Not usually my style, but we’re taking a break from the 2021 fantasy baseball rankings for a day because of the big trade between the Rockies and Cardinals (and a shizzton of other moves). All the 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, including pitchers, are already up on our Patreon.
So, the Rockies are trying to lose, and they’re a stupid franchise. That is a bad combination. Like burning down your house for insurance money after letting your insurance lapse. The Rockies gave away their marquee player and $50 million. If this is a rebuild, and Austin Gomber is the start of–I’m sorry. I can’t even say Austin Gomber with a straight face. The Cards got Arenado for a Gomber pile of garbage. Bud Black is actually the perfect imbecile to run that team. So, on Arenado’s fantasy value, well…*swallows*…okay, so…*collects thoughts* Yeah, I moved him down in my rankings.
Arenado was traded to the Cards, and I can’t possibly tell you he’s as safe to draft in St. Louis. I don’t think the park change is as dramatic as some are making it out to be. I don’t think he’s suddenly done. I know his road/away splits, but as said many times before, guys are better at home. Even guys who aren’t in Coors. You’re staying at home, you’re surrounded by family and friends, you’re seeing your wife–Wait, are these reasons to enjoy being at home? Right, yes, I kid! Home numbers are always better. Familiarity with the park, just being more comfortable. It’s always like this; there’s stats to back it up, don’t make me pull them out. So, Arenado might not have been great on the road when he played in Coors, but you can’t just say his new home numbers will be his old road numbers. Doesn’t work like that. Trying to see the difference between him and, say, Jose Abreu, though, has become nearly impossible and Abreu isn’t a top 20 overall pick, and neither is Arenado now. I moved Rafael Devers up to the top 20 for 2021 fantasy baseball; Arenado dropped about ten overall spots (but only one spot in the top 20 3rd basemen), and I lowered his projections a bit. His new projections: 88/32/106/.279/1 in 592 ABs.
For what it’s Wuertz, here’s out Steamer projections pre-trade: 103/35/103/.286, 4th best 3B, ~20th overall. Here’s him post-trade: 86/29/85/.256; 8th-10th 3B, ~110TH overall. Um, that’s kinda gross. And, to add fire to the inferno whooshing around the Torenado, look at projections of Austin Riley vs. Nolan Arenado:
Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for fantasy baseball:
J.T. Realmuto – Re-signed with the Phils, because the Phils don’t punt top catchers. They are not, obviously, named for Dr. Phil’s fantasy team. He knows better to go after a top catcher.
Wilson Ramos – Signed with the Tigers. Imaging Miggy and Ramos on the basepaths together, and for some reason I’m picturing the 405 at a standstill. Makes sense that behind them is Goodrum, and not a “good run.” 2021 Projections: 47/13/54/.271 in 387 ABs
Enrique Hernandez – Signed with the Red Sox. I can’t imagine a year from Enrique — I don’t call him Kiké, too Enrisque — where he doesn’t go 15/4/.240, while never playing every day to make him worthwhile in mixed leagues, but the Red Sox say they’ll give him his chance for an everyday starting job. Why does this feel like a trap? 2021 Projections: 57/20/64/.236/4 in 467 ABs
Cesar Hernandez – Signed with the Indians. He will be hitting leadoff–and, damn it, this squeezes Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez for playing time, doesn’t it? Did they both get traded from the Mets to become exactly the same fantasy-wise on a new team? 2021 Projections: 84/10/49/.277/10 in 559 ABs and I updated Rosario and Gimenez.
Garrett Hampson – So, who will the Rockies sign to take the at-bats Nolan Arenado just left on the table or will Bud Black give Josh Fuentes 550 ABs? I.e., Brian Dozier or Josh Fuentes? I’m super hesitant to give Hampson 500 ABs. It would take everything we know about Bud Black, and assume it was wrong. Against my better judgment, I did add 100 ABs to Hampson’s projections, and boosted him about ten spots on the top 20 2nd basemen. Also, I boosted Brendan Rodgers 200 ABs, and about twenty spots on the same post. Rodgers might actually be the biggest beneficiary of the trade. Ya know, all things being equal and Bud Black not being an idiot.
