Welp, we were supposed to start our fantasy baseball sleepers today, but there was some movement before the lockout. *looks in the toilet* “Hey, we got movement!” By the way, for those of you who didn’t hear my thoughts on the impending lockout, you can listen to the last episode of our fantasy baseball podcast. Basically, I expect them to go to their separate corners. Owners will cry poor; players will cry that the owners are crying poor, which will be accurate, and then they’ll come back. My guess is we lose about a week of the season and gain the NL DH. It will seem dire, because a lot of reporters are on team payrolls and they’re paid to make it seem dire. It won’t be as dire as it seems, unless we get to May and still no baseball. Bright side of that would be Acuña will be ready for Opening Day. Lowercase yay! Any hoo! We’ll start the sleepers as soon as teams stop signing big free agents — we (I) did start my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon, by the by.

The Mets went out and got Mark Canha and Starling Marte, as they remade their outfield. The A’s did their best to change their culture, club wasn’t working around players like Canha and Kaprelian but those windows of opportunity come and go. They come and go. Boy, Jorge Soler would fit nicely there. The best thing about the addition of Mark Canha and Starling Marte is they push Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil to the bench-slash-platoon-Slash-Axl. Remember when there were people who thought some random 60-game stretch of Dom Smith meant he was good? Haha, those people were almost as dumb as the people who drafted Cody Bellinger last year. Hey, wait, that’s me! Jeff McNeil actually pulled the wool over our eyes in a full season, but he was never really good either. On a related note, the Mets cornered the market on Micks who hit weak grounders. Between McCann and McNeil, they hit about as hard as the IRA, if the Irish Republican Army was modeled after everything they read about IRAs on Charles Schwab. Any hoo! Canha should fit perfectly in with the Mets, because Mets’ fans need a good sense of humor so Canha helps. Can’t really be a laughingstock without a Starling ability to Canha. Canha’s 20.5% strikeout rate with a .231 average is a little bit of a concern. Couple that with his .274 and solid speed paints a picture of a guy who makes weak contact. McCann, McNeil and now M.C. are gonna bloop other teams to death. Seriously, Canha’s peripherals indicate some pretty weak contact, and backing that up was the 35th worst Hard Contact% in the league. His Launch Angle came down a little, which was prolly better for him, as it led to a few less weak fly balls, even if they’re more like weak bloopers to the 2nd baseman. For 2022, I’ll give Mark Canha projections of 73/21/64/.239/10 in 571 ABs.

That was the longest Mark Canha breakdown ever, because it was really just a giant stall for me, before tackling Starling Marte. A 33-year-old who just matched his career high at 47 steals. That’s not even taking into account the very real evil eye the universe gives to all players who sign with the Mets. Ugh. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be an ageist anymore. I wouldn’t write off players just because they’re old, but I sorted by all the players who were 33 years old who stole 47 bags or more, and there were 21 seasons of them since 1914 with 13 players. Seven of those were Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson. Guess what I’m saying is, after much deliberation about not worrying about a player’s age in regards to steals, I am still doing exactly that. Marte also had a .372 BABIP. It’s too simplistic to say the Mets just got had. Not as simplistic as saying a guy is old and his BABIP was high, but do you see why I was stalling? In the end, here’s the thing, there’s so many players to choose from, that you don’t have to be right or wrong on some guys, you can just ignore them, and that’s what I think I’m gonna be doing with Starling Marte. As far as his lineup slot, I will say the Mets have more number twos than a public toilet. If I were the Mets manager, and the Mets had a manager, I’d start the lineup Marte, Canha, Lindor, Alonso, but where are you finding Nimmo a spot? Maybe a trade with Miami, since he’s a fish at heart. For 2022, I’ll give Starling Marte projections of 89/19/61/.277/32 in 534 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Eduardo Escobar – Signed with the Mets. There’s complicated reasons behind Eduardo Escobar signing with the Mets. Not for the Mets or their fans, but so I don’t ever write another J.D. Davis sleeper. The fantasy baseball community sent me a cease and desist, but it was ignored by me. How does that saying go, “First, they came for my J.D. Davis sleeper, and I said nothing?” Maybe that’s not how it goes, who’s to say? For 2022, I’ll give Eduardo Escobar projections of 62/25/72/.252/1 in 511 ABs.

