates discovering the site as well, but razzball is the first hit if you google “fantasy baseball blog,” so if they have yet to google “fantasy baseball blog” and click on the first link, I’m not too worried about them catching on.

    My hope is that they also never google “holy roman emperor + hip surgery + zubaz.”

  15. Tony says:
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    @royce!: @Grey: i’m sure they’ve browsed it. Just the fact they read it and probably dont catch on with all the inside terms….

    cust kayin’

  16. brett says:
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    Zumaya will either get hurt within the first couple weeks (if he’s even healthy to begin with) or he’ll be solid. I’m not too worried about him sucking while he’s out there. Aside from the big home run every now and then he can still bring it when he’s fit to play.

  17. Basehead says:
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    I need a decent speedster in the late rounds: rajai davis or michael bourn? or should i take a chance on the dead pirate?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @brett: Not sure why we should assume he’ll only get hurt in the beginning of the year. Seems likely to get hurt at any point. Still he should be fine when healthy, like you said.

    @Basehead: Davis and Bourn are tomato-tomahto. They can give you 50 steals. I’d trust Bourn more. The Dread Pirate is great, but he’s more of a Victorino clone. You’re only looking at 35 steals from him but more power.

  19. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: roto lineup question:
    Jake Fox has eligibility at 3B (27G) and OF (26G). It looks as if he is slotted for DH. For roto rostering, he would need to go into a UT or OF slot in order to easily substitute for him when he is sitting against NL?
    Will need a legit 3B fully rostered because of DH situation?

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Eligibility comes from where a guy played the previous year. Take Michael Young, he had shortstop eligibility in 2009 but only played 3rd. His SS eligibility came from 2008.

  21. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, that’s why I showed his games played by position in parentheses. Really, the question is:
    If he doesn’t play in games when he isn’t DH’ing (against the NL), then I would need at least one hitter on the bench to fill in for him at 3B, OF, or UT?

  22. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Simply Fred: edit 3B, OF, or UT — whichever he had been slotted in when playing.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: If you want to fill him in, then yeah. But interleague doesn’t start until May. I’m sure you will have dropped and picked up at least one guy by then so you’ll have an extra spot.

  24. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Thanks. With my points league history and very few drops, I need to get used to the concept of the waiver wire.

  25. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: I think I recollect that you advise filling bench slots with RP (who might get vulture wins, etc.). The DH thing seems like a serious detriment. Do I want to be having a hitter on the bench, instead of RP, to fill when Fox is DH’d? Or, just avoid DH-ers period?

  26. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Would you drop a reserve RP for the interleague period to accomodate the extra hitter and then revert after interleague?

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: I draft MRs with a good chance of getting the job, but they’re the first guys gone if I need hitters. I usually add a hitter when something like the Fox thing happens or if someone’s struggling in my lineup or if someone’s hitting really well on waivers.

  28. @mrbaseball: What’s the Murcer connection?

    While Yankee Stadium was being renovated, the Yankees played the 1974 and 1975 games at shea stadium Bobby Murcer hit 10 homeruns one year then 11 homeruns the next year

    I see that Jason Bay might sign with the mets – I have two word warning for Jason Bay – BOBBY MURCER

  29. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Very clear. Just what I needed. Thank you!

  30. Steve says:
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    @Simply Fred: @Grey: Hitters on the bench (and the associated sit/start) are a ticket to the nuthouse.

  31. its kind of like the premonition you had on matt holliday Oakland Athletics steals (the bay thing)

  32. GTS says:
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    Grey are you on twitter?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mrbaseball: I haven’t owned Bay in a few years because his power seems fickle, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GTS: Greyrazzball — But I don’t check it more than once a day. You’re best to ask questions here.

  35. GTS says:
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    @Grey: I know this is still way early but never too early to start planning on my 2010 strategy. Best 7 to keep in my auction league ($260 total):

    Batters Cost-2010
    Martinez, Victor C BOS 19
    Fielder, Prince 1B MIL 25
    Kinsler, Ian 2B TEX 19
    Longoria, Evan 3B TB 10
    Rollins, Jimmy SS PHI 28
    Howard, Ryan 1B PHI 28
    Coghlan, Chris LF FLA 10
    Holliday, Matt LF STL 16
    Upton, Justin RF ARI 14
    Werth, Jayson RF PHI 12
    Bourn, Michael CF HOU 10

    Pitchers Cost-2010
    Jimenez, Ubaldo SP COL 7
    Lincecum, Tim SP SF 10
    Nolasco, Ricky SP FLA 13
    Cordero, Francisco RP CIN 7
    Nathan, Joe RP MIN 17

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GTS: League depth? 10 or 12 team?

  37. GTS says:
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    @Grey: 10

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GTS: Fielder, Kinsler, Longoria, Holliday, Upton, Lincecum and Ubaldo… Your team is ridiculously stacked. The only switch I can see is leaving off Ubaldo for a slew of different guys.

