“You can spend any amount of money, but it has to be in the months of November and December, then from the months of April thru October you have to stink.”
Rangers’ GM, the 8-foot tall Chris Young shakes his head, lowering the last will and testament of the Rangers’ crazy aunt Mary, who just passed. Finally, Young says, “This is more convoluted than Brewster’s Millions.”
Don’t fully understand it, but the Rangers print money in December of every year, then set it on fire all summer long. It’s not clear how, why or any other question you have. All I know is the Rangers have made this their MO. It truly is impressive if you stop to think about it. I’m glad they’re spending money, but real questions: Where is all this money coming from and are they ever going to win anything? So, the latest spend was on Jacob deGrom, giving him $222 million. Good for him. As I said at one point last year, when he’s healthy, he’s one of the best pitchers in the game. Speaking of which, as frequent contributor, Coolwhip, reminded me: What will deGrom’s health be like without the Mets’ trainers? 220 IP incoming! I kid, I think. No, I don’t think deGrom will suddenly be the model of good health. He has a better chance of being a cover model on Men’s Health next to a topless Bartolo Colon. Speaking of the Mets:
— Razzball (@Razzball) December 3, 2022
So, Jacob deGrom goes to a great park, but he’s stadium-proof. He’s in a new league, but he’s league-proof. He’s the best pitcher in the game, who can’t get past 92 IP since 2021. He could be one of the biggest lottery tickets in fantasy baseball drafts, but, unless he fell, I won’t be trying to cash it. His 14.3 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, and 1.54 xFIP last year are so ridiculous. In 64 IP or 15 IP, it doesn’t matter. No one is better, it’s just “no one is better” for how many innings? That’s the question. For 2023, I’ll give Jacob deGrom projections of 10-2/2.26/0.83/167 in 107 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2023 fantasy baseball:
Kolten Wong – Traded to the Mariners. The good news is if you draft Wong on a team where you have Semien, you can name your team Before and After. Or you can you use my yearbook quote, “It’s not how far you shoot, it’s where you aim.” Not sure how that made it through the censors. Clearly, they were thrown off by me attributing the quote to a great made-up archer, Longsworth Peechute. Any hoo! Wong can’t hit lefties, and won’t be allowed to much Moore (pun noted, and intended), so that will cut down Wong — whoa, Lorena Bobbitt! — and his counting stats. For 2023, I’ll give Kolten Wong projections of 58/12/51/.264/16 in 441 ABs. More importantly, this opens a spot on the Brewers for Brice Turang, whose name sounds like Lurch negotiating a new contract. At least the prospect guys are saying Turang is being rung up to start. I don’t doubt he’s ready, but when does ready equal playing time? On the Braves, that’s about it. Could see Turang getting 400-ish at-bats and a late-April call-up or maybe Opening Day. Will discuss him more in the 2nd base rankings. Sooner on our Patreon.
Jesse Winker – Went the other way in the Wong trade, i.e., they turned Winker to Wong. Boy, that escalated quickly. Ya know what it deescalated fast? Any opportunity Sal Frelick might have. My Sal Frelick fantasy looks basically washed already. May as well get one last clickbait in there. *pouring one out for Frelick, realizing I’m indoors and I just poured it out on my rug* Damn it! So, Winker on the Brewers, huh? Jesse Winker is the ultimate “We can fix him” player. Oh, they can’t fix him. If they couldn’t get Yelich to stop hitting a 50% ground ball rate or Keston Hiura to stop his 40% strikeout rate; they’re not fixing Winker. Nudge, Winker, nudge, nudge, pass. For 2023, I’ll give Jesse Winker projections of 67/17/66/.266/1 in 431 ABs.
Abraham Toro – Traded to the Brewers with Winker. You lose Wong but get a bull? Did someone get cucked? I’m going to hope Toro is not used for more that 150 at-bats total for the Brewers, but I fully expect him to be the starter instead of Turang for three months, while hitting 3 homers and .175.
Kyle Gibson – Signed with the Orioles. Hey, the O’s got their number one starter! *emoji wearing an Orioles hat rolls a wheelbarrow onto train tracks and hops in* Nah, the O’s have starting pitcher prospects they’re going to promote, right? Dot dot dot. Right?! So, Gibson is a good bet for 160 IP and I wouldn’t bet on anything else with him. For 2023, I’ll give Kyle Gibson projections 7-12/4.17/1.31/134 in 162 IP.
