Have you heard?  The Mariners are rebuilding.  Cool, but haven’t they been rebuilding for the last fifteen years?  Also, is it the wisest decision to tell other teams you’re throwing in the towel in November?  Is that like when you’re a girl and you make a vision board that says you’re going to get a boyfriend and you do?  Or is it more like a guy who throws a PBR into a fountain and makes a wish to get laid?  A girl can find a boyfriend if she’s available.  A guy needs more than optimism, otherwise he’s going home with his hand.  Guess what I’m saying is the Mariners are a bunch of jerkoffs.  With that said, they traded James Paxton to the Yankees for Justus Sheffield and some other prospects.  I will get to the prospects on the other side of the ‘Anyway,’ for now it’s Paxton, who I do love, but how surprising is it that he’s 30 years old already?  Surprising, right?  Last year was the first time he threw more than 160 innings in a year.  Walter Johnson, you are not.  You’re not even Josh Johnson.  His numbers, as always, were spectacular — 11.7 K/9 (4th in majors), 2.4 BB/9, 3.02 xFIP (4th).  By the by, in his best career year for innings, he didn’t even qualify for those stats in the leaderboard.  I had to sort down to 160 IP.  Meh, 150 insanely good innings is better than 200 innings from an Orioles starter.  Speedball guys don’t age great, but his velocity was still 95 MPH on average last year, which has been his norm, and he had the third best cutter in the majors (8.2), and the top 5 don’t have anywhere near his fastball.  Corey Kluber, for unstints, had 16 wins above average on his cutter, and had a -7 fastball.  Paxton had a 11.6 on his fastball.  We’re talking elite stuff, obviously.  The move to Yankee Stadium and AL East will deflate him a bit, but he can pitch anywhere.  For 2019, I’ll give James Paxton the projections of 14-7/3.64/1.12/206 in 179 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:

Justus Sheffield – Going the other way in the Paxton trade.  Spoiler alert!  I was going to highlight him in a rookie outlook post, but instead, I’ll just post it here.  You get two posts for the price of one!  Okay, technically, since you don’t pay anything to read any of this, you could have 1,000 posts for the price of one, so taking two-for-one, you’re kinda losing out.  Any hoo!  Here’s what I was going to say, “I seriously struggled to find rookie pitchers to highlight this year.  Alex Reyes was right at the rookie limit innings pitched cutoff of 50 IP, and is always injured; Brent Honeywell and Michael Kopech had Tommy John surgery this year; Jesus Luzardo looks like he’s at least a half year away and might only be up less than 50 innings this year (though I do like him); Forrest Whitley had injuries/suspensions and, who along with Josh James, is dealing with a stacked Astros rotation he has to try to get in.  This, finally, brings (just) us to Justus Sheffield whose Triple-A numbers were, well, okay.  He throws 95 MPH with a slide piece, but had merely a 8.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in Triple-A.  I decided to wag my bat towards Sheffield even though my enthusiasm is not peaking, if you can’t tell.  So, what can we expect from Justus Sheffield for 2019 fantasy baseball?

Like a girl who has a thing for the Pep Boys, let’s check out the mechanics:

This is not the most exciting GIF by design. I just wanted to isolate his mechanics and nothing more.  Like I’m a part of, say, a Carman Auto Group.  By the way, I just bought a house, and now I feel an overwhelming desire to build my own car in the driveway.  Like Phife Dawg might’ve sang, what is a driveway without a half-built kit car?  Nada, nada, nada damn thing.  The only problem is I can’t even put together a dresser from Ikea.  Any hoo!  Can you see how small he is in this GIF?  He’s like 5′ 5″.  Marcus Stroman can spot dandruff on this guy’s head because he’s so tiny.  Also, in a throwing session, Sheffield can’t throw a strike.  I know!  This isn’t every pitch he’s ever thrown, but look at him.  He’s trying so hard to generate velocity.  I don’t think he can throw a strike if the situation calls for it.  And by ‘the situation’ I don’t mean Mike Sorrentino, but the catcher.  His numbers back this up too.  He had a 3.7 BB/9 in Triple-A and 4.5 BB/9 in Double-A in 2018.  This is not good.  This is against a ton of hitters who are just up there swinging at everything.  Granted, with how major leaguers have been approaching hitting recently, this could describe major leaguers too.  If there’s only a modest uptick in walks from the minors to the majors, Sheffield is unusable outside of matchups.  The Triple-A strikeout rate (8.6) instills no confidence in me either.  He has the pitches to be successful and could add more strikeouts to his game, but if you’re not locating, no one is swinging, let alone missing.  He’s still only 22 years old, so I’m not writing him off, but unless he gets that disease Robert Z’Dar had in his chin and Sheffield gets it in his legs, he’s not getting any taller.  He feels more of a product of the Yankees’ hype machine vs. a chance for a breakout.”  And that was present me quoting future me!  The only thing Sheffield has going for him at this moment is a chance at a rotation spot, because the Mariners are rebuilding.  For 2019, I’ll give Justus Sheffield the projections of 5-7/4.39/1.41/95 in 102 IP, and I think I’m being generous.

Mallex Smith – Traded to the Mariners for Mike Zunino.  Saw a lot of people upset with the M’s over this move. If the M’s turn around and trade away Mallex immediately, then obviously everything I’m about to say is cockeyed through a hindsight lens, but Zunino for Mallex is bad? I get it, in real baseball you have to have a catcher, but Zunino is so replaceable and Mallex is on the come.  I don’t know nothing about nothing (which is why you’re here), but I’d want Mallex too.  Get a Maldonado-type if you need a catcher.  For 2019, I’ll give Mallex Smith the projections of 82/3/37/.286/42 in 546 ABs, and Mike Zunino the projections of 47/22/58/.213 in 417 ABs.

Lance McCullers – Will miss the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery.  Apparently, 27,204 straight curveballs was the breaking point.  Pun noted.

Aledmys Diaz – Traded to the Astros.  Diaz is perennially in position to have no position wherever he plays, or, rather, does not play.  Not saying this boosts Bo Bichette right to the majors, but someone commented on my Bo Bichette fantasy about how Diaz was blocking him (along with others).  Not ragging on that person, but it shows you how hard it is to figure out playing time in November.

Kurt Suzuki – Signed with the Nats.  Hey, if you can’t have Bryce Harper why not sign the next best free agent?  Ronald Acuña Jr. was recently cited as not having any idea who Mickey Mantle.  I’m gonna say Juan Soto’s in the same boat.  Imagine Juan Soto’s confusion when asked about Suzuki.  There should be a Sporcle about what Acuña and Juan Soto know.  That would be awesome.  For 2019, I’ll give Kurt Suzuki the projections of 40/10/48/.262 in 337 ABs.

Trevor Rosenthal – Signed with the Nats.  Hey, if you can’t have Bryce Harper why not sign– Okay, you get the point.  Doolittle is one of the least reliable closers to stay healthy, so Rosenthal should have some value.  *looks at how little Rosenthal stays healthy*  Okay, well, hopefully Rosenthal is healthy when Doolittle is not and vice versa.  For 2019, I’ll give Rosenthal the projections of 3-2/2.98/1.19/81, 8 saves in 61 IP.

Jordan Luplow – Was traded to the Indians along with Max Moroff, going the other way to the…Can you guess what team they were on?  Too slow.  Headed to the Pirates is Erik Gonzalez, Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza.  By the way, Jordan Luplow sounds like a worried Astro from The Jetsons watching the 1990s Knicks vs Bulls when pronounced in Japan.

Jung-Ho Kang – Re-signed with the Pirates. Solid signing by the Pirates. Not sure where else they’d get a three-times convicted DUI guy who hasn’t played in a few years, and might not be able to travel out of the country. These are the kind of players who are just not in abundance.

