This post is gonna look so prescient when Starlin Castro is traded to the Yankees at the Winter Meetings.  What, you thought the Yankees were going into the season with Brendan Ryan at short?  Zelous Wheeler?  Richard Roundtree?  He’s a complicated man that no one understands but his woman.  I tried to have Cougs agree to the Theme from Shaft as our first dance.  Couldn’t pull it off.  More props to you if you can.  Or maybe Castro will be traded to the Mets.  Then again, the Mets have said they’re moving on from Ruben Tejada for about six years and are still holding on tight.  Someone needs to rip that deflated life preserver from their arms before Tejada is One-Eyed Willy next to the sunken treasure that is the Mets’ recent fortunes.  So, the first thing we know about Addison Russell is Billy Beane traded him away.  This is obviously a strike against him.  The last prospect Beane gave up on was Brett Wallace, and that was partly because Wallace looks like his face is constantly pressed against a window and that’s disconcerting.  Right now, it appears Beane got the worst side of this Russell trade.  Maybe he shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get back to the gym to pump iron and waited to negotiate a better deal.  It’s still early though, and prospects can flame out.  Russell, however, doesn’t look headed in that direction.  Russell looks like he could be better than Castro as early as next year.  Second thing we know about Russell, is he’s got power and speed.  Yummers!  Third thing, we know about Russell is there is no third thing.  Anyway, what can we expect of Addison Russell for 2015 fantasy baseball?

Russell’s shown solid power in the minors  (17 HRs in High-A in 2013 and 12 HRs in only 50 games in Double-A last year after the trade to the Cubs).  His speed is a tad below that, which concerns me a bit because speed is the one thing we can always count on translating.  He did steal 21 bags in High-A, but, well, that’s High-A.  They call it that because everyone’s stoned.  Last year in Double-A, he only had five steals all year, and two after the trade.  It’s not great, and I think we’re seeing closer to his actual speed level in Double-A.  Maybe he’ll reach 15-20 steals at some point, but he’s never going to be a 40-steal guy.  He did hit .294 at Double-A after the trade, and I don’t see him hitting much below .280 without some bad luck.  Unlike Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara, the Latin Kings of the Strikeout, Russell can wait for his pitch.  His 2015 value really comes down to Castro and where the hell is he going to play.  I’d say there’s about a 30% chance Castro is traded at the Winter Meetings and about an 80% chance he’s traded by July 31st.  With Maddon coming in with his “I’m a hip grandfather” look, there’s a chance I’m underestimating the likelihood of Castro moving.  Sometimes a new manager wants to put his stamp on the team immediately and the best way to do that is to get rid of Castro.  Plus, Castro comes off as lazy as his eyelid, and Maddon won’t stand for that.  He likes hustle and helping old ladies across the street!  Maybe there’s some percentage of a chance Russell is traded to a team where he’ll play.  Either way, there’s only a 30% chance he’s playing from the jump in April, and could be relegated to a midseason call-up.  That reduces him to a pick-up off waivers in most mixed leagues and a flyer in NL-Only leagues, unless something changes at the Winter Meetings in December.  For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 44/8/39/.282/4 in 250 ABs, then I’d nearly double it if he’s on the Opening Day roster.  Hey, science!

 
  1. gareth says:
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    So trading Castro would be Addison by subtraction?

    • Boomer19 says:
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      Well played Gareth.

  2. gareth says:
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    The cubs now have a top Gm, a highly respected manager and a bounty of young, cost controlled offensive talent.

    They have the payroll space to add an ace (James shields / jon Lester) a closer (Casey Janssen / David Robertson) and a mid tier starter (Jake peavy / Justin masterson).

    A good time to be a cubs fan on the cusp of something exiting.

    • Mark says:
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      @gareth: Not sure why the Cubs would spend the money on Janssen when they already have Rondon who’s younger, cheaper, and better. Hopefully, Theo is smarter than that.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @gareth: What’s worst than the Cubs with no expectations? Cubs with expectations…

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Grey: i’ve tried telling this same thing in the last year and a half to CUBS fans, they’ve spent so many years with false hopes at best they don’t believe it at all, esp when an outsider is telling them about it (possibly)

  3. gareth says:
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    An Indians v’s The Cubs world series at some point over the next few years would be awesome. Two baseball teams with the longest run without a WS title. It’d make a great story and would obviously suck more for the Cubs if they lost. Their run of futility is historic in sports.

  4. gareth says:
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    ME-OUT!

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @gareth: but can you figure out the count?

