The Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year deal for $217 million. MFW I heard. I get that half goes to the government, and ten percent goes to his lawyer, and ten percent goes to his agent, and ten percent goes to his business manager, and ten percent goes to his accountant, and ten percent goes to the guy in his business manager’s office that is pretending to be his business manager and moving money straight to a bank account in Turks and Caicos without anyone knowing, but $217 million is ludicrous. The Ghost of Curt Flood says, “Ya’ll abusing the crack baby out free agency.” The ‘crack baby’ modifier is popular amongst ghosts. The Ghost of Marion Barry started it. This contract makes me long for the days of collusion. This doesn’t even take into account how stupid it is from the Red Sox perspective, and I don’t mean just due to Price’s unstellar (Made Up Word of the Day!) playoff history. There will never be a contract where this much money ever makes sense. Look at your World Champion Royals, they don’t have one guy making more than ten million. Look at the past handful of huge contracts, have any of them looked good in hindsight? By the third year, this will look as egregious as the contracts given to Sabathia, A-Rod, Cano, Ryan Howard…Okay, nothing will look as bad as Ryan Howard’s. It’s not like contracts are secret either. It’s not as if the Red Sox are sitting there scratching their heads wondering how much the Royals are paying Hosmer. Big contracts get you nowhere! I said that last sentence while pounding my fist on a lectern as a few kids dozed in the front row. As for Price, he’ll turn 31 years old during the 2016 season, which is not exactly when pitchers get better, but he looks like he could stave off decline for a year or two. Last year, his fastball velocity went up from 2014, his K-rate was above his career average and his walk rate was within sneezing distance of his career mark. He was a tad lucky on homers, LOB% and BABIP, but he appears to be 2.70-3.20 ERA pitcher with neutral luck. Of course, I wouldn’t draft him since I don’t buy number one fantasy aces, but I doubt Fenway or the AL East really hurt him that much. At least not until the third year of his deal when there will be 217 million reasons why the Red Sox want to unload him. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 17-7/3.03/1.10/225 in 220 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:
Mark Trumbo – Traded to the Orioles for Steve Clevenger, who sounds like the real name of a horror film murderer. “I’m just going to take my girlfriend out on this boat in this deserted town on this man-made lake for some premarital sex. What could go wrong?” That’s what they say right before Steve Clevenger gets into the water and starts paddling with oars that have been sharpened into knives. Whenever a trade goes down that would be vetoed in a fantasy league, I scratch my noggin and wonder what’s going on. Either you want the Mariners GM in your fantasy league because he’s so dopey or there’s more to Steve Clevenger. Um, yeah, there’s nothing to Steve Clevenger. I do like saying his name though. Trumbo gets an obvious bump in fantasy value going to Camden and away from Safeco. Trumbo’s never really been bad, he’s been injured, a lot. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him put up a career year with 35+ homers, but it also wouldn’t surprise me to see him play 75 or less games and hit 14 homers. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 72/28/86/.265/1.
Nori Aoki – Signed with the Mariners. Aoki feels like one of those signings where a team’s fans get excited. “Great on base guy!” “Man, I love his wheels!” “A table setter!” Then, at some point in June, they realize he’s 34 years old and hasn’t stayed healthy in two years and isn’t staying healthy in 2016 either. For this year, my projections are 62/5/33/.281/16 in 480 ABs.
Peter Bourjos – Phillies claimed him off of waivers. The road that Bourjos walks on is paved with a thousand broken fantasy baseballers’ hearts, which is kinda not cool. That’s not a cobblestone, you jerk, it’s my heart!
Yonder Alonso – Traded to the A’s. Of course, he was. It’s only a surprise it took this long for the A’s to get this constantly underperforming, platoon-friendly 1st baseman with little power but big-time on base skills. Can the A’s trade for Yasmani Grandal already or do I need to write a strongly worded letter? For 2016, I’ll give him 47/8/56/.276/2 in 450 ABs.
Ike Davis – Non-tendered by the A’s. Ah, last year’s 1st baseman reclamation project by Beane. Oh well, Alonso’s in town now and it’s time to fry up some new re-tried Beanes.
Drew Pomeranz – Went the over way in the Alonso trade. Pomeranz now finds himself in Petco, which seems appropriate. Babe Ruth in The House That Ruth Built = Pomeranz in Petco. Only thing that would be more fitting is if the New York Mets changed to the Mutts and played in the Javits Center during the Westminster Dog Show. For now, Pomeranz is slotted in the bullpen, which is fine as long as it’s not a bulldog.