Seriously, it’s cool and all for fans of the Yankees and Red Sox but doesn’t Bud Selig in his infinitesimal wisdom see that maybe something needs to be done to level out the playing field? It’s all so short-sighted, kinda like how he turned a blind eye to steroids. Diamondbacks give away Reynolds so they can save a few million. Meanwhile, the Red Sox sign Carl Crawford for $142 million with a developing country bonus. If he wins the MVP, they’ll buy him Guatemala. “El Presidente can you steal a base for us?” That’s what they’ll say in Guatemala. I imagine Crawford will hit somewhere in the middle of the Sawx lineup. Like third, for instance. With Ellsbury leading off, Pedroia in the two hole (hehe — two hole) and A-Gon cleanup. There’s flexibility there so it could change. Either way, they’re scoring 7 runs a game. Crawford wasn’t exactly on the Mariners last year for offense. The Rays scored the third most runs just behind the Red Sox. Fenway’s a much gentler lover than the Trop, but Crawford hasn’t exactly ripped the cover off the ball there. 4 homers and a .275 average in 320 ABs. Whatever the case, I think he’s going to be great and do more or less what he did last year. Lots of steals, high-teen power and a solid average. I’ll give him a line of 100/16/110/.305/45. Yeah, it’s solid. Anyway, here’s some more moves and what they mean for fantasy baseball:
Carlos Pena – Chuck P. says Yo! Bum Rush Chicago! Pena is just the guy to get the Cubs over the 102-year hump. Or at least strike out trying. Pena was crazy unlucky with balls batted into play last year. The scary thing is, he’s not much better than a .230 hitter even when he’s not unlucky. Left mouth says, “Sch…” Right mouth says, “…nikes.” Together, “Schnikes.” Would be a decent pairing with an Ichiro or a Sauvignon Blanc. Supposedly, Pena was playing with plantar fasciitis last year, which only sounds like something Mr. Peanut would get. He’s already said he’s recovered from it. That might have caused his ground ball rate to go up. Last year, he pounded balls right into the shift. If he can just get some more lift on his balls (hehe — I said, shift then lift on his balls), then Pena could be in for a nice rebound year. Right now, I’d conservatively give him 70/35/95/.235/3. There’s room for more power though and average can be fluky.
Jason Bartlett – Off to San Diego, or as they call it in San Diego, “Here.” Don’t think this is necessarily the death of Bartlett. His age, his caught stealing percentage and his speed decline, those things might be the death of Bartlett. As for any possibility of a return to the power he showed back in 2009, fahgettabartlett!
Reid Brignac – The door is open for Brignac. Next stop, a sleeper post for him in the coming weeks. You can hardly wait! No, you!
Matt Diaz – Headed to the Pirates. Dye-as is one of my favorites if you can platoon him against lefties only. In most leagues, you won’t want (stutterer!) and/or need Dye-As, which is your deal more than mine, but he does throw some residual soot on someone else…
Garrett Jones – Who is this paging me at 5:46 in the morning? It’s Robot Jones. “Damn, Dye-as wanna stick me for my at-bats.” It’s true, Robot. That’s your warning. Since Jones only hit .220 with six homers in 214 ABs vs. lefties last year, there’s a good chance Robot will be oiling his wheel-feet on the bench against his weaker half. This could kill his value in 12 team mixed leagues.
Craig Kimbrel – Right now, Fredi Gonzalez is saying he’s thinking about using Kimbrel and Venters for closing games. Kimbrel is the righty, so he’d have slightly more value, but I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear about this.
Jeff Francoeur – Frenchy. Royals. Dayton Moore. Off with his head! At 27-years-old, Francoeur could return to his glory days of 2006 when he hit 29 homers with 100+ RBIs, but there is nothing from his last four years that make that seem like anything but a pipe dream.
Jack Cust – Signed with M’s. I see what’s happening here. Last offseason, the M’s made all kinds of signings that had their fans thinking they were the team to beat then they collapsed out of the gate. This offseason, they’re doing crap and hoping it’ll have the inverse effect on the team’s 2011 performance. They’re sneaky up there in the Pacific Northwest. The M’s already have the Golden Glove Milton Bradley where Cust would probably fit, but maybe they lose Bradley. (Member when the M’s fans were excited the team signed Bradley? Yup.) Cust will be 32-years-old for the start of the 2011 season and he looks to be aging quickly. If he hits 25 homers and .260, he’s sneaky valuable in AL-Only leagues. If he hits 17 homers and .240, he’s useless. Cust kayin’.
Nate McLouth – Fredi Gonzalez also said he’s leaning towards McLousy for the starting centerfield job. Very early in the game for guys to be handed starting jobs. We’ll see. But can you say bounce back? Or as they spell it in Korea, “Bow-uns Bak.”