The Winter Meetings concluded day two yesterday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Seen at the Gaylord so far was the best free agent starter (Rich Hill) signing, one of the best closers available (Mark Melancon) signing, and Curt Schilling protesting that the Gaylord Resort should not be allowed to marry. “Is it going to start calling a lobby ‘Bobby’ and adopt a baby too?” That’s Curt Schilling with his own special brand of crazy. With Giants’ signing of Mark Melancon, I’m saddened to remember all the good times I had over the past few years with the Giants’ bullpen. Here’s those times condensed into a single run-on sentence, “I can’t believe I drafted Santiago Casilla, ugh, maybe I’ll back him up with Sergio Romo, oh man, that hurts just as bad, fine, I will grab Hunter Strickland, and he’s killing me too.” Scene. Yeah, those times, in theory at least, are behind those owning the Giants’ new closer, Melancon. For 2017, I’ll give Melancon the projections of 4-1/2.26/0.97/58, 42 saves in 62 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:
Eric Thames – Within hours of the Brewers releasing Chris Carter, the NL home run king, they signed Thames, the Korean home run champ. In alcoholic terms, Miller Lite to Soju & Hite. To say this is puzzling is an understatement. Thames was signed for $15 million over three years and they could’ve had Carter for $8 million. Was Carter great? Well, compared to Thames, I’d say, yeah, he was great. As we’ve seen over the last few years, Korean power numbers translate about as well as kimchi to an Iowan with a bleeding ulcer. “My doctor says I need to lay off the bibimboopies.” That’s the Iowan now. Jung Ho Kang hit 40 HRs in KBO, 15 here; Byung-Ho Park went from 53 HRs to 12 HRs and Hyun Soo Kim went 28 HRs to six. So, the bridge from 40 homers in Korea maybe too far for Thames to cross. In 2017, I’ll give Thames the projections 58/17/64/.225/5 in 435 ABs.
Derek Norris – Acquired by the Nats. The NL East got its second d’Arnaud catcher, only this one spells his name, Der-No. For 2017, I’ll give Norris the projections 51/16/58/.237/6 in 458 ABs.
Edinson Volquez – Signed with the Marlins. Rather than trying to find someone with electric stuff to replace Jo-Fer, they just went with someone whose name sounds related to electricity. For 2017, I’ll give Edinson the projections 11-12/4.04/1.33/142 in 185 IP.
Joaquin Benoit – Signed with the Phils and could be their new closer. Hopefully, he is so he gets his own rooting section in Philly with fans dressed up in metal ball costume for the very non-family friendly, Benoit Balls. I imagine the fans dressed as Jeanmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and Neris’ Buellers will have a say about Benoit as the closer. I’ll give Benoit the edge and the projections of 1-2/3.65/1.31/43, 15 saves in 42 IP.
Matt Holliday – Signed with the Yankees. In the past month, I’ve compared the Yankees to your dad right after the divorce from mom. They were done with A-Rod and Te(i)x and ready to date some players twenty years their junior. Then, on dad’s way to the coffee shop to meet you, he hears Cat’s in the Cradle, and by the time you get there, he’s found all these women his own age, he’s swiped right on, and is talking about making a real connection. Holliday is the right-swipe after Cat’s in the Cradle. For 2017, I’ll give Holliday the projections 64/22/74/.261/2 in 422 ABs.
Steve Pearce – Signed with the Jays. Thus far the Blue Jays’ offseason moves can be described by their fans as, “I hope there’s better moves to come.” As of right now, Pearce is the Jays’ starting left fielder and best hitting outfielder. Gulp. For 2017, I’ll give Pearce 54/18/62/.274/3 in 405 ABs.
Carlos Beltran – Signed with the Astros, after choosing between the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays. The teams interested in a player like Beltran has become so predictable. Surprised the Rangers weren’t also in the mix. So, Beltran is back with the Astros, and still looks like Ricky from My So Called Life. Maybe Beltran will get 27+ homers again and maybe he’ll open-mouth kiss George Springer. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections 68/24/75/.276/1 in 465 ABs.
Rich Hill – Re-signed with the Dodgers. *Dodgers seeing other free agent starters still available Ivan Nova, Derek Holland, Jason Hammel, Jorge de la Rosa, Doug Fister* “Rich Hill, are you sure all you want is $48 million? We can throw in pickup games for your kids with Magic. Want Scully to announce your daughter’s bat mitzvah? You’re not Jewish? Want Scully to convert you? He can bris the junk out of you! What else can we do for you?” Without looking at Google, can I bet someone that Hill is not represented by Scott Boras? Boras would’ve been like, “Wait, so you’re saying the best starter free agent after Hill is Jeremy Hellickson? Okay, Rich, we’re not accepting anything beneath $200 million over ten years.” Speaking of Hellickson, he accepted a $17.2 million one-year, qualifying offer and Hill’s deal averages $16 million over three years. Any ideas of who represented Hellickson? You guessed it! Boras. So, Hill re-signs with the Dodgers, and, unless he gets injured immediately and stays injured for three years (which isn’t out of the realm of possibilities with Hill), you have to love the deal for the Dodgers and fantasy. For 2017, I’ll give Rich Hill the projections of 14-5/2.74/1.03/144 in 125 IP.
Yoenis Cespedes – Re-signed with the Mets. Mets needed Yoenis, that number three hitter. Now to get that leadoff hitter, two-hole hitter, cleanup-type, run producer, guy who can turn the lineup over and pitcher with two good arms. As for Yoenis, he’s become a reliable, low-end, number one outfielder for fantasy — hits 27-32 HRs, steals 3-7 bases, gets a .270-.290 average, drives in runs and replies in the affirmative any time someone asks, “Yo, know what I mean?” For 2017, I’ll give him 82/30/93/.277/5 in 589 ABs.
Matt Joyce – Signed by the A’s. The most A’s signing ever? Well, I don’t know, they have a ton of ‘most A’s signing ever’s. I saw someone write an article saying the A’s just added a breakout slugger. Yeah, Beane’s done it again. Another guy that can’t do anything but hit one type of pitcher for the occasional home run. Crazy to think the A’s haven’t been better with all the great things Beane’s done. Woo-boy, how about that Yonder Alonso?! No one quite like him, except Joyce, Mark Canha, Smolinski, Ryon Healy…Okay, no one quite like any of these guys except the six that are on the A’s. The emperor has no clothes, but he wears an A’s hat, hits the gym during home games and was played by Brad Pitt in a movie. For 2017, I’ll give Joyce 48/17/59/.235/2 in 398 ABs.
Jaime Garcia – Braves traded for him. Braves have been active this offseason, huh? Already signed Colon and Dickey, which I said sounded like an after-shower spray Lorenzo Lamas would endorse. Well, now they’ve added a guy that sounds like what Lamas says into the mirror, “Jaime.” For 2017, I’ll give him 8-11/3.88/1.28/125 in 150 IP.
Jon Jay – Signed with the Cubs and will platoon with Albert Almora. Since Theo Epstein was an American Studies major at Yale, it was a natural fit to sign The Federalist. Look forward to his next signing, Coco Crispus Attucks.