You know the guy that was going to draft Nelson Cruz in your league because he just had a career year?  The guy that drafted Chris Davis last year, Buster Posey the year before and Mitzi Gaynor in his 50’s pinup league back in 1953?  That guy is the Mariners.  (In fairness to that doode, Mitzi had a hell of a follow-up in ’54.  Va Va Va Va Va Va — How many Va’s is that — Voom!)  Nelson Cruz stayed healthy one other year, besides last year.  He hit the most home runs of his career last year.  He had the most RBIs, runs, strikeouts and will be 35 years old in 2015.  So, of course, the Mariners give him a huge deal.  Baseball team management is a peculiar thing.  (By the by, I can’t say the word ‘peculiar.’ It sounds like I’m trying to pronounce the word for film in Spanish.)  What seems obvious to the everyday person must not be obvious to baseball management.  It would be fun to test this out in other areas of life.  “Okay, baseball management, I’m going to bring you to the corner of the street.  When the light turns green, cross the street.”  Insert Batman-style sound effect.  Only they’re doing it with nearly $60 million dollars.  Well, ours isn’t to wonder why, ours is to figure out the fantasy value when a player changes environs.  (Environs?  Coolest word to write.  Least cool word to say aloud.)  Up until Cruz actually passed 27 homers last year, I had him pegged for 27 homers, because, well, that’s how many home runs he always hits, give or take a handful.  Last year, he had big hands — that’s what she said! Huh? — but that was contingent on one big number that he had never reached before:  678.  As in how many ABs he had last year.  If a player has a pattern of getting injured and has a healthy year at 34 years old, I don’t buy that his health concerns are a thing of history.  Call me a fool!  (Not to my face.)  In the past two years, his steals have dropped to the five-steal range, so he is essentially power.  He has hideous numbers in Safeco for his career, but I don’t buy into that mattering because when he was in Safeco prior he was facing Mariners pitching and he was playing in an away game (sleeping in a hotel, chasing tail amongst visitor hoochie, etc.).  Safeco isn’t going to do him any favors, but he can homer anywhere if healthy.  That’s the stick in my craw.  For 2015, I’ll give him 475 ABs and the projections of 71/26/85/.262/5.  Decent, but almost surely overrated for this year, and don’t call me Shirley.  Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Michael Saunders – Traded to the Blue Jays for J.A. Happ, who is currently rotation depth for the M’s.  Another stumper by the Mariners team behind the wheel.  Not as bad as Bedard for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman — never forget! — but still a puzzler.  I love Saunders going into this year, and I already have a sleeper post written for him (will likely post it next week, when you’ve all forgotten about this; yes, I think that’s how long it takes for you to forget).  On the other hand (were we on our hands?), I love this trade for the Blue JaysBlue Jays might be my random preseason bet to win the 2015 World Series, which will mean they come in third in their division.  Oh, for those of you that were jazzed about my Dalton Pompey fantasy.  His emoticon isn’t yet sad, Saunders will be in left.

Chris Heisey – Traded to the Dodgers.  Great, just what the Dodgers needed, another outfielder.  Now they just need Abner Doubleday’s Ghost to appear and say that he meant for all teams to field seven outfielders.

Torii Hunter – Signed by the Twins.  The Twins management put this signing to a vote and the I’s had it.  Bam!  Big Pun ain’t got nothing on me. (Plus, he’s no longer with us; I miss you, Big Pun.  On a side side note, I guarantee you can’t find another sentence in the Google machine that has a semicolon and Big Pun.)  Hunter is exactly who you think he is at this point in his career — 17 HRs, .280, 80 runs, 80 RBIs.  Then you put those numbers through a “Have To Play For The Twins” generator and you get 70/14/73/.277/4.

Nick Markakis – Between the Braves trying to unload their entire lineup, they signed Sparkakis.  I get the feeling the Braves are trying to punt offense this year.  They seem determined to trade away The Good Upton, and have already unloaded Heyward.  This deal actually makes sense for them.  Finally, they have a leadoff hitter without embarrassing themselves with You Suck Upton.  Oh, and that’s kinda relative to Y.S. Upton, because Markakis hasn’t exactly been an OBP machine the past two years.  Either way, for 2015 I’ll give him the projections of 84/15/54/.269/5.

Colby Lewis – Re-signed with the Rangers.  The Rangers were encouraged by his 5.18 ERA last year.  They were expecting a 5.19 ERA or worse.  It’s all about where you set your expectations.

Sean Rodriguez – Acquired by the Pirates from the Rays.  Imagine you’re watching someone build an 18-story building with Lincoln Logs.  It’s got a veranda, a swing on the porch, even an old timer out there sipping lemonade.  All made from Lincoln Logs.  When they’re done, they knock over the construction site and say to you, “Now you do it.”  You pick up a Lincoln Log and start to construct a house.  The house looks pretty standard when you’re done — one floor, no one sipping lemonade.  Left on the ground are a ton of extra logs you didn’t use.  One of those extra pieces is Sean Rodriguez, and the Rays management is done trying to figure out how Maddon was using all of those pieces.

