The Braves had the 5th best ERA last year in the major leagues. That’s with a down year by Mike Minor, and injuries to Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen. Their runs scored were second to last in the majors. Only the Padres’ offense was worse. So, naturally, they trade away Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins, who had a sub-5 K/9 in High-A last year. Oh…*pounds out a chicken cutlet, fills it with spinach and ricotta cheese, rolls it up, ties it with twine, bakes it on 450 for 18-22 minutes, pulls it out and breathes in the aroma* …kay. That’s the Chicken Florentine pause. Practiced by many, only able to be pulled off by a few. I rarely pull out the Chicken Florentine pause, but trading a top hitting prospect that is only 25 years old, when your team is hurting for offense, is straight up baffling with a pickleback. Are the Braves trying to bring the entire organization down to Fredi’s level of intelligence? Did Fredi tell management that they had too many top of the order hitters (they have none) and they needed another arm (they don’t)? Are the Braves trying to get featured in the third sequel to Major League? I got questions, y’all! From a fantasy perspective, Heyward’s value goes up simply because the Cardinals are a better offensive team. Like someone doing yoga, Heyward will now be surrounded by Matts, Carpenter and Holliday. What will Heyward produce? Go ask the Sphinx. One year he looks like a 30-homer hitter, another year he looks like a middle infielder with 20 steal speed. He could be anywhere from a 15-homer guy to a 30-homer guy. The 20 steals, now in two of five seasons, looks possible, until you see he has a year of only 2 steals. His .271 average last year is around his career average (.262), so that seems repeatable, until you see his .227 average in 2011. At some point, he could have a 30-homer, 20-steal top 20 fantasy season, but to say it’s definitely coming is you lying to yourself. You already lie to yourself in other areas of your life, let’s not start with Heyward too. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 91/20/75/.274/15. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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He’s just lucky his name isn’t Kicked-In Nuts Bailey. If you turned a paper into your English prof and named the homer-prone pitcher, Homer Bailey, your prof would say it’s too expository. But the prof might’ve been more forgiving if you hadn’t named the mayor, Billy Gladhand; the police chief, Officer Corruptski and the fro-yo cashier, Barry Tart. It’s almost too ridiculous to be believable what Homer Bailey did yesterday. He gave up two back-to-back homers in two different innings, while also striking out the side. Who are you, Danny Salazar? No, you are not Danny Salazar! You’re supposed to be more reliable! (Oh, and the game was suspended, but you still get all of Bailey’s glorious stats. Lucky you. Or Yu, if Darvish is reading.) If you play in a Benjamin Netanyahu league were xFIP is a category, you’re doing well. Everyone else would like to kill someone. Potentially me since I advocated drafting Bailey. It takes alligator blood to check raise the bettor, but, after he struck out nine in only five innings yesterday (and gave up a shizz load of homers), I’d say now is the time to buy low on Bailey. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Y’all know why this is happening to Kris Medlen, right? Why he’s preparing for Tommy John surgery? It’s the breeding patterns of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus and their likely extinction. If you iron your hat brim, you are putting yourself and potentially your family in grave danger. Exhibit A: Shawn Chacon now works at a Los Pollos Hermanos, making ‘deliveries.’ SPOILER ALERT! Wait, you need to know what I’m spoiling first. True Detective SPOILER ALERT! The Yellow King’s face looks like that due to ironing the brim of his hat while it was on his head. So, due to climate changes, mating rituals and the long hunting season of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, the Braves went out and got Ervin Santana. The Baltimore Orioles said, “Aw, shucks, we were gonna sign him for sixteen dollars the day after the season started.” Too bad, O’s. Against me better judgement, I’m gonna talk like a leprechaun and move Ervin Santana up a hair in my top 80 starters and my top 400. Plus, we lost Randall Delgado, Kevin Gausman and Brandon Beachy, so there was room. Oh, have I mentioned I moved Beachy down? Yeah, I don’t like that he has soreness in his biceps. Prediction Alert! In the next few years, Dr. James Andrews is going to reveal to the world a serious gambling problem, and that’s why everyone that goes under his knife needs follow-up surgery and a massive amount of check-ups. Someone’s gonna pay the kitty, ya heard? Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, on Fifth Avenue, Bud Selig was seen going into a photo shoot. That photoshoot was for him to be dressed as Uncle Sam for posters that will go up around the country. Under Uncle Bud, it will read, “I Want You!” You see, MLB lost a lot of players yesterday to suspensions and now they need people to play baseball. Tryouts will begin early next week and no one will be turned away due to their sex or age. If back in the day your grandma used to don the rawhide in that baseball league of their own, pull up her knee-highs and get her out there! Everyone must do their part to keep baseball together and moving forward. We need some Rosie the Pivoters at middle infield in San Diego and Detroit with the loss of Everth Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta. We need some bombers with the loss of Nelson Cruz in Texas. We’re gonna have some fatherless children on our hands with the troops heading off to battle on the diamond, but ironically Antonio Bastardo‘s kids will have their dad because he’s being sent home. When we’re in the bunkers amongst enemy pitchers, we’ll need someone to believe in with the loss of Jesus Montero. We’ll be without any guys that sound like names from a Harry Potter Name Generator with the loss of Jordany Valdespin, and we won’t have anyone that looks like The Great Gazoo with the loss of Francisco Cervelli. It’ll be a trying time for all of us, but we need to come together as a nation of Razzballers and fight through. Plus, really, for fantasy, we only lost Everth and Cruz, so don’t get so bent out of shape. Logan Forsythe or Alexi Amarista will take over for Everth, probably a bit of both until one emerges. Neither have the value of Everth, but Amarista could have some speed and he knows how to make a great frappuccino. Forsythe has little speed and power, but is dealing with a knee problem, so he may not be at 100%. In Texas, Engel Beltre or Jurickson Profar could see more time, but so far in 49 games Profar has a .244 average and four homers and no steals, so I wouldn’t go dropping anyone great in redraft leagues for him. Rangers also have Berkman coming back at some point in the next few weeks, so they could get crowded again. In Detroit, Jose Iglesias is the Indians’ backup plan, but if I saw him on waivers, I’d back up. In all, a bad day to be a cheater, but a good day to be an American. Now everyone will have a shot to make it to the major leagues. Just don’t be shocked if your grammie tests positive for HGH. She does, after all, take a lot of meds. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Anibal Sanchez was amazing last night, pitching 8 innings and giving up just 5 five hits with a whopping 17 strikeouts against one of the league’s best offenses. Sanchez has never looked dirtier. Filthy even. I was hoping Manager Jim Leyland would send Sanchez out for the ninth to try for 20 Ks, but Anibal was pulled after 121 pitches. Leyland said he needed Sanchez in the dugout to bum a cigarette. No, Sanchez doesn’t usually smoke but he was on fire last night and always has a spare menthol for Skip. That kind of know-how and pedigree was why I owned Anibal everywhere last year, so of course I don’t own him anywhere this year. I must give it up to our fearless leader, Grey, for coming up with that headline. I almost went with “Bell of the Anibal” or “A Boy Named Anibal.” And those are just terrible. But things are really clicking for the Boy Named Anibal. I once knew a boy named Sue. He got in bar fight with Commodus and Reese Witherspoon, and Reese played the “Don’t-you-know-who-I-am!?” card and everyone got arrested. Well, if you didn’t know Anibal Sanchez before last night you better know him now. 17 STRIKEOUTS! Great Anibals of fire! Sanchez’s previous high was 14 Ks, but he now holds the Tigers record, which has got to peeve Justin Verlander a bit. Relax JV, you had Kate Upton, let Sanchez have this. His new home in Detroit has been good to him. No one wants to win more than 14 games for Jeffrey Loria anyway, right?

