Figured if I heard the first part of the sentence, “Finally, the Tigers went out and got their man,” it would be followed by a story about how a few tigers dressed up as humans, went to visiting hours at Joe Exotic’s jail and ate him. It didn’t mean that, but if the Tigers sign Carole Baskin, the Pirates will trade Bryan Reynolds to the Tigers for her. So, the Tigers signed Javier Baez, and I love it. Tigers are sneakily becoming my “Pick it to stick it!” Which translates to a team I put hundred schmools on to win the World Series, and they just miss the playoffs. Javier Baez is defined, for better or worse, for his lack of walks — wacks? Hey, that’s actually pretty good. “Baez is too reliant on wacks to be a reliable batting average guy.” Wacks seems to give off a negative connotation in the mind of fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). If you’re in an OBP league, then I get it, but I’m not talking about OBP when I say Baez is continually underrated, which, brucely, is one of the weirder peccadillos in fantasy. By the way, never say “peccadillo” aloud because that would give someone the right to punch you in the nose. I say it’s weird because Baez is exactly the type that most love more than is deserved in real baseball. It’s truly bizarre. Real baseball people love Baez, even though he is a liability with his wacks, but, for fantasy, he’s underrated. I see Baez and want to “wacks” poetic. Comerica isn’t particularly fun-loving, so Baez has gone from Friendly Confines for power to neutral in Metco to a team whose player most synonymous with home runs was Matthew Boyd. Still, a guy who averages 27/15/.265 has my attention, and I’m ready to get my Baezian wacks. For 2022, I’ll give Javier Baez projections of 84/25/91/.257/14 in 541 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for fantasy baseball:

Psyche! Promise you sleepers are starting tomorrow, unless there’s some other big signing during the lockout, which is illegal, but what are legalities except illegalities that wear frilly shirts. Also, I’ve begun to roll out my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. Anyway II, the roundup:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Once again a New York team makes a huge free agency splash. The big news from yesterday in free agency was Jose Peraza signing with the Yankees. With the loss of Tyler Wade, the Yankees could not afford to go into the season with Gio Urshela at short without an All-Star caliber shortstop backup. At the press conference, Brian Cashman stepped up to the mic and misquoted Jay-Z, saying, “I’m not a cash man, I’m a Cashman.” Reporters’ hands shot up to ask questions, and Cashman called on one in the front row, who asked, “Is it true you signed Jose Peraza because of his ability to do a well-choreographed handshake in the dugout after someone else does something good?” Cashman screamed, “NO MORE QUESTIONS!” and ran off the stage. Then a title comes on the screen that reads, “Three weeks ago…”

This is the opening to my Freaky Friday-like role reversal movie where the Yankees become the Mets and Vice Versa, another great role reversal film. The Mets as the Yankees are Fred Savage and Lindsay Lohan in this equation. Mets signed Max Scherzer, while the Yankees’ fans watched Jose Peraza do a really cool handshake. “Yanks gonna bring back Clint Frazier on a minor league deal and trade him for Max Scherzer, right? Right?!” That’s Twitter user, BingBong27rings. Anyway, Max Scherzer for 2022 fantasy baseball and other free agency news:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welp, we were supposed to start our fantasy baseball sleepers today, but there was some movement before the lockout. *looks in the toilet* “Hey, we got movement!” By the way, for those of you who didn’t hear my thoughts on the impending lockout, you can listen to the last episode of our fantasy baseball podcast. Basically, I expect them to go to their separate corners. Owners will cry poor; players will cry that the owners are crying poor, which will be accurate, and then they’ll come back. My guess is we lose about a week of the season and gain the NL DH. It will seem dire, because a lot of reporters are on team payrolls and they’re paid to make it seem dire. It won’t be as dire as it seems, unless we get to May and still no baseball. Bright side of that would be Acuña will be ready for Opening Day. Lowercase yay! Any hoo! We’ll start the sleepers as soon as teams stop signing big free agents — we (I) did start my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon, by the by.

