Been a while since I gave you a roundup of news, so guess what? Here’s a roundup of news, or in the case of Josh Jung, a guy who I added to the rankings. First off, what Prospect Itch said previously, “The best Texas prospect since Gallo, Josh Jung brings full-field power, plate discipline, and a plus hit tool along with functional defense at the hot corner. I’m trying to acquire him in my 20-team OBP league and suggest anyone seeking potentially affordable third base help consider the same in their leagues. Speaking of affordable, anyone know a reasonably priced hitman to take out Grey?” Okay, that’s not cool. Hold on one second, are you telling me the Rangers have a decent prospect? I call BS. I thought the Rangers gave up after finally figuring out how to spell Saltalamacchia. Oh, I know, this is the Rangers just trying to sneak Michael Young back out at 3rd base, and spelling his name differently. Jung, you’re nothing but a Freud! Podcaster Ralph told me the other day, he thinks Jung is a 25-homer, 3-steal, .280 hitter. Not sure how much time Jung sees this year, but the draft season is still Jung! Sorry, hashtag never again. I added Josh Jung into my top 20 3rd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball with the projections: 21/6/25/.272/1 in 170 ABs, but obviously those could go up if he breaks camp. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:
Yadier Molina – Cards finally re-signed him. A good test for a toupee is if it can hold coconut soup. A good test to see if the Cards are the Cards is if Molina is catching. 2021 Projections: 49/11/61/.258/2 in 401 ABs
Sean Murphy – Had surgery for a collapsed lung. And that’s the last time Murphy hangs out at strip clubs with Tommy Pham! It’s way too early to discount guys in the rankings, when they’re supposed to be 100% by Opening Day.
J.T. Realmuto – Diagnosed with a small fracture in his thumb. Would never draft Jerry Tomato in any league either way, but this might actually be good for his draft value. Do not overestimate injuries happening mid-February. If this were March 18th, fine. On February 18th, doesn’t matter unless it’s a pitcher with a sore elbow.
Andrew Vaughn – Was announced that he would be given every opportunity to win a job out of camp, which is what every team says about their top prospect, but, unlike the Orioles or Pirates, who sit on their prospects until they’re 30-year-old vets, the White Sox are in win-now mode. I haven’t reached the tipping point where I’ve upped Vaughn in my 1st base rankings, but I’m just about there. Beginning to think he could be Pete Alonso coming into 2019. Not same type of hitter, but in that Alonso was undrafted or drafted late for a lot of early 2019 preseason, then broke camp the last week, and took off. Also, here’s Hobbs’s Andrew Vaughn fantasy, and why he’s so excited.
Mitch Moreland – Signed with the A’s. The Rankings Gods, the Gods that you find in long-flowing robes because they were too lazy to do a wash and have no clean clothes, smite me and Seth Brown once again. See everything I said for Seth Brown above and ignore it. He was removed from the rankings once again. 2021 Projections: 50/21/57/.240 in 333 ABs
C.J. Cron – Signed with the Rockies. This is exactly the type of guy Bud Black might play for 500 at-bats while prospblocking all young hitters, but the Rockies are such a mess at this point, I’m not even sure they have any young hitters to prospblock. Josh Fuentes doesn’t really count. Plus, Fuentes is finding out what happens when you get a job through nepotism and your relative no longer works for the company. Call it the Dale Berra Rule. 2021 Projections: 64/26/72/.249 in 444 ABs
Renato Nunez – Signed with the Tigers. Woo hoo! First signing by a team that actually adds fantasy value. Okay, small exaggeration, but Nunez went from unsigned to a potential 30-homer hitter going after the top 300 overall. Appropriately, Renato sounds like a male boat race, and I’m all aboard. 2021 Projections: 60/27/70/.246 in 401 ABs
Marwin Gonzalez – Signed with the Red Sox. He always seems to get at-bats no matter how unlikely it appears in the preseason. This is not a compliment to him or the teams playing him. 2021 Projections: 32/12/40/.257/2 in 271 ABs
Kolten Wong – Signed with the Brewers. This crowds their infield. Won’t someone please think of Daniel Robertson? Oh, and Keston Hiura, Orlando Arcia and Luis Urias. I’d put Keston at 1st, Wong at 2nd, Arcia at short, and Urias at third, but what Grey wants and Grey gets are often on different trains running in opposite directions. Recently seen in Missed Connections, “Saw you last night at a Culver’s Frozen Custard, you said you have four middle infielders, and you were in search of a corner man. You were also wearing a Brewers uniform.” That’s C.J. Cron trying to find a warm place to rest his head. Ideally, this moves Hiura to 1st base and Vogelbach to the bench, but that’s a pregunta for another day. Wong is usually only good for 420-ish at-bats, so not sure it matters for Arcia or Urias. Wong on the Brewers is a solid landing place for him, but mostly for counting stats. For power/speed, the Wong tale has been written. 2021 Projections: 81/10/56/.272/21 in 417 ABs
Jason Kipnis – Signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Not quite as good as an invite for a Sadie Hawkins dance, but I guess it’ll have to do.
