The White Sox traded Adam Eaton for Reynaldo Lopez, Dane Dunning and top pitching prospect, Lucas Giolito; the second day in a row top prospects are headed to the White Sox. It doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibilities that Theo Epstein is studying abroad this winter and abroad is the South Side of Chicago. “Excuse me, but, uh, why do you have this electrodes hooked up to my brain?” That’s Theo Epstein as Rick Hahn dips out of the interrogation room to get coffee. If I were a fan of a club that had no chance of winning next year, I’d want my team to go about rebuilding like the White Sox. “What, you don’t like our signing of Ian Desmond?” I’ll get to you in a second, Rockies. The White Sox have taken a bunch of lemons, planted lemon seeds next to a sugar plantation that they purchased off eBay and should have lemonade in a few years. They might even trade that old guy from the Country Time Lemonade commercial for another prospect! As for fantasy, Adam Eaton went 14/14 and 14/18 the last two years, which is deceptively awful. It’s one thing to go 14/14, it’s another thing to go 14/14 in 619 ABs. He’s like Markakis as a middle infielder. If you own Eaton in any fantasy league shallower than 14-team mixed, you should lose your league. The problem with a guy like Eaton in a shallower league is anyone who is even half paying attention should be able to beat his stats with just a few decent waiver wire grabs. You can likely beat Eaton’s numbers by just streaming hitters every day, and never even holding any guy who gets hot. Eaton’s stats come out to one homer and one steal every two weeks. Holy Jewish Jesus, that’s bad. Sure, there’s some value to his 90+ runs and .280+ average, but if you can’t get runs and average that matches that from streaming, again, you deserve to lose. For 2017, I’ll give Eaton the projections 102/12/49/.277/16 in 605 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:
Lucas Giolito – Went the other way in the Eaton trade. I’ve already gave you my Lucas Giolito fantasy, and 95% of it still holds. You need to throw out the Dusty Baker hazarai, and the NL East became the AL Central, which isn’t great, but now Giolito has a clearer path to a starter role. There’s talk he could be in the White Sox rotation out of the gate, but he can’t exactly throw a full season yet, so I picture him being held down until June. For now, I’m keeping his projections the same — 5-4/3.67/1.27/97 in 105 IP.
Wade Davis – Traded to the Cubs for Jorge Soler. This feels like a move that only would’ve happened after the Cubs won the World Series. Doesn’t this feel like a 2005 Red Sox move? Maybe I’m overestimating the fan IQ, but I picture a lot more disagreement with trading a future bat for a closer that missed time last year with forearm problems and had his worst K and walk rates of his reliever career. I know, I know, Soler hasn’t been good, and, yes, the Cubs time to win is now, not in three years, if it takes that long for Soler, but if Wade Davis makes it through 2017 without at least one DL stint, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, and, while my nephew may enjoy bananas, he’s not a monkey. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Hector Rondon closing by May. Then Carl Edwards Jr. closing by May 15th. Then Mike Montgomery is tried as closer on June 1st. Then Wade Davis returns for two weeks until he’s injured again. Then A.J. Ramos, after a trade, closes for the Cubs on July 25th. What can I say, my Magic Eight Ball is very exact. For 2017, I’ll give Wade Davis the projections of 3-1/2.87/1.16/55, 33 saves in 50 IP with nothing but downside from there.
Jorge Soler – Traded to the Royals in the Davis deal. Like a recent emigre of Transylvania, this will be the first time Soler will be able to do anything without someone breathing down his neck. You can’t underestimate the amount of pressure on a guy who repeatedly had players knocking on his playing time door. “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Kyle Schwarber taking your playing time.” “This is the worst Knock, Knock joke ever.” That’s Soler. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections 64/20/77/.261/2 in 487 ABs with a chance for upside.
Aroldis Chapman – Yankees tied him up for five years like Aroldis ties up prostitutes in his hotel room. Somewhere, Fidel Castro is sitting, lighting his cigar on the surrounding flames, saying, “I gave that kid everything,” which was a bunk bed he shared with Jose Abreu and an oven mitt that the entire country shared as a glove. But they have health care! Supposedly, but I don’t trust Michael Moore, could be the baseball hat that looks like it smells like onions. Any hoo! Aroldis heads back to the Yanks and will be as dominant as always, between domestic abuse scandals, of course. Okay, one more thing, Google suggests “Aroldis Chapman Jew?” before it suggests “Aroldis Chapman domestic abuse.” Okay, really, any hoo now, for 2017, I’ll give him the projections 5-3/1.98/0.95/100, 42 saves in 64 IP.
Ian Desmond – Signed with the Rockies (for a half a decade, which is one of the worst real life baseball deals I’ve heard in a while, but this is about fantasy, so let’s move on. Dot dot dot. Okay, one last thing on real life baseball, the Rockies would be a playoff contender if every final game score was 7-6.). As for fantasy, *going through the old Rolodex in the brain looking for a Desmond highlight* There it is! In his rookie year, Desmond hit the longest home run at Nationals Park, and Adam Dunn was on that team. In 2015, he hit the 8th longest home run in the majors at 470 feet. What the hell am I getting at? Desmond doesn’t hit wall scrappers, he hits bombs, and now he’s headed to Coors. He may average 430 feet on his 30 HRs next year. Yes, I said it, 30 HRs. I’m done underestimating the magic Silver Bullet that is Coors. As of now, the Rockies say he’ll play 1st base, which makes total sense with his cannon for an arm. Ow, eye roll headache! For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 79/30/94/.273/15 in 579 ABs.