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Going into yesterday’s game, Gio Gonzalez had a 5.85 ERA and in three of four starts he only threw five innings. I saw the fear in your eyes. Nervousness was percolating just below the surface. You were like Mr. Coffee when he was about to lose his virginity. You were expecting some grinds and instead you were just overheating. Steaming so hard you needed a cup to catch the water beneath you. (How long you think I could keep the visual of Mr. Coffee about to lose his virginity going? Three more lines? Do I hear four?) Finally, the heat was too much, the water dripping too fast and everything began to steam. Quickly, you grabbed your little creamer. She usually likes to put the cream in herself, but you’re just gonna splash it all over the place to avoid a mess on your pants. And that’s how coffee became Mr. Coffee. So, today Gio threw an eight-inning, one-hitter with 7 Ks; his only blemish a Votto opposite-field blast. Things looked awry, making dyslexics wary. Luckily, it’s still freakin’ April and you shouldn’t worry so much. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Each week I’ll be looking at some favorable match-ups to help you grab a few extra steals for your fantasy team. Whether you are in a weekly or daily league, looking at weak defensive catchers and strong/aggressive base running teams may help you make decisions as to which players you should start or sit in your hunt for an edge in the stolen base category. Since the 2013 season is only a week old, I’ll use some data from 2012 to get started and give you an idea of what we will be looking for. Just realize that these are only two dimensions that can affect stolen base totals.

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Spaceman here, and I’ll be keeping tabs on spring training battles to watch by position, in each division. I’ll hopefully convey a common sense approach that assists with your draft prep and roster depth. If not, I’ll head back to my farm in Vermont to sprinkle grass on my pancakes.

Blue Jays

2B Starter: Toronto brought Emilio Bonifacio over in Jeffrey “Expo Killer” Loria’s Miami fire sale, right after signing Maicer Izturis to a 3-year deal. So who’s playing 2B up in Canada? They haven’t committed to either, but G.M. Alex Anthopoulos appears to see Boni in a Utility role. Possibly taking over for Colby Rasmus in CF, should he struggle early on. Probable outcome: With the inside track to 2B, Izturis takes it, giving the Jays options in the OF should Melky Cabrera not perform off the juice. Izturis won’t provide much fantasy value outside of the deepest of leagues or as a late round MI flyer due to the improved offense around him. Whereas Boni should have an impact in leagues of any type, with his perennial base stealing and a nice position eligibility.

Please, blog, may I have some more?