The Mets went out and got Mark Canha and Starling Marte, as they remade their outfield. The A’s did their best to change their culture, club wasn’t working around players like Canha and Kaprelian but those windows of opportunity come and go. They come and go. Boy, Jorge Soler would fit nicely there. The best thing about the addition of Mark Canha and Starling Marte is they push Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil to the bench-slash-platoon-Slash-Axl. Remember when there were people who thought some random 60-game stretch of Dom Smith meant he was good? Haha, those people were almost as dumb as the people who drafted Cody Bellinger last year. Hey, wait, that’s me! Jeff McNeil actually pulled the wool over our eyes in a full season, but he was never really good either. On a related note, the Mets cornered the market on Micks who hit weak grounders. Between McCann and McNeil, they hit about as hard as the IRA, if the Irish Republican Army was modeled after everything they read about IRAs on Charles Schwab. Any hoo! Canha should fit perfectly in with the Mets, because Mets’ fans need a good sense of humor so Canha helps. Can’t really be a laughingstock without a Starling ability to Canha. Canha’s 20.5% strikeout rate with a .231 average is a little bit of a concern. Couple that with his .274 and solid speed paints a picture of a guy who makes weak contact. McCann, McNeil and now M.C. are gonna bloop other teams to death. Seriously, Canha’s peripherals indicate some pretty weak contact, and backing that up was the 35th worst Hard Contact% in the league. His Launch Angle came down a little, which was prolly better for him, as it led to a few less weak fly balls, even if they’re more like weak bloopers to the 2nd baseman. For 2022, I’ll give Mark Canha projections of 73/21/64/.239/10 in 571 ABs.

That was the longest Mark Canha breakdown ever, because it was really just a giant stall for me, before tackling Starling Marte. A 33-year-old who just matched his career high at 47 steals. That’s not even taking into account the very real evil eye the universe gives to all players who sign with the Mets. Ugh. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be an ageist anymore. I wouldn’t write off players just because they’re old, but I sorted by all the players who were 33 years old who stole 47 bags or more, and there were 21 seasons of them since 1914 with 13 players. Seven of those were Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson. Guess what I’m saying is, after much deliberation about not worrying about a player’s age in regards to steals, I am still doing exactly that. Marte also had a .372 BABIP. It’s too simplistic to say the Mets just got had. Not as simplistic as saying a guy is old and his BABIP was high, but do you see why I was stalling? In the end, here’s the thing, there’s so many players to choose from, that you don’t have to be right or wrong on some guys, you can just ignore them, and that’s what I think I’m gonna be doing with Starling Marte. As far as his lineup slot, I will say the Mets have more number twos than a public toilet. If I were the Mets manager, and the Mets had a manager, I’d start the lineup Marte, Canha, Lindor, Alonso, but where are you finding Nimmo a spot? Maybe a trade with Miami, since he’s a fish at heart. For 2022, I’ll give Starling Marte projections of 89/19/61/.277/32 in 534 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Tigers must be picking my brain, because Eduardo Rodriguez was on my short-list for a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper post. I am asking the Tigers politely: Please, stop picking my brain, after just recently going on a Scarecrow-esque spiritual journey of going from no brain to a half brain to a full-full brain. People with full-full brains call them “full-full brains,” right? Yes? Cool, thanks. So, last year, Eduardo Rodriguez went 13-8 with a 3.32 FIP, a 10.6 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. If you’re like me — a full-full brain person — then you’re likely thinking, “Hey, this guy never mentioned his ERA or WHIP!” Smart, we are. Talk like Yoda, I do. I didn’t mention those stats, because I wanted you to see how good Eduardo Rodriguez was before telling you how bad Eduardo Rodriguez was. If you just saw those numbers, you’d be like, “This guy with a full-full brain is telling me Ed-Rod is good, and those numbers are showing me Ed-Rod is good-good, so how would he even be a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper?” Good question for someone who doesn’t sound full-full in the head like me. Ed-Rod had a 4.74 ERA last year in 157 2/3 IP. Ha, that’s awful, and why I think a lot of people will be ignoring him. Eduardo Rodriguez was very unlucky in 2020, then in much different ways he was unlucky again in 2021. Focus on his xBA numbers, because that’s what’s gonna f**k us (pun points!):

