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Tanaka schoen, he finally signed!  As you all know by now, Masahiro Tanaka signed with the New York Yankees Of The One Borough Where No One Can Afford A Yankee Ticket.  Buster Olney said that Tanaka once threw 160 pitches then pitched the next day.  Sounds like Joe Torre could’ve made Tanaka a great reliever.  People who know a lot more about Tanaka than I do say he compares more favorably to Hiroki Kuroda than Yu Darvish.  I’m assuming those people could’ve also compared him to non-Asian pitchers, which isn’t meant as a subtle accusation of racism until you see those same people compare Tanaka to a 185-pound spicy tuna roll, drop The Cove references and say they’re wondering how Tanaka will adjust without a TV station dedicated entirely to wacky game shows.  Those people have some nerve — or noive if you’re reading in a Curly voice.  So, what can we expect from Masahiro Tanaka for 2014 fantasy baseball?

The Asian pitcher comparisons are because Tanaka doesn’t have Darvish’s stuff, but he does have Kuroda’s — low 90′s fastball, splitter and great command.  People — there they are again! — say Tanaka will have the best splitter in the majors from Day 1.  It’s not exactly like saying he has the best fastball though, because there’s not that many splitters in the majors.  There’s more splinters (when Billy Butler sits on a less-than-sturdy bench).  Tanaka will get out major league hitters with the splitter and a solid slider.  Concerns over past shoulder injuries have surfaced, but Tanaka’s agent has screamed, “Stop wollying, it’s all good!” so we won’t worry.  Brucely, any pitcher can get hurt so you should always take drafting pitching with a grain of salt.  I’m guessing Tanaka will be drafted prior to where I’m going to rank him.  I don’t love any unknown factor when drafting a high-ranked starter.  Just not worth it.  For 2014, I’ll give him the projections of 14-8/3.39/1.11/187.

  1. Cheese says:
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    My favourite part of this article was when you casually threw in a Bruce Lee reference

    Thank you :)

    • NoSlurpinLove4Iwakuma says:
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      @Cheese:
      My favorite part of the article is that the entire Yankees team are FA.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, no problem

      • @Grey: or…maybe there IS a proleum??
        Just WHOSE dad might that be on bass here…
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CVJFQkPkCg
        (gets his close-up @ 0:58 for those without 2 full minutes to waste)

        caution:
        do not watch while attempting to down any sort of fluid refreshment–unless of course you WANT it to blast out your schnozz

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Aw… Not available on mobile phones…

  2. NoSlurpinLove4Iwakuma says:
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    I know nothing about this man, but that seems to be a lofty stat line. I think that would make him the ace.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, he’s right there…

      • TysonFrozenChicken says:
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        @Grey: It does seem like a pretty good line. Will he be ranked in the top 75 overall, or top 3 pitcher tiers?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          He’ll be in the top 25 starters

  3. The Thumb says:
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    Not that this really matters, but how many innings do you think he throws? Right around 200, give or take 10?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

  4. Ben R says:
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    My goodness the Yankees are rich and lazy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Exactly

  5. quimmy says:
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    Who cares about Tanaka! Alex Torres is going to be an elite hodgepadge!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  6. Blue says:
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    Good news is that they aren’t trying to get under the luxury tax, I suppose.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I suppose

  7. Check out Tanakas on her! says:
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    If this Japanese pitcher had signed with St. Louis, and if the Cardinals clubhouse were undergoing renovations and was short on space, would Tanaka and Wacha share a locker?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      HA!

  8. Can’t believe the Yanks signed another huge contract with a player opt-out clause after 3 years. CC crushed them with that opt-out clause (he was a solid value – all considering – until he opted out) and A-Rod delivered HUGE surplus value for the Yanks while he was on his original $250MM contract (mainly b/c the Rangers were picking up some of the tab).

    Assuming he stays healthy, I think Kershaw is going to opt-out of his Dodger contract as well to get overpaid in his 35+ years. But the Dodgers are lah-lah-loaded

    • The Thumb says:
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      @Rudy Gamble: The Yankees probably still hope to sign Scherzer next year too. But yeah unless Tanaka/Close mandated it, it can only hurt them as a team.

