Up front I have to get it out of the way, I hate the Rays for hitting sleepers in shallower mixed leagues. They have five platoons set up already and we’re not even at Spring Training yet.  Once we hit March, there’s going to be at least seven possible platoons.  Platoons are good for liberty, bad for fantasy baseball, i.e., libertad/libertbad. The trade of Mallex Smith helps the case for Austin Meadows and, specifically, his playing time, i.e., you can’t spell libertad without trade.  (I tried too.)  In the Rays’ outfield, there’s still Kevin Kiermaier, Tommy Pham, Brandon Lowe, who I want to get playing time, and Guillermo Heredia, who I don’t want to get playing time but will likely because of that reason.  Kevin Cash divvies up so much playing time we should call him, Kevin One Of Those Change Belts Teenagers Who Work At Arcades Wear.  That’s pretty pithy.  Anyway, what can we expect from Austin Meadows for 2019 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Steamer’s projections are usually very conservative, even more so when it comes to rookies.  Austin Meadows isn’t exactly a rookie, but he only has 178 at-bats in his career, so he’s not Julio Franco either.  In 509 ABs, Steamer gives Meadows the projections of 67/17/66/.264/16.  That’s in only 134 games.  For most teams, that would be a low number for a guy who is projected as the starter.  As mentioned on the aforementioned tip, that might be a lot of games to project for Meadows.  Or for the five girl readers, ‘as womentioned on the aforewomentioned tip.’  Meadows is projected for about the same fantasy value as teammate, Tommy Pham. Yo, Meadows, you a flimflam artist or a “watched film on Pham” artist?  There’s obviously no way Meadows is getting drafted anywhere near that of Pham.  So, that’s major sleeper appeal, if — and this is a Pablo Sandoval-sized if — Meadows can get that many at-bats.  Also, do I think Meadows is capable of what Steamer is projecting?  Well, thanks for asking.  But you should be asking…. Alexa, is Austin Meadows ready for the majors?  “In Triple-A with the Rays, he hit 10 homers in 96 at-bats.”  Alexa, just give the answer, I didn’t buy you so I can deduce shizz.  “Yes.”  Yes what, Alexa, give me full sentences, goddamnit.  “In 178 ABs in the majors, Austin Meadows hit six homers.”  Forget it, Alexa!  Meadows also had five steals in the majors and was only caught once.  He stole 11 bags in Triple-A with the Pirates, also with only one caught stealing.  At 23 years of age, he seems ready to hit for some 15-20 homer power and steal 15-20 bags.  We haven’t even mentioned he’s a ‘make contact’ guy.  He only swung and missed 7.7% of the time, about the same as Benintendi and Lindor, and swung at pitches outside the zone 28.3% of the time, about the same as Yelich.  Also, he made contact on 91% of those pitches outside the zone, about the same as Altuve.  So, Meadows knows when to swing and, even when he swings at pitches off the plate, he makes contact.  Last year, he had a 20.9% strikeout rate, but I’d say that’s an aberration and he could have a strikeout rate as low as 12% and not above 17%.  With his speed, BABIP and Ks, he might not hit below .280, so I think he can beat Steamer’s projections.  For 2019, I’ll give Austin Meadows the projections of 76/15/63/.277/18 in 484 ABs with a chance for more, and, that’s not even making the fairly obvious assumption that Kiermaier will be injured for 135 games and Pham will miss at least a month.  We’re talking a guy who can beat Pham’s fantasy value at least 125 picks after him.  Wham, bam, thank you, faux Pham!

  1. Member Berries says:
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    Grey!

    Any movies you recommend?

    I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, really enjoyed it.

    Last two WS champs have had the best hitting teams who take quality at bats, as a Dodger fan, it’s been frustrating to see the better team win with the inability to get hits while striking out too often.
    (Machado was not what I hoped)

    GM my dodgers, who should be their top target?

    Trade for kluber or sign Harper? With their depth, seems logical to say trade Verdugo but there goes a quality at bats player.

