Los Angeles is such an eco-friendly city that when a recent EPA report cited jet fuel as accounting for 17% of air pollution, the Dodgers went out and traded for Mookie Betts. See, this year’s All-Star Game is in Dodger Stadium, and now eleven of their players don’t have to fly anywhere for the All-Star Game festivities. Always giving, my great City of Angels, that’s not actually the city of the Angels, that’s Anaheim, but they call themselves Los Angeles and it’s nowhere near Los Angeles. Not confusing at all! Let’s just drool for a second at the Dodgers’ lineup: Betts, Muncy, Turner, Bellinger, Pederson/Pollock, Seager, Will Smith and Gavin Lux. If they trade Austin Barnes to the Astros for a trash can, then their 2020 title hopes will be sealed! Before you laugh, the Astros could use a catcher. So, Betts’s best will be in the starry skies of Los Angeles, and Rihanna might just start liking baseball again. “You’re cute with that silliness.” “Nah, seriously, I want to go bowling.” That’s Mookie and Rihanna on their first date. Betts is in the prime of his career, and I can’t see any chance a move to Los Angeles slows him down, however–Don’t do it, Grey! Don’t be negative here! Well, Fenway to Dodger Stadium isn’t the best move. Some of those doubles off the wall might go for deep outs to the left fielder. The Dodgers didn’t steal a lot in 2019 either, but that could be from a lack of threats. Justin Turner is running? Muncy? Bellinger did run, because he can. Betts should still be a lock for 15-20 steals, but I’m knocking his power down a tad with the park change. While his projections will change a bit, his ranking is staying the same in my top 10 for 2020 fantasy baseball. For what it’s Werth, Rudy’s auction rankings changed dramatically for Betts, knocking him way down, but Betts’s projections are even better than mine, as seen at the hitter projections. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:
David Price – Traded to the Dodgers. The phone call to the Dodgers lasted two months for Price/Betts. It was a variation of this since December: “What’s your price for Betts?” “Yes.” “God damn it and your playing-hard-to-get, just tell us your price!” “You got it.” “What is it?!” “What is what?” “The price for Betts.” “No, Price and Betts.” “WHAT?!” And so it went in circles for many months. Finally, the Dodgers and Red Sox got on the same page with a quick Facetime call. “This is our Price.” “Is that David Price? Oh, crap, now we get it.” Okay, so David Price wasn’t bad in Fenway. Are you happy? I said it. Pitchers are good at home; that’s a secret to fantasy that no one wants you to know. Price will be good in Los Angeles. That has not been the issue. Literally everything else has been the issue. Prior to this trade, I didn’t like Price at all. Now, I’m pretty meh on him. I can see a future Price being worth his, uh, price. Just won’t be on my teams. He turns 35 years old this year; the velocity has been falling for two straight years and he hasn’t had a positive year for his changeup since 2016. Also, can you imagine how many tickets Price is gonna have to get now for all his relatives in Los Angeles? “Your last name is Price? But you’re a white kid with a Jewish Star of David. I don’t think we’re related.” What a headache. He’s still in my top 60 starters, and I updated his projections a bit.
Brusdar Graterol – Traded to the Dodgers. When he was traded to the Red Sox in one of sixteen iterations of this trade, I added Graterol into my top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, but with so little confidence in him seeing a ton of starts (or innings), and the Dodgers having 18 starters, I removed him when he went to the Dodgers.
Kenta Maeda – Traded to the Twins, because all, and I mean, all things I touch turn to gold. *touches lamé jumper* I’m Beyonce, snitches! This can’t be bad for Maeda. If you want, like, actually facts, fine. The Hubert H. Homerfree Dome is also towards the bottom of the league for homers allowed — it’s in the name of the stadium; the park has always has been terrific for pitchers; the division is goofy with terrible teams. He’ll face the Tigers how many times? The Indians are bad and trying to be worse every day. The Royals had almost as many inside-the-park homers last year as regular ones. Maeda’s about to be a top 20 starter, but I will temper expectations and leave him in my top 60 starters. For now. Cue evil laugh! *starts coughing* My evil laugh never comes out right.
