It’s unlikely you haven’t already heard, but ICYMI: esteemed national baseball writer Boob Nightenfail tweeted Thursday evening that the Mets had a done deal with Trevor Bauer. Then not even like five minutes later, all the cool kids tweeted how this, in fact, was untrue. Fast forward less than 24 hours later and Bauer signed a deal with Dodgers, along with some dumb hype video I haven’t yet and never will bother to watch. I’m just glad all of this is over, because I am so over Trevor Bauer. I hope he goes back to being the mediocre pitcher he’s always been. He’s jack diddly without pine tar, and that’s a fact!
Oh, Boob. Thanks for the laugh! As for the rest, here’s the best:
Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers. I’m so sick of his drama that I want to gloss right over this, but I’ll humor you. Yes, the “best” pitcher of 2020 is now with the defending champs. Even after Nightenfail’s fail, I had a very strong inkling we’d get the official LeBron-taking-his-talents-esque announcement on Friday that Bauer did indeed sign with New York. Lo and behold, he pulled one over on us, the little stinker! Plumb fooled us! Went to the shiny ring winners. So he needs to cheat to pitch well, and now he gets a defending champion to pay him an inflated salary based off 11 starts. Look, as long as everyone looks the other way with pitchers using substances to maintain grip, I don’t have much doubt Bauer will be good. Still, I am not at all sold by 11 starts in the shizz azz NL/AL Central we had in 2020. Have you looked at his game log? He had one start against the White Sox — all others were against the Tigers/Cubs/Pirates/Brewers/Royals. Dude won a Cy Young thanks to that. Such was baseball in 2020. And sure, the Cubs won the division, but it wasn’t thanks to those bats. Let’s see how he handles Coors and Slam Diego. I will own zero Bauer shares in 2021, I can tell you that much. And it ain’t just cuz I’m sick of the bastard. It’s cuz I don’t fully believe in what he did, or at least I don’t fully believe it will translate to the NL West. Plus, going to the World Series favorites is just gonna drive his already stupid ADP into even stupider territory. I’m all the way out.
The Nelson Cruz saga is over. He’ll be back with the Twins, inking a one-year deal. Really not much to say here. We all know the numbers. The man can POUND baseballs. Should hit for a good average, hit 35+ HR, 100+ RBI, etc etc. I don’t see a lick of reason to expect a decline, even if he happens to be approximately 54 years old. The only sort-of-kinda-maybe red flag I see is his average EV dropped from 93.7 in 2019 to 91.6 last year…but 91.6 is still BOSS. His BB% reached the highest point it’s been since 2008. Everything else was about in line with what he’s always done. Draft with confidence.
Also reaching an anti-climactic conclusion was the Marcell Ozuna saga. The writers of these dramas need to work on their finales. JTR stayed with his team. Cruz with his. And now Ozuna, who signed a four-year deal with the Braves. They’ll swallow the bitter pill of his wall-climbing, falling-down antics in the field for a year since we’ll likely have the NL DH in 2022 and beyond. But Cardinals fans will never forget. Seriously one of the strangest, stupidest, absurdest things I’ve ever seen a professional of any sort do. Anyway, I don’t really need to rehash the stats, do I? He’s slotting directly back into the lineup in which he almost won a Triple Crown and arguably should have won an MVP. I find it surprising he didn’t earn a single first-place vote. The metrics support his success. Those of you who drafted him already probably got the best price we’ll see — ADP is bound to rise now that he’s back in, for my money, the best lineup in the NL. You simply cannot top Acuna/Freeman/Ozuna/Albies.
Kolten Wong signed a two-year deal with the Brewers. This one hurts, y’all. I sort of kind of maybe had a little hope the Cardinals would bring him back and we’d be rocking a Goldy/Wong/DeJong/Nado infield. That’s, like, a really good infield, both offensively and defensively. But especially defensively. But alas, he’s with a division rival now. Wong sprays the ball to all parts of the field, and Miller Park is a much friendlier hitting venue than Busch. Wong’s career slash line at Miller vs Busch, respectively: .308/.373/.482 and .257/.331/.383. The speedy 2B will likely hit atop the order. Couple years ago, Wong stole 24 bags. Think he’s a lock for 20+ in that regard. Should provide a solid BA, solid OBP, double-digit HR, and speed. And hopefully (read: not hopefully since he’s not a Cardinal anymore) score runs with hopefully (read: not hopefully in the sense he’s a rival but hopefully in the sense I want people to be healthy) a refreshed Christian Yelich bringing him home.
Dexter Fowler got traded to the Angels for a PTBNL and/or cash. I don’t care what we get back, I’m just glad Fowler won’t be blocking my baby boi Dylan Carlson any longer from his rightful place as the starting RF for the Cardinals. It was hard justifying benching Fowler when he was making the kind of money he was — and even harder to justify why he was making it — but there’s zero doubt that Carlson is the better ballplayer. Carlson didn’t go and win himself an NL ROY like I thought, but the sky’s the limit. He’ll get a chance to show what he’s made of.
Alex Colome signed with the Twins, further muddying the closer waters there. Gotta think late inning work is a lock, so the value remains in SV/HD leagues. But, remember they signed Hansel Robles and still have Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey in the mix. Colome could be the go-to guy, but I don’t think it’ll be an exclusive type thing — Colome? More like CoLAME, amirite? The ratios aren’t impressive, the Ks aren’t impressive, the BB% is not at all impressive…I’m sure he’ll get the SV/HD you’re looking for, but there are much better closers/relievers worth targeting.
