…and the Teoscar goes to…La La Land! Wait, that’s wrong. Damn it, Faye Dunaway, give me that envelope! …and the Teoscar Hernandez goes to Seattle for Erik Swanson and minor-league LHP Adam Macko! That’s worse than La La Land. Macko better grow ten inches and become the next Randy Johnson for this trade to make sense. Okay, first my thoughts on middle relievers, such as Erik Swanson, then back to the trade. They are failed starters! Take Yusei Kikuchi and make him a middle reliever if you want a middle reliever. What are you doing?! Jays ain’t no Rays, but the M’s might be. Rays know that anyone can be a great reliever. Yanks seemed to figure it out when they took a guy who flamed out in Pittsburgh and made him great–Oh, wait, that could be Gerrit Cole too. Or any pitcher leaving Pittsburgh. Okay, sorry, that Pittsburgh hate is off-topic. Focus! This trade just has me so discombobulated. Why would you trade Teoscar Hernandez for a middle reliever and a lottery ticket arm? The only reasons I can imagine are the Jays aren’t done and will acquire another bat. Or the Jays know something on Teoscar that we don’t know. Something like he wanted out; clashing with some of the other players; something, and I don’t know what. So, Teoscar goes to a much worse park. Seattle is the worst park, by the by. Don’t trust me, ask Jesse Winker. Teoscar is no Winker though, and should be able to hit anywhere. What’s funny, and should be taken with a grain of salt, Teoscar’s expected homers in Toronto last year was 28 (he actually hit 25), and in Seattle it was 31. He’s regularly a top five-percenter in MaxEv, and regular Exit Velocity. Red marks after red marks indicating fire on all the best Statcast numbers. Barrel% upper 94-percenter; HardHit% is 98%; speed is even in the 84 percentile. I ranked Teoscar crazy high last year, and he disappointed, but it’s hard to not fall in love again. He really is that good, and Dipoto is robbing Canada like Mrs. Butterworth’s tapping maples. For 2023, I’ll give Teoscar Hernandez projections of 76/29/83/.264/7 in 517 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2023 fantasy baseball:
Bryce Harper – Will have UCL surgery next Wednesday. His family must be horrible for him to wait three weeks since the World Series just so he can raincheck Thanksgiving with surgery. “Bryce, don’t you want some more giblet gravy?” *Bryce dreaming about hospital food* So, this sounds fine for Bryce’s fantasy value, but might delay his start of the season. Will have to wait for a timetable. Rhys Hoskins had a similar surgery and was back for Opening Day, but had the surgery on October 2nd, not Thanksgiving Eve.
Jake Odorizzi – Traded to the AL West. Excuse me, traded to the Rangers, but same diff. Odorizzi seems to have some kind of contract where he pickleballs back and forth between the NL and the AL West. Back to take on the Astros now instead of pitch for them. By the by, I had a question in my head this offseason and I have no idea how to figure it out. Jake Odorizzi won a ring for the Astros, even though he didn’t appear in one World Series game for them (obviously). I was wondering, who has the most rings without appearing in a World Series winning game? Also, has anyone — I’m sure someone has — appeared for the losing World Series team, but got a ring because they faced their old team? Any hoo! Jake Odorizzi sucks, don’t draft him. (Someone pinged me and said the answer to most World Series rings without appearing in a clinching game might be Charlie Silvera. He’s credited with being on the roster of six different Yankee teams that won the Series, but only played in one Series game.)
Ryan Vilade – Claimed off waivers by the Pirates. He’s prolly nothing because that’s what the Pirates turn guys into, but you kinda have to chef’s kiss the Rockies giving away a 23-year-old, 2nd round pick who they gave only three games total in the major leagues.
Ji-Man Choi – Traded to the Pirates. Thinking about Oneil Cruz firing a 120 MPH throw to first for Ji-Man Choi to go into one of his patented splits and getting giddy. For fantasy? Ji-Meh. I’ll give Ji-Man Choi projections of 51/14/62/.231 in 412 ABs.
Tyler Anderson – Signed by the Angels. One thing always remains true: Angels buy the spike. I wouldn’t be surprised if Arte Moreno has to sell because he’s over-invested in crypto. Arte loves the spike! Change them to the Anaheim Stonks and send them career years. Angels get more out of a spike than Keith Raniere. So, last year Tyler Anderson went 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP with incredibly good command — 1.7 BB/9 — with no strikeouts — 7 K/9. He’s the poster boy for the ratio boon of 2022, and where does that take him in 2023? I’d say regression and not on my teams. For 2023, I’ll give Tyler Anderson projections 8-10/4.09/1.19/134 in 172 IP. Honestly, it’s not the worst real world starter for the Angels, but not a great fantasy bet.
Sam Hilliard – Acquired by the Braves, and the Rockies got Dylan Spain, who sounds like a made-up name. Rockies always getting good stuff in their trades, huh? If you ask the Rockies’ GM, he’ll still say his favorite return for a player is the $50 million IOU he got from the Cards for Arenado, because it included his favorite psalm.
Jose Ramirez – Underwent thumb surgery, but should be good to go to start the year. I hope the surgeon did the entire Where Is Thumbkin and didn’t cheat him out of the 2nd verse, which, for my money, is the best verse.