The Rangers traded Delino DeShields Jr. and Emmanuel Clase for Corey Kluber. Finally, someone that likes Delino DeShields Jr. as much as me! Indians tried to not compete last year, but at first you don’t succeed in not succeeding, don’t try, don’t try again. Cannot wait to see what the Indians get for Francisco Lindor. Maybe Clint Frazier and a bucket of balls gets it done. You’d think Indians would be against trying to tank, being more team that wants its horse in the race, but, wow, MLB is completely broken. Teams that should and can be good are going out of their way to tank. I saw someone (think it was a Cleveland-area radio sports show host) say something like, “Indians can’t afford these players so this is their only option.” Yo, the Indians owner, Dolan family, is worth $6.5 billion, according to Forbes. That’s not according to their bank, because you can’t count that much money in a lifetime. If the Dolans can’t afford a $25 million dollar per year contract, then who can? Bezos? Does Amazon need to buy all MLB teams? Can we get Jack Ryan day at the park? That might be fun. This isn’t even about whether Kluber is broken for good either, because his salary ($17.5 mill) should be affordable for any team, even if the player is broken. Blake Treinen got $10 million for Pete Bourjos’s sake! Any hoo! For Kluber fantasy value, I’m torn, because he feels like the type who can gut out a solid season, but that is soooooooooooo — yes, eleven O’s! — anecdotal and isn’t based on anything. But, also in his favor, he saved his arm last year from throwing another 200+ IP, which has to be good. Yes, I know his arm was injured, but it was a broken forearm. I’m not a doctor, but a forearm isn’t an elbow or shoulder injury, and a broken one is better than a strained one. Unfortunately, he had to be removed from a rehab assignment last year, due to diminished velocity, and, prior to the injury, his velocity was down and his ERA, FIP, xFIP were all up. Just too much risk and I’m out on Kluber this year. For 2020, my Kluber projections are 10-5/3.81/1.17/164 in 158 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:
Madison Bumgarner – Signed with the Diamondbacks. I think we’re gonna find that Bumgarner was partially a product of his environment — nature vs. nurture vs. Googling what nature and nurture are. His career home ERA (2.72) and away ERA (3.53) show this, naturally (nurturally?) because everyone is better at home. I’ve said this many times before, but unless you’re drafting George Clooney’s character from Up In The Air, think about how well anyone performs at home vs. away. You’re in your own bed, you’re with your family, you get to see your wife–Wait, are these still positives? I kid, Cougs, I kid! Performance at home is a thing, so that Bumgarner performs better at home isn’t surprising. So, if he was a Yankees pitcher for the last ten years, the Yankees might’ve won a World Series — snap! — and Bumgarner might’ve been exactly the same pitcher calling New York home, i.e., he’s not entirely a product of AT&T, Pac Bell or whatever telecommunication overlord is ruling San Fran. However, Telecommunications Field is accounting for a bit more than just home cooking. Now, is he, as Steamer is projecting, a 4.63 ERA pitcher? That seems a tad pessimistic. He was a 8.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.90 FIP pitcher last year with increased velocity. He’s only 30 years old, and pitchers nowadays are like, “Yo, Charlie Morton rub some old man goo on my hands I wanna be good again in my late-30s.” So, I’m not out on Bumgarner completely if the price is right, but I’m also not completely crazy about him in his new home. Hey, Grey, you want some thorns with those hedges! For 2020, I’ll give Bumgarner projections of 13-9/3.72/1.12/184 in 190 IP.