Lewin Diaz – Was claimed by the Pirates. Saw one site say this was a “phenomenal landing spot” for Lewin and I did a 500-foot spit take that landed in the Allegheny, and a little kid pointed and said, “Hey, ma, a fountain!” Then the Pirates cut Lewin when they signed Carlos Santana. No fear, the Orioles signed Diaz, and the same site didn’t have any “phenomenal landing spot” hype left in the tank. Sigh.
Jose Abreu – Signed by the Astros. So, the Astros got their new Cuban. Astros, for real, have a pipeline down there in Houston where they glue together a bunch of Cohibas into the shape of a scarecrow, call it a 1st baseman, and pitchers are shook. Have the Astros ever had a none Cuban 1st baseman? Don’t name Bagwell. His real name was Jefe Plaintain. Few people know that, but now you do. So, the Astros got their new Cuban first baseman, kinda the same as their old Cuban first baseman, Aledmys Diaz. Wait, I mean, Yuli Gurriel. Wait, Yordan played 1st–Okay, my point’s been made, but Abreu likely isn’t that different than Gurriel, if being honest, and the Crawford Boxes could add 7-10 dingers onto the Dongcake from Chicago, and be icing on top of his decent average and good counting stats sandwich. For 2023, I’ll give Jose Abreu projections of 83/26/109/.273 in 581 ABs.
Kyle Lewis – Traded to the Diamondbacks. The Dbags reading my 2021 Kyle Lewis sleeper with their finger over the year, “Hey, this guy sounds great!” Good for the Mariners clearing up their outfield and getting a good prospect, Cooper Hummel, who I’ll go over in a minute. I, honestly, don’t know what the Dbags are doing. They know they have Alek Thomas, Daulton Varsho, Corbin Carroll and Jake McCarthy, right? If they want to put Lewis at DH, then fine. Let him platoon with Pavin Smith. Pavin/Lewis Can’t Lose. For 2023, I’ll give Kyle Lewis projections of 38/12/46/.219/2 in 327 ABs.
Cooper Hummel – Went the other way in the Lewis trade to the Mariners. Has shown solid contact, and he sounds like a limited edition piece from the Franklin Mint. Unlikely to have a huge role, but will be someone to watch in-season if he gets playing time, or Cal Raleigh or Tom Murphy are hurt or traded.
Gio Urshela – Acquired by the Angels. Not sure where Urshela could play with Rendon in front of him in the depth chart. Let’s see…Wait a second, I just looked at the Angels’ depth chart and Rendon is now on the IL. Let me try to blink again and see if Rendon magically appears back in the lineup. He does! It works! Let me blink once more to see if I can injure Rendon again. …Wow! It worked! I better stop blinking or else Rendon will continue to get injured. Everyone hold their eyelids. For 2023, I’ll give Gio Urshela projections of 54/14/62/.271/1 in 457 ABs.
Hunter Renfroe – Traded to the Angels. Ah, I see what’s going on. Hunter Renfroe looks like Mike Trout. I mean, it’s uncanny. So, if your farm system can’t produce another Mike Trout, then you do the 2nd best thing — make fans think you cloned Trout! “Hey, did you hear Barbara Streisand cloned her dogs?” “Yeah, and the Angels cloned Mike Trout.” “Ah, cool, smart organization.” What else is going on here with Arte Moreno is very familiar to me. It reminds me of the time I tried to sell my Toyota Corolla by putting a Mercedes emblem on it. Call him Smartie Arte! So, Milwaukee was a great park, but the Big A, as Anaheim is known to those that like fat rears, has gotten so much better recently — I think it’s the humidor, tee bee aitch. The lineup looks as good, if not better, in Anaheim if Trout and Rendon are healthy, and, well, I’m being silly now, but it’s not a bad lineup. For fantasy, it feels like at worst a push on Renfroe’s value. For 2023, I’ll give Hunter Renfroe projections of 63/30/79/.251/2 in 508 ABs, and he’s always underrated.