Hanser Alberto – Signed with the Royals, and will compete with Nicky Lopez for the 2nd base job. A duel! En garde! Maybe in 200 years they’ll make a hip hop musical about it. I’m young, crappy, and Nicky! And I’m not throwin’ away my shot at 2nd base! I bet he does throw away his shot, though. I mean Nicky, brr, it got chilly in here. Hanser is a .280+ hitter and should be the easy choice for everyday playing time, but I will take 100 at-bats off his projections just in case. 2021 Projections: 57/9/52/.284/3 in 433 ABs
Marcus Semien – Signed with the the Jays. Was it the Jays’ turn already? This offseason’s free agent signings go: Mets, Padres, Jays, Jays, Padres, Mets–Hmm, maybe someone yelled goose, and the Padres and Mets heard duck, and the Jays had to goose Semien when they were suppose to duck him. This is a solid landing spot for Semien as long as he’s more 2019 and less 2020. Can the entire world be more 2019 and less 2020? Please. Last year, his K% went up to early-career numbers, and he looked more like the .235 hitter he was early on in his career vs. the .280+ hitter he seemed to grow into two years ago. Guess it should’ve been expected if Semien were to grow into something, the next logical step is Semien bursting. 2021 Projections: 88/26/71/.249/12 in 573 ABs
Andrelton Simmons – Signed with the Twins. Andrelton showed up at the signing announcement wearing a Stars jersey, and when he heard he was playing for the Twins, he said, “I have twins: Nanu Nanu,” then after a beat, “That’s their names.” Andrelton is a glove first, average second, steals third, power fourth, RBIs fifth, runs sixth shortstop. To not put too fine a point on it. 2021 Projections: 59/8/64/.281/9 in 538 ABs
Didi Gregorius – Re-signed with the Phils. Phils check notes, see they were “Okay, not great” last year, then re-sign everyone like it’s a “Let’s run it back” thunder clap from above. Not fair to lay this at Didi’s feet. I do like him, and think the re-signing was smart, especially after the Phils did nothing else. If Phils are paying scouts to look at other teams, they should retrain them. The Gregorius D.I.D. is always underrated, and as long as his contract doesn’t cause mo’ money/mo’ problems, he should be near where he always is, 16-ish Launch Angle, 41% FB rate, 25-ish homers and a “won’t kill ya” average. 2021 Projections: 73/25/84/.271/6 in 512 ABs
Michael Brantley – Re-signed with the Astros. A team other than the Mets, Padres or Jays signing someone? Ron Burgundy, “I don’t believe you.” Brantley doesn’t get a huge bump in value but he gets a silent nod and–Wait, what does a silent nod mean again? Fastball? Change? These new non-trash can signals are tough to decode. 2021 Projections: 86/21/72/.291/5 in 501 ABs
George Springer – Signed with the Jays, and finally the Jays get their big free agent. Everyone’s happy. Except people who wanted to watch Grichuk play center field. A loss of comedy with one misplaced fielder is a loss of comedy for all. That’s also what Avisail Garcia said when he saw the bed was floating two feet off the ground because Prince was trying to hide under it to catch him and his wife. Not so sneaky, Mr. Fielder! Any hoo! Springer averages 33/7/.270 every season across his career. Okay, maybe he falls off suddenly, but am I crazy to think he’s going to be just as good as always, or are the people expecting him to fall off the crazy ones? I don’t think I’m crazy, which means I am crazy, but I think those others are crazy, which means they aren’t crazy. Do you see my dilemma? Who is crazy here? Someone tell me! Then, if the Toronto Blue Jays are the Buffalo Bleu Cheese, can I shout a chef’s kiss off a high peak at how Springer could have a 40-homer season? 2021 Projections: 101/32/81/.272/5 in 524 ABs
Joc Pederson – Signed with the Cubs. Not specifically about Joc, but the Cubs team doesn’t look that bad. Dot dot dot. If you imagine Yu Darvish still in rotation or them trading him for real bats like Cronenworth or Wil Myers or even Profar, who wasn’t signed with the Padres at the time of the trade, but I’m saying a hypothetical so who cares? That kinda makes me furious, but breathe in, breathe out, got a machinehead! Any hoo! Pederson goes to the Cubs and becomes exactly what he is everywhere else he will ever play, a righty killer, which I say knowing he hit .179 vs. righties last year. 2021 Projections: 69/28/71/.233/3 in 417 ABs
