Please see our player page for Lance Lynn to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Howdy, folks.

No real blockbuster-type stuff this week after last week’s doozy of a trade, I’m afraid, but we have had a few big signings and plenty of trade/free agent rumors fluttering about in the breeze.

Really, it’s just a slow offseason so far, all things considered. Going by ESPN’s list, six of their top 10 FAs are still on the market. Only 12 of the top 50 have been signed. Spring Training is supposed to ramp back up in less than two months from now, but a vast majority of players are still standing on the sidelines with one thumb in the air, hoping someone stops by and opens their passenger door.

Anyhoodles, let’s get caught up on the past week:

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What is up everybody!? It’s the pre-season reunion here at Razzball, and we’re coming back strong as ever to deliver you the hottest takes, the slippery-est snakes, and a crap-ton of Grey’s quality bakes. What? The guy likes to bake! But for cereal, if Grey ever offers to send you bear claws, don’t take him up on it! The Chinese authorities have been all over me after Grey mailed me a package of ursine talons. ENYWHEY. I’ll repeat this again when we’ve moved from January Grey into March Grey, which is not to be confused with the Greymarch for all you Elder Scrolls fans: Yours truly has taken on an editorial role across the baseball and football sides of Razzball. What does that mean? It means my deadly red cursor of editorial prowess will grace these digital articles for the foreseeable future, which is pretty foggy right now admittedly. Thanks be to Grey and Rudy and Donkey Teeth for entrusting me with the “Schedule” button, and I hope to introduce you to some solid new writers while welcoming the familiar Razzball crew that you know and love and definitely wouldn’t want to see star in Bridgerton. While we collectively wait for the start of the 2021 MLB season, let’s gather for some pre-season hype pieces and get ready for drafts.

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Thank god for the Padres huh? Just when we thought the baseball off-season couldn’t get worse A.J. Preller shows up on a new scooter ready to get us to Aspen. Is it the Shaggin’ Wagon? No, but it’ll do. So Grey and I return to talk Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Ha-Seong Kim, and all the other baseball players good enough to squeeze blood from a stone. The Razzball podcast is back!

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So, I got the 5th pick. How’s your day going? At the Winter Meetings? That’s cool, same. Maybe you’ve seen me in the lobby, I’m wearing a floral arrangement on my head while I hide in a pot. Wait, there’s no Winter Meetings, that’s right. I mean there is, a group of billionaires are Zoom’ing into the Winter Meetings where the hottest commodity is a guy who was a backup catcher last year. Hey, Jon Heyman, stop leaking McCann news. I ate a few too many Olestra-laden potato chips and McCann is leaking! It’s none of your business! Last week, I took part in an NFBC team league, and here is, as the people say who are trying on hats, my recap. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly (rawr!) for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. I didn’t want the fifth pick. I wanted any pick but the fifth pick. As I see it, there’s an obvious top four (Sexy Dr. Pepper, Tildaddy, FTJ, Mookie Best), then…Dot dot dot…Question mark. What now? I didn’t want to think for the 1st pick, but the automated draft picker thing (that’s its name) said I was the most qualified to think, so I thought. Or I just screwed up my pre-draft rankings for which pick I wanted. Like a teamster, I’m leaning on the latter. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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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:

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Inspired by JKJ’s recent lament on the St. Louis Cardinals, combined with my First Year Player Drafts informed by The Prospect Itch and Hobbs, as well as noted scout John Sickels’ “Shadow Twins” series of articles, I wanted to reveal my own mourning process for my beloved tolerated local sports team, the Minnesota Twins. More than just an elegy to the Midwest Monsters that could have been, the Minnesota Twins stand as an example of a team that dynasty fantasy managers might want to avoid, and the reason is rooted in the “real world” dynamics of the Twins’ ownership and management over the past century.

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Hello again, my friends. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

I had another fun-but-also-terribly-painful experiment for you guys. For some of you this will be euphoric. But as a Cardinals fan myself, well, this just sucks.

My experiment is rather simple, and it’s similar to my last piece on Waiver Wire All-Stars. I’m certainly not alone in this, but I’ve noticed a whole lotta ex-STL players having really, really, really good things happen after leaving town. I got to thinking, and I wondered if it were possible to field a full fantasy squad of 100% ex-STL players and still have a good team. The answer is YUP. Oh, joy.

I had to take some liberties, and I had to do a lot of digging through past draft classes and minor league affiliate rosters, but I’ve built a Yahoo standard lineup of players who at one point in time were in the Cardinals system (with some liberties sprinkled in). It’s not a perfect team, but it’s a damn fine one if you ask me. It just hurts all the more knowing this didn’t have to be fantasy for the Cardinals. IT COULD HAVE BEEN REALITY! MAYBE! *crying baby GIF*

Another thing about this experiment is we gotta assume these players reach or maintain their fantasy ceilings. Some guys weren’t so great in 2020 but have been good recently, or vice versa. Some of them I don’t exactly miss, if I’m being honest, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t help this fantasy fantasy squad win.

Cardinals fans, get your tissues ready. Have Freese’s heroics from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series playing on a loop in the background as you read. Go to your happy place and try to stay there as you see name after name break your heart over and over again. This is supposed to be therapeutic, right?

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All the final 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for next year (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. Not entirely. Entirely. Like when you had a knee replacement, this is a recap! To recapitulate the recap, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?