Adrian Beltre signed with the Rangers for five years plus one contract year.  Hopefully, El Senator can turn the local economy around in 2016, until then don’t expect roads to be paved or new schools to open.  “We just don’t have the funding right now for more than 17 home runs.”  That’s Beltre next October talking to his constituents.  The problem Beltre threw at us with this signing is he’s going to be hitting in a park he historically does well in.  So on one hand, a guy that coasts for five years.  On the other hand, a comfortable hitting environment.  On a third hand that some of you might call a foot with finger toes, he’s really just a 25 homer, .275 hitter with some speed.  The steals give him a nice added boost, but are also pretty fickle.  He shouldn’t be counted on for anything over 7 steals.  Might get 12, might get 2.  The rankings that start on Monday will have my projections for everyone, but conservatively I’ll give Beltre 80/24/95/.285/7.  Definitely gives him more value than I expected from him about a month ago when I thought he would go to The Los Angeles Suburb of Los Angeles Angels and hit 18 homers and be a bust.  Of course, him even playing for the Rangers is contingent on no one rubbing his head.  Anyway, here’s some more moves around the league and what they mean for fantasy baseball:

Michael Young – Should play the majority of his time at DH, which will cause a domino effect.  Everyone will be going up to bat while Getto Jam plays.  Wait, checking Wikipedia.  No, that’s the Domino effect.  The Young to DH domino effect will mean Vladdy isn’t long for the pah-tee, as told through Mayor Quimby.

Kevin Gregg – Signed with the O’s.  As frequent commenter, Steve, sorta said, this move comes after Alfredo Simon did what any good closer should do and finished his man off.  Even if Simon is cleared of all charges, it’s not going to happen for seven years, according to the TV show, Locked Up Abroad.  Now that Gregg is in O’s-town, he’s the closer.  That could go one of two ways.  He’ll lose the job by May or he’ll be terrible by May and keep the job all year while I keep yelling for the O’s to use Mike G.

Adam LaRoche – In what was one of the most highly anticipated signings this offseason (by Adam LaRoche and his family), he signed with the Nats.  So now a boring player to own is on a boring team to watch.  I got goose pimples just typing that!  Putting aside my cup of snark, I wouldn’t have owned LaRoche if he went to Coors.  This move does nothing positive for his fantasy value.

Octavio Dotel – Signed on to become the Blue Jays closer.  Love Dotel for fantasy since he’s an overlooked strikeout closer.  That’s a donkeycorn to you and me.

Brandon Webb – Signed with the Rangers.  Love this move for Webb because now people may draft him yet again.  In Arlington, I wouldn’t draft a healthy Webb.

Aroldis Chapman – Jocketty read a prepared statement that Aroldis’s arm will be saved by working out of the bullpen in 2011.  At least that’s what most reports said of the statement, it was hard to hear over Dusty Baker’s maniacal laugh.

 
  1. Mike from Jersey says:
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    Gregg has actually had solid stats. 3 out of the 4 years as a closer his era has hovered around 3.50.He also has a strong k-rate. However, his xfip screams luck and his division screams you made a dumb decision signing with the orioles.

    Now im not going to ask for your projo’s on Ryan Braun because ill just see them next week. I do want to ask what you think of his power. It sure has declined since he’s been in the league. He had a monster september tho. Fwiw he sucked vs lefties last year, other years he’s straight crushed them. Do you buy into the decline, or does he go back to knocking out 35 this year?

  2. big o says:
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    well , if he had to leave boston , he couldn’t have landed in a better place .
    he’ll bat 4th in that line-up and should see a bunch of rbi opportunities .

    whether m. young benefits at the plate (dh = fresher legs) remains to be seen . not sure the transaction to a “one-way” player will be a smooth one .
    there’s some talk that the rangers may try him out @ 1st base , but he’s not
    that good defensively .
    moreland (40 games @ 1st base in 2010) will get the lion’s share of the time there .
    (are there any chris davis believers still out there ?)

    or ,
    they could bring Blalock back ….. just a thought .

  3. Terrence Mann says:
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    Basically, the Rangers swapped Vlad for Beltre. What do you think the lineup looks like? Elvis followed up by Young seems logical. Then what? My best guess is Hamilton and then Cruz moving to clean-up. Kinsler 5th and let Beltre ease into the order in the 6 spot.

    This is giving me a headache. Between all the injuries these guys will most certainly have and whatever is going on in Ron Washington’s head on a given day, I’d have better luck playing the LOST lotto numbers than trying to figure out how the Rangers lineup will look.

  4. Tony says:
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    DONKEYCORN!

  5. pubscout says:
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    Grey: What are your thoughts on Hamilton/Dunn for DWright/Howard?

