Roto Imbeciles
Fantasy Baseball for the Roto Enthusiast

Monday February 13, 2017: I also posted this on the great Facebook portion of rotoimbeciles:  After leading the NL in HR for the Brewers (41, tied with Nolan Arenado), and adding career highs in RBI (94) and runs (84), Chris Carter thought he had his whole life ahead of him. He was about to turn 30 and his best years, or so he thought, were ahead of him. But on the night of November 13th, Carter was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from the Milwaukee Brewers. Deep down he knew they were right but that someday he would return to them. With nowhere else to go he went to Japan! Or is he going? Is he using Japan as leverage to stay in the states? One thing I know is that the Brewers didn't want to pay the $8-mil or so in arbitration it would have cost them to keep Carter gainfully employed. The player the Brewers signed to take Carter's place, Eric Thames, is a different kind of player than Carter, whose lifetime BA is .218 in 2285 AB. That goes along with a 875/307 K/BB. On the other hand, in Korea, Thames hit 124 HR in his 3 seasons there. He also had 379 RBI, 64 SB, 342 runs, hit .348, and enjoyed a 1.171 OPS. Those are HOF numbers but not transferable to the US. Rumor has it that the Tampa Bay Rays are in on both Carter and Mike Napoli to play 1B for 2017 but that's as far as they will go. The only other team that I've seen in the market for a power hitting 1B is the Texas Rangers. But both teams don't want to budge beyond 1 year. I have a feeling that we'll be announcing a signing within the next couple days and I'm not talking about Japan. Since this notification Carter has signed a 1 yr/$3.5-mil deal with the Yankees and Napoli has signed a 1 yr/$8.5-mil deal with the AL champion Indians .

I wonder if as a kid, Jacob, Ben Lively was ever given the business over his last name. Kids can be cruel. I'm sure there were lots of chants of "Step Lively." Those were fun times. I think the Phillies would be remiss in not giving Lively a chance. In his first foray to AAA, Lively had a 0.94 WHIP in 117 2/3 IP. His 90/27 K/BB wasn't too shabby either. Yes, Jacob, I can see Livley up for a little more than a cup of coffee. The Phillies' rotation of Hellickson, Veasquez, Eickhoff, Nola, and Buchholz (sounds like a law firm) may be surprisingly efficient. Or not! And injuries always have a way of rearing their ugly head. Think it's time for me to go have a Light 'n Lively.

I'm reading on other sites that the Rockies SP, Jon Gray, is ready to break out this season. One of the "experts" even has Gray being a top-10 pitcher in all of baseball by the end of the season. What I say to that, poppycock! Gray did put up a good 2016 while pitching half his games at Coors Field. He had a 4.61/1.26 ERA/WHIP, 153 HA, and a 185/59 K/BB in 168 IP. Great numbers for a Colorado SP but if you guys can take 30 seconds or so and come up with great Rockies starters over the years, it will be a very short list. I did have Ubaldo Jimenez in an NL-only back in 2010 when he was 3rd in the NL Cy Young voting but that was clearly an outlier. And he did walk 92 batters in that year of providence. After that season I could have gotten almost anyone in the league in a trade. But I drank the Kool-Aid. The rest of Jimenez's career has been mediocre/bad. I think if Jon Gray can shave a half a run off his ERA and maintain his K/BB rate from 2016, he could be a top 25 pitcher in NL-only but he's a guy that I will definitely be keeping an eye on this spring.
Long been a fan of James Loney. Like the Frank Sinatra song, Loney "did it his way." Not a lot of pomp and circumstance but a solid MLB player and citizen. He came up with a bang back in '07 for the Dodgers. He slugged 15 HR and 67 RBI with a .919 OPS and .331 BA in 344 AB. The 15 bombs, .331 BA, and .919 OPS were career highs for Loney. He never again lived up to those heights but did have a couple 90 RBI seasons and 6 of the 7 seasons from 2008-2014 Loney played in 155 or more games. One problem with Loney is that he only plays 1B. The Rangers can't throw him in the OF mix. If the Rangers don't go ahead and sign Mike Napoli I can see Loney not only making the team but getting a shot at the job against RHP. Let's just hope that Loney isn't facing his "final curtain!"
I'm hoping that somewhere Placido Polanco is still playing. It never came across my desk that he officially retired. Even in Zeist, Holland, home of Bert Blyleven. And I'll bet you a stack of 1959 Dick Groat cards (not in mint condition) that you didn't know Polanco had 2142 career hits. Kind of like longtime major league catcher, Jason Kendall. He was behind the plate for 5 big league clubs for what seemed like a million years and ended up with 2195 hits, 1030 runs, 189 SB, a damned good 686/721 K/BB, and a .288 lifetime BA. Where has the time gone?
What a difference a year makes! Last year the O's gifted Chris Davis with a 7 yr/$161-mil contract. He did hit 38 HR but only had 84 RBI, batted .221, and K'd a career high 219 times in 566 AB. I'm sure the O's would take something a little like his '13 season when he led the league wth 53 HR and 138 RBI while batting a career high .286 with a 1.004 OPS. Just yesterday the O's resigned Mark Trumbo to a 3 yr deal worth in the neighborhood of $37.5-mil. This came after Trumbo led the AL with 47 HR. He also had 94 runs and 108 RBI while batting .256 in 613 AB. Just seems to me that the Orioles got a great deal here, especially after you look at the contract that Davis signed just a year earlier.

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