Jonathan Schoop – Re-signed with the Tigers. Or resigned, either work when talking about the Tigers. Damn, Grey coming in like a cumulus and shading the whole region. Yo, remove your sunglasses, I got you, I’m a cloud, with my shade. Schoop always provides power and an opportunity to mispronounce his name into a Salt ‘n Pepa song. 2021 Projections: 58/23/66/.254/1 in 474 ABs
Dee Strange-Gordon – Signed by the Reds. I’ve never seen anything like what’s going on with the Reds. They are so desperate to not play Jose Garcia at short, they’ve been linked to every awful shortstop you can imagine. It’s strange (Gordon). I could see adding DSG into the rankings for steals, if we get to April and the Reds are still seriously considering playing him, but, as of now, I’m thinking they sign someone else, or come to their senses.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Signed with the Diamondbacks. There should be some kind of MLB rule where if you haven’t spent at least $50 million in the offseason, you can’t sign any everyday players to one-year deals under three million dollars. If you’re not going to compete, you have to play prospects. Sorry, I don’t make the rules (I do make the rules). Any hoo! You know Asdrubal; this moves Ketel to the outfield on some (most?) days, and this hurts Daulton Varsho and Josh Rojas. 2021 Projections: 41/13/39/.244/1 in 354 ABs
Elvis Andrus – Traded to the A’s. That really makes my previous blurb in my top 20 shortstops for him dated, literally and figuratively. The Rangers moved on from Andrus. Dot dot dot. Onto Khris Davis! Yup, Khris Davis and Joey Gallo in the same lineup, as the Rangers throw out everything anyone’s learned about lineup construction from the last 25 years. Any hoo! Solid landing spot for Andrus. Oh, it doesn’t make him better for fantasy, but now he at least will be playing near-everyday.
Jonathan Villar – Signed with the Mets to play…The piano in case Billy Joel gets drunk and can’t find CitiField for his next concert once we’re out of the pandemic? I have no idea. Villar is a puzzling piece for the Mets to acquire. I guess they heard MLB is starting a man on 2nd base in extras and they want to see if Villar is the first guy to have a statline of 40/0/0/0/.000. I suppose this could remove some playing time from McNeil, but he can play elsewhere, but then where does elsewhere play? Is this a vague, unfunny Who’s on First? Yes, I guess. Villar just makes things awkward in the Mets’ lineup. Oh, and it does nothing for Villar’s value. If he couldn’t steal 25 bags in only part-time ABs, I would’ve dropped him even further in the rankings. 2021 Projections: 43/6/41/.246/22 in 302 ABs
Justin Turner – Re-signed with the Dodgers. This was the plan all along, right? I mean, you can’t change your pod. Wait, you don’t have a pod? A group of people you can hang out with during the plague? Oh, dude, you gotta get a pod. Pods are the new podcasts. 2021 Projections: 71/23/80/.277/2 in 491 ABs
Travis Shaw – Signed with the Brewers. They’re the type of team batshizz crazy enough to give Shaw the 3rd base job. Something about teams associated with beer — Rockies in Coors, and Brewers in, well, I don’t know where they play now — they just can’t figure out the guys to start. I’m holding out hope, and keeping Shaw unranked, and leaving Urias as the starter. Subject to change, obviously.
Dexter Fowler – Traded to the Angels, because they’re, ironically, too chicken to play Adell. The Angels fell into a fairly obvious trap set by the Cardinals. The Cards sent them screenshots of Fowler’s recent stats, but using the Wayback Machine, the internet search engine that shows old search history, and the Angels were like, “This guy’s awesome…and young!” That also must be how they’re viewing their entire lineup. “Yo, this Upton guy is only 23? Wow, we’ve got so much promise!” Fowler was updated in the top 100 outfielders, and Jo Adell was moved further down.
