“Hey, Intern, let’s get the Mayans on hold just in case we need them in a hurry. What? Who the hell is Ralph Mayan of the Mayan Empire and Grille in Norwalk? Your blank stare tells me nothing. Go buff out my El Dorado while I write this post!” So, I’ve seen The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife. It touches briefly on his theorems and the universe’s push and pull. Imagine the universe breathes in and out. The in is gravity and the out is energy generated by particles. However, the Cubs would breathe in, but when they exhaled it sounded like a wheeze. For over a hundred years, people thought it was dying. That constant wheeze of death. Then, Theo Epstein came along, kicked the Cubs in the ass and realized it wasn’t a wheeze but there was something stuck in its throat. The Cubs won’t breathe easy until they win a championship again, but the signing of Jon Lester should help. Last year, Lester had a 9 K/9 and a 2 BB/9. I just touched on this with the signing of Samardzija the other day, but a difference of 7 between K/9 and BB/9 is about the most beautifulest thing in the world, Keith Murray. For K-BB, Lester was 11th in the majors last year. Top ten is a who’s who that’s more glamorous than your Who’s Who of American High School Students Who Paid $75 To Be In That Who’s Who Book. I’ll give you a little hint: if you were to just draft based on K-BB, you’d win your league. Why is K-BB so important? It’s so basically basic basically basic it’s silly. If you strikeout hitters and don’t walk them, good things will happen. For 2015, I’ll give Lester the projections of 15-9/2.92/1.08/206, which is number one fantasy SP numbers. Yup, he’s going to be solid once again. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:
Miguel Montero – Also headed to Cubs. Buh-buh-buh– Where’s the boeuf Welington?! By the by, the only place I know you can still get Beef Wellington is on Hell’s Kitchen. Or as it seems to be, Beef Not-Prepared-Well..ington. How the Hell’s Kitchen did I end up on this? Oh, yeah, Montero and how he’ll be replacing Welington Castillo. His last year numbers were 13 HRs and .237. Oh, wait, that’s Welington’s stats from last year. Montero’s numbers were 13 HRs and .243. That’ll fix everything! For 2015, I’ll give Montero the projections 45/14/62/.238.
Jimmy Rollins – The Dodgers acquired him as a one-year rental. Ryne Sandberg was sad to see him go; he took a long time writing up his shit list and now has to draft a new one. One Dodgers beat reporter said that the Dodgers have been after Rollins for a long time. That makes sense. They probably wanted him back when he was great. In his career, Rollins hasn’t hit well in Dodger Stadium (.230, 3 HRs in 200 ABs), but that was facing Dodgers pitching, which is usually terrific, and that was as a visiting player, so I’m not that worried about those stats. I’m more concerned doode was born in the 1970’s. (Personally, I’m concerned being born in the 1970’s is old.) Rollins is so old he was born when we had a white president! I mean, geez, geezer (almost stutterer!). For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 89/11/61/.247/21.
Dee Gordon – Traded to the Marlins for Andrew Heaney. The Marlins are the guy in your league that makes asinine trades with other teams in your league and you really want to kick them out of your league, except you secretly hope they make an idiotic trade with you at some point. You almost get the sense that the Marlins are the one organization that still doesn’t use sabermetrics. Gordon has overrated for 2015 written all over him and he moves my pants in a non-aroused way. Last year, he hit .289 with a .346 BABIP. That BABIP isn’t totally absurd for a fast player, though his career mark is .326. His batted ball profile reads like your standard worm-killing speedster. Chop, chop, run, Dee, chop, chop, run! For 2015, I’ll give him 86/1/29/.263/55.
Dan Haren – Also headed to the Marlins in the Gordon trade. Think I was joking about the Marlins being the idiot in your league? Haren said weeks ago that if the Dodgers trade him out of Southern California, he’s retiring. Oopsie! Nice return, Marlins.
Andrew Heaney – This was the best pickup by the Dodgers since Rick Monday picked up a flag in the outfield, then they traded him to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. Yes, the Los Angeles Angels of Not Really Los Angeles traded with their not-really-geographic-brethren, the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles. I’ve already given you my Andrew Heaney fantasy, and it’s all still relevant. Like how it says I don’t have ovaries. It also says, “With three pitches that he can locate, including that 90 MPH fastball, he should be good for 7 to 7.5 K/9 and a 2.2 to 2.6 BB/9. That’s 160 Ks and a manageable WHIP in 200 IP, which is really what this post is about — I buried the lede like I’m Alfred Hitchcock. Heaney should have a rotation job all year and could throw 190-200 IP in 2015. For deeper mixed leagues, a guy that can get 160 Ks, while delivering some upside, is definitely a gamble worth taking. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 9-10/3.89/1.28/155.” And that’s me quoting me! For now, I’m going to leave the projections the same, but his 5th starter job is more tenuous now than it was yesterday.