  5. P_swayze on a horse says:
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    The Cubs are only committed to $22.5 million next year, as of right now … 43% of that belongs to Edwin Jackson. They can make plenty of noise if they want to, and can certainly avoid Peavy/Masterson. Personally, I’d like to see them wait to make their big push until 2016, and give their young bats a full 600+ ABs.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @P_swayze on a horse: That would make the most sense… Not really sure they need a big signing push… Maddon never did that in Tampa…

  6. Tigres says:
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    Thanks, Grey – keep the rookie reports coming… I’m guessing the Cubs will not be in a rush to move Castro, esp if they can get SPs on the FA market – in which case more likely a Sep callup or 2016 for Russell. He looks great for keepers tho. Hitting at top of an improving lineup, Castro could be nice mid-rd SS pick next yr – may be overlooked among all the exciting Cubs prospects.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @Tigres: I disagree..i think they would rather trade castro for a young starter than overpay for an older one when realistically they arent going to win this season.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tigres: Yeah, will depend on what they do with Castro… Russell needs a place to play…

  7. Craig says:
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    Why do I keep hearing Castro to the Yankees?? Not gonna happen… They don’t have the pieces to offer a legit trade.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Craig: You keep hearing it because it’s November and there’s nothing else to discuss…

  8. JeF With 1 F says:
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    Love you girl

  9. JeF With 1 F says:
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    F3!!!

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @JeF With 1 F: let gareth borrow whatever device you used to count to three. it’s calibrated correctly.

  10. J-FOH says:
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    A Brett Wallace/ Billy Beane drop and no mention of Franks and Beans?

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: your mind is half way to Cartagena like Jack T Colton

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I need to walk around the city with a treasure map, don’t I?

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: and a machete on your hip

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              And present-day Kathleen Turner!

  11. Militant Vegans says:
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    JOHN SHAFT!

    Thanks for igniting the wah-wah memory playlist. I’ve already segued from the ‘Shaft’ theme to ‘Voodoo Chile’.

  12. bdub says:
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    12 team mixed. Have to get down to 9 players. All are 8th round or later. So which 9 would you keep?
    Gattis
    Rizzo
    Dozier
    Donaldson
    Baez
    Castro
    Soler
    JD Martinez
    Joc Pederson
    Paxton
    Arrieta
    Latos
    Tanaka
    Harvey.

    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not Gattis, Paxton, Pederson, Baez, Soler

  13. gareth says:
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    The Indians have about 10 – 15 million to spend to improve their RF/DH position in 2014. Who do you guys think would be the best signing for the tribe?

    1) Alex Rios: 1 year 9.5 million.

    2) Mike Morse: 2 years 16 million.

    Or they could pay the big bucks (for them) and sign

    3) Chase headley: 4 years 60 million.

    The first two moves are the most realistic, and I’d be relatively happy with either. Rios offers better defence and the chance of a showcase rebound (hence the contract), while Morse has nice power and you could DH him alot so as not to expose his terrible field work.

    I like the Headley move the most, but the Indians won’t spend that type of money, especially with swisher and Bourn still on the books. Defensively though, it would be a heck of an improvement. Chisenhall would probably be traded or become a bench 3b/1b/DH with maybe some reps in the outfield.

    You’d go from a
    Santana, Swisher, kipnis, Cabrera & Chisenhall infield
    To a
    Gomes, Santana, Kipnis, Ramirez & Headley infield.

    Then when lindor is promoted in June, put kipnis in RF, Ramirez at second and Lindor at short and you have an elite defensive infield.

    With that in place, It’d be great to have a groundball guy like Masterson back on a cheap contract after a down year. if hes fully healthy and that defense behind him is making the plays, then it could be a bargain.

    Of course its the offseason, so us fans can dream!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Morse seems most likely… Rios seems for $9.5 wouldn’t happen… He’d withhold his services until June if that was the only deal he was offered…

      • gareth says:
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        @Grey: True. There were rumors of Rios looking for a pillow contract to rebuild his value after he looked finished last year.

        However he recently hired Scott Boras to represent him. And we know how that goes.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, he’s not signing for under $10 million anywhere…

          • gareth says:
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            @Grey: do you like rios next year as a buy low fantasy wise?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Nah, not really, but depends on how cheap he is

  14. gareth says:
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    I’m putting the Headley annual contract value at $15 million a year instead of something like $12 million as I feel some team will overpay. There’s really not that many decent 3b in the league at the moment and there may be a bidding war for his services.
    Supply and demand and all that.

    How about that Lind for Estrada trade? seems kind of a dumb move on the part of Toronto.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Can’t ever have enough arms and platoon bats (which is Lind) are a dime a dozen…

      • gareth says:
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        @Grey: im not liking the thought of Estrada in the AL EAST in that ballpark though.

        The brewers addressed a huge need.

        Adam Lind is a huge addition when you compare him to:

        yuniesky bentancourt/Alex Gonzalez (2013 vintage) and mark Reynolds/Lyle overbay (2014 vintage).

        If the Brewers can find a platoon compliment for him at 1b who is solid against lefties, you go from being literally the worse performing position over the past two years (-4.6 WAR! How is that even possible?) To being a strength.

