The hot stove heating up right before Thanksgiving is exactly how it was meant to be. Now if I could see Giancarlo in nothing but taters that would make me thankful for everything. Five hours through my thankfulness, “…um…I’m also thankful for the lines at the DMV because they give me time to reflect…” Seven hours later, “…I’m thankful for my wife’s cooking because it helps me appreciate dining out…” Ten hours later, “…I’m thankful for the kid at the frozen yogurt place who puts his grubby fingers on the yogurt spout because I really shouldn’t have been eating yogurt anyway…” I hope you’re all as thankful for everything you have too on this glorious day of turkey, stuffing and ignoring the cranberry sauce. Any hoo! The Padres and Brewers igniting the pilot light on the hot stove, sending Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. This trade is close to even, so why make it? That’s a mystery best left to Grisham’s older, unrelated cousin.

Trent Grisham had a higher walk rate (14.6%) than strikeout rate (13.9%) in Triple-A last year. That originally attracted me. If I’m being honest, before I go any further, a lot was turning me off. He didn’t look like a major league regular as recently as a year ago — I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, he hit .233 in Double-A in 2018. Hilariously, he had a 26% strikeout rate in Single-A. Grisham is a lefty, which immediately gives me pause, because the wrong manager — hey, Tingler, how’s tings? — will platoon a lefty almost exclusively. Now that I say the quiet part out loud, what the hell am I doing being excited about Grisham, and has anyone turned my marbles in at my library’s lost & found? Thankfully, it wasn’t just a minor league walk rate in a mere 34 games that drew me in for Grisham. In 2015, Trent Clark was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Beermakers. Trent said, “I miss my mommy’s née and I want you to now call me Trent Grisham,” and a legend was born. I.e., you people who need things like I and E spelled out to you, Grisham was a top prospect in the country five years ago. Maybe he should’ve went to college, but can’t fault a guy for skipping classes to play pro ball. Without college, he brought warts with him to minor league baseball, that he might’ve been able to shake prior. So, to recap, Grisham was good, was terrible in the minors, became good again this year. He’s still only 23 years old. Better he figure things out now than later like those great waxy candies. So, what changed, you ask with a bat of your eyelashes. An approach change. He used to try to be overly patient and hit everything the opposite way. He began to pull more pitches this year and became more aggressive, and things went Click, like that terrible Adam Sandler movie, but in a good way. This year Grisham hit 32 homers across three levels. This is a guy who regularly took a walk, and that hasn’t just disappeared. Oh, and he has 15-steal speed. I’m sorry, a guy who can go 30/15 with walks? Who’s being drafted around the last round in many fantasy drafts? Hmm, all of those reasons why I didn’t like him seem like distant memories, which gives me an idea. Hello Sharks! For $400,000, you can have 5% of my secondhand memory foam mattress store called Distant Memories. Only real concern is that Grisham doesn’t do well early on, falls into a platoon or worse, is demoted, but his price is so cheap in drafts, that he’s well within the realm of being a sleeper. Also, he hit .284 vs. lefties last year in the minors, which was better than his average vs. righties, so he’s not an obvious platoon guy. For 2020, I’ll give Trent Grisham projections of 64/19/51/.254/13 in 453 ABs with a chance for much more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Zach Davies – Headed to the Padres. When you see Davies’s eephus that he calls a fastball and his strikeout rate, well, it leaves a lot to be desired. Wait, it gets worse! This year his terrible Ks went south with his luggage, and now his strikeout rate (5.8 K/9) is listed in the dictionary next to the word “bleh”. In Petco vs. Miller won’t hurt him, and he seemingly managed to limit ERA damage last year, but it’s hard to recommend him. For 2020, I’ll give him 8-10/4.31/1.35/119 in 177 IP.

Luis Urias – Went the other way in the monster trade. Or maybe it was that I was drinking a Monster energy drink when I heard about it. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for Urias to breakout (that goes for Julio too), but Luis is still only 22 years old (Julio’s only 23). It is debatable if Urias’s 19 homers in a half a season of Triple-A was real and will translate or was Superball-aided. Urias is one of those guys where I don’t even know what to project for him. He could anywhere from 30/7/.290 to 4/2/.210 and demoted by May. Or doesn’t even make the team. Be interested in seeing what he can do. Guess you can say I’m very excited to *pinkie to mouth* c-Urias. Going to the Brewers won’t hurt him, unless Counsell suddenly finds an affinity for Orlando Arcia. The eye test tells me Urias will be a 17/7/.260 guy, but, again, he’s young and who knows. You should be skeptical of people crazy excited about Urias now. He still has not done anything in the majors. For 2020, I’ll give Luis Urias projections of 43/14/53/.262/6 in 521 ABs with a chance for more (or less).

