Hyun-Jin Ryu signed with the Jays. That’s…interesting. *scrambling to see Ryu’s interleague ERA vs. AL teams* 3.84 ERA in 86 2/3 IP with a 8.8 K/9 and this is still too small a sample. Plus, as I always say, you can’t just say a guy’s away stats are what he’d now do when he’s calling a place home. Also, what is going on with Ryu’s early draft price? Maybe it’s still early for ADP and I shouldn’t assign any real truth to where guys are going, but like Hugh Jackman’s marriage to his grandmother, it’s very real how late Ryu’s been going so far this year. I get it, I get it, I GET IT! He’s not a 1-something ERA pitcher, so y’all are compensating for that, but like me with my Happy Socks in my pants, you’re overcompensating. He didn’t just have a Cy Young-type year last year. He had a 1.97 ERA in 2018, too. In six seasons, his career ERA is 2.98. Okay, fine, ERA is stupid. He has a 1.01 WHIP two years in a row. WHIP’s stupid too? Fine, but these are two of the categories you’re hoping to get from your starters. Wins are just stupid stupid. Nothing can be figured from those. So, that leaves us with Ks. He has a 8 K/9 and a 1.2 BB/9, so, you got it, you’ve figured out a reason to not absolutely love Ryu. He’s merely a 2.75/1.01/150 guy. Shucks, what a shame. For penance, I will dye my skin whiter and cat-o-nine-tails my back like a villain in a Dan Brown book. Even if you think the AL could be less kind for Ryu, how much worse will he be from a 2.75/1.01 ratio guy? Fifty points on ERA? Sixty? Five points on WHIP? Ten? He suddenly won’t have one of the best walk rates in baseball? I’m going to be conservative with his projections and they still look great. For 2020, I’ll give Ryu projections of 13-6/3.32/1.09/153 in 167 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:
Shun Yamaguchi – Signed with the Blue Jays. Last year, the 32-year-old Yamaguchi went 181 IP with a 2.78 ERA, 9.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and is most renown for previous work on developing pets to put in your pocket. “Is that a snake in your pocket?” “Actually…it’s a gekko.” Yamaguchi said through a translator. Since the Blue Jays spent no time developing a rotation in-house, it’s hard to imagine Yamaguchi not seeing at least a full-throated chance for the rotation. Or until Shoemaker is hurt again. For 2020, I’ll give Shun Yamaguchi projections of 8-7/4.37/1.33/118 in 126 IP.
Travis Shaw – Signed with the Jays. I’m not saying he’s going to win the MVP this year, but I’m not saying he’s not not going to win it either. For 2020, my Travis Shaw projections are 56/19/61/.224/2 in 445 ABs.
Gio Gonzalez – Signed by the White Sox. Gio always seems to do better with his ERA than his peripherals would indicate, which is what you tell yourself before drafting him and two weeks before you inevitably drop him. For 2020, will give Gio Gonzalez projections of 9-11/4.22/1.35/148 in 167 IP.
Dallas Keuchel – Signed by the White Sox. In 1300+ IP, he has a 3.67 ERA. So, which hat does he wear going into Cooperstown? No, not as an inductee. I’m asking about his sartorial choices when he’s visiting. Go with the porkpie, Dallas! He is never a guy I’m excited about drafting, but, if his price is cheap enough, he does always seem to keep his ratios down, even if his 7.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 show some smoke and mirrors. More mirrors, better to see that hat, fella! For 2020, my Keuchel projections are 12-10/3.86/1.32/144 in 184 IP.
Edwin Encarnacion – Signed with the White Sox. Why do I think the Daniel Palka thing isn’t gonna happen? Prolly because common sense has managed to breach seventeen layers of dead brain cells. Edwin is a poor man’s Nelson Cruz with an imaginary parrot. Call him Nelson Mime-on-a-Cruise. For 2020, I’ll give Edwin projections 78/32/90/.244 in 477 ABs.
Ryon Healy – Signed with the Brewers. Feels like he could have a Travis Shaw-type season. Your inner monologue, “Does he mean an MVP-type season like he predicted for Shaw last year or Shaw’s actual season, which was the worst season in the history of baseball?” That, young Jedi, you have to figure out on your own. Or infer from my projections for him: 41/14/44/.234 in 304 ABs.
Eric Sogard – Signed with the Brewers. Eric Sogard and Craig Counsell *insert Spiderman pointing at himself meme*. Mentioned this on the Winter Meetings podcast, but will repeat now for lack of more interesting shizz. Last year the Yankees signed DJ LeMahieu with no place to play him. People were like, “So dumb, they have Andjuar and Voit and where the hell is LeMahieu playing?” So, yes, I am saying Sogard will now be top five vote-getter for the NL MVP. No, I’m not saying that! It’s the same idea, though. Sogard doesn’t really have a place to play, and the Brewers now have twelve infielders. For 2020, I’ll give Sogard projections of 54/10/42/.274/5 in 361 ABs.
Justin Smoak – Signed with the Brewers, who are going full poor man’s 2019 LeMahieu-to-Yankees by bringing five position players for each spot. Will shorten a ‘poor man’s 2019 LeMahieu-to-Yankees’ as it’s used more. Maybe a 2019 2Many LeMans. Is that less letters? Who’s to say? Stop counting letters, I don’t want to know. Not only will Smoak not get full-time at-bats, but with shizzload of position players brought in, I’m not worried about guys who should be assured playing time like Braun, Cain, Urias and, yes, even Hiura. For 2020, I’ll give Smoak projections of 48/24/55/.231 in 483 ABs.
