The CIA’s plan to work out of a Petco concession stand because the stadium is so quiet is looking far less like a good plan to stay covert.  “Did you just ask for two mustard packets with your hot pretzel because you have some information for us or because you simply want an extra mustard packet?  If it’s the latter, one per customer.”  Probably the worst call for a covert operation’s headquarters since the CIA opened an office in Vegas in the 1940’s.  “It’s just a desert, no one’s coming here.”  So, the Padres traded for Justin Upton because they are obviously intent on deflating outfielder stats everywhere.  At least this outfielder has two hips that don’t resemble Abe Vigoda’s.  (Still alive as of this writing, but may not be by the time you read this.)  Maybe the Padres can trade Kemp for Pujols to create the Up-My-Pujols lineup.  I came down hard on Matt Kemp in the non-sexual way when he went to San Diego, but that had as much to do with him being the first new bat they acquired (no one around him in the lineup yet), his health and his flakiness.  As with the Myers trade, I’m less inclined to write off Upton simply due to Petco.  Upton’s a guy in his prime that has hit everywhere when healthy.  I don’t like to put too much weight on a player’s stats in their new stadium when they were still playing as a visiting player, but Upton has 10 HRs and a .291 average in 172 ABs in Petco in his career.  That’s a HR every 17.2 ABs, which is better than his career rate (1 HR every 23 at-bats).  Petco played like its usual “Are you sure the fences are out there?  I can’t see them” self last year, but in 2013 it wasn’t as bad after they moved in the fences prior to that season, so I think last year’s putrid offense was more the Padres hitters streaming into a confluence of crap.  (By the by, Confluence of Crap was my worst selling album, despite Rick Reuben producing it.  I should’ve paid the extra money for the non-imposter, Rick Rubin.)  Even in Petco, Upton feels like a 25-27 homer guy, which is what he was before.  His steals are leaving his game quicker than a rhinoceros with plantar fasciitis, and he’s not a huge average guy, but writing him off due to Petco feels a bit too easy.  He’ll be hitting in the middle of a lineup that is at least as good as the Braves last year and in a nearly neutral ballpark.  For 2015, I’ll give him 81/27/95/.266/8.  Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Will Middlebrooks – Headed to the Padres for Ryan Hanigan, who became unnecessary after the Padres received Derek Norris.  I liked the Hanigan get by the Padres due to his pitcher framing ability.  I guess the Padres are gonna try out Aaron Brothers.  As for Middlebrooks, he’s 3rd base depth.  He makes more sense for fantasy than their current corner man, Yangervis Solarte, but Solarte fits better in their current lineup.  They do have flexibility and I wouldn’t be surprised if Solarte moves to short, Middlebrooks goes to 3rd and Alexi Amarista becomes a super utility guy.  That, of course, doesn’t help Middlebrooks hit over .200.  For 2015, I’ll give Middlebrooks the projections of 31/10/38/.212/1.

Josh Johnson – Signed with the Padres.  After the deal was finalized, Johnson said, “I just love the San Diego-area hospitals.”

Derek Norris – The A’s sell-off and Padres buy-on (Sell-to-me? Gimme-gimme-gimme?) continues as Norris heads to the Padres.  Next thing you know, Billy Beane’s daughter from Moneyball is going to be singing the National Anthem for the Padres.  Or Jonah Hill and his nerdculator.  In Oakland, Norris was a platoon catcher, but saw time at DH, so it’s kinda tomato-tomato with a different emphasis for his playing time in San Diego.  For 2015, I’ll give him 50/12/59/.252/4.

David Ross – Signed with the Cubs.  Is it just me or do you expect David Ross to be a major league manager within five years?  He could be a total idiot who refers to eHow to tie his shoes, but he feels like a major league manager.  Maybe I’ll see if he’ll co-manage one of my fantasy teams this year, so he can bulk up his resume.

Jesse Hahn – Went the other way in the Norris trade.  This has the makings of Beane looking like a genius.  Really not entirely sure why the Padres gave Hahn away.  Was it because he didn’t continue to laugh when the front office would repeatedly say, “Talk to the Hahn cause the face don’t give a damn?”  I already have a Hahn sleeper post written, and it’s full-steam ahead now.

Jace Peterson – Went to the Braves in the Upton deal.  Wanna know what the Braves are doing this offseason?  Come sit next to me and I’ll tell you.  They’re punting offense.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s like when someone vomits in your car and you can’t get rid of the smell so you drive the car off a cliff for an insurance claim.  Not sure.  Right now, Peterson doesn’t have a starting job, but I like him a ton more than Callaspo, so I’m watching him like a cyclops with a monocle in the spring.  For 2015, I’ll give him 35/2/28/.242/15 and an eventual platoon at 2nd base.