Marcus Semien – Signed with a seven-year deal with the Rangers. Ya know that poker expression, if you don’t know the sucker at the table, you’re the sucker? The Rangers don’t know who the sucker is. With each home run from Marcus Semien, my proposal to the MLB front office was they should shoot fireworks out of a giant lotion bottle, but clearly they had no interest in my suggestion, which is why I sent them a new proposal where they have a special Semien hot dog. After each bite of the hot dog, it shoots ranch dressing into your mouth. Yum! So, as you know, I am a huge fan of Semien. Have been for the past six years, which includes a few years when he wasn’t that great. Like someone putting an edible condom on a Semien hot dog, which is how they’re sold, let’s recap! Semien, um, burst onto the scene with a money shot of 27/10, his 2nd year in A’s in 2016, and it was off the races in our minds and imaginations. Then Semien was more hit or miss than Shawn Kemp. A high of 33 homers in 2019; a low of 10 homers in 2017, and the whole time Semien looked pretty similar under the hood. Then, last year, was the true giant lotion bottle in the sky, hitting 45 homers. Wanna do a true Semien spit take? If he were on the Astros, he would’ve hit 54 homers. Yes, those goofy Crawford boxes, were even easily than the Triple-A parks he played in for part of the year. What’s truly wild, and might not mean anything, Semien hit 16 No Doubters in 2019 off 33 homers, and only hit one no doubt home run last year. We call that a Gwen Stefani. Semien really kills fastballs — a two-minute man, huh? — hitting 36 of his homers off fastballs. His .538 SLG was 21st in the league, but his .452 xSLG was 93rd, that was 4th biggest difference between actual and predicted. Only three with a bigger difference were Frank Schwindel, Randy Arozarena and Dom Nunez. His realized average was .265 vs. .244 xBA. Take away the goofy minor league parks, and Semien is in line for the biggest come-to-Jesus moment. His home runs last year if he played in Texas? 32. And that was in what I bet will end up his career year. For 2022, I’ll give Marcus Semien projections of 93/27/69/.253/12 in 607 ABs.

Billy McKinney – Traded to the Rangers with Zach Reks, whose last name also describes both players. Right now, the Rangers have to choose between McKinney and Leody Taveras, and, if they choose McKinney, I will file a petition in court to become their conservator. For 2022, I’ll give Billy McKinney projections of 31/9/37/.208/3 in 307 ABs.

Kole Calhoun – Signed with the the Rangers. “So, I gotta share an outfield spot and a jersey?” That’s Willie Calhoun, and he’s half right. Willie, you might get to keep your jersey. Kole Calhoun is the Ron Weasley of 20/5/.230 outfielders. For 2022, I’ll give Kole Calhoun projections of 52/21/59/.231/3 in 421 ABs

Jon Gray – Signed with the Rangers. So, the Rangers’ great aunt passed away, and left them a huge inheritance, huh? Rangers’ home park, Arlington National Cemetery of Home Runs, isn’t a great place to hit, but Jon Gray’s going there? *Succession theme song plays* “I want my son, Gray, on my teams this year.” That’s me talking to Shiv. For his career, 9.5 K/9, 2+ BB/9, and headed to one of the best home parks. I know, I know, he had a better home ERA in Coors than in away games, but that’s silly. No one wants to pitch in Coors. He’s about to have a Robbie Ray resurrection in Arlington; someone take in his inseam six inches. For 2022, I’ll give Jon Gray projections of 10-9/3.64/1.29/174 in 167 IP with a chance for more.