Sean Doolittle signed with the Reds. That’s a muddier bullpen than even Minnesota’s. You’ve now got Doolittle, Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims, and maybe even some Tejay Antone in the mix for late-inning duties for Cincy. Sean “Probably Gonna” Doolittle “For Your Fantasy Squad” isn’t at the top of my list out of those four names, either, but his presence kinda mucks things up for the others, regardless. As further evidence of muckery, RosterResource has all of ’em except Antone listed as CL, lol. It’s anyone’s guess at this point.
Remember Chris Archer? Remember how Pittsburgh ruined him? Remember how Pittsburgh ruined Tyler Glasnow and Gerrit Cole? Remember how both are quite good now? I’m not about to lump Archer in with those two, but it does beg the question whether or not he can get back to his former Rays self, cuz guess what: he’s with the Rays again! (Random little side dig at Bucs fans: Archer was dealt to TB for Glasnow and Austin Meadows, and now Archer will be teammates with the guys he was traded for lmaoooo). We had no Archer in 2020, so that’s always a red flag on draft day. But on the flip side, he’s basically free — his NFBC ADP is well outside the Top 500. Take a stab at him, I say! The swing-and-miss was actually still there in 2019, it’s just the walks and HR/9 got outta control.
The Angels made another HUGE move. You ready? They acquired Alex Cobb from the Orioles. Lol. I actually saw quite a bit of pro-Cobb tweets when this deal was made, but I am just not even a little excited by him. Spin it all you want, Twitter pundits. Sure, he used to be good. Pretty good, anyway. Had some good years in Tampa, but it’s been a good long while since he’s been any kind of fantasy relevant. He’s got a nice splitter, but you can’t make a living off that without a good full arsenal. His sinker location is erratic and gets hit all the time, his curve is up high or in the middle of the zone more often than not, and the dude doesn’t even have a real fastball. I’m 0% interested.
Jordan Yamamoto, or as I like to call him cuz it’s fun to type/say, Jordan Yamahamamoto, was traded to the Mets. It’s a team upgrade, obvs, but I don’t know if he’ll have a spot in the rotation. Maybe a spot start here and there, or if 6/5.5-man rotations become a thing (I keep seeing that?). For now, RosterResource has him in AAA. I think he’s got a decent amount of upside. Has generally always limited hits and kept the ball in the yard, but walks are a big concern. The K upside is solid. He’s got some chops, but the opportunity will need to be there before I’m interested from a fantasy perspective.
Didi Gregorius is back with the Phillies. Should slot into the starting SS role. Been a fan of his bat for a while now, and it’s a pretty good line up to be a part of. Didi put up 117 wRC+ last year and blasted 10 HR. He’s a good bet for 25ish HR, which you could get for a #167-ish pick. If you’re gonna fade a position (other than C), SS is the way to go. He’s no league-winner, but he’s good for the price tag.
Joakim Soria will find himself in the closer mix after signing with the Diamondbacks. It’s not like they really have any other options whatsoever since Archie Bradley is bye-bye. I guess Stefan Crichton is likely to see some chances, maybe? Soria very quietly continues to have a very solid career. The ratios are a little up and down, but the ERA always finds a way to stay anywhere from pretty good to really good. WHIP is the biggest issue cuz walks, but the Ks will be there. Nothing elite, but still. His ADP will likely see a spike now, but he ain’t gonna cost you much.
Rumors and whatnot
The Cardinals have expressed serious interest in Jake Odorizzi. I’d be down. It’s not sexy, but he’s a solid MLB starter. I’ve kinda lost faith in Miles Mikolas at this point, if not because he had a fluky year, then it’s just his inability to stay healthy. Felt like Kwang-Hyun Kim got rather lucky, as well. I’d take Odorizzi over either, IRL and in fantasy.
The Blue Jays are toying with the idea of deepening their bullpen with bounce-back daddy Trevor Rosenthal, who came outta nowhere and looked like the guy us Cardinal fans always hoped he would be. It just took him like 19 teams and several years to get there.
That Braves lineup I mentioned earlier? Could get even better if they indeed decide to pursue Justin Turner, who has been on their radar lately. Austin Riley dynasty owners won’t be too pleased to hear that, but hey, I have no shares and I’m just the messenger anyway. Gut tells me these bad drama writers have another lame finale in mind and Turner just goes back to the Dodgers.
I’m not sure I care about Jackie Bradley Jr. anymore for fantasy, but maybe someone out there does. He hasn’t signed anywhere and isn’t even particularly close to doing so, but his name popped up since it’s been rumored he’s after a longer-ish term deal. Maybe even in the four-year neighborhood. Dude did post a .283/.364/.450 line last year with a 21-HR pace. That’s fantasy relevant, I suppose! Guess it depends where he ends up and what his playing time looks like. Figure it’ll be good, cuz his glove is still *fire emoji*.
That’s all she wrote! Find my baseball and hockey wisdom on Twitter @jkj0787. Also be prepared for cocktail updates and whatever-song-I’m-currently-listening-to posts. Take care out there.