  6. RonWashinton'sStache says:
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    Grey,
    Why you hating on Laroche? Last year, I drafted him late in a 14 team league to plug into my CI spot and was happy with his production. With the exception of last year, Laroche has consistently put up around a .300 avg and .900+ OPS, post ASB. In deep leagues, you can’t find free agent production like that.

    Also, is it likely that Michael Young moves around the infield enough this season to pick up eligibility at all 4 infield positions (1B, 2B, 3B, SS)?

  7. ichirosan says:
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    Oh, come on, LaRoche is not THAT boring… his second half explosions won me two titles. It’s not like he’s Crapolanco or something.

  8. polczek5 says:
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    standard 5×5 roto, straight keeper. Kemp or A-Rod?

  9. GopherDay says:
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    I’ve had to drop out of the Mock Draft tonight…Can’t make it.

    That mean….The 12th slot is open! So if you’re not doing anything tonight around 7:00 EST, go to Mock Draft Central and join the Razzball mock. Password: schmohawk

  10. CGSO says:
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    @GopherDay just signed up and it looks like theres 3 more spots open

  11. GTS says:
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    VMart rubbing his head again and again is making me laugh.

  12. Back To Minors says:
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    Rankings and Projections on Monday already?!! Suh-Weet!

  13. SwaggerJackers says:
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    @Eddy: Three spots? What happened? When I signed up there was only one left. Now we’ll have the dumb AI drafting Jeff Neimann and Manny Ramirez again.

  14. Black Beard says:
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    6×5 (+OPS): Fielder and Rios for Miggy.

  15. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    I’ve had to drop out of the Mock Draft tonight…Can’t make it.

    That mean….The 11th slot is open! So if you’re not doing anything tonight around 7:00 EST, go to Mock Draft Central and join the Razzball mock. Password: schmohawk

  16. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    If anybody is thinking Adam Jones…don’t. Only one month with more than 3 HR, July. Five of the eight were against inter-leaguers.

  17. Steve says:
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    The Albright UNIVAC must be chugging like a washing machine.

  18. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Gopher Day: Had my pre-draft all set up to have a little fun with you…scooping your every pick. The fun went away with your departure. Miss you… :-)

  19. mike from jersey says:
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    I want to know what you thinkof ryan brauns power. It has declined since he’s been in the league. But he had a monster september. Is he an overglorified matt holliday, or does he go back to knockin out 35 this year?

  20. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @mike from jersey: sean gave a pretty good perspective:

    “I wouldn’t take him in the first round for two reasons:
    (1) a precipitous decline in ISO each of the past 3 seasons (.310 -> .268 -> .231 -> .197). Typically, the best sluggers put up ISO between .275 and .300. That tells me that Braun is unlikely to return to the 35 HR level that made him a top-5 look; and
    (2) lineup: Weeks (oft-injured); Fielder (exposed inside last year); Hart (inconsistent underperformer); and McGehee (blech).

    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t punt on Braun if he came to me in the second round, but I think selecting him in the first round, especially over more dependable power sources, is playing with fire. I see him settling in the mold of a Matt Holliday type than a threat for 40 HR, which he would need to approach to return first-round value…”

  21. The Vaporizers says:
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    Hey guys, I just joined tonights mock draft. I look forward to it!

  22. i’m not so sure braun’s power is declining as some kind of larger trend.

    i’ve got his fangraphs open in front of me here and i’m kind of meditating on it. lighting a candle now… (really am, not a joke)… ahh. good.

    so here’s how it’s gone. braun shows up in 07 and destroys everything. then 08 and 09, he’s a first-rounder in name and production, 30+ homers with everything else. then last year.

    i think everyone realizes that his 07 pace wasn’t a real thing. that was some pujols shit. the surprise factor. pitchers didn’t see him coming. no shame in not being able to keep that up forever.

    i like this candle.

    the real question, if we’re trying to spot a trend, is what happened between 08 and 09.

    here’s the core of my suspicion that his power is OK: his HR/FB actually INCREASED between 08 and 09. so what happened to make his ISO go down? two things. probably related things. one, his FB% suddenly dropped by 10%, from a bangin’ 44 to a middle-infieldery 34. LD% went up, GB% went up. he stopped airing it out as much. two, his BABIP jumped 50 points, from .300 to .350. at the same time his K/BB improved in both directions – walk rate up 2%, K rate down 2%. whiff rate declined.

    all of that put him on first base a lot more and caused a BA jump from 285 to 320 without adding any power (a BABIP spike is usually going to be mostly singles, either from luck or the increase in GB and LD, probably some of both), taking a substantial bite out of his ISO despite the better power performance on actual fly balls.