Eddie Rosario – Signed with Cleveland. He does nothing but hit 27 homers and .275 every year. Cleveland could do worse. Like whoever else is in their outfield. Is there really someone named Daniel Johnson on their team or is that a filler name like John Doe? Progressive Field is a better park to hit in than Hubert H. Homerfree Dome in Minny, and I could see a career year for Rosario — career yeario? Hmm, will work on it. By the way, Cleveland plays in Progressive and it’s gonna take them a full year to change their name after announcing it. Mmkay. Progressive, yeah. 2021 Projections: 77/29/91/.276/4 in 524 ABs
Top 100 Starters for 2021 fantasy baseball updates (available on Patreon, not yet live on the site)
Garrett Richards – Signed with the Red Sox. If I were a Sawx fan, I’d love this move. Seriously. I’m not being sarcastic. Why can I not even tell when I’m being sarcastic? Am I damaged? I don’t think I’m being sarcastic. Hmm, well, anyhoo! G-Dicks, as he’s popularly known, has never pitched poorly, he just never really pitches. He’s good for a solid 50 to 85 IP with the upside hum-ma-na of a flat-out sparkling 150 IP, which will never happen. 2021 Projections: 4-4/3.78/1.29/78 in 74 IP
Alex Wood – Signed with the Giants. Put a guy who always has an alluring amount of upside in a great pitchers’ park, and *struggling to not draft him, sounding like my 15-year-old self*…must…not…grab…Wood. 2021 Projections: 7-9/4.41/1.33/101 in 121 IP
J.A. Happ – Signed with the Twins. Know what’s funny? Stop guessing, I’m trying to tell you. Tim Anderson, who hit lefties to a tune of .450 last year, saw the lefty Happ signed with frequent competitor, Twins, and liked the tweet announcing the Happ signing. That’s prolly how every AL Central hitter feels right now. 2021 Projections: 9-11/4.37/1.32/131 in 154 IP
Corey Kluber – Signed with the Yankees, after throwing 20 pitches in a scout look-see. I gotta tell ya, to trust Kluber for more than 120 innings of worthwhile pitching, I would’ve wanted the scout look-see to be about four months long and see him throw about fourteen-hundred pitches. Guess that would take the mystery out of it. Kluber’s thrown 36 2/3 IP across the last two years, so the Yankees signed James Paxton, Part 2: The Pax de Résistance to Health. If you think I’m going to be owning Kluber in any leagues, you really don’t know me as well as you thought, and that’s after hiding in the bushes outside my house for the last nine months for a glimpse. Gonna have to step up your game, I see you! 2021 Projections: 8-6/4.08/1.21/123 in 121 IP
Jameson Taillon – Traded to the Yankees for a bunch of prospects who will either be bad or be traded away by the Pirates for more prospects in a never-ending cycle. Absolutely ridiculous what’s going on in Pittsburgh. The Pirates’ payroll is, “Hey, we get those stimulus checks yet?” The Pirates’ social media team has a “Thanks for being a great teammate” tweet in the drafts for every player. The Pirates are the guy who hears they’re charging $10 at the door, so he brings his own solo cup and pretends he was inside already. I’m 100% convinced if you gave the Pirates the option to sit out a season without fans in the stadium, they would agree. Who is pitching for them this year? At least one member of the Pirates’ rotation this year is going to be a scarecrow stuffed with hay. Any hoo! I keep liking Taillon and he keeps testes’ing me. He should enter Spring Training with no restrictions following Tommy John surgery, which is what is always said prior to a clamping down of restrictions. If I had a dollar for every time a guy was due back in April who then had a setback and didn’t return until July/August, I’d be a ten-dollaire. The Yankees, honestly, might get 200 IP combined from like five of their starters. 2021 Projections: 8-3/4.21/1.29/108 in 119 IP
Pirates, “You don’t want to be a part of what we started here?”
Musgrove, “What did you start here?”
“A tax write-off.”