Kris Medlen – Signed with the Royals but won’t be ready for Opening Day, unless the North Koreans threaten MLB that if Shin-Soo Choo isn’t forced to retire, they’ll do something which will have Opening Day pushed back three months, then Medlen might make Opening Day.

Jake Peavy – Re-signed with the Giants.  After Bumgarner, to find a Giants starter in San Fran, then all you need to do is find a hill and go over it.  Peavy’s been a Hall of Fame pitcher in the NL West and barely major league ready in the American League.  In NL West parks, he has a lifetime 3.20 ERA in 1092 IP.  In 726 1/3 IP in the AL, he has a 4.20 ERA.  He’ll likely be someone most drafters don’t give much mind to, but in deeper leagues Peavy-type draft picks can help you win your league.  For 2015, I’ll give him 12-8/3.57/1.22/152.

Casey McGehee – Traded to the Giants.  With the lose of Sandoval, the Giants got the next best thing.  Someone who has watched sumo in person and can replicate it.  For 2015, I’ll give McGehee the projections of 57/6/61/.261/3.

Martin Prado – To the Marlins where he will play 3rd base.  A lot of other fantasy baseball ‘perts will tell you that Prado has great position eligibility.  This is true, but I find it’s more of an annoyance with Prado, because no matter what position you’re looking at on waivers, you always have to look at Prado.  For 2015, I’ll give him 58/10/67/.262/3.

David Phelps – Also went to the Marlins.  His starting rotation job will depend on if Haren really retires and who gets the 5th starter slot.  Phelps will likely see at least 15 starts in the rotation just by filling in for others.  The Yanks, meanwhile, hope this trade of Phelps works out better than their last trade of a Phelps.  “My baseball people loved Phelps!  They kept saying, ‘Get Phelps, get Phelps.'”  For 2015, I’ll give him 6-7/3.57/1.26/116 in 130 IP.

Garrett Jones – Also went to the Yankees or as I now call their offense, Old and/or Crappy.  O a/o C is a perfect landing spot for Jones.  There, they will appreciate his O a/o C.  Jones wasn’t in a platoon last year, but he should’ve been.  My natch’s grande!  For 2015, I’ll give him 44/12/52/.252/2, though I’m honestly not entirely sure how the Yankees are going to play so much O a/o C in one lineup.

Robert Refsnyder – With the trade of Prado, Refsnyder now supposedly has a starting job.  Maybe it’s the decades — seriously, decades — since the Yankees put a rookie in an everyday role, but I don’t trust them to play Refsnyder.  I feel like he’s going to be one of those hot names drafted in late-February and early-March, then he’ll be dropped at the end of March when he doesn’t make the team.  If that’s not the case, the other likely scenario is he gets drafted way higher than he should because of the Yankee thing and Refsnyder is the kind of guy that jazzes people — he does a lot with a little.  Watching him bat, he looks like Craig Biggio, which doesn’t mean he’ll be 1/10th the player of Biggio.  He just looks like him to me.  For 2015, I’ll give him 57/7/61/.274/12.

Nathan Eovaldi – To Yanks in the Prado trade.  A fast fastball does not make a pitcher (though it makes you sound like a stutterer).  In 199 2/3 IP last year, Eovaldi averaged a 95.5 MPH, which was the fourth fastest fastball on average for all starters.  Number one was Garrett Richards, then Yordano Ventura, then Wily Peralta, and Stephen Strasburg came in right after Eovaldi.  Each have their own peccadilloes, but I’d target any of them if they were all healthy (that’s a nod to Richards), even the unsexy Peralta had a 3.53 ERA last year.  Last year, Eovaldi had a 3.37 FIP and 3.78 xFIP due to a poor BABIP and a tad unlucky LOB%.  That means, all things being equal, Eovaldi should’ve had an ERA in the high threes.  So, right there, he’s already better than the 4.37 ERA from last year.  The other issue with him is the 6.40 K/9.  It’s not terrific.  He did have moments in the low minors where he had a 8+ K/9, and you’d think with his velocity he’d be able to get more swings and misses.  Well, I’d think it, at least.  He doesn’t get many hitters to chase pitches outside the strike zone (66th worst last year for qualified starters), and his swing and miss percentage isn’t much better (8.4%, good for about 53rd worst).  These actually moved up from 2013.  Something else that moved up dramatically?  Ew, gross, get your hands out of your pants!  What also progressed was his walk rate.  Last year, he had a 1.9 BB/9.  That is 22nd best in the majors, and the only pitchers he really matches up with velocity and control are Strasburg and Jeff Samardzija.  This is common sense, but when you throw the ball fast and can control it good things can and should happen, i.e., you can put the ball where hitters can’t hit it.  Oh, and we don’t have to worry about him only throwing a partial season.  He’s 24 years old and he just came off a 200 IP season.  One little step forward and Eovaldi becomes a top 40 starter and everyone wishes they had him.  The fantastic thing about him, he’s going to be as cheap as the oregano you pawned off as marijuana to your friends in high school.  For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 10-8/3.73/1.31/148.