Drew Smyly – Traded to the Rangers for previously unreleased DVDs of Name That Sound! with Guy Smiley.  Smyly missed all of 2017 and was limited to one rehab start in 2018, so I’m not sure what Drew’s all Smyly about.  If he’s healthy, he could surprise with a fantasy number three-type season.  If he’s not healthy, he should not go see Dr. James Andrews because I saw him on House Hunters International looking at a castle in Liechtenstein. For 2019, I’ll give Drew Smyly the projections of 7-8/4.28/1.25/134 in 154 IP.

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Harley Earl
Harley Earl
3 years ago

I’m still waiting on your Brent Honeywell piece!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Grey!!!

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: I can’t wait!!! Haha! But man I feel fat from all the food I ate!

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
3 years ago

Survivor is kinda meh for me this year. Rooting for that whacko Christian.
Happy turkey day bruh.

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
3 years ago

LOL @ that Kang blurb!!! Rare indeed…

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
3 years ago

Grey,

My league is having its auction draft since we are starting from scratch. I put a bid in on Jose Ramirez for $31 and someone went way over the top for h im at $48. We have a 40 man roster and $1000 salary cap. SHould I go up to $49 or let him go? Please advise.

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

next year to keep him it would cost $49 plus 10% so next year it would cost me $54 to keep him. Still do it?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

Verlander is at $34. up it or pass?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

he is at 35

Dubs23
Dubs23
3 years ago

As I sit and read this a day late and already in a Thanksgiving haze; I can’t lie, I had an “oh shit” moment when I read “for unstints”. I instantly thought it was one of those times I have been saying “for instance” my whole life and I have been wrong. I was devastated for a second. I had to google it. I feel much better now and it made me laugh. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Gaylords
Gaylords
3 years ago

keeper deadline is coming up,
10 team yahoo h2h, with added bats (CI, MI, OF), keep 6…
Top 5: Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, Kris Bryant, Khris Davis, Anthony Rizzo…

I need help with 6th keeper, and alternate (pick 2):
Trevor Bauer, Madison Bumgarner, Kyle Freeland, Blake Treinin, Tim Anderson, Jose Peraza…

royce!
royce!
3 years ago

Hi buddy! Sorry I’ve been MIA, busy with kids and shizz…congrats on the Larchmont house! Super nice area. An old friend I haven’t seen for like 5 years opened a bakery over on Fairfax called Fiona. You should check it out- she’s super talented. Unless something comes up, I won’t be in LA until I think March, when I will definitely be making a trip to the fairfax area to eat, buy comics, and mock the kids lined up outside of Supreme.

royce!
royce!
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Supreme’s been there for a while, so it was bound to happen…I got involved in a hotel in Palm Springs – you still get out there often?

royce!
royce!
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Villa Royale. It’s over by the Ace.

royce!
royce!
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: I will!

royce!
royce!
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: My involvement is recent and exceedingly minimal. But I do hope to get out there once in a while, you know, for business reasons…

M
M
3 years ago

I know the AL East is tough, but could you see Pax doing even better than last year? Yanks infield defense has to be way better than what the Mariners were running out

bigbear
bigbear
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Agreed on the 17+ dubs… “If healthy” that number just feels a little low. An ace on an offensive team should have a legit shot at 20. For every Red Sox start there’s one against the O’s…

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey:

I think you guys should bump him up in your drafts to round 2 ;-)

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey:

Well, my rotation is up to three now: Happ, Pivetta, Glasnow. I went upside there. In a few rounds Ill get some lower K, lower WHIP vets. Gonna fill out my extraneous positions on offense next.

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey:

Thanks, Ya pretty happy so far. 9 bats, 4 arms and almost at pick #200

Pine Tar Incident
Pine Tar Incident
3 years ago

Didn’t the boyfriend vision board work pretty nicely for Cougs??