So, here we Joe again. I can’t stop nomnomnom’ing his peripherals. Last year, he upped his curveball usage to 20% from 9%. Maybe it was due to the short season, and feeling like it wouldn’t cause his arm to fall off, but MAYBE — yes, caps — it was him figuring out the pitch mix for the best results. Since he exceeded all expectations last year as far as Ks and xFIP, and easily had his best “season,” I’m back in with all the usual Musgrovings. 2021 Projections: 11-9/3.81/1.23/161 in 152 IP
Steven Matz – Traded to the Jays. Will be interesting to see how the Toronto media spins Matz’s one known attribute: That he’s from Long Island. Any hoo! A move to the AL East for one of the worst pitchers I’ve ever liked? Don’t tempt me, you bedraggled wind-up doll! I swear I’m not being dumb liking Matz every year, but he was just unlucky last year to have a 9.68 ERA. Okay, and I’m very dumb. 2021 Projections: 7-7/4.33/1.35/112 in 121 IP
Joey Lucchesi – Traded to the Mets. That’s right, Joey Lucchesi of the Rigatoni Crime Family is going to the home of the crime families. “Don’t get it twisted, Joey, there’s only one Bagel Boss.” That’s what the self-proclaimed Bagel Boss says to his reflection, not within shouting distance of Lucchesi. So, Joey Lucchesi wasn’t even ranked prior to this trade because he was odd man out. Now, he’s in a battle for his life for the 5th spot. Joey already took one guy to the Matzresses. 2021 Projections: 4-4/4.21/1.28/96 in 104 IP
Jon Lester – Signed with the Nats. This is the 2nd time a Leftosaurus has been brought to Washington this year. This one didn’t need 30+ lawsuits, but it could leave people screaming, “Stop the steal!” 2021 Projections: 8-9/4.43/1.34/121 in 154 IP
Adam Wainwright – Great signing for the Cardinals, because if he didn’t sign with the Cardinals, we would’ve been left with having to guess it was the Cardinals from the scoreboard, their uniforms or just the channel we were watching. Now we can be like, “Wainwright? Oh, it’s the Cardinals.” 2021 Projections: 9-10/4.31/1.40/132 in 159 IP
Kirby Yates – Signed with the Jays. Okay, I can’t be happy. I already drafted Jordan Romano in one league, and backed him up with Dolis, and I’m a giant dummy, ain’t I? Not to answer, but to silently judge me. Last time I wear a funny hat while drafting, and scream, “I’m quirky Romano!” Guess the good news is Yates just had elbow surgery. Well, good news for me and Romano. 2021 Projections: 2-1/3.81/1.37/71, 29 saves in 52 IP
Brad Hand – Signed with the Nats, or as I like to call them, the Nationals. What, I’m a completist. So, Bradley Handily slides into the closer role in Washington, after leading the majors in saves last year with 16, and I just chortled. Quite the season! Make sure to make room for your Rolaids Reliever of the Year award. 2021 Projections: 5-1/2.69/1.05/83, 33 saves in 61 IP
Liam Hendriks – Signed with the White Sox. Have you ever seen Liam Hendriks’s stuff? His stats speciifically. Woo boy, I’m a salivatin’ for a closer, must rope in the drool and remember not to draft a top closer. And, on the White Sox? Could a closer land in a better spot? No. Will I be drafting him? Also no. I’m the No Man, coo-coo-ka-choo. No relation to Shin-Soo. Obviously Bummer, specifically talking about Aaron. 2021 Projections: 4-2/2.43/1.01/99, 35 saves in 70 IP
Archie Bradley – Signed with the Phils. To that, I say woofy woof woof. The Phils bullpen is getting better for them, but more of a mess for fantasy baseballers. What you want to see? One clearcut closer, and two clearcut setup men. What you don’t want to see? No clearcut closer, the likely closer being terrible, the setup men being good, but likely Cuddle Boys. It’s such a mess. 2021 Projections: 4-3/3.71/1.16/72, 6 saves in 71 IP
Carlos Rodon – Re-upped with the White Sox as they wait for Michael Kopech. Rodon could go out, and throw a 4.50-ish ERA in 160 IP or a 4.50 ERA in 50 IP. Will depend on how asleep at the wheel Tony La Russa is.
Jose Martinez – Signed with the Mets. Mets plan on doing one of those new shifts I’ve heard about where they stack four 1st basemen on each other shoulders to stop lefty line drives. Very smart. The totem shift.