Kenta Maeda signed with the Dodgers and has been labeled as “Not as good as Yu and Masahiro.” Looks that good though. Right? I guess one can edit together 200 IP into a three-minute video to make Bartolo Colon look skinny too. Okay, with some funhouse mirrors. I say Maeda could be getting a favorable edit like CT after he started dating Diem because his K-rate was just 7.4 in Japan, which is solid, but not spectacular. Baseball in the Land of the Rising Sun has often been compared to playing in Triple-A. I’d like to add the Nippon Professional Baseball league is like Triple-A, but almost everyone is Japanese. Perhaps an unnecessary distinction. So, if a guy is 7+ K/9 in Japan (or Triple-A) that doesn’t land him in the elite class of pitchers like Yu and Masahiro. If Darvish and Masahiro are toro, Maeda is the tuna they chop up for the spicy tuna roll. Since it’s impossible to not compare one Japanese pitcher to another, a 7+ K/9 compares more favorably to Iwakuma. Iwakuma is still a solid comparison for a pitcher to receive; that’s still a number two to (stutterer!) three fantasy starter. Unfortch, I think Maeda is likely a notch below Iwakuma. For 2016, I’ll give Maeda the projections of 14-10/3.66/1.16/152 in 200 IP. On a real baseball note, Maeda’s deal was an 8-year deal for $24 million. I’m guessing the Dodgers hired Melky Cabrera to hack into Japan’s Google, or as it’s known there, Googre, and change all recent baseball salaries to thousands rather than millions. “So, David Price will earn two hundred and seventeen thousand dollars? I’m definitely taking a deal for three million a year!” That’s Kenta reading off of Googre. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:
Scott Kazmir – Also signed with the Dodgers. Speaking of number two to three fantasy starters…*confused looked on your face* I was speaking of them in Maeda’s blurb. You didn’t read it, did you? I obviously don’t have the same power as Kilgrave. Speaking of Jessica Jones, am I the only one that watches Kilgrave mind control and think of Ricardo Montalban controlling Reggie Jackson in The Naked Gun? Any hoo! Kazmir had the “good but injury-prone” label sticking out of his jersey for a while, but he seemed to rip that tag off and turned his jersey inside out, a movie I still haven’t seen, but have the DVD sitting on a table by my TV. After two straight seasons of 180+ IP, I’m willing to project him out for 180 IP this year. He wouldn’t be the first player to figure out how to stay healthy as he got older. Also, you don’t want him leaving O.co, but if he must, Dodger Stadium ain’t half bad. Solid park for pitchers, facing the pitchers in the NL, and facing the Padres hitters a lot who are at times worse than pitchers. If Kazmir had a 2.55 ERA this year, it wouldn’t shock me, but I won’t go that far with my projections. For 2016, I’ll give him 13-9/3.31/1.17/157 in 178 IP.
Stephen Drew – Signed with the Nats. This move can be explained very simply with something that was overheard in the Nationals’ front office in December. “Can we really be considered front runners for a division title with Danny Espinosa as our only option at shortstop?” The answer is obviously no, but Drew doesn’t really alleviate those concerns either.
Joe Nathan – Hoping to return in May or June. For those young readers, you might remember Nathan’s famous for chewed-up ligaments and bad elbow meat.