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Howdy-do, folks. I surely do ‘preciate you stopping by for the latest in the world of offseason baseball.

The Blue Jays made three exciting signings, only to have it turn into two exciting signings (unless a Tyler Chatwood signing excites you, then you can still call it three) because the Astros swooped in. For a few hours there, the Jays lineup looked pretty damn formidable. I still really dig it, for what it’s worth.

Other things happened, too. Here’s what stood out to me:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, especially you Mets fans. Y’all pumped or what? Cleveland _______ fans, I’m sorry. Tank time. How’s Cleveland Tanks sound for a new moniker to put in that blank? Tanks are…cool, right? World of Tanks is a kinda popular game, no?

Alrighty, folks, here’s the best of this past week in offseason baseball (with a different format cuz I like to shake it up):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy belated Thanksgiving, Razzballers!

‘Tis the season for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but there’s another deal-day you may or may not be aware of…Saturday Stove deals! It’s when we recount some offseason MLB free agent news on Saturday. See, free agent news is the hot stove and it’s Saturday. Clearly makes a lot of sense. Sorry if you’re here to buy a stove.

The free agent period is always exciting in any sport, but it’ll be especially interesting to see how an itty-bitty 60-game season will amplify contracts for little ol’ guys like Trevor Bauer and Marcell Ozuna, two dudes who went just absolutely bonkers. On the flip side, what about little ol’ Marcus Semien, who plummeted to an almost career-worst OPS after his sexy 2019 season?

So what I’m gonna do is go a little deeper on the important guys that have signed somewhere already. There aren’t a ton, but there are certainly guys worth talking about. Then for guys that are still freely drifting along, I’ll just give a gut-check take on what 2021 could look like for ’em. Odds are pretty decent I’ll gloss over a guy you really care about…I’m not gonna talk about every ding dang free agent out there. Sorry not sorry.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It turns out the area around 161st street that Yankee Stadium was built on was home to an ancient Indian burial ground, or is the new home of the Bermuda Triangle, or was cursed by witches in the 1600s, because that’s the only explanation for the injury plague the Yankees have dealt with over the last two seasons.

Already down Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Tommy Kahnle, and Zack Britton, the Yanks put two other stars on the shelf this week.  Gleyber Torres went on the IL with a hamstring injury that looks to keep him out for 2-3 weeks after an MRI revealed no structural damage.  We gave you Tyler Wade and Thiaro Estrada last week for DJ’s injury fill ins and the same names apply here.  James Paxton is also on the IL with forearm discomfort.  He’s avoided a worst case scenario, as an MRI revealed that there’s no tear that would lead to Tommy John surgery.  His timetable is still unclear for return.  The Yankees have been reluctant to bring up top pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt due to the fact that they’d need to make a move to their 40 man roster to do so, but he’s the most fantasy relevant arm on the horizon.  Deivi Garcia is the other big time prospect to watch here if this injury keeps Paxton out for a while.  There’s also been heavy rumors of trade activity for the Yankees to get an arm with Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Zach Plesac being the mosts talked about targets.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welp……whatever was in the water in the Bronx last year that led to one of the most ridiculous injury riddled seasons ever apparently is still sticking around, because the Yankees just keep taking hits left and right.