Corey Hart – To the Pirates.  He’s only two years removed from being a 30-homer, 5-steal guy.  And Bill Cosby is only two years away from being lovable.  What’s your point?

Johnny Giavotella – Acquired by the Angels.  After the trade, Giavotella said, “Fist pump!”

129 Comments
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Bterry
Bterry
7 years ago

I am in a 5×5 typical scoring except instead of k we went to k/9. 12 teams. Benches expanded to 7. 8 keepers. My current keepers are:
Miggy
Tulo
Rizzo
Hanram
Cutch
Harper
Giancarlo

Should i keep billy hamilton as my 8th or corey dickerson. They are my best options. I coulda had strasburg or lester but i generally don’t keep any pitcher with this league not limiting acquisitions and only limiting streaming with k/9. So i stream heavily.

Cafuné
Maxi
7 years ago

Thoughts on Gyorko’s fantasy outlook with all of the lineup additions in SD? Is he gonna even start?

Dude’s killed me the last 2 seasons, and the year when I don’t draft him he’ll light it up.

Ralph
Ralph
7 years ago

Hi Gray — keeper thoughts if you have any. 10-team league with 6×6 scoring (H2H) —
R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG
IP, QS, Sv, ERA, WHIP, K/9

I have to choose from among these guys for my 10th and final keeper (round 26/30)

Pederson — looks like his path to regular ABs is open now. So tough to throw him back.
Vargas — December Gray says the Kennys are sleepers. Can’t keep him over Pederson, can I?
Pineda — I think he will find a way to get the gunk on the ball, but worth keeping over Pederson’s 30/30 upside?
Paxton — sexy sexy heat, and I’m only keeping one pitcher (Wainwright, round 20). He’s already had arm problems, though
Rusney Castillo — looking forward to getting your thoughts on him. I’ve been dangling him as trade bait, but nobody is buying (this happened to me with Carlos Gomez after his breakout year, and I threw him back and he was awesome, and I ended up thieving him from the guy who drafted him and didn’t believe, so I have him now again (Now Again sounds like a terrible RomCom, no?)).

My other keepers:

1B — Freeman
2B — Rendon
3B — Cabrera
OF — McCutchen
OF — Gomez
OF — Bruce
OF — Springer
OF — Gordon

We have 4 OF slots and 2 UTIL slots, so with Pederson/Castillo as the keeper I’d be able to start all 6 of them, but would have my UTIL slots locked up, which isn’t ideal in a 10 team league where guys like Wet Tail (who I also have and could keep) spring up every year on waivers.

I’m not opposed to throwing Gordon back, either, and keeping Paxton or Castillo or whatever. Gordon is the most meh player ever.

I got questions, y’all!

Prez
Prez
7 years ago

im gonna save this post and whenever i need a good laugh, ill come back. i missed this place… dont let me leave again!!!

Prez
Prez
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: “illll beee thereeeeee”

Prez
Prez
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: i was thinking more of the jackson 5… as the jackson 5..

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: I was thinking “I remember you” by Skid Row for Prezii….go figure *shrugs*

Prez
Prez
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: i youtubed it, now i have a lighter and im holding it in the air going back and forth.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Prez
7 years ago

@Prez: now you get freshman year all over again for me

Brandon
Banana
7 years ago

Whereabouts do you see yourself ranking Hahn this year?