Drew Pomeranz – Signed with the Padres. At 31, he found an extra three miles on his fastball, which could be a sign he’s now comfortable with his middle relief role. Last year, in a starter role, he had a 5.97 ERA and a 1.88 ERA in middle relief. Padres seem to be a smart club, and Pomeranz as just a middle reliever could make him one of the best setup guys. Let the ‘ranz dance in the 8th inning. For 2020, I’ll give him the projections 5-2/3.37/1.07/105, 4 saves in 81 IP.

Eric Lauer – Last piece headed to the Brewers. I hope Lauer got told he was going to pitching in one of the worst ballparks by Ronan Farrow. That’ll teach–*intern whispers in my ear* Now that you say it it makes a lot of sense that it’s not the same Lauer. Lauer was a guy who could’ve been a great late pick in fantasy drafts, but now? Miller Park once chewed up and spat out Zack Greinke with one of his worst ERA years. The park isn’t the kiss of death if you can strikeout everyone (Woodruff, Peralta), but it’s scary for a guy like Lauer with his 8-ish K/9 and 3+ BB/9. For 2020, I’ll give Lauer projections 9-11/4.37/1.33/149 in 158 IP.

Jonathan Villar – Placed on waivers. Bit bummed more people didn’t draft him at his absurd current ADP of, like, 20. Oh well. I’m sure he’ll end up somewhere, but in real baseball land, aside from a handful of terrible teams, Villar is a utility man and, at best, a top 50 overall pick with 450-ish at-bats.

Kyle Gibson – Signed with the Rangers. As someone who has owned Gibson in the past, one word of advice for the Rangers. If he’s throwing a 5 IP, 0 ER game, pull him after the 5th inning of scoreless baseball because it will all invariably go sideways before you know what’s happened. Doesn’t matter if he’s thrown 60 pitches or 95 pitches. Get him out of the game! This hilarious in an extremely sad way:  In his third time through the order, Gibson has a 29.2% line drive rate allowed. Would it surprise you to know that’s insanely awful? Since I had Lauer’s player page open, his LD% third time through was 13.3%. Gibson’s FIP third time through 5.36. Hey, I don’t want to tell people how to do their job, but maybe use an Opener with him. Just throwing it out there. Like Gibson after the 5th inning. For 2020, I’ll give him projections of 12-10/4.16/1.32/177 in 183 IP.

Aaron Hicks – Will miss 8-10 months with Tommy John surgery. He should regain his command by 2021 and be able to come out of the pen in August of 2020.

Luke Voit – Will return from hernia surgery during spring training. The balls on this guy.

Masahiro Tanaka – Will return in time for spring training after elbow surgery. Is it me or are the Yankees having five to six injuries every month even in the offseason?

Yasmani Grandal – Signed with the White Sox. As I mentioned earlier this postseason (when does the clock flip to preseason?), the White Sox are my early underdog to make a deep 2020 run in the postseason. This signing shows me they heard and are on board. Any hoo! Catchers are such late bloomers. Grandal seemed like the meow’s cat back in 2012 when he was called up with the Padres, then did nothing for four years only to emerge later as one of the best offensive catchers. Yadier comes to mind too as a late bloomer to okay, boomer. Definitely not a clearcut path for all catchers, though. Posey took the near-opposite route, burning out young from too many jostles to the melon. Melon jostling is on the catcher contract they make with themselves and is notarized by Joe Torre in the league office. As for Grandal in his new home, I punt top catchers, but this won’t hurt his value. With the signing of Grandal, James got kicked in McCann. For 2020, I’ll give Yasmani Grandal projections 72/25/77/.241/3 in 505 ABs.

Yolmer Sanchez – Released by the White Sox. Slowly, with bedroom eyes, I turn to my Nick Madrigal fantasy.

Stephen Vogt – Signed with the Diamondbacks to back up Carson Kelly and make Vogt-ive candles to give the D-Backs fans something to believe in.