Nomar Mazara – Signed with the Tigers. He brings his special brand of “He will hit 19 or 20 homers with nothing else” to Detroit Rock City. To think I once put a mezuzah on my door frame with a tiny Mazara jersey and kissed it every time I entered my house. 2021 Projections: 45/19/56/.254/1 in 376 ABs
Franchy Cordero – Traded to the Red Sox. In the background, I hear Kehlani singing, all this love is toxic…You a damn drug, you’re toxic… Franchy was already a love drug that I couldn’t stop — see my Franchy Cordero sleeper — Damn right, we take turns bein’ wrong…Toxic…Now Franchy going around that Pesky Pole like Cardi B. Going up against the Green Monster with those glorious Franchy flies. Give me all the Franchy shares! Oh, and he still might platoon, but I did up his projections a tad, due to the Wall.
Andrew Benintendi – Traded to the Royals. Buh-buh-buh-but Bubba Starling! Buh-buh-buh-but Bubba Starling! Buh…*a clock’s hour hand slowly moves as Grey continues to say the same thing repeatedly until he’s blue in the face* Someone spotting me, “Royals fan, huh?” “Why?” “Because you’re blue in the face.” Any hoo! I’m just having a goof, I don’t like Bubba Starling, or Benintendi for that matter. His one chance was going off the wall in Boston like Michael Jackson, and now he’s set-up to hit a all his grounders to 2nd base in a new, worse park. I didn’t adjust his projections, because I was already so down on him in a non-sexual way.
Delino DeShields – Signed with the Rangers, because of course they did. There’s like five teams that are the piece of wood Rose grabbed, and the Rangers are Jack with the other 25 teams, just sinking.
Marcell Ozuna – Signed with the Braves, which many believed would happen since there’s only five teams signing people and the Braves were the only ones needing an outfielder. At one point, it was announced the Rays were in the mix to sign Ozuna, and I was trying to figure out who leaked that report and why. There’s no way the Rays were actually interested, and, if you’re the Rays, you don’t leak it because it points out how unlikely you are. Would the Marlins leak it to take the heat off themselves? Are teams leaking other teams’ interest just so no one asks if they’re interested? Would the Mets or another team that is signing people leak it to drive up price on the Braves? Am I starting to sound like a Q Facebook post from your uncle? Who’s to say really. As for Ozuna, nothing’s changed from my top 20 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball blurb.
Keon Broxton – Signed a minor league deal with Twins. You can kinda see what the Twins are thinking here: “Hey, who does Byron Buxton remind you of…?” “Umm…?” Now that confusion is resolved by simply pointing to Broxton. Unless this is a situation like My Sister’s Keeper, that terrible movie where they have one kid be the donor for the sick sibling. “Hey, Buxton needs a new oblique.” “One second…” as they draw on Broxton’s oblique in marker.
Albert Almora Jr. – Signed with the Mets. There’s an “in like a lion, out like a lamb” metaphor somewhere in here for the Mets. They went from eying George Springer and Bauer to getting Al-Al Jr. Maybe that GameStop hit Cohen took was bigger than we thought. Does anyone know if the Mets are paying Almora in Call of Duty games?
Kevin Pillar – Signed with the Mets. Let’s be real for a second and stop the jive talking. How does Dom Smith or Nimmo start vs. lefties? Is Dom Smith really still being drafted in the top 100 overall? Who in their right mind is drafting Dom Smith? I mean, I’m already way down on Dom Smith in my top 20 1st basemen, but some people have him about fifty spots higher. Why is this about Dom Smith? Because you know about Pillar. 2021 Projections: 31/9/26/.271/7 in 271 ABs
Adam Duvall – Signed with the Marlins. Shame he didn’t re-sign with the Braves, because I thought of Duv’all, like y’all some time in November and I’ve been dying to use it and, well, it’s prolly better I didn’t anyway. Hey, do they say y’all in Florida so I can still use it? Yes, I still want to use it! So, Duv’all squeezes Cooper, Dickerson, Brinson, Magneuris–Man, Duv’all could’ve went anywhere else, huh? Well, he’s fine for a cheap NL-Only power bat. 2021 Projections: 54/21/64/1/.239 in 316 ABs
Cole Tucker – Made a small update on him after it was announced he would get majority of playing time at shortstop, and this means Anthony Alford should start in center, and he’s been in the top 100 outfielders. Alford could be a sneaky pick in NL-Only leagues with his *outside voice* 70-grade speed and 60-grade power *whispering* and 30-grade hit tool.
