The A’s traded Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto. I had this cheap friend who would go to the supermarket and buy things that were on sale. Not because he wanted them, but because he was cheap and it was a good deal. So, he’d come home with groceries of only things that were on sale and for dinner he’d end up having a box of couscous and a Tofutti Fudge Treat. I’d say to him, “Do you even like this stuff you’re buying?” He’d say, “No, but I do like the price.” This is what happened to Billy Beane. He doesn’t like Lawrie, but four players for one? What a deal! There’s one other explanation. Everyone is constantly telling Beane he’s brilliant. He’s so gee-dee brilliant (and handsome!), they cast Brad Pitt to play him. His detractors are nil. So, he thinks he can do no wrong and then does a trade like Friday’s, where no one can check him. If anyone else did this trade besides Beane, people would be saying he got Cosby’d. Since it’s Beane, I’ve heard people say the trade is a bit ‘underwhelming.’ Underwhelming?! The A’s traded away their best hitter, that is only 28 years old, for the Blue Jays worst hitter. If someone did this trade in your fantasy league, you’d quit your league, come into the comments here and say, “I’m done with stupid people.” The A’s five and six-hole hitters now? Ike Davis and Brett Lawrie. Well, lucky they still have Andy Parrino. Andy Parrino will be played by Joe Jonas in the Moneyball sequel. “Coach, it’s Christmas, why are you at my house? Okay, I’ll play for your A’s, but first let me sing a charity concert in Denver.” From a fantasy prospective, nothing really ever was gonna hurt Donaldson, besides maybe a move to Petco, and nothing really was going to help Lawrie, besides Coors. The Blue Jays lineup looks stacked now, but to that I say the Rangers looked stacked going into last year too. Edwin and Bautista aren’t the models of good health, Donaldson, though, has been. The last two years he’s played 158 games, and has hit 24 homers and .301, then 29 homers and .255, while chipping in 5 and 8 steals, respectively. He’s in the prime of his career, as previously mentioned, about to be in a better lineup and in a much better park for home runs, if not offense, in general. Game, set, tennis term! I don’t see him hitting for a great average again, like in 2013, but 27 homers and great counting stats without killing you in average seems not only doable, but likely. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 79/27/93/.259/7. The only question in my mind is where he’s batting. My guess is fifth (Reyes, Martin, Bautista, Edwin, Donaldson), assuming everyone is healthy. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:
Brett Lawrie – When this post-post-post-post-post-POST-post-hype prospect comes to Oakland, will U.S. customs let Lawrie bring all his posts? I went to check on TSA’s website, but to search the site, I had to remove my shoes and my feet got cold. The A’s could get a breakout star in Lawrie; he did have 18 homers and 13 steals in only 69 games in Triple-A when he was merely 21 years old. He’s still only 24, there’s time. Can’t project what a player could do in the best case scenario though, so I’ll give him 54/14/62/.267/6. Oh, and for those of you worried, Lawrie can play behind the plate too, so the A’s still have six catchers.
Ernesto Frieri – Signed by Rays. Frieri could see some saves in Tampa at some point in 2015, and Rays fans could get some ulcers. Time will tell on both of those, but right now Frieri, the Italian sports car that is made from recycled poop logs, is just a middle reliever.
Yasmany Tomas – Signed with the Diamondbacks. Since time is circular and we can speak to different selves in different times, my suggestion to your eight-year-old self that is living his time in 1998, hoping to break into the big leagues (or roll cigars): move to Cuba! By this time in 2020, there will be more Cuban raftees playing in the major leagues than in Cuba. The Cubs may just make their name singular and add an article at the end. The weird thing is every time I see a video of Cuba the only thing I see is someone patting their brow and fanning themselves with a Panama Jack hat. If there was a league where you scored points by fanning yourself with a Panama Jack hat, the Cubans would already own that league. Maybe that’s why all Cuban hitters swing so wildly, they’re trying to simulate the wind current from the waving of a hat. Go ahead, pfft all you want, but that’s about as solid as a theory as I’ve ever heard from someone who was popping pain killers. I’m high, y’all! Nothing about Yasmany Tomas is clear just like with most Cuban raftees. Yasmany even has one more thing confusing, how do you spell his name? I’ve seen it Yasmani and Yasmany. To me, Yasmany is the bomb dot gov spelling. As in, do you want to make mucho dollars in the U.S. of A.? “Yes many.” The pictures I’ve seen of him remind me more of Jose Abreu than other Cuban superstars. Tomas looks like your stereotypical corner outfielder. During the 2013 season in Cuba, he hit 15 homers, .289 and had 52 Ks in 324 plate appearances with a .364 OBP. (Yas)Many people before me have speculated that Cuban ball is the same as Triple-A. If a 24-year-old did that in Triple-A, there would be no questioning his potential. Since he did it in Cuba, it adds a bit of risk. The consensus has him below Abreu in power, but just about equal to him with speed. I’ll add that Yasmany looks less than Abreu for average, too. The scouts that want to get punched in the mouth by Scott Boras say Tomas could be the second coming of Dayan Viciedo. Um, ouch. I’d imagine he’ll be a tad better than that, and comparable to Yoenis Cespedes with a few less steals. To go all non-Cuban on you, I’ve read he reminds some of Marlon Byrd. For 2015, I’ll give Tomas the projections of 72/28/86/.271/4. Obviously, there’s huge upside and downside from those numbers and I kinda want him on all my teams just so I don’t miss the newest Jose Abreu.