Devin Smeltzer – With the trade of Maeda, Devin was removed from the rankings. Smeltzer ya later!
Alex Verdugo – Traded to the Red Sox. Did I just come back from REI? Because someone’s built a tent in my pants! Verdugo’s launch angle is still an issue, as mentioned in the top 60 outfielders, but in Fenway he can shoot line drives into the right field stands with a flick of the wrist. Perhaps I was already predisposed to liking Verdugo, but I almost love him now. I’m so close to moving him into my top 40 outfielders, and I’m all-in for Verdugo, and I’ve adjusted his projections. The recent news that he’s not 100% healthy is a bit concerning, but I’m tentatively holding steady with his projections and ranking. Still a lot of time before the season starts.
Kevin Pillar – Signed by the Red Sox. The Red Sox could be moving on from Jackie Bradley Jr., but just bench him indefinitely? That seems unlikely too. I’m sure the Sawx would like to trade JBJ for a middle reliever. Hey, I know, trade him for Brusdar Graterol! Only the fifth time in the last week he’d be on the team bus. Red Sox might consider doing a Sixth Sense remake with Bruce Willis having dinner with Brusdar Graterol. I’d say spoiler alert, but where have you been for the last 30 years? So, Pillar is a solid bat in Fenway if he gets 550 ABs. If he platoons, he’s dog meat. Incredibly, Pillar has seemed like a platoon guy for the last five years and always gets his ABs, so might be a solid fifth outfielder in deeper leagues. I moved Pillar up to the top 80 outfielders and Jackie Bradley down in the top 100 outfielders.
Mitch Moreland – Re-signed with the Red Sox. Noooooooooooo–how many O’s is that? Twelve? Hmm, ooo. Fifteen O’s! That’s like Lenn Sakata’s Xmas card list! Damn, this is gonna kill Jose Peraza’s value. Moreland goes to 1st, Chavis to 2nd and Peraza to the bench, at least vs. righties. I’ve added Moreland into the top 20 1st basemen, and moved down Peraza in the top 20 2nd basemen.
James Paxton – Out for 3-4 months with cyst removal surgery. The Yankees are so far ahead of every other team, they’ve already ramped up their scheduled injuries. Ba dum cyst! I was all-in on Paxton prior to this, but now I’m both-feet out. Figure he returns tentatively in May/June, has to ramp up activity and is at risk of setbacks. That’s a no from me dawg. I’ve moved him into the top 80 starters and updated his projections. This opens up innings for someone to step into the Yankees’ rotation during April and May. Who? I haven’t the foggiest and haven’t added anyone yet. Cashman says it’s an open competition. The Yanks are wrestling with Jordan Montgomery, who seems like the best bet — mo’ JoMo! Jonathan Loaisiga, who moves silently like the G in lasagna and farts; Luis Cessa, who seems like a long man; Deivi Garcia, who seems like a long shot, and Mike King, which is what happens before a mic check.
Cameron Maybin – Signed by the Tigers. I don’t blame reporters for this language, but everyone should stop saying things like, “Maybin will get a lot of at-bats for the rebuilding Tigers.” If a team was really rebuilding, they would not be giving a 33-year-old at-bats. Never the hoo! He was added to the top 100 outfielders, and Victor Reyes was adjusted.
Brandon Kintzler – Signed with the Marlins to close. Close what? The door, man! You think Marlins live in barns? Are you daft, bro? He’s in my top 500 and I’m very much looking forward to drafting him with my last pick and hoping he never actually comes into any games.
Yoshihisa Hirano – Signed with the Mariners. He could close. What? Don’t even start me again about the gee-dee barns! He’s also in my top 500. This year, as much as last, will be pushing the limits of SAGNOF! Rotowan also gave you an AL West breakdown where he had Magill closing, and that could be true too. Closing what? Stop it now!
Carlos Gonzalez – Signed with the Mariners. Here’s an interesting thought experiment. If the Mariners were told they could pay Kyle Lewis a million or CarGone a million, who would they pay? I’m guessing CarGone.