Nelson Cruz – Twins re-signed him. You know they were going to, even if baseball writers were trying to push the narrative: Cruz is holding out to see if the NL would have the DH, like 15 more teams would be competing for his services. There’s only three teams in the NL signing anyone, and those three teams have DHs if it gets implemented. Like the Marlins are gonna suddenly be like, “We can sign a DH for $15 million per year? Where do we sign up!” Or wait, I know! The Brewers would be like, “Hey, in the last five months we’ve only signed Wong and Daniel Robertson, but now we’re interested!” Or how about the Rockies who spent $50 million to trade away one of their best hitters? Hmm, no? Okay. 2021 Projections: 70/33/89/.273 in 502 ABs
James Paxton – Signed with the Mariners. “I’m coming home…I’m coming home…Tell the world I’m coming home…” That’s Skylar Grey, which is different than Looking-Skyward Grey, which is me at my 3rd best angle. I’ll let you decide which are my first two. Outside of a horrendous 2020, Paxton hasn’t ever been bad bad, and, honestly, no one had a good 2020, so you get a pass…you get a pass…*Oprah screaming*…everyone gets a pass! Paxton still had a 11.5 K/9, usual low-3 BB/9 and he’s actually a huge steal this late if he can stay healthy, but that is his bee in his bonnet, isn’t it? Due to health concerns and a six-man rotation in Seattle, Paxton’s ranked in my top 80 starters, but could be a sneaky upside guy vs. the relative ‘safety’ of his tier. 2021 Projections: 9-9/3.91/1.24/147 in 132 IP
Alex Cobb – Traded to the Angels. I kinda get what the Angels are doing. Get enough former Orioles, and eventually John Means, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander, Adley Rutschman, and Orioles you actually want start to think they’re supposed to report to Anaheim. It’s sneaky, but it could work.
Matt Shoemaker – Signed with the Twins. The Cobbler setting his sights on the Twins, which is what a cobbler calls feet. I looked at his stats over the last few years, and I just couldn’t bring myself to rank him in the top 100 starters.
Chris Archer – Signed back with the Rays. Archer will now rebuild his value, then get traded for Blake Snell, whose value will take a hit leaving Tampa, then the Rays will rebuild Snell’s value and trade him for Archer, who will have tanked after leaving the Rays for the 2nd time, then Archer’s value will rebound and the Rays–We know how this plays out, right?
Rich Hill – Signed with the Rays. I saw he was 40 years old and was looking at his career numbers, and something jumped out. He’s been in the league since 2005, and has 976 career innings. A robust 65 IP per year average! Not even sure how to look this up, but I wonder if anyone’s had a 15-year career, working primarily as a starter, collecting zero saves while doing bullpen work, and less than 1,000 IP. I posed this on Twitter, and someone came up with Kevin Jarvis as the closest approximate. You know, the world famous Kevin Jarvis.
Mike Foltynewicz – Signed by the Rangers. Let’s see if pitcher-friendly Arlington National Cemetery for Home Runs can bring Faultysandwitz back to life. My guess is he’s playing in Korea or Japan by this time next year. And not one of those super fun game shows where they have to guess whose finger it is coming through the keyhole…*intern whispers in ear*…Those aren’t fingers?
Mike Fiers – Re-signed with the A’s. What about Apple Juice Puk? Do the A’s not like Daulton Jefferies? Alas (which is what A’s are short for), the A’s and I know (we share a brain) that Luzardo, Montas, Manaea and Fiers won’t throw full seasons.
Chase Anderson – Signed with the Phils. Phils are going for the quantity approach. They should ring up Samardzija.
Aaron Sanchez – Signed with the Giants. Old friend alert! You might remember Aaron Sanchez as Filthy Sanchez, as he was the Jays’ top pitching prospect from 2010-16. What is it that they say about pitching prospects again and why do I keep thinking of how the Tigers are chancing their entire rebuild around those that can’t be trusted? Sanchez hit 98 on his fastball, and…can’t…stop…giving…him…a…chance. I added him to the rankings, and removed teammate, Logan Webb.