Kevin Gausman – Signed with the Jays. Still love Gausman, so take everything I’m about to say with a grain of salt. Last year, I called him a sleeper, and drafted everywhere I could. He then took his ceiling, removed it, floated up 350,000 feet, placed his ceiling on the moon, and talked like he sucked helium for six months. It was an insane year. You can’t expect insane years, especially not from someone who has one pitch. Okay, slight exaggeration, but only slight. He throws a splitter about as well as Earl Anthony on a 7-10. As I’ve said before, when you have one pitch that’s a top five pitch in baseball, you only really need one pitch. He’s improved his fastball too, so it really has all come together for Gausman. “Come Together” was brought you by The Beatles documentary, and this is now a sponsored post. Gausman throws his splitter 35% of the time, and hitters have a .133 BAA with an xBA of .155. Honestly, nuff said, said a Nuffin. For 2022, I’ll give Kevin Gausman projections of 13-9/3.16/1.07/219 in 189 IP.

Hector Neris – Signed with the Astros. When Neris was with the Phils, he was an ulcer-in-waiting, now watch him be as lights-out as they get.

Noah Syndergaard – Signed with the Angels. Last year, the Mets’ record was 77-85 and the Angels’ record was 77-85. Eduardo Rodriguez signed with the 77-85 Tigers. So, which 77-85 team will be the best in 2022? Write your answer on a note card, put it in an envelope, fart in the envelope and put it in the mail, care of Rob Manfred, MLB Offices, 666 Hell Road. This is a solid landing spot for Noah Syndergaard. He goes from being screamed at by a guy named Big Al to the The Big A. The Mets jokers, all of whom have shows on WFAN, were out in legion after the deal went down:

Syndergaard should be all-systems-go when it’s go-time. The only question is for how many innings. My guess is around 150 IP, but that has a plus or minus of 40 IP, which is a much bigger plus or minus on innings than usual, i.e., if he threw 190 or 110 IP, it wouldn’t shock me. Because of that, there’s real risk with him. Also, because it might be on your mind, he lost 3 MPH on his fastball when he returned for two innings last year, but that was two random innings in September, where he would’ve been a fool to try to throw his hardest. If he’s having issues in the spring, then that’ll have me change my tune, but right now I’m humming The Ronettes’ Be My Baby. For 2022, I’ll give Noah Syndergaard projections of 9-7/3.32/1.27/151 in 148 IP.

Tyler Wade – Traded to the Angels. The Angels gave up Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to get Wade–Wait, I got misinformation. I was hearing Tyler Wade for Trout and Ohtani from someone with the Twitter handle, “@Jeterpleasesleepwithmywife.” Wade will likely get way too many at-bats, as he always does. For 2022, I’ll give Tyler Wade projections of 41/2/17/.241/19 in 277 ABs.

Aaron Loup – Signed with the Angels. Hard to dig through all my sarcasm at times for sincerity, but this is a solid real world move. Like when the roomies kicked out Puck. For 2022, I’ll give Aaron Loup projections of 5-2/2.66/0.97/58, 9 saves in 56 IP, but the saves are subject to change if the Angels announce he’s their closer or sign someone else.

Adam Frazier – Traded to the Mariners. This is the kind of deal that seems good on paper. But then you pull back and realize that paper is actually toilet paper and you zoom in to realize what was used to write on the toilet paper and you scream in horror. For 2022, I’ll give Adam Frazier projections of 80/7/50/.277/8 in 553 ABs.

Avisail Garcia – Signed with the Marlins. Had one of the sneakiest productive seasons last year, going 29/8/.262. Yes, he had a season you would’ve taken from George Springer. This might get the Marlins to stop trying to make a thing from Garrett Cooper. Kim Ng, “He’s never going to fetch us anything, is he?” That’s her looking at Garrett Cooper. Yes, the Avisail Garcia signing might finally get the Marlins to stop trying to make Garrett Cooper a thing. By the way, my money’s on Avisail sleeping with Jorge Alfaro’s wife. We shall see! For 2022, I’ll give Avisail Garcia projections of 61/24/66/.271/7 in 421 ABs.

Brent Honeywell – Traded to the A’s. His future was so bright not so long ago, but googling “Brent Honeywell’s elbow injury” yields 1.2 million results. Last year in Triple-A, he saw the results of 81 2/3 IP, 7.4 K/9,2.6 BB/9, 3.97 ERA with a fastball down to 93 MPH from 97 MPH back in 2016. If he can get back the filth, maybe there’s something here for crazy, deep leagues, or keepers — deepers? — but I only project for the first 500-ish players, and I can’t see ranking Honeywell there, unless it looks he’s breaking camp with the Wants-Out-Of-Oakland A’s.