 
  1. gareth says:
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    What do you think of the Indians pursuit of Brandon Moss?

    I was hoping we could get a RH power hitter to balance the lineup but as the Mariners have clearly demonstrated, that kinda thing ain’t cheap. The Indians would get about 2 years of Moss for aroind 16-18 million. If his hip is ok after surgery and the tribe don’t give up too much to get him I think I could be ok with the aquision.

    A lineup of:

    Cf Bourn
    ss Ramirez
    Lf Brantley
    1b Santana
    RF/DH Moss
    C Gomes
    2b kipnis
    RF/DH Swisher
    3b chisenhall

    Looks pretty solid on paper.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @gareth: Depends on his hip… He could be just a hunk of salary and nothing else, which I think is more likely the case…

  2. de nachos says:
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    “Pun was many things,” Fat Joe said in the statement released by Loud. “To me, he was my brother; to the hip-hop community, he was a living legend; to Latinos everywhere, he broke down barriers in the entertainment industry.

    Who knew Fat Joe was such a punctuarian?

    In the “ignore the iceberg, just keep the band playing” news, the Phillies tendered contracts to Antonio Bastardo, Ben Revere and Domonic Brown. Philly is going to need to go that SD route of promoting the ball park over its ball players.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @de nachos: Damn, Fat Joe! Well, I guess I’m in good company… The Phils have been rearranging chairs on the Titanic for about 3 years now.

  3. JP says:
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    Really? No mention of the Padres signing Clint Barmes? Oh wait, I get it: you’re saving it for the sleeper post.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @JP: Ha!

  4. JeF With 1 F says:
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    I heard Freddi is batting Markakis clean up….hes always one step ahead

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @JeF With 1 F: Knowing Fredi, Markakis will work out of the bullpen

  5. nick the dick says:
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    Gregorious D.I.D to Yanks…I like it

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @nick the dick: I’m not exaggerating when I say that’s the first Yanks news I’ve liked in 10 years.

  6. Big League Wood says:
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    hey Grey,

    keep the info coming. Is Joey Bats a top 5 -6 guys in 2015? with that lineup and a healthy 2014 I think he fits there.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Big League Wood: Nah, can’t rely on him to stay healthy and he’s aging…

      • Big League Wood says:
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        @Grey:

        Gotcha. Miggy sliding or bouncing back thsi year?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Sliding a tad

  7. Clint says:
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    Other than giving Adam Lind to my Brewers for a song, the Jays haven’t had too bad of an offseason so far, eh? That AL East is going to be back to its usual tough self this year from the looks of the offseason pushes in Boston & Toronto.

    Question: since you brought up Chris Davis, where do you think he’s going to fall on the Greydar for 2015? Assuming he stays in Baltimore, will he be a buy low in drafts or if he moves on (heard a Marlins rumor recently) to maybe the NL how would that change things? I’ve got him and Machado in my 12 team H2H 10 keeper league & I’ve got my Cyclops monocle on both of them already as quandaries to peruse.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Clint: I like the Blue Jays as I said in the post…I do think their pitching is going to have to surprise the world though… I’m gonna have to look closely at Davis, but I don’t think I’m going to rank him in a place where I could get him. Maybe though, I need to read the room.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Clint: drat, another hit against hunter morris getting a chance.

  8. Mike says:
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    Tigers give up Ray and a 19 year old 2nd baseman in Leyba to Arizona in the Yankee trade, Tigers have control of Greene for 5 years. The Fister trade now looks like Greene and Krol was the finished product still hate the trade of Fister

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      If it’s true, it’s a weird trade for the Tigers

  9. Cheese says:
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    What kind of projections do you have for Saunders this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’ll go over them in a sleeper post shortly…

      • Cheese says:
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        @Grey: Damn, I figured that would be you answer…

  10. Rags says:
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    Is it too early to ask for an opinion on a keeper/dynasty-ish trade?

    1st place team and most of my prices don’t go up until next year so I’m decently well stacked at both hitting and pitching.

    H2H points league with heavy emphasis on hits and IP.

    $340 budget: would you trade a $21 Strasburg for a $4 Stroman and $15 Brandon Belt?

    I’m trying to find a way to pry a $5 Dickerson out of this guy’s hands, but I do like Stroman.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Never too early…. I’d want Strasburg there…

    • @Rags: Too bad you couldn’t get Stroman and Dickerson for him at only $9.

  11. Sorry, forgot to ask 2 quick questions in the Schoop post:
    1. Who has the better season this year Schoop or Dozier?
    2. Who would you rather have in keeper format?

    Thanks as always,
    Turd

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      1. Dozier 2. Dozier

  12. gareth says:
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    Didi seems to be the prize of the three way trade.