Look at those xBA’s. That’s crazy. Every single pitch should’ve produced better results, except his slider (more on that in a second). His velocity was down a hair in 2021, but it was really down in April, after a full year off, then it hovered up. Not quite reaching 2019 levels, but close enough. I’m not worried about velocity losses. Fenway is not a great park for BABIPs, so can dismiss some his bad luck across the board, but *that* much bad luck? Did he walk under a ladder on the way out to the mound every game? If he were traded after 2019, and he had a new home park in 2021, I might say these BABIPs might not regress, but this guy is clearly being unlucky and that will correct itself. Quick take away unrelated to the xBA numbers is he’s starting to figure out his slider, which has been a long time in the germination pod. Since 2015, he’s been throwing a slider and the values that it’s produced are all negative, which makes me chuckle a little. He’s still trying it, and it still is not great. Either way, last year was the best, uh, negative it’s been at -0.14. To give you an idea of how to compare that, in 2019, it was -2.31. That’s very bad. Don’t think that means a lot, but if his slider becomes a positive pitch for him to go with his cutter, fastball and change, three pitches that were all extremely positive as recently as 2019, Ed-Rod’s not going to be a sleeper that becomes a number two, but he’ll be an ace.

I’ve been a fan of Ed-Rod for so long, I painted his face on a kitchen cabinet that I call my Ed-Rod cupboard and it’s where I store my Top Gun-themed collectible Big Gulp cups. He’s rewarded me with two seasons of 3.82 and 3.81 (who are you, Khris Davis with the number .247), then I was out last year, due to him missing 2020, but it’s time to get back in. 2022 might be the year where we finally see him realize the immense upside. For 2022, I’ll give Eduardo Rodriguez projections of 14-7/3.77/1.24/217 in 191 IP with a chance for more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You emerge from mother’s basement, holding your hands up to your eyes to block the sun, and scream, “Ma! I won my fantasy league! Ma!” You stop to look around; it’s a fiery landscape reminiscent to an apocalypse. You open further the basement door, and it falls off its hinges. Scared, you whisper, “Ma?” There’s no walls anymore on your house, which gives you a vantage point to the entire surrounding area that smolders. Coming up your once-tree-lined street is a posse of thousands of–An army from another country? Another world? Who are these people? What have they done with your family? Just as the questions dissolve over you, a warrior spots you and grunts for you to get in line. You reach for the only weapon you can get your hands on, a Lou Pinella commemorative mini-bat from a 1981 stadium giveaway, and join the post-apocalyptic army. As you scuttle into position behind the marching forces, you see a group of warriors carrying your mother’s head on a pitchfork. Overcome with emotion, you run up and scream, “Ma! I gotta tell you about the fantasy league I won!” In this scenario, I am your mother, and the army is Razzball. You’re welcome! Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! That’s if you won your league, if you came in 2nd or worst, you get an A for effort.

Another baseball season is in the books, for our purposes at least — or porpoises, if you’re a dolphin — since no leagues I know of count game 163, and with a baseball season in the books, it means Cody Bellinger’s 2021 is now in the books, and, in conclusion, that is why they should burn books. Any questions? *calls on a white guy who looks zonked* Yes? “If I’m going to IHOP is it MeHOP, MyselfHOP or IHOP, or does it depend on usage?” God damn it, is that you Cody Bellinger?! Stop smoking so much weed! *Cody lowers his head, kicks a rock and walks out of the room* Okay, if there’s no more questions, I have one: how long until next year’s rankings come out?! Wait, I have to write them. When I’m done, I’ll start to put them on our Patreon. Now, one more question, what do I do for the next three months? Oh, yeah, write the rankings! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Robbie Ray (5 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 2.84) didn’t have it last night, which you could see for yourself, because his pants are transparent. His ERA should be enough to win the AL ERA title, depending on whether or not he comes in as a reliever on Sunday in a do-or-die game. After last night, I’d turn to Nate Pearson. Ray looked like “pre-2021 Ray” right as we start to look towards 2022, which is not what you want to see. At least him and the Jays weren’t falling to the Orioles.