Wake Up
7 years ago

Marco Scutaro undergoes “Fusion Surgery” …I guess we should now expect unlimited power?

de nachos
de nachos
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up: ha! “Marco Scutaro: now with the power of the sun”

Wake Up
Reply to  de nachos
7 years ago

@de nachos: Looks like he’ll be out for 6 months…also looks like he’ll be starting a ballon stand…

Big Magoo
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up: Maybe he just ate some Tex-Mex for lunch…

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up: I thought he retired….2 years ago

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: I thought you didn’t like Mexican?…or was that Mexicans?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: I can’t go more than 3 days without it. I just can’t understand why you don’t like corn tortillas. But do you eat tortilla chips?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: how many days without a bagel?

Big Magoo
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: Breads are a a weakness for me too. Breads, pasta, cheese. Basically anti-Atkins over here.

Big Magoo
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: Tonight, I’m having that italian sauasge dish that I told you about earlier, so I’ve got food on the brain…

SteveNZ
SteveNZ
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, red onion and a squeeze of lemon juice? Oh yeah.

Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Same here with pasta. Always have it at least 3x every week. How can you not? Delicious, cheap, and easy to make (most kinds)…

Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Yeah, Rao’s is good sauce. You ever try any of Mario Batali’s sauces? There’s a spicy marinara that’s really good…

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: where do I get this?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: I’ll have to look out for it. I also need to find a Ralph’s around me. The last one got replaced with smart and final.

Geoff
ralph lifshitz
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: It’s a tough biz

Ante GALIC
Ante GALIC
7 years ago

Grey!

Whazz up? Gr8 stuff, would concur w/ previous pundits…mid-season form. That raises some serious issues.

1. If you’re in mid-season form NOW, how good will you be around July 4??? Like that’d be the same as Yordano INCREASING his avg. velocity from 97.4 to 100.2 from opening day to July 4. Keep it up or take ur foot off the pedal a bit to pace yourself. It’s a long season!

2. I notice you didn’t give a projection for JJ. I guess it would be for obvious reasons, I also would not touch him with that same 9-foot pole with a 12-inch straw extension you referred to last week. Here are my projections.

a. If healthy for the whole season (1% chance)

10-7 / 4.24 / 1.38 / 175 in 200 IP

b. If healthy for half the season (30% chance)

5-3 / 3.99 / 1.40 / 75 in 90 IP

c. If on the shelf the whole season, (69%, most likely scenario)

Would spend 100% of his time looking for the strip bars that Letha Weapons retired to after she got breast reduction

Cheers,
Ante

J-FOH
J-FOH
7 years ago

you ever watch top chef duels?

de nachos
de nachos
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: my five year old daughter is learning to read. She looked at Grey’s avatar and said “ooh I like Gerry’s mustache”

de nachos
de nachos
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: do you like movies about gladiators?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  de nachos
7 years ago

@de nachos: you ever seen a grown man naked?

Big Magoo
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

Mr. Han's Militant Vegans
Mr. Han's Militant Vegans
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: Does the original Iron Chef count? and for a good laugh, how about MXC?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mr. Han's Militant Vegans
7 years ago

@Mr. Han’s Militant Vegans: I don’t do those kind of drugs anymore

Mr. Han's Militant Vegans
Mr. Han's Militant Vegans
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: HA! I know what you mean, but sometimes they still do me…

As for MXC, nothing like Japanese humor filtered through American dry sarcasm.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mr. Han's Militant Vegans
7 years ago

@Mr. Han’s Militant Vegans: they always did me…good! wait you live in the OC, then you must do drugs to cope

In
In
7 years ago

Grey: Russell Martin for Scott Kazmir, who do you like?

Al
Al
7 years ago

Grey, I’m supposed to be pretending that I hate baseball for the next 2 months to save myself from the offseason despair, but you’re making it real hard. Good stuff.

Every time I think I like Eovaldi, he disappoints me. He throws so hard, but his K-rate stinks. I love pitchers with good stuff, but I hate low k-rates. I think I was excited about him as a sleeper this season, then the Yankees take him, and the draft price automatically goes up. No idea what I’m going to do with this guy.

Baezaworldseries
Baezaworldseries
7 years ago

People put mustard on pretzels? I’ve seen ranch dressing and cheese. Never mustard. Is that a west coast thing?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: that is the OG way to do a pretzel and I think you would call that a German thing. Without looking it up, I believe that is where they originate and those Yermans love their mustard.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: it’s true with the mustard in my case, i’m 80ish % german and i love me some mustard. namesake was likely mustard farmers generations ago (at least they were from that area, where it’s that and/or white wine)

Baezaworldseries
Baezaworldseries
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Never seen it. I do eat mustard in my cabbage soup with potatoes..

Baezaworldseries
Baezaworldseries
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Is it at least kosher?