— Razzball (@Razzball) December 15, 2019
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo – Signed with the Rays. Ya know what would be awesome? If every country in the world, posted baseball players. It’s like the Red Ryder BB gun, or any Christmas present you didn’t think you were getting that was hidden in a different closet to fool you into thinking you had opened all the gifts. “You’ve already opened all your free agents, Grey. Yup, Ozuna or Castellanos are it for big-name free agent outfielders.” You start to bunch the Christmas wrapping paper together to throw away because you know if you leave a mess and Dad’s drinking the spiked nog, he’s going to spike your head, then, suddenly mom walks out of the closet with Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. “Grey, you said you wanted another free agent…right?” Then you run up, hug Yoshitomo around the waist, sobbing from joy. Then your father spikes your head anyway. Ah, yes, the holiday spirit. So, Tsutsugo is a chunky Ishikaya meatball, huh? I watched every at-bat I could find and he looks like Bryce Harper’s swing has entered Kyle Schwarber’s body. Kyce Harber? Hmm, nope, has to be Bryle Schwarper. Any time you can start a word with Sch, you do it. That’s like rule #1 in Yiddish Fight Club. That’s like having Howie Kendrick and Mike Schmidt and passing on Mowie Schmendrick for Hike Kidt. Any hoo! Tsutsugo has shown solid power (44 HRs in 2016), but last year was by far his worst year (29 HRs, 25.3% K%). Not to pee in the Gatorade and call it Lemon-Lime, but I could see him getting eaten up by major league pitching, or at least platooning out vs. lefties. Also, the profile he’s bringing to the U.S. isn’t exactly missing from today’s game. Throw a rock and hit two 25-homer hitters and nick a third. In the end, a BB gun is fun, but feety pajamas actually keep you warm. For 2020, I’ll give Yoshitomo Tsutsugo projections of 61/26/72/.248 in 451 ABs.
Brett Gardner – Re-signed with the Yankees. It will be interesting to see if Brett Gardner hit his ceiling. *slow smile builds across face, small chuckle, gives self a low-five*. For 2020, I’ll give Brett Gardner projections 66/18/69/.242/12 in 461 ABs.
Rick Porcello – Signed with the Mets. Close your eyes and make a wish that Porcello will win the Cy Young again. Now think about how if he does, you could’ve wished for anything and instead you wished into existence some nonsense for someone you don’t even know. Well played! This is for you, like the Mets, a lottery ticket that somehow Porcello will find his way back to relevance. He hasn’t had just one bad season between his Cy Young year and last year. Oh, he’s been derailed a while, and I wouldn’t expect much. For 2020, I’ll give him projections of 10-11/4.31/1.33/151 in 171 IP. For what it’s Werth, this hurts Wacha’s projected innings, though that might help his value. Less we see of him, the better.
Brett Anderson – Signed with the Brewers. Damn, Brewers, you’re messing up my love for Freddy Peralta! *sees Anderson had a full season in 2009, 2015 and 2019, and at no time in-between* Hmm, well, if I’m still fluent in SAT questions, Anderson won’t have another full season until 2021, so I’m good! On a related note, Brewers GM said of Peralta, he’s young and we’re not too concerned about his development since no pitcher has a straight linear path. Nope, with signing of Anderson and Lindblom, and trading for Lauer, all young Brewers need to jump over some old dusty bums you put in their path. The absolute idiocy to sign a guy with a 4.7 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. Anderson doesn’t get projections, because he will not draftable in the top 500.
Austin Romine – Signed with the Tigers. It was the last day of the Winter Meetings. The Tigers kept quiet for most of the time. Had their GM been caught under a stack of phonebooks? Was the parking ticket the team bus received on the first day weighing down their chances of making a huge splash in free agency? Or, as their dozens of fans wanted to believe, they were just biding their time? That’s when the 40 or so Tigers fans received the news. It wasn’t Gerrit Cole. It wasn’t Anthony Rendon. It wasn’t even Dawel Lugo, because they thought they already had him, it was Austin Romine. He’s a -12 WAR player, but what is WAR good for? Absolutely nothing! Which the Tigers brass thought might’ve been recorded in Detroit, so that was a selling point to their fans too. For 2020, will give Romine projections of 38/11/42/.247/3 in 372 ABs.
Martin Perez – Signed with the Red Sox. Just after the Winter Meetings, the Red Sox GM got in his chauffeured driven bullpen cart that was a large replica of Ted Williams head. When he thought he was out of sightline of everyone, he peeled the skin away from his chin and pulled off a mask, revealing he was really the Pirates mascot, the Jolly Pirate! Oh em gee! So, as the Red Sox transition into a small market team, they got the prize Martin, The Small Market Prizez. I’ll give him projections of 10-10/4.54/1.44/131 in 171 IP.