  39. GTS says:
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    @Grey: Thanks! I also have the option of topping a player which means that whatever the bid is on a player I can buy that player for $1 more. So I could top Howard and hope he goes for less and then buy him for a $1 more than the final bid hoping it’s less than 28.

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GTS: It shouldn’t be less. It should be upwards of $40. You should try a deeper league too for more of a challenge.

  41. GTS says:
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    Know of any good ones? Hopefully CBS…

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GTS: Don’t right now, but as we get into the new year I’m sure you can get one together from some commenters.

  43. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: See that the Royals dropped Mike Jacobs? That Jacobs trade looks even worse than it did on Wednesday.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Stephen: Yeah, I saw that. Probably the best move they’ve made in a year and change.

  45. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: haha

  46. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Steve: So, you’re saying Grey is broadcasting from the nuthouse? :-)

  47. Steve says:
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    @Simply Fred: For all we know.

  48. DrEasy says:
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    @Grey: What, you mean a $6M, 2-year deal for Kendall isn’t a genius move?

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @DrEasy: Taking his last year’s stats, that comes out to a little over $55,000 a hit. Happy Friday!

  50. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    do you have any similar stats for johan santana ??

  51. GopherDay says:
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    White Sox sign Putz to one year 3 Million dollar deal. Closer potential? Jenks has put on a little (I use the term loosely) weight over the past few years.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Similar to what?

    @GopherDay: Nah, I think it’s still Jenks’s job to lose, which he might.

  53. Steve says:
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    The White Sox now have the best 8th-9th inning combination in baseball.

    If we’re talking bad chin hair.

  54. GopherDay says:
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    @Steve: Haha

  55. Mark says:
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    Nothing to add except I love this site and I’m relieved that the Twins didn’t move on Feliz ala Tony Batista, Crede, et. al. for the black hole that 3B has been since Koskie. Kinda like the gritty little Punto as a 25th player, but this madness must end…..

  56. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mark: Thanks for the nice words! There’s lots of teams fans out there are glad their teams didn’t move on Lyon or Feliz.

  57. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Howdy, Grey. Do you think the Lowell acquisition means that TEX doesn’t want to give Smoak substantial playing time this year?

  58. Mark says:
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    FWIW, and I don’t know if I should share this here, but I actually as much (or more) of the salary cap type contest (Fanball) as I do straight up roto these days. Still find the stuff here very helpful as well as darkly entertaining. Those salary cap things come down to a) picking the right high priced category leaders, b) being smart to pick out the underpriced/value guys, c) watching schedules and picking the right starts for your pitchers, d) luck and other factors. The stuff here gives me read on where the “smart money” is.

  59. Mark says:
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    Maybe Blalock can be the next failed Twins 3b experiment….

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Clyde Prompto: I don’t think Smoak gets real playing time until 2011. With or without Lowell.

    @Mark: We try and do A and B and with a little D some C.

  61. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: MLB:”Rockies part ways with Atkins”. Stewart’s ADP on the rise.

  62. brett says:
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    @Grey: yeah, i guess that’s what i meant. He’ll get hurt or he’ll be fine. I’m just jumping to conclusions and assuming that something’s already nagging him that wont let him pitch past April.

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Yeah, I never thought he was returning to the Rockies anyway.

    @brett: Gotcha

  64. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    ok , i swore them both off , but ,
    pick one , please :
    bj upton
    alex rios

  65. tony says:
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    i’m bored, grey or anyone rank these guys if ya have time:

    Grady
    Fielder
    kinsler
    howard
    TULO
    j-upton
    Longoria
    Wright
    Reynolds
    Rollins

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @tony: My ranks will be out in early January.

  67. tony says:
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    @Steve: LOL the bottle opener on the side is the highlight!

  68. Steve says:
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    @tony: Yeah – with 4-5 hours of cooking to get through, that will get a LOT of use.

  69. tony says:
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    @Steve: HAHA…. it forces you to pregame.

  70. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: That’s awesome!

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’ve never seen a pig look so happy. BTW, I’m commenting from my iPhone. Woo-hoo!

  72. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Grey has now moved into the 21st century.

    @Steve: I want one, NOW!!

  73. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Sweet! Have you just got one?

    For some reason I assumed you had one already. If I could get one without having to pay for it (goes against the grain working for a telco!), I’d definitely use one, but they’re hard to get.

    I’ve got an HTC Magic Google phone at the moment and that’s pretty neat too.

  74. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: If this is the 21st century then where are the flying cars?

    @Steve: I did just get one. I work from home so it’s pretty unnecessary, but then I started seeing the “cool” kids with one, so you know I had to have one. What’s that you have? An Android?

  75. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Yup.
    When do the Razzball apps come out?

  76. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’d love to, was actually talking to a guy today to see if he knew anyone. Do you know anyone?

  77. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Not personally, but I will make some enquiries.

  78. big o says:
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    you guys must be rich ,
    if you can afford to spend $1500 a year
    for a phone .

  79. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: In my garage

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