    • Cram It says:
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      @Member Berries: I saw Boh Rap. I’m not a huge Queen fan or familiar with Mercury’s life, aside from the dying of AIDS part. The acting was great but it felt kind of flat for me, kind of safe. The “friction” of the band and Freddie’s “struggles” felt disjointed and not compelling. Like one minute he’s having a heart wrenching conversation with his wife that he thinks he’s bisexual, and the next minute he’s prancing around at a party letting his freak flag fly while his bandmates suddenly get upset with him. I loved the parts showing how songs came to be and the music industry size. I could have done without the dramatization of the entire 20 met set at Live Aid. But a great performance by Rami for sure.

      Might have been more than you bargained for but I just saw it last night and it’s fresh on the mind!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Cram It: Totally agree, felt straightwashed to me… I don’t need a movie about his sexuality, but he felt practically straight…

        • Cram It says:
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          @Grey: Yeah, I didn’t know about his sexual habits in real life, but throughout the movie, after certain scenes, we’re like “is he gay, straight, bi, confused….wait, who cares?!” The same with the drug lifestyle. There were references to how f*d up he was, coming in late to the studio or whatever, and I’m thinking, I’m not even sure how hard it parties based on what they’ve shown. Seems like he drinks like a normal rock star but they didn’t really introduce any hard partying….not until like half way through they showed cocaine on the table. Felt like another incongruous leap.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            The movie felt sanitized for mainstream audiences… I mean, I don’t need a drug-fueled super gay movie, but it was Freddie Mercury, was he really hanging with his girlfriend at his parents’ house? I’d like to see the movie made again with Paul Thomas Anderson or someone else

            • AllThePrettyStantons says:
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              @Grey:

              PT Anderson could rock that era, mood for sure. the whole thing would need to be in the valley tho…

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Hahaha, hilarious — It’s like, ya know, Bohemian Rhapsody

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Oh, and BTW, I don’t even know if he did party, I don’t know much about him, but rock n roll, 70’s/80’s and I kinda figured… The movie could be super accurate for all I know… It just didn’t feel authentic…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              And that’s with how good I thought Rami was too

            • Cram It says:
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              @Grey: Samesies…I didn’t know how much he partied or his level of sexuality, I assumed too, but I was confused with how it was presented. He’s kissing a guy, he’s super gay! There’s coke on the table, he’s such a druggie! He blew a kiss to his mother, he’s such a good son! His guitarist called him a prick and stormed out of a party, so much friction! That’s what I meant by disjointed, but you’re hitting it more on the head with ‘sanitized for mainstream’. The tension, what little of it there was supposed to be, didn’t feel authentic.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Yeah, exactly!

      • Member Berries says:
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        @Cram It:

        I like all feeedback. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie as I thought the movie was going to be bad since Sasha Baren Cohen left it due to the script. Low expectations helped me like it for sure

        The story moved and I’m glad they showed a lot of the music. They ‘crammed’ too much in and know what you mean but i still thought it an enjoyable movie

        Grey, I like the Ottavino, Kelly, and Maldonado suggestions. Find it hard to root for Kelly after he took out Hanley when he was en Fuego

        Other than Turner, hated watching Dodger at bats, so painful. Really like to see Seager healthy and a bounce back from Bellinger.

        Do the dodgers trade Yasiel?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I think Puig’s gone, if not in the offseason, then during the season… He’s overstayed his welcome… Both seem ready to part ways… I hear ya on Kelly, but it’s a good signing for the bullpen… If they can get one more bullpen arm and a defensive catcher, I don’t think they need much more

          • Member Berries says:
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            @Grey:

            Jake Bauers moved for Yandy Diaz and a player to be named later.