        In that division, with most of the teams in with a shot of the title, that could mean alot.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, it’s a solid deal for both teams… Lind didn’t really have room in Toronto, and anyone that can give 150 IP is fine…

          • gareth says:
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            @Grey: I know you liked Estrada at various times as a sleeper, then soured on him. I guess if they find ways to limit the gopher balls he’d be ok……

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yup, he’s not ideal for fantasy, but for real baseball, he could be okay, around a 4 ERA…

  15. gareth says:
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    C Gomes
    1b Santana
    2b Ramirez
    3b Headley
    Ss Lindor
    RF Kipnis
    Cf Bourn
    Lf Brantley
    DH Swisher

    Bench
    C) Perez, mi) Aviles, 3b/1b) chisenhall, of) Murphy

    Rotation:

    Kluber
    Carrasco
    Masterson
    Bauer
    Salazar

    Closer: Cody Allen

    If the Indians looked like this in the middle of june 2015 I’d be very happy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, looks like a solid team if a bit iffy on pitching… Hard to imagine Carrasco, Bauer, Salazar and Masterson competing for a championship, but anything can happen — see Giants and Royals, for an example

      • gareth says:
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        @Grey: it may be a small sample size at this stage, but what they did in the second half last year opened alot of eyes. Sure they don’t have the name value yet, but I do like the upside of the Indians pitching staff.

        Mickey Callaway and Kevin cash (pitching and bullpen coaches) do a tremendous job.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, as long as they pan out… They can, definitely, they’re by no means sure bets…

          • gareth says:
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            @Grey: I agree. But are there really any sure bets in baseball right now apart from Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout and postseason Madison Bumgardner?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Giancarlo

    • SwaggerJackers says:
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      @gareth: Instead of Masterson, a solid veteran pitcher would be nice.

  16. Wake Up says:
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    Word on the street is that your heading to Columbia…congrats…always pictured you as more of a NYU type guy though…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Hoping the post-doctorate work on fantasy baseball really pays off in my rankings!

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Grey: Just keep in mind that post-doctorate work rarely pays off…so be sure to bang the interns!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          They’re not just called TAs because they’re teacher’s assistants…

  17. Wake Up says:
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    oh, and tell Sofia Vergara, when you see her that we are all over the accent now…it’s called Rothetta Sthone…look into it!

  18. Wake Up says:
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    (insert something baseball related here)

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Wake Up: HA! LOL!

  19. Wake Up says:
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    and there you have it…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Perfect!

  20. Wake Up says:
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    WU4!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: sounds like a new WuTang album

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss223 says:
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      @Wake Up: Nailed it!

  21. nick the dick says:
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    Man, I neeeed to go to this concert at Foxwoods..Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, MC Lyte, Black Sheep, EPMD, and Special Ed.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I probably wouldn’t mention it if I didn’t think I’d definitely go…It would hurt too much to talk about otherwise… That’s crazy enough that I would fly in for it…

      • nick the dick says:
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        @Grey: Right here at Foxwoods 15 mins away, tickets start at 55 bucks…oh im going doode. Ill grab your ticket and see ya on the 29th

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          And that’s word to Big Bird!

          • nick the dick says:
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            @Grey: And i’ll be doing it with the R!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I’d bring a Stadium Pal to that show, fearing that I’d have to pee and miss something…

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Grey: stadium pal? is that code for an empty 32 oz Gatorade bottle?

                • nick the dick says:
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                  @J-FOH: why did I piss on the floor? Because I could get uromysitisis and die!

              • nick the dick says:
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                @Grey: Smart since I have the bladder control of a newborn alcoholic. I’d rather piss myself than miss Big Daddy or Ra.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, I wouldn’t move from the stage the whole show…

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  That’s kind of a random place for them to play, no?

                  • nick the dick says:
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                    @Grey: At the casino? No, not really…show for anyone and anything are there. Apparently they do this Masters of Ceremony show every year now.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Oh, yeah? Had no idea… When I used to live by Foxwoods is it was all concerts for like the 60 and over crowd…

                  • nick the dick says:
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                    @Grey: word prob not a whole lot of hip hop shows there but im not suprised a show like this is here. Where did you live by Foxwoods? Where the hell havent you lived?!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      It’s a stretch to say I lived near… I mean I used to pass it driving home from Boston and my family would go once in a while and see shows like Frank Valli and crap like that…

                  • nick the dick says:
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                    @Grey: I can dig it

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Awesome avatar, btw

                  • nick the dick says:
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                    @Grey: Thanks I thought you would like.

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @nick the dick: no, which one is that? I never watch ESPN

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Grey: It’s off season, well I’m in football right now, but hey it’s not the daily life. Favorite movie ever. It’s my Shawshank, every time it’s on I stop what I’m doing and watch.

                    • nick the dick says:
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                      @J-FOH: Mine too. Did you see the recent 30 for 30 about them fixing the college basketball games?