Ray walked guys, characteristic of pre-2021, and allowed four homers, two of each went to Aaron Judge (2-for-3), who hit his 38th and 39th homer. Also, Brett Gardner (1-for-4) hit his 10th homer, not off his incredibly weird bald head, but that would’ve been cool. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) went HR to the Izzo for his 21st and Gleyber Torres (1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer) even got into the act. Maybe Gleyber got excited that the Orioles were being talked about, and he did it as a tribute. Aaron Boone did tell him, “Play your best game in the world, or I’ll eat your souls…” Then, Gleyber and Rizzo looked at each other and said, “And we played the first thing that came to our heads, which just so happened to be our best game in the world.” Wait, this is the best game in the world? “No,” Gleyber said, “This is just a tribute,” and, finally, “To the Orioles.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not to come out with a hot take 18 hours after everyone, but Gerrit Cole has to win that game (6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.23). Has to shutout the Jays. Scherzer would’ve. DeGrom would’ve. Corbin Burnes would’ve. Yeah, I said Corbin Burnes! They would’ve shut down the Jays. I’m glad the Jays were not shut down, don’t get it twisted, as they say at anarchistic pretzel stands. I love me the Baby Jays. Wanna put food in their mouth and talk to their moms about how I used to watch their husbands play, and then become real chummy until I’m called Unkie Grey and am at their house for Thanksgiving! That’s how much I love the Jays, but if you’re Cole, you gotta win that. So, Bo Bichette (3-for-4) hit his 27th and 28th homer, as he led the Jays to victory as well as a lot of his fantasy teams. I don’t mean he plays fantasy, I mean the teams he was on won–Ya know what? You know what I mean! Bo Bichette is the epitome of everything you want in fantasy. He’s got 30-homer power, 30-steal speed, high contact, great lineup, plays every day and, if you say his name fast, it sounds like Boba Chette. For 2022 fantasy, there’s so much talent in the game, but I could see struggling with trying to squeeze Boba in the top five because he will not suck, no matter the straw size. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Roansy makes me laughsy. He sounds like the curmudgeon 60 Minutes guy has risen in Latin America and his name is Andy Roansy. “Why do I keep getting mail?” Andy Roansy yells in Spanish then pushes mail off his desk. Señor Eduardo Bradley chuckles and outros the show. So, Roansy Contreras is being called up to start today vs. the Cubs. He made Itch’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects. His numbers in Double and Triple-A this year: 2.64 ERA, 0.93 WHIP in 58.0 IP with 82 Ks. His stuff looks lightning-esque. Didn’t feel like embedding a video, so I just made a super whatever tweet, I’m such a basic b*tch:

Prospect Itch said of Contreras, “Why is he being called up? Are the Pirates as stupid as you?” That’s him on text to me. Itch said previously, “RHP Roansy Contreras looking filthy in Pittsburgh. He topped out at 98.2 mph with just nine inches of drop on a four-seamer as he breezed through the ninth. He also threw a curveball with mucho inches of drop and an elite spin rate of 2924. Wonder if I could spin Grey’s head that much.” Not cool, man! I’d grab Contreras in any league where you’re desperate. He’ll only get one start, but so will everyone else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know the Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye song? Nananana Hey hey hey goodbye! You know it, right? Well, I sing the Na Na Hey Hey part in Indian restaurants when ordering naan. Am the only one? Really? Wow, that’s weird, because they love when I do it. You should too. But you do sing the Hey Hey goodbye part when on the toilet, right? Still only me? Hmm. Surprised to hear it. Or rather, surprised to not hear it. Not saying at home when no one can hear, I mean when in public restrooms. Only me? Wow, you guys are missing out. Yesterday, Jonathan India had the runs like a garlic naan and sent one na na hey hey goodbye. With his first career four-hit game, Jonathan India went 4-for-5, 4 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam (21) and legs (12). For 2022, India’s Sweets and Spices is on my short list of guys who I want to draft in all leagues. He has literally everything: power, great park, speed, low strikeouts, great walks and a lock on playing time. When I see him in 2022 fantasy baseball drafts, you can kiss him Mumbai! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(The Cards win, the Cards win)1 x 8 = 16. 16 is also the number of runs the Braves will score to eliminate the Cards in the playoffs. I kid. Kinda. No need to keep looking for Mr. Nootbaar. The Caards haas-beens haas been aamaazing, even Harrison Bader (1-for-4 and his 15th homer), perhaps the worst hitter in the major leagues. Haarsh? P to the erhaaps. But look at Harrison Bader’s Statcast. If you don’t at least let out a small chuckle, you’re not 100% what you’re looking at, which is fine. I will explain after the picture:

More like HAHArrison Bader. Woof, dog, take that screenshot to the kennel; it’s time to put her to sleep. His xBA is .229. His exit velocity is bottom twenty, when adding in more guys than even qualify. He has the hard hit percentages of guys who are crossed-eyed and should be out of the league. For 2022 fantasy, Harrison Bader is a decent real world player for defense, but he’s a very bad, er, hitter. Of course! Who cares for the final week? He has three games straight with a homer, and he’s one of the top schmotatoes in the game. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Holding hands together with a Juan Soto plushie, tiptoeing around my office in a tutu. I LOVE JUAN SOTO SO MUCH! There, I said it.

I cannot stop my pure heart from being driven in by Juan Soto when I’m waiting on base aka sitting on the toilet. It’s love! Damn you all for not understanding! So, Juan Soto is having a 2nd half that is insane, did you know this? I did. Hence, telling you. He’s now leading the major leagues in batting average, and OBP. For someone to swoop in and find my heart while not hitting a ton of homers? Well, Sexy Dr. Pepper’s doing it, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to try it. It’s not easy! Yesterday, Soto went 3-for-3, with his 28th and 29th homer, while hitting .325. Oh, bee tee dubs, .325 this year is like hitting .415. Sorry, Ted Williams, he’s passed you. ACKCHUALLY, he has 50 games where he’s reached base 4+ times before turning 23, and only one in history with more is Ted Williams at 54. He’s also got the most career games with 2+ HRs and a walk before turning 23. He’s 22 years old! And he has the 2nd most multiple homer games before turning 22, behind only Eddie Matthews. 2022 give me Juan Soto in the top five again, right? Yes, I love him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Slowly, paper extrudes from a fax machine. A hand brings it to a face and we read, “Need Joe R…an down at the Pentagon. Damn, we need toner! Joe R…an? Who the hell is that?! Oh, I know…” A chair swivels around to the CIA Director, he screams, “Send Joe Ryan (5 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.45) to the Pentagon! I can only assume they need a guy with a 10.2 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 — yowzas! — A 2.48 FIP, which is incredible. I can see why they want him. Sure, it’s only through 22 IP, but he had pinpoint command in the minors too — 1.6 BB/9 in Triple-A with the Rays before the trade to the Twins. Maybe he’s got the Rays’ secret sauce recipe for pitchers? Hey, Joe, you have the Rays’ secret sauce recipe for pitchers?” The CIA Director laughs before Joe can say anything, and continues, “Joe Ryan for 2022 fantasy, I expect you to have less ups and downs than most guys without a long track record. These command guys, I like a lot, me, uh, the CIA Director, and I don’t see the AL Central Intelligence Agency — that’s what it’s short for — getting much better, but I guess we don’t know yet. I mean, I know, because I’m the CIA Director and pulling strings like where free agents go is my job. Anyway, Joe Ryan get down to the Pentagon, they need you to figure out…” Reading the rest of the fax, “…how to launch a podcast!” And that’s how the CIA Director sent Joe Ryan to the Pentagon when the fax was asking for Joe Rogan. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?