Reds trading away their closer, Raisel Iglesias, for Noé Ramirez is the kind of deal that will be used by future generations when they dissect when baseball clearly wasn’t about winning. This makes sense from the Angels’ perspective, clearly. Nothing that Angels like more than las Iglesias, and now they have two of them, having traded for Jose Iglesias earlier this offseason. This is not a black and white world, so I could see them trading for Emilio Pagan to balance their shoulders. Mike Trout will need to learn the Spanish nursery rhyme, “Aquí is the Iglesias, aqui is the personas, aquí is the pescado without a championship.” All I Noé is that dude is an 88-MPH middle reliever and what are the Reds doing? I like Amir Mrs. Garrett as much as the next guy, but he’s their closer now? I thought they were trying to be competitive. Why is “not being competitive” even an option? Okay, I’m about to burst my ulcer. So, Raisel Iglesias will clearly be the Angels’ closer, and has the stuff to be a top 3 closer. Last year he went 12.1 K/9, 2 BB/9, and 2.87 xFIP, and is nearly that dominant in his career, not just goofy 60-game seasons. For 2021, I’ll give Raisel Iglesias projections of 2-3/2.52/1.06/84, 34 saves in 67 IP.
On a more somber note, wonder what the Heaven’s Gate guy would’ve thought about the Angels trading for Raisel Iglesias and Jose Iglesias. That’s gotta be a sign, right? No? Well, he would’ve thought it was. Side note: the phrase “what in the holy eff” was invented for the HBO Max Heaven’s Gate documentary. As for Jose Iglesias, I’ve already drafted him in one 2021 league. Yes, I’ve already drafted a 2021 fantasy baseball league, I’ll try to go over it later this week. It was super late when I went to Iglesias, but I was hoping he could save my batting average’s soul. He’s a high contact, nothing else guy. For 2021, I’ll give Jose Iglesias projections of 64/8/68/.283/6 in 472 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:
Lance Lynn – Traded to the White Sox. Take that with your ‘No teams are competing to win!’ In every deal, one team is clearly competing and one team is the Texas Rangers. So, they suck. Too bad they will only see a third party World Series celebration. Aw, that’s harsh. Sorry, Rangers fans, if there are any. So, Lynn to the White Sox, moving from Arlington National Cemetery for Home Runs to Guaranteed Rake. *Larry David meh face* It’s not great. If you must look at splits for a new park, Lynn was a 4.50 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 12.6 K/9 guy in Chicago, but that really means nothing. He was facing the White Sox, not the White Sox’s opponents and he was there as a visitor. In 1426 2/3 IP in his career, Lynn has been a 3.57 ERA guy, under-4.00 xFIP and 9-ish K/9. That’s who he is, give or take .25 ERA and .5 K/9, until he declines into not being that, and it hasn’t happened yet. Last year he had a 2.53 ERA thru 79 IP, until a final rough start (5 2/3 IP, 9 ER) that knocked him up to 3.32. In a year where most threw roughly 70 IP, he’s also one of maybe five pitchers who might approach 200 IP this year. There’s gonna be real value in that. I’m a big fan of Lynn’s, even in the new park. For 2021, I’ll give Lance Lynn projections of 15-8/3.61/1.11/212 in 204 IP.
Dane Dunning – Went the other way in the Lynn trade. Any pitcher who steps into that giant grill they call a park in Texas is suddenly interesting. A Dunning turn of events! Dunning gets it, uh, done with a 92 MPH fastball that feeds four other pitches, nomnomnom. Most notably, an 82 MPH slider that produced a .135 AVG and 43.5% whiffs. In the minors, he regularly produced a 10+ K/9, and struggled at times with his command, but tightened it after some work. Last year was an okay 34 IP, but he’s a great endgame flyer right now in all leagues, even if price tag sucks helium from this trade. My biggest concern is how does he go from not throwing in 2019 to 34 IP last year to 150+ IP this year. You trying to give Tom Verducci an aneurysm? For 2021, I’ll give Dane Dunning projections of 7-9/3.89/1.16/141 in 132 IP.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa – Will be the Rangers’ starting shortstop, instead of Elvis Andrus. Thought it would be the peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches that got Elvis, but it was the Israeli Diner-Falafel.
Drew Smyly – Signed with the Braves. This makes me…what’s the emotion I’m looking for…it’s…an adverb for happy…ugh…Grinningly?…No, that doesn’t seem right. Smyly! That’s it! Last year in 26 1/3 IP, Smyly had stats to make you scream and slap yo’ daddy: 14.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 2.56 xFIP. Yo, Smyly are you Josh Hader or nah? Honestly, the sample is so small — that’s what she said derisively! — I’m not even sure what to do with it — she said that too and she needs to stop saying this shizz! His background peripherals back up the K/9 and whatnot, but 26 1/3 IP wouldn’t even be a month in a regular season. Gonna assume it’s all nonsense, and project him for 10-7/4.34/1.32/143 in 138 IP.
