What I never understood about the trading deadline is why wait until the last second to make a trade? Did the Padres really wake up on July 31st and think they suddenly needed a bat? Wasn’t this apparent on April 2nd? I understand you don’t trade for pieces if you’re out of it, but the Padres, for instance, haven’t been out of it all season, unless they assumed they weren’t contending when the season started. Maybe they wouldn’t have got Ryan Ludwick, because the Cards may not have been selling him in April, but they needed someone. Then there’s the other deals that remind me of my friend who buys things just because they are on sale. “Do you really need a 120 count box of chicken bouillon?” “No, but Shop-Rite was selling Chicken Bazillions for only $2.99.” So, in that vein, do you really need Matt Capps when Jon Rauch is serviceable? No, but we’ve been dying to shed these upside prospects and the price was right. Deep thoughts by Grey Albright, I suppose. Anyway, here’s what I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Lance Berkman – Traded to the Yankees. This is one of those moves that’s actually better for fantasy. In real baseball, adding Berkman to the Yankees lineup is like adding pecan sandies to a tray of chocolate chip cookies. Hey, if you like a pecan sandie, then go for it. I think you were fine with the chocolate chips. Let’s face it, leaving Houston helps anyone’s value. Berkman goes from between Keppinger and The Glue They Once Called El Caballo to hitting in an All-Star lineup. Hey, Runs and RBIs, nice to see you again. As I mentioned in the comments when the trade went down, A-Rod’s sitting at 16 homers, so don’t expect The Stadium They Built Next To The Stadium That Ruth Built to suddenly add 20 homers to Berkman. He’s still old and struggling. Value goes up, but only so much. Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s talk that the M’s might punt their closer, just not in the same way the O’s have. They’re talking about trading David Aardsma. Member when the M’s were going to be a contender? That was a fun two weeks in March. We were younger, you and I (hey!). You had more hair (hey-oh!). Doesn’t it seem like every year the pundits latch their unrealistic expectations on a team? Member when the Royals were going to win it all in 2009? My prediction for March darling to June dud team of 2011? The Nationals. But they have Strasburg and Zimmerman! Yeah, and John Lannan and that doode you don’t know who plays every other position. So, Brandon League would take over the job if Aardsma is moved. I grabbed League where I could because, well, I’m a save vulture, swooping down on closer carcasses any chance I get. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jarrett Hoffpauir – Was called up by the Blue Kays. He was hitting the ball around pretty good in Las Vegas (in 259 plate appearances, only struckout 15 times and hit 9 long balls). But what happens in Vegas, well, you know. Right now, I don’t think our neighbor to the north gives Hoffpauir every day duty (hehe, that sounds like doodie). I think they move Fred Lewis into the lineup and start Bautista at 3rd base in Edwin Encarnacion’s vacated turd hole he was filling. Hoffpauir’s worth a lookie-see in AL-Only leagues, since he has 2nd base eligibility in ESPN leagues. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lefty pitchers facing the Rangers this year just lost three Ks a game as righty, Ryan Garko, was added to the roster to spell Chris Davis. Then again, maybe not. If Seattle passed on him for a Kotchman/Sweeney blahtoon, what makes you think he’s going to light it up in Texas? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Phil Hughes was named the Yankees’ fifth starter. The good news, he’s a solid fantasy 4th starter with 3rd starter appeal. He can put up over an 8 K/9 with a near-4 ERA. Rudy’s Hughes’s (say that fast seventeen times) starter projections have him at 10-5/4.18/1.32/130 in 140 innings, which brings us to the bad news. There’s no way the Yankees throw him for more than 140 innings. That could mean instituting a new “Hughes Rules” doctrine, where he’ll be skipped on occasion, won’t throw more than five innings, won’t start after August, can’t eat after midnight, etc. Anyway, here’s some other fantasy baseball news:
Aroldis Chapman – Dusty will be deciding between Aroldis, Travis Wood and Mike Leake for the fifth starter job. Honestly, if you would’ve said, name the one that is not a professional baseball player out of these three: Travis Wood, Mike Leake or Jimmy Fakename. I would’ve had no idea. Would love to get a glimpse of Dusty Baker’s decision making process for picking a fifth starter. I know there’s equal parts eeny and meeny. There might also be a dunk tank. I’ve compared Aroldis to a young Randy Johnson. Wanna see where? Here, “His stuff is wicked awesome and his control is wicked awful. But he wouldn’t be the first guy to struggle there. Hello, Randy Johnson. That’s a tall order, literally. But he’s someone I’m excited about in keepers and deep leagues. He should be owned in keepers from the jump. In one year leagues, I’d take a flier on him in the final rounds to see if he breaks camp. If he doesn’t, then you drop him. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Chien-Ming Wang – the two-time 19 game winner – is pitching historically bad. How bad? Some TV highlight show quoted some statistical service that the 15 earned runs he’s given up in the past 2 starts are the most ever for a Yankee pitcher’s first two starts of the year. For fantasy purposes, he’s more toxic than Chinese air, waterways, and land combined. As for Ted Lilly, you have to respect a guy who can overcome the ignominy of being traded for Hideki Irabu and Jeff Weaver. He’s been a very underrated late game starter for the past two years with the Cubs. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh, they’re not just bad. Nah, I outdid even myself this time. On this drafternoon, I picked a team that is near-perfectly awful. They simultaneously suck and blow. On a scale of one to ten, they’re a negative seven. I did the math! Somehow I managed to get a team where not one hitter projects for more than twelve home runs. If someone in the Royals brass gets wind of my drafting skills, I may get a job! If you think I’m being facetious (which was recently outlawed in Madagascar), shame on you. And shame on this team! I took part in a fantasy baseball draft this past Saturday to pick the worst fantasy baseball team. And I think I done did it. My co-conspirators in this were:
Drunk Jays Fans
Fantasy Baseball Cafe
Fantasy Pros 911
Hire Jim Essian
Fantasy Baseball Geeks
Beyond the Box Score
Come with me as I take out the trash:
Random thoughts about various rounds of the draft:
ROUND 1 – I had my eye on Ronnie Belliard like only Mrs. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alexis Rios hit three balls hard and one to the base of the centerfield wall that is a home run if it’s hit anywhere else. Finally, he’s hot. Hopefully Alexis Rios’s slump is done and his hot streak goes straight through the All-Star break and into October. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Halladay is the vet who averages 10 innings a game. AJ Burnett is the high-paid free agent with filthy stuff. McGowan is the prospect that’s on the verge of greatness, but Marcum has the best ERA, WHIP and K rate. That’s right, Shaun Marcum! Please, blog, may I have some more?
Our mad experiment of a fantasy baseball game has come to life! Thanks to all the bloggers (and one non-blogger) that participated in the draft. Click here for the league members as well as blogmate Grey’s review of the draft. Here are links to other league members’ posts:
Fantasy Baseball Generals
Greener on the Other Side
Drafting the worst team vs. Please, blog, may I have some more?