      • @The Thumb: Tanaka/Close definitely mandated it. It’s a huge coup for the player. FA contracts have more downside than upside and the opt-out just hacks away at the upside (e.g., wow, we got a bargain…oh snap, they opted out and want a few more years tacked on when they are 35+ – joy!)

  9. Count de Monetball says:
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    Well, with the yankees flexing their mighty dollars again, I guess the Cub’s rebuilding plan was just extended another year. It sounds as this may have been the nail in the coffin for being able to resign Shark (Jeff Samardl;gasdfl;kb;lause;aszia). So much for the Back to the Future report that the cubs will win it all in 2015…. Ah sigh ***holds cap gun to head and rolls the chamber*** Glad I turned down Cubs season tix this off season after being on the waiting list for seven years…

    • Chicago Mark says:
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      @Count de Monetball:
      Soooo Count, What would your expectations of the Cubs have been? I’m quite happy they didn’t spend 175mm on a pitcher who played in AAAA. And I’m quite happy they didn’t pay 100mm/4 years only to see him leave for a better deal. Or stay for a much higher deal. The Cubs did the right thing. The Yankees….did not.

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        @Chicago Mark: My general thought is that the signing of Tanaka would have enable the cubs to resign Shark, and add desirability for the cubs to be able to attract other prominent FA’s. The dearth of even mid level (think 1st 2nd or even 3rd starter potential) in the cubs minor leagues evident. This was a good chance for the cubbies to get a low end #1 or high level #2 starter (my opinion) at a young age. It does help the sting that the Yankees paid soooo much (although I have read the cubs offered $150 Million). But, equally concerning is the cost of top of the rotation pitching. I am very concerned about the cubs outlook for this type of pitching. I agree, from a business prospective, the Cubs did the right thing. My disappointment is more by not getting him and the time when the cubs are competitive again, not the big long-term picture. But I agree with you, that is way too much for an unproven talent. But with this and the Kershaw contract, if we have to trade or sign FA starting pitching, that is going to cost BIG BUCKS.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Eh, the Cubs would’ve been rebuilding if they signed him… Prolly better off…

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        @Grey: I don’t disagree, just think they might have been wild card contenders next year, now I am thinking 2016 at the earliest. But hey, maybe they sign Scherzer…. ***wakes up and realized they just re-signed Zambrano*** Nooooooooooo!!!!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Wild card? Ha… Um, maybe…

        • Chicago Mark says:
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          @Count de Monetball:
          @Grey:
          I wasn’t going to reply but…..
          I know you both understand the Cubs will have 5 or 6 of the top 50 prospects in baseball this year. Do you also know the Cubs will
          A. enter into new tv contracts that will get them about $10mm-$20mm/year more than their previous deal with WGN?
          B. Are about $50mm under their current player budget per year?
          When the Cubs want to flex their financial muscles they will. My guess is they chose not to on a higher risk player. And that is what Tanaka is. No one knows what he’ll do in MLB. Count mentions this above.
          So in the end they’ll have 2 or 3 players producing from their current crop along with Rizzo, Castro, Shark or his return and about $50-$75mm to spend on fa’s. I understand they’ll have to spend a lot to keep many of these players. But they’ll be just fine. Even if it is 2016/17.

          • matt says:
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            @Chicago Mark: As long as the cubs are in the central there’s no way they are competing with St. Louis in the next 4-7 yrs! If you want a side bet I’ll be more than happy to oblige?

            • Chicago Mark says:
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              @matt:
              I don’t like people that nit pick the blazes out of stuff. But what exactly do you mean by “there’s no way they are competing with St. Louis in the next 4-7 yrs!”? Competing is a vague word and 4-7 years is a very long time reference. Things change fast in MLB. It’s clear you think the Cubs won’t compete with the Cards in the next 7 years. Isn’t it? So now clarify compete.

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @Chicago Mark: this guy apparently hasn’t heard of wild card spots.

  10. Richie says:
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    Would drafting him around say, rounds 4 or 5 be about right? Those projections look pretty tasty.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I wouldn’t draft any starter that early

      • Richie says:
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        @Grey: Even for a H2H league? That pretty much takes him off your draft board then because I’m pretty sure someone will bite that early in most leagues.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Even more so in an H2H league

        • @Richie: H2H is more about volume of SPs versus ‘aces’. The more SPs you have, the more you’re able to maximize good matchups and your GS max.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: I love strategy bombs

          • Richie says:
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            @Rudy Gamble:
            @Grey:

            I actually have done that the past two seasons with some good success. Thanks for the insight guys. That’s why I’ve been reading for 4+ years!