Last week, we chronicled Giancarlo Stanton’s hamstring issue, and a week later, the Yankees are now down two more stars, as DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge have both landed themselves on the IL.  Judge has a calf issue that SEEMS minor, but this is Aaron Judge and the Yankees we’re talking about here.  The hope is that he’ll only miss a couple of weeks, but these things have a tendency to snowball in this training room.  With LeMahieu, it looks like he’ll be able to avoid surgery after an initial scare with his thumb injury.  His timeline is also 2-3 weeks at the moment.  So all three big Yankee hitters are slated to come off the IL in 2-3 weeks.  Until then, we gave you Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier last week, but adding Tyler Wade and Thiaro Estrada in deeper leagues makes sense as fill ins for LeMahieu.  Guys like Miguel Andujar and Mike Ford should also see some boost to their value with an OF and DH spot opening up full time.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Are the Tigers king of summer streaming offerings? Are the Tigers eating their young or are they eating whatever is thrown in the dumpster behind the Costco? Should fantasy baseballers be singing Here Kitty Kitty to young Tigers or is Carole Baskin robbing us of our Baseball Nut? Is an actual ice cream flavor at Baskin-Robbins called Baseball Nut and does it have chestnut cream? All of these questions are going through my mind on this lovely mid-August day as the Tigers promote Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize. Every MLB team should look at how the Tigers deal with prospects and emulate. The Tigers throw them to the fire and it’s grrrrrrrrr…hey, this is fun after 13 years of Spanish couldn’t teach me how to roll my R’s….rrrrreat! On Prospect Itch’s Tigers fantasy prospects, he has Mize 1st and Skubal 3rd, but that’s from January, which is like another year ago. I wrote a Casey Mize fantasy, which is from another year ago. Both of these guys could be aces, and worth picking up, but neither may go very deep into games this year. So, in redraft? Prolly look at streaming Mize and Skubal, in that order, due to how long either can go in games. In dynasty leagues, Skubal is flat-out sexy, but in a Glasnow-type way. Could he go 4 IP, 3 ER and 10 Ks? Yes. Will he go 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 Ks and get you a bunch of Quality Starts? I don’t know about that yet on Skubal, but that might be Mize. So, I think Mize over Skubal for this year? Yes, I welcome your Sir Mize. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jairo Diaz was told the Rockies will no longer have a designated closer. Bud Black is crazy, right? I mean, he is legit nuts or no? I know the Woke Police say you shouldn’t call people crazy, but if we don’t, then they might not get help and Bud Black needs help. I thought maybe Black was just slow on the uptake as witnessed by Garrett Hampson’s playing time. It’s not normal to go from not playing to suddenly being an everyday leadoff man, like Black just discovered Hampson this year. Garrett was good last year, you absolute loon! But this is about Jairo Diaz. He didn’t have the best of games (2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, ERA at 3.12), but Carlos Estevez (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.38), who saved the game, took a comeback off his hand, and was in severe pain, heading for x-rays. So, one guy’s been decent (Diaz), one guy is obviously injured, and the third guy, Daniel Bard (1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.09) has been okay, but serious emphasis on “okay” and nothing more. That’s when you announce the guy with zero blown saves is no longer the closer? Bud Black is twenty-six screws short of an Ikea dresser. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I posted the last Closer Report two weeks ago, the same distance in between them as always. I basically had to take a flamethrower to that ranking. It’s hard to recall a more drastic two weeks in bullpen hierarchies. Yes, it’s only been two weeks imaginary friend Carl that keeps telling me to huff some more glue. It only feels like a quarter season. Tiers are Fla.Vor.Ice themed since my three-year-old has just discovered them.

  • Keona Kela is off the COVID-IL for Pittsburgh. He should slot into the closer role by default. They may want him to get one appearance with less leverage prior to closing.
  • Mike Matheny has fired up the way back machine and found a vintage Trevor Rosenthal. Perhaps Matheny’s gentle style of yanking pitchers around and pitting players against each other just soothes Rosie.
  • Kirby Yates’ arm is barking a bit. The team is doing their best to give him days off. That does not help your fake teams. Drew Pomeranz is the guy benefiting most from that.
  • Ty Buttrey has managed to hold the closer gig after Hansel Robles was decidedly not hot. That’s a change from last season when he couldn’t string two decent appearances together. There was potential in Buttrey after his rookie year. Maybe he’s turning a corner.
  • The Rays are determined to get every reliever on the roster a save this year. They don’t want anyone feeling left out. Who has two thumbs, not enough sleep, and told you to be careful with Nick Anderson?
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Giancarlo Stanton is hurt again.

Before the shortened season, things were looking up for Stanton.  The layoff gave him plenty of time to heal from offseason injuries, a shortened campaign meant he had a better shot of staying healthy throughout, and he had started the season off strong.  It looked like everyone who’d proclaimed “well he ONLY has to stay healthy for 60 games” were on their way to a nice profit…..wrong.   Stanton is now sitting on the IL with a minor hamstring strain that is going to sideline him for 3-4 weeks.  Knowing Stanton, and knowing the Yankees, I would expect it to be more towards 4, if not longer.  We’re venturing into total lost cause territory with Stanton.  In his absence, Mike Tauchman immediately becomes startable in all formats and Clint Frazier is going to get yet another opportunity to show he can stick with the big club.

Please, blog, may I have some more?