Kendall Graveman – Signed with the White Sox. I usually only project, and rank in my top 500 two to three relievers for most teams, but the White Sox look like they’ll be one of the teams that will have four relievers ranked and projected, and maybe five! For 2022, I’ll give Kendall Graveman projections of 6-2/2.51/1.01/64, 2 saves in 60 IP.

Corey Kluber – Signed with the Rays for $8 million. Knowing the Rays, they’ll prolly ask Wander Franco to pay Kluber. Kluber still has the ability to be good — last year: 9.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 3.83 ERA in 80 IP — and I think his draft price has finally reached such a floor that he’s become interesting again. It only took Klubot short circuiting for a few years like Johnny 5. Stamina to throw 120+ IP will definitely play a role in his value, unless someone signs him up for a weekend retreat in the Adam Wainwright Health and Wellness Spa. For 2022, I’ll give Corey Kluber projections of 7-7/3.91/1.31/108 in 104 IP.

Steven Matz – Signed by the Cards. Mets fans were upset that Matz signed with the Cards rather than returning to New York. Why? Best I can figure it’s because Matz sounds like Mets. The Mets didn’t want Matz last year, happy to bid him adieu, then he went to Canada, learned French, so he knew what ‘adieu’ meant, and how to better locate his pitches, and now the Mets fans think they’re entitled to something. The funniest (not funny) thing is their owner, Steven Cohen, tweeted about how he was upset Matz’s agent lied to him. Agents lying? What’s next, water being wet? St. Louis is a solid landing spot for any pitcher who is barely a number five that wants to pitch like a three or four, and Matz is no different. For 2022, I’ll give Steven Matz projections of 11-8/3.79/1.31/157 in 168 IP.

Pedro Severino – Signed with the Brewers. In years past, Severino’s won the Cilantro In Guac Award for being awful while continuing to get work. Now that Severino has Narvaez in front of him, well, he’ll prolly be the Cilantro in the Guac once again, or he’ll at least platoon with pomegranate seeds. Hey, if you wanna crack my tooth, at least do it on hard candy and not unnecessary, without-any-flavor pomegranate seeds. For 2022, I’ll give Pedro Severino projections of 27/8/32/.244 in 279 ABs.

Michael Wacha – Signed with the Red Sox. He was in one of the best pitching parks in the AL East last year in Tampa, and had a 5.05 ERA. Wacha’s about to bracha the numeral system with his ERA this year.

Wade Davis – Retired from baseball. He wants to spend more time with his kids, so next summer he’ll be dropping his kids off at the pool, literally, rather than metaphorically when he took the mound.

60 Comments
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Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
8 months ago

Hey Grey,

FRee agency is wild today. Scherzer 3/130, Ray 5/115, and now seager 10/325. when does the CBA end?

Also someone wants to ytrade me Kenley Jensen ($17), He wants Musgroove ($15) and Staumont ($6). would you make the deal or offer up just Musgrove?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

so keep musgrove and forget the deal?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

thats what i was thinking.

Will
Will
8 months ago

Rangers just committed half a billion dollars to two players (Semian, Corey Seager). And added a good starting pitcher.

And my Cubs stand there and do nothing while other teams are getting aggressively better. As constructed right now they are a AAA team looking at 100+ losses in 2022.

Man 2016 was a long time ago…

Toolshed
Toolshed
8 months ago

Texas spending even more now with that seager deal. I guess the floodgates are open now after all that dead money from prince fielder is off of the books.

Toolshed
Toolshed
8 months ago

You forgot one…Jose Quintana. Looks like the Buccos are going all in this year!

Toolshed
Toolshed
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

Ooh, the suspense. You know the pirates are always good for making a splash move especially when there is a frenzy of FA activity and teams like Texas are spending. You have to give Pit credit though; they continue to impress. Just when you thought they couldn’t set the bar any lower…they reach a new level.

