Red Sox made a huge splash yesterday trading away Yoan Moncada, Luis Alexander Basabe, Victor Diaz and Michael Kopech for Chris Sale. Red Sox must be appealing to Bernie Sanders with their rotation: two lefties named Sale and Price. Dave Dombrowski sure does love to trade away his top prospects. Dombrowski buys 10 copies of Baseball Prospectus every year, crosses out the ‘u,’ and barters them for two cartridges of Nintendo Baseball Stars. Dombrowski used to have four young kids, until he traded them to a Mormon family for an honors student three months from graduating high school. Dombrowski dreams of finding the Fountain of Youth so he can trade it for a veteran fountain. I’m not going to compare Sale to Price even if the Jew in me wants to talk wholesale. Price had concerning stats going into last year and is older. Of course, some of Price’s concerning stats were a lower K-rate and a falling velocity on his fastball, which are two warning signs with Sale too. Okay, maybe I will compare the two. Sale’s fastball velocity went from 94.5 MPH to 92.8 MPH, while relying on it 7% more of the time. You’re a big-time Razzball noob — Razzboob? — if you think I’m going to suggest you draft an ace, and Sale is no different. I’m not about to say he’s going to fall off, but declining velocity, K-rate and rising xFIP is not an ace I’d be excited about. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 18-8/3.31/1.08/244 in 225 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:
Tyler Thornburg – Traded to the Red Sox for Travis Shaw because only the Red Sox were invited to the Winter Meetings this year. Thornburg is under team control for three years, had a 12+ K/9 and a 2.15 ERA last year. Next week, JB and I are going to do a Winter Meetings recap podcast, so I’ll be interested in hearing what our resident Brewers fan, JB, thinks of this trade. What I think of it? The rich teams are supposed to do terrible deals for overpriced free agents or veterans that have only a few years left in their awful, bloated contracts while the poor teams are supposed to get back players under team control that look like future All-Stars, not the other way around. Damn, the Brewers got had. Only thing worse would’ve been if the Brewers also took Sandoval off the Sawx’ hands and seated him next to the life-sized kielbasa from the Sausage Races just to see him sweat. Thornburg is a possible $12 Salad if Kimbrel gets hurt, Travis Shaw is a platoon player that looks replaceable by players already on the Brewers. What in the name of Harvey Kuenn are the Brewers doing? For 2017, I’ll give Thornburg the projections of 4-1/2.77/1.03/82, 6 saves in 64 IP.
Mitch Moreland – Signed with the Red Sox to play 1st. Last season’s Sawx 1st baseman Hanley phoned in to reporters, “I’m bummed I won’t get to play first in 2017.” As he said that, he touched one foot against his couch and reached for the remote his daughter tossed him. Unfortunately, Hanley pulled his foot off the couch, collapsed to the ground and lost his sofa spot to the family dog. I think Moreland can be one of those signing that doesn’t trend on Twitter and pretty much is forgotten about by most, but can actually have huge fantasy repercussions. Moreland is slated to bat fifth for at least 80% of the time, and will find out he enjoys hitting balls around the Pesky Pole in right. For 2017, I’ll give him 61/25/75/.259/1 in 465 ABs with a chance for more(land).
Travis Shaw – As mentioned above, went the over way to the Brewers. Brewers have serious problems locking down a 3rd baseman, huh? I’m not counting Villar, who was always more of a middle infielder. Casey McGehee and Aramis manned the hot corner dating back about six years; an era that butted its ass into Bill “Mother’s Day Ain’t Just For Mothers” Hall. The Brewers even recently considered another Red Sox cast-off, Will Middlebrooks. Better results to come with Shaw? Pshaw, as a scoffer might say. Miller Park is a good stadium, but it’s not like Fenway is miserable, and Shaw hit .242 with 16 homers in 145 games last year. For 2017, I’ll give him 51/18/64/.247/3 in 435 ABs.
Yoan Moncada – Acquired by the White Sox. Chicago is acquiring prospects like NBC is acquiring Chicago shows. Have you seen recently that Dick Wolf has like four Chicago shows on NBC? Chicago Fire, PD, Med, Justice! Waiting for Chicago Pizza which can have crossovers with Chicago Med when people have heart attacks after a slice of pizza. Make it happen, Wolf! I already gave you my Yoan Moncada fantasy. More or less stays the same, only find/replace Red with White. There, I gave him the projections of 77/12/79/.247/27 in 504 ABs. Now, he likely has a better chance of getting those 504 ABs, especially when Todd Frazier is moved. For now, I’m keeping Moncada’s projections the same, and will adjust if Frazier remains.
Wilson Ramos – Signed with the Rays. I’m told in no way are the Red Sox involved with this Winter Meetings deal, but you never know. Ramos is recovering from an ACL tore, the 2nd one he’s endured. That’s one injury stamp card you probably don’t want to fill up as a catcher. I couldn’t see a concrete timetable — where’s Stonehenge when you need it? — for Ramos’ return, but I’d guess June. For 2017, his projections are 31/13/41/.274 in 305 ABs.
Carlos Gomez – Re-signed with the Rangers, though it might be more accurate to say the Rangers were resigned to re-sign Gomez. Or maybe re-sighed. CarGomez did have his best month last September (6 HRs, .326), and was solid with the Rangers overall (8 HRs, 5 SBs, .284 in 33 games), so it comes down to what Gomez you believe. The one that looked like a shell of his former self, or the one that broke out of his shell and was turtley awesome. I’m more in the former camp. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 73/17/57/.238/24 in 521 ABs.
Fernando Rodney – Signed with the Diamondbacks. There’s said to be a lot of performance-based incentives in the contract like “will pitch so terribly that our fans forget about Shelby Miller,” “will close at least one game with his hat totally crooked,” and “won’t pitch like Fernando Rodney.” For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 2-5/3.88/1.41/68, 22 saves in 65 IP.