Charlie Morton – Signed with the Braves. Dude and five lady dudes, the Braves are just making smart move after smart move for real baseball. You can never have too much “easy innings from veteran arms.” For fantasy, well…Last year, Morton had a 10 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and .401 xFIP in 38 IP, but his velocity was down, and he had a shoulder injury that wrecked havoc on his numbers. But, Part II: Deeper Into The But, it was a weird year. But, Part III: Can You Believe They Made A Third But?, he’s 37 years old. If the price is fair, I could see drafting Morton again, but I have less faith in him now than last year. The shoulder issue is a concern. For 2021, I’ll give Charlie Morton projections of 9-6/3.84/1.16/128 in 118 IP.
Mike Clevinger – Underwent Tommy John surgery, and will miss the 2021 season. In a comment on my MacKenzie Gore 2021 fantasy, I wrote prior to the news that, “Clevinger’s not getting thru spring training.” And that’s me predicting the future! I kinda wish the Padres held out a little longer, because I wasn’t drafting Clevinger in any leagues, but people were — lots of people. At least one per league. Crazy, right?
Tommy Pham – Required surgery on his wrist. He injured himself ‘making it rain’ at the strip club where he was stabbed. Pham’s having a total normal offseason.
Yasmany Tomas – Signed a minor league deal with the Nats just in time for a sleeper post! Sure, I’ve written at least twelve previous Yasmany Tomas sleeper posts, but this one will be different. This one will be this year. On a serious note, I don’t project players who won’t be in my top 500, and Yasmany qualifies as not qualifying.
Cody Bellinger – Had surgery on the shoulder he injured while celebrating a home run. Yo, Kendrys Morales called and wants his shtick back. Like Kenny Loggins expressed in the seminal song, This Is It, “There’ve been times in my life I’ve been wonderin’ why.” This is one of those times. Sure doesn’t make me feel great about Bellinger and that rebound, but hoping to have more information on his health before doing my rankings, so will hold off on projecting for now. A random internet doctor said the surgery is minor, and Bellinger could come back stronger than ever. All the best doctors also list DFS in their Twitter bio.
Mike Minor – Signed with the Royals. He lost two miles off his fastball last year, and I don’t know what to do with that information. I looked at his velocity for 2019 and 2018 to see if there was a pattern of him starting literally slow and picking up speed as the season waned, but that was, “Not true, pardner,” as I John Wayned. I want to like him but that has me worried. At his current 350 ADP, it might not matter, I could just draft him very late, or pick him up off waivers. For 2021, I’ll give Mike Minor projections 8-12/4.23/1.23/167 in 177 IP.
Michael A. Taylor – Signed with the Royals. For real baseball, I wouldn’t give Taylor 200 ABs, but, for fantasy, sign me up if this guy gets 550+ ABs. Am I liking more Royals than Lorde? Let me live that fantasy. Someone who can go 12/30 has value. Playing time might be coming a day late and a Taylor short, because his Sprint Speed keeps evaporating. For 2021, I’ll give Michael Taylor projections 41/8/44/.224/18 in 337 ABs.
Trevor May – Signed with the Mets. Will be the handcuff for Edwin Diaz, who has never had problems closing games for the Mets. *drafts Trevor May in every league* For 2021, I’ll give Trevor May projections of 5-2/2.88/1.09/86, 6 saves in 69 IP.
Robinson Cano – Suspended for the 2021 season. Tested positive for the steroid Stanozolo, which can have the side-effect of testicular atrophy, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and his boxers. So, Cano did steroids for an abbreviated joke of a season, then took himself off the roster so Andres Gimenez could get full-time at-bats? Cano has just earned a vote on this non-voter’s Hall of Fame ballot. My Andres Gimenez fantasy and projections haven’t changed yet, because the Mets are linked to a Lindor trade and who knows with Amed Rosario, but it’s promising for Gimenez.
Kyle Schwarber – Non-tendered by the Cubs. It’s very MLB to not formally announce the NL has a DH prior to teams signing/non-tendering players. Related, Kyle Schwarber will hit 35 homers as a DH in 2021, possibly on an NL team. Yes, I haven’t ruled out an NL DH. The owners want the players to agree to extended playoffs and they will give them the NL DH.
Trevor Williams – Designated for assignment by the Pirates. It was likely he would’ve earned $3.5 million in salary arbitration, and the Pirates’ salary cap is twelve-hundred dollars, so that’s a no-go.
Randy Arozarena – Was arrested for kidnapping his child from his ex. Randy Arozarena got married this offseason, little did we know he was marrying Jose Tabata’s ex. If you got that reference, kudos on maintaining the useless info folder in your head. My guess is this won’t affect Randy for the season or my Randy Arozarena fantasy, but we’ll see how this all shakes out. His arrest does go back to my biggest problem with Arozarena from what I saw in the playoffs, he was constantly getting caught stealing.