Taijuan Walker – Signed with the Mariners. He’s pitched 14 IP across the previous two years because of Tommy John and a shoulder injury. So, you’re saying he’s fresh! I haven’t added him to my top 100 starters, because I’m not sure he can throw 70+ IP, but I guess if you’re in a crazy deep league, or you’re the Mariners, the risk is okay.
Shohei Ohtani – Angels announced Ohtani won’t return as a pitcher until mid-May. Just so we’re on same page. All the bad news that comes out about Ohtani will be greeted by me with something of a shrug and an “I told you so.” In my top 40 starters, I already projected Ohtani for 103 IP, and won’t be changing him, but I also say there how I would not draft him. This might actually help some people who drafted him, so they can just start him at DH for the first six weeks.
Eugenio Suarez – Had a water wings incident in his swimming pool and needed shoulder surgery to remove loose cartilage. Usually with a loose cartilage, I just blow in it. Am I thinking of Atari cartridges? Not the same, is it? Hmm. So, Eugenio will be limited in spring training, Rudy subtracted five games from his projections. I’m not changing them yet. If Suarez gets to the end of March and is limited still, I might change my mind. We’re still very far away from meaningful games, don’t overreact.
Nick Castellanos – Signed with the Reds, because, apparently, the Reds’ great aunt died this offseason and left the team millions of dollars to spend on free agents. Hopefully, it’s not a Montgomery Brewster scenario and the team has to lose all that money to make real money. The GGoHC completely screwed up my GGOATOAT projections. Hello, Greek God, why do you OPA! on Aquino’s fantasy value? No answer? Figures…because the Greeks invented math! Any hoo! Castellanos landed in about as good a place as he was going to, but as I said in his blurb at the top 40 outfielders, he has a lot of warts in his batted ball profile and I’m out. Possibly the biggest news for the GGoHC is he wants to be known as Nick again. Apparently, he went to the same strength and naming coach as Peter Alonso.
Aristides Aquino – The GGoHC royally effed the GGOATOAT. The GGOATOAT got got! Damn it, Castellanos! So, I’ve doinked GGOATOAT’s projections about 125 ABs and now he’s more of a number four to five outfielder vs. a number one, because I don’t even know if Aquino breaks camp with the Reds anymore. After all, the Reds still have Winker, Senzel, Ervin, Akiyama–Yo, Reds, you realize you can only play three outfielders at once, right? Aquino is now in the top 80 outfielders. Castle Wolfenstein this sucks!
Juan Lagares – Signed with the Padres. We should have a glossary term for a player who has no fantasy value, but his only purpose is to screw other players from playing time. Similar to a prospblock, but not just prospects. Please suggest in comments.
Emilio Pagan – Traded to the Padres. Somewhere in Tampa, a religious man stood up and said, “Goodbye, Pagan, and, finally, the devil is out of the Rays.” The fantasy value is out of the Pagan too. I’ve dropped him way down in my top 500 and removed just about all his saves.
Manuel Margot – Traded to the Rays. “It sure is good to not have to worry about any outfield competition for once,” said Hunter Renfroe, as he whistled around one of the 2,500 local-area Hooter’s Restaurants in Tampa. Unbeknownst to him, Margot had entered the same Hooter’s and whistled to the bartender, “Hey, toots, give me a shot of something hard. I don’t have to worry about any outfield competition for once–” Just then, Margot and Renfroe spotted each other from across the bar. In unison, they both spit out, “It’s you again!” I’ve updated the top 100 outfielders and Margot.
Nick Anderson – With Emilio Pagan headed to San Diego, Anderson moves into pole position for saves. Sadly, this isn’t Hustlers and pole position might not lead to the Cash approval. Anderson is such a beast for ratios and Ks, though, I’ve moved him up my top 500, and will reach for him before a ton of safer saves. I threw a few more saves at Castillo, Poche and Alvarado too in my top 500 projections.
Wade Davis – Bud Black announced Davis would be the closer. Davis had a 8.65 ERA and 1.88 WHIP and he was made closer. You really think Bud Black’s giving Garrett Hampson a starting job? Oh…*drives from New York to Los Angeles*….kay. I adjusted Davis in my top 500.