    then we have last year. most of these trends held. his K/BB inched even closer together. fly balls stayed down at 34. whiff rate declined more. but now his LD dropped back down to below 08’s level and HR/FB fell from 18 to 14.

    i’ve seen an article on this somewhere, i forget where, i might be plagiarizing the whole thing. but i don’t think his power is declining for some physical or skill reason. his age doesn’t lend itself to that either. it’s not impossible that this is some kind of macro-grieve effect. but i think it’s unlikely. to me this all points to one of two things. possibly a combination of both. (1), he’s been intentionally sacrificing power in favor of eye and singles. which sucks for everyone and he should stop. or (2) he was just physically tweaked last year, not completely healthy. the story about getting hit on the elbow by hanson, or something else.

    there’s also his relative collapse against lefties last year, which mike from jersey pointed out. i can’t see that being a permanent thing.

    all in all, i’m optimistic. he’s a stud, this is his age 27 season, and all of these components are actually going in the right direction except for the home run production. prince was a weird duck last year too. i think there was just something in the water up in green bay. hopefully not favre-related. i guess it’s possible that braun keeps disappearing up his own ass and turns himself into alberto callaspo and is really happy about it, but i think it’s just as likely, or actually more so, that he either rebounds to normal or busts out into something even more awesome than he was in 08. taking these refinements and then bringing the power back. so, by and large, i’m drafting him.

  23. damn – should have said daric barton, not callaspo. rushed it.

  24. also, come on people. two slots left for the mock.

    ** MDC, 7 eastern, schmohawk. **

    is that the password or am i calling you a schmohawk if you don’t join? could be both!

  25. Innings Eater says:
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    @Grey: Hello Grey. I don’t post here that often but I love the website! Anyway, here are my results from the latest Razzball Draft. I don’t like my 5th OF but other than that, can you punch any holes in the rest? Any help from the rest of you all would be great too…Thanks in advance!

    C: M. Montero
    1B: Dunn
    2B: Figgins
    SS: Hanley
    3B: Youk
    OF: Ethier
    OF: Bruce
    OF: Markakis
    OF: Quinten
    OF: Willingham (ugh)
    SP: Kershaw
    SP: Hanson
    SP: Latos
    SP: Lilly
    SP: Volquez
    SP: Matusz
    RP: F. Rodrigues
    RP: Kimbrel
    RP: Lidge
    CI: Sandoval
    MI: Furcal
    Util: Freeman
    Bench: Wiggy
    Bench: Brignac
    Bench: J. Montero

  26. Brede says:
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    In a league where you can keep a guy for 2 years would you take Ichiro, BJ Upton or Granderson? Thanks

  27. just spent about 45 seconds pondering whether the beltre head-touching thing could possibly have any connection, thinking psychologically, with his (real and/or perceived) inconsistency & contract-year phenomenon. decided that maybe.

  28. SkiWizard says:
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    Hey Grey, how does this team look? First mock of the year

    C Matt Wieters BAL R13 P5
    1B Adrian Gonzalez BOS R1 P5
    1B Prince Fielder MIL R2 P6
    1B Kevin Youkilis BOS R3 P5
    2B Aaron Hill TOR R16 P6
    SS Elvis Andrus TEX R7 P5
    SS Alcides Escobar KC R23 P5
    3B Ian Stewart COL R11 P5
    3B Mark Reynolds BAL R14 P6
    OF Justin Upton ARI R4 P6
    OF Brett Gardner NYY R18 P6
    OF Dexter Fowler COL R19 P5
    OF Austin Jackson DET R21 P5
    OF Luke Scott BAL R22 P6
    SP Zack Greinke MIL R5 P5
    SP Clayton Kershaw LA R6 P6
    SP Tommy Hanson ATL R8 P6
    SP Francisco Liriano MIN R9 P5
    SP Jorge De La Rosa COL R12 P6
    SP Philip Hughes NYY R17 P5
    SP Ian Kennedy ARI R20 P6
    RP Heath Bell SD R10 P6
    RP Huston Street

  29. also trying to imagine what’s going to happen when the rangers start trying to put “antlers” on beltre

  30. big o says:
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    has mdc modified their rankings , yet ?
    last year , it took them until the end of january (i think) .

  31. let me summarize mock 4.

    it’s my pick in the fourth round. i look at the board and i’m all, meh. i want a bat but there’s like eight or nine guys who are all bunched together for me. then there’s greinke, who i just have a thing for, all alone on the pitchers side. i NEVER take pitchers that high. but i’m all, screw it, it’s a mock, i’ll take greinke here and let the room decide which hitter i get in 5.

    so i take greinke. 14 picks later it’s my turn again. in those 14 picks, ALL NINE of the hitters i was looking at are taken.

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