    The swap of Robbie Ray for Shane Greene? Pretty yawnstipating. Who’d you rather have as a 5th starter?

    Yankees moving rotation depth smells of “hello Max Scherzer!” To me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, Scherzer’s going somewhere big, for big money

  13. gareth says:
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    It should be nice for Yankees starters to have an actual defensively decent shortstop behind them in 2015.

    They erected the Jeter statue in short 2 years ago and can now safely move it off the field.

    There’s Talk of Jeter heading a consortium to purchase the Miami Marlins. If that happens then Loria is clearly an evil genius. “You get a contract, you get a contract, you get a contract (cos I won’t be paying the majority of it – teehee! ).”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oh yeah, Loria’s definitely gonna unload this team

  14. FMFBL says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Happy Friday!

    Keeper question for you…OBP league, H, HR, R, RBIs, SB. Only 4, lose the draft pick if you keep the guy in the round they were drafted last year. FA adds are accounted for last round pick…
    THANKS!

    Hanley (3)
    Kipnis (5)
    Crush (14) bounce back?
    Dondaldson (22)
    Mookie (22)
    Mesoraco (22)
    Starlin Castro (22)
    Ozuna (22) breakout year in ’15?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      And to you! Donaldson, Castro, Ozuna, Davis

  15. Wow, just saw Miller sign with the Yanks. Does this mean that he will take over as closer if they don’t resign Robertson? Guess I’m trying to figure where it leaves Betances…I thought he was the “closer in waiting.”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He could be the closer now… Hard to say until the spring or until the Yanks say otherwise…

      • @Grey: I guess it’s pretty stupid to ever carry Yankees in dynasty.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Depends which ones…Right now, there’s not a whole lot of great ones…

  16. Russ says:
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    With Happ gone does Estrada get a look as the #4/#5 starter in Toronto or will they keep him in the pen? I think he’d be better served in the bullpen myself…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      They’d be better with him on another team… Right now, he’s going to battle for the 5th starter job with Norris, Sanchez and Redmond

  17. JW says:
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    Can I get your take on Mookie “doesn’t KO” Betts. The dude refuses to strike out and he is supposed to start the year where he ended last season, leading off for the Sox. 9.9% walk rate and a 14.6% K rate. That’s beast

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Where are you hearing he’s starting the year leading off? He doesn’t have a starting job as of right now.

  18. JW says:
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    I’m assuming he will start if/when Cespedes is traded and Craig is utilized as a bench player. If this comes to fruition, do you think he’ll take off in 2015?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Victorino, Rusney and Hanley is their outfield right now…

      • JW says:
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        According to Buster Olney…

        “We’ll get to the surplus momentarily. The balance in the Red Sox lineup is much better now that they’ve land the Panda as well as Ramirez, who sources say will be used in left field, with Sandoval installed at third:

        CF — Mookie Betts (bats right)
        2B — Dustin Pedroia (R)
        DH — David Ortiz (L)
        LF — Ramirez (R)
        3B — Sandoval (S)
        1B — Mike Napoli (R)
        RF — Rusney Castillo (R)
        C — Christian Vazquez (R)
        SS — Xander Bogaerts (R)”

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Okay, Betts doesn’t have a job right now, he’s not even slated to be in the majors…

  19. Alan says:
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    Grey, is alcides a good return for fister in cbs dynasty? Thanks

    • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
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      @Alan: does CBS have different structure/rules than other dynasties?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s just fair

  20. joe from point pleasant says:
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    @Grey

    Totally agree with you on Saunders next year. I think he might be a guy winning people fantasy championships based on the value he could return relative to his ADP.

    Another guy that will DEFINITELY be roaming the outfield for me is A.J. Pollock. Former first round pick going into his magical 27 year old season. What are your thoughts on him for 2015?

    Lastly, sticking to the OF theme, if David Peralta gets traded to Cincinnati and finds an everyday job hitting in the two hole, behind Hamilton, and in front of Votto, Mesoraco, Bruce, and Phillips I think he could be in for a VERY nice season himself.

    Please chime in! Thanks, G, you da man!

    • joe from point pleasant says:
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      @joe from point pleasant:
      Geez – I forgot to mention Frazier. Wow, the Reds have a potentially AMAZING lineup next year. And with Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Simon, Leake, Cingrani, Stephenson (later in season), and Chapman shutting the door – they could be World Series contenders.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’ve written a Pollock sleeper post too, just need to post it… I agree with what you said about the Reds, but they were supposed to be good last year too, and they ahd one of the worst offenses in the majors…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: injuries destroyed them in 2014 and I think Bruce was more bad luck than anything else.

        To speak in the ways sky does: that cincy lineup has a high ceiling with a questionable floor.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          They could be terrific, but they could’ve been terrific last year too…

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: the injuries left that floor questionable this past year and going forward. A healthy club is another story

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Bruce and Votto had prolly the miserable years imaginable so assuming they get better, yeah

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