Yu Darvish is on his way to the States to pitch for the Rangers.¬† Erik wrote a Yu Darvish 2012 fantasy post already.¬† To pull some quotes from that article, “Darvish was once involved in a ‚Äúmajor scandal‚ÄĚ in Japan, where he was caught smoking,” “He also goes by the Persian name Farid, meaning ‘glorious,'” and “He mixes in a cutter.”¬† He sounds like he’s in the Yakuza.¬† I don’t want to draft Yu; I wanna hang out with him in illegal gambling halls and pick up coquettish girls.¬† I’m gonna be honest with you (for the first time ever!) and tell you I don’t know what to make of Darvish’s Japanese numbers.¬† Dice-K came to the States with some serious bells and whistles.¬† In his first year, he had a 4.40 ERA.¬† The Ks did, for lack of a better word, translate to the States early on for Dice-K and I think they will too for Yu (hey, sounds like there’s a haiku in there).¬† His stuff looks filthy and batters will not be familiar with him at all.¬† Last year, he had 276/36 K/BB in over 232 innings. ¬†That’s off the charts then making a new chart and going off that one too.¬† For fantasy, I could see him giving fantasy #2 starter type numbers, say, around a 3.50-3.75 and 200 Ks.¬† He could basically be the same as what the Rangers just lost in C.J. Wilson.¬† There’s the chance for more, but Yu’re gonna have to draft him high so there’s gonna be very little room for error.¬†¬† Depending on his price tag, I’ll probably sit out the fantasy Yu-stakes.¬† Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Jed Lowrie – Heads to the Astros to become their new shortstop.¬† On one hand, Lowrie has never hit more than 13 homers in any professional season (2007 when he split time between Double- and Triple-A).¬† On the other hand, he hasn’t played too many full seasons since then.¬† On the third lesser known hand that is actually a blown-up rubber glove, he hasn’t played too many full seasons because he’s always injured.¬† People seem to love Lowrie’s potential.¬† He’s gonna be 28 years old this year, it would be nice to finally see said potential.¬† If he hits 12 homers and steals 5 bases, it would be a huge season for him.¬† In other words, I don’t know any reason why people love him.
Mark Melancon – Goes to the Sawx.¬† The GM over in Beantown says Melancon is “capable of closing.”¬† In big market speak, that means he won’t be the closer.¬† Melancon is the stereotypical small market closer, big market set-up man.
Daniel Bard – The Sawx are toying with the idea that Daniel Bard should be in the rotation rather than as the closer.¬† To incorrectly quote Gordon Gekko, “That’s a toy with fleas.”¬† As a starter in the minor leagues, his ERA was 7.08 and walked 78 hitters in 75 innings.¬† Granted, this was early on in his minor league career, but I don’t see the Sawx taking a pitcher that is actually succeeding as a reliever and stretching him out to fail.¬† Then again, their rotation isn’t exactly five deep.¬† I think Bard’s the closer before Melancon, but it might not be decided until the spring.¬† Hopefully he doesn’t stay *pinkie to mouth* Bard from the bullpen.¬† Or should I say bullpun.
Michael Cuddyer – Gets away from Hubert H. Homerfree Dome and goes to Coors.¬† Boom goes the dynamite!¬† Or does it?¬† Cuddyer just had a solid season, and terrific when compared to the team around him.¬† Jack Wilson would’ve looked good in that Minnesota mucky muck last year.¬† Cuddyer hits a ton of ground balls and he’s not a huge homer threat.¬† I’d say if he repeats his 2011, it’s a win for him and his fantasy owners, especially since he has 2nd base eligibility.¬† This isn’t great news for fans of the sexy 3rd base prospect, Nolan Arenado.¬† Cuddyer, you’re such a prospblocker!
Kelly Shoppach – Signed with Sawx to be the weak side of a platoon with Saltymochachino.¬† It doesn’t take a genius to know that when you get a situational hitter for half of a platoon when you have a switch hitter (Salty), it’s not a great sign.¬† This does a lot more for real baseball than it does for fantasy baseball.¬† Bummer, that’s no fun.¬† In two catcher leagues, Saltymochachino will still have some value, but the reduced ABs will make it hard to own him in most leagues.
Josh Willingham – The Other White Meat is headed to the land of lakes — butter!¬† Conventional wisdom says Willingham is a decent 25-homer, .250 hitter.¬† Conventional wisdom also says middle-aged men pretend to go to conventions but really have another family in a different state, so don’t always trust conventional wisdom.¬† Instead of Willingham, I’d prefer a fifth fantasy outfielder in a hitter’s park with upside (say Chris Heisey).
Mike Cameron – Signed a deal with the Nats.¬† Deal is full of performance-based incentives.¬† Stop eating the contract, Mike!¬† It’s performance-based, not performance-enhancing.
Allen Craig – Might be ready for Opening Day.¬† Craig said, “I asked the doctor directly, when he thought I‚Äôd be playing and he said in 4-to-5 months I should be playing, which is right around Opening Day.¬† Then I asked him for another lollipop and he said no.¬† A real day of ups and downs!”
Jason Kubel – Signed with the Diamondbacks.¬† Before this signing, Kubel was most well known for his mention in Ben Zobrist’s wife, a Christian singer, song, “Here‚Äôs The Church, Here‚Äôs The Steeple, God‚Äôs Fifth Outfielder Is Jason Kubel.”¬† God plays in pretty deep leagues though (omniscience can’t hurt, right?).¬† Kubel is one of those solid picks for NL-Only leagues — not flashy, gets some stats (20/80/.270), but a yawnstipating pick for mixed leagues for having the same attributes.
Nick Punto – Signed with the Sawx for bench depth.¬† This is the equivalent to you going into the doctor to electively have an appendix inserted into your body.