Prez
Prez
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: too far grey!

Prez
Prez
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: i guess thats better than ostrich sizing people…

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Baezaworldseries
7 years ago

@Baezaworldseries: yea mustard on pretzels is the shizz

Jason
Jason
7 years ago

With the move to Petco, would you keep Freeman over Upton?

Im keeping Stanton for sure and then need to pick 4 from the following:
Puig
Sale
Arenado
Upton
Freeman
Scherzer

I’m keeping Sale only because due to draft pick trading in my league, I don’t pick until the 10th round. Scherzer I can try and move to re-coup some picks. I like Puig, but for some reason I’m not completely sold on him (with the offensive loss LAD took, it looks like they will be leaning on him to take that next step, I’m not sure he’s mentally ready to be that yet). I really like Freeman in the past but i finally own him last year and I zzzzzzzzz, oh sorry but yeah – totally yawnstipating. So I am almost taking Upton by default.

Thoughts?
Happy Hanuka , Chanuka , ah screw it…Happy Jewish Christmas

pickleball
pickleball
7 years ago

Hey Grey, Long time, no comment. Feels like a year since baseball closed up. thanks to you guys my team was good enough i basically stopped watching late august and coasted to a championship.

Keeper league so i’m trying to figure out my best plan of attack:

Our leage has a minimum keeper price of $10, but no raises after that. my keeper worthy players are:

Miggy ($39)
Trout ($52)
Harper ($34)
Rizzo ($11)
pence ($10)
wong ($10)
rusney ($14)
Goldschmit ($11)
Grienke ($17)
kluber ($16)
kenley ($10)
Lester ($10)
Harvey ($10)

i wish i could keep my entire team, i’d absolutely rake again… our league has a 6 keeper max, which i do agree with to keep things fresh year to year. our league was 8×8 roto, but the teams that sucked complained and want to go to roto but h2h (weekly matchups) which i think is trash but what can i do.

I was thinking a couple of things. I drafted harper, then kept him, and both years he was a big reason i either did tank (got 6th place my first year) or almost did (felt forced to start him and was one of my worst players). i’m thinking dont keep him at $34 and maybe just draft him back?

Also, i have miggy/rizzo/goldschmit. the latter 2 at $10 a piece. I’m thinking of dealing of miggy at $39 and either lester at $10 (i dont believe in him, although he gave me a GREAT year) or grienke to get a $18 chris sale.

also, theres a $30 giancarlo floating around my league, what combo of players do you think i should offer from above to get him?

my thoughts: trout/rizzo/goldschmit are locks. pence is cheap but old (he always defies father time) harper is young but expensive and risky, kluber won the cy young out of nowhere, dont know if i should sell high or keep….

sorry for such a long post. thank you and enjoy the holidays!

pickleball
pickleball
Reply to  pickleball
7 years ago

@pickleball: i should mention i have gattis at $10. i would never keep him but could potentially package and deal for a better keeper.

pickleball
pickleball
Reply to  pickleball
7 years ago

@pickleball: crap, sorry for the add ons. theres a $10 Carlos gomez and $10 yasiel puig out there too worth targeting, all from the 2nd best team, so the guy’s probably not willing to deal to me considering i posterized him all year thanks to you guys hah. thnks again

pickleball
pickleball
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Thank You!

You’d keep Lester over kluber and harvey? i deft wasnt thinking that but that’s why i come here for help.

I think I’ll shoot for turning my last keeper spot into Chris Sale. Thanks Grey.

Rudy Gamble
7 years ago

I think the CIA concession stand would love the Up-My-Pujols outfield. Even Up-My-Kemp will do. Who wants rectal nourishment?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: portmanteau point!

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: we need a counter here for all your pun point and portmanteau points

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: and when we reach triple digits?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: whew…I thought there was going to be a, “thats not a finger” remark

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: I can see why you avoided that comment

Sky
Sky
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

Only 18. Lost my pinky toes to evolution. And by evolution, I mean my bookie and his pruning shears. Speaking of, if you’d like me to keep keeping this tally, could you spare a few grand? Might only have 16 here really soon…

Sky
Sky
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

Do you respond to such emails with ‘Whaddup my Niger’?

BreakOut
BreakOut
7 years ago

Mid-summer form. Excellent!

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
7 years ago

Me So Hahny

SteveNZ
SteveNZ
7 years ago

At my age, I probably prefer me some *Jessica* Hahn.

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Reply to  SteveNZ
7 years ago

@SteveNZ: even with the age she’d be at now?