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
3 years ago

Grey- looking at aquiring Corbin. Do you think his performance is repeatable regardless of where he signs (outside maybe Coors)?

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Thanks!

Big Ticket
Big Ticket
3 years ago

So, for reals … does this change any of your thoughts on Bo for this year? Or is it still just too early to make an educated guess?

Schmohawks Bob
Schmohawks Bob
3 years ago

Where’s the new house? Congrats!

Schmohawks Bob
Schmohawks Bob
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago
Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Does this mean no write-ups for the first few days of December while you look for your laptop that you placed in a box that ended up in the attic behind your beach chairs and umbrella?

I will miss you and be sad. :o(

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: I love this website!!!

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey:
Larchmont is a very cool little village, congrats man, you did good!!

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
3 years ago

Grey!!!!

Great write-up, I can feel we’re warming up to the beginning of the season when I read these. Great insight.

a. Well at least we are closer by 1 day to the start of the season.

b. You didn’t do Justus justice! What happened? Did Gary Sheffield get together with David Justice’s sister and the name Justus was forced on him? J/k, Justus is a great name. I know no relation to Gary or David.

c. Mark Twain quote of the day for November 20 (I’m going with a few quotes a day to hedge my bets on getting to the quote you are referring to before December 15)

1. If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man.

2. When angry, count 4. When very angry, swear.

3. Man is the only animal that blushes or needs to.

4. Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.

Cheers,
Ante

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Not to stick my nose in but here’s my favorite Twain quote: Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Grey!

Is this the one?

Cheers,
Ante

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: Grey!

Lol on Sheffield, England!

So I’ll keep trying.

Cheers,
Ante

Nick
Nick
3 years ago

Do you’re kindly saying not to rely on Justus for the coming season?

i have him in my dynasty team,,,

would you better pick up someone like : Matz, Bundy, Junis, maybe Freddy Peralta?

i need help at pitching !

thanks Nick

Nick
Nick
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey:

here is my bad team :
SP1 Mikolas
SP2 Hamels
RP1 Ken Giles
RP2 Glasnow
P1 Matz
P2 Minor
P3 Trevor Williams
P4 Jhoulys Chacin
bench Derek Rodriguez

Nick
Nick
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey:

12 teams,,, i got that team 2 seasons ago and rebuilding ,,,
my batters are good ,,,
and i think i should trade for SP
and i’ll pick RPs a far as the season goes

C Alfaro
1B Abreu /T.White
2B Villar / Adames
3B Rendon / Castellanos
SS Lindor / T.Anderson
OF Acuña
OF JDong Mart
OF Krush Davis
Util Andujar / Renfroe

i may need a better 1B –> what about PETER ALONSO over White or Renfroe?
and i dropped Merrifield before the allstar break ;(

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
3 years ago

Hey Grey, I’m in a holds league and you didn’t project holds for Rosenthal?

What says you? Do you figure Rosie gets the 8th while Doolittle is healthy? If so, how many holds in those 61 innings? If he gets 20+, that makes him valuable in my league!

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Harley Earl
3 years ago

@Harley Earl: By the way, the line calling the Mariners “a bunch of jerkoffs” is an instant classic. LMAO

That’s one of the greatest Razzball lines ever!!! Hahahahaaahaa!!!

papasmurf
papasmurf
Reply to  Harley Earl
3 years ago

@Harley Earl: Holds are so unpredictable. I would not reach for a well known name during the draft. Instead, pick guys up off WW once the season starts. There are always guys who emerge out of nowhere.

CMUTIMMAH
CMUTIMMAH
Reply to  Grey
3 years ago

@Grey: In points leagues that have holds, I like the middle reliever guys that could get you a couple innings and a win or a hold. (Think Chris Devenski, as an example)

In roto holds, I like to turn my computer off and go to bed. Because I’d rather just go to sleep than play in a roto holds league.