Mike Clevinger – Signed with the White Sox. Clevinger should feel right back at home in the AL Central. “They’re called Guardians now? Were they when I was there?” That’s Clevinger, while wearing tie-dye and Birkenstocks. Hopefully, Clevinger doesn’t run into his old friend Zach Plesac. They were trouble together. Bad influence! We need to separate you two! Sorry, I just became my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Langdon. So, Clevinger returned at about 35% capacity after Tommy John surgery, but maybe it’s taking him a little while longer than most. His velocity was way down, though, and his strikeouts and, yeah, he didn’t look great, tee be aitch. For 2023, I’ll give Mike Clevinger projections of 10-9/4.02/1.17/139 in 154 IP.
Carlos Santana – Signed by the Pirates. The Pirates don’t rob booty; they are booty. Peeeeee-you! With the shift ending, this is actually a very astute signing by the Pirates, said a beat reporter who wanted to stay in the Pirates’ good graces. This signing stinks. Sorry, Carlos Santana hasn’t been decent since Rob Thomas, and he’s in Philly. For 2023, I’ll give Carlos Santana projections of 53/15/58/.212 in 422 ABs.
Zach Eflin – Got a $40 million bag from the Rays, which is their largest free agent deal in franchise history and I’d laugh if that wasn’t so pathetic. Welcome to 1995 salaries, Rays, you giant freakin’ bums. Any hoo! Eflin was used in relief with the Phils, but Kevin Cash will surely use him as a reliever, opener, bulk starter, non-bulk starter, which is just a starter, and a right fielder. Without too much galaxy braining, I can convince myself Eflin is a fantasy baseball sleeper. He had a 8.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 in 2021 as a strictly starter, and 7.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 last year. That plays as a strong ratio play in the fantasy four to five role. If he can keep the ball in the park, which Tampa should help with, he could be a low-3 ERA, one-point-barely WHIP and ugly strikeouts with just a little favorable luck. For 2023, I’ll give Zach Eflin projections of 8-7/3.71/1.14/118 in 138 IP.
Jeimer Candelario – Signed with the Nats. Last year, Jeimer was a sleeper of mine. This year, I’m pointing and laughing at Last Year Grey. “Hey, Last Year Grey, you stink!” Got heeeeeem! I hate that guy. That Last Year Grey guy. Not a good person. Anyway, Jeimer kinda sucks. We found this out the hard way. By him sucking. Going to a lineup that features as their best hitter a guy named after a lady’s menstruation might not help Jeimer, but at least it won’t knock him to the bench. That’s right, he can continue sucking in everyday duty! Hey, I said ‘duty,’ this blurb is really about Jeimer. For 2023, I’ll give Jeimer Candelario projections of 52/15/56/.220 in 477 ABs with a chance for more (at-bats).
Bryce Harper – Had Tommy John surgery and won’t return until the All-Star Break. *the world’s longest woof* He had to wait almost a month after the World Series to have surgery? By my calculations, that means almost a month of the season that he’s going to miss. You’d think the Phils or someone would’ve been like, “Hey, my main dude, maybe we get you into surgery like fifteen minutes after the last pitch of the World Series.” Such a bizarre set of circumstances. They knew he needed the surgery for the last six months! I don’t get it. For fantasy, I have to think this drops him at least forty spots in ADP, and takes at least three months of stats off his line, so subtract 45/20/50/.270/7 from whatever you thought you were getting, and, actually that means his projections will be close to that too, since he’s missing about 60% of the season.
Kyle Farmer – Traded to the Twins. “With Kyle Farmer gone, your time is now, Jose Barrero!” Jose Barrero lowers his head to thank God, he had prayed for this. It’s finally coming together for him. He grabs his mitt. “Time is now to load Kevin Newman’s bags onto the bus. Sorry, I paused at a bad time.” What an absolute shizz organization the Reds are. The Reds should be taken over by the league. Not the Major Leagues, because Rob Manfred sucks too. Let the Reds get taken over by the National Hockey League. Any league that is going to knock some sense into their heads. How do you acquire Barrero from Cuba — they’re paying for him! — and they never play him. Incredible. Any hoo! Farmer to the Twins, and this does nothing for his fantasy value, unless you count depleting value something. For 2023, I’ll give Kyle Farmer projections of 41/9/37/.262/4 in 381 ABs.
Kevin Newman – Acquired by the Reds. Okay, not to harp on the unseriousness of the Reds, but how do you lose the Farmer anchor and think, “Ya know what we need, right? Kevin Newman!” I refuse to project Newman, even though the Reds will likely give him 550 ABs. Only time to ever acquire Newman is if you have a Jerry, Kramer or George for the memes.