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Richie: Stream o nator is badass, isn’t it?

              • James says:
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                @J-FOH:

                yes it is, single handedly made me look brilliant at least a dozen times last year playing scrap heap pitchers on matchups i would not have naturally targeted

          • SteveNZ says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: Assuming you’d be loading up on SPs in H2H, do you need to draft a #1. or would it be more of a #1-1/2, or even a #2?

            • centerfield_ballhawk says:
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              @SteveNZ: Low end number one (think Greinke) along with a solid number two (think Latos).

              • J-FOH says:
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                @centerfield_ballhawk: yeah, but those two need to be drafted in back to back rounds, tough to go back to back SP

            • I can see drafting two #2s instead of a #1/#2. I’d want to bulk up on good matchup SPs (good home park, NL vs AL) in the middle to later rounds.

              • matt says:
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                @Rudy Gamble:im all up on SON’S nuts this season in H2H. Im loading up on power rangers and stroking my opponents with the magic stick. Im only drafting 3 top closers and streaming the rest of the way weee weee weeeeeee all the way home to another H2H title!

                • thanks for not saying “all up on your SON’s nuts this seasons as that would’ve triggered our NAMBLA filter.

                  fwiw, i would aim for a couple of solid SPs in the draft and rely on streaming for the rest. all streaming would be rough on ERA/WHIP.

  11. Dakota says:
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    Hi Grey,

    I can keep 4 players to select with my last 4 picks in my 12 team dynasty league. I am considering 7 players (below). Which 4 would you choose?

    Avisail Garcia
    Sonny Gray
    Oswaldo Arcia
    Nolan Arenado
    Anthony Rendon
    Andrelton Simmons
    David Robertson

    Thanks!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Dakota: Garcia, Gray, Arendado, and Rendon

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Avisail Garcia
      Sonny Gray
      Nolan Arenado
      Andrelton Simmons

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: ET over Rendon, I thought it was a coin flip there, I figured ss depth being a little higher you would want to hold on 2B

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, coin flip really

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: this brings up a new question. Ceiling and long term potential. Rendon or Simmons?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Rendon long term

              • Dakota says:
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                @Grey:

                I can keep these players next season, just need to select 5 spots higher in the draft. You’d still take Simmons over Rendon?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yup

  12. J-FOH says:
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    So if I draft Tanaka, Iwakuma, Ryu, and Kuroda could I say my Rineup would be ReedickuRous

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Why not?

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: or would it be Rhy Rot?…hey wait, that’s half way to making acid

        • Fireball Feliz says:
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          @J-FOH:

          *Rhy not*. They’re japanese, not Astro the dog

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Fireball Feliz: well Ryu is Koreran, wasn’t trying to be exact, just looks better

            • Prez says:
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              @J-FOH: hes korerererereen?

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Prez: @Prez: it’s KOhreeeeeeeean

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha

    • Yellow says:
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      @J-FOH: a leedickurous lotation

  13. John E Depth says:
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    Possible trade :
    12 team keeper, 300$ salary cap league, H2H
    Carlos Santana 17$
    Puig 5$
    Bruuuuuuce 31$
    For
    Miggy 49$

    Thanks for helping me win last year….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Puig side

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A lot closer to reality than I would’ve imagined…

    • The Thumb says:
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      @Van Hammersly: I closed that tab as soon as I saw Ellsbury at 7 overall

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @The Thumb: I love Ian Kinsler (in a strictly Baseball way) but 32nd??!?? wow, ESPN is dumb

  14. The Thumb says:
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    Hey Grey, in a 10 team standard roto, how lomg would you punt pitching until? 7/8th round? Would Gerrit Cole be a legit #1 starter in that case?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Cole’s a little deep for a number one… 5-6th rounds are about right, I’ll go over pitching shortly…

  15. Yankees just need 2-3 more contracts like that and they can catch up with the Dodgers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

  16. quimmy says:
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    Grady Sizemore 1 Year Major League Deal with the Red Sox. Interesting…..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not that interesting…

      • quimmy says:
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        @Grey: Why do you treat me this way?