            Seriously, Tampa? Yandy Diaz!? he must be a defensive whiz bc his numbers…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yandy’s not terrible, but I do like Bauers better

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Member Berries: My favorite movies so far were The Favourite and First Man — Three Identical Strangers was great too, but a documentary… I didn’t love Rhapsody, and I like Queen’s music… Dodgers hitting and pitching were great, they only needed to win a few more games, more than most teams can say… I’d get the Dodgers an Ottavino and Maldanado type for catcher… Very unsexy types, basically — Don’t think Harper is necessary, but wouldn’t hurt

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Member Berries: Actually, Joe Kelly is exactly the type of move I’d do, so that’s good

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Just saw it

  2. F5 Torenado! says:
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    Hi Grey,
    Solid write up!
    In my 12 team h2h keeper league I was offered Springer for Cole.
    I counter offered with JoRam and Springer for Arenado and Cole.
    What do you think of both deals?
    Categories are as follows:
    Offensive: runs, hits, RBIs, BA, OPS, sbs, k’s and tbs
    Pitching: wins, saves, ERA, WHIP, k’s, k:bb
    My other keepers besides Cole and Arenado are:
    G. Sanchez, Segura, Yelich, JD Martinez, Sale and Bauer.
    Thanks,
    Cersy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @F5 Torenado!: I’d take Springer or Springer/Jo-Ram… Springer > Cole

  3. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!!

    Great sleeper report on Meadows.

    a. We love Meadows at about 200, right? Earlier if possible (175?)?

    b. Mark Twain quote of the day for December 13

    1. Tom resumed his whitewashing and then he answered carelessly. ‘Like it, well I don’t see why I ought to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day said Tom.’ That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth, stepped back to note the effect and added a touch here and there. Ben, watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently, he said, ‘Say Tom, let me whitewash a little.’

    2. [On his feeling of Huckleberry Finn started in 1876] I like it only tolerably well as far as I’ve got, he told Howells, after writing the first 400 manuscript pages, and may possibly pigeon-hole it or burn it.

    3. You don’t know ’bout me, without you’d have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr Mark Twain and he told the truth, mainly. There was thangs he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.’

    4. This night we run between 7 and 8 hours with a current that was makin’ over 4 miles an hour. We catched fish and talked. We took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kinda solemn, driftin’ down the big still river, layin’ on our backs, lookin’ up at the stars. And we didn’t ever feel like talkin’ loud and weren’t often when we laughed. Only a little kind of chuckle.

    5. Jim talked out loud. He was sayin’ how the first thing he would do when he got to a free state he would go to savin’ up money and never spend a single cent. And when he got enough, he would buy his wife. And then they would both work to buy their 2 children. And if their master wouldn’t sell ’em, they’d get an abolitionist to go and steal ’em. It most froze me to hear such talk. Here was this nigger which I had as good as helped to run away comin’ right out flat-footed and sayin’ he would steal his children – children that belonged to a man that I didn’t even know. A man that hadn’t ever done me no harm.

    6. I guess Jim misses his family the way white folks do their’n. It don’t seem natural but I reckon it’s so.

    7. I got to thinkin’ over our trip down the river and I see Jim before me all the time in the day and in the night time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms. And we afloatin’ along talkin’, singin’, laughin’, but somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no place to harden me against him. But only the other kind. I’d see him standing on my watch on top of his’n instead of calling me so I could go on sleepin’ and see how glad he was when I come back out of the fog and such like times. And would always call me honey and do everything he think of fo’ me. And how good he always was. And at last I struck the time when he said I was the best friend Old Jim ever had in the world and the only one he’s got now. And then I happened to look around and see that paper. I took it up and I held it in my hand. I was atremblin’ because I had got to decide forever betwixt two things and I know’d it. I studied a minute sort of holding my breath and says to myself, ‘All right then, I’ll go to hell,’ and tore it up.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante Galic: A. Yeah, I love him there B. All this Jim talk makes me think Twain was a fan of The Office.

      • Ante Galic says:
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        @Grey: Grey!!!

        a. Thanks, man! Made of mental note of you lovin’ him there!

        b. But, daaaaa! Did I hit the payload???

        c. You know what I think? I think you’re just playing me. Like if I asked you to think of a number between 1 and 10 and then asked you for the number you thought I was thinking of and you said 5 and I said wrong I was thinking of 4 but in actual fact I was thinking of 5 but I can’t admit you’re right can I? Damn, you. You got me again! Ok, like I said last week, more comin’. Until December 20.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. Don’t make too many mental notes, use paper! Is that Twain?
          B. Nah
          C. I have thought about how maybe I missed or forgot it from earlier this year, but I searched the comments for the year and didn’t see it (I’m able to search for keywords on backend)

          • Ante Galic says:
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            @Grey: Grey!!

