Please help us find meaning in our lives after the trade blender that was the Winter Meetings. How can I field a decent fantasy team next season if I don’t know where all the players went?
Great question, Stephen. So great, in fact, that I didn’t know how to approach it. It was such a dilemma I needed to hibernate for months. I took a spiritual adventure to Western Europe, navigating the treacherous barren knolls to find a 92-year-old Asian man, in the hope that he would accept me as a pupil and teach me 18 different types of karate. When I found him, he was so impressed with my enthusiasm and muscular structure, he taught me 19. I can now kill a man with only a stuffed animal, some Scotch tape, a baseball hat, and wireless Internet. Oh, and a gun. I’ll need that too.
Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox for a quartet of half-capable minor leaguers, some of which might be decent, if one has the time to follow such things.
On the surface, this looks like another case of the tough kid, most likely redheaded, bullying around the wimpy dorky kid, most likely with glasses. And while that might be the case, Beckett and Lowell are no sure bets.
Beckett’s a stud when he’s healthy, but he has yet to pitch over 200 innings. And while Lowell was a stud a few years ago, last year he had fewer hits than Billy Corgan post-Smashing Pumpkins. But after playing in the nightly playoff-atmosphere pressure cooker of Pro Player Stadium, both could easily bounce back with the low-to-no expectations in Boston. I mean, they barely follow baseball up there, right? It’s not like they have a rabid fan base or anything that’ll add unneeded stress to any slump-laden or DL-happy offseason imports.
Jim Thome to the world-champion Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand and a few minor league pitchers.
Not only was the move timely—coming days before Paul Konerko chose his home for the next half decade—for the defending champs, but it also gives fantasy owners a reason to take a closer look at the paler Barry Bonds.
Playing in a notoriously home-run-friendly park for 82 games is reason enough to take him in your top four rounds. And sure, last year he showed his first signs of age. But, like Don Zimmer slowly easing himself into a postgame hot-tub soak, Jim Thome’s body will be kneaded and healed by his DH role. Don’t be scared.
And to the fad dieters out there: take a moment to mentally picture the Zimmer half of the above sentence and your calorie count will be headed south in no time. Of course, your health will also head south since, you know, you won’t be eating for months.
New Mets: Paul Lo Duca, Carlos Delgado, and Billy Wagner.
Yes, yes, yes. Everyone knows that the Mets went out and spent big money this season on the trio above. But everyone forgets they also signed the top mustache in baseball: Mr. Jose Valentin. Directly, this means nothing to your fantasy team. Even with the Mets potent lineup, Jose has lost his Mustache Power, while still putting up monster strikeout totals.
But the Mets didn’t sign him for numbers, and this is where his shrapnel fantasy value comes in. His main attribute is his brilliant practical joking. When someone’s in a slump, you bet he’ll be getting a pie in the face. If the media’s causing trouble, you better believe they’ll be getting a collective pie in the face. And Dr. Valentin’s prescription for a clubhouse cancer? Pie in the face, my friends. The custardy tonic cures all ailments!
With next season’s tensions dissolved, the other big signings will be playing loose, making them viable fantasy options. And don’t worry: Even if Giggles Valentin somehow runs out of pies, the laughter won’t cease. Now that he’s been shipped to the left coast, Mike Piazza has become fair game. And Giggles is not one to waste comedic opportunity.
The Blue Jays spend $500 gajillion on initial-laden A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan.
I’m going to go ahead and call both of them busts. Not because of their past performance, or because how the change in country will affect them. It’s just I don’t trust anyone with initials as their first name.
Seriously. Can you think of one honest, trustworthy initialized person? Whenever I hear initials, I immediately see smarmy, greased-hair businessmen who steal Girl Scout cookie money from your daughter while her back is turned to help carry the limbless man across the street. Does that make me some type of racist? Am I an initialist?
Juan Pierre to the Cubs, after being scorned by Rafael Furcal, who chose the Dodgers instead because of their cuter shade of blue.
After the White Sox stole all of the headlines by (a) winning the World Series, (b) trading for future Hall of Famer Jim Thome, and © bolstering their pitching staff even more with the acquisition of Javier Vazquez, the Cubs went out and made their biggest offseason splash by getting … Juan Pierre?
Yes, he’ll be more productive than yearly preseason sleeper and postseason bust Corey Patterson. But he’s still not good enough to contribute to your fantasy team. Unless your league awards 600 points per steal. And if so, you’re probably associated with the guy who swan-dived into the Wrigley Field urinal trough. In which case, you get what you deserve.