Overheard at my house on Christmas, “Why isn’t it Jesusmas?” Then someone who you only see once a year chimes in, “‘Jesus, mas’ is what I say to the waiter when I want more cheese and his name is Jesus.” Ah, family over the holidays. Arriving a few days late for Christmas for Yankee fans was Aroldis Chapman. It didn’t come in their stocking, but he will probably be wearing a stocking on his head while he tries to board a domestic airline with a gun. “You know, in Cuba, no one cares if I wear a stocking on my head and try to rob people, because Fidel owns everything anyway.” That’s Aroldis sitting next to someone in First Class who is being polite but just wants to watch Jason Sudeikis in Vacation. So, Aroldis joins an already stacked Yankee bullpen and does nothing but makes it more sizzling, obviously. I could make the case that Aroldis is the best closer of all-time, not just the best one in the majors right now, so, yeah, he’s definitely a $12 Salad and that doesn’t change in New York. He could miss a couple of weeks of the season, due to domestic abuse charges, but that’s not set in stone, and, if baseball is ever going to become as popular as football, then the league will turn the other cheek while asking his girlfriend to do the same. For 2016, I’ll give Aroldis the projections of 4-2/2.04/1.03/110, 40 saves in 60 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:
J.J. Hoover – Should take over closer duties in Cincy. Hehe, I said duties. Jumbo Diaz could also see opportunities if Hoover sucks. Pun points! Before projecting either of them, I’m going to wait for the spring to see who the Reds are leaning towards, though, knowing the Reds, they’ll be left-leaning. I’m pun-crazy!
Jason Rogers – Acquired by the Pirates for Trey Supak and Keon Broxton, who is Jonathan Broxton’s soul brother. This is an odd deal because Rogers was the only guy the Brewers had to play 1st base. The Brewers should totally hold a contest where one lucky fan each game gets to play first base dressed as a giant bratwurst. The Pirates were perhaps the one other team in the league that didn’t really have much at first base. They didn’t even have a guy with a slash line; they had a guy with a series of dots and slashes in Michael Morse. Then, soon thereafter, the Pirates acquired John Jaso. Since Morse promises to be injured by April, Jaso and Rogers could sneak into a lot of playing time. Rogers was a guy who had four homers in a half a season last year, and Jaso had five homers, so this is really awesome stuff for fantasy. Oh, and Shane Peterson, who is now slated to be the Brewers first baseman, had two homers in 93 games last year. Wow.
Hisashi Iwakuma – You know in high school when you broke up with your girlfriend for three days and dated another girl for those three days, but then dumped the new girl and went back to your original squeeze? That was Iwakuma, the Dodgers and Mariners. Iwakuma had rebound sex with the Dodgers, but ended up back with the Mariners. Since the Dodgers didn’t want to be with Hisashi long-term due to an injury, I’m also concerned about him for 2016. I could see him coming at a discount and maybe drafting him, but I wouldn’t expect more than 150 IP. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 8-8/3.51/1.05/125 in 150 IP.
Daniel Murphy – Signed with the Nats because the Nats didn’t want me making “Wilmer Difo is at his best in a platoon” jokes all year. I bet Charlie Sheen could’ve gave him some assistance, too. Whew, glad I didn’t use the thesaurus for assistance! The Nats will likely put Murphy in the two-hole and hope he turns on his heart light in October of next year like he did this past postseason. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections 83/14/59/.285/4.
Mike Leake – Every offseason a few pitchers win the lottery with huge deals, then a few other pitchers win runner-up prizes. The ultimate runner-up prize is to be signed by the Cardinals because that means when their contract is over the pitcher will look like one of the best pitchers on the market because everything the Cards touch turns to gold. The Ghost of Dave Duncan casts a long shadow. Leake is a career waiver wire fantasy starter, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him come into his own in St. Louis. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 12-9/3.58/1.22/142 in 207 IP.
Alejandro De Aza – Signed with the Mets and should share time in center with Juan Lagares. Lagares must wear the same musk as Wilmer Flores, because, no matter how promising he looks, the Mets refuse to give him a full-time job. Could be worse, that musk they’re wearing could be Bartolo’s Colon.