Evan White – Signed a $24 million dollar, six-year deal with the Mariners. Since White was in Double-A as of last year, this is a good sign that the M’s consider him their 1st baseman for this year. Be interesting to see if they get their money’s worth on $24 million. I’m kidding. They made $24 million on Ichiro bobbleheads in the gift shop. They’re paying $24 million to Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana and Mike Leake, to play for other teams, and are worth $1.6 billion as a franchise. Every minor leaguer should get a million-dollar contract, so this doesn’t seem so special. Okay, enough of Woke Grey. White looks like a gap hitter with sneaky speed for a first baseman. In video I watched, he looked a little like a middle infielder. Possible outcomes for him in 2020 range from 20 homers and .275+ with five steals, which isn’t bad at all, to 13 HRs, .250 and being asked to take “driving the ball” courses from Austin Nola. For 2020, I’ll give Evan White projections of 57/15/66/.263/4 in 461 ABs.

Travis d’Arnaud – Le Terminator signed with the Braves. He seemed reborn last year, which for a French robot is as good as it baguettes. Do I think d’Arnaud will…*bad French Schwarzenegger accent*…be back? Not entirely. I’ll give d’Arnaud projections of 45/15/49/.246 in 378 ABs.

Will Smith – Signed with the Braves. Siri, set iCal reminder for when Will Smith faces DJ LeMahieu, Jazz Chisholm and Jeff McNeil. Siri…? Why are you leaving my phone? I just wanted to be reminded to make a terrible joke. Siri! Come back! *screaming at the heavens* SIRI, PLEASE! “Grey, I’m here but ignoring you.” Thanks, Siri. The Braves have $27 million tied up in Mark Melancon and Will Smith for 2020. Yo, I hear Bruce Bochy’s available. Any hoo! Smith should bring his lights-out slider to The A-T-L, but the Braves have said Melancon is their closer. I prefer to take teams at their word then be one of these ‘perts who says things like, “Smith is better so he’s the closer blabbity blabbity blue!” So, at this point, I’ll say Melancon/Smith will be 70/30 closer share, but obviously it’s an iffy prognostication at best. For 2020, I’ll give Will Smith projections of 7-2/3.07/1.11/84 with 16 saves in 62 IP.

Chase Anderson – Acquired by the Blue Jays. He went from a Brewer to a Jay, which shows what a gateway drug beer is. I am praying for you, drunkards, which is why I’m typing this up dressed as a praying mantis. Praise all insects. Ohm… California hasn’t changed me at all. Any hoo! Chase Anderson, my favorite pitcher who no one else likes, and who I don’t really like anymore either ends up in the AL East. That’s gonna be a woof with a side of no thanks. For 2020, I’ll give him the projections of 8-12/4.24/1.30/135 in 154 IP.

 
  1. SteveNZ says:
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    Ah Yasmani. We – and by that I mean you, me and royce! – will always have that that homer he hit against the Mets on that balmy Dodger Stadium evening (and in a year that I owned him). Time flies (sniff)

    Not to mention Kershaw’s CG 3-hitter that meant we were in the bars like 2 hours after first pitch :-)

    Forgive me. Reminiscing.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s Thanksgiving here, SteveNZ, so it’s the right time for a stroll down memory lane

      How about that bar royce! took us to? Yay?

      • SteveNZ says:
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        Yeah I was trying to think of it and it was late here when I posted so couldn’t be bothered looking it up! The Hula Hut or somesuch haha.

        • SteveNZ says:
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          Tiki-Ti on Sunset? Didn’t his buddy own it? Cool spot but the music was ear-splittingly loud if memory serves…

          Oh – and Happy Thanksgiving! You back in the house? How’s it looking?