    • Mike says:
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      @quimmy: uh oh watch out!! I prly shouldn’t make fun. These signings tend to workout for the Sox.

  17. Mark says:
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    Gerritt Cole and Allen Craig for Adam Jones in a league with no limits on keepability?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s fair, I’d take Jones…

  18. Mike says:
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    Better keeper round value is equal.. Rizzo, Bogaerts, Taveras, Ryu. Pick one plz.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Rizzo

  19. Long Bawls says:
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    I can’t wait for the “Two knockas” T-shirts! He should just be glad he didn’t sign with Phila; woulda had to change his name to Masahoagie.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  20. gareth says:
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    I predicted Tanaka to the yankees all off season. Yay me. However That’s like predicting JFOH will mention Vape pipes or Wake up will say something outrageous. Its an Inevitability.

    Now the dominoes will fall.

    Garza – diamondbacks.
    Jimenez – Toronto.
    Santana – hmmm. I kept touting Seattle all offseason but heard today that Nintendo and the disaster that is the Wii U has given the company record losses this year. After the Cano splurge, they may balk at another large contract. Santana wants 5 years 100 million (hahaha). I’ll still predict Seattle though. Orioles could be a dark horse but his fly ball tendencies would spell disaster at Camden yards.

    Bronson Arroyo, paul Maholm, scott baker, Chris Capuano – hello consolation prizes!

    Teams that were in the running for Tanaka, then lose out on the top 3 guys will get these guys. Also bargain hunter teams will be sniffing around. I see the Indians getting baker, maholm to the cubs, Arroyo to the twins and Capuano to the Angels.

    • Wake Up says:
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      @gareth: …or Gareth will mention the Indians…
      Or Prezzi will call Gareth, Garret…
      or Gareth will say Gareth is a very respected name in blah blah blah….
      or SteveNZ will say ok that’s enough…settle down young bucks…

      • Prez says:
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        @Wake Up: hahaha nice…

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Prez: i thought they called him garth.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha… What, no Cruz prediction?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @gareth: yup I vape and you watch soccer, so there are things we find ridiculous and off putting about one another

      • matt says:
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        @J-FOH: have you ever vaped “Backwoods”? They have some really good stuff. I want to try a new company since I’ve been vaping backwoods over a year straight. Recommendations?

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @matt: i thought vaping was about NOT being off putting?

  21. Wake Up says:
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    The Astros just made their offer “official”…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  22. Jason says:
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    Unagi.. YUK!

  23. Wake Up says:
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    Nice work on the title Rudy!

  24. Mick9019 says:
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    Espn standard scoring dynasty league. Deep in middle infield with Castro, Simmons, bogaerts and gyorko. I would give up profar and receive George springer, thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sounds fair…

  25. Joebob says:
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    Keeper league wherein 15 are kept, NL only.. I have grienke at 29 and jo fer at 36. Worth keeping either– or throw em back and see what happens?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Throw em back…

      • Joebob says:
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        @Grey: @Grey: yep. Thanks.

  26. Jay says:
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    who has more value over the next 3 years: Beltre or Machado?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Beltre, but could be close in two years

  27. Carnac says:
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    Jackie Bradley Jr. nervous about competing with Sizemore for playing time?

    Not when he can walk four times in a game and Sizemore can’t hardly walk at all!

    GROAN

    • Carnac says:
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      Sizemore’s contract has incentives for him being able to walk without one of those canes with four feet.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      HA!

  28. Jason says:
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    I run a few websites for a living, did you guys know that we see these crazy pics when you buy stuff? We see alot of animals.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I can’t tell if this is a spam comment or not…

    • Prez says:
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      @Jason: if you look about 10 comments up, youll see an animal.

      • P Swayz on a Horse says:
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        @Prez: Did somebody say something about animals?

    • matt says:
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      @Jason: I see dead animals every day on the side of the road on my way into work. Sometimes I stop to see if they’re still breathing and if they are i hold them in my arms and sing biblical hymns to em…sending them into the after life without sin for ruining an innocent drivers vehicle.

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