Toolshed
Toolshed
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

And they just traded stallings to pay for Quintana. $2.6m more off of the books. I guess since he won a gold glove they didn’t want to lose his arbitration case. Amazing.

Will
Will
8 months ago

Today in Bud Black school of managing 101 –

https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1465417121324802057

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Rockies “would like to bring back” free agent shortstop Trevor Story.

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

“We can keep him for one more year at the $18.4 million qualifying offer.”

“No, let’s let him walk in free agency then try to bring him back on a Corey Seager contract.”

Your Colorado Rockies.

leon
leon
8 months ago

Freddy peralta or Alec Bohm dynasty 16 man. thanks. 2022 and beyond

Jim Beam
Jim Beam
8 months ago

“In years past, Severino’s won the Cilantro In Guac Award for being awful while continuing to get work.”

ROTFLMAO!

I’ve spent time here for years, but never really dug in and this is my first full-on tearing laugh riot.

I’ve got a feeling we’ll need this kind of commentary in the upcoming labor war.

Thanks for keeping this space the way you have.

Wake Up
8 months ago

Great idea with the ranch dressing sandwich!

Hope all your givings were thanksed and your chocolate money delicious!

Llango5021
Llango5021
8 months ago

Grey,
what are your thoughts on Tony Gonsolin? is he going to be a starter for the Dodgers?
Where is he on the SP rankings? is he worth trading for in a keeper league where my 10th player options are Sixto, Abrams, Gilbert…

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
8 months ago

Dude, look at the Yankees go, signing………. NOTHING. Well Jose Peraza ffs ugh

Sport
Sport
8 months ago

Busy morning here so I haven’t been able to get on and read early as I usually do. There’s some really good stuff here. Guess I’ll be unloading Semien. Er, I mean dropping him in my ranks considerably.

I have been pondering Syndergaard! I have seen his ADP at 177, but other mocks have averaged 200. I was hoping to maybe take a flier on him at 200 or so.

Hypothetical questions: You’re picking 8 or 9 or so. Jose Ramirez actually falls that far and you snag him, then Devers actually slides to 16 or so to you. You take both 3B and hender the rest of the league handicapped at 3B? Based on early mock drafts and ADP’s it won’t be a surprise to see that happen.

Royals fans around crying because we aren’t signing people like other clubs. Not me, I would just love to see them sign Witt Jr. to a 12 year deal. That would make wood.

Stl Squat Cobblers
Stl Squat Cobblers
8 months ago

One more Lothario if you Please n Thank You!!
I know you’re not finish with your ranks but…

Pick two for 2022:

Kikuchi
Gibson
Taijuan
Eflin
Pearson
Dunning
Merrill Kelly
Flexen
Yarbrough

Don’t worry…we won’t hold ya to it!!

Stl Squat Cobblers
Stl Squat Cobblers
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

Thanks Grey!!

Stl Squat Cobblers
Stl Squat Cobblers
8 months ago

Which of these turds has best chance of getting 525 PAs…
Which of these puts up best 5×5 numbers in 2022?

Wisdom
Wendle
Brian Anderson

Will
Will
8 months ago

Pick three starters to keep out of this list:

Darvish
Woodruff
Urias
Gausman
Bassitt
S Gray
L Webb
D Cease

Was going to keep Gausman, Woodruff and Urias but now wondering if Webb might be better than Gausman in Toronto?

Thanks

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

ok, thanks

Stl Squat Cobblers
Stl Squat Cobblers
8 months ago

Agree 1 hunert on Cohen’s reaction. Not sure if he was just playing to the Mets fans …but if he’s gonna get this upset about a player snubbing his team, perhaps he’s not cut out for sports team ownership. And Matz isn’t a difference maker either way. Just a silly reaction.

Hey look, they signed Scherzer! Guess his agent doesn’t lie!?!?

slimjim13
slimjim13
8 months ago

Grey I have Rondon and DeSclafani @ $3 in a keeper league DeSclafani signing back with SF i think would be good. What about Rondon have you heard anything on him some are saying he’s hurt?

