Earlier this offseason, it was reported that the Red Sox coaches didn’t like Yoenis Cespedes. Wait until they get a load of Hanley Ramirez! If you were to put “Happiness That You Have Hanley” on the Y-axis and “Time Spent With Hanley” on the X-axis, you would find a line that starts at the top left and slopes right down to the bottom right. For what it’s Wuertz, the enjoyment of Hanley matches directly with the chart of Pancake Eating. After one bite, “Mmm, that is delicious.” After two bites, “Not bad at all.” After three bites, “I’m gonna try and douse these with some maple syrup.” After ten bites, “You gonna share your bacon or should I order my own?” That’s Hanley. Try to douse him with maple syrup, but when it’s July and your team is in the pennant chase and he has a sore hamstring, enjoy! From a real baseball standpoint, I hate the move for the Red Sox. You had Xander Bogaerts for short, you nabbed Panda for 3rd (which I’ll get to shortly) and now you have Hanley playing left and Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis that you have to trade for the most you can get. (By the by, I love that everyone refers to Yoenis as Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis, so I will now do the same.) That’s not even mentioning Allen Craig, Will Middlebrooks, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Daniel Nava and Juan Francisco. It’s kinda sad that all of those guys would be starting for the Padres (and Astros and Marlins and about ten other teams) and for the Red Sox they’re trade bait. Maybe the Red Sox will also sign Han’s brother, Head. From a fantasy perspective, this is about as good as it gets for Hanley. Will this mean he’ll play 150 games? No, I didn’t say that. It’s hard to account for insouciance (Word of the Day!). If he shows up at Fenway in April and wants to play, great. If he shows up at Fenway in April and doesn’t want to play until August, it wouldn’t surprise me. If we get 150 games from him (it will be nothing short of a miracle), I’d give him the projections of 86/24/91/.266/17. I’d only count on a 130 games though, which would knock him to 72/20/84/.268/12. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:
Pablo Sandoval – Why do I have an image of Pablo picking a wedgie and Pedroia falling out? I’ll have to ask my therapist, which is one word and not to be confused with Bill Cosby. By the by, how long until we get breaking news that Cosby is riding down the 405 in an SUV driven by A.C. Cowlings? Not long, right? He love pudding his pop where it don’t belong! Okay, I’m done. I get the feeling that the average baseball fan will think Hanley is going to be the big signing by the Sawx. (By ‘average,’ I mean not OCD crazy like moi.) But, in reality, I get the feeling the Sandoval signing is going to be the one that the Sons of Sam Horn are going to be crazy about next September. Sandoval’s skills are going to play perfectly into the Green Monster. His spray charts have him about as evenly distributed for line drives and home runs to all fields as any player. His splits were terrible last year (.200 vs. lefties), but that was never an issue any other year, and I’m not concerned. I see him knocking balls off the wall and contending for a batting title. Of course, I’ll keep expectations slightly more in check and give him the projections of 79/21/92/.304/2, but obviously I think there’s big room for upside. Well, with Pablo, you need a big room.
Juan Francisco – Claimed by the Red Sox off waivers. For fantasy leagues that drafted from November 19th to November 23rd, you’re gonna wanna pick up another 3rd baseman.
Juan Nicasio – Sticking with the newly established Juan theme, Nicasio was traded to the Dodgers. Right now, he’s the 5th starter for the Dodgers, but I doubt that stays through the offseason. He’ll be used as a stop gap if the Dodgers are hit by injuries, i.e., he’s just Nicasio emergency. Since the Rockies don’t have the resources to sign whoever they want, now they can tell their fans they are building the ultimate fantasy team. As in, only Rockies hitters and no Rockies pitchers.
Zach Duke – Signed with the White Sox for three years at $15 million. The middle reliever, Zach Duke is now officially richer than his grandfather, Randolph. Partly due to a turn in the market on orange juice futures.
Adam LaRoche – Signed with the White Sox to play primarily as their DH… Is it considered ‘playing’ when it’s a DH? Or is that used for positions? Is the DH a position? I feel like Ron Blomberg’s family interrogating him during the holidays. “Ronnie, do you have to run or do they have someone do that for you too?” “Ma, I’m a Designated Hitter. I do everything a hitter does. Geez!” Ron Blomberg sounds a lot like Napoleon Dynamite. For 2015, I’ll give LaRoche the projections 71/21/82/.247/2.
Ike Davis – Headed to the A’s. As with most new arrivals in Oaktown, before Davis signed with the A’s, Beane sat him down and had him watch Platoon. Then Beane gave Davis a hollowed-out baseball bat and had him shotgun with Vogt, Butler, Reddick, Blanks, do I have to continue? Besides first basemen, the only thing the A’s have more of is catchers.
Billy Butler – Signed on with the A’s to DH. “Ma, they put me there cause they appreciate my hitting.” Okay, now Blomberg sounds like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. When Billy Beane announced the signing to the media, he said, “Billy Butler is a signing for all of those big A’s fans.” And, I’ll go further and say, not since Sir Mix-A-Lot toured through the East Bay has there been as much to rejoice about for big A’s fans. If you are a big A’s fan, Butler’s got your back. For 2015, I’ll give Butler the projections of 75/16/86/.297/1 and three times accidentally biting into Coco Crisp.