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yes! Thanks! Back in the house finally… still a WIP but at least we’re here…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          The Cha Cha, I think

  2. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Your 2020 COL starting 2B, Villar! (Only half joking)

    Happy thanksgiving!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      There’s at least a 66% chance of Villar replacing Hampson and 25% chance of him replacing Story

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Mike L says:
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    Dynasty question even though I know that’s not your thing. I’m in compete now mode but own Grisham. Do you drop him for any top 15 OF prospect within a year or so of being called? Guys like Carlson, Kelenic, Rodriguez(Seattle) Waters and Trammell are all available. Ive got Acuna, Trout, Pham, Buxton, and Gallo but he’s #6. Also, I would love to know your long-term outlook on Isan Diaz…happy Thanksgiving.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Isan Diaz looks like he could be a solid contributor this year… Also, as said in this post, I like Grisham, why would you drop him?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Mike L says:
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        Only for a possible better long term player since I’m not in a redraft…our league is a full keeper. If you think he’d be similar to any of those mentioned above I could just hold but he probably wouldn’t be in my lineup unless it was my UT spot. His trade value probably too low to shop

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d just hold for now

  4. Hernan says:
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    Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!….. Great Drafting so far….., guess the Brewers might be considering moving Hiura to 1B(terrible defender at 2nd) and keeping Braun in the outfield…., lol, was looking forward to streaming Lauer at Petco…., although the underlying numbers screamed “smoke and mirrors!!!!!”, even at home…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Yeah, I’m liking my team so far (even if no one else does)… I really like your team, you took a lot of guys I’d like to have…

      • Hernan says:
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        THAnks Grey, your team is an army of stats, definitely looking forward to certain Donkey looking up at our teams, in the overall.., gonna have to scroll up a lot to find us….., for 6 long months…, poor boy…

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          I hope everyone except Hernan has a great Thanksgiving!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Donkey we were worried about your scrolling finger!

          • Hernan says:
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            LOl, DT, happy Thanksgiving to you too!!!!

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:
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              I forgive you, Hernan

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Poor donkey, his finger’s gonna get carpal tunnel from scrolling up to find us

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:
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            Workers comp!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Sorry we don’t accept that

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Damn, you got Madrigal, nice!

          • Hernan says:
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            Yeah, your crystal ball is working awesome so far, you called the yolmer dismissal, tiny turner is already 24, ready to hit mlb pitchers, I have plenty of power, why wait…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, good call, if I didn’t have Treat Urner I might’ve want for him

  5. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Happy Thanksgiving!
    What kind of stupid trade did the Padres make. They didn’t need another OFer, never really gave Urias a chance and traded the better SP.

    What am I missing here?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Grisham doesn’t look bad, and Urias was looking like he might be a Quad-A player — doesn’t mean he will, but maybe the Padres know something we don’t

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Does Corey Ray take over for Grisham in Milwaukee?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Heard talk that Hiura moves to 1B, Urias back to 2B and Braun to OF

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            Hmm, MLB trade rumours has Urias at SS for the Brewers.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, have seen that too… It’s undecided right now, but the Brewers have never seemed interested in starting Corey Ray… They might still make another move

              • Malicious Phenoms says:
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                Ray has good power and speed, and was tbe 5th overall pick, not sure why they won’t play him..

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  No idea, but I’ve never heard him mentioned in their plans — why hasn’t he been playing already?

                  • Malicious Phenoms says:
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                    K’s are a big part of his game, that cud be why.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, could be

  6. Ronald says:
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    Is Lucas Sims worth a look in 2020? Seems to have a good skill set (e.g., Dinelson) on the cheap.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like him if he sneaks into a closer role, but not as much as a starter, outside of maybe streams

  7. Schoolboy P says:
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    Happy thanksgiving! So glad I’m not the only one sending offseason trade offers today!

    12 team 3 year keeper league.
    My Eduardo Escobar $9 and LeMahieu $6 for his $5 mondesi?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Happy Thanksgiving! Mondesi side

  8. Ronald says:
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    I got a new offer. Luis Robert ($6) and Kris Bryant ($48) for Acuna ($67) /Thad Ward ($3).

    I’ll still have Betts, Buxton, Reynolds and Grisham in the OF.

    It’s either keep Acuna or attempt to get Robert.

    • Ronald says:
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      Also, are there any Robert-esque players we should be looking for. One guy in my league will offer me Oscar Mercado for Brandon Lowe. Both are $5 keepers. Would you roll with that deal instead?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Keep Acuna

  9. The Great Knoche says:
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    Didi at the end of round 14? What? I know he doesn’t have a home yet and if he ends up back with Yankees it hurts value, along with Torres, DJ etc….

    But come on., If he lands in Cincy or Philly could easily hit 30 bombs. Maybe replaces Ahmed in AZ.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I don’t disagree, he’s been going way too low like he’s not gonna hit 27 HRs wherever he is with a .270 average

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