With ace-of-the-staff years dating back to 2002, Roy Halladay was the franchise. Well, the Blue Jays front office gave the Blue Jays fans the kanye shrug. While most pitchers go from good to great or great to mindblowing in the NL, Halladay will have to deal with Citizens Bank. He doesn’t have much history to go on there, but it obviously favors hitters more than Rogers Centre, where Halladay had a 3.23 career ERA. I think we can nullify that park disadvantage with all the weaker lineups and the pitchers he’ll get to face. In his career interleague play, he has a 17-8 record, 3.02 ERA. 1.14 WHIP and 165 Ks in 220 and a third innings. Sounds like a solid projection for Halladay’s 2010, just add twenty more Ks. Anyway, here’s some more deals that went down yesterday and what they mean for 2010 fantasy baseball:
Cliff Lee – Heads to the Mariners. If there’s one place a pitcher shouldn’t mind going, it’s Safeco. (Safeco, Petco, Metco… Throw out the humidor and just rename the park Coorsco.) Lee benefited from his move to the NL (though his ERA says different), but it wasn’t like he was languishing in the AL prior to the trade. With the Indians last year through July, his ERA was 3.14. His K-rate in the NL last year bumped up his overall strikeouts, so we shouldn’t expect more than a 7 K/9. Still good for a mid-3 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 160 Ks with the Mariners.
John Lackey – Heads to Bahston. Now Boston reporters can misspell his name Larkey and it would be pronounced the same way. If only his first name were Nomar, then it would sound like no malarkey. Larkey will be immediately overrated in 2010 fantasy baseball drafts. He hasn’t been able to get over 200 innings since 2007 and his K-rate has been dropping for a few years now. For those out there that say he’ll now get more wins, the Angels weren’t exactly a 50 win team and he’s had only 12 and 11 wins the last two years, respectively. In 2010, I’d put him down for a high-3 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 130 Ks in 165 innings.
Michael Taylor – When I was deciding who would get a 2010 fantasy baseball rookie post, I looked at Michael Taylor. He fell short because I couldn’t figure out what value he was going to have on the Phillies. There was just no room for him in the outfield. No longer a problem. Taylor heads to the Jays. Lind slots into the DH spot and Taylor goes into left. Or someone can just make Vernon Wells glue. Taylor will be 24 in a few days — go to Benihana for your birthday, they give you free pineapple chunks — and he has done all he needs to do in the minors. Last year split between Double and Triple A, Taylor went 20/21 with a .320/.395/.549 line. It’s not far fetched to think he could be an early front runner for the 2011 AL ROY award and a 15/15 candidate. Assuming Taylor’s penciled into the the lead-off spot, I’d give him a projection of 85/12/60/.280/15 with upside from there. Definitely worth owning in leagues 12 team and deeper.
Phillippe Aumont – Stephen went over the Phillippe Aumont fantasy. He goes to Philly. Or, more appropriately, Philli. (For those keeping score at home, Phils get Halladay, the M’s top pitching prospect, Aumont, and Tyson Gillies — more on him in a second. M’s get Lee. Jays get D’Arnaud, Taylor and the Phils top pitching prospect, Kyle Drabek and/or Happ. As of press time, this wasn’t all entirely clear.) Aumont will be given the opportunity to make the club as bullpen help, but probably won’t be up until midseason at the earliest. He has no clear cut path to the Phils closer job yet. But wait until Lidge pitches.
Tyson Gillies – Elias Sports Bureau said there’s more L’s in this trade than any other trade in the history of baseball. Actually, they didn’t say that; they’re in the Antilles on vacation. As mentioned above, Gillies heads to the Phils. Gillies fantasy prospects were broken down already. He’s at least a year away unless the Phils are hit by major injuries.
John Buck – Evidently, they’re replacing a real cowboy (Doc Halladay) with one of the midnight variety. Buck has some cheap pop and nothing else for AL-Only leagues.
Mike Cameron – Signs with Boston and signals that the Sawx are done waiting for Bay or Holliday. Then again, they have four competent outfielders when most clubs don’t have two so they could still stuff their cheeks with a few more acorns. Cameron’s presence will be no present for Jeremy Hermida. See what I did there? Hermida’s value takes the biggest hit. He could end up doing nothing but platooning against tough righties. That’s assuming J.D. Drew stays healthy and, as they said in China in the 1400s, assuming makes an ass out of you and Ming. Cameron hasn’t stolen 20+ bases since ’06 and at 37 he probably won’t get there again. He’ll likely bat at the bottom of the order, which will help with RBIs. He’s a decent 5th outfielder in 12 team leagues for teams that need assurance over upside.
Hideki Matsui – To the Angels. In his youth, Hideki came to be called Godzilla because of monstrous homers and acne. Well, he’s still got the acne. I’d avoid him in fantasy as much for his yawnstipating numbers as for his Utility-only eligibility.
Jason Kendall – Royals get him for two years. Much like a Ken doll, Kendall has no bat.