I’m gonna give you a ten or so names that come to mind and you tell me what they have in common and if you don’t tell me I will tell you because that’s how this works. Ready? Don’t verbally answer, I can’t hear you. Just continue reading. Okay, here goes! Rafael Devers, Yuli Gurriel, Kolten Wong, Max Kepler, Trey Mancini, Miguel Sano, Yoan Moncada, Christian Vazquez, Jason Heyward, Ketel Marte, Jorge Soler and Cody Bellinger. If you answered, “They were good last year and you are a giant dur.” You’re close. Or rather, you’re halfway there. They were good last year, but there’s something else about them. If you answered, “They all love Applebee’s?” No, that’s an awful answer. If you answered, “They all tell baristas, ‘Make my foam art good, and you get an extra fifty cents tip.'” No, that’s me, I say that. I don’t know what these players say. Okay, done guessing? Good, because you’re an awful guesser. Those players were all great last year and they were all awful in 2018. Anyone can sit there, and, with your arthritis, I’m assuming you’re sitting, and tell us who was good last year and how they will be good again this year. It takes a pair of joneses — you could say ‘cojones’ — to tell you to draft someone who was as bad last year as Jose Peraza, but guess what about me? Besides the foam art, I already told you that! That’s right, I’m going back in on Jose Peraza after a season when he went 37/6/33/.239/7 in 376 at-bats. Wow, when I put it like that, he was awful! Yesterday, the Red Sox signed him Jose Peraza. So, Yankees went out and got Gerrit Cole; Angels got Rendon; Phillies got a bunch of players; Red Sox signed Peraza who was released by the Reds. Are we sure the Red Sox front office hasn’t been kidnapped and this is a call for help? The good news for Peraza is he should have a starting job at 2nd base and he can just add “ox” to his Reds jersey. Bad news, how much time you have? No, no, NO! This is supposed to be positive. So, what can we expect from Jose Peraza for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Jose Peraza is only 25 years old, and will be 26 by end of April. I know, feels like he’s been around a while, but that’s because he has. He’s had close to 1800 MLB at-bats and has a career average of .273 and a .301 BABIP. He’s had years of a higher BABIP, which, with his speed, I’d kinda expect, but he does hit absolutely dinkers with a 34 MPH exit velocity, so he’s not someone I’d necessarily tag for a .350+ BABIP either. He had a 85 MPH exit velocity last year, which is about the same as some (most?) pitchers. Well, he had a 84 MPH exit velocity the year before when he hit .288. Speaking of .288, that feels high for him. It’s possible, but prolly closer to .270. If homeboy hits .270, he could sneak into the top of the lineup with everyone shifting down, though that is unlikely. The most likely outcome of him hitting 9th isn’t as bad in the Red Sox lineup. On base in front of Betts? Devers? Bogaerts? That sounds a lot better than hitting leadoff for the Reds. Give him .270 and 520 ABs, and he’s already worth the price of his draft-day admission, which is essentially nil, zilch, nilch! But wait there’s more! He hit 14 homers in 2018 — someone was ahead of the curve on juiced balls! — and only six last year as previously mentioned on the aforementioned tip. He’s a tiny little squeak of pip, but he’s not a Juan Pierre-one-homer-if-lucky-type guy. He can hit between 8-12 (and, yes, 14) with relative ease in a full season. Of course, none of this ticks the clock, as no one says, without the speed and, presumably, steals. Peraza did lose a step last year 28.8 ft/second to 28.0. Not gonna lie, that’s concerning. It’s not the end of the world. Mookie Betts had a slower sprint speed; Jonathan Villar was slower; Kolten Wong and Dannys Antana, to name a few more who stole a bunch of bases last year, were all slower. Will Peraza steal 30+ bags? That seems possible but doubtful. Can he have a very respectable 10/25/.270 season at the cost of just showing up at your draft? Oh, heck yeah. For 2020, I’ll give Jose Peraza projections of 58/10/49/.272/24 in 516 ABs with a chance for more.