Starling Marte – Traded to the Diamondbacks for two prospects. Revenue sharing and/or the Pirates need to be eliminated. There is absolutely no reason the Pirates needed to trade Marte like the house burnt down and they needed to move in with their in-laws. Marte was under a reasonable contract until next year (club option). They could’ve held him until July to see what teams were willing to give them then, or wait until next January. Shizz is so broken when teams are forfeiting their steelo before spring training even starts. The Pirates obviously said to themselves, “We haven’t lost a big trade in almost a year, let’s get this done!” Now that the Diamondbacks have two Martes, they just need to sign Damaso Marte, and they can begin to build houses. Thought the Diamondbacks were drunk on Martes before when they only had Ketel, now it’s a full-on Marte party! My guess is Marte goes to center, Marte goes to 2nd–Hold on, Starling goes to center; Ketel goes to 2nd base; Eduardo goes to 3rd and Lamb is baaaah-bye. This won’t change Starling’s stats dramatically, but a better park and lineup does inch him up a little in counting stats and power. His projections have been adjusted in the top 20 outfielders.
Jarrod Dyson – Signed by the Pirates. The signing of vets when a prospect would’ve done fine is a plague on the MLB. Sounding out the word plague, “Play…gay — it’s Italian!” The Pirates could’ve easily promoted Jared Oliva and played him instead. For those unfamiliar, Oliva went 6/36/.277 in the minors last year. Ya know, essentially the same player as Dyson! They didn’t even have to learn a new 1st name! Sure, maybe Oliva wasn’t ready, but giving him a chance is so much more worthwhile for an organization than signing Dyson. Any hoo! The top 100 outfielders were updated.
Reese McGuire – Arrested for exposing himself. Even E.T. doesn’t want those Reese’s pieces. Are we sure he wasn’t putting down one finger for the fastball? Never really understood the people saying McGuire was competing with Danny Jansen for the starting job in Toronto, but this stinks if it moves Jansen up people’s draft boards.
Luis Urias – Has a broken hamate bone, so I updated his projections. I added 25 homers! Broken hamate bone? Sign me up! Right? I mean, Olson last year broke his hamate bone and hit a home run in every game thereafter. No? Okay. So, I saw some sites saying Urias would need six to eight weeks to recover. That sounds pessimistic. Maybe four to six weeks, which still lets him open the season as the Brewers’ shortstop or at least return after a week or two. I’ve changed his projections a tad in the top 20 2nd basemen, but I still don’t see Arcia as the starter.
Wilmer Flores – Signed with the Giants. Wilmer Flores immediately upgrades the Giants’ lineup, which is to say the Giants’ lineup is hideous. Maybe the Giants were hearing a lot of condolences for their yet-to-begin season and decided to get some Flores.
Billy Hamilton – Signed with the Giants. He’s such a curiosity I could see adding him into my outfielder ranks at some point, because he could steal 20 bags in 75 ABs, but he’s the biggest one category guy since Adam Dunn hit 40 homers, .190 with 15 runs and RBIs. Don’t ask how it happened; it just did.
Hunter Pence – Signed with the Giants. The fun thing for you if you’re a Giants fan is you can talk about the Giants’ FO, and mean Front Office or f**k off. If you’re wondering why I haven’t projected Yolmer, Flores or Pence, it’s to save you the trouble of drafting them (and I don’t think they’re going to get 250 ABs each). What Pence does for Jaylin Davis, who I do have in my top 100 outfielders, worries me a little, but Davis is a crazy late flyer anyway.
Ryan Zimmerman – Re-signed with the Nats. I would’ve been surprised if the Nats didn’t re-sign the long-time face of their franchise after a World Series win. It’s like making out with someone for ten years, then dumping them right after sex.
Jason Kipnis – Signed with the Cubs. Not sure any good moves have happened in the last two weeks since I finished my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings that have helped anyone’s value. What does Kipnis do to Hoerner? Doesn’t make me hoerny, I’ll tell ya that. Is David Bote out of the picture? Is Descalso in the picture? Am I just singing Picture by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow? I demand answers! So, I added Jason Kipnis to the top 20 2nd basemen and adjusted Hoerner and Bote.