Relievers updates all found in the top 500 for 2021 fantasy baseball
Jake McGee – Signed with the Giants. Gabe Kapler said that McGee has what it takes to be the closer. Very sneaky of him not to mention if the Giants have what it takes to win any games. I added McGee, and made him the Giants’ closer, but, as I was saying to Rudy the other day, the Giants and Tigers closers might not be worth drafting outside of very deep leagues.
Anthony Bass – Rumored to be the lead to close games in Miami. The Fish going to Bass. How freakin’ cute! I added Bass into the top 500, but what a mess ‘pens are, which is also what Michael Nesmith’s mother thought before inventing Liquid Paper. We stan lady-preneurs.
Mark Melancon – Signed with the Padres. Blech. Like Fenwick Von Bic said before making a better one, “These pens suck.” I have no idea who’s the closer in San Diego, and that’s an important one to know. Right now on my top 500, I have Pomeranz as the top closer there, but I hedged big time with a high ranking (for Melancon) and saves projection.
Keone Kela – Signed with the Padres. Ah…Crap? What are we supposed to do with this? Who am I giving saves to in San Diego? Everyone in their bullpen? This will not stand! Which is what I say to Cougs shopping for top-heavy plants. For now, I’ve given saves consideration in San Diego to Pomeranz, Melancon and Pagan. If we get to mid-March and Kela appears in line to get saves, I will make adjustments.
Alex Colome – Signed with the Twins. Welp, goodbye Taylor Rogers, may all my early shares of you comfort you in this time of plummeting value. What a dastardly deed it is to draft a closer before teams report to camp! The one bright spot is the Twins’ beat writers are saying it will be more of a committee. Well, bright spot for Rogers, not bright for Colome or in general. 2021 Projections: 3-3/3.41/1.12/55, 25 saves in 64 IP.
Sean Doolittle – Signed by the Reds. What’s with teams without a set closer signing guys who could be the closer? That makes things more difficult for us. Doesn’t anyone care about fantasy baseballers? No? Ouch. I really love Amir Garrett in the role of Reds’ closer, but Sean Doolittle does cloud the picture. Still expecting Amir Garrett to get saves, but I added Sean Doolittle into the top 500.
Brandon Kintzler – Signed with Phils. What you don’t want to see in any bullpen? Four super mediocre closers. Phils are sneakily getting ready to have four guys with six saves apiece.
Sergio Romo – Signed with the A’s. Bullpens *handshake emoji* ulcers. In my top 500, I added Romo into the A’s mix, but barely. Right now, it’s clearly Rosenthal, then some combination of Diekman-Romo. Which is different than Tony “The Hike Man” Romo. No one calls him that? Well, I just did!
Joakim Soria – Signed with the Diamondbacks. Excited to see what he can do as the closer in Arizona. I’m Joakim’ing your chain. But SAGNOF will shine through the darkest of spells, like trying to spell diarrhea without autocorrect. 2021 Projections: 2-4/3.78/1.21/63, 22 saves in 61 IP.
Seth Lugo – Had elbow surgery to have a bone spur removed. Good news is, it’s February and the new-look Mets didn’t wait until June for Lugo to have surgery, after saying for three months, “Oh, it’s just some elbow soreness, he’s fine.” Bad news, I’ve still removed him completely from my top 500, and would not draft him.
Before we cut out of here and go trademark our cheese & crackers dispenser, which is a bent-over man where you pull crackers from his crack and cheese fromunda, here’s our NFBC signup sheet for this year. If you want to play against me, Rudy or Donkey Teeth, put your email in the signup sheet below. It is $150 to play, but you can win $150,000 (I think, check their site for rules and prizes). In fact, 2019’s overall winner of, like, $150,000 was one of our commenters. I’ve placed in the top 20 overall and won around $3500. You can also become a thousandaire if you win just your league. Plus, it’s fun (okay, no one’s here for fun. Fun’s on vacation! Wait, then fun would be having fun…Hmm… Moving on!). Leagues should start in about a week (once they fill), and it’s a slow draft, so you don’t need to be available to draft at any set time. Any hoo! Join us by putting your email below, then Rudy will reach out to the peeps.