You know, this signing of Zack Greinke with the Diamondbacks isn’t much of a surprise since Greinke is so intellectually driven and Phoenix is on the cutting edge of cyber-learning. Did you know 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix go on to make six figures? Of course, 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix are chosen to be in their commercials and paid $100,000. That gives me an idea, we should start a college and charge students $200,000 for a 4-year degree, then hire every graduate for $24,000/year. Shoot, every college and company are already working this scheme. Any hoo! Zack Greinke goes to the Diamondbacks and takes a hit in his value or will take multiple hits on his value. Don’t think the Dodgers are really that much better offensively than the D-Backs. Actually, they’re worse. So, it’s not a hit due to chance for wins. It’s a hit due to home stadium change. Arizona’s decidedly a hitters’ park and the Casa de Doyers is not. Arizona is around top five for hitting, whereas Dodger Stadium is around bottom five. Things sway yearly, but Chase Field has had years in the top two for offense, only sniffing Coors’ butt. Mean’s while, Dodger Stadium has had years in the bottom three for all offense, only staying in front of Safeco and Petco. I doubt Greinke falls back to a 4+ ERA pitcher he was his last year on the Royals, but he was a 3.83 ERA pitcher in another hitting-friendly park in Milwaukee, and that’s not so good. Oh, and Greinke is 32 years old. Yeah, you don’t need a degree from the University of Phoenix to know this deal could go sideways real fast. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 15-8/3.54/1.16/194 in 210 IP and someone I am not going near. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:
Hank Conger – Traded to the Rays. Finally, my morning Asian porridge of Conger will congeal into a 20-homer hitter! Or at least he’ll be a solid 2nd catcher in two catcher leagues. If you recall, and I know you do because you remember everything except your wedding anniversary, I liked Conger a ton last year, thinking the Astros would make him the starter due to his pitch framing ability. They didn’t, but the Rays are another club that could see the benefit of that. Why should we care? He hit 11 homers last year in only 201 ABs. If someone ever gives him 450 ABs, he could sneak into the top five for catchers. Sadly, he’s still a wild card at this point since he’s currently penciled in as a backup backstop, why don’t you back dat thang up? His projections are 38/16/45/.237 in only 300 ABs.
Jeff Samardzija – Signed with the Giants. Great, he lands in a favorable place and now I can’t just write him off. One of the keys to winning fantasy baseball, which reads like a Bleacher Report title, is having a short memory and a long memory. The key is knowing when to use the short memory and when to use the long memory. So, what do we use with Samardzija? Do we write off his 2015 where he had a 4.96 ERA and a 6.9 K/9? Or do we have a long memory and hashtag never forget that? In the NL West in AT&T Park, I think we have to forget 2015, which disappoints me as much as it likely disappoints you. His stuff is there, he just stopped trusting it. His fly ball rate went up, which is a terrible thing to do in Chicago. From looking at the numbers, I believe he tried to curtail homers by abandoning his fastball and using his slider more, which was not working for him. He used his slider 24% of the time, which was 14th most in the majors, and he had the 2nd worst slider runs above average. Fool me once, shame on you. In Texas, we say don’t fool me again, because it’s not cool, but, unfortch, I would draft Samardzija again in his new digs. Homers don’t fly out as easily, so his fly balls won’t kill him; he’ll be facing pitchers hitting and the NL; he just needs to fix his slider. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections 11-9/3.66/1.19/197 in 215 IP.
John Lackey – After Lackey signed with the Cubs, I read that Henderson Alvarez was drawing “massive interest.” If Lackey read that, I think he might’ve held out for another ten million dollars. Lackey turned a 2.77 ERA year into only a $32 million contract. Dude, next time just let Lori Grenier put you on QVC, she could get more. For 2016, I’ll give him 14-11/3.72/1.24/167 in 197 IP.
Chase Utley – Re-signed with the Dodgers. And you thought stupid left Chavez Ravine when Mattingly took off. Conspiracy Theory Alert! Who was Mattingly’s coach in LA? McGwire. Who’s his coach in Miami? Bonds. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mattingly used “something” when he was a player, and that’s why he either doesn’t mind giving these guys jobs, knowing how prevalent it was, or they’re blackmailing him. Cust kayin’. Utley will likely be used as a utility man and as a pinch runner when the Dodgers absolutely must avoid a double play. For his sake, hopefully Utley doesn’t try to break up any double plays in any Stand-your-ground states.
Hisashi Iwakuma – On the first night of Hanukah, the Dodgers unwrapped their first gift, and, sadly, it wasn’t a Dr. Dreidel, but they might’ve got a potential number two fantasy starter. Last night, Hisashi signed with the Dodgers and I foresee absolutely nothing wrong with this dashi for my Hisashi. He’s a virtual lock for a just under-8 K/9 and an under 3.50 ERA. Anyone want to take the bet Hisashi does better than Greinke this year in ERA? Okay, how about this bet: Hisashi’s ERA will be under 3.25 for all starts outside of Coors. Who wants some? I didn’t think so. For 2016, I’ll give him 13-7/3.31/1.04/157 in 180 IP, as he’s one of the most underrated starters.
Darren O’Day – Re-signed with the Orioles. Up until Sunday afternoon, he nearly signed with the Nationals. Here’s the Nationals doing a schoolyard pick of their bullpen, “Um, I guess we’ll take the kid who’s good at math and picks his nose.” “Guys, I’m over here!” “Next, we’ll take little Tommy’s mother so she can launder our unis.” “Guys! Hello! I was the future of your bullpen!” “Next, um…Okay, I guess we’ll take Drew Storen.” Whoever Storen pissed off in the Nationals’ front office, I suggest no one else ever piss that person off, because they are spiteful. As for O’Day, here’s his projections 5-3/2.15/1.01/78, 8 saves in 66 IP.