Howie Kendrick – The Dodgers are incapable of owning or playing highly touted prospects (“Tell me about it,” says Joc Pederson), so they grabbed Heaney and then immediately flipped him for Kendrick. There is now one hitter in their lineup under the age of 30 (Puig). And I thought LA was an ageist city. Oh, wait, that’s only for women. Whew! Kendrick is one of those players that hits essentially the same no matter where he is. Almost eerily so: 13 homers at home, 15 in away games in last three years; .288 at home, .297 in away games. So, I don’t expect much more from him on the Dodgers or much less. He should leave his house about 45 minutes earlier for home games since traffic in Los Angeles Los Angeles is a lot worse than Los Angeles Anaheim. For 2015, I’ll give him 77/11/81/.288/12.
Brandon McCarthy – Imagine a guy is at an AYCE buffet and goes to the bathroom to purge himself to make more room to eat again. While he’s in the bathroom, the restaurant closes and he gets locked in. When he returns to the dining room, there’s no one there. What does he do now? He raids the kitchen and keeps eating. That was the Dodgers at the Winter Meetings. People started going home, done for the night and then, in the wee hours, the Dodgers gorged themselves on Brandon McCarthy. A lot will be made of McCarthy’s pristine 2.87 xFIP last year and his velocity jump. He still only has one year of 200 IP and he’s 31 years old. I like that he walks nearly no one (1.49 BB/9 last year), but I still don’t think of him as anything more than a flyer for a 4th or 5th fantasy starter. For 2015, I’ll give him 11-8/3.66/1.24/141.
Kike Hernandez – Also headed to the Dodgers. I wonder how having a player named Kike is gonna fly with the Jews running Hollywood.
Josh Rutledge – Acquired by the Angels to replace Kendrick. Sleeper alert! Shut up, 2013 Grey, you big dope! Since Rutledge has hit .230 in the last three years in away games and .287 at home, I’m guessing the Angels are going to flood their stadium with sewage and play in Coors in 2015. If they don’t flood their stadium in March with sewage, they may be flooding 2nd base with sewage in April. For 2015, I’ll give him 39/6/42/.249/6 and assume he only plays two-thirds of the time.
Luke Gregerson – To the Astros with Pat Neshek. I mean, they weren’t driving around town and heard the news together. Well, maybe they were. What I mean is both Gregerson and Neshek are going to the Astros in separate deals. There was no obvious closer prior to these two signings and now there’s two more non-obvious closers. It’s shaping up to be a closerousel in Houston. Lowercase yay.
Wade Miley – Traded to the Red Sox. This trade came with some bittersweet news for Sawx fans. They were happy to finally nail down a pitcher, but the news came with everyone saying that Miley would be Boston’s ace. I think the exclamation you’re looking for is yikes. Last year, he had a 8.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9, which aren’t terrible (his 4.34 ERA was; though he was unlucky and had a 3.50 xFIP). The encouraging stat is his home ERA was 5.62, and he’s getting out there. Less encouraging is he’s headed to Fenway and the AL East. He might be usable in AL-Only leagues, but in those leagues anyone that throws 200 IP is usable. I wouldn’t go near him in mixed leagues. For 2015, I’ll give him 13-9/3.92/1.34/178.
Rubby De La Rosa – Going the other way in the Miley trade (along with Allen Webster). Rubby must’ve done just that on his rabbit’s foot, because he lands in much better place. Of course, this will likely mean Randall Delgado is bumped to the bullpen without an injury making room as he’s wondering who he Rubby’d the wrong way like Johnny Gill. Rubby has solid stuff (94 MPH fastball), but hasn’t put it together yet (6.6 K/9, 4.43 ERA last year in 101 2/3 IP). With mid-90’s stuff, there’s always a chance for either a breakout or streaming in the NL. For 2015, I’ll give him 9-10/3.87/1.34/161 with room for upside and a breakout.
Alberto Callaspo – Signed with the Braves after being with the A’s. Ranking teams by improvement this offseason would have the A’s at the bottom and the next up is the Braves. So this move by Callaspo makes perfect sense. There’s only one team that would view Callaspo as an improvement.
Drew Butera – Olympic strongman and pro wrestler, Drew Butera, was acquired by the Angels. Means little for fantasy, until you consider The Sciosciapath will almost surely play a non-hitting catcher way more than he should. Goodbye two-catcher league value to Chris Iannetta.
Francisco Liriano – Re-signed with Pirates. I ranked Liriano crazy high last year because in 2013 he had a 9+ K/9 and 3.02 ERA and I was like, “What’s the problem? Doode’s straight fire getting spit out of a Tongan’s mouth at a ritual for something sacred.” Then the first half of 2014 happened and it looked like that Tongan fire was just a really acidic burp. In the end, Liriano got his shizz together and ended with a 9.7 K/9 and a 3.38 ERA. Of course, last year every pitcher had an ERA under 3.40, but Liriano ended up connecting the dots on something better than we would’ve thought when he had a 4.72 ERA in July. I still like him (what, I’m a sucker for Ks, leave me alone), and now I’m just more concerned that he’s a 31-year-old who has only been healthy for more than 163 IP in one season in his career. He appears solid, but for only a few months a year. For 2015, I’ll give him 12-7/3.52/1.26/161 in 158 IP.
Antonio Bastardo – Traded from Philly to Pittsburgh. After the Rollins trade, Bastardo was unnecessary in Philly since Sandberg didn’t need to pretend to be calling him when referring to Rollins.