Manormachine
Manormachine
8 months ago

What about the Giants resigning Desclafani and Wood? As a Tony Disco dynasty owner I am thrilled because it gives him the chance to be his best self. I even wrote a song about it:

(With apologies to the Eagles)

Desclafani, I’m glad you retained your senses,
You were out there in Cincinnati, serving gopher balls,
Oh, you’re a hard one,
I saw your career best last season,
Making six mil somehow,

Don’t you go to New York City boy,
They’ll mess up your delivery,
You know Gabe Kapler is always your best friend
Now it seems to me your slider,
From looking at your tables
Is the pitch you should be throwing all the time

DeeeeSclafani, oh you ain’t getting any younger
Your pain and your hunger
Driving you back to the Bay
And free agency, sweet free agency,
That’s just some people talking
Your new contract keeps you three more years at home.

2ndCitySox
2ndCitySox
8 months ago

Boy Jorge needs to be Soler’s official nickname.

Great write up on the early flurry of moves! This has been the wildest November offseason I’ve seen.

galica123
galica123
8 months ago

Grey!!!!

Awesome!!

a. Me saying ‘awesome’ has become a staple of my comments and I don’t have a staple remover, but man!! In Europe they would say ‘tempo, tempo’. You need to cool it with all the goodness in one blow lest we all blow a gasket or need one of them Semien-sized condoms!!!

b. Seriously, awesome read. Loved every word, letter, line like a coke addict on Grey goodness.

c. I have the MiLB 15-round portion of my draft today (10 AM EST) as all our gentle readers know by now. Am set, have my list, ranked draft picks in the queue. My attack is going to be draft MLB-ready guys in the first 10 rounds and then younguns later. I’m also thinking 10/5 hitters/pitchers for the 15 rounds. You down with that?

d. Norm MacDonald quote of the day for Wake for November 29, 2021

‘Jeffrey Dahmer’s family are fighting over what to do with his dead body. Some want to have sex with it while the rest of them want to put it in the fridge.’

e. Norm MacDonald quote of the day for November 29, 2021

‘Well a study out says seafood is good for you unless it’s fried, then it’s definitely not good for you. Yet another revelation from the magazine DUH.’

f. Marx Brothers quote of the day for November 29, 2021

Hotel Manager: ‘Now, listen, Devereaux. You and I both know that that check is no good.’

Groucho: ‘Oh, I-I thought only I knew it.’

Cheers,
Ante

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

Grey!!!

a. Boy Jorge, best. We share the same date of birth.

b. The top 6 picks in our MiLB 15-round draft.

1 Witt
2 Rutschman
3 Ju-Rod
4 Riley Greene
5 Noelvi
6 Brennen Davis

So Cruz, Casas and Brujan all available for me at pick #10. There’s a technical glitch. In fantrax, in the draftroom, there’s a ‘minors eligible’ button. Of course, some of the best MiLB players are not in THAT list, so…we go back to that Booker T Washington quote…

‘We not he’e to educate,
We he’e to f*nicate!’

Cheers,
Ante

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

Grey

I had Greene at 4, love Greene in a dynasty keep forever.

I pick now. who do you like?

Oneil
Casas
Brujan

I’m leaning Brujan but I love them all at #1.

Cheers,
Ante

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
Reply to  Ante Galic
8 months ago

Grey!

Took Brujan #1 out of the 9 hole.

78 went
7 Grayson Rodriguez
8 Nolan Gorman

Cheers,
Ante

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
Reply to  Ante Galic
8 months ago

Grey!

Correction 1-11
Witt
Rutschman
Ju-Rod
Riley Greene
Tork
Noelvi
Brennen Davis
Grayson Rodriguez
Nolan Gorman
Brujan (me at pick 10)
Max Meyer

Gonna go Cruz or Casas in round 2, pick 3.

Ante Galic
Ante Galic
Reply to  Grey
8 months ago

Grey!

People don’t know about Cruz, so I can wait for round 3, pick 36 for him. We’ll see.

What about Seiya Suzuki? He should be Verdugo+ right? That plays doesn’t it?

Cheers,
Ante