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The Rangers landed Rich Harden.  Most years, Harden is all-tease, little reward.  He missed 2006 and 2007 just about completely.  Then he stayed healthy in 2008 and 2009, but you may as well put douche quotes around healthy because he never topped 150 innings.  Harden’s healthy is two-thirds of a season.  He goes to the nurse’s office more than this kid.  Though if you can get two-thirds of a season from Harden, it’s usually the good shizz.  Last year, he was prone to the homer ball like never before, but I think that was just a hiccup.  If Milton Bradley had Derrek Lee’s wingspan, some homers wouldn’t have reached the seats.  I don’t think Texas is going to hurt his value more than a tad.  In 2009, I expect a line of 3.55/1.20/150 in 130 innings.  Anyway, here’s some other trades and signings that went down and their fantasy baseball implications:

Kevin Millwood – To the Orioles.  Average pitcher into the AL East.  Nothing to see here.

Matt Lindstrom – Now with the Astros.  With Valverde and Hawkins gone, Astros brass said, “We feel (Lindstrom) has the capability to be our closer or to at least share those responsibilities.”  Obviously they haven’t seen him pitch.

Brandon Lyon – And I’m assuming the Astros management would say the exact same thing about Lyon.  That he can be their closer or share responsibilities.  This will all get figured out in Spring Training.  Those drafting before have to assume either can be the closer.  My money says Lyon will be the closer.  If you’re wondering what the Astros are thinking with these moves, here’s a sneak peek inside their minds.  Valverde and Hawkins were surprisingly reliable last year…. We need surprisingly unreliable!

Leo Nunez – Now the closer for the Marlins.  Grey became a fan of Leo Nunez and suggested you become a fan too.  Nunez’ll be a sneaky donkey-corn in the preseason.  Could easily see him outperforming his draft position…. Assuming everyone else doesn’t think the same thing and then he suddenly moves up draft boards.

Randy Wolf – To the Brewers.  Loved him last year in Dodgers Stadium, not as much in Miller Park.  In 2009, Miller Park played as a pitcher’s park, but it’s more neutral than that. It’s no Coors, but it’s also no Metco.  Either way, Wolf was fortunate to have a 3.23 ERA last year and probably shouldn’t be counted on for anything below a 3.90.  Ownable, just not terrific.  Why the Brewers felt they needed Wolf like a fat kid needs cake, I’m not sure.

Bobby Crosby – Signed by the Pirates.  You know, I had a conversation with myself like Emeril does and I said, “Self, what do the Pirates need this offseason?”  Self replied with over a hundred different things.  Bobby Crosby was never mentioned.

46 Responses

  1. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Nasty boy. :-)

  2. Steve says:
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    You know what will happen don’t you? The Wolfman’s ERA will indeed swell – but he’ll win 16 games.

  3. @Grey
    I can give you 4 reasons the Brewers need Wolf!
    1.) B. Looper 5.22 ERA
    2.) J Suppan 5.29 ERA
    3.) M Parra 6.36 ERA
    4.) D Bush 6.38 ERA
    (all started a minimum 20G last year)

  4. BSA says:
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    Late night move between the Rangers and Red Sox –
    Red Sox love playing players to play on other teams.

    Rangers want that hip and thumb checked out – DUH!

    Is Beltre Theo’s Hannuka gift to himself for a hohum winter meeting and part of the “bridge”?

  5. Tony says:
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    Would bobby crosby just retire already, talk about hyped and no production….

    Nunez just shot up people’s draft boards, sorry grey… he will definitely be a nice closer to key on. Another guy who was solid while he was in and will get a full time shot in 2010.

  6. sean says:
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    @BSA: Have to believe that the Sox have Beltre not just in their sights but in their nets to move Lowell. I guess the worst case scenario is that they promote from within (Bailey?), move Youk back to third, and have V-Mart split his time between 1B and C. I just can’t imagine that’s what they are doing though…

  7. sean says:
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    The bigger question mark in all of this is what Texas really sees in Lowell. Michael Young admirably moved to 3B and had a great year. The Sox are paying a chunk of Lowell’s salary, but it’s still a lot of money to pay him to DH, a position that’s super easy to fill on the cheap in this market.

  8. sean says:
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    Apologize for monopolizing the comments, but I just read that Texas has also offered its best two prospects (Smoak and Neftali) for Josh Johnson.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Ha, yes, very true.

    @Old Reino: Guess I meant more why Wolf and not someone else, but fair enough. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s going to be the savior they’re looking for.

    @BSA: Beltre makes more sense for the Sox then Lowell does for the Rangers.

    @Tony: You’re right, I’m probably being naive.

    @sean: 3rd, 1st, DH bench player? I’m not sure what they see in him.

    @sean: That would be a huge deal for the Rangers if they traded their future like that.

  10. anon says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Is this catcher that the Sox got for Lowell any good or his he a schmo? Basically I hear that he’s got some skills with the bat but that he petered out a little bit above AA. Also heard that he’s inept defensively. However, someone on sosh said that there are some who are higher on him than on Salty and Teagarden, but they failed to provide links. Hope you are having a good off-season!!

  11. Tony says:
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    @sean: @Grey: rangers have dealt pitching prospects for hitting (volquez/hamilton) now they’re dealing hitting to get pitching back? makes no sense, would be a huge deal to get josh johnson, but giving up smoak and Neftali? Thats A TON!

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @anon: He would be yet another catcher who can’t catch, but I’m not seeing anywhere where the deal is confirmed. If you see that, please link to it.

  13. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Damn, now the Tigers have let Lyon walk too? He was solid over the 2nd half last year. Best reliever in Detroit’s bullpen by far, including Rodney.

    Harden in that park, with his wimpy shoulder/elbow (whatever the problem area is), and Nolan Ryan pressing the pitching staff to “man up”? I don’t see that ending well.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Think about what’s best for Lyon! Or at least think about what’s best for people who own Lyon in fantasy.

  15. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @sean: per MLBlogs, Dec. 8:

    “Marlins not dealing Josh Johnson
    The Rangers made a run at Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson. At one point they were willing to trade Justin Smoak and Neftali Feliz. The Marlins weren’t interested in that one. “

  16. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Where’s the love for today’s Post title? “Rangers Pockets Bulge Getting Harden”

    One or the classic best ever!

  17. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Edit: of (or)

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Thanks for the title love! Surprising that the Marlins wouldn’t go for that. If I were a Rangers fan, I wouldn’t want them to go for it.

  19. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You should always be thinking about what’s best for Lyon.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: That’s your job.

  21. anon says:
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    Looks like you’re right Grey. When I read about the deal earlier today they hadn’t put all of that stuff about the Ranger’s GM saying that the reports of the deal were overstated into the articles yet.

    Sounds like it is pending a Mike Lowell physical (yikes) and approval from the commish for Boston to pay that much of Lowellie’s salary. And now apparently Daniels’ approval. He was obviously surprisingly good years ago but I’m ready to see him go. And Tek. And DO.

  22. big o says:
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    sawx come away from winter meetings with =====>
    wait for it ……….

    boof bonzer !!

  23. bill says:
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    If the Lowell trade goes through, how do you see it impacting Chris Davis?

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @anon: Ah, yeah, I wasn’t sure, just wondering if you saw it confirmed. ESPN has it written like it’s confirmed, but they don’t have Wolf confirmed, so I don’t know what they’re doing. I think in the interest of reporting something first they lose sight of whether it’s accurate.

    @big o: Ha!

    @bill: Not great…Unless the Rangers plan to use Lowell as a backup for three spots, 1B, 3B and DH.

  25. big o says:
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    some of the kids may not remember that
    boof was a former 1st round pick (21st over-all) ,
    and was traded from the giants to the twinkies ,
    along with nathan and liriano
    for YOUR favorite catcher ,
    a.j . pier

  26. sean says:
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    @big o: I can’t imagine that an injury-plagued back of the rotation guy whose only plus pitch is a curveball is going to fare well at Fenway. I know Boston isn’t giving anything up, but even the D-Backs’ brass thinks that this move doesn’t improve the team.

  27. sean says:
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    @Grey: Maybe the only thing holding this up is the Sox actually signing Beltre first…

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: Yeah, and the Astros love it.

  29. sean says:
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    Speaking of they Astros loving it, they just officially ended Tejada’s race to the bottom by signing Peter Happy for one year at 4.5M.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: Feliz should fit right into the Astros plans. Guess signing Feliz was one way to take the heat off of them for signing Lyon and Lindstrom.

  31. anon says:
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    @Grey:

    I think in a lot of these trades the “pending physical” is just a foregone conclusion when the trades are reported, which is probably why the Wolf deal isn’t considered official yet until he flies to MIL and actually passes a physical. In Lowell’s case, it’s probably no sure thing. I remember like 15 years ago the Celtics traded Dino Radja to the 76ers for Clarence Weatherspoon, everyone thought it was a done deal, then the chainsmoking Croatian couldn’t pass a physical and Boston got him back.

  32. LaTroy says:
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    BEST TITLE EVER.

    Since this Granderson/trade/thingy I’ve gotten really concerned about the Scherz. Now I’ve gotta trade him before the season starts. I also have Clay Buchholz and Andrew Bailey. Should I move them too or do you see good things here?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @anon: Yeah, but if you look at ESPN.com/mlb. You’ll see it says Lowell bound for Texas. Maybe it’s semantics, but it should be vaguer than bound. Aren’t all Croatians chain smokers?

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @LaTroy: Thanks… I’d move Scherzer if I could get a good deal. Say for Grandy? Joking. But I would want something decent.

  35. GopherDay says:
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    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this already, but the Braves moved Soriano to the Rays for Jesse Chavez. Now the rays have their new closer?

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: Don’t think anyone mentioned it… Yeah, the Rays do have their closer now.

  37. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Poor JP…Oh well.

    By the way, I heard the Astros signed Ryan Sadowski…who in the world is that??

  38. DrEasy says:
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    Love the title too!

    About Lowell, I guess he’s an upgrade over Blalock, and insurance in case Chris Davis doesn’t pan out. I don’t know how his fantasy value is affected by the move.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @DrEasy: Rangers have Young at 3rd. Lowell will be insurance for Davis though, definitely.

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @DrEasy: Oh, did you mean Blalock at DH? Yeah, I think Blalock’s gone.

  41. with Pedro Feliz gone – who is the philles third base dude grey

  42. Mark says:
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    Um I feel like you are leaving out the fact that Bobby Crosby was the Rookie of the Year winner. There’s so much promise – the Pirates probably just doubled their season ticket purchases with this move.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mark: Depends how big Crosby’s family is.

  44. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: His wife just bought season tickets. That just about doubled it, give or take a few.

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