            Thanks, man.

            He made too many mental notes, it’ll be on my tombstone!

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              HA! Very funny

          • LenFuego says:
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            @Grey: Wait, I am confused … since when has there ever been a ‘C’?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha

  4. Five-on-One says:
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    Grey – I loves me the sleeper posts. No, really I do. But 5 OF sleepers and nothing else (so far)? Come on, man! I needs me some ‘other’ sleepers. My auction strategy (which has led to a top three finish for 10 consecutive years) is not quite ‘studs and duds’ more like get me 3-5 studs and then wait a while before diving back into the auction. AND I NEED YOUR SLEEPERS TO DO THAT. That is all. And, yeah, thanks for all that you do.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Five-on-One: I’m working around the diamond, started with OFs

  5. Slappy Jack says:
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    Plot twist!
    Meadows is hurt throughout the year and Lowe gets 500 ABs.
    But which Lowe?
    Slappy doesn’t know!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Slappy Jack: Slappy’s visions of the future are cloudy!

  6. Pasta Fazool says:
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    Give me your Matt Olson Over/Unders for 2019:

    30HR
    90RBI
    90R
    75BB

    Thanks alot Grey

  7. Bill says:
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    Grey, another good read. Suggestion: include links to previous sleeper post at the bottom of each new sleeper posts for this year. Ahhh clickbait!

  8. Dave D says:
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    Im still trying to wrap my head around the Mariners and DBacks being sellers while the (Devil) Rays sign Morton for $30 million. Strange business.

    Meanwhile, the Justin Bour signing in “Los Angeles” is nearly as exciting as the Zack Cozart or Ian Kinsler moves last year. I’m gonna go out on a line and predict 20/6/25/.220/0 in 243 AB’s. That should be good to Cron the young Matt Thaiss. Is Scioscia a consultant to the GM still? What a complete waste of 2.5 million dollars.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Dave D: Really bizarre, right? How are the Rays buyers now? Agree on Bour too, I think I have him around 16 HRs, but yeah not much to it

      • Dave D says:
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        @Grey:

        Why not just give Taylor Ward or Matt Thaiss a job at the corner, stick Cozart wherever, and save that money toward a legit player like a real 2B, C or RF? Lots of good 2B options this offseason. Oh, and having no legit #1 starters isn’t gonna make Mike Trout’s decision to walk away very hard. The Angels waste so much money on garbage players. Bour is not likely to outperform Thaiss IMO, so why not just let the guy have a shot.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          It’s baffling… Unless they feel like they need a stopgap until Ward and Thaiss are completely ready — They didn’t give Cron a chance for five years, I think Scioscia is still behind these decisions… Also, when Arte Moreno first came on the scene he was spending so much money, now they’re buying bargain 1B? What happened to Moreno?

          • Dave D says:
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            @Grey:

            “Morono” is clueless. He has no concept of how to compile a roster nor does he understand age related performance deterioration. Has always had a negative impact on his GM decisions. I sat a few seats from him the year before last at Yankees stadium. I was tempted to strike up a conversation with him but since I paid so much for the seats I decided I couldn’t risk getting ushered out by security. Incredible experience there though.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Damn, those must’ve been some insanely good seats… I get what you’re saying, but it seems to me he had money to throw around when he first came on the scene, now he seems dead broke

              • Dave D says:
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                @Grey:

                I think he’s gun-shy after clearly boggling things when he basically told the GM to get in the back seat while he negotiated the Pujols, Josh Hamilton, CJ Wilson contracts. I was baffled how they traded Jean Segura fir Grienke then just let him walk. Stupid then, stupid now. That was all Moronos decision to go after a deteriorating Hamilton over Greinke.

                I think he’s saving money thinking he can resign Trout while not realizing he needs to be spending THIS off season to have any hope of that. Trout needs to taste the playoffs this year or he’s definitely gone.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I’m by no means an Angels fan, but it would suck if Trout walks, he is the raison d’etre for the Angels… Imagine Trout goes to the Dodgers, ouch

                  • Harley Earl says:
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                    @Grey:

                    I sat four rows behind Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt for a three-game series against the Rockies two years ago. I did not want to strike up a conversation though. I wanted to slap him on his bald head and tell him to spend some damn money on a real free agent. Unfortunately, I did not and he did not.

  9. LenFuego says:
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    Were you exaggerating when you said the Rays are going to have 5 platoons (and maybe up to 7) or is there some “opener” type innovative strategy they can use somehow with the 40 man roster to achieve that? Last year they went to opening day with 13 position players, which seems like it would only accommodate up to 4 platoons – 9 starters plus 4 players on the bench who can platoon.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I was exaggerating, but the Rays do like to platoon, which could take 75-150 ABs away from Meadows

      • LenFuego says:
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        @Grey: Rays just traded Jake Bauers to Cleveland. You did not even mention him in this post because he is more of a first baseman but he was another guy that could have eaten some outfield and DH ABs that could go to Meadows.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          True, and they got back Yandy who I don’t think plays OF

          • LenFuego says:
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            @Grey: Yandy played in the OF for the Indians 3 times in 2017, but that is the only OF he has played anywhere in the last 5 years — other than that, he has played mostly 3B, some 1B and a dash of 2B mixed in.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, seems like a DH guy more than anything

  10. Crawdad says:
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    Would Meadows still be a sleeper in a 9X9 league with extra CATS such as OPS, BB, XBH?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

  11. Joe says:
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    Thoughts on a Glasnow sleeper post?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      There will be more sleeper posts

  12. Dave D says:
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    Bauer meet Bauers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, yeah

      • Sweatpants Nation says:
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        @Grey: Indians will save money on uniforms. Once Bauer is traded they can just add an S to Trevor’s old ones.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, yup!

          • Dave D says:
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            @Grey:

            So, the Rays are adding Encarnacion and (how much of?) his $21 million salary a couple days after signing Morton for $30m? This seems unreal? Apparently they believe they can be one of three teams from their division to make the playoffs? Amazing.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              It’s so crazy, and the guys they add are Morton (elbow injury and old) and Edwin (just old)?!

              • Crime Dog says:
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                @Grey: this is why the rays are not a championship organization. In their division they should be doing what Houston did.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, it’s bizarre

  13. Squat Cobblers says:
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    Good stuff Grey. Looking forward to snatching Meadows in several drafts.

    I know it’s a bit early and I should be patient for your rankings due next month…but I was wondering if you wouldn’t picking your top 3 SPs from the following:

    Ryu
    Heaney
    Porcello
    Darvish
    Eovaldi
    Lucchesi
    Hamels
    Glasnow
    Bieber
    Ed Rod
    Newcomb
    Kikuchi

    Thanks Senor Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Luccehsi, Ed-Rod and Ryu

      • Squat Cobblers says:
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        @Grey: Thanks again!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

          • Crime Dog says:
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            @Grey: I might be getting too excited here but I love glasnow this year. Almost feels like Trevor Bauer last year but maybe not quite to that level yet. Since he was traded to the Rays he lowered his walks a lot, had 10 k/9 and only 3 bb/9….he did have a 4.2 ERA with the Rays but that’s really because of 1 bad outings, his only bad outing really with the rays.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I love Glasnow too, there will be a sleeper post for him, but it won’t be for a few weeks… Doing position players first

  14. DonnieB says:
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    How would you rank Steckenrider, Conley and Ottavino for saves next year—as of today? Are the Rays going for it all with getting Encarnacion? Thank you Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Does Ottavino have a team yet?

  15. jack florida says:
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    happy holidays and hope you like the new house

    my favorite recent film is Green Book, really enjoyed it

    12 team h2h dynasty would you trade Pham for Strasburg?

    thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’ve been meaning to see Greenbook, I have it sitting on my coffee table to watch…I’ve hard great things tho!

      I’d take Strasburg, but fairly even trade

Comments are closed.