Avisail Garcia – Signed with the Brewers. This could hurt Keon Broxton’s at-bats. (Kidding, his last seven years hurt him more than Avisail ever could.) Want a gut call based on nothing except lasagna from the night before? Avisail is one of those guys who peaks very late and last year (20/10/.282 in 125 games) was the start of a solid multi-year run. If this happens, I will point to this prediction repeatedly all year. If it fails to materialize, we will never talk about this again. Also, he has a bit of a playing time crunch because the Brewers pulled a 2019 2Many LeMans. For 2020, I’ll give Avisail Garcia projections of 54/22/58/.284/4 in 407 ABs.
Julio Teheran – Signed with the Angels. Singing, “Julio down by the Teheran schoolyard stepping on an IUD…” His 89 MPH fastball was working for him last year with a 3.81 ERA. It doesn’t work for me. Teheran’s about to get bombed like, uh, Teheran. For 2020, will give Teheran projections of 8-9/4.21/1.34/141 in 161 IP.
Maikel Franco – Signed by the Royals. His peripherals are actually pretty interesting in a super depressing type way. He hits the ball vewy, vewy soft, said like Elmer Fudd. Which wouldn’t be terrible if he were fast, except his legs also move vewy, vewy slow. A slow, soft swing isn’t bad if he were, say, hunting wabbits. For baseball? It’s a tad less ideal. For 2020, my Maikel Franco projections are 52/21/64/.241 in 503 ABs.
Kwang-Hyun Kim – Signed with the Cardinals. After hearing of the signing of Kim, Eminem burned his Cards jersey. In 190 1/3 IP in nineteen after twenty for the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (are you still with me?), Kim, at the ripe age of 31, threw 190 1/3 IP with a 2.51 ERA and 180 Ks, and only a 1.8 BB/9. Wonder what this signing does to Alex Reyes. Kidding, he retired after five straight hype-filled offseasons, saying, “It doesn’t get better than what people think I can do.” Nah, Reyes is still around, only delegated to the minors now, at least to start the year (methinks). Kim’s earlier seasons, like any season but last year, seem pretty unremarkable. He hits 92 MPH on his fastball, and 85 on his slider. He strikes me as a 6-7 K/9, decent WHIP, kinda wonky ERA guy. A very late round flyer for deeper mixed leagues. For 2020, I’ll give Kwang-Hyun Kim projections of 9-11/4.21/1.19/114 in 148 IP.
Wade Miley – Signed with the Reds. The Reds are stacking up to be a solid real-life rotation, but I’m a little bummed Tyler Mahle appears shoved out of the ass-end of the rotation. Never wanna shove a T. Mahle out of the ass-end of anything. Heed those words. For 2020, my Wade Miley projections 9-9/4.23/1.32/141 in 164 IP.
Martin Maldonado – Signed with the Astros. This is the kind of move teams make to expose people who only care about fantasy and quote-unquote offense. So tread carefully out there if anyone asks you what you think of this signing. For 2020, I’ll give Maldonado projections of 41/13/49/.222 in 361 ABs
Jonathan Schoop – Signed with the Tigers. Well, there’s gonna be a new Tigers team leader in homers in 2020. Their team leader last year, the always sexy, gender fluid, Bra-Dix, was DFA’d. Of course, Brandon Dixon led the team with *stifles laugh* 15 homers. For 2020, I’ll give Schoop projections of 62/24/71/.241/1 in 519 ABs.
C.J. Cron – Signed with the Tigers. This feels like the universe challenging Cron. Cron begged the universe to finally have a starting job, and the universe gave him the Tigers, where there’s literally no one to ever replace him. What a delightful morality tale! It’s A Cronderful Life. For 2020, I’ll give Cron projections of 59/28/71/.262 in 524 ABs.
Kole Calhoun – Signed by the Diamondbacks. Inside every Kole is a diamond, which is what they tell people with soot-face in the diamond minds of the Sierra Leone. No relation to Sandy. This kills my Josh Rojas sleeper. *long mournful sigh with me pointing towards onions to explain why I’m crying* For 2020, my Kole Calhoun projections 61/27/71/.222/3 in 466 ABs.
Dellin Betances – Signed with the Mets. Mets now have two of the top five strikeout rates in baseball history for 100+ IP. Don’t ask who the other guy is. You don’t want to know. Fine! It’s Edwin Diaz! Are you happy? You are? Then you’re not a Mets fan. So, Dellin could be a solid middle reliever for fantasy, but did have shoulder issues last year, so he just needs some tender-loving care from the Mets trainers. For 2020, Dellin Betances projections 3-6/2.87/1.06/102, 6 saves in 62 IP with a ton of risk.
Cesar Hernandez – Signed with the Indians. One thing Cesar definitely is for the Indians is a warm body. Strike that, he’s hot in that toga. Meow! For 2020, give him the projections of 71/15/62/.271/10 in 591 ABs.
Matt Kemp – Signed to minor league contract by the Marlins. He had what seemed like a bizarre end to his career. He wasn’t bad, then just disappeared, like he knelt during the National Anthem, and the owners passed around the championship belt and barred him from playing. Now Kemp is one full season removed from a decent season, and I’m not sure he can get up to speed again, or if I want to see him get up to speed. Him playing at the expense of who? Lewis Brinson? Harold Ramirez? Meh, when I put it that way, I guess it doesn’t matter. Like a polygamist would say, more the marrier.
Hernan Perez – Signed by the Cubs. Red Sox and Cubs becoming small market teams this offseason is really something. Maybe the Cubs can meet the Red Sox in the 2032 World Series after self-inflicting disaster